The Science of Sleep

Starring Gael García Bernal who I think should know better and Charlotte Gainsbourg, this film about French (and Mexican) youth in Paris somehow completely missed my sensibility. The dream scenes were whimsical and a moment of GGB’s acting reached the passion we know he is capable of, but the script and Gainsbourg’s acting irritated me. Not a memorable film for me. (Unlike Tarkovsky’s The Mirror which I bought on DVD yesterday… )

Tips for policy influencers

From Fancine Bates, Chief Exec of Contact a family; before I forget them:

Clarity of purpose (be very clear about what you want – all agree what it is: people will sniff out any differences)
Evidence base – justify your arguments
Identify decision-makers and target them
Find allies – don’t be oppositional
Plan but be flexible (long term strategic planning is needed)
Review goals (work out where you are and be prepared to change if necessary)
Communicate (especially if working in a consortium/alliance)
Never give up!

Venus – but not in Furs

Venus with British veterans Peter O’Toole and Leslie Phillips and younger Jodie Whittaker. A clever piece of direction draws you into immense sympathy and identification with Maurice (he and Phillips had me in fits of laughter within seconds of the film’s opening and Maurice is played with immense warmth). But as his obsession with the young niece staying with Ian (Phillips) deepens and her response is to lure him on while keeping strict limits (‘don’t you dare touch me with your slug-tongue’) and as we discover he has many years ago deserted his wife with 3 under fives, we start to become increasingly uneasy. His interest in the young girl is made understandable but exactly what she thinks and feels is always ambiguous and troubling. Eventually Maurice gets his come-upance and perhaps (or perhaps he doesn’t learns something about himself. In the meantime he has fallen out with Philips and by the end no one is left looking very good with the possible exception of niece Jessie. So as one reviewer on IMDB wrote, its a film that leaves you feeling that you need a shower.