Friday, 23 January 2015


I'll try this again, gremlins ate it, the last time, just as I finished;  the Accursed Universe,  made infinitely more accursed by our steps in cyberspace.  I loved the film and the more distant it becomes the more I dwell on it, speak of it and love it the more; maybe, this time of writing, ten days on, I'll figure it out, more better, as the NewPeople say.

Anyone who saw even a fragment of an episode of the series in which Timothy Spall and his ditzy wife almost suicidally sailed their decrepit Thames barge, Matilda, around the British Isles 

Look, dear, ain't them rocks, dead ahead?

 would have been amazed that he could remember a line, hit his marks or manage to do-up his flies when appearing in a proper film.  Tim was paranoid ineptitude personified and

Where are we?  'Ow should I know, sweedart?
Don't you know?

 if, messing about in boats,  you ever see the Princess Matilda bearing down on you,
give her a wide berth. 

 Tim, however, in Mr Turner, Film Four's Mike Leigh biopic of the painter,  gave a thundering performance, proving mrs ishmael's dictum that they are just dumb, empty vessels, luvvies, there to serve writers and directors and all the other properly clever people in cinema - the costumiers and set-builders, the make-up artists and the dialogue coaches;  after two years preparation, Tim, as Turner,  never put a foot wrong.

 Benny Cumberbatch, as long as he lives, will never turn in such a performance, it takes a rare dedication to immerse one's own self so, maybe it is that  emptiness within those capable of great cinema acting which we see here;  those deemed great - or at least greatly popular - stars like Michael Caine, manage, in everything they do,  to be enough of themselves, enough their own brand to satisfy their fans  and producers and Caine, always threatening to leave the UK should Labour regain power -  never mind, Mick, you'll be off soon enough, anyway - Caine is on record as saying that all he ever wanted was lots of money and some Oscars, and now I got 'em, a cheap, vulgar man; can't quite see Spall having the nerve to say that and as Turner, he was absolutely nothing of himself or any of his previous characters; instead,  he was a succession of contradictory characteristics which we must assume contained Turner - 

a devoted and dutiful son,

a neglectful, tight-fisted  husband and father, 

   an  ebullient Royal Acamedician

a brutish lover who  cruelly  betrayed his Chelsea housekeeper-mistress, not before giving her syphillis,

yet finding Thames-side domestic harmony 
 " with you, woman, and bustle about."

as common-law husband 
to his former Margate landlady. 

Turner's reputation rises and falls, at one time he is seen as the butt of cruel music hall jokes about his increasing fascination with splurges of light  

which he executes

 instead of continuing to paint the representational land

 and seascapes for which he is famous.   

Skulking out of sight at an exhibition he overhears a youngish Queen Victoria and her ponce, Albert, deriding his art like the dreadful, crass German philistines they were.

Train, rain, steam and speed, 
Great Western Railway 1844;

Their Royal Krautnesses were not amused.

 Neither loveable nor honourable, Mr Turner is a hugely gifted Everyman, played without hauteur or artfice by Spall, farting, grunting, phlegmatic and taciturn, yet dazzling for all that.


Mr Turner, as you would expect, was painterly from the opening shot, two Dutch matrons walking a canal bank while Turner sketched a windmill; exquisitely located, set, costumed and lit, it was as though in every scene a Vermeer or a Rembrandt had come slowly to life;  every  scene  emerging from a composed and framed moment.

Mr Turner was as lovingly coloured as was Peter Webber's 2003 speculative study of Vermeer, 
 Girl With The Pearl Ear-ring,
and although the Turner interiors were more flatly coloured, more distempery, they were probably more accurate, you could almost reach in and feel the crackling, the imperfection.  The furniture, too, was what we would now call distressed, it being a utility common-place to the Victorians, the mahogany sideboard we would these days cherish,
 as I do, here,

 was all kicked about and scuffed, scratched to fuck.
Just in its portrayal of the daily, Mr Turner was a message from another world. Mr Death appears three or four times and his recruits are accorded a deep, unsentimental respect, a sensibility galaxies away from the crazed, mawkish garage-floriculturalism of our trashy times.

