Saturday, 16 January 2016

I was listening to Alan Rickman's

voice last night. Our news service had a short segment about him and they played that wonderful scene in the Harry Potter films where Snape is walking slowly through the middle of the assembled students and asking the person responsible for the deed to "step forward now". 
It's a marvellous piece of acting. Every word is enunciated perfectly. The pace is exquisite. The timing between the last two words is exactly right. 
Yes, the man could act - and that voice was magnificent.
I am no great one for live theatre or films. The last film I saw was "The King's Speech". I have meant to go several times since then but haven't managed it. I wanted to see the "Theory of Everything" but didn't. Someone has since loaned me the DVD and I still haven't found the time to sit there and watch it. Yes, I know - I should. The problem is I'd rather read a book.
But I did see the first two Harry Potter films. I was outside doing the inevitable watering later last night when a neighbour stopped and mentioned Rickman's death. Her attitude was quite different from mine.
"Why would anyone bother to put so much effort into a film for kids?" she asked.
My stunned look surprised her. She went on, "It was only a film for kids. It's not as if it really mattered. Those films were going to be blockbusters whoever acted in them." I may not be a film addict but I do know that even very young children are aware of good and bad acting. Children deserve the best. They will watch the best again and again. They will read the best again and again. It's why my cousin could recite "The Gruffalo". She had to read every night for weeks on end. 
I tried saying this to the neighbour. She disagreed. I left it. Her children have had an overload of Disney films and cartoons. They don't read a lot. They don't have the same capacity to discriminate as Ms Whirlwind or the two boys who live opposite her have. Those three have had a much greater variety of experience. 
And yes, they appreciate good acting. One of those boys told me yesterday, "He was brilliant as Snape. He sort of made you feel scared."
It's been a while since he saw those films but the memory has stuck. What a legacy to leave a child! 

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