Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Then, now ....

50 years ago I was 14, and totally into movies - well, we did not have any other distractions growing up in Ireland then, no television (until the early 60s!), so only radio and movies and books / none of the distractions kids today have - at least when I was 16 I got my first record player, that was a big deal then. My 14 year nephew was visiting recently but had no interest in anything apart from his computer games and mobile phone. (When I was that age, I was devouring movie magazines and logging all the movies I was seeing). Even the 2 guys I worked with who were in their 20s had no interest in anything from before their time (the mid 80s) and were also reliant on their games and phones. The only movies they see are CGI blockbusters, torture porn and the increasingly lame comedies of Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson - thats what they like! When the 14 year old was staying he was sleeping in the study, so I removed some books I felt a 14 year old should not see but needn't have bothered, as kids today don't do books.

But I digress: all those great movies of the late 50s and cusp of the 60s, are now 50 years old! L'AVVENTURA and PSYCHO [both about a woman who disappears and the people searching for her; Hitchcock shows us what happens to her, Antonioni doesn't....] both still so modern but also 50 years old!

Another thing we had back then too, before Facebook and the rest, was pen-pals. Intelligent young people all over the world writing to each other. I put an ad for pen-pals in an English film magazine "Films & Filming" when I was 17 in 1963, and had replies from all over the world, including England, Australia and Hollywood USA. I am still in touch with one from England who is now living in San Francisco. When we were 18 we met up in London when I moved here and went to see Bergman's THE SILENCE, the key movie of the time. Imagine today's 18 year olds going to an Ingmar Bergman film! or the like.

10 Bergman films I have and like: The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Smiles on a Summer Night, Persona, The Silence, Cries & Whispers, Autumn Sonata, The Magic Flute, Fanny and Alexander, and The Magician which I got recently. Still to see: Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light, the Virgin Spring, Now About These Women.

How extraordinary and yet fitting that Bergman and Antonioni both died on the same day! (in 2007).

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