There was much, also, of the painter's preparatory doings, 
sourcing the paints, 
Cobalt Blue from far, expensive Afghanistan, 
 and securing  the canvases

and most importantly finding, chasing the light
and being its servant

windows loom large in this telling of Mr Turner's life and death, as they did, anyway,  for nineteenth century man and woman but especially so for a painter. Damien Hirst 

Tracey, a portrait of the artist as a young drunk.

and Tracey Emin and their brutish  patrons, 
worthies such as Saatchi and his trollopy cook wife.
An art collector's caress.

would have us think that art was simply  whatever you can get away with, in exchange for whatever you can charge; 
indeed Saatchi and his grubby mates have ensured that these days people applaud not the work but the price it fetches at some crooked auction house, like Sothebys, peddling investments to Russian criminals. Y'know, Tatler people.   They do do that, they stand up and clap the money.

Mr Turner reminds us that there is a good deal more to it than spunky sheets and bifurcated sharks; technique, knowledge and practice not being Oh, y'know, like s-o-o-o optional.

And however unwholesome his customs and practices,  Turner, towards the end, decidely unEminently, eschews a proferred fortune and instead bequeaths his collection of canvases to the British people, the Turner Rooms in the Tate Gallery 

now a series of spaces transcending the normal boundaries of painterliness.

There is a scene in Mr  Turner in which he and some friends are rowed across the path of the Fighting Temeraire, being towed by a steam tug to the scrapyard and which, taken with the dialogue, is more movingly expressive of change, decay and progress  than anything Turner, himself, painted; one could weep, foolishly, for a pile of old timbers and ropes. Stuff, by its familiarity, imports a value much greater than its assumed value, by owning - or stewarding - something, we add value; Time and familiarity apply their own burnish. Turner's desolate view, in the original,  of the redundant Temeraire, teaches us that. 

 It is often said that the truly honourable among us are those who decline the baubles of the Queen's Birthday Nonsense and that must also be true of LuvvieWorld. Save for some at Cannes, Leigh and Spall won no  glittering prizes, yet theirs is one of the most powerfully moving, informing and utterly charming films ever to have lifted me upwards and onwards.

If only Mike Leigh had spent his creative life on subjects such as this, instead of the perfectly horrid Abigail's Party and Nuts in May...if only, but then, those horrors led him here. He wins no Baftas or Oscars.  In Mr Turner there are no car chases, no porn, no violence, unless, of course, you count Life's inevitabilities - the passing cruelties of the Accursed Universe.

  These stills are an injustice; if you cannot visit the Turner Rooms, if you are interested in painting - or in the extra-Hollywood potential  of  cinema - you could do worse than losing yourself in this expert tapestry. It is the sort of art and craft which makes one consider buying a big home cinema system but it'll do on any old DVD player.
Mike Leigh's Mr Turner is a picture no artist could paint.


Bungalow Bill said...

Lovely thank you. I very much wanted to see this when it came out but, as usual, missed it. I will make a point of seeing it now albeit on DVD. Sometimes the arty cinemas show this sort of film out of the ordinary run so I'll keep an eye out for that too. Those gallery spaces are wonderful refuges and are still open to everyone aren't they free of charge, or most of them? Though again I'm afraid I don't get into them anywhere near as often as I should.

Lilith said...

Fantastic recommendation Mr Smith. Will check it out.

I had the good fortune to see the Moroni exhibition at the Royal Academy last weekend, a cinquecento genius I'd never heard of in spite of studying "art history" for four years. Cor! Not seen anything like it. I wanted to touch the pictures, feel the texture of the skin/beard/dress.

These guys are the proof of Ruin.

SG said...

Thank You Mr I - I too shall seek it out on the strength of your description here. Caine "a cheap, vulgar man", perhaps... but then there's 'Get Carter' and Harry Palmer...

Mike said...

Thank you for that "heads-up" Mr I. Hadn't heard of this work. Down here we tend to get stuff from the UK when its being sold off at bargain basement prices - we're still watching (not me) Jamie Oliver FFS.

Will search for a DVD.

yardarm said...

Lovely post, Mr Ishmael.' Whatever you can get away with in exchange for whatever you can get' says it all.

Anonymous said...

Do you remember Tom Keating painting
on a channel four programme about thirty years ago I thought he was a fantastic painter , You can view it

still on you tube i think

Anonymous said...

There's a documentary called "Tim's Vermeer" you might enjoy - fascinating and annoying in equal measure.


Mike said...

Mr Walter: here you go:

Just watched, fascinating.

call me ishmael said...

Yes, looks good, mr verge, just watched the trailer and I'll see the whole thing when I figure-out how to link the laptop or thd ouija-pad to a telly. I have some old, faded Vermeer prints and I always wonder, as I pass them, how the fuck did he do that, especially the woman with the wine glass to her lips? I have seen some originals, in Amsterdam but not enough. Be interesting to see if this bloke can fake them.

