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with apologies to the film of that name.

January 20th 2010

I am back in the UK and life seems busier than ever; getting back to the work in hand and its future. I thought you were supposed to slow down as you get older. I am trying, but there is so many things to do, some just administrative chores - very boring and then getting our short film finished and ready to submit to various film festivals, a vital part of promoting a first production. We heard the music for the first time a week ago and I am very happy, hope people like as much as Patricia the Director and I do. It works well for the film. I have been in this business for over 40 years and I have learned so much more about film making, especially the post production process.

I have been to many screenings with the BAFTAs and the Oscars looming. There is an extraordinary film called PRECIOUS: BASED ON THE NOVEL ‘PUSH’ BY SAPPHIRE, which is very moving and extremely hard to watch. However I do urge you to see it if possible. It is set in the 1980’s in New York and tells of a very overweight young girl, struggling through her horrendous young life. I wont go into all the details, but she is basically set on the right path by a teacher, who took up her cause and helped her to start to get a proper education. Her education is really the beginning of the veils falling from her eyes, re the state of her life, her mother, the political system and how wrong it all is and gives her the tools to start to do something about it.

I read an interview with the author, an African American lady, who confirmed that the book and film is really about education and the need for all of us to have it, to progress and live our lives, rather than just a story about the poverty stricken, the underprivileged and the overweight. Of course the film is very much about those issues too, but more about the hope of learning. Another film, “The Blind Side”, for which Sandra Bullock won her best actress award in the Golden Globes, is about the same subject basically. It is a true story about one of the finest American footballers, Michael Oher, who was adopted into a white family and went from being a homeless, under educated African American boy to being one of the great players. He wouldn’t have achieved this without the support and the education.

The system is a bit different in the US from here. Most of the best professional footballers there come from college football, which is an educational incentive to learn and go to college if a person wants to become a professional sports player. Maybe not a perfect system, but it does encourage better educational standards among the young.

England used to be regarded as having the finest education in the world. What has happened? We cannot say that now. My mother, who grew up in a relatively poor area, said she remembered kids running around without shoes, but everyone could read and write. Nowadays we have some students at college who cant spell or string a sentence together. I do not believe it is their fault, I do not believe that many of younger generation has grown up to be a group of vapid dimwits. Far from it. I know they are as bright and keen as any generation, but so many have been short changed and have lost out, because of our depreciated educational standards. What a waste. My own industries of television and film are lot responsible. Everything is so much targeted to the lowest common denominator.

One of the films I have seen is AVATAR and astonishing though it is in 3D, I would have to say that this film is not what I would call thought provoking. It is beautiful to look at, but the story and the characters are very much fairy tale - VERY GOOD good heroes and VERY BAD bad guys. Script and character wise, I would say it is a wasted opportunity. The film has made a fortune and is real entertainment, but with all the money spent on it I do think the story could have been a bit more than two dimensional. Quite the reverse of this is SHERLOCK HOLMES, a very entertaining take on the famous character, with a lovely and intelligent performance from Robert Downey Jr, ably abetted by Jude Law. The film is wonderful to look at, with the best scenes of London of the period, the most stunning I have seen in ages. It’s terrific, well worth a visit.

That’s all for now. Big question to mull over now, do we get rid of Internet Explorer? Life is full of challenges!

Take care, be well and be happy. Jane
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