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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Scrubber Granny

No no not that kind of scrubber. The literal kind - Granny on hands and knees with scrubbing brush, cloth, bucket of water and (environmentally friendly of course) detergent, preparing for the arrival in two weeks of Alastair Sawday's inspector. Not that such a title mightn't bring more visits to her blog, visits from those people who arrive after clicking granny something as in Granny porn, expecting much more raunchy things. (Judging by her newly installed and interestingly informative site meter there are more than a few of those around....not that they stay l0ng: Granny's ?demure form of grannydom is not what they are after. Poor things.)

Still it's Granny's birthday today; and presents come in all forms, even merely in raised (if misplaced) statistics for her blog. Beloved took her out for a ?demure lunch and that will do her nicely too.

To get to less raunchy matters: Pedro Almodovar; as promised.

Some years back Granny took part in two of Graham Vick's community based opera productions in Birmingham (playing a mixture of bit parts from aged whore to psychotherapist to rather tipsy lady in a pink hat. And no, she did NOT sing.) Over weeks of rehearsal she watched with fascination idea brought to life: shape/order appearing from no shape/no order, from steps backward/forward, sideways, to afterthought to non-thought. She was reminded then of Indian creation myth - the Brahma breathing out a world from within his head, then breathing it back in again. She was reminded of it again on Wednesday watching the scenes shot on her favourite beach between an arc of sea and an arc of cliff; though obviously in this case the ideas had taken shape much more fully already: they have to if you've got to produce, organise, deal with a film crew, actors, extras, etc etc.

There are always surfers on that beach; sometimes there are wind surfers, sometimes there are kites, sometimes people playing beach tennis, taking part in surf school exercise, going for walks, sometimes there's a dog or two running around madly barking. But today - and it was really choreography as much as film-making - there they all were; the kites like butterflies, a myriad of them flying overhead, three huge wind surfer boards, the surf school stretching and bending, the ball players, the children, even the little dog (Granny thought this might be an accident, but no, there suddenly was its trainer, putting it on a lead) - and there was the film crew and the odd important actor followed around by someone with a sunshade and there was the director's chair and the sound men with their furry cylinders held high and the directors of the extras with their loudhailers - and there was the rather distinguished Mexican-American cinematographer in a loose striped shirt climbing a ladder to his camera and there came the crackly sound of the intercom phones and loud voices shouting instruction and there was Pedro himself in his little trademark straw hat, his white shoes, his striped t-shirt - tight enough to show all the bulges round his substantial middle- sitting in his director's chair, giving orders, displacing the camera man and climbing up to have a look through the view-finder, running down to the beach to instruct an actor, then at last breathing out as it were and setting everything in motion; over and over and over; bringing his world into life.

And such a beautiful life: the butterfly kites dipping and soaring, the choreographed wind surfers, the movers on the beach, the dog jumping and barking; but above all the sea, the cliff, the light, the parts even Pedro couldn't direct, the sun coming and going, the sudden, brilliant flare of turquoise and azure over the sea, the white surf, the rocky solidity of the cliffs changing colour in the changing light. Or maybe, turned Brahma for the day, he did direct it: 'Action, sun. Cut, waves. Try and make it livelier, sea....'

Lanzarote is beautiful - more beautiful than ever looks likely, in this film. Granny can't wait to see it: whatever happens God, she begs, let her live long enough (the same feeling she has when she sets out on a book of her own.)

Not surprising she managed little sleep the night after? All too much.

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