Anonymous said...

You might not like this, but I'll say it anyway.

If one does not guard oneself, actively, repeatedly, incessantly, against the natural onslaught of time, and all the horrible possibilities that it encompasses, one will find oneself a thoroughly bitter man, incapable of appreciating, well, almost anything, one will just be a railer, a dissenter, a ne'er say well, a cunt, I think the word is.

You, Sir, and I say this with the utmost respect for your previous scribblings, most of them, at any rate, are turning into a cunt.

You are becoming that which you claim to despise.

Have a think, don't give in to it, please.

call me ishmael said...

Thanks, mr walter and mr mike, I watched the Turner and I'll watch them all, Tom Keating on Painters, reminded of something I quoted here, a while back- the life is so short, the craft so long to learn. Why aren't we taught this stuff, all of us; what is the BBC for? How can we tolerate EastEnders, sport and cruelty, such a wasted opportunity, television, a ship of humanising, cultural promise, taken over grubby mutineers, Michael Grade, wotsisname, Roland Ratman, Dyke; Alan Yentob, Mark Thompson and Chris fucking Patten, abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

call me ishmael said...

Well, I don't know about that, mr anonymous, there is much here in praise and admiration and gratitude and respect, much in regret at decline, oppression, vulgarity, consumerism, racism, militarism, corruption, bestiality and all the other ills hinted at in the title of the blog, chronicles of ruin.

Thanks, nevertheless, for your observation about me being a cunt.

Bungalow Bill said...

I think BBC 4 still makes an effort and often, though by no means always, succeeds. At least it is pointing in the right direction amid the encircling garbage. Didn't Tom Keating go to jail for his forgeries if it's the same man I'm thinking of?

By the way, thanks again for this pointer Mr I; these peaceful, reviving interludes are always appreciated as we push against the tide of vileness and stupidity.

call me ishmael said...

Yes, I think he did get nicked. He's an odd presenter but very expert. BBC Four has its moments, but tonight it was an hour of watery, irrelevant Mozart, a concert would have been better and then several hours, yet again, about wonderful Rock'n'Roll. Some of it, of course, is brilliant, especially the art shows, just not enough.

call me ishmael said...

Yo, ms lilith; baby, where you bin so long? Happy New Year to the West Country.

Anonymous said...

Yet another joy to read and another thing I didn't know about but now want to. How did you get to be such a good writer? I suspected you were probably Ian Banks until he died.
That chair is a masterpiece, never mind the sideboard. And I liked Spall since Barry and his Triumph Bonneville in Auf Wiedersein, since I looked like him then, but fortunately still don't.

call me ishmael said...

Ah, the chair, it needs a post of its own, mr richard, it really does, the stories it could tell. I rstored it, more than twenty years back, and every year it looks better. I will tell the story, soon.

As to he rest, you are too kind, I am no writer, just a cyberstreet entertainer; I don't analyse how these things come to pass but part of it is writing it as I would say it, transcribing the rush of thought, more voice than prose, and part of it is to do with maintaining the integrity of a background continuum, so that all the posts don't contradict one another, too much. Mostly I do it because it levels my head and eases my mind and because I learned, way back, when I was writing stanislav, on order-order, that it made thousands of people, all over the world, roar with laughter, one guy said he laughed so much that they had to send for an ambulance and I understood completely, because it made me weep and howl, too, choke, splutter and cough, that's a nice feeling, making people laugh. That voice is gone, now, but this one resonates in a different way, and if I didn't write this stuff down and if you didn't read it, I wouldn't know what I thought about hardly anything, so thank you, too.

Anonymous said...

I watched it a couple of weeks ago (it's streaming in some quarters of the Internet) and right after I watched the BBC's three parts series The Impressionists. Both are lush and beautifully shot. In both cases, nearly every frame is a painting in itself. One can see the impact Turner had on Monet and the rest of the Impressionists. Painting outdoors, check. Chasing the light, check. Capturing the moment, check.
I recommend The Impressionists if you have not seen it. It is visually stunning.

Great review Mr Ishmael.


Anonymous said...

Oh and I absolutely relished the depiction of the art critic John Ruskin in all his boorish pomposity.

And Mrs Boon having her photograph taken had me in stitches.


call me ishmael said...

