Irish Papist

Irish Papist
Me and General Robert Lee

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Beauty of Respect

I'm still watching YouTube recordings of Siskel and Ebert, and doing so medicinally as my dip in spirits hasn't lifted. I've noticed that when the world seems dark or hostile, it seems that little things are the most comforting. Ridiculous as it sounds, I feel better because Siskel and Ebert look so cosy and relaxed sitting in their studio talking about the films of that particular week, twenty or thirty years ago. Even the fuzzy picture quality is comforting.

I'm also entranced by the interaction between them. Even when they spar, it's in a respectful way-- they obviously took each other very seriously. I saw the documentary Life Itself on Ebert's life, and I was amused that Siskel's wife quoted him as once saying (about Ebert): "He's an asshole, but he's my asshole". (Apologies for the profanity.) It's obvious from the documentary that there was a lot more affection involved than that joke would indicate. In a strange way, I think that's a touching tribute-- I wouldn't mind someone saying it about me, in a similar context.

There's lots of interesting stuff along the way. This discussion about "video nasties", from 1987, rather surprised me. They were both decided liberals, and yet they were both highly critical of "sick" movies in a way that seems less likely amongst liberals today. Perhaps I am being nostalgic, but I don't think so.

5 comments:

  1. Perhaps it shows just how far standards have fallen. TV wasn't great at that time either, but unlike the present obsession with /reality shows\ and people /famous for being famous\ at least there had to be some semblance of being able to act or sing

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    1. Well, I wasn't thinking of reality TV shows, but I do think standards have certainly slipped both in terms of quality and in terms of moral tone.

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  2. The moral tone in reality television isn't always that good either.
    One of the main celebrity chef-judges on Australian tv I'd a Dubliner, Colin Fassnidge, who did one season of a spin-off show about foods in Ireland.
    Cooking shows may be innocent enough but when I heard that a contestant was giving an interview about overcooked breadrolls-it was enough for me

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    1. Hmmmm, am I missing something? Is there some naughty allusion in uncooked breadrolls?

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  3. Not at all, but I'm sure there are better things to do

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