Thursday, September 22, 2011

Lives real and imagined

A few Sundays ago heralded the return of classic movie Sunday, sans Ed, which we lamented (when we weren't devouring delicious roast dinner).

We watched Thelma & Louise. I had seen it before when I was about 15 but quickly realised that I had forgotten almost everything about it, except how it ends (and even then I remembered that a bit wrong).

It's unquestionably a great movie for the simple fact that it has two redheaded women as the main characters (played by two great redheaded actresses). It also keeps you guessing as to what will happen next and has some amazing scenery. However, I don't quite see why it has become a symbol of female empowerment. I can see why women love it - I'm sure the friendship between Thelma and Louise is one many women can relate to and their characters are both very likeable. But ultimately, left to their own devices, Thelma and Louise make some pretty bad decisions. Sure they are better off without their respective boyfriends, but are they really better off come the credits?

Last Sunday I went to see the documentary Senna at The Embassy. I had never heard of Ayrton Senna before and have no interest in motorsport, but I had read rave reviews for the documentary and was invited by some friends from my old work.

It was so good. Maybe because I have no interest in Formula One racing it was like an insight into another world and Ayrton Senna was such an interesting character. While racing is a huge part of the movie, the movie is really about a person - an intelligent, charming, single-minded, ambitious man with a very strong belief in God. He was also a babe, which helped.

The next day I told pretty much everyone at work that they should see Senna. Realistically, I don't think it would be everyone's cup of tea and I do like documentaries a lot so that probably helped. But the politics, the chain of events, his massive celebrity status in his poverty stricken home country of Brazil (even though he came from a wealthy family) all make it a compelling film. I commented afterwards that I would have liked to have seen interviews with his sister and his mother, instead of just hearing their voices over home video footage or racing footage, but then I read an article that said the director didn't want any 'talking heads' like so many documentaries have and I agree that that choice meant that, somehow, it felt more like a movie than a documentary.

Anyway, I loved it.

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