Yes, my original review was titled A Conundrous Question, in deference to the Ruskin scene but the best scene, cinematically, for me, one for which I could not find a still, was the soiree musicale in the country house, all those candles, how DID they do that, achieve such an even, filmable light from scores of spluttering candles and still make it look authentic? I I wonder what this creative ensemble might have achieved with a Georgd Clooney budget, probably less.

Since you enjoyed the film you might find an hour for Tom Keating on Turner, youtube. I have never needed to understand the techniques of painting but that doesn't mean I shouldn't and Keating's presentations are honest and direct, unshowy yet respectful.

call me ishmael said...

Oh, and it is worth finding a cinema screening, if you can, maybe, as mr bungalow bill suggests, in an arthouse. I seldom watch a DVD more than once but Girl With A Pearl Earring and I guess Mr Turner are probaly eternally watchable, lookable-at, like the Vermeers and the Turners, themselves.

suki said...

Well the film has been Oscar nominated for Best Cinematography. So that creative team might just get a big budget from now on.


call me ishmael said...

I didn't know that. Best they don't get it, though, and turn into a tribe of gushing Queen Helen Mirrens.

mongoose said...

The Temeraire was the Empire, wasn't it? I read somwehre that the Empire was born and grew under sail, became rich, fat, and despoiled under steam and died in its bathchair whining about the racket of the horseless carriages outside the window.

tdg said...

Hmm. As Hollywood sanitizes for comfort so Leigh contaminates for fake discomfort, to rouse a mix of pity and superiority. He cannot dirty the man's genius but he can dirty his represented life. It is not realism it is the pessimism of unfulfillable ambition.

call me ishmael said...

I believe that Uncle Sam had something do with it, and then Anthony Eden, mr mongoose, but it's a moving metaphor, all the same. Industrialisation, of course, took us from the land to the cities and eventually to the Labour Party, since when, at home and abroad, the times, they are a-changing and a-changing and I wonder how long it will be, after my death, until some nice Chinese family walks my corridors, sweeps my polished floors, tends my trees.

Worlds, they rise and fall. Meantime, Watch Mr Turner, if you can, he's your sort of man.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Tom Keating nod, I will most certainly check it out. And I do like to collect my movies and documentaries so that I can watch them again and again.

Mongoose, that was funny :-)


call me ishmael said...

Ah, mr tdg, I do regret your absences, miss your unflinching Reason.

You have said much the same thing about the Wilde industry, it's practitioners, such as Fry and I am sure you are correct in this, too, inasmuch as making entertainment out of another is automatically questionable; nevertheless I would dispute that Leigh purposely sought to dirty Turner's life and even if he did, he failed, for by the end of the film Turner's deep personal integrity and his genius are unquestionable, illuminate the screen, and though religion is absent from Mr Turner's life, he is shriven, on his deathbed, by doctor and wife, such sins as are at his door absolved and he expires, breathing life's work "Helios, the God!"

Although complex and contradictory, mean to some, very generous to others, faithless and loyal, it would be a hard critic who felt Turner to be tainted by Leigh's portrayal and if this blog is owt to go by, the film will have sent some, myself included, searching for more Turner moments in their lives.

call me ishmael said...

It is a questionable benison of the i-Age, ms suki, the ability to watch and re-watch, one which must exclude. Be it film or doc or selfie, a time of tipping-point must come, when we, not me but you know what I mean, when we spend more time watching than seeing.

Anonymous said...

I don't do selfies, Twitter, Facebook, or any other naval-gazing I-sores.

But I am a film buff, and due to my ever changing perspective, I appreciate rewatching stuff through an updated lens. Besides, I have a passion for the process of movie making itself, so there are always things you miss on first or second viewing.

As for watching, or for that matter, living, I have traveled ( and still do) more than anyone can handle. I don't sit and judge passively behind a screen, I go out there and engage.


call me ishmael said...

I don't know what defines a film buff, I thought everybody was one.

It is just a general observation, anyway, about how people pass their time; years ago, back when they were shoulder-borne, I gave up video-taping stuff and watching it back, there isn't enough time; I made deliveries to the homes of self-annointedly clever people who had walls and walls and walls filled with video tapes and wondered, when are they gonna watch all this rubbish, and why? I put away my music collection and I now wonder what on Earth we were all doing, listening to the same thing, over and over and over, as though we were totally insane; I look at thousands upon thousands of books, which cost a fortune and are now worthless, the ones not behind glass just collecting dust and almost, almost anything within their covers I can find in seconds, on line. Mr tdg recommended a story, a while back, before it had arrived from Amazon I had read most of it online. Collecting, it's for Victorians, not for we electronic nomads. I am a toolman. I do like to do stuff, projects, plantings and prunings, painting and polishing, repairs, renewals and restorations but none of these things define me. What defines me, the me whom you meet, is my sitting doing absolutely nothing, sweet fuck all.
I spend a lot of my time doing nothing, only it's not really doing nothing.

