Well I had a week of work last week and I watched lots of films. Some were so-so like ‘Anonyma – The Downfall of Berlin’ and others I didn’t like ‘Road of No Return’
Anonyma tells the story of a German journalist who goes back to Berlin in the last day of April, 1945 to witness the end of Nazism and gets caught up in the Russian takeover. They could have made a lot more of the fact that she was a journalist – in fact the only observation that really resonated was when she mentioned that they could feel Berlin becoming ‘Russian’ by the hour. Apparently a true story written anonymously in the 40s or 50s and the author herself was so castigated that she withdrew all further editions of the book after the first.
Road of no Return has David Carradine, which is why I watched it. I vaguely thought this must be his final film (he died earlier last year)but actually he made loads of films in his last year. The plot was OK and most of the acting was fine although the little girl is not convincing. The film didn’t work for me though. Carradine has an important part as a Government agent but he had this strange lisp which I can only assume is real and must have been sustained since I last saw him in a film. It was really distracting and would have been great if one had been informed that it was ‘acting’ in some way. One of the other characters could have mentioned it or something. Instead I spent all the time he was on screen wondering if it was acting or not.
I also saw The Hurt Locker. I didn’t expect to like it but I did. Its unusual direction left me disoriented at times. It was really an ensemble piece for the actors and hard to pick anybody out as giving a better performance than anybody else. One character does become centre-stage and its really quite subtle and unexpected.
I have finished the first draft of Chapter 1 of my new book. I think I will pause there while I tidy up Insanity. I am going to have to think about the length of the book and how to divide it up in to chapters.