March 26th, 2009


DOLLS (LLGFF Movie number one)

Went to the first night of the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and was quietly impressed by the opening movie, a teen lesbian drama from the Czech Republic). It reminded me of the classic Czech films of the late 60s - one of those Valerie and Her Week of Wonders is of course officially Roz's favourite film after Les Enfants de Paradis both because of the lyrical camera work in a lot of it and the slightly washed out palette. (There is some stuff with a hyper-photographed lady-bird on a straw that was at once amazingly beautiful and distinctly laboured )

It also reminded me, as eastern european stuff often does, of my own past as a teenager in the sixties.

One of the reasons for this is that it is a film about hitch-hiking - three teenagers are trying to go to Holland to make some money doing seasonal agricultural stuff and completely failing to get very far. Vendula is worried that her blowsy looks won't ever work out for her, and knows she is not as bright as her friends; Carolina is an asthmatic minx with emotionally neglectful parents; and Iska has just about worked out that she is a lesbian and has a huge crush on Carolina. Iska is supposed to be studying self-defense at an athletics camp to which her father has sent her and her younger brother, gymnast Vojta; when she bunks off, he insists on coming along and keeps lying to their father on the phone. Nothing goes well and yet they all come to some sort of resolution, even if it is only Carolina's starting to take responsibility for the pain she causes.

And it is hot, and people drink too much and some of the time they are in the countryside and some of the time they are wandering through weird post-industrial landscapes - those reminded me of my teens in Yorkshire and the sewage treatment plant I had to walk past to get a short cut to the library - and I cared passionately about all four of them - it is also about Vojta being used in a slightly iffy way by his sister's friends.

It was wry and funny and deeply sad, and I so wanted Iska to get a happy ending and she did, but not the one she had thought she wanted.


The stakeholder meeting at Charing Cross went well. I am still freaking out that it happened at all - possibly more about that in due course.

Various people have accused those of us who want peace in the Middle East of failing to condemn Hamas' many atrocities - can I point to this as evidence that this is a flat lie? They might also consider the use of white phosphorus on children to be a level of atrocity even higher than the failed bomb in Haifa. Might, if they were minded to the even-handedness they claim does not exist among those critical of Israeli policy.
  • Current Music
    Rachmaninov 2nd Piano Concerto for Brief Encounter reasons