I have found that there are three times in life when life itself improves. The first is when you leave school; the second is when your youngest child leaves home; and the third is when you leave off work. At each of these steps your freedom increases. At school you spend most of your time doing what you are told to do by other people, then as long as you have children at home yo spend much of your time doing what they want you to do. When the youngest one decamps and there are just the two of you at home, you seem somehow to get a second youth. Finally when you leave work, that is the best of all, because every day becomes a Saturday.
- Freewheeling Through Ireland by Edward Enfield
The Auckland International Film Festival started last week. You get the program (and every year it gets bigger), trawl through it and mark all the films you want to see then attempt to narrow down the list to something your bank balance can afford and your eyes can handle. Consequently I got tickets to 3 films, 3 nights in a row!
The Film Festival is not only a great chance to see some fascinating film making but also to do some serious people watching. J and I have quite different movie tastes when it comes to this kind of thing so we've been off seeing our own films. When you're on your own it's a great chance to really have a look at people, to observe, to imagine, to construct stories...
Anyway, my first film was The Silence Before Bach, showing at the Academy on a lazy Sunday afternoon while J was off at touch (rugby) practice. Well, once out of our apartment which was in chaos, it was lazy. The Academy Theatre is tucked away down several flights of stairs next to the library. Once you get down the bottom into the foyer you could be forgiven for thinking the place is much bigger and filled with way more people than it actually is...the illusion of mirrors. The theatre itself has these lovely big seats which go up high enough for you to rest your head on them. The guy sitting next to me was so tall he was like a giant and as he sat down it was like he was folding himself up! Maybe I was just really tired but I felt the film dragged a lot and the shots would linger on for so long before cutting to the next that you would wonder if they really were going to cut or whether it was going to be a Russian Ark kind of thing (which, admittedly, I really liked).
Monday night J went off to see Planet B-Boy while I was back at the Academy for Hold Me Tight, Let Me Go, a documentary about troubled young children at the Mulberry Bush boarding school in Oxford. The children at this school had all been excluded from normal schools because of extreme behaviour and had often suffered severe emotional trauma. The school was their last chance to get back a normal life. It was extremely powerful and, I guess, brought back a lot of memories of parts of my past. Well recommended viewing.
Finally, on Tuesday night I went to see Ben X at the Civic Theatre. I love the Civic! As the lights go down in the theatre the ceiling slowly lights up with stars, then the clouds slowly start to drift across the sky and it really feels like you're in another world (always good if the show or film you're at gets boring). Although with Ben X there was no time to go looking at the ceiling. Another amazingly powerful film, it is about Ben who has a form of autism. He retreats into the fantasy world of his video game to escape the bullying and pain of the outside world.
So that's my film festival experience over for another year! But before this post ends I have something more to share...finally, a little over 6 weeks after "the accident" and 3 casts later I can finally see my arm again!
The blue cast below was the latest cast which they put on after accidentally removing the plaster one after 2 weeks. Although at the time it sucked (apparently they weren't supposed to remove my arm from the plaster for another 2 weeks at that point in case it moved the bone), the blue cast was so much lighter. I did love the colour choices the nurse gave me: blue or black. He suggested black to go with my business attire so I chose blue since my work attire (when I finally returned to work) is usually jeans, with or without holes depending on how dressy I need to be!
And here is my wrist all naked! I was very kind and gave it a good wash before taking this photo. Let's just say there was a fair amount of dead skin...