Monday, 19 December 2011

Why do false memories get to be so hard-wired?

I don't think I'd be a reliable witness to a crime or an accident taking place right in front of me. I wonder if many others feel the same way.
A couple of nights ago I watched 'The Big Lebowski' (left) for what must be the seventh or eight time. (One of my very favourite films of recent years - surely counting among the Coen brothers' very best to date.) Yet, as in other films which I re-watch, there were so many points where I was mistaken in what I thought had been the actual dialogue, as well as being in error in my recalling the visuals of certain scenes. I find this curious phenomenon in nearly all films which I watch for a second time or more. It usually takes until about the twentieth time of watching for my mind to stop resisting and to give in to mentally recording what was actually the 'truth'. In my case it's films like 'Gone with the Wind', 'Citizen Kane' and '2001 - A Space Odyssey' (which just happen to be my all-time favourite films) where my visual and aural memories have eventually gotten into sync with reality. But why does it take so long? I'd be willing to bet that my own mind is not so unusual in this.
    So if this is the situation in cases where all one's attention is fixed on what one is watching and listening to, (and with minimal distraction, hopefully), how about witnessing real life incidents  which just happen to occur unexpectedly? How can one reasonably expect to recall with accuracy such events - and give true descriptions of those involved? But, furthermore, why on earth does the mind do this? Does it serve some purpose? It's not as though one's recollection has to be 'softened' as a means of self-protection to make the recollection any more comfortable (though it might indeed be that in certain circumstances). But in witnessing a harmless film, even if it's a comedy, why does the mind keep adjusting or distorting things? There must be some reason behind it - but for the moment it beats me.

Further thought added on following day:-
I know that training in observation is (or used to be) given in the Scouts (presumably also in the Guides) - and, importantly, in the armed forces rigorous practice in acute and accurate observation and recollection is done for what might become life-and-death situations. I assume that when one has undergone such training it remains for the rest of one's life. Those of us who have not received this privilege must necessarily stumble on through our days with all the vagaries to which our undisciplined minds are subject. 

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Blessed warmth is back! Oh, praise be!

After my most uncomfortable few days in quite some time, at last my landlord has got my heating back on. He was here for five hours yesterday, hammering here and there, clumping up and down the stairs to fetch this and that, eventually having to replace the pump in the central heating. Maybe not quite there yet as he reckons it will probably take a little while to settle down, but at least it's now warm enough not to have to wear parka, scarf and wooly cap indoors. (In the kitchen I had been reduced to keeping one of the stove hot-plates on just to generate a bit of heat!) My pussies are now far more content as well, probably thinking I turned off the heating deliberately just for 'fun'. Now we can all luxuriate in the cosiness. Thanks so much to those of my blog-followers who expressed their concern. Thank goodness it's over for now.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Final 'Five on the Fifth' - Winter Weekend

My contribution to Stephen Chapman's final '5 on the 5th' feature.


On the coach to Brighton (to visit Odeon to see new film 'My Week with Marilyn') using my Senior Citizen FREE bus pass - one of the compensations of getting old.

Brighton promenade - not the best weather to see it in.

Brrrrrr!  Brighton seafront in the Winter drizzle.

Brighton's skeleton of a West Pier, looking even more forlorn than usual.

'Ginger', my newest regular visitor, wants to come in out of the cold. I let him in, but pity that, because my heating''s broken down, it's as cold inside as it is out there. (My previous blog explains.)

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Perfect timing - NOT!

My heating has stopped working - both water and central heating. Only found out when I got up 3 hours ago. Rang landlord an hour later, having to leave a telephone message. Far too early to start panicking yet, but he does tend to go away for days at a time. If he doesn't come today (assuming he can put it right) there's an uncomfortable time ahead. The only alternative at the moment is a single small fan heater, which hasn't been used for over 12 years, and which used to give off a spark every time it was switched off. Other than that I'll have to buy another one - and this p.m. too, being Sunday tomorrow. Oh dear! at least today is mild and tonight it's forecast to go down to 5 degrees Celsius, which is bearable with, if necessary, hot water bottle and electric blanket. But tomorrow night it's due to plunge to freezing, so that won't be any fun, both for me and the pussies. Dare not get someone else out to fix it as, considering the exorbitant prices some rogue fitters charge, I just don't have the dosh to pay for it. Oh well. Can do nothing but sit here with fingers crossed hoping that Mr Landlord will come round and work some magic.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Sad news that Ken Russell is no more


So this sensational odd-ball of a British film director has left us, at the age of 84.
His films were always such an 'event' in the late 60s/early 70s - always controversial, maddening to many, and certainly never to be ignored. When they were released they were so eye-popping in terms of visuals on those huge cinema screens in pre-multiplex days. One hardly dared to blink for fear of missing something!
Those I show here are the films which, in my opinion, show him at the very peak of his art (I've no doubt that some may deride my choices - particularly including 'Valentino' and 'The Boy Friend', two films which Russell himself detested. Even 'Tommy', I find, gets somewhat wearing to watch after an hour or so.). Pity that, in my opinion, in the 70s he lost the plot big-time and never recovered. His films then became for me, if not parodies of a parody, then, frankly boring - surely one of the ultimate crimes in film-making!
But he has left a canon of work which, in terms of lapel-grabbing images has rarely been equalled, let alone surpassed.
Ken Russell - a name that deserves to be remembered for a very long time.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Warning: Absolutely NOT for nervous types!

Scroll down -

.......and again....
 Just a little further.......

Nearly there......

                                                                                                      (Tee hee!)

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Tom Cullen, Welsh actor - What a hottie!

I wasn't aware of this 26-year old until today. I've just returned from seeing the new film 'Weekend' which has received, as far as I can see, universally positive reviews. It concerns a two-day (hence the title) gay affair. To tell the truth I found the film itself on the edge of boring but was absolutely transfixed by this sensationally good looker. I've given the film as a whole a 6/10 on Imdb - the average score given by contributors at the time was 8.4. But in my books 'hotties' don't come much hotter than this Mr Cullen. Definitely earns a "Phwarrrrrrr!"

The film is a virtual two-hander and here is my beauty with his co-actor, the pretty nice Chris New - though when it comes to a choice between the two, well, although New certainly isn't bad, there's just no competition!