Alexander Averin

Monday, 17 January 2011

Mood Music and More

 Royal Academy Artist Ann Fawssett-Atkin,

Dear Diary,

Perhaps it is the waxing of the moon that makes me crave music this morning; it has a strong emotional pull and sometimes I just have to have music,  I could certainly not live without it. (My Moon is in Scorpio and the Moon rules the emotions).  So far I have been picking out favourite songs by David Gray, Robbie Williams and at the moment Jennifer Warnes and Leonard Cohen.  Ah, Leonard Cohen his words are almost to die for, though what would be the use of death if I couldn’t hear his words?  I will put one of my faves at the end for you.  So the  music is ongoing and I sing along as I type, just as well you can't hear me.  The laundry sorting can wait, ditto the cleaning, dog walking, bird feeding etc.

There is much news of film in the news today and the wonderful Colin Firth has won an award (but only his first for this particular film I promise you) -  his role in The King’s Speech.  I have only seen him in a short clip of this film and I can tell you that this taster alone brought a tiny tear to my eye, what a great actor he is.  I am afraid I shall have to be patient and wait for the DVD to come out because I don’t like going to the cinema.  Not enough leg room and I get fidgety and uncomfy, also I don’t like being amongst a lot of other people, I prefer to be cwched up on my sofa with soft lights, drinks, nibbles (and oftimes tissues) and without the prospect of a fair drive home in the cold.  Also, with all these flu bugs around I don’t want to risk catching anything!

Talking of films a fellow blogger was asking for film recommendations.  Here are a few of mine that I can think of so far.  In absolutely no kind of order, here are some of my favourites:

I shall start with anything with the late great Pete Postlethwaite in, God rest his soul, he is sadly missed. Here are three to be going on with:

In the Name of the Father
The Age of Stupid
Brassed Off

Anything with Robert Mitchum in because he was (and still is) a crush of mine.

Any films directed by Mike Leigh.

The Railway Children
Lady and the Tramp (original version)
Beautiful Mind
Fahrenheit 9/11 -
(Any Michael Moore film).
Brief Encounter
The Snowman
Dead Poet’s Society
Four Weddings and a Funeral
Love Actually
Pretty Woman
The Remains of the Day
Notting Hill
Local Hero
You’ve got Mail
American Beauty
The English Patient
Bridget Jones Diary
The Green Mile
Field of Dreams
Whistle down the Wind
Calendar Girls
Rabbit Proof Fence
The Quiet Man
Ryan’s Daughter
Ladies in Lavender
I have loved you so long (French with subtitles)
The Invention of Lying
Ghost (Ricky Gervaise)
An Education
The Blind Side
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

There are loads more but I am in music mode and can’t think of them at the moment.  I agree that there are many really terrible films out there and so often they are the ones that are hyped up and in the bestsellers too. They are like books in that respect, the most feted are not necessarily the best,

I have also been asked by a friend to think of fifteen authors that have inspired me so I will do that here as well.

I tried to do as I was told (hard for me) and think quickly so here goes.  Of course I got carried away and have got too many but who cares, in my opinion you can’t have too much of any good thing.  You can’t have too many books, too much garlic, too much chocolate, too much music.......

Louisa M Alcott
Enid Blyton
A A Milne
D H Lawrence
Edna O’Brien
Tony Benn
Germaine Greer
Colm Toibin
Sebastian Barry
William Trevor
The Brontes
Carol Shields
Leo Tolstoy
Rainer Maria Rilke
John O’Donohue
Philip Larkin
Bob Dylan
Leonard Cohen
Laurie Lee
Pablo Neruda
Czeslaw Milosz
Emily Dickinson
Khalil Gibran
Mary Oliver
Dylan Thomas
R S Thomas
Carol Ann Duffy
Julia Cameron
Sarah Ban Breathnach
Deepak Chopra
And a special mention to Nancy Verrier

So many more poets,  so many more writers…..I had better stop.

