Sunday, 16 December 2018

31st European Film Prizes


Best film - Cold War

Best comedy  -  Death of Stalin

Best documentary  -  Bergman, a year in a life

Best film by new talent  -  Girl

Best actor  -  Marcello Fonte.  Dogman

Best actress. -  Joanna Kulig.  Cold War

Best film music. -  3 days in Quiberon

Best camera. -  Utoya 22nd July.

   The only one I've seen of the above is the film about Bergman.  Or more correctly, I saw a film earlier in the year about Bergman and I'm making the assumption that it was that.

   I hadn't realized that The Death of Stalin is a comedy.  As I'm an incurable fool when it comes to comedy I'm looking forward to that one.

   Disappointed that Lazzaro which was shortlisted didn't win anything but it was a laugh out loud comedy in many parts. Perhaps the judges were a little confused by the abrupt ending?

   For me, three or four films to look out for. I think a couple of them may be showing here already.

   I'll put them in my Christmas stocking!

   Hope you enjoy the European films in 2019.  


Saturday, 15 December 2018

Dear Mr Juncker . . .


the main reason the continent of Europe exists today as a political entity and not as a thousand year Reich where the jackbooted man rules with a cruel hand is due to the exemplary leadership of this man, the British people who stood alone for 18 months against the German tyrant and his Nazi cohorts, and the Commonwealth friends and exiled Europeans who joined us to save Europe from permanent darkness and the forces of evil.

 His name is Winston Spencer Churchill.

Sir Winston Churchill - saviour of civilization


According to the reliable EU website 'EU Observer' you said that some of the prime ministers at the EU Brexit summit are guilty of spreading fake news.

You homed in on the Hungarian PM as your example.

You said: "When Mr Orban for example is saying that I am responsible, guilty for the Brexit: fake news."

That was you wrapping up the two day summit on 14th December.


I just have one question for you Mr Juncker.

Who has been in charge of the EU since 2014?

Definitely not Mr Orban or some of the prime ministers.  

And it certainly wasn't Mr Orban and some of the other prime ministers you refer to who tossed the immigration laws into the trash can and came up with an alternative without consulting the people of Europe was it? The motive of certain persons remains unclear. Nebulous to use your own word.


In my humble opinion the whole Brexit scenario could have been avoided if the EU had made the much needed reforms instead of rushing headlong in the wrong direction under your leadership.


It is little wonder that much of Europe is leaning to the right.  Mr Orban and other prime ministers can see the danger looming.  

The EU project depends on newspeak and a mountain of legislation that nobody has time to read and decipher. They may get round to reading it and decoding its intricacies when it's too late. 

I'll explain the term newspeak if you like, Mr Juncker.

So what can we do to save the situation?

I would suggest you get yourself over to London on the next plane and offer to negotiate properly with the British Prime Minister.

You and your 27 owe a debt to Britain that you can never hope to repay.

God Save the Queen


Friday, 14 December 2018

Urinal as art?


It happened once that 500 art experts voted a urinal as one of the most important artworks of the 20th century.

Recently I saw this artifact in an exhibition of artworks and I wondered what other commonplace object ought to be designated as an important artwork.


What about an igloo? It also has a curved and attractive shape.


And you could hang this picture inside.  


Or how about a wooden Father Christmas ornament? Also suitable for the home.


Or if you'd prefer it, a book with a portrait on the cover?


Or some bags of cement? Not much use in an igloo.


A bicycle to hang a wall? This one is in a hotel reception area. It fills a space.


Off-piste* here's a Jean Claude Juncker presidential greeting. Pass me a paper bag please, I feel quite queasy.


Jean Claude cut it out.  I'm trying to eat my pizza!


What about a photo of the Empress Elisabeth of Austria?


And a beach hut away from it all?


Here's the Union Flag!   How proudly I carried it for my team at the European Masters Mountain Running Championships 2012 in Austria.  To me the British flag is a work of art and a symbol for freedom and democracy.

It is far superior to the humble urinal which 500 experts thought to be important. And you can't say that about every national flag in the world.



*We've been neglecting the humble hyphen Rachel. 

It's good to check.




I decided to check.

The result was as exactly as I expected.


One of my two mail addresses (my global one on the far side of the pond) had been hacked.


I've closed the account.


 My other had not.


I'm glad I checked.


You can check yours HERE



Thursday, 13 December 2018

Va, Pensiero


Guiseppe Verdi (1813 - 1901)






Nabucco (Nebuchadnezzar) is the opera which brought the composer fame and the opera in which he "gave expression to his countrymen's aspirations towards the liberty of self-government which had never yet been theirs.

"No Italian who heard 'Va, pensiero' could fail to identify himself with the exiles . . . "  (Kobe's Opera Book edited by the Earl of Harewood).

Yesterday evening's performance in the Vienna State Opera was conducted by Maestro Paolo Carignani with Luc Salsi in the title role and Liudmyla Monastyrska as Abigaille. 'Va pensiero' featured the Chor der Wienerstaatsoper. 


The above rendition of 'Va, pensiero' conducted Maestro Ricardo Mutti before an Italian audience in Milan is quite remarkable as you will see if  you watch it all the way to the end . . .


Enjoy on YouTube.



Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Reasons . . . (Part 3)


   Your body belongs to you and nobody else.
A lot of people don't seem to know that.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Reasons . . . (Part 2)


Here in civilized Europe millions of young Ferkel 
are routinely castrated without the use of anesthetic. 
Will 2019 see the end of it? Man is a cruel creature.