FFF

French Film Festival Aotearoa 2021 - Event Cinemas
Promotional booklet

Today is Thursday June 17th. Kia ora katoa.

FFF. Faith, family and friends. French Film Festival. Fabulous figs and feijoas. The eye-catching promotional booklet was delivered as part of the Dom Post one day, thus ensuring that more of us attended. This booklet is rather beautiful: it features a kereru, and the Arc de Triomphe, on a red background.

I went to another French film on Tuesday, this time about De Gaulle. I found it very interesting. It focussed on the early days of World War II, and on his family. He came across as an intelligent person, and a loving husband and father. He also had a daughter with what we would now call “special needs”. That I didn’t know. He was a good general, and interested in politics. He ensured that France, despite its capitulation to the German invaders, had a seat at the post-war “table”, joining with the UK, the US and Russia in post-war government in Germany and Austria, and the Nuremberg Trials: France was one of the four allied powers immediately after the war.

 I went to another film yesterday, but this one didn’t work for me. Today I discussed my reactions with others who had seen the films, and found that indeed some films are disappointing. Most are wonderful. The dialogue is quite slow, and I can almost follow it in French.

Today I am very tired. I shouldn’t have gone to the movie yesterday! I almost didn’t go. But I guess it’s good to know that not every movie works. This Film Festival has been very well marketed. The rather beautiful booklet was distributed with the Dom post.  Films are shown at the Penthouse, the Embassy, and the Lighthouse Theatres at Petone and Wigan Street (off Cuba Street). Some of the films are very popular – to see De Gaulle I had to sit in the front row at Petone!   You can book online, of course. Some showings are booked out. I suspect there is a large contingent of older folk from the Bob Scott Retirement Home in Petone attending The Lighthouse Cinema in Petone.

Activities have been quite rewarding this week, too. Tai chi, as usual was marvellous on Tuesday, although one of the leaders raced through the flexibility and balance set (and missed a few steps). There’s no rush.  Last Tuesday’s was the second to last class for Term two, and the prices are going up next term. It’s still a very reasonable deal, however.

Hymn singing on Wednesday morning was great, too. Very enjoyable. It’s nice to sing in the organ loft.  Afterwards I posted a parcel to my grandson in the US (postage cost slightly more than the present itself, although I was prepared for that). The kind gentleman there offered to help me complete the customs form, but I’ve done it before and so had the information with me. Afterwards I put some more money on my Snapper card, and went to see another film. Vienna is a beautiful city, but the plot, with all its twists and turns, didn’t grab me.

Afterwards, I made my way home. I go to Wellington Railway Station, only to find that the next bus to Churton Park had been cancelled. The message board was hard to read: it would say 1 Churton Park 14 mins and then flash CAN across the time, so it was a bit confusing. I caught a Johnsonville bus which went via Khandallah and then did a huge trek around Broadmeadows, and I got off at the Johnsonville Library. Sadly, the number 19e bus which goes along my street had been cancelled too, so I rang JD for a lift home (and he obliged).

So what’s happening? The vaccination news here is confusing. Everyone will be eligible from the end of July, but over 60’s are to receive priority. What about Group 3 (which includes us)? No mention, from Dr Bloomfield. The Johnsonville Medical Centre on its website says don’t contact us, we’ll contact you. They had said it would be after Queen’s Birthday Weekend. That was after the end of May, originally from May. It now seems Group 3 isn’t a high priority, and it isn’t, compared with South Auckland, MIQ staff, airport staff and medical staff. I haven’t heard yet if my daughter in Hawkes Bay has had her first jab, although I’ve given consent for it. We continue to wait, although not quite so patiently. I have received an email from the Prime Minister, which is not totally reassuring.

In the UK, final relaxation of restrictions has been postponed four weeks, a sensible move, really: the Delta variant of Covid 19 is spreading there at an alarming rate.

In the US, opening up continues apace; it seems different states had very different guidelines for what was permitted.  The numbers vaccinated are disappointingly  low. The Delta variant is spreading – vaccinated people are much less likely to get Covid 19, it seems. In Georgia, where my eldest son lives, there are still many cases of the coronavirus, and quite a few deaths. This doesn’t seem to be a worry. I guess the US is a big place. It’s a huge contrast to New Zealand and Australia, where the odd community case is a cause for concern, potentially invoking a localised lock down and pausing of the trans-Tasman travel bubble. Lock downs do work, despite the feeble protests.

It’s now Saturday. JD and I went to see another FFF offering, a remastering of Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless. This wasn’t in the distributed catalogue, but on the French Film Festival’s website. I was able to book online last night, but nevertheless, the theatre was full. Almost everyone was eating and drinking.

The film was made released in 1960, and was in black and white, with Jean-Paul Belmondo and the wonderful Jean Seberg, who, I think, looks just a tad like I used to look  back then.  I don’t particularly like her clothes; they smoke all the time! But Paris in 1960 is wonderful, and so reminiscent of our first trip there, from the old-fashioned lift, the tiny bedroom, the lack of road markings on the street, and the (always) wonderful Cathedral of Notre Dame. It’s all delicious. The tortured dialogue is reminiscent of the era too – does she really love him, or not? The film is quite sexist, too from today’s perspective, but I could see how it was a landmark then.

Afterwards, the theatre was really busy. It would have been nice to have lunch in town, but JD had left his phone behind, so we went home for that, and then had lunch at a local café. It was a very cold day, and wet, but there was a warm gas fire at the café, which looked like a wooden fire.

Yesterday I went to a pre-Diabetes workshop with a dietician. I found it frustrating, really; sadly, I didn’t speak up about my total lack of interest in cooking and total lack of energy, having cooked, to then package cooked food for freezing, and do battle with the freezer.  I have tried not to scan labels on food, or be obsessed with sugar content.  It was really frustrating, actually. I learnt, to my horror, that fruit intake should be reduced. That one should pour the juice off from canned fruit. Bollocks, I say, I still feel inclined to eat what I feel I can tolerate.

There must still be things one can enjoy. Nga mihi.

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