Friday, January 21, 2011

"Friday Night Frolic" - Going Home

It's snowing again, and the wind stirs the crystal confection into dramatic peaks against the sliding glass door, like the thick froth of the steamed milk in my cappuccino, only colder. I don't know why, but all this wintry weather and snow drifting makes me think of the ocean and its undulating waves. Peaceful, calm. Perhaps it's just longing for a warmer atmosphere (even though I do love the winter).

Which brings me to the movie, Local Hero (1983). I don't mean to push soundtracks hereafter all it's Friday night, and this is a Frolic, your supposed to be out whooping it up, shaking your derrière—but with this weather keeping me (and the kids) hemmed in at home, movies are on the forefront. There's only so much homework and projects and reading one can do. 

So I return to Local Hero, which is another one of those films in which the soundtrack (Mark Knopfler—need I say more?) outsold the film. The movie's instrumental theme song, Going Home (as well as the other scores), is a stunning, emotional and mellifluous piece of work by Knopfler. In this case, however, the movie is every bit as good as the soundtrack. This film is a favorite of mine, it speaks to humanity in the simplest way. Its premise: big Corporate trying to swallow up small, Scottish coastal town for its own gain. But what follows is extraordinary, in a very ordinary way. Ordinary characters doing ordinary things. With all this ordinariness it may seem not worth your while. But it is. The film is pointed, quirky and endearing. The humor, subtle, dry and wry. And Knopfler's accompanying music makes it hard to keep the eyes dry.

I won't give it all away, in the event you haven't seen it. I'll say only that it's about change, how our experienceswhich need not be profound—change and transform us. And it has one of the sweetest bar scenes of all time ("I'll make a good Gordon, Gordon"). I've watched this story often over the years, and each time I discover within it something new.

Here, the profusely charming Victor breaking hearts:

This gem of a move and Knopfler's orchestration are so worth Going Home for.


  1. hmmm i think i might download that movie..:)

  2. somehow the clip makes me think of ned devine and i have fond memories of old ned.

  3. I absolutely love this film although I haven't seen it for ages. Great recommendation. Thanks.

    Also - had forgotten how powerful/atmospheric that soundtrack is.

  4. " our experiences—which need not be profound—change and transform us."
    It is one of my favorite themes.

    An award awaits you at Aging Gratefully.

  5. Added to my 'must see' list :)

  6. Thanks for reminding me - definitely worth seeing again. How strange to see a young Peter Capaldi.

  7. I remember going to see this at the cinema years and years and years ago. It is a nice bit iof whimsy. I remember that whoever directed it had a thing about Burt Lancaster so insisted on him performing in it despite the fact he blew half the budget just on signing Lancaster up (no probably not literally half - I can't remember - but it was a lot.

    Nioe c blog by the way. I like :D

  8. Maria- I think you'll enjoy it.

    Billy P- Well then, you should have a look at his film...

    SF- There is so much detail in this movie, that impossible to catch it all on just a few looks.

    June- Bill Forsyth knows how to work the theme. Thanks so much for the award, and congratulations to you!

    SDB- It's sweet. Welcome back to the blogosphere.

    Pat- PC is such a terrific actor, and he was so funny in this film.

    JS- Thank you. I'll have a look.

    White Rabbit- I hadn't heard that bit about Bill Forsyth (the director) before. But I can understand him having a "thing" for Burt. And as it turned out, BL played a perfect Happer. ;)

  9. I have a hard time sitting still for movies at home but it sounds like one I would like. I'll have to look for it.

  10. Ellen - it's worth the watch. If you happen to see it, let me know what you think.