I still haven't finished Anhinga, but I tried it on this afternoon in a very unfinished sleeveless, seamless state and I'm much happier: I think it's going to be great. It's taken me far too long. My concentration is really bad just now: I keep sitting down and thinking, 'I'll just finish this sleeve / front / collar,' and the next thing I know I'm back at the computer or reading a mail order catalogue or washing the dishes or knitting a swatch in some other yarn - or writing a blog post - and the thing isn't done.
I watched Cinema Paradiso again at the weekend. I haven't watched it for ages which is odd because it's in my Top Five. I prefer the original version to the director's cut (I'm a philistine, I know) because I'm more interested in the little boy's story than the love story, which I find goes on a bit. I think the little boy is the best actor of the three who play the main character too.
If you haven't seen it, it begins in a village in Sicily after World War II and is about a fatherless boy who gows up to be a film director after adopting the local cinema projectionist, played by the great Philipe Noiret. It's a potted history of Italian cinema too, if you're quick enough to recognize the clips, which we watch with the local audience. My father said that the streets of the mining village where he grew up were deserted at night for weeks after The Mummy was shown because the children were too scared to come out and play after dark, and my stepfather, who grew up in a poor part of Glasgow, could remember going to the pictures as a child - this would be in the 1930s - when the audience was sprayed with disinfectant during the interval between the films. That was why cinemas were known as fleapits. Paradiso covers the same sort of ground, but in Italy.
It has some of the most magical moments in cinema - one scene is one of the most magical scenes from my life and I wasn't even there: it is one of my great regrets that I have never stood in an Italian village square at night and watched a film projected on a gable wall, but at least I've seen it in this film.
One of the episodes from village life is when the village priest watches the films before they are shown and censors them - especially the kisses. I don't think I'll be spoiling anything for you if I show you this bit from the end of the film - there's a lot goes on in between - when someone gives the grown up hero a can of film.
If you haven't seen it, rent it this weekend.