A year of it

Film Review 1980-1981 by F, Maurice Speed

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Audiences at the end of the 1970’s saw a certain number of films with a general sense of propriety. There were also many leftovers from a decade of explicit films. F. Maurice Speed reviewed them all, mostly in a generous mood, although his lengthy introduction begins with his concerns over how the language in the movies of the day became less and less conscious of reserve but more condoning of four-letter words and why did producers let it stay. Even the Oscar winners of the day contained, even in films that were generally more acceptable, the profanity that the author addresses in his introduction. Speed reviews these films individually and objectively, but still with reservation on occasion. I was heartened to have such a book that did address these issues and where the reviews are from a critic with a more sensitized perspective.


I have watched quite a few of the films that contain the various “nasties” as they are called which I have considered with some reservation, but like Speed, tended to be ‘objective’ as well as critical.

In Speed’s reviews, there is, despite the need to be objective, none of the glossing over that some reviews tend to do in the name of story and social concerns, where language and other content does not seem to matter.

Of the 200-odd films on review, in short, informative, and warm prose, there are a couple of dozen that do not or probably would not cross the traditional boundaries of censorship, in alphabetical order:

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Peace

In sum, why can’t we live in peace? This is not the world we live in. We do not live in a world of peace. There are people in serious conflict with each other, in some kind of way, on one day or another. Even with some hurt towards their creator. The reality of the world is that people do have a choice in a free world over their lives, but it is rather too simplistic for Brothers in Arms (1985) the album to assume that the world is simple enough to be at peace and in harmony. As if a choice would bring peace.

The world is complex. If one opened up a gospel to the section on peace on earth one may be surprised that Jesus ‘meek and mild’ the Son of God said that he did not come to bring peace on earth. Was Jesus more in touch with reality than us? Did he accept that in the world there would be trouble? Jesus who came as God’s ‘representative’ to bring the further interests of God to earth yet was knowing of reality and its troubles.

Yet we know that because of troubles Jesus does not leave the scene without leaving comfort for his disciples. They were even commissioned by Jesus to spread this comfort and his Good News to lost and troubled people.

But when they spread the message, the disciples would face conflict and not peace. Some people strongly resisted believing in the message and its ring of truth.

Hence, no peace, But: “In this world you will have trouble. Take heart, I have overcome the world,” he said to his disciples–which is His grace and peace to a mind that transcends the understanding. A lovely garden for the soul.

Peace can be found in Him.

Feelings

I listened to an older album this week, the self-titled debut Whitney Houston (1985), This album seems to be about love, but is more on feelings and romance than love. Love is equated with feelings, not actions, telling the truth, commitment, sacrifice. Love will act when one does not feel inclined.

Reflection

Dearth ahead.

Me, seeing it, seeing you there,

My head above the undergrowth.

Just able to hear

Just can see ahead

To feel something I see

But not as you feel

I am deep in the undergrowth

I don’t grow anymore

I stopped growing in the undergrowth.

My head just above the undergrowth,

The rest of me below,

Waiting to come through the undergrowth.

I feel something

But not as you feel.

I want to feel more than I do,

But I am stuck in the undergrowth.

Without seeing you,

I would not feel anything at all.

You are hanging there,

I am sinking.

I see I can feel you.

Without seeing you,

I could not feel you.

My eyes sense your pain

My mind is above the undergrowth

My heart and soul in my head,

You keep on hanging there,

A reflection of my grief.

Note:

Experiencing grief for the sufferer is not the actual inner reality of the sufferer. He only sees in the sufferer a reflection of his grief.

Motive and desire

Rejection is one of the themes of a writer’s life I suppose, although I haven’t talked to every writer, I suppose there are the exceptions. Is there a 100 per-cent acceptance rate, anybody?

A rejection occurs when someone submits their story, poem, article, etc, to a publisher, by post, email, or through an online portal, and days, weeks, or months later, the response is a rejection of the work. In the last week, I have had such a response, dare I admit. It does not hurt as much as it used to—when I was submitting to the literary journals.

I was a little surprised to be honest. I thought my devotion, for a church publication, should have been chosen. Should I keep on trying? After several rejections from the same publisher? And I have had TWO, a big two acceptances, from this publisher, which should be incentive enough.  

For me, it has come down to motive and desire.

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