Here is a photo of the elegant Monica Loughman, Ireland's prima ballerina, who has established a national ballet company in this country so other young girls will not have to leave their home - as she did (for Russia!) - to learn classical ballet. In light of the fact that Irish contemporary dance receives an outrageously higher amount of funding than classical ballet - 25 million to 1 million! - she has drawn up a petition to the Minister of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht. Here is the website with all you need to support this worthy cause: www.monicaloughman.com. And do please pass the information on.
I watched Blue Jasmine and The Wolf of Wall Street in the same week and was stunned by the similarity. Great writing, great filmmaking and powerhouse performances by two brilliant actors to serve what? A presentation of the vacuous pathetic lives of two utterly useless human beings who not only add nothing to humanity but, in fact, detract from it by robbing others blind. It has been argued that the filmmmakers - Woody Allen and Scorsese - are indicting the behaviour of their characters while presenting searing satires of society. Really? Neither film shows any hope of redemption, any alternative to the aggressive desire for wealth, or even a glimmer of interest in such a thing. There is no indictment of their behaviour, only a morbid fascination with their fall. The Wolf of Wall Street presents the main character as a hilariously flawed 'hero' and the FBI man who captures him as a loser. At the end of the film, the latter rides the subway with other 'sheep', i,e, ordinary non-criminals, while the wolf, still rich, blooms on the talk circuit after a comfortable 3 year stay in prison. In Blue Jasmine, the non-rich are mindless happy-in-their-pig-ignorance boobs. Allen has obviously had no contact whatsoever with classes below the wealthy for some time. (Listen to real life American working men in Searching for Sugar Man for contrast.) Both films have no moral centre. I would suggest that the filmmakers themselves, like their characters, lack both moral compass and redemptive imagination. Unadulterated cynicism. Who needs it?
I was born in Ireland and grew up in Toronto, Canada with my seven sisters and two brothers. Left home at seventeen to live in a commune, then headed off across Canada with my pal, Carole, and we hitch-hiked around California for months, then back up to Vancouver(Van as we called it then) and across Canada with two more pals, Linda and Peggy. A year later, headed off to Malaysia and Borneo with Jeunesse Canada Monde/Canada World Youth for a year. Baik-lah! Back home, went to Trinity College at the University of Toronto (posh blokes) while also joining the Canadian Naval Reserve as an Officer Cadet. Trained on the east and west coasts of Canada every summer. Great fun. Then what? Hmm. Started to write books, dodgy personal life (that's personal but let's just say it's been a long time between drinks) started to wander around the world, had a darling daughter, settled down in Ireland, wrote more books.