I was listening to the radio and hearing how other people were filling their time during lockdown. Several had taken to watching films, sometimes for hours on end. One said she was watching whole re-runs of the Sopranos, and Mad Men. I thought it surely couldn’t be a good thing to watch something for hours on end, and her choices wouldn’t have been mine.
Yet I did start out doing the same thing. I wanted to see The Crown on Netflix, so I signed up and started watching. I did not like it. I did not feel it was a good thing for people who are still alive to be portrayed in ways that were arbitrary and fictionalised, thus creating a false image to millions who know nothing about them, especially when those people have no means of redress. I know there are many who find this a very good series.
I then chose a film I knew nothing about called The Queen’s Gambit, and I was totally hooked. I started at 9pm and watched it right through till about 2am, I was conscious of the lateness of the hour and that it was getting cold, but still I watched. So that was my introduction to Netflix.
Because there are so few films on the BBC that I want to watch now, with a few exceptions, I continued to watch Netflix, mostly films related to Paris and one French film, which was very funny.
A friend introduced me to Yunus Emre, a Turkish film about a 13th century Sufi poet, a very slow and very beautiful film about a judge who was sent to a small village in Anatolia and there came across the Sheikh of the local Lodge and fell under his spell. I also fell under the spell of the Sheikh, who was played by a remarkable actor. I refrained from watching it all at once, and restricted myself to one episode a day. It became my ‘daily bread’ of wisdom, forty five episodes. It also gave me an understanding of Islam which I had not had before, so that now I have much more respect for the Muslim faith.
That’s a brief account of my watching experience during lockdown.
Antony Gormley recently appeared on Channel 4 News talking to Jon Snow about his ideas for creating art. I believe the art work can now be found on The Great Art Exhibition.
Here is another photo of one of my drawings which I have put up in my window. It is a copy of a drawing of a guide dog called Spencer. I was moved by his beautiful soulful eyes.