Monday, June 08, 2015

Monday Forum - sooky movies

Last night I went over to youngest's. Over dinner, we watched Chak  De! India on Netflix, both new experiences for me. Clare has a large high resolution screen, so it's a like being in the cinema.

Neither of us had seen the film, although Clare knew the story. In short, a disgraced hockey player coaches the Indian women's national hockey team to win back his honor and dignity. The coach played by Indian megastar Shah Rukh Khan has to overcome a dysfunctional team plus a hockey hierarchy that really doesn't think that

I really enjoyed the film and found myself cheering the side on including their defeat of Australia in a fictional world cup. I see that Ramana enjoyed the film too back in May last year. The credits revealed that that there was Australian funding in the film. This effectively showcased Melbourne where the cup was set..

 I came home via public transport, walk to St Peter's Station, train to Central, then bus to Daceyville. Even with good connections, and in this case by fluke they were, I had plenty of time to think.

I put Chak De! India in my category of sooky movies to go with the book equivalent, often called comfort reading. These are things that uplift the spirit. This got me wondering. Are there films or books that are your especial favourites that you would put in these categories? And are there differences between men and women in this regard?

I know that some of the books and films that I really like are more popular with women. Perhaps it comes from having spent a fair bit of my life in female dominated establishments!  



My Observations said...

I like the term "comfort reading" or watching. Only recently I discovered that I should not read heavy books before falling asleep and my list of comfort books just started to develop. For now it is Anne of Green Gables and its sequels. Comfort films are usually chick flicks like The Holidays, When Harry Met Sally, Pretty Woman... the list goes on.

Jim Belshaw said...

Good morning, AC. I really love Anne of Green Gables and have read most of the sequels. They are comforting. I find with movies that its a bit like a sugar hit, over quickly, whereas with a book you can immerse yourself in it for a much longer period. I also find movies are actually best watched in company.

You write very good film reviews, reflective and personal. Your blog has many examples - I think that this makes the effect of the movie more long-lasting. Thought of mirroring you this time with a fuller review of Chak De! India, but decided instead to use it as an entry point to the forum.

Mmm, chick flicks. I like those too. Add Notting Hill and Wimbledon to the list, and of course the various versions of Pride and Prejudice. Add Jane Austen to the reading list as well.

Anonymous said...

In no particular order; Music & Lyrics, Pretty Woman, Notting Hill, Love Actually, Shall We Dance, Wimbledon, Salmon Fishing In The Yemen (book is better, but film not too shabby), The American President, Thomas Crowne Affair (2nd version), and several weepies - dunno why but they give me some sort of 'emotional release'.

These are all films I have watched several times, and will watch again whenever they screen. There's another Richard Curtis film, name not remembered for the moment, about an American nanny taking over after his wife's death; thorough recommend as a 'sooky' and with great supporting cast - even tho I can't stand RC himself.

Books, well Dick Francis any title; plus several other specific titles, including Salmon Fishing, have been read multiple times. If ever I could write, I think I would like to write like Francis - but that's just imo.

ps these robot pic verifies are killing me - esp around dinner time :)

Anonymous said...

Got off my sloth and looked that film up: "Jack & Sarah". But also to add Top Gun, and Officer & Gentleman and A Few Good Men and Sum Of All Fears (brilliant soundtrack) to the list of films I will always rewatch. Not 'sooky' as such, but there is something which attracts in them.

The Indian film you mention sounds suspiciously like "The Might Ducks", plus several other sports genre movies? Not that there's anything wrong with that, so I will try to catch it; I actually enjoy Indian films with all their colour and passion and just plain good natured-ness.


Anonymous said...

Comfort reading - DE Stevenson, Mary Stewart, Dorothy Dunnett, Mary Grant Bruce, Ethel Turner, Maeve Binchy.

Easy reading - Dick Francis, Neville Shute, Georgette Heyer, crime fiction of the "cosy" variety, John Grisham type legal thrillers.

Comfort movies - Bend it like Beckham, Some like it Hot, The Commitments, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels...


Jim Belshaw said...

Now that's starting to be a collection!

