Saturday 19 May 2018 11.53pm
‘Beau, Gene, Claire, Donald, Stanley, Geoff, Kirsty, Wife, Swans, Hamish, Me, Harry, Roast, Wine, Meghan, Ring and Google’ 2018
Today had a very full schedule – for me! – of waking up, getting up and being part of preparing for guests, creating the environment (with my wife), and delivering a leisurely afternoon of wine and cheese (from guests) and dinner and a movie. This, of course, has to happen with the spare brain space I’m not using thinking about Intolerance, Close-up and Beau Travail. The last 36 films of movies in the Top 100 is always going to be part of anything and everything I do. Whatever I have to actually achieve in a day, the project will still find its way into every nook and cranny.
What follows is a mix of the hopeful plan and what actually happened:
* clear the cinema of books and DVDs (lots) on every surface, the floor, the arm-rests, so we can seat 10 (11.35)
* buy the roasts to cook (12.27)
* buy some wine to drink (12.53)
* get the house painter to clear up the entertaining area while he paints elsewhere (1.05pm)
* sit down and write about Beau Travail (1.12-1.28pm)
* find my wife – can’t find her! (11am – 1.30pm)
* think about the amazing images in Beau Travail and write my blog entry (1.12-1.28pm)
* clear the indoor benches and tables of detritus (kid’s drawings and general clutter) (1.28-2.17pm)
* set up the outdoor entertaining area with the lounges and the chairs and tables (with the help of my wife) (1.28-2.17pm)
* wash up the dishes and glasses (while Ali wipes – the chairs and table – off three weeks of gunk from the gutters that have been replaced bit by bit for 3 weeks) (1.28-2.17pm)
* find Singin’ in the Rain in the Musicals section of my DVD collection
* find the remote control to the Samsung DVD player – if at all possible
* welcome guests, provide lots of water and no wine or beer because everyone’s drinking water
* flutter around catering for empty glasses
* keep looking for the remote
* find a way to play the movie in a machine without a remote.
* can not
* prepare three eye fillet roasts with oil and salt: 1 plain, 1 with sage and coriander 1 with cumin and tarragon and wrap in Ali’s Foil
* get Ali to start looking for the remote control as the Samsung wants to do an online update and I can’t say “no” to it.
* found it!
* set timer to warn me at the 60-minute mark to put the roasts in with the vegetables – 180 degrees for 45 minutes
* seat 10 people in 6 seats
* worry about how many days left and how many movies still to watch
* press PLAY and worry if the Sight & Sound‘s greatest musical ever! will be well-received or have a cast-iron laughing-gear audience
* top up glasses
* put on glasses
* adjust sound, settle the kids
* (C’mon singin in the rain:) Sing it again. Dance it again. Make my day.
* paused the movie to put the roast in the oven (6.15pm)
* pressed play again (6.17pm)
* served and ate dinner with more plonk (7.15pm)
* gave the room to the people who like royalty and retired to another room for those who like swans (7.50-9.30pm)
* royalty was tied 1-1. swans vs fremantle were 111-52 at SCG.
* good night (and good luck)
Last Night’s Movie – Beau Travail
Thinking about last night, I waited for more than seventy minutes to discover where Beau Travail – the film – was headed. Then it struck me that it wasn’t about telling a story where the story is the meaningful part of the story. It’s about showing monotony and then drawing from that monotony to show something that broke the monotony. It’s a film about unexpected cruelty from the person narrating the story. Normally, they are the people who are shown to be worth the trust we have in their record of the telling of the story. Villains don’t tend to narrate story which result in good people dying. It’s a standard agreement – albeit tacit – that the narrator is going to reveal what really happened – even though it is his account. It’s an unwritten rule, but generally adhered to. They don’t end up being the bad guy, leaving the sour taste in your mouth, or a gun in their own mouth. I don’t doubt that, for Galoup, the end of the film suggests that he blew the back of his brain off. But, it doesn’t say that or show that. It does suggest it. The opening narration, and then the final scenes showing the way he carresses his gun while lying in his bunk, indicates he’s thinking of it.
Started thinking about Beau Travail again and googling reviews by major newspapers or major reviewers. It was very boring but beautiful, and very beautiful but exasperatingly beautiful-beyond-words. The images of the soldier left in the wilderness to manage his way home are beautiful beyond belief and less shocking because of their beauty.
At 2225 my wife came up to me and thanked me for organising a party for her relatives. It was at that point I realised they weren’t my relatives but felt like they were. I’ve got my Dad (here) and my brother (there) and my niece (in Melbourne) but this felt like I was with my own family. It was real. Very, very real. My kids and Kirsty and Bruce’s kids were playing together and Ali and I were outside conversing with adults. It was the unusual part of experiencing real. I have no experience of having a mother or father or an aunt or uncle and their children and my children gathering together to just – gather together. It was unreal. It was not real. It was strange to have someone remind me that these people weren’t my family because I feel like they are and that my children are part of their families.