Monday, 2 April 2007

My weekend pills and booze hell

I watched the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line over the weekend, which turned out not to be "my pills and booze hell" but a country and western romcom, i.e. it followed the exact structure of a romcom, but held off on the comedy. I like musical biopics because the narratives are usually uncomplicated, and you're going to get good music. I direct you to What's Love Got to Do With It? and, of course, the phenomenal A Song To Remember which culminates in Cornel Wilde as Chopin liberating Poland with a European tour. Smashing stuff.

The weekend was of course primarily about the Who, and I watched back 'Smith and Jones' this morning with subtitles. I started watching television with subtitles so that I could follow plots and exercise at the same time (the deep-throated grind of the exercise bike obscures dialogue), and then I discovered that it actively aids my enjoyment of drama because I have such a strong connection to the written word that it means I'm reading the script along with looking at the pictures.

The Jane Austen season on ITV1 came to a not-bad-actually conclusion with an adaptation of Persuasion that had a lot to live up to, and didn't blow it until the very end, when the defter plotting of the novel was chucked for a rather silly sprint by Anne around Bath, trying to catch up with Wentworth. Still, it's hard to spoil Persuasion for me, because I'm just putting the emotion in for myself. I liked some of the handheld camera work, which brought the viewer's POV into scenes - very suitable for this most intimate of her novels.

I finished up my own Audrey Hepburn season with Breakfast at Tiffany's, which I was convinced was in B&W, and turns out not to be. Which led me to my single insight of the weekend: films are better in black and white, television is better in colour. This, manifestly, is truth, but why should it be so? Why, dammit, why?

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