As the evening sets in (it seems to get dark so early these days), and we prepare ourselves for a cosy night of viewing, eating and sipping some wine, I’m sitting here at the computer thinking of what to write in today’s blog. It is, as I have mentioned before, autumn here in the southern hemisphere, a time to nurture and nourish, a time to make plans, a time to enjoy the harvests of this time of year.
It also seems to be the season when our diaries have filled themselves with all sorts of things to look forward to and hopefully enjoy – dance, theatre, cinema, comedy – yes, the season to nurture our cultural lives in preparation for the winter and nourish our brains with new ideas. This weekend we’ve seen two things, vastly different, both monitoring social change in different ways. On Friday we went to the Circa Theatre to see Joyful and Triumphant, a play by Robert Lord, first performed in 1992 at Circa’s original base in the city. The play covers the lives of the Bishop family over forty years on Christmas Days from 1949 to 1989. It was both funny and sad and raised interesting points about changes in attitudes, in particular about unmarried mothers. It also made me realise that I have got used to Christmas being in summer! We hadn’t been to see a play for ages, and it made a nice change for a Friday night.
So to Saturday, and to the cinema to see Ingrid Bergman In Her Own Words (or Jag är Ingrid in the original Swedish), shown as part of the autumn events organised by the New Zealand Film Festival. It was a really interesting documentary, using Bergman’s own film footage (she loved to film family and life on the film set), her diaries and letters as well as interviews with her children, to build up her story. Directed by Stig Björkman, the film is a portrait of the actress and her life that both engages and absorbs. It isn’t just a film for fans or cinephiles either: it is an interesting documentary about her life and how society has changed in its attitudes, like the play, to unmarried mothers.
And as the house fills with the smell of apples, pears and cinnamon in preparation for a crumble base, we turn our thoughts to this season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and contemplate the days ahead. Monday is Anzac day and a holiday, so we have two days ahead to enjoy the season.