- Holly Searle
- London, United Kingdom
- Holly Searle is a writer who was born in Westminster in the middle of London. She shares her birthday with Jarvis Cocker and David Seaman and like Jarvis Cocker she wears glasses but has nothing whatsoever in common with David Seaman. She is fascinated by words, people and their stories, and regularly spends hours fantasising about being offered a weekly column. She has a degree in Film and Television which she gained from Brunel University in 1997. She has been blessed with two quite remarkable children whom she adores. She enjoys the company of her friends and the circus that is life. Long Walk to Forever by Kurt Vonnegut is her favourite short story. She is the author of the published children's tale The Story of Balan Singh, and is currently working on her first book.
Sunday, 28 December 2014
I watched LA Confidential the other night. I was television festive season schedule restless, and needed something of a higher quality to entertain me. I opened the cupboard that contains all of the DVD's, and as I read though all of the titles, I kept thinking, no, that just won't do it, until I came across LA Confidential. It's been a while since I have seen this movie, and it is a movie rather than a film, and loaded it up, and I sat down and pressed play.
Now whist I recalled the dark and brooding sexuality that Russell Crowe's Bud White perspires during the course of this film, and the geeky spectacle wearing presence of the by the book cop played by Guy Pearce in the guise of Ed Exley. I had forgotten Kevin Spacey's cop turned prime time television advisor Jack Vincennes also featured in it's storyline.
How on earth was that even possible?
I rolled my eyes mentally at my own remission of this fact, whilst at the same time being oh so glad that I had, as he is, without doubt, my favourite actor of all time.
Yes, yes, I know, there are so many to choose from. But what Spacey does on screen, is just pure and simple magic.
My Spacey epiphany started after seeing him in his portrayal of Verbal Kint in Bryan Singer's 1995 film The Usual Suspects.
To witness his ineffectual limp characterised embodiment of this persona that has fooled everyone (including the audience - although I have to admit I guessed prior to the fax sequence), subtle transformation before our very eyes into the audacious and feared mythical Keyser Söze, is just quite breathtaking.
And just like that, he was there.
Sometimes you watch an actor on screen, and there are no words.
I can recall quite clearly being affected in the same way after seeing Marlon Brando rip off his shirt whilst yelling Stella when he played Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire.
And not unlike Brando, Spacey has been quite limited film wise. His catalogue of work has at times, appeared mismatched with his ability. This had seemed like a real waste of such a talented actor, that was until he decided to run for the White House as Frank Underwood in House of Cards.
This role is perfect for Spacey. A vehicle that is a gift from heaven that allows him to pull all of this acting tricks out of his hat.
His politically power hungry unremitting great white shark that is Frank Underwood, swims effortlessly from the first episode until the very last, taking absolute power, but no prisoners. And in doing so, is quite something to behold.
I would advise all of you to watch this show, simply to witness Spacey's acting. It is truly phenomenal.
In my book, if an actor can make you laugh and despise his character, whilst rooting for him all at the same time, he must be a genius.
Personally I cannot wait for more Frank Underwood to grace my screen.
Or Spacey to reveal more of his trickery.
And as I haven't see him for a while, you'll have to excuse me, as I have an overdue appointment with Verbal Kint.
Saturday, 20 December 2014
Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas at ours without Child Two and myself finding a cinema in which to watch Franks Capra's 1946 cinematic diamond It's a Wonderful Life.
I have seen this movie countless times over the years, and I am always amazed that each time that I do, I always see or notice something new.
How wonderful is that?
This classic Christmas movie is about one man's struggle to continually keep it all together for the sake of others at the cost of what he believes are the loss of his own dreams. In doing so, it evokes so many emotions that become prevalent for so many over the festive period.
The film deals with the life of the inimitable George Bailey whom we follow as he grows up with his head full of dreams of wild and exciting adventures. His wish is to shake the dust of his roots clean off his boots, and venture out of his home town of Bedford Falls to travel the world and discover all of the riches that life has to offer, are constantly compounded by a series of domestic events that keep him firmly tied to home.
His desires are replaced by duty. And his anguish at having to forsake his dreams, forces him into many emotionally and visually uncomfortable situations.
As we watch George grow from a boy into a man, we see how he struggles to repress his wishes as he starts building a life for himself in Bedford Falls with Mary his wife, and their children in the old Granville house.
After his father passes away, George replaces him at the Building and Loans office, more so in order to keep the underhand antics of his father's nemesis the town's banker Mr Potter at bay.
At first George has to remain in Bedford Falls to support his family. But then, as he takes his father's place, he does so in order to protect the entire town's populace against Potter.
This is some ask for just one man.
Then an unfortunate episode unfolds, which in turns drives George over the edge.
His only redemption, he feels is too end his life, but before he can do so, an angel called Clarence is sent down to earth to from heaven to save him.
As George stands contemplating his demise on a bridge, he see someone fall into the water below and rather than take his own life, he chooses to save that of another.
It soon transpires that he has saved Clarence. And still in a dark and brooding mood, George tells Clarence that he wishes that he had never been born.
Clarence grants George's wish, and there then follows a dark and dystopian tour of the now Pottersville. The town that in this nightmare has replaced the all to familiar Bedford Falls that George had live and worked in.
