Manchester by the Sea

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Having been unable to go to the cinema for a painfully long  time, a rare opportunity presented itself.

The title of the film does not suggest too much, but the story  that lies within is strong and powerful and very moving. The story hinges on the lead character Lee Chandler,  (delicately played by Casey Affleck) who seems to have the world on his shoulders.  From the start of the film we feel he is this smoldering character, externally calm and controlled,  but a mere touch and he explodes into an orgy of unprovoked violence, often while drinks in a nondescript bar.  It is only in a latter part of the film we discover why he is carrying so much pain.  A key moment in the film is when he receives a phone call. We later discover his brother has died from a rare heart disorder.   The subject of death, how people react to it,  the process of dealing with a death, starts to shape the story.

We then are introduced to his nephew, who seems to be taking his father’s death with an unnatural cool aloofness and seems intent of continuing his adolescent life, which involves bedding two young girls at the same time.  One thing that unnerves him is the fact that his father has to be kept in a freezer, as it is impossible to inter him in the frozen ground.  Sometimes there are tints of humour in this film, which is essentially defined by dark dramatic drama.  The complex nephew/uncle relationship seems a key element in the film.  Lee Chandler is the town’s pariah, despite this I am sure many a cinema goer would warm to his tragic circumstances.  It is also a film that might make some cinema goers redefine their relationships with their family.

Let’s be clear, we live in the horrible cruel unyielding world, full of tragedy,  and Manchester by Sea, is film that reinforces this point.

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The increasingly mad world of Johnny Depp

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Ten years ago if you asked any hip person who they’d like to be maybe they would reply Johnny Depp.  Good looking, witty, talented. He had it all.

Johnny Depp, was somebody I once really admired.  He seemed to be selective in the films he chose to be in,  often  playing oddballs and outsiders.  He seemed to really stamp a strong identity on each role he played.  Films I really like include Edward Scissorhands,  Benny and Joon, What’s eating Gilbert Grape? He was a natural in Tim Burton films.  Of course he was graced with good looks and a natural abundance of talent. He had the ability to play different roles  including comedy parts.   You would imagine a man such as he, would have the world at his feet…no?

Like so many stars before him, his life in recent times seems to be on a constant downward spiral.  Damning articles have sprung up like noxious fungus.  What’s more youthful Johnny has overnight transposed into bloated Johnny. In previous times  Marlon Brando was once  noted for his great looks and physique and then  piled  on the pounds,  undeterred by what is expected of an iconic Hollywood superstar.  Is Johnny letting himself go in a similar fashion?  Is he pressing the self-destruct button.

He seems to be racking up ex-wives.  His latest break up  hasn’t exactly painted him in a very good light. It seems Johnny’s life  has been fueled by  drugs and alcohol, leading too alleged violence to his much younger wife (Amber Heard).  These domestic  violence abuse allegations, tarnish a diminishing reputation, his stock going down dramatically.  Damning words from Amber include  “There was one severe incident in December 2015 when I truly feared for my life,” she wrote in the court filing in which she also said she “endured excessive emotional, verbal and physical abuse” during the entirety of their relationship. It seems in terms of personal relationships, Johnny is volatile and moody to the extreme.

Johnny has fought back through his lawyers‘Given the brevity of this marriage and the most recent and tragic loss of his mother, Johnny will not respond to any of the salacious false stories, gossip, misinformation and lies about his personal life.’

We could say that Amber Heard, given her background, was not the ideal person for Johnny Depp to marry.  Amber herself allegedly has been involved in domestic violence towards a women, who was heavily involved with Tasya Van Ree.  Aember and Tasya considered themselves married at a time when it was not possible legally.  Amber’s special relationship with Tasya Van Ree is cited as a reason Johnny dscended into fits of anger and violence.  In Johnny’s previous wife Vanessa Paradis’ eyes, Amber Heard is considereda homewrecking careerwhore who ruined her children’s lives and destroyed her relationship with Johnny Depp

You also have to wonder why Amber got so heavily involved with Johnny and went as far as to marry him, given some of her quotes concerning their relationship  During the entirety of our relationship, Johnny has been verbally and physically abusive to me.”

What a mess film stars mange to get themselves entangled in. Is there any redemption for Johnny Depp? Unless he takes his drinking and drug abuse to newer heights, it’s sure he will be offered new parts in big films.  Despite all the strong allegations made against Woody Allen, he is still very much revered as a film maker. Fervent fans of Johnny Depp will continue to support him.

It would be a pity if Johnny Depp gains more of a reputation for being an alcoholic, than the great actor many know him to be;
 

 

 

Q is for two Quentins

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It would be hard to find two totally different men…Quentin Tarantino and Quentin Crisp. It seems an unusual name Quentin, I have come across a few in France.

Tarantino’s films are noted for their violence, Quentin Crisp was a soft effeminate man, who paved the way for many homosexuals. Tarantino has Italian, Irish and Cherokee ancestry, Quentin Crisp is quintessentially British. Both Quentins in a way are outsiders,  Tarantino claims that he was simply bored by school, and so dropped out to devote his life to movies. Tarantino is a man who has done time in prison, admittedly for minor offences (nonpayment of parking tickets). These days he would have few problems paying parking tickets, he’s worth $90million, Quentin Crisp’s bank never reached such giddy heights.

Both Quentin’s had particular jobs, When he was 12, Tarantino drove around all night with the owner of a porn magazine collecting quarters from the magazine racks. His second job was as an usher at the Pussycat Theater in Torrance, California. It has to be said he isn’t a fan of porn.

Quentin Crisp was known for being the “naked civil servant”.

One thing is obvious Tarantino is passionate about film making, “When I’m doing a movie, I’m not doing anything else. It’s all about the movie. I don’t have a wife. I don’t have a kid. Nothing can get in my way … I’ve made a choice, so far, to go on this road alone. Because this is my time. This is my time to make movies.

Quentin Crisp’s passions are not so obvious, but we can see obvious signs of a man who had the wit of Oscar Wilde as well as obvious wisdom.

 “The key is never, never work. Nothing is more aging than work. It’s not only the strain of getting up in the morning for work, but it’s the resentment that settles on your face”

“The very purpose of existence it to reconcile the glowing opinion we have of ourselves with the appalling things that other people think of us.”

Francis H Powell is a writer. His recently published book is Flight of Destiny, a book of 22 short stories.

http://theflightofdestiny.yolasite.com/

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