A challenging weekend….. sports, movies, noise….


Sports wise this last weekend has been very challenging. In fact in many different ways this weekend has been a bit difficult.

The Ashes in Australia are being fought over and England is suffering horribly.  The fans are disgusted. It seems that on top of the bad play a lot of bickering is going on between the two teams on the field and that’s not good either. Australia as a team is happy, Australia as a country is happy, but the media and the players are happier than most as they are slagging off the England players and country something rotten. Needless to say I am sure the England players are giving back as good as they get… On the field words are being exchanged, the ICC is imposing reviews and fines but it’s not enough. Not a happy situation by any stretch of the imagination.

As for the World Cup draw England has Italy in its group and Mexico has Brazil.  I would say that Mexico has it much harder than England, since Brazil is home to the World Cup and on a roll. England is crying its bad luck and worrying about Italy like it was the end of the world. Mexico is saying, ok, we have the Brazilians, and in their own country… never mind. It wasn’t long ago that Mexico thought they weren’t even going to qualify …
And then I had to cope with noise. The neighbours. One of my neighbours who, to be fair, hasn’t been here for absolutely ages, had leant his house to his kids, or his nephews, or his nieces, or his grandchildren, or his friends, whoever… and they were making a racket. Music all night Saturday night, not too loud as it happens but the drunken shrieking and shouting was pretty loud at 3 am and on Sunday the music was loud, loud, loud…. as from 10 am, and we’ve had trance, pop, rock’n’roll, Mexican, English, American, and who knows from where else, electronic, heavy metal, romantic, you name it, we’ve had it. I’m trying to prove to myself that I can sit in my garden and ignore it, I’m trying to read but it’s difficult.

We went to the Cine Morelos yesterday to see one of the international films that have been selected for the 55th version of this event, the international Muestra de Cine. A movie called Pietá, directed by Kim Ki Duk, a South Korean film director, for which he won the Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival last year. It was a very heavy film, really well directed and the actors were amazing but the theme was vengeance and so it was pretty heavy duty.

On IMDB it says this: “A loan shark is forced to reconsider his violent lifestyle after the arrival of a mysterious woman claiming to be his long-lost mother”. 

On the Guardian website I just found this: “Taking its name from Michelangelo's statue of Mary cradling the body of Christ, Pieta is an anguished religious allegory, focusing on the antics of a brutish loan-shark (Lee Jung-jin) and the woman who arrives out of nowhere, claiming to be his long-lost mother. Refusing to believe her, the loan shark promptly severs his own toe and orders the woman to eat it as a test of her love. Kim's film was described as the "shock film" of this year's event by the Italian paper La Repubblica and polarised critics at the preview screening. The director later dedicated his movie to "humankind, in a situation of a deep crisis in extreme capitalism”. What can I say but that it was very heavy and very violent. It was extraordinary, however, that the violence is not actually shown on screen. You just know it’s going to happen, it does happen and then you see the consequences.  The film is so powerful you feel as if you have seen all the ghastly parts but you don’t actually do so.

We emerged from the cinema feeling a bit exhausted and found the Festival de la Nochebuena in full swing outside in the street. We had imagined it to be a festival of poinsettias but it wasn't. There was a stage, a trio playing music, stalls with arts and crafts and food and drink and lots of people. All this outside the Cathedral and a wedding going on in the middle of all this. Guests arriving in long dresses and DJs and having to park miles away and walk through the Festival. I guess the bride and groom weren't too amused! Anyway, it was a nice cheerful and normal way to spend the next hour after such a harrowing film!


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