We were fortunate enough to have an exhibition of some of the works of Vincent Van Gogh come to the NGV this year, which has made me expedite my post on my visit to the museum that is dedicated to his works – the main reason being that I really can’t write a post about the exhibition at the NGV (the National Gallery of Victoria, which in my opinion is by far the best art gallery in Australia) without first writing a post about my experience at the titular museum in Amsterdam. The problem was that you aren’t actually allowed to take photos in the museum, the main reason being that because he is such a popular artist the museum is going to be crowded and if everybody were to stop to take photos of the paintings then it is basically going to ruin it for everybody. Fortunately the museum actually have posted all of their paintings on the web, so even though I left my notebook in my bag, I am fortunate enough to be able to simply go to their website and use that, as well as the notes I made on my mobile phone, as inspiration for this post.
It seems as if there is a resurgence of interest in the plays of George Bernard Shaw, though when I say resurgence I am referring to having seen three plays of his over the past three years, which is significant because I pretty much haven’t seen any of his plays previously. That probably has a lot to do with not actually knowing about him, or having any appreciation of his work prior to purchasing a copy of Pygmalion and proceeding to read it. The other problem is that the lack of options when it comes to theatre in Australia, but then again it does teach me to keep my eyes open. However, the stage on screen series that are now being played at various cinemas around Australia helps a lot as well. So, when I discovered that Saint Joan was going to be one of the films shown I took the day off work, made my way down to the Palace Brighton Bay, and began to treat myself to another play that I am not expecting to see again any time soon.
I must admit that when I first saw this film years ago, back in the days that I was in Youth Group, and had a pretty one-eyed view of the world, I would have probably have had a heart attack upon realising that not only would I be writing a blog post on this film, but I would also be praising the film as well. I guess when one does have a pretty black and white view of the world and is blinded by the fact that people aren’t supposed to like Madonna (despite the fact that she still sells lots and lots of records, and people still flock to her concerts). However, here I am, and I guess the reason that I now see this film quite differently is because with age, comes wisdom.
I should start off by saying that it is a real shame that this film flopped as badly as it did namely because not only do I tend to quite enjoy films by Guy Ritchie, but he also has this ability of adding his own personality into his productions. While his first forays into the world of mainstream cinema tended to be stories that he had created, of late he has been exploring more popular topics, in particular Sherlock Holmes. In fact his portrayal of everybody’s favourite Consulting Detective was the impetus for me actually going back to the original works to see what they were like. However, I will leave any further comment on Sherlock Holmes for another day as today it is King Arthur’s turn.