Thursday 30 April 2020

In Which We Serve

So there have been some upsides in the last week or so:

1) I finally got rid of the rotten Lambrusco. Half went into a Bol Sauce. Half went into a venison stew. They both tasted okay.

2) We’ve been catching up on our movie classics and arthouse cinema. Most extreme so far has been The Colour of Pomegranates (1969) by Sergei Parajanov, a richly symbolic contemplation of the life of the eighteenth century Armenian poet Sayat Nova. Yes, there are pomegranates in the movie. Also grapes, chickens, candlewax, stringed instruments, mime, death, sheep, stepladders, cosmic despair, ambisexuality, tableaux vivants and tall hats. It’s better than I make it sound. I can’t remember if I was drinking anything at the time I watched it or if it just feels as if I was. I’m pretty sure I had something on the go for Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Fear Eats The Soul (1974) a film which, in comparison with The Colour of Pomegranates, is as approachable as an episode of The Dean Martin Show.

3) Some of the paint I used to paint the bathroom with was so old it smelt like cheese. It had to go on, of course, so now we have a cheesy blue bathroom wall. I’m getting used to it though; I even think I might quite like it. Plus, I have an idea that the fumes coming off the cheese paint exhibit mild hallucinogenic properties.

4) We now have enough booze to last us ten whole days, following a raid on a large branch of Tesco. I cannot believe how comforting this is.

5) Should I try harder to pick a suitable drink to accompany my arthouse evenings? PK would, obviously. Nice Pouilly-Fumé for La Règle du Jeu; cup of tea wih a nip of Scotch in it for Brief Encounter. I’m angling for a Powell and Pressburger mini-fest (A Canterbury Tale followed by The Red Shoes) but can’t imagine what would go with either except maybe a hand-crafted ale for the first and a bucket of Kir Royal for the second. Or some hallucinogens.

6) Apparently, people are drinking more during the lockdown. I seem to be drinking slightly less. I’ve even lost weight. I must try to drink more.

7) Or at least sniff the freaky wall paint in the bathroom more than I currently do.

8) Giovanni Pontano, the writer portrayed by Marcello Mastroianni in Antonioni’s La Notte (1961), another arthouse special, barely drinks during the course of the film, even though he’s given plenty of opportunity - at a book launch, in a nightclub and at a flash party. I find this almost impossible to believe: a writer who abjures booze. Am I missing something? Then again, I’ve been drinking tea and sniffing paint, so what does that prove? Everything is now like a scene from an early Sixties postneorealist Italian movie. What was I drinking while we watched La Notte? Whisky-soda? A Campari?

9) The wall paint has persuaded me that after all this is over, if it ever is, we should dress much like Jimi Hendrix in the photo above. This would be a way of expressing our joy at being alive, our defiance of convention, our sense of liberation. All those beads and drapes and spangles might make the daily health walk a bit of a chore, but if Jimi could hack it, so can I.

10) I’m also planning to see Douglas Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows (1955) in a cunning piece of curatorial theming with Fear Eats The Soul (both films dwelling on the heartaches and complexities of a May - September romance). Since I only know the Sirk film by reputation, I’m not sure what to drink with it. I’m guessing Dry Martinis or more Scotch, served neat in a tumbler the size of a storage tank, or perhaps glazing some gigantic ice cubes. Something a bit John Cheever, either way.

11) Biggest regret, though, was not recording Carry On Cleo (1964) when it was on and pairing it with Roberto Rossellini’s Viaggio in Italia (1954) before watching the two, back to back, along with a nice Chianti. But there’s always next week. You’ve got to stay positive, haven’t you?



  1. That was a very excellent update, capped by no 11. In a fit of some desperation earlier this evening I typed into my local friendly search engine, Who else is fed up with all these happy clappy lockdown stories? and it returned not one relevant suggestion. Which makes yours all the more welcome.

  2. I know what you mean. Movies & booze seem to be the only way through...


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.