Tag Archives: marriage

Take This Waltz movie

This may be the only time of my life that I agree with the Guardian film reviewer, Peter Bradshaw. I will go even further and say that his review is far better written than by Philip French, in sister paper the Observer. I realise I have now raised my own stakes.

I was so taken by director Sarah Polley’s maturity in her debut, Away from Her. A young woman was able to craft a film (admittedly not her own story, but adapted from a book) about people twice her age on how creeping memory loss means a marriage longer than Polly’s lifetime is severed as Julie Christie’s character goes into a retirement home.

Unsure about the Picturehouse synopsis but encouraged by a friend and Polley’s previous work, I caught Take This Waltz in its frustratingly short run at our local cinema.

The maturity has gone. Not only are the subjects younger but Michelle William’s quiveringly raw acting once again lost me in the early scenes. I found her relationship with both men incredibly immature – rolling around, worse than puppies and teenagers. Many of the horrible things said in the name of affection between Margot and Lou were disturbing (eg the rape comments). Equally silly was Daniel, who she lusts for but cannot hold a conversation with, and with whom she bonds by blowing something dangling in the back of a taxi. Whether the long sequence with him was actual or fantasy, I struggled to see how they could have a realistic life together, as beyond the sex, there was little connection.

I agree that this film is unsexy and the supposedly erotic verbal description of what Daniel would do to Margot sounded as well crafted and enticing as pubescent toilet graffiti. He began well and then seemed to run out of description – but erotic talk is a craft; simply saying how much you’re going to fuck them is pretty lame.

As was the premise and much of the film. I hated the opening scene where Margot visits a historic fort and is asked to whip an actor in the name of public punishment, all being cheered on and photographed by tourists. I was never quite sure what it was meant to say. That bloodlust still runs high enough to feature as a highlight of a modern tour disturbed me. How Daniel’s egging her on related to their characters and relationships, I was unsure. That he sat with her on the plane home was one unlikely coincidence; that he lived opposite was one too far.

When Margot bursts into tears on her husband after another rebuffed seduction attempt and he says ‘what the fuck?!’, he reiterated my thoughts about the entire movie. Margot seems to have incredibly bad timing – her chef husband is cooking the main meal of the day. No wonder he wasn’t responsive.

The alcoholic sister in law was an unnecessary subplot, the only thing that gave was someone the chance to say how badly Margot has behaved by taking off. Geraldine’s brief disappearance was not sufficient crisis to bring Margot back to the family.

The swimming scene showing Daniel and Margot in synchrony was a beautiful cinematic idea but was based in nothing we saw with the couple, and so was an empty piece of choreography. We needed scenes to show they actually were attuned.

As for the them of being afraid of the inbetween – we never actually saw one. Margot is not in between relationships . Her marriage need not have died; she lacked the maturity to have any way of sorting its problems. I was surprised that such a childish coupling had been cemented in marriage.

Wisely I think the film is trying to say that actually Margot has yet to learn that passion and desire are not enough alone. It seems that her missing connections is more than about airports, but about people – but it failed to make one with me.

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Christians on Gay Marriage

This is in reponse to a post on a British Christian website during the government consultation on giving gay peole the chance to enter into full legal marriage. It was  sent to the site’s editor.

I am saddened by the “Christians Urged to So NO to Gay marriage” post on the homepage. Out of an A4 length article, there are 3 lines from a pro gay Christian  (who are prevalent). The yellowed in paragraph would suggest the site manager’s views, who is also the author of the article.

My faith journey has shown me that neither the Bible nor a deeper knowledge of God supports this view that gay people are not loved and accepted by God. George Hopper’s little book, Reluctant Journey, charts how a conventional Methodist researched the topic and came out still Bible believing but with a very different view. Rather than just study, he met many gay people and their stories of hurt and rejection also made him recast his view.

It’s well documented that the Bible passages on homosexuality – which are very few – are not about the loving and committed relationships, but forms of debauchery and abuse.

