It’s 6pm in San Francisco, just one more meal to eat and a few more hours to stay awake! I got up in Bristol this morning at 5am, 21 hours ago. I had breakfast at home before I caught the train and breakfast again at Heathrow. On the flight I found myself next to a guy going to the same non-profit technology conference as I am. He works for a group called People for the Equitable Treatment of Animals. Virgin Atlantic had forgotten his vegan meal, so he ended up with some gleanings of fruit and salad from First Class. I hope I didn’t offend him too much with my barbecue chicken lunch, or with the brie and ham sandwiches I had for second and third lunch.
The direct flight was almost ten hours long, so I had a mini film festival, watching three films back to back from of the interactive smorgasbord on offer. It wasn’t deliberate in my choice but, as it turned out, they all dealt with issues of relationships between children and adults and like so many stories told today, they kept moving back and forward on the timeline.
- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is about someone who begins life as an old man and goes through life gradually getting younger. It’s told through his diary as it is read to the love of his life at the end of her life. The earliest and latest years of his life are left largely to the imagination. It made me stop and think about attitudes to age and how people of different age relate to one another. I think it could have been handled just as well in about 2 hours rather than the almost three which it took.
- Slumdog Millionaire was well worth watching. Tough experiences of three children from the Mumbai slums are traced in flashback as one of them takes part in the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. It mixes English and Hindi in an interesting way, but whoever did the subtitles didn’t forsee its success and plan to help people trying to read them on low resolution seat-back screens. I’ll definitely watch it again on a bigger screen.
- The Reader is definitely not ‘family viewing’, but it does interestingly explore the relationship between a 15 year old boy and an older woman and the impact of guilt in their lives. The film is also a reminder of how much must of us take literacy for granted. The timeline does shift, but not so much as the other two which was a relief to my timezone shifting brain.