Anonymous said...

I'll do sweet fuck all when I'm dead. Till then, there is a big wide world out there to be explored. And I am going to keep exploring it till I drop.

I have no idea what defines me. I leave it up to others to speculate on what defines me.


call me ishmael said...

Nowhere near as wide as the one within.

yardarm said...

It is sobering to remind ourselves that worlds are a changing, Mr Ishmael. Always. Even in 632(?) when Christianity was still fighting with Wotan and Thunor for the soul of this isle Jerusalem fell to the followers of the Prophet.

call me ishmael said...

Just watching Auschwitz, The Forgotten Evidence, mr yardarm and it only reinforces what I was saying, yesterday. I suppose the ability to record and preserve the statements of victims and witnesses is beneficial, I just worry that when, as now, everyone is filming everything that happens, and when, as I was saying, every passing viral banality becomes a Beautiful Obsession, everything will homogenise; there will be no discerned difference between Auschwitz and a Steven Spielberg film, everything will be infotainment.

SG said...

I was thinking the same as we were discussing 'Hitler World' Mr I. All these academics migrating to the Infotainment world. Makes me want to fix my eyesight and get back to books - so it does.

Bungalow Bill said...

It's why your Mr Kelly Phelps had it right in his hope for just being together here and staying as attentive as we can be. That's how the infotainers and the other reducers of humanity can best be resisted. That's what they all want to do down: the worth of our common life. It's what is honoured and preserved by people like Turner, crafters like him.

blackholesunset said...

I thought that too, Mr Richard, that our host might be the author you mention; moonlighting in cyberspace, comforting the afflicted, afflicting the comfortable.

Thank you for the review of Mr Turner, Mr Ishmael, I'll try my utmost to see it .

call me ishmael said...

"Nobody will read, nobody will write, everybody's going to the Feelies, to-night..."

One of the subtleties of Oppression, mr sg, is that it has reduced communication to one-hundred-and-forty characters, insufficient for me to say Hello but ample, it seems, for communicating with one's MP.

Max Keiser, on Russia Today, used to say, email me at blah blah blah - I wouldn't dream of it, he can make his own fucking show - but now he says You can tweet us at .....

The implication of this is, Hey, I'm so busy, make it quick, right? Yeah, yeah, Ur so busy 2, we're all busy, gr8, innit? Stupid cunts, the NewPeople.

call me ishmael said...

..........people like Turner.... and people like us, mr bungalow bill, you, in your small corner, and I, in mine, watching the dark.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Mr Ishmael, thank you for your appreciation of Mr Turner, brilliant, shall order the DVD.
By the way you are no literary slouch yourself.
Many thanks, Mick.

call me ishmael said...

The cinema, these days, mr mick, seems so barbarous a place, I nearly left Mr Turner before it started, so oppressive and noisy and determined was the near half-hour of adverts and trailers and normally I do prefer a DVD, watched far from the madding crowd, but if you do get a chance, at some arthouse, to see Mr Turner, it is worth going-out for, not only fof the lusciousness of it but to observe on the big screen how craftily it is produced - at one stage, Turner has himself lashed to the mast of a storm-tossed ship, the better to observe the elements, but the shot is tightly-cropped, filmed nowhere near a ship, if you contrast that budget with that of, say, Master and Commander, it actually only increases your admiration.

Aftef I wrote that post I looked at some professional reviews and all the critics seemed bowled over, not enough, mind, for them to damn George Clooney's pap and drivel but, Hey, he's their industry.

mongoose said...

I quite like the cinema these days. 'Course, down here we are less troubled by hordes of Orcadian vikings clattering about looking for choc-ices in the interval. Not that we have intervals. And I do think the Turner things sounds like a widescreen gig rather than a telly deal. I shall look out for it, Mr I, though it won't be on down here in our tiny cinema for a six month.
(Third time lucky?)

Mike said...

My lucks in, MR I. Its made it to my local cinema:

The Orpheum is a wonderful art deco preservation (actually it burned down once, but was refurbished) complete with full wurlitzer organ which rises from the deep and is played before the show starts.

call me ishmael said...