I will leave you with that song I promised with those die-for lyrics.   I have two versions, the one from my CD Famous Blue Raincoat where the great singer Jennifer Warnes sings the songs of Leonard Cohen and another version by Alison Crowe, whose voice I adore.  This is a bare version, just a piano for accompaniment, it is just beautiful and it brought tears.  Thanks Leonard.

Joan of Arc

Now the flames they followed Joan of Arc
as she came riding through the dark;
no moon to keep her armour bright,
no man to get her through this very smoky night.
She said, "I'm tired of the war,
I want the kind of work I had before,
a wedding dress or something white
to wear upon my swollen appetite."
Well, I'm glad to hear you talk this way,
you know I've watched you riding every day
and something in me yearns to win
such a cold and lonesome heroine.
"And who are you?" she sternly spoke
to the one beneath the smoke.
"Why, I'm fire," he replied,
"And I love your solitude, I love your pride."
"Then fire, make your body cold,
I'm going to give you mine to hold,"
saying this she climbed inside
to be his one, to be his only bride.
And deep into his fiery heart
he took the dust of Joan of Arc,
and high above the wedding guests
he hung the ashes of her wedding dress.
It was deep into his fiery heart
he took the dust of Joan of Arc,
and then she clearly understood
if he was fire, oh then she must be wood.
I saw her wince, I saw her cry,
I saw the glory in her eye.
Myself I long for love and light,
but must it come so cruel, and oh so bright?

Leonard Cohen


Posie said...

A blog bursting with creative talent Cait...I love the Snowman, but never stopped to think who directed it and wow what an impressive list of films Mike Leigh has to his credit.
I am not so comfortable with cinemas either, so can relate to how you feel. I am now going to indulge in listening to your music profile to accompany me while I paint. Best wishes...

Marion Williams-Bennett said...

Great, great lists! It makes me secretly hope for germy flu bug to find me and force me onto the couch for a few days/weeks!

Music..same with me. Can't get enough in the day. Just turned on David Grey in your honor.

Kath said...

The Railway Children
My favourite film of all time. My Mum made me a rag doll which we called Roberta.
I dislike the cinema, so a DVD in the comfort of my own home, a glass of wine and my dogs at my side- Bliss
To make it Heaven-perfect, Husband would be in the kitchen ironing, while waiting to serve me a wonderful meal which he has cooked.
Oops must go, my medication is wearing off :-D

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

You have such eclectic and interesting favourites! I am waiting hungrily for the new Mike Leigh film to open here. He's wonderful, isn't he? And yes, you will adore The King's Speech. Brilliant.

Joan of Arc is my husband's favourite Leonard Cohen song. I keep changing my favourites. Sometimes it's Democracy, sometimes it's Closing Time, sometimes it's Sisters of Mercy. But I do love these lines...

"I'm sentimental, if you know what I mean.
I love the country, but I can't stand the scene.
But I'm neither left or right,
I'm just staying home tonight,
Getting lost in that hopeless little screen.
But I'm stubborn as those garbage bags that time cannot decay.
I'm junk, but I'm still holding up this little wild bouquet.
Democracy is coming.
To the USA."

mollygolver said...

I love the Jennifer Warnes/ Leonard Cohen version of 'Joan of Arc.

Mark said...

That really is apost and a half: two lists a poem, two videos... !

Thank you for the recommendations - my post on films has resulted in quite rush of suggestions - i had some long emails from people too - and I have filled up my Love Film list with many of them.

I too dislike the cinema - I wish I didn't but I really can't abide it - yes cwching up on the sofa (like I did this wekend in wales) is what does it for me.

Thanks again

CAMILLA said...

Wonderful Post Cait, lots on the list that I love there too Cait.

Very sad about Pete Postlewaite, a very fine actor. RIP.

The Railway Children is one of my favourites too Cait.

Yes, have always been fond of Robert Mitchum too Cait.!

Love the music video.