Welcome, reader! According to Antony Hegarty in this second decade of the new century our future is determined. What will it be? Stays all the same and do we sink away in the mud or is something new coming up? In this blog I try to follow new cultural developments.

Welkom, lezer! Volgens Antony Hegarty leven we in bijzondere tijden. In dit tweede decennium van de eenentwintigste eeuw worden de lijnen uitgezet naar de toekomst. Wat wordt het? Blijft alles zoals het is en zakken we langzaam weg in het moeras van zelfgenoegzaamheid of gloort er ergens iets nieuws aan de horizon? In dit blog volg ik de ontwikkelingen op de voet. Als u op de hoogte wilt blijven, kunt u zich ook aanmelden als volger. Schrijven is een avontuur en bloggen is dat zeker. Met vriendelijke groet, Rein Swart.

Laat ik zeggen dat literaire kritiek voor mij geen kritiek is, zolang zij geen kritiek is op het leven zelf. Rudy Cornets de Groot.

Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rage at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Dylan Thomas.

Het is juist de roman die laat zien dat het leven geen roman is. Bas Heijne.

In het begin was het Woord, het Woord was bij God en het Woord was God. Johannes.

dinsdag 8 maart 2011

Review: Longford (film, 2006), by Tom Hooper

A man who keeps faith in human beings.

The name Tom Hopper is wellknown at the moment, since The King’s Speech got a lot of Oscars and is being shown in movietheatres all around the world. Hooper made, one year after Elisabeth I with Helen Mirren, another historic film abont Frank Longford, a member of the House of Lords, who used to visit persons in jail.

This Channel 4 drama television film starts in a radiostation where Longford is being interviewed on his new book about saints. When listeners to the program are invited to ask questions about it, they all speak furiously about Myra Hindley. Her name is like a bell that starts ringing harder and harder.

Then we see televisionfragments from 1966 when in the Pennines three dead bodies of childern were found. They were killed bij Myra and her friend Ian Brady. In quick shots Hooper reveales the most important facts, ending in the longlife imprisonment of Myra and Brady.
When Longford visits her she askes him to arrange a meeting with Ian, who is in another prison, because she still is attached to him. Longford says that is not a good idea. They start talking. Myra doesn’t look at all like a murderer. She is friendly and wants to better her life. The fact that she converted to catholisism forms a bridge between them. Longford himself changed in his life from Irish to English, from protestant to catholic, from conservative to socialist. Longford wants to get Myra out of prison. At the same time prime minister Harold Wilson, who is not amused by Longfords actions, askes him to write a report about juveline delinquency, to get his attention away from Myra.  
Longford visits Brady who tells him that Myra is an obsessed, hysterical woman. Brady shows letters from her in which she tells him what an idiot Longford is. Both the public opinion and his wife are very much against Myra.
When Longford sees young boys in a train reading a porno-magazine one day, he starts a campaign against it and shows less care for Myra. She feels rejected, tries to break free, but fails. Before she is sent to the jail in Durham, she says to Longford that she is going to confess two other murders and she doesn’t want to see him anymore. That is hard for him and he is about to give up on the case. At that moment his wife becomes interested in Myra. They both go by train upnorth to Durham and see in what bad condition Myra is.

The movie returns to the radiostation. We see the pain that Longford has had about that case.

In the epilogue Myra askes Longford, who is in his nineties, to visit her. They sit on a bench in the garden of the jail. Myra says she is sorry for letting him down, but Longford answers that she only strenghtened his conviction, this faith in the human soul.

At the end of the film, we read that Longford died in August 2001 at the age of 95, while Myra Hindley remained imprisoned until her death in November 2002 at the age of 60 and that Ian Brady still is in prison. I stayed behind with a strong feeling of the invincibitily of the good human nature.

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