Monday, 27 May 2013

At the movies - Song for Marion

Today I indulged.  I went to the movies.  On Monday afternoon.  I had planned to see "Song for Marion" with a friend who had a 2-for-1 ticket a couple of weeks ago.  That plan was abandoned when she called that evening and I only remembered where I was supposed to be when I spoke to her.  She was calling to see where I was because she had left the ticket at home.  Sensibly, we took this as a sign and retreated.  So with a free afternoon ahead of me and a showing at 1pm I called her.

The film is about grief and the power of music to transform and delight.  It was inevitable that tears would be shed.  It's the story of Arthur (Terence Stamp is wonderful) who is caring for his wife Marion (Vanessa Redgrave) who has cancer.  He is gloomy and grumpy but tender with Marion.  In response to a question about whether he had enjoyed something he responds by quoting that he has a policy about not enjoying things.  Arthur dutifully takes Marion to her choir (called the O.A.P.Z - Old Age Pensionerz - the "z" makes it "street") rehearsals but never ventures in.  Then Marion isn't there anymore.

In the tiny cinema there were probably about 10 of us watching the film and the songs were regularly accompanied by sniffles and snorts and blowing.  I really wanted to HOWL at one point, but I contained myself.  Strange how weeping at the movies must be done silently.

I remember seeing a documentary about the Young at Heart chorus a few years ago.  The effect of watching people enjoying making music together as they sang songs that took on a new meaning when performed by the elderly (think "Road to Nowhere", "Stayin'Alive" and "Fix you") was both laughter and tear inducing.

Fittingly, as I arrived home, my neighbour greeted me and commented that he had enjoyed hearing me playing the piano recently.  We discussed our mutual love of playing Bach and I congratulated him on the progress he had been making with the trumpet. I suggested he look up Michael Nyman's music. I find him odd and annoying and vaguely sinister, but we can talk about music and we understand and appreciate each other.

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