: watched the first two episodes. Eva Green is great as Morgan, Joseph Fiennes a good ambiguous!Merlin, but alas, the youngster they've cast as Arthur seems to be capable of only one (slightly suprised) expression. This is a problem in a show where he has lots of screentime. (See, this is where underestimated Bradley James is underestimated, because he's really good not just at the comedy stuff, which Merlin
especially in ye early days used Arthur a lot for, but also in giving the impression there's a lot going on inside in the angsty scenes.) And if virtually other actor is better than your leading man and some are genuine heavy weights, the problem is even stronger. Writing-wise, well, I'm biased but I think Chris Chibnall's contributions are evident. (Am I ever glad he's not working on Torchwood season 4...) In conclusion: could be worse, could be better, didn't grab me as much as The Borgias
2.) Via Leviathan: one of my favourite scenes from Deathly Hallows
was actually filmed but didn't make the cut, which is a shame because it's really well done - Dudley saying goodbye to Harry. This in a way completed Dudley's mini arc from caricature bully via the shock Dementor experience in Order of the Phoenix
to human being, and it's played just right. Also, having seen Dudley's actor as Gilly the last season of Merlin
, you can doubly appreciate what good work he does:
3.) Tumblr reminded me today of one of the passages in Philipp Norman's John Lennon: The Life
which I found absolutely hilarious on Philipp Norman's behalf and sad on John's, to wit: "In contrast with John and Yoko’s low-key comings and goings, Paul liked to make an entrance with Linda, usually carrying her little girl, Heather, on his shoulders. “Here comes the Royal Family,” John would mutter.
Bear in mind this is actually from the book where Norman tries to be more objective. :) I don't know who his editor was, but had it been me, I'd been tempted to say: "Philipp, dear, I've seen footage of John and Yoko in the late 60s. Come to think of it, I've seen footage of John and Yoko in the 70s, too. And in 1980. When were they ever
low-key? I know you have the man crush of the ages on John Lennon, but let's try to make it a little less obvious, shall we?"
Leaving aside amusement, where it gets interesting and a little sad is when you wonder who Norman's source for this contrast and compare of John & Yoko versus Paul, Linda & Heather was, because it has to be either Yoko (whom Norman interviewed extensively for the book) or, even more likely, John and his gazillion early 70s interviews. (Which are certainly full of "she (Linda) came with a ready-made family, and he always wanted the family life" type of statements.) John in general on the subject of Paul & children is a psychological minefield, from suspecting Julian would rather have Paul as a father in a 1975 interview to insisting that Hey Jude
was for him, damn it, not for Julian in 1980, and in the same interview going "he (Paul) has 25 children and million records coming out, when does he have time to talk?" And now let's look at that quote again. What is the "big production" the "royal" element of the McCartneys showing up? That Paul carries Heather on his shoulders. That he gets along with Heather. The thing is, Linda wasn't the only one who came "with a ready-made family". So did Yoko. So did John. Heather, Kyoko and Julian are all exactly the same age. John and Paul in the late 60s both fall in love with women with daughters from previous marriages. And from John's pov, it must have looked as if he was being continuously outdone in the parenting department. John manages to scare Yoko's previous husband so much that Tony Cox disappears with Kyoko and Yoko does not see her daughter again during John's life time; Paul manages to get permission from Linda's previous husband to adopt Heather within a year. John has difficulties talking to Julian when they're in the same room together, let alone play with him even in the 60s but tries to explain it by the fact he missed so much of Julian's early childhood due to the Beatles being on tour all the time. Except that Paul, who sees even less of Julian (what with not being the father) during the 60s, still has no problem playing with him whenever they meet and gets adored in turn. Both Yoko and Linda get pregnant in the late 60s; Yoko has two misscarriages, Linda gives birth to one healthy child after another. Finally in 1975 John and Yoko get Sean and John makes the big gesture of giving up his career for some years so he can devote himself to raising Sean, getting the father thing right this time, but he still needs a full time Nanny for that who does the actual primary care-taking; meanwhile, Paul and Linda somehow manage three, then four children without any Nanny and with going on tour and making succesful records at the same time, and without those children ever being neglected. It's enough to make someone less neurotic and competitive than John Lennon gnash their teeth.
