|Carbis Bay Hotel - fine dining|
Well – yes! Amazing to think that those Beatles’ lyrics written forty-nine years ago are still so relevant today ... and did any of us every think we’d see the year 2000 AD, or for that matter get to 64 – the new Middle Age?
... will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings bottle of wine?
... will you still need me, will you still feed me,
when I’m sixty-four?
Oh and I have some lovely history for you ... and some wonderful looooong words! Just my kind of day – well perhaps if I was forever young?
What is today? – Friday the 13th ... yonks ago I was 13 on Friday 13th ... if you’re going to have a birthday on the 13th do it properly ... and really properly ...
... with so many connotations falling at this time of year: St Hilary’s Day – today – the start of the University Hilary term, and the start of the Hilary Law term ... such is life – on top of that hilarious means full of happiness – here too I remain true to my name.
So I reflect January 13th ... now comes the interesting bit?! I have no fear of Friday 13th, but if you do it is called friggatriskaidekaphobia!!!
Frigga being the Norse goddess for whom Friday is named, and the next bit triskaidekaphobia meaning fear of the number 13 – there is a Greek connection too – but I’ll leave you to explore that.
Superstition holds Friday the 13th to be a day of bad luck ... but sometimes we bring those portends with us – and if we get on with life ... all will be well: my way of living. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here .... and I quite like being here and would like to remain so for a while longer yet.
Just to change the subject as I’m wont to do ... and as I’m a talkative blogger – I’ll go silent for a while ... back one hundred years to the Silent Movie Days.
1912 offered three cinemas to audiences in Eastbourne (an innovative town), while ‘our’ cinema, The Curzon, first opened in 1920 as The Picturedrome ... by the time 1930 came round there were 9 cinemas.
I’m a dedicated supporter for 20 years now of our Eastbourne Film Society, which celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2006, who use The Curzon for their performances.
The Society gave us a performance of the silent film “The Passion of Joan of Arc” (1928) on the release of a new print – highly praised by Robert Ebert ... and which mesmerised me totally as my post reflects.
|The keyboard of a "Mighty Wurlitzer" from the|
Museum of Musical Instruments, Berlin
Neil Brand, that Doyen of silent accompanists, joined us at the piano for our Joan of Arc show ... the Wurlitzer having long gone. Neil hails from Eastbourne when the Curzon was his stamping ground in his early days of restoring the Silent Movie Musician to his rightful place in the history of film.
“The Artist” (2011), the-little-movie-that-could success story that has snowballed into an audience favourite – a Cannes award-winner ... and who knows as the respect for this French upstart plays on towards the major prizes.
|Eastbourne from the Downs|
The Curzon will not let us down ... and the movie will come to town – Kevin Maher in the Saturday Times Review says ... ‘The Artist' is a testament to the fundamentals of cinematic storytelling, and a threnody for an art-form undone by the demands of dialogue. (Remember Hitchcock on dialogue? A good movie, he said, works with the sound off.)
|This is a film I will not|
So today is a day for celebration friggatriskaidekaphobia withstanding! Over 100 years of cinema, 82 years of talkies to the day in Eastbourne, a cinema that’s ticking on towards 100, over 65 years of the Film Society, actually I too am now officially in my 65th year albeit I call myself 64 ...
... and one last celebration ... this is my first post of year four at blogging, number 375, which as Clarissa mentioned is about four novels worth – 380,000 words. How this tangled mess of eclectic thoughts could ever be put into a novel is beyond me ... I’m sure sometime a few booklets will appear.
Many of the Beatles thoughts appear not to relate ... but they perhaps do in ways I could never expect ... my mother still needs me when I’m 64 – we just never know where life will lead us.
The bottle of wine will be enjoyed – my mother was surprised to see me pull one out of her drawer wrapped up in one of her cloths that Susie had hidden away for me!
|Fricka rides a chariot in|
this illustration by
Arthur Rackman to
Der Ring de Nubilungen
And I learnt a new word ... keeping the old brain cells ticking over ... ‘threnody’ = a song, hymn or poem of mourning composed from the Greek word threnos (wailing) and the Proto-Indo-European root wed (to speak) ... that is also the precursor of such words as ode, tragedy, comedy, parody, melody and rhapsody.
Please note ‘threnody’ refers to the resurgence of The Silents as they continue apace ... to the first three decades of the 20th century – when movies were cross-cultural and, without language barriers to bother them, could focus on artistic excellence and storytelling, and is not a dirge to me!!
Thus in the 1920s a horror film from Germany, such as The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, happily co-existed with the Charlie Chaplin melodrama, The Kid, or the Buster Keaton comedy Our Hospitality.
These films, and this era, bore witness to one of the 20th century’s most enduring inventions – movie stars. Here Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford were the global role models, and even established the studio United Artists, in 1919, to protect their burgeoning brands.
I list Kevin Maher’s Top Ten Silent Films – for interest:
1. The Passion of Joan of Arc: Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928.
2. Nanook of the North: Robert J Flaherty, 1922.
3. The Great Train Robbery: Edwin S Porter, 1903.
4. A Trip to the Moon: Georges Méliès, 1902.
5. Sunrise: F W Murnau, 1927.
6. The General: Buster Keaton, 1926.
7. Broken Blossoms: D W Griffith, 1919.
8. The Cabinet of Dr Caligari: Robert Wiene, 1920.
9. Metropolis: Fritz Lang, 1927.
10. Battleship Potemkin: Sergei M Eisenstein, 1925.
As I said – I’m wordy .. but they only pop up on your Reader once every x days ... no commitment as to days of posting I note!
|1904 Easbourne Life Boat station|
PS I cannot link to Kevin Maher's article - as it's behind a paywall.
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