First, a quick word about Hamilton. Thanks to everyone for a great turnout during this pandemic. Several years after its original barnstorming debut, the Disney+ release seemed to capture the imagination almost as strongly, and we had over 25 people in the backyard. Hamilton lends itself to event culture. I had been somewhat blasé about it over the years, but found myself getting more and more excited as our screening date drew near. And it certainly delivers. Throughout I found myself drawing comparisons - all favorable - with another sung historical treatise (and one of my favorites) Les Misèrables, particularly the way that recurring themes and phrases are used throughout to bring forward emotions. In my movie watching I love excitement, emotion, humor, visual splendor, but above all I appreciate a movie that is clever - through it's structure or it’s writing it assembles an experience from which you can walk away feeling a bit smarter. Hamilton has powerful songs, strong and meaningful lyrics, excellent staging and some great performances, all of which might contribute to people overlooking just how clever it is.
On to Saturday, and Emma, which happens to be the only movie in this season which I have not previously seen, and therefore cannot offer much in the way of what to expect. I’ve never been a huge fan of Jane Austen and her ilk, but can bear costume drama on screen much easier than on the written page. And I’d much rather consume one of these tales in one go through a 2 hour chunk on the movie screen, than over 12 episodes on PBS Masterpiece. As far as this one goes, I expect it to be quintessentially English, featuring familiar faces from British TV - Anya Taylor-Joy from Peaky Blinders, Gemma Whelan from Killing Eve and Game of Thrones, Josh O'Connor from The Durrells in Corfu, and Rupert Graves, who at one point early in his career seemed to ONLY ever appear in costume dramas. In addition to the wonderful Bill Nighy, you will no doubt not miss the appearance on screen of Miranda Hart, whose shrill, cut-glass English accent does not stop her being Linda's absolutely favorite comedienne. So there’s that.
Join us on Saturday for a jolly 19th Century English comedy of manners. Start time will be after 8.30, as it's still too light to start any earlier.