Sands of Time

How amazing to be back at Sands Films this week – not once, not twice, but three times! About to set off for ‘Ajantrik’ (Ritwik Ghatak, 1957) – one of the main characters is a car (a jalopy, in fact!)… Ghatak sounds a really interesting filmmaker, passionate and socially aware, and music is really important in his films apparently (another of his works is called ‘Komal Gandhar’ / ‘A Soft Note on a Sharp Scale’, aka ‘E Flat’…). I’m going to attempt to play something suitable on the harmonium before the film starts…:)))

Last night was Sands’ own ‘The Good Soldier Schwejk’, their latest film made totally in-house. There’s something really exciting about being in the building where everything was done and made. Especially because the film is in the form of a live performance – we join the audience on a warm summer night in the theatre, feeling almost like the music hall.. (I guess there’s also the new tradition of watching plays relayed live to cinemas etc.) A lovely feeling of watching a company at work, with actors playing multiple parts and exciting backstage quick-changes visible on screen… It’s a strong, funny anti-war piece, with skilful, chilling updating to include remarks by contemporary commentators and warmongers… Though he seems blithely innocent amid all the chaos going on around him (in the manner of Pike in Dad’s Army maybe), Schwejk is ultimately the only one who seems to have any concept or conscience of what’s going on… Anyway I definitely recommend it, it’s a unique film from a unique place…

And on Saturday gone, ‘All My Life’s Buried Here’ was a documentary on the life of English composer George Butterworth. I know this composer’s music so well!!! Such a film as this is so overdue – there’s hardly any information about this wonderful musician, composer, folk-song collector and morris dancer, who died far too young in the First Word War. The film’s brilliantly done, I was so happy to see it. I’ll try to write more!

Off for tonight’s installment – hope the trains aren’t delayed…….. Harmonium in hand….


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