Posts Tagged ‘ 45 YEARS ’

JUST AN OBSERVATION

Just an Observation
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The first two weeks of July in Edinburgh- Trades fortnight originally but I am unsure how relevant that term is today- are by tradition quiet times signalling a calm after the end of the Film Festival and before the onslaught of August’s Fringe interlopers. Not that the Film Festival generates that much interest from either the locals or outsiders although this year it was pleasing to see Big Gold Dream: Post Punk and Infiltrating the Mainstream. a film focussing on the much neglected music scene in Edinburgh and documenting its importance in the post punk era, scoop the audience prize award. The film also managed to host the best party of the whole festival.
Elsewhere 45 Years starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay won the best film award although I am not quite sure how. Admittedly the competition wasn’t that stiff but there were better films on show such as The Messenger, Narcopolis and the documentary on the doomed singer Amy Winehouse.
The most exciting thing to happen in the city over the last week was not the film festival’s closing party but the most fantastic thunder and lightning storm I have ever witnessed on Wednesday night into early Thursday morning which appeared to rip the sky open with dark rumblings and electric flashes. Thrilling stuff indeed!
As always at this time of year Wimbledon hovered into view this week and as soon as Dustin Brown’s photo started appearing on social media sites on Thursday evening I have a feeling that Emmerdale’s ratings on ITV plummeted as millions switched over to BBC2 to get a further glimpse of German hotness as he thrashed Rafael Nadal on centre court to move onto the next round. A new Wimbledon favourite I believe. And not just to win either!
The legend that is Debbie,or Deborah as she prefers to be addressed, Harry turned 70 this week. It hardly seems like thirty-seven years ago since she awoke a nation of teenage boys-and girls – from somnambulant sexuality with a Top of the Pops performance of ‘Denis’, becoming the first post-modern female in rock music who actually took control of her own sexuality playing on it as well as with it. Not bad for someone ‘advised’ by Patti Smith to ‘get the fuck out of rock and roll’ a couple of years earlier.
I have never understood Patti’s animosity towards a fellow female trying to make her way in the male dominated rock world especially as they gestated in the same scene-CBGB’S- and worked as polar opposites in so many ways. Smith had her Rimbaud and poetry as well as her own brand of sex appeal hinging on her couldn’t give a fuck androgyny. Harry was obviously a great beauty with a rampant universal sex appeal and it would be dull to imagine that this is the crux of Smith’s uncharitable-even to this day forty years later- attitude especially as Debbie has never said an unkind word about her.
Certainly when Patti retired from the music business to settle down and raise a family at the end of the seventies Debbie was probably the biggest star in the world at that point as well as being artistically active in creating some seriously classic avant-garde pop music whilst Smith had reached artistic bankruptcy.
Unlike many others in the fickle world of music I can’t actually recall a time when Debbie Harry was not hip. Even at points in her career when she has been less popular she never faced the inevitable backlash from press and public that so many others have, I think the fact she seems genuine comes across and coming to fame relatively late- she was 33 years old when that TOTP performance was aired- meant she always seemed grounded and this is something I can vouch for having met her and found her to be the most unassuming celebrity I have ever met. She introduced herself and said ‘I’m Deborah by the way’ as if I wouldn’t know who she was. Modern day ‘celebrities’ could do well to learn from her and then perhaps they reach seventy then perhaps they might generate one iota of love, affection and respect as she does.
Even when she does get it slightly wrong-her outfit at Glastonbury a couple of years back- it doesn’t diminish her credibility or damage her reputation one bit because she is Debbie Harry and she has earned the right to do whatever she wants!
Right off into the weekend sound-tracked by my new obsession the collaboration between Sparks and Franz Ferdinand, FFS, which looks like being a major live highlight during the Festival and Blondie

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45 YEARS

45 Years
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Kate and Geoff Mercer seem to be happily ambling their way through their retirement and planning for their 45th wedding anniversary- the more traditionally celebrated 40th had to be postponed due to Geoff undergoing bypass surgery- until news comes that a perfectly preserved body has been found in the Swiss Alps. It transpires that the body is that of an earlier love of Geoff’s, Katya, prior to his meeting Kate and what starts off as an innocuous piece of news soon becomes a major issue between the couple with chilly ramifications that resonate through their relationship revealing cracks, insecurities and raising questions.
Starring Charlotte Rampling, in an outstanding performance, alongside Tom Courtenay and directed by Andrew Haigh who rose to prominence with his excellent debut ‘Weekend’ in 2011. Coaxing a perfectly emotionally pitched performance the film is often one of understatement but it is no less effective and often whistling winds in the background make up the only soundtrack denoting the chilly atmosphere and the haunting ghost of the past.
Taking place in the run up to their celebratory party the uncertainties Kate start to feel are compounded by Geoff’s forced admission that if Katya hadn’t died he would probably have married her. Discovering that he is listed as Katya’s next of kin is the point she realises that she perhaps knows her husband of 45 years a little less than she previously thought. After rooting around in the attic for information about her dead love rival Kate finds a selection of slides and photos which do nothing to reassure her as decisions which have informed aspects of their marriage are in those photos casting Katya as a spectre over the last forty five years. Even their names are similar.
Slow moving but effective ’45 Years’ shows a seemingly robust relationship built on shaky foundations. The film closes at the couple’s anniversary party and behind the carapace of happiness the smiles are as frozen as that body in the Swiss Alps.

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