Beezle not particularly enjoying the new version of Ben Hur
We found ourselves watching the latest blockbuster version of Ben Hur the other evening- all hooves and wheels and sandals. It is not my intention to be a film critic on this blog but I have to say it was not nearly as good as the version with Charlton Heston. When we were children our grandfather took my sister and I to see it and we were very excited. We had heard that a stunt man had actually been killed in the chariot race and that it was still on film. Being rather morbid children we were keen to witness it. The moment it happened in the film, and it was true, you could see him caught up under the wheels of a chariot, my sister aged fifteen dramatically turned for comfort from the sailor sitting in the seat next to her. I think he was probably delighted but my grandfather told her off. That version was really spectacular because they didn't have CGI in those days and so they did have hundreds of extras and everything was built on set. In this version there are probably only about twenty extras who are made to look like thousands of Romans. And in this version, when Ben Hur turns to his brother and says "will you talk to your people?" and "you must come over for dinner" it lost all credibility for me. Surely they didn't talk like that in Roman times. I though they were going to launch into a diatribe about hedge funds.I half expected Jesus - who was a carpenter in the film and seen working on an Ikea look alike table to be turning out a set of dining chairs. Also I think it was Prosecco in those goblets.
Anyway - inspired by the chariot race we thought it time to hitch Harry up to the cart.
When the time came there wasn't anyone to race with and I think he was a little disappointed but I told him I'd speak to my people.
|here's Harry talking to one of his people.|
Pixie's very interesting fact is that in the original 1925 Ben-Hur film - silent era movie stars signed up as extras to get a better view. Including Gary Cooper and Clark Gable.
As Beezle and Joan Didion would say " We are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not."
Have just had a jackdaw guest here on holiday for a week. He was sweet company and whenever I was talking on the phone he decided to join in. He chirruped with a range of different voices. Perhaps he was talking to his people.
Below is one of the jackdaws and a rook from last year. I've looked after so many now I'm not sure which ones these are but they have a big interest in horticulture by the looks of it.
by Adam Zagajewski
A blackbird sat on the TV antenna
and sang a gentle, jazzy tune.
Whom have you lost, I asked,what do you mourn?
I'm taking leave of those who've gone, the blackbird said,
I'm parting with the day (its eyes and lashes),
I mourn a girl who lived in Thrace,
you wouldn't know her.
I'm sorry for the willow, killed by frost.
I weep, since all things pass and alter
and return, but always in a different form.
My narrow throat can barely hold
the grief, despair, delight, and pride
occasioned by such sweeping transformations.
A funeral cortege passes up ahead,
the same each evening, there, on the horizon's thread.
Everyone's there, I see them all and bid farewell.
I see the swords, hats, kerchiefs, and bare feet,
guns, blood and ink. They walk slowly
and vanish in the river mist, on the right bank.
I say goodbye to them and you and the light,
and then I greet the night, since I serve her -
and black silks, black powers.