There is one scene in this movie that no matter how many times I see it, always makes me cry.
George has a younger brother called Harry, whom he saved from drowning when they were children.
In the most emotionally taxing scene in the movie, Clarence takes George to Harry's grave stone and explains to George that because he never existed, he wasn't there to save him
George is horrified. And along with all of the other discoveries he makes, due to his lack of being, makes him plead for his life.
A wish that is duly granted.
When he finds that he is back in Bedford Falls, he has no fear of facing up to the awful situation that drove him to the brink of suicide. He returns to his home to look for Mary and his children, to be overwhelmed by the arrival of the people of the town, who come to offer their support with his crisis.
During the commotion of visitors to his home, George finds a copy of Tom Sawyer that had belonged to Clarence. In which Clarence has inscribed Dear George Remember no man is a failure who has friends.
And in that moment, George realises that in spite of himself, he has a wonderful life.
What this movie teaches us is that we shouldn't focus on what we don't have, but what we do. And yes while we all may found ourselves in difficult situations, we are all blessed because of the relationships and bonds that we have formed throughout our lives.
It's a fabulously timeless cautionary tale that we can all learn a lesson from.
So this Christmas, take a moment to consider all that you have. I can guarantee you that it will be the best present you'll receive this year.
And if you get round to it, find a cinema that is showing this film and treat yourself.
And to you and yours, from me and mine, I wish you all a very Happy Christmas.
If life has taught me one very important lesson, it is that you should never go shopping for food when you're hungry. And I mean ravenous. Not just a bit peckish, but absolutely and unremittingly famished.
This is such a bad move especially if you haven't eaten for a while, as you manically race around the supermarket carelessly chucking everything that takes your fancy into the basket that is uncomfortably cradled in the nook of your arm.
That looks nice, your half starved self tells yourself, as the once light and easy to lift basket granularly becomes increasingly heavier and heavier until your sane mind and the lack of blood flow in your arm due to the weight of the basket (that is depleting all of your remaining strength by the second), begins to steers you towards the nearest checkout.
You plunk the basket down and start to unload the items on to the conveyor belt. After each beep of the scanner, you pack each item rapidly. You pay the bill, and stagger away with your food swag, happy in the knowledge that pretty soon, your demanding appetitive will soon be satisfied.
Of course, in reality the mind panic, due to the lack of food that you are yet to consumed, has lied to you as well as your stomach. As it is only so big, and it can't possibly digest all of this wide eyed, hunger fuelled supermarket dash booty.
But you didn't know that when you purchased it all did you?
In a word.
Finding your Mr. Darcy is a bit like this.
Let me explain.
For the longest time, I raced around life's supermarkets looking for something to fill a void. And no matter how hard I looked, or how much I purchased, I could never find what I was looking for to satisfy the emotional hunger that I felt
In the end, I gave up, as no matter how hard I shopped, or how much I spent emotionally, that thing I was looking for, just wasn't in stock.
I couldn't ask for it, as it had no name.
It, I came to conclude had alluded me, and I grew bored of my relentless pursuit of whatever it was and decided that either I was out of sync with the universe, or it just didn't exist.
So I left it behind and decided to step outside to feel the sunshine on my face, and came to the realisation that those who look for something, rarely find it.
Enjoy your life I told myself. Fill your boots with what you know, rather than what you do not. And so I did.
It was like a Spring-clean diet for my soul.
I changed my outlook and started to concentrate on other matters that my life was craving. Soon I no longer lusted after whatever it was.
Then one day, a curious thing happened, I woke up one morning with all the characteristics of the pragmatically head strong Elizabeth Bennet.
I quite liked this new me. I had become a polished version of the girl I had always been, with all the added maturity and wisdom of the woman I had become.
It was like coming home. I had at last arrived at a destination where I felt completely and utterly at ease with myself.
I felt an immense sense of pride as I had achieved this by myself.
I realised that I had choices and that this had afforded me a greater sense of liberation that was empowering.
And then you appeared.
Just like Darcy you presented yourself in an unfathomable presence in my newly created daily routine. This threw me off balance, as I had no idea what to make of it, or indeed what to do about it.
There you were, this incomprehensible enigmatic incalculable indecipherable and baffling individual. At first I just filed you in the back of my mind palace, until I could employ some form of Sherlock ingenuity to enable me to put all of the jigsaw pieces together to form a more logical picture.
I procrastinated for the longest time until it became quite unbearable, as it constantly niggled away at me.
Sometimes it grew tiresome. At other times it just left me. But mostly it refused to be ignored until I had addressed it.
Eventually after placing myself in a similar situation to relinquish myself of it altogether, I began to realise that I was unable to rid myself of it and that I had to deal with it once and for all. And that, my friend, took ever ounce of bravery I had.
And I suppose just like the uneven footsteps I manage when I left leg is playing up, I decided to be courageous and asked you a question and you answered yes. And that, just like the uneven sway of my uncertainty was how we began.
All stories have a beginning, and ours began there with that one word. A careful placing of one step in front of another, followed by more.
It has completed a circle, one that is increasing rather than decreasing.
I still have my own personal insecurities, but just like Elizabeth Bennet, I am learning to deal with them.
And having a Darcy in my life has provided me with a name for what it was. And that it is you.