Thursday, March 06, 2008

We saw a film in The Watershed last night and as ever the place was buzzing, we decided to go to the cinema early for the 8:30 showing so that we could enjoy a drink and something sweet before the film. Gratifyingly for the people that the run the place it was pretty difficult to find a table with room for us two amongst the crowds. Orynthia queued for food and drink and I set out to scout for a place for us to relax in. This pattern was repeated with several other couples, so a non contact battles of wits commenced as we prowled around the room like Lions waiting for youngest Wildebeest to become detached from the heard and move into our possession.

At first I managed to grab a couple of the high stools next to the small raised counter on the way into the cafe area, a good temporary measure but not the best long term location as Orynthia is rather short, so a lot of awkward clambering on and off would be required if I failed to come up with something better before she emerged with the goodies. Then the tricky job of appearing to be nonchalantly enjoying the ambience of the room, whilst franticly scanning all seats within my sightline for signs of people preparing to depart began.

With three films showing and staggered start times, there was plenty of scope for people to be vacating their seats to catch an earlier film than our chosen entertainment. Watching the crowd is an interesting and nerve racking process on occasions like this, will the table of three with the chap quickly draining his pint glass be leaving when he does so? Is the lady putting some leaflets into her bag getting ready to leave for the showing of "There Will Be Blood"? Of course all the other standing customers are playing the same game, luckily for me, two chairs are vacated on one of the tables which come with inbuilt internet access and it's within a couple of strides of my current location. Within moments I'm off my lofty perch and have claimed the seats for us, seconds later Orynthia rounds the corner with some hot chocolate and a nice piece of orange polenta cake, the perfect way to relax before the film.

The Diving Bell and The Butterfly was the film which we went to see and in different hands it could have been a mawkish and sentimental press the buttons tear jerker. Luckily the director Julian Schnabel was able to bring a great deal of humour and and reflection to tale. I have never got around to reading the book that the film is based on but I remember how much it moved a good friend of mine when he was struck with very serious health problems many years ago. It's a slim book, less than 140 pages from my memory so I'd imagine that almost everything that's in the book makes it into the film. In addition to written word which forms the basis of the work Julian Schnabel brings a fantastic visual sense to the piece, then again as he is primarily known as a painter I guess that should not come as a surprise.


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