at the gate
I woke up a few months ago in a shower of unpaid bills. I’d forgotten to top up my current account. All I felt was a kind of cheerful disappointment with myself. I walked around for a bit thinking mildly, “You’d better get a grip.” Then I began to see the terror of it: a lifetime’s anxieties exchanged for a state of warm dissociation interrupted by brief moments of politicised rage. Later I went to see Haneke’s Amour at the Gate in Notting Hill. The Gate is a smallish cinema, maybe a hundred seats. Eighty of them were occupied by couples over sixty, all acting as if they had arrived recently from an Anita Brookner novel. That was a lot more disturbing than the film. It’s a wonderful film, but I didn’t feel I belonged in that demographic, or that I’d gone to see it because it was in some way addressed to that demographic. To watch it for those reasons would seem to me to rigidify the meaning of the film and limit its scope.