February 5th, 2013


Notes On The Film Of The Dig

In another age (Richard III's for instance) a person who intuits the presence of a buried body by getting "cold chills" whilst walking over it would have had their extra-sensory perceptions taken seriously. In our own they're treated with embarrassment and a "look at the nutter"  tone of voice- even when it turns out that they're right. The archaeologists dug their trench where the "crazy woman" told them to and found the bones immediately- even before they found evidence for the building they were buried in. 

The arrow in the back turned out to be a Roman nail.

Philippa Langley insisted on draping the box containing Richard's bones with his colours. The osteologist demurred. What if it turned out not to be him? In the event amateur passion got the better of professional caution; Langley took the risk- of jumping the gun and looking stupid- and once again proved to be right. 

While Richard was being carried from the battlefield- naked, slung over the back of a horse like a Western bad-man- some oik stabbed him in the bum. It only happened the once. One would like to think the oik got smacked down for it.

The facial reconstruction gives us (to quote Simon Farnaby) "a bonny lad". The nervy, prematurely aged person in the portraits is replaced by a handsome, smooth-faced, cocky young man. The real Richard seems to have looked remarkably like Olivier's version of him. 

Benjamin Britten, C'est Moi

I dream that I'm Benjamin Britten and I'm presenting the premiere of my Sea Symphony. At the finale I open a door and there's the real sea roaring and booming inside a rocky cave.  Then I collapse in the doorway and lie there paralysed.  It's all been too much for me. My friends are worried. Then I get up and fly to Tokyo.