Sunday, 13 July 2008

I Wish Meryl Streep Had Been in Cineworld the Other Night

I sometimes feel sorry for artists and other creative people. They do their creative thing and then release it out into the world without really ever being conscious of the effect their work has on people. Just think of the lonely artists, convinced of the rightness of what they are doing, who die before their genius is recognised. I doubt Van Gogh, for example, is sat looking down with a smug expression saying "I told you I was good".

And even those who do get rave reviews must sometimes wish they could stand behind someone in a gallery and hear what they say about their painting, or perhaps hear someone stifle a sob or snort a mouthful of tea onto the pages of the book they are reading on the train.

The other night, as readers of my last post will know, we went to see Mamma Mia. I am fairly familiar with the British way of watching a film: sitting politely, being entertained and then leaving as soon as the lights come signifying the end. On Saturday night I experienced a different type of cinema going: people applauded as if the entertainers could hear them, they cheered in a way redolent of pantomime and danced in their seats (in fact I am sure that if one person had danced in the aisle it would have set off the whole cinema). Then at the end, when the lights came up nobody moved: they all stayed to enjoy the final songs that played over the credits, wanting to wring every last drop of enjoyment out of a fabulous night's entertainment.

What made it so special? I don't know whether it was the audience - a friend told me today that Bollywood films are often like this, with enthusiastic audiences who love to join in. I'm guessing there must be something in the film that helped us polite Brits lose our usual reserve. Perhaps it was witnessing Pierce Brosnan who clearly couldn't sing but didn't care - he just belted them out like any one of us at a karaoke night down the pub. Or perhaps it was the joyous irresistible temptation to sing along to any one of the myriad hits by Abba.

Yes, I would have loved Meryl to have been stood at the back to see what she and her co-stars had done.

Oh, and perhaps also so I could have introduced myself and told her I had loved her for twenty five years since she was The French Lieutenant's Woman.


Katherine said...

Sigh, she is WONDERFUL, isn't she! I've loved her ever since I saw her and Robert De Niro in "Falling in Love" ... mind you, let me hasten to add I preferred De Niro. If you haven't seen this moving little film, I highly recommend you do. It's hard to find, tho'. Mrs Crofty will enjoy it with you, I think.

Katherine said...

Saw Mamma Mia last week. Fabulous, and such fun! Thanks for the post recommending it!