One bonobo's view of the world...and stuff.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Freedom for Tooting!

I watched C4's 'comedy drama' The Trial of Tony Blair last night. I didn't expect to be as impressed ad I was. A lot of it was quite vicious. I especially liked the inclusion of the Brian Haw character. There were some killer lines, a couple of which I want to talk about later...but first...

Acting (again)

In this post, I touched on the difference between acting and impersonation. TToTB had two remarkable central performances by Robert Lindsay (as Blair) and Peter Mullan* (as Gordon Brown). Neither of them look much like their characters. But they didn't try for convincing impersonations - instead they managed to capture the essence of their characters. Their body language and vocal cadences were spot on - I kept thinking "I've never noticed that before, but that's just what Blair/Brown is like." Bravo!

The Killer Lines.

These lines are applicable far beyond their context. I'll be quoting them again and again.

Anyway...the context is that Tony has walked away from his memoir publishing deal on 'a matter of principle' (ie the editor can't believe his self-justificatory god-bothering shite) and has handed back his enormous advance. Cherie says to him:

"It's not enough to feel good with youself. "

and then:

"You can't lead you life by moral instinct. You need some analysis"

I love the second one especially. It gets back to his conference justification of his self-delusion:

"You can criticise me for being wrong, but you can't criticise me for believing
I was right."

No. It's not enough to go to war on the belief that there's a threat. You have to ask "What if I'm wrong? How can I test this out? What's the evidence?" Cognitive Behaviour Therapy 101. The whole basis of Rationalism.

*A most excellent man. Cannes bst actor for Ken Loach's My Name is Joe. Director of The Magdalene Sisters and Orphans (filmed round the corner from were I lived at the time). Leading donator to the SSP. Goes to the same gym as my wife.


Woodpigeon said...

It was a wonderful comedy. Very understated, but quite vicious in its barbs. The GB character was truly Machiavellian!

My favourite moment was "well, they might make you President". TB thinks for a few seconds "No, of course not, you have to be born there to be a president". I cracked up on that one.

puddlejumper said...

I loved it as well. I especially liked Brown's sidekick "Tommy" who had more than a passing resemblance to a certain Mr Sheridan I thought.

Of course, if the real Mr Sheridan were to object and take the matter to court I'm sure the judge would be quick to point out that Tommy swore under oath that he was a much hairier man than the actor concerned.


Edward the Bonobo said...

Ah...Poor Tommy. I bumped into him and Gail in Sainsburys wheile I was doing my Christmas food shop. They seemed happy enough together. I guess some peoples' marriage can accommodate a little extra-curricular activity. (Hush my mouth!)

Of course, I was glad he won his case. However - the sadness of it is that he's blown apart the SSP. I've voted SSP the last few elections. Once upon a time I was a Labour activist (techncally a member of a cooperative society affiliated to the labour party) - but never again.

Edward the Bonobo said...

btw - he really is a peculiar shade of orange!