Saturday was another unpleasantly hot day, so paratti
came into town with me and we watched 'The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou' at the Prince Charles. It got fairly mediocre reviews, and yet I rather loved it, simply because of its argument that a man thoroughly reprehensible and careless in almost every respect - tricky with money, thoughtless to his wife, callous to his son - can be constantly redeemed in our eyes and theirs by his capacity for wonder. The strange animated fish ought to be as irritating a mannerism as the cheesy Portuguese folksong arrangements of Bowie's greatest hits, and yet they make the film utterly charming. Bill Murray does his usual curmudgeon, but Angelica Houston and Cate Blanchett are wonderful, and Owen Wilson and Michael Gambon are perfectly tolerable.
Later I went to a party for the launch of a new classical record label, Toccata, which plans to specialize in the obscure and hardly ever played. Out of the corner of my ear, I heard someone mention Matyas Seiber - younger associate of Bartok and Kodaly - and I thought, ah, there's someone whose music could do with revival. And wandered over to check what was being said.
The woman to whom the man was talking turned around as I approached - 'Oh, hallo Roz' said Julia Seiber, the composer's daughter and my ex-flatmate, whom I hadn't seen in a decade. It was one of those Dance to the Music of Lost Time moments that happen from time to time.
I also bumped into Errollyn Wallen, a fabulously talented young composer I seem to bump into at parties and whose couple of discs I must play more. She really is terribly good in a classical lieder overlaps with cool jazz sort of idiom. Check her out.
The most watched in the cinema movies thing went on and on and ended up with 'Gone With the Wind' as regrettably these things always do. On the other hand, John Cleese who was hosting, remarked that, bad as Dick van Dyke's accent in 'Mary Poppins' was, it still wasn't as fake as Guy Ritchie's. Which got him a cheer in this household.