I'm reading a Dick Francis at the moment, still read D E Stevenson (just finished the four graces again!) and still love Mary Grant Bruce. Heyer was a favourite, but I don't have many here. Neville Schute definitely. Trustee from the Toolroom is very much comfort reading.

Haven't watched Jack & Sarah. Yes, kvd, it is like the Mighty Ducks!

2 tanners said...

Comfort Reading: APC [formerly Australian Personal Computer] and PC and Tech Review.

These days I don't read fiction (technically speaking, although I still read on-line newspapers). I find my tech reading is good enough to keep me interested and when I need to go to sleep, I pick up the paper versions and it puts me out like a light almost immediately.

I almost never watch movies. This does not cause total harmony in the household.

Once I picked up a computer magazine and in the letters column someone had completely nailed it about something I had also been whinging about. Before I'd even finished it, I stopped and read it aloud to my wife (a rare occurrence indeed), got to the end then choked. "What's wrong?" she asked. The answer, embarrassingly, was my name at the bottom of the letter I'd forgotten I'd written. :)

Still, at least I'm consistent.

Jim Belshaw said...

I really laughed, Bob. I can see why your wife might get cranky on the movie side!

I think I have to classify you as an outrider case!

Anonymous said...

Favourite movie: "All about Eve" (Joseph Mankiewicz, 1950); other favourite movie directors: Billy Wilder / Mike Nichols

Favourite comedy: "The Rebel" (Robert Day, 1961); watch for free on YouTube.

A favourite read: Hans Zinsser, "Rats, lice and history"1937; a wonderful case study of the political economy of disease.


Anonymous said...

Well! How to top tanners and DG? I shall have to burn my copies of Mein Kamph and The Story of O forthwith :)


Jim Belshaw said...

Perhaps you should, kvd. I am coming to the conclusion.Had a quick look at the start of The Rebel. Comedy = irony?

Anonymous said...

Jim, George Saunders (aka as Griptight Thin) is as much a delight in this as he sinister in All about Eve. Oh no, kvd, hang on to your Mein Kampf; they're becoming increasingly scarce!


Jim Belshaw said...

Thanks, DG. Should watch all the way through!

Anonymous said...

Ha! Because I was intrigued by DG's recommend I rang my favourite Sthn Highlands haunt - Berks Bookbarn - and ordered a (the last) copy of Rats & Lice.

The very fine lady who took the call for this " In chipped and foxed d.w. (XII,302pp.). Small unobtrusive rubber-stamp on title-page. Some minor foxing." is now faced with entering this latest purchase against my profile :)

I bet she has a coffee in their also very fine coffee shop.


Jim Belshaw said...

Again I laughed. I am glad that DG is educating you. I look forward to your review of the book!

Anonymous said...

Enjoy, kvd, I have read this several times and will do so again. Yes, Jim, you must be patient and watch all the way through.


Anonymous said...

Jim, I watched a film the other day called 'Belle' which lead me down some interesting paths. I will leave you to chase the reference to the film, but I ended up on the wiki page for the 'Zong Massacre' - - which is worth a close read.

I (incorrectly) thought that I had a reasonable grasp of the history of the British reaction to the slave trade, but hadn't come upon this particular case, and I found it sadly quite fascinating.

But that article lead me by reference to another article about the insurance concept of 'general average' - you will see the link in the above linked piece - whereby co-consignees share in any loss of specific goods (includes slaves) should part of a cargo need to be sacrificed to secure the voyage.

I only mention it because there are noted three principles attaching to a successful claim, and the third is:

"3rd. This attempt to avoid the imminent common peril must be successful"

I just wish people such as LE were still around to explain why the necessity of 'success' is attached to this dry old legal concept?

I'm not suggesting the film is worth several watchings, but just thought it interesting where I ended up out of sheer curiosity from the viewing.


Jim Belshaw said...

Quite fascinating, kvd. You do find some stuff. I had no idea of this case. A post? Meantime, LE does drop in from time to time. I will give her a prod via Facebook.

Anonymous said...

Best not. Am just finishing Evan Whitton's "The Cartel: Lawyers and Their Nine Magic Tricks" while I await DG's "Rats and Lice".

Not sure LE deserves such focus :)


Jim Belshaw said...

