Last night we went to the cinema for the second time in less than two months. In my retirement planning budget I have assumed we will go to see one film a month, an estimate that my daughter thinks is way over the top. Prior to our trip to see Blade Runner 2049 on 12th October the last film we saw in a cinema was, er, (and I had to look this up) I, Daniel Blake, on 30th October 2016.
But that is the point, I am taking my life back. I'm reclaiming the old days when I went to a cinema at least once a month, sometimes more often. I may renew my theatre membership too: plays, operas, ballets, musicals. Just like the old days; before the kids and the twelve plus hour working days.
Maybe my recent choice of films has not been the best. I don't mean the quality of the films themselves, they were all good, but the story lines: austerity Britain, dystopian near future and then, yesterday, Death of Stalin.
Death of Stalin portrays, in black comedy-satire, the chaos following the sudden death of Stalin. An incompetent, authoritarian central committee at first in denial and then reeling from shock, doesn't know whether to be terrified or relieved. It breaks into factions, its members conspiring against each other for supremacy or simply to survive. Who to trust, what to do, who to blame, who is the most plausible scapegoat, who is next for the bullet? Missing from it all, any plan for the country they are supposed to be leading.
It may have been 64 years ago under a totalitarian communist regime but, baring the murder and brutality which clearly is not an insignificant difference, it was easy to see parallels with the current chaos and division in the UK government following the EU referendum.
Substitute members of the soviet central committee with the Tory cabinet: factions of both trying to plot their way out of something they hadn't agreed with and knew was wrong but had spent years (or months) fervently supporting. The policy knots they tie themselves in and the convoluted justifications they contrive to prove to each other they are loyal to the cause (and to themselves, not hypocrites) while plotting a U turn and trying to save their own skins, are pathetically amusing. If only the consequences were not so serious.
I haven't seen any of Iannucci's other political satires but I'm guessing they are variations on the same theme in which the leading participants are only interested in one upmanship and furthering their own careers. With the example of real life, what else could it be?
On second thoughts maybe it was the right film to start my Brexit inspired retirement.