We went to see the movie of J.G. Ballard’s dystopian novel “High-Rise” recently and this post is not going to be about my reaction to the movie, which actually made me think of Passolini (“Salo“)and Fellini (“Satyricon“) and also Derek Jarman’s “Jubilee” from 1978, all of which go to show that it is very hard to create something that is truly new, original or shocking. As far as the film’s relevance to society today this piece in CityMetric (from the New Statesman) does a good job in relating the themes to modernism’s architectural failures so don’t worry I am not going to launch into a diatribe against the class-based nature of contemporary Britain.
No, this is a small human story that says a little something about Bath society. Once again we were at the Odeon for a daytime viewing with the usual handful of people. We had been seated in the “Premiere” seats for no extra charge as the place was so empty. As the ads were running another older couple arrived and eased their way past us to be similarly upgraded a little further along the same row. On leaving the theatre after the film had finished the gentleman of the two engaged me in conversation about the film and asked me what I thought to which I burbled something about the associations that I refer to in the opening paragraph above. He then quite proudly revealed that, in fact, his son had had a part in the movie, that of “Munro”, the student of Dr Laing, the central character portrayed by Tom Hiddlestone. Well how interesting. He did a good job, as did most of the actors.
Naturally on arriving back home some quick research was called for and it transpires that the part of “Munro” was played by one Augustus Prew whose mother is Wendy Dagworthy, who was “An influential designer in her own right in the 1970s and ’80s with the Wendy Dagworthy label, and one of the founders of London Fashion Week, she was described by the Daily Telegraph as: ‘the high priestess of British fashion'” which puts her right in the heart of the Punk era, celebrated by Jarman in his movie, unexpectedly connecting the two generations. Meanwhile her husband, my interlocutor, is Jonathan W. Prew, described by Wikipedia merely as a photographer, about whom I could find almost nothing, although, despite sporting a pony-tail of greying hair, seemed to be an amiable enough fellow.
So now you know that when we attend the cinema here in Bath we are as likely as not to be rubbing shoulders with the more or less eminent parents of one or other of the actors or producers of the film we are viewing – even if we are not always aware of it!