Too later, I fear! Already done. But you can read away. I want LE's comments.

Legal Eagle said...

I imagine the "success" requirement went to proof of necessity. In other words, if it was alleged that it was necessary, then proof of success in avoidance of imminent common peril would help to prove such necessity. Lord Mansfield, tut tut tut. I was aware of his important role in Somersett's Case, but not aware of his disappointing role in this case. In fact I wasn't aware of this case at all! Thanks Jim for giving me a poke.

KVD, in the end I went cold turkey with blogging. (There's a long story to that, but I won't bore you with it.) In any case, I no longer read any of the blogs I used to read...apart from this one from time to time...which I think is indicative of the quality of Jim's writing and the interest of the questions he poses!

My latest creative writing venture is a dystopian feminist romance novel. I can't promise that it will be as fun to read as Dick Francis, but I'm enjoying writing it. It's not highbrow at all...more of a page turner.

I want to know the nine magic tricks of lawyers!! If there's a secret creed no one's told me...

Legal Eagle said...

Oh P.S. I have a childhood fascination with Indian movies. I grew up with an Indian girl and she used to translate them for me. Favourite mutual watching moment:

Me: "Those two lovers are running in a thunder storm."
Friend: "Yeah. Dramatic. And it makes the clothing stick to them."
Me: "I was thinking more that they might be hit by lightning."
Friend: "This is a ROMANCE movie."
Me: "But what if they're hit by lightning and die?"
Friend: "You are SO not Indian in the way you think."

Jim Belshaw said...

Thank you for the compliment, LE! I will try to live up to that standard.

I really laughed at that dialogue. You do have a talent. I wonder what a dystopian feminist romance novel might look like? I didn't know that you had that side, although it shouldn't surprise me.

I too had not heard of the Zong case, although having followed up on Belle the film that was familiar. Not that I had seen it, but I must have seen the wikipedia entry at some point.

Anonymous said...

Thank you LE, and good luck with the writing; I suspect you will do well at it as you always struck me as very observant. (And like Jim I loved the conversation with your Indian friend; you may not realise how "you" you come over as in that dialogue)

If you're interested in the magic tricks, by Monday I will have a " In chipped and foxed" plus dog eared copy that I'd be happy to send for your further education :)

Best wishes

Legal Eagle said...

I didn't really mean to write a novel, but once I started writing, the story just decided that it had to be told.

It all started mid-last year when I made the mistake of catching up with my ex-boyfriend from uni. He said he needed help with his divorce. I referred him to a family lawyer friend, and he said he would like to catch up for coffee to thank me. I discovered he had become a polyamorist life coach (like me, he was once a banking lawyer...) Obviously, we have taken very different paths in life. Anyway, I started to wonder what would happen if someone with those kinds of ideas commanded a society, and what the implications for women would be.

About two weeks after that, I had a very strange dream with the three main characters and one side character in it (complete with names). It was apparently taking place in an abandoned underground railway system in tunnels, and two of the characters were attempting to escape.

I wrote three chapters of the story while I was recuperating from a hernia operation. I showed them to three friends, and they said, "More, more!" A friend's husband who read a very early draft has described it as Margaret Attwood combined with Robert Heinlein (a very strange combination). I'm happy to send the present draft of volume 1 to you both (warning: it's now 110,000 words). I've absolutely no idea whether it would be to your taste, but I'm sure you would very much "hear" my voice in it!

Anonymous said...


Yes please LE, but two thoughts occurred to me while reading this:

1) sounds a bit Mad Max-ish?

2) he had become a polyamorist life coach (like me, he was once... - isn't correct punctuation (particularly brackets) important :)


Jim Belshaw said...

Hi LE. I would love a copy! That's a fascinating description of the writing process, by the way. Unless I get a move-on, I fear that both you and Clare are going to eat me to publication! James, get on with it!

Rummuser said...

You should make a habit of seeing Hindi films Jim. Some really remarkable films are coming out of Bollywood now. You will see how many I have reviewed in my blog.

Jim Belshaw said...

Hi Ramana. I should. I tend to read your reviews on an individual basis. Hadn't thought to look at the overall pattern. I will do so now!