55 plus 19: Well.

Posted: 5 September 2019 in 55 plus, movies, television
Tags: , , ,

Most nights, before I head bedwards, I’ll stream MSNBC for a bit before bed.

Steve Kornacki – one of my favourite US commentators – was subbing for Chris Matthews last night on his show and attempted to explain to his audience what had been occurring in the UK yesterday.

He, and his guest, made a fairly good fist of it, but ultimately you can’t explain the unexplainable, or make sense of the inexplainable, any more than the current government, or its immediate predecessor, could or can make the impossible… well, possible.

To any US readers, confused by what’s going on in UK Parliament: if you think it’s merely maybe because you don’t understand British politics that you have no idea what the hell’s going on or what the hell’s going to happen…

…then let me earnestly assure you we Brits haven’t a clue what the hell’s going on, or what the hell’s going to happen, either.

So, rather than waffle on some more about it, which will only puzzle you, and infuriate me, let me do what I said I was going to do yesterday, but didn’t: talk about something else.


Also last night, Robin Ince commented that there was a David Jannsen movie on tv: Nowhere To Run. I’ve seen it before, and it’s an ok movie, so wasn’t in any hurry to rewatch it, but it did occur to me that Jannsen is one of the few actors that I’ve never seen a bad performance by him.

Even when he appeared in some frankly ropey stuff, some tv episodes which were broadcast to fill the gap in the series, or the occasional movie or tv miniseries that either he made for the money, or just wasn’t up to much, he was not only usually the best thing in it, but sometimes the only good actor in it.

I’m reminded of the frankly awful adaption of Irving Wallace’s novel The Word.

Now I liked, and like, Wallace as a writer. He wrote huge novels that I could lose myself in, and though a couple of the laters ones were a bit formulaic, he wrote page turners; at no point did I not want to know what happened next.

Indeed, as I’ve mentioned before, one of his earlier novels is my favourite ever novel: The Man, about a black man who becomes, through a series of catastrophic events, President of the United States… at the height of the civil rights movement.

But adaptations have rarely managed to capture the tension, the characters or the main, unmessed with, plot.

And the tv miniseries of The Word – a fifth gospel, allegedly written by the brother of Jesus, is discovered; Jannsen plays the PR guy they hire for the promotional release – is one that… isn’t that good.

There are a couple of actors in it who do their job perfectly competently. There are a few who are, frankly, phoning it in.

And then there are David Jannsen and Ron Moody, who elevate every scene they’re in with class, style and just bloody good acting. Yah, Moody’s another one who, whether he’s playing serious, light comedy, or merely a role whose entire brief seemed to be ‘chewing-the-furniture’, always gave his best, and it always showed.

There are precious few actors who can do that every time, elevate every scene, and utterly draw you in to their character.

David Jannsen died in 1980, and it’s a damn pity he wasn’t around to grace more entertainment.

And now, I’m kind of sad that I didn’t make the effort to rewatch Nowhere To Run last night.

Something else tomorrow. Possibly back to politics.. Possibly, not..

(Be grateful; I’m getting a haircut tomorrow; it could have been something about that…)

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