I'm not normally a great one for watching films but in present circumstances it is much easier than reading and so I have watched at least sic over the last few days. They are
Citizen Kane 1941
The Searchers 1956
Treasure Island 1972
Little Women 1994
Cadillac Records 2008
The secret life of Walter Mitty 2013
I watched Citizen Kane with one of my sons, both if us conscious of how lauded the film is. Clearly, for its time this was quite something and is still worth a watch as it seeks to make head or tail of the mysteriously driven newspaper tycoon, played by the 25 year old Orson Welles. Welles also leads in Treasure Island, with a quite a different take on Long John Silver to that of Robert Newton in the Disney version of the previous year. The discovery of the treasure is a high point.
I must have seen John Ford's western The Searchers before but I can't remember sitting through it as a connected whole. One can see how the film with John Wayne (who says That'll be the day several times) in the lead role has been eventually so esteemed and influential. For a fifties film it has quite a modern feel.
Little Women with Wynona Rider and Christian Bale et al was fun. I generally enjoy literary stories of that sort. Ben Stiller's Walter Mitty was a little disappointing. It has some very good moments but doesn't quite cohere. The message - little people are important - is a bit corny and the film seemed to be aware of that and so fought shy of coming out with it strongly enough. One of the best bits is when Sean Penn fixes a snow leopard in his camera lens up in the Himalayas and decided the moment is more important than the picture.
My favourite film of these six was the history of Chess Records, which I was vaguely familiar with. It simply takes us through the founding of the company by Leonard Chess with Muddy Waters, through the discovery of Chuck Berry, Etta James (Beyonce), etc, ending with Chess's death by heart attack (an obvious reminder to me that I might not be sitting here now - which also came with the two hour biopic about comedian Tommy Cooper, Not like that, also watched recently). The often squalid and crazy lifestyles of truly talented people is always a sobering theme.
We also watched Hinterland last night, enjoying the Aberysytwyth and district backdrops.