We watched two seasonal films on Christmas Eve, first The Dead (1987), then Scrooge, the musical with the late Albert Finney (1970). They’re considerably different in terms of intent, but there is much to be said for both. It’s hard to imagine either being produced today.
The Dead is a faithful and thought-provoking rendering of James Joyce’s enduring short story, and it was director John Huston’s final work.
Finney is a colossus in Scrooge, appearing in almost every scene; the songs won’t be familiar to contemporary listeners, but they’re effective. Scrooge has been Diana’s go-to for a long time, and she has converted me. The Dead probably won’t be a film I watch every year, but I’ll return to it, and reading the original novella is a must for me in the coming weeks.
All in all, it was a quiet Christmas Eve at home with my soulmate and our cats; in a world filled with idiotic clamor, the evening was a respite and I’m thankful for it.
The song “I Hate People” from Scrooge speaks to me impressively, perhaps because it reminds me of our local political chat, as directed to the vicinity of NA’s ruling elites.
Scavengers and sycophants and flatterers and fools
Pharisees and parasites and hypocrites and ghouls
Calculating swindlers, prevaricating frauds
Perpetrating evil as they roam the earth in hordes
Feeding on their fellow men
Reaping rich rewards
Contaminating everything they see
Corrupting honest me like me
Humbug! Poppycock! Balderdash! Bah!
I hate people! I hate people!