Sometimes we do something or visit somewhere and it is fairly straightforward to write about it; travelogue style pieces that essentially say we went here and saw that. However occasionally we do or see something that provokes a deeper response in me and I then find it quite hard to think about how to write about it to the extent that I wonder whether I should or not. That is because my response will mean that I have to share something about myself and my feelings and opinions with the “world” that I may not think is entirely politic. Even writing this paragraph falls into that category and leads me to ponder what exactly is the purpose of the blog and why I am writing it. When I am “stuck” over a post in this way I always know as I will often start it and then scrap it; write the first paragraph and decide it is not right; give it one title and then change it and sometimes abandon it altogether. All of this except the abandoning have been true of this post.
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.
The question is, “why do I feel that I need to write something about the movies and plays that we go and see in my blog?” I suppose it calls into question the whole enterprise of the blog and what it is for and who is it for. At the very least it will form some sort of record of our time in Bath; of the things that we did and saw and thought about. We recently went to see a play written by the daughter of our Oxford chums. It was staged at the Wardrobe Theatre in the Old Market Assembly, Bristol as part of a short season by a writers’ cooperative. I didn’t want to write too much about a new young playwright’s work but really it asked much the same questions about striving to create art, about self-belief and about how we judge our own work and abilities and how others judge it and especially those who have the power to decide what happens to our work.