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Le Havre

  Tue 22nd May 2012

Just a quick one because it's a day-stopping night in the English cultural calendar this evening--the Eurovision Song Contest First Semi-Final. Me and the girls are going to have a party with scorecards and crisps and other equally nutritious "food", while Kirsty squirrels herself upstairs and packs for Italy. Dads get all the best jobs.

But Le Havre. Partly because Nursey mentioned it in a comment.

Sixth Form Girl had had her hair cut short, which set the pattern of the evening. Of course I said I liked it--it's her decision and it's not me she's after--but seeing her cropped, rounded hair, I had to compose my face to hide my disappointment at not seeing the untrammelled black hair falling over her shoulders that I have liked about her since she was seventeen.

She went into the cinema first and I clambered over the seat behind her to avoid disturbing the two lesbian people sitting next to us. They looked at me with some surprise. "Yes, I know, she is good-looking isn't she? Up yours."

Always beware of films that reviewers describe as "heartwarming."

The black child protagonist was accorded little agency or roundness of character, positioned instead as a visual source of images of poverty and blackness, and a narrative hook upon which to hang some clichés of film. The film ended with the previously hard-hearted Inspector melting with forgiveness as he looked into the hold of a boat and saw the child's supplicating face, like the opening scenes of charity ads seeking standing orders for Africa, before your £5 a month has an entire village frollicking under a standpipe.

There was the unexplained sudden appearance of an old flame, who rekindled--to doubtful advantage--the singer Little Bob's ability to run through some off-the-shelf rockabilly-lite--with the vocalists managing somehow to be heard over the band without the use of microphones. Then there was the equally filmically lazy sudden recovery from a fatal illness of Marcel's wife Arletty as soon as the refugee saving mission is complete.

The company was intelligent and pretty, but the Ringwood Bitter and the craic in the pub afterwards were the best part of the evening.


I intercepted Gillian at the breakfast table this morning and asked her, trembling tinily, ashamed at my lack of fine motor control and resolution, whether she'd be OK to give me the money tomorrow. She said yes casually and I sat with some coffee and we had a pleasant enough chat, marbled with my uneasiness.


Montenegro's entry includes the words "analphabetic" "hermetic" and "dialectic", and includes a scene of a man massaging a donkey.

Montenegro 2012: Rambo Amadeus - Euro Neuro

8 comments

Comment from: furtheron [Visitor]

Eurovision… give me strength, thank God I was stuck at college until nearly 8pm talking REF Impact Cases!

Tue 22nd May 2012 @ 21:14

That’s one cultural icon I’m glad to see the back of.
The Eurovision Song Contest isn’t entertainment, it’s a prolonged orgy of bad music and barely restrained nationalism. (Bet the Germans don’t vote for the French and vice-versa. And neither will vote for the UK)

Thanks for the tip. Le Havre is now on my don’t want to watch unless completely hammered list.

Don’t count on the money. Be masterful…Beg.

That last clip was purely gratuitous.
You just wanted the rest of us to cringe, didn’t you?
Just because YOU had to watch it, doesn’t mean you HAVE to inflict it on the rest of us.

Wed 23rd May 2012 @ 04:58
Comment from: young at heart [Visitor]

Pourquoi? Pourquoi Lobby? C’est un film français .. ….. qu’est-ce que tu attend??

Wed 23rd May 2012 @ 10:46
Comment from: [Member]

F: It must be an absolutely passionate dislike of Eurovision if you prefer dealing with the REF!

TSB: I actually liked the Montenegro song! God, you should have seen him perform it live last night though. He looked like he’d just got up after a long night on the cherry brandy. Didn’t get through to the final.

YAH: Well, something much better than that! I don’t associate French film making with such simplistic plot moves. Maybe it was made with one eye on the US market, where things have to be simple and finished and happy.

Wed 23rd May 2012 @ 11:08
Comment from: [Member]

i might be a little bit in love with Rambo.

Wed 23rd May 2012 @ 12:13
Comment from: [Member]

Is anyone else puzzled by this remark? :)

Wed 23rd May 2012 @ 12:28

You should never have been put in the position to uncomfortably ask for money. That’s the first strike against her.

@TSB: You say “…prolonged orgy of bad music and barely restrained nationalism” as if it were a bad thing. Isn’t that the very definition of TV entertainment?

Wed 23rd May 2012 @ 12:44
Comment from: nursemyra [Visitor]

Yeah the movie was only ok. But Little Bob was hilarious. Straight out of Twin Peaks.

Sun 27th May 2012 @ 08:44


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