I have also firmly felt that as James Alison says in his books, God is clear that he loves all his children, not to chastise and reject and curtail the love and sexuality of some whilst celebrate it in others. If anyone claims God to be about punishment and inequality and segregation, they are not speaking from God, no matter what their source.

I wonder what really is behind the anti homosexual drive is?

My brothers and sisters, why can you not count gay people among your siblings? Do you really see them as such a threat?

The government’s new proposed laws allow faith groups to keep their freedom of speech and to have the right not to have to embrace gay people and marriage. I do not see what the fear and outrage is, therefore. But what a bitterly disappointing way to exercise one’s freedom – by taking that of another.

The family patterns many Christians seek to uphold are in fact not in the Bible. The Old Testament is full of concubines and multiple wives; and the main players of the New are apparently single men travelling in groups with men and women. To say that God created male and female is not to say that that is the only legitimate pairing. If committed loving relationships and values of love, respect and justice is at the crux of Christian family, then you have nothing to fear from gay people.

Reading The Help reminds that within 50 years, Christians felt they could justify racial segregation which often led to acts of violence. Just over 200 years ago, Christians were among those who fought to stop slavery, whilst others were slave owners. We have still not got complete equality for women. Can you not see that some things done in the name of God are not in his name? Whatever is is best, most loving, most freeing, most noble – that is from God. If it is not, then it is not. Ask yourselves whether what you do in really in God’s name and is going to add to the Kingdom or take from it.

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Battersea Park Road vs Georgy Girl

I’ve read about two modern women living in this area last week – divided by 40 years. Georgy Parkin is the creation of Margaret Forster who co wrote the screenplay of the film with the famously catchy theme tune, though with rather negative words and a view of life. Isabel Losada is a contemporary  presenter and actress whose two books on the Battersea Park Road to Enlightenment and Paradise were published ten years apart – the last coming out in 2011. Isabel was also (like Georgy) perhaps in a rut, but taking various courses and retreats became not only a book to help her career but an inspiration to others. I can see why some reviewers likened her to Bridget Jones. Sometimes, like Dawn French’s autobiography, I feel Isabel was playing to hard for laughs when wisdom and pathos should be allowed to stand on their own. Isabel’s book has the potential to inspire and enlighten, and the frankness is about herself – unlike Forster’s character where an omniscient third person critiques some other hapless person’s life, leaving her with little hope. “At least you’re rich, Georgy Girl” sing the Seekers at the end of the film. You got to be a mother, you got your stability, you’re not on the shelf. But you don’t love your husband and his paternal perversion and obsession are not healthy for either of you. There’s  a little more hope in the book: Georgy’s parents are forced to move out of their sycophantic dependency on their employer, but no more love or respect has grown for their daughter. Jos has left, unchanged and rejected for his own baby. The theme tune’s lyrics suggest – ironically I cannot tell – that confidence and conformity to what is nice and alluring are the ways to get along in life, and there’s the notion of being left behind, of having a sell by date, and that worthwhile goods are already taken.

This would clash with the tomes such as The Soulmate Secret, and Calling in the One. These wisely see to find a partner, one needs sorting of yourself first; and that is is unnecessary and unhelpful to cling to an unhealthy unhappy compromised relationship. By letting go of the need to find someone and by being happy alone, one creates the right place for a healthy and special love to grow. So the authors say and have testimonies – including their own – to show how they manifested their dream love using the law of attraction. I rejected that idea some years ago and have written about it elsewhere www.associatedcontent.com/article/1149172/the_secret_reexamined.html but the principle of what they say other than the visualising and cosmic ordering part does make sense.

Isabel never mentions the law of attraction – I might ask her what she thinks of it – and it was pleasant to read a modern spiritual writer who didn’t. I admire her willingness to grow, to try new things and her honesty about herself which includes some quite stark realisations and feedback that I wouldn’t have printed about me – unless in the guise of fiction. Isabel is firmly for narrative non fiction and using real people and situations. The fact she endeavours to answer all personal correspondence is also impressive and I shall be glad to hear and read more from her.

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