Who said synchronicity is dead, mr mike, or even that it doesn't exist? Those Odeonesque cinemas are wonderful, there's a couple in Birmingham, seven hundred miles away.

I hope you enjoy Mr Turner even half as much as I did.

Doug Shoulders said...

Whenever I’m in London…coupla times a year probably, I make a visit to the galleries an essential. Use to take the kids to the natural history museum, always out of time to visit the galleries children’s whatducallit coming first in those days.
Now I go..There are no words that I can put proffer to describe the pleasure. I find myself staring and staring and staring…most time agape. Turner, the Dutch the impressionists..
Thanks Mr Ishmael…for the words..I always liked Spall…seems intent on his craft.

call me ishmael said...

I wept at the Rembrandts in Amsterdam, mr doug shoulders, the hands which painted that lace now coffin dust; saw the Breughels in Vienna, tiny little things, how did they do that stuff; the pre-Raphaelites in Birmingham, Dali and the Glasgow Boys in Kelvingrove; I am sure that every city gallery in the world is worth a visit, but I am sure, also, that London is very special; were it not for all the other things which it is I would live there for a while.

Doug Shoulders said...

JC on the cross at Kelvingrove does still amaze. When they moved it to its new place it gave the viewing experience a new feel. Somewhat like a confessional or hushed cloister. Don’t know what I prefer …there or hanging back in the main room.. Doesn’t long as it’s there.
I spent many a half day wandering around there and then off down the road to the transport museum. They moved that and it lost it’s charm. The Clyde room being taken apart and stacked.
I worked in that industry as a young man. I would have wept at the display of tools and accoutrements that the old draughtsmen used. Their drawings and notes and pencils. On every occasion…nearly..But my daughters would have been alarmed.

call me ishmael said...

I was reprising the Auschwitz documentaries in my mind in the early hours and I thought, Christ, this is enough to make a strong man lose his mind. A weak, unimaginative man will have a weak, unimaginative response, will see it as something terrible which happened to somebody else and do the equivalent of crossing himself or mentally buying some garage flowers, the stronger man might think, no, this is in the public domain, we own it, the torturing and the being tortured and might think himself right into the reality of torture, starvation and death and feel his own heart stopping at the horror of it all. He might think, Ah, now I understand what He was despis-ed and rejected really means. A man of Sorrow and acquainted with Grief.

Nothing wrong, therefore, mr doug shoulders, with weeping, on the contrary - although I couldn't even fart in front of anyone else, never mind weep, always pretending to have something in my eye.

I have a Kelvingrove print of that Dali, in the hall, and me a Zen-Presbyterian-Marxist. My Orange mother would have a fit of the headstaggers, so she would, if she knew.

inmate said...

The PBC informs us today that the Government are to make £50 million of 'their' cash available for a memorial to the Hebes lost at the hands of Mr Hitler; no mention of the Russians, Poles, Slavs and many others, but they're not Hebes so no bother, eh.You are correct Mr I, they wrote and own the book of sorrow, best we not forget, ever.

call me ishmael said...

That is dreadful in so many ways, it is almost as bad Blair's impertinent Holocaust Day; the nerve of somevpeople, who do they think they are?. We are reminded that it was only a few hundred thousand camp victims were not Jews, the Jews, therefore, own the Holocaust, but the Jews were less than ten per cent of those killed in that awful war, do, therefore, by that sleight of hand, the descendants of millions of Russians, murdered equally brutally by Hermann, do they own the wider war's Sorrow? Of course they don't, we all own it. Jews aren't any more horrified by Belsen than I am and to say otherwise, that's the fascism, that's the anti-Semitism, that's the racism; that's the cooking of Sorrow's books.

subrosa said...

Wonderful film. I’m tempted to see it again.

henry said...

Mr ishmael the russians were about to publish some ww2 records, and now the library has burnt down!

call me ishmael said...

Wasn't it just, ms subrosa; a rare couple of hours lifting us from the grim hurly-burly, as Art is supposed to, before setting us down, renewed and restored. Almost like a visit to the Highlands and Islands.

call me ishmael said...

Do tell us more, mr henry.

henry said...

call me ishmael said...

That article just says that Russia was due to release archives; have they since been destroyed?

I never know quite what to make of the USSR's WW2, they suffered dreadfully but then they behaved dreadfully, themselves; who knows? War is fucking awful.

And no matter how rotten was Stalin, it was the Germans who started everything.

henry said... mr ishmael i dont know what the truth is anymore than you do