Friday 28 October 2011

Cinema Paradiso

This has been my last proper day at home in France. Tomorrow I must turn my face and soul to the barren cruel north and get set to drudge the dark days of joyless survival. However, I have a project that will keep me motivated. In our temporary home there is a fireplace and there is a chimney. In St Savinien there is always that slight catch of wood smoke in the air at this time of year. As I opened the shutters this morning to find the church tower softened by mist, that soft smell of hearth and warmth caught my senses. Yes, I will have a fire and I will smell that sense of love and home which is at the very heart of our unexplored longing. Yes, longing - what a term that is. I believe that is what actually defines us. It is what forms the anger within so many folk. When I came back to urban strife it was an eye opener for me. I had forgotten the resentment and the violence in the soul. I see it now in the face of the road ragers and the angry special needs kids on my bus. I was a careless parent - probably quick to chide and impatient with youth, always restless with a selfish show-off ego to feed. I know all that will have bred anger and resentment. To be a parent you need the wisdom of age and the energy of youth.  If ever I'd applied for the job I don't think I'd have made the short list.

I wonder what the term cinema means to you. As a teenager it was essentially a dying art form, pushed under the water by pop culture and television. Now of course, pop culture as a monolithic entity no longer exists and television for young folks is merely background drivel as they tap on their various i pads, foot pads and key pads in a whirl of anti-social networking. Do you ever feel like screaming when you have to keep saying "Excuse me" to catch the attention people who are in your room but connected on tap tap tap machines to 8 thousand far more interesting people who are just " wow so cool yah lol".  

In St. Savinien the cinema is the "Florida". It is not a multiplex 25 screen luxury lounge. The building looks like it used to be a barn. The foyer is kinda professional. I think the guy who sells the tickets also does the projector and makes the coffee for the interval. Last night was a rare treat that could only happen in France. The show was a concert followed by the film "Arrietty". The concert was performed by none other than Cecile Corbel, composer of the film's music and a virtuoso player of the celtic harp. Now, after the concert, there was an intermission. Free coffee and galette was served while Cecile Corbel signed CDs and chatted with quite ordinary folk like myself. I must admit I felt like a bit of a hem-toucher. I know absolutely nothing about music so I admire these folks so much. Normally I would never approach such a person but Gilles went and got a signed CD. It will be a treasure. The movie is almost innocent and almost feel-good. However, there is a sentiment  that reality will triumph over sentimental wishes. Blink and you'll miss it and you'll go home with a warm glow. The movie is hand drawn animation from the renowned Ghibli  studio. It's so beautiful with a true sympa sound track. See the trailer here:

If you like animated film you must see this: L'illusioniste is one of the most touching and tender films ever made in my view. It was written by Jaques Tatti and only put out after his death. A fey sense of sadness drifts through it which is almost impossible to quantify.

Emma thinx: Home is where the hearth is. Light a winter fire. 

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Thanks so much for stopping by. Always so happy to get your feedback. Emma x