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Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Smells like 1971. Feels like it too.

I watched "Sunday Bloody Sunday" yesterday. It's on You Tube.  It was directed by John Schlesinger in 1970 and came out in 1971. Every frame reeks of London in that period of time.

Glenda Jackson plays a recruitment professional who's having an affair with toy boy Murray Head, who's also carrying on with Peter Finch. In the first few minutes of the film we see her washing down pills with Scotch and trying to make a cup of instant coffee by putting a cup of Nescafe under the hot tap. She drinks from an enormous flagon of wine. We're not meant to interpret this as meaning she has a drink problem. It's the standard behaviour of lots of people in the film.

Everybody smokes. They smoke so much that at times it seems a film about smoking. When Finch goes to the all-night chemist in Piccadilly Circus everybody in the queue is smoking. At one stage she spills ash on the carpet and then rubs it in with her shoe. People used to do that and say "good for the pile".

Just as you can smell the smoke, you can also feel the cold. She and her boyfriend get into bed to keep warm. Even when she goes to visit her wealthy parents in their very salubrious house they're sitting having dinner at a splendid table with the only heat in the room provided by a two-bar electric fire.