Friday, August 09, 2019

Friday Afternoon on the Sofa

I was going to go to the cinema this afternoon - the weather was lousy, I was feeling lazy and I just wanted to watch something mindless for a couple of hours. So I decided to go and watch Hobbs and Shaw - how demanding can an action film starring The Rock and Jason Statham be?  I decided to pay the extra 75p and book my ticket online.  I foolishly thought that doing so an hour in advance of the screening would be sufficient.  It wasn't.  It turned out to be fully booked already.  So I reluctantly turned to the next performance, only to find that this was nearly fully booked, with only the lousiest seats let available.  All of which defeated the object of going to a daytime screening - they are usually mainly empty, so you don't have to put up with people sitting too close to you, noisily eating their popcorn or incessantly checking their phone.  I should have remembered that it was school holidays,not to mention a wet and windy day, meaning that the early performances would all be packed out with sullen teenagers.  So, I decided that I really didn't want to fork out nearly twelve quid for the privilege of putting up with other people's kids and opted to stay on my sofa and watch a DVD instead.

Which turned out to be a mellow experience.  About half an hour or so into Once Upon a Time in the West, I thought to myself  'I bet Hobbs and Shaw doesn't have cinematography, let alone a musical score, like this'.  It has been quite a while since I'd seen Sergio Leone's Spaghetti Western masterpiece and it didn't disappoint - it looked even more beautiful than I remembered.  Spending Friday afternoons watching old films was actually the way I'd planned things when I went down to a four day working week at the start of the year.  Incredibly, though, it has taken until today for it to happen.  As ever, too many other things have got in the way.  But I took the opportunity to continue my lazy Friday afternoon by taking in a couple of episodes of Father, Dear, Father, which Forces TV has started reshowing.  These were black and white episodes from the first series in 1968 and they were very 1968: the fashions, the characterisations, the attitudes, the gags all screamed 'late sixties'.  They featured a curious mix of a slight 'swinging London' feel with the usual conventional middle class scenario that sitcoms of the era usually featured.  The most bizarre thing about them was that they were asking us to accept that Patrick Cargill was a straight man with two teenaged daughters.  Quite extraordinary.

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