Friday, August 12, 2011

I never cease to be amazed at the amount of genuine acting talent amongst young kids these days. Hot on the heels of Freddie Highmore comes a new one to add to my list, up till now unknown to me, Asa Butterfield. Watched a film called “The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas” in which he gives a tremendous performance as the naive eight year old son of a concentration camp commandant who befriends a boy his own age the other side of the wire. He brings his new friend food and they play games together with the wire separating them and he simply can’t seem to get it together what it is all about.

He asks what the boy has done to be in prison to which the reply is nothing. Then why is he there? “I am a Jew” is the answer.

In a biography of Tennessee Williams the author who knew the playwright well states that Williams was adamant that always the right, the exact word had to be found no matter how long it took - a synonym or something close was never good enough – and how right he was.

Had the boy said “Because I’m Jewish” it simply would not have had the kick in the guts that “I am a Jew” has. A moment that virtually brings home to one the whole beastliness of the holocaust. Naturally the film has to end in tragedy and I give it five stars in every department, unlike the previous evening when I actually sat through one of the most stupendously silly movies I’ve ever sat through – “Black Swan.” What a load of crap. Not even one star and never mind the swan bit but a solid lead turkey. Going back to the child actors I think I’ve said this before but I sometimes wonder what effect this early success, wealth, and adulation will have on their future lives. Didn’t do Shirley Temple any harm. Despite the cheesy ringlets, the good ship lollipop and animal crackers she became a US ambassador.

The first overcast day in weeks and a little rain to relieve the heat. We shouldn’t complain really because evidently parts of the United States have been having heat waves that leave our temperatures standing. In Texas evidently there has been a rash of air conditioner thefts, in one case at least leading to the death of an elderly lady two days after hers was stolen.

People so rarely seem to think of the possible results of their actions. The recent rioters in English cities never stopped for a moment to think that people lived in flats above the shops they set alight. I haven’t heard of any deaths but there could have been major tragedies there, or did they stop to think that it was their own neighbourhood they were trashing? Insurance companies reckon the damage in tens of millions.

There was unrest in other cities including Manchester, Salford, Liverpool, Nottingham and Birmingham, with shops being looted and set alight, in some cases the looters being masked and girls laughing and boasting hysterically about the violence and there are allegations of incitement to riot on internet social networking sites..

Metropolitan Police have arrested 768 people and charged 105 in connection with the violence in the capital and there are more in the pipeline as CCTV film is studied. Groups of people attacked officers, wrecking cars with wooden poles and metal bars, setting some on fire and looting shops.

The big question apart from what can be done about it is – will it happen again?

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