A Good Yarn

Sunday, January 28, 2007


I finished the first BFF sock:

I think it's pretty and I like how it turned out, but it's a bit baggy around the ankle. That's the problem I have with most handknit socks - except for the Jaywalkers. Maybe that's why I love that pattern so much - it just fits so well once it's on the foot.

Yesterday was Talk Cinema and we saw this film:

I liked this film, but didn't love it. It's directed by Michael Apted, who is pretty good at directing bio pics - he did Coal Miner's Daughter and Gorillas in the Mist. He's even better as a documentarian. His "Up Series" is a must see - I'm absolutely obsessed with them right now. He's obviously very interested in people and telling their stories. This film is about William Wilberforce, a member of the British Parliament in the early 1800s who led the abolishinist movement there. As I mentioned in my book review the other day, I love books that tell a small, personal story, but that is really a bigger story and that's true of this film, as well. It's about William Wilberforce, but it's also about standing up for what's right, continuing to fight even after many setbacks and in a nod to modern times, how working for change is not the same as being a traitor or unpatriotic. I had never heard of William Wilberforce and the film spurred me on to do some more reading about him and his good friend, the Prime Minister, William Pitt. The acting is incredible. I was unfamiliar with the actor who plays Wilberforce, Ioan Gruffudd. I really thought he did a good job showing Wilberforce's passion and faith. His castmates were also great, including old favorites such as Ciaran Hinds, Rufus Sewell and Michael Gambon. Absolutely captivating, though, was Albert Finney as the ex-slave ship captain turned minister who wrote "Amazing Grace". He only has a few scenes, but they really are wonderful. It's too bad this film is being released in February - he'll never be remembered come Academy Award time. What I didn't like about the film was that it was very heavy-handed. It's meant as a morality play, so all of the characters are either saintly or devilish. Wilberforce's only flaw is that he works too hard. Of course, to modern eyes, slavery really doesn't have any nuances as an issue - I think pretty much everyone agrees it is not a good thing. So it probably is difficult to portray the pro-slavery MPs too positively, though I think it could be done. The score in particular I found really overbearing. The music should give you cues and manipulate you, but it shouldn't hit you over the head and be so noticeable. I'd say if you enjoy costume dramas and history, you'd enjoy this film.