Thursday, 7 November 2013

A Painful Time For Marion, Summer In February In Framlingham And Gravity In Cineworld

Marion had a tooth abscess a couple of weeks ago. She went to the dentist who extracted a wisdom tooth and in a couple of days she was well again. Unfortunately her good health was short lived as she started to have terrible pain in the other side of her mouth last weekend. I don't think I've ever known her be in such pain. Her mouth started to swell up but, as it was weekend, she couldn't do much other than take painkillers and wait for the dentist's surgery to open on Monday. Monday came and we managed to arrange an emergency appointment. I sat in the downstairs waiting room as Marion was treated but even downstairs I heard her scream as another wisdom tooth was pulled. She was in terrible pain for hours afterwards but I am pleased to say that it has subsided now and her swollen face has returned to normality. This tooth infection followed an expensive course of oral hygiene treatments over the last couple of weeks. Whether the two were related or not is anybody's guess. As the first abscess was before the treatment I suppose it's just a coincidence.

Last night we went to FramSoc the society run by Framlingham College for pupils' parents and Framlingham residents. We've been to some great FramSoc talks in the last few months and this was another excellent event. The speaker was Jonathan Smith who wrote the novel Summer In February  and went on to write the screenplay when it was adapted for the screen. We've not read the book but we've seen the film which tells the true story of acclaimed artist Sir Alfred Munnings' first marriage. The short-lived relationship, which involved a love triangle with Munnings' friend Gilbert resulted in the tragedy played out so brilliantly in the film.

Jonathan, a schoolteacher by profession, told us how, through school contacts he met Gilbert's son, heard the story and was so gripped that he felt compelled to write about it. School contacts also resulted in Jonathan coming to Framlingham college; headmaster Paul Taylor told us how he and Jonathan were colleagues at Tonbridge School. A surprise for the audience was a passage from the artist's autobiography which described his unhappy time as a fourteen year old in (where else?) Framlingham College. Further school connections were also involved; Jonathan was so impressed by the teenage Dan Stevens when he was a pupil at Tonbridge that he kept in touch and Dan made a pact to play Gilbert if the novel ever came to the screen.

Jonathan was an excellent, warm and genial speaker and I imagine that he must have been an incredible teacher. He didn't hold out much hope for me as a novelist though. He said that the greatest artists tend to have had troubled childhoods and troubled, rebellious, teenage years; my life has been pretty happy from the start so my book (which I have just had professionally edited and will be ready to upload to Amazon soon) won't stand a chance. 

Talking of not standing a chance, picture this scenario - you are an astronaut out in space fixing some equipment on your space station when the debris from a huge explosion comes into your orbit. This is what George Clooney and Sandra Bullock encounter in Gravity, the film we went to today at the fabulous IMAX screen in Cineworld Ipswich. To tell you what happens next would spoil the film for you as it's certainly better to see it without knowing. The effects are spectacular - as good as anything I've ever seen in the cinema - and IMAX enhances these brilliantly. Bullock and Clooney give good solid performances although they don't engage the viewer like Tom Hanks did in the recent Captain Phillips. People are raving about this film. It's certainly entertaining and well worth seeing (especially if you can get to an IMAX screening) but Oscar material? Other than for special effects, I doubt it.