I am at that stage in life, where I seem to have less interest in learning, than I do in being amused, but when you live alone, with all your contemporaries no longer here, being amused, becomes almost a matter of will power, that is to say deriving one’s own amusement, however banal. Believe it or not, thinking up television games with more intellectual content than just a quiz show, among other things, can be quite interesting and distracting. But unfortunately at the end of the day one tends to revert to the wide screen, and watch films. This will have naturally forced me into Criticism Mode, especially with the pap currently on offer from Skye.. I was never a devotee of Woody Allen and his obsession with New York. I now find that somebody in the chain of command, has bought up vast quantities of Woody Allen’s films from way back, I remember them even from my teens. Coupled with that they’re also dragging out British made films even before the 40s and a lot not long after. Some of them are very good, but many of them nowhere as good as whoever it is, says it’s is, when commenting on them in the Radio Times. Time and again I have saved on Plus a film highly recommended, only to find it was verbose and not to my taste.
One thing I do discover is that in these old films, the diction is much clearer, that the actors actually used their lips, whereas in the modern films, especially the American ones, one has to try to follow the script which is being mouthed with almost tight lips, and a quasi-Afro-American accent that is mostly unintelligible. Going back to the days of Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, even the Westerns had actors talking in language that we could understand in Britain. When you watch an American film today, devoted to criminals and roughnecks, I don’t know whether you would agree with me, but it seems that they adopt this deep Southern accent as another dimension of colour, which is very difficult to decipher, especially as nowadays the musical directors seem to have more influence than the actual director?
If you go to the back pages of each day in the Radio Times, you’ll discover that day, after day, after day the same old films of being offered not always from the same source, but on the same pages, and if you read the blurb you might not mind because there appears to be so much on offer, but repetition rapidly reduces choice.