Incidentally: in 1998, about half a year after Linda McCartney's death, Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders (who was friends with Linda) interviewed Paul; in the resulting 14 pages interview
(which is mostly about Linda), the subject of raising children and how to do that if you're simultanously a rock star and one of the world's most famous people came up, and here's what he had to say:
CH: With your money and prestige you could have sent your children to any school in the world. And yet you'd drop them off and pick them up every day at the same local school -- what the Americans would call the public school -- along with the local shopkeepers, farmers, and the other people in your village. Why?
PM: We'd seen a lot of people go through the expensive schooling route with their kids, and we understood why they did it, because they wanted the best for their children -- that's normally the reason people say. But we'd seen a lot of heartache happen, when the kids would be devastated to leave, for instance, Mummy at the age of eight. Whenever we saw anything like that, Linda and I instinctively would look at each other and register the fact that that wasn't how we were going to do it.
The other thing was nannies -- and [what] put us off that was when one of our friends' kids ran to the nanny and said, "Mummy!" The kid had forgotten who the mummy was, and it shocked us. So we decided not to go that route. The nice thing was that because Linda was from money, she knew that it wasn't the be-all and end-all. She used to talk to me about a lot of loneliness she'd seen in a lot of these big houses and a lot of unpleasantness in families, because they weren't close, they weren't truthful, they weren't honest, because they didn't spend much time together.
So even though people would say, "You've got to send your son to Eton," we just said, "No way, they'll end up being like a different race from us, and we won't just won't relate to them." We decided that even if we were going on tour we'd take them with us. People thought we were mad, they used to be after us about "dragging our children around the world." But we said, "Well, they are close to us and if ever they get the flu, then we're not in Australia and they're not in England, desperately worrying." Instead, Linda would be there, with the medicine. Or I would be there to tuck them into bed. We just decided that that was more important to us. (...)
So we didn't send them to the paying schools, we did send them to the little local school. We'd moved out of London because London was getting a bit too much the fast lane. (...)
CH: Did you ever take a vacation together without the kids? Most couples, they want to get away and have a little second honeymoon. Did you ever go off on your own without them?
PM: No, we even took Heather [Linda's daughter from her first marriage] on our honeymoon. People are little surprised at that. We've met people who say, "Oh I like children, but I only like them when they get to be about three years old, when you can talk to them." Linda and I would look at each other and say, '"But don't you like them when they're little babies?" And they just gasp a little bit. I think it was just always such a mystery to us. I [come] from a very strong Liverpool family. And when Linda and I met, she was a single parent happening to get on with her life. So we just kind of pulled it together between us and just said, "Well you know, we'll just do it in a certain way." And we stuck to it. (...) And this idea that babies are only good when they're three -- when James was really little I remember sitting on the sofa with him. He's just a baby and he was sitting with me like we were grown-ups and he was just sort of gaggling and going, "Ah goo, ah goo." So I just said, "Ah goo." Like agreeing with him in his language. He looked at me like, "You speak this language?" We're sitting there for hours just "ah goo." I just mimicked him because kids mimic their parents -- but its actually a lot of fun the other way around. Then I said, "Pa, Pa, Pa," and he'd just go, "Um, hum, Pa, Pa, Pa." They see you like using their words and it's oddly so exciting. From the second they were born to this day, I think you learn so much off kids -- if you're willing to be open and you don't close your mind and say, "Oh, I know how to be a parent." I always said to Lin that being a parent is the greatest ad-lib you're ever involved in. You make it up as you go along, you have no idea what the script is, you have no idea how these kids are going to turn out but if you're just with them a bit and listen to them a bit and let them talk to you instead of talking to them all the time, then natural things occur a bit more easily. We don't give them anything near the amount of credit they should have. They teach you in the end.
Considering those children are well into their 30s (or, in Heather's case, 40s) by now, without any of the usual celebrity kid episodes (i.e. getting into rehab by the time they're teens, bashing it out with photographers, writing tell-all Daddy Dearest or Mummy Dearest stories, etc.) and never complained about more than dad's annoying habit of tinkering on his guitar when everyone wanted to watch tv and Mum's striped socks, I'd say the method worked. This month there was a lovely article by Stella and Mary McCartney
about their mother and her photography (on the occasion of another collection of her photographs coming out) in Harper's, and their childhood memories present the other side of the above mentioned quotes. It's a good one. The new Linda photos printed in advance are great, too, btw; below the cut are some of John, and of McCartneys in various combinations. ( Demonstration of why dismissing Linda's photography gets me mad )