Friday, 23 September 2005

Granta 86

Listening to:

Blossom Dearie, On Broadway, a live performance from Ronnie Scott’s jazz club in London.

Just read:

Granta 86: Film (contents)

This is a ho-hum issue of the literary magazine. The theme is all there, and perhaps that’s the problem. Writing about film is a great excuse for pretentiousness it seems, and many of the pieces in this issue seem to prove the claim.

But let’s accentuate the positive, and talk about what I did like. Ian Jack, the editor, has a reasonably interesting nostalgia piece about the Lancashire cinemas he frequented as a kid in the ’30s and ’40s. Maarten ’t Haart is also interesting on providing lots of live rats to be part of Werner Herzog’s film, Nosferatu. This sort of thing does interest me; I can watch the credits of films and wonder at the enormous legions of people who seem to be required to make them. They must all have useful things to do, and pieces like ’t Haart’s go some way towards illuminating back-stage.

Thomas Keneally has a neat piece on how he came to meet a bag-maker in Hollywood who provided him with the story about Oskar Schindler. It was this encounter that led to his book, and ultimately the film Schindler’s List.

Finally, Andrew O’Hagan is good on the experience of being a film critic for two years (he rants about the perfidiousness of Miramax); and Adam Mars-Jones has an entertaining little rant of his own about bad soundtrack music.