Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Song of Lunch

I do not read enough poetry. I blame misspent youth, unfocused education, uncritical reading skill. I do love words however, and wordplay. Storytellers hold me in thrall. Who needs television when a story is told in pictures?

Last Sunday, PBS aired the Christopher Reid poem, The Song of Lunch starring Alan Richman and Emma Thompson. If you missed it, kick yourself, then make amends. Find when it will replay. Stay up late, tape it if you must or watch it on line here, but please do not miss it.

Says PBS:

"He," the failed poet and unnamed copy editor at a publishing house, eagerly makes his way through London to meet up with his old flame 15 years after the end of their affair. He arrives to find their kitschy old haunt Zanzotti's now upscale and trendy, having changed with the times. But he is steadfastly unchanged, and he is bitter, adding Zanzotti's to a long list of perceived betrayals and abandonments.

In contrast, the unnamed "she" sweeps into the restaurant, matching its pace and glowing with luxury and tranquility. Married to a successful and respected author, she has not, like him, been ravaged by time; neither is she vulnerable to the temptation of wine, while he is by now well on his way to drunk. Was he hoping their lunch would be prelude to a sexual liaison? Was she hoping for reconciliation or forgiveness? He opens a second bottle, the recriminations fly, and lunch is served.

The story is a "What if", a situation not unknown to the wistful, the lonely, the unhappy or viewers of the "I Hate Men Channel". The narrative is mostly HIS inner dialog. Snape and Emma have a magical chemistry, the story is mesmerizing, the poetry lyrical.



Mom on the Run said...

I have Masterpiece Theatre set up as a series recording (the dvr reads Classic, Mystery and Contemporary as the same thing) so I am often surprised by something great I never knew I wanted to watch. This was one of those things.

Anonymous said...

arrhhh...aaaah...exquisite agony...sat here and watched the whole engrossing tantalizing thing online, once is not enough, like you say, the words are so gorgeous but they go by so fast, there's no capturing any of them, those two are sublime....whew...many many thanks, Sir.


Toad said...

I'm trying to find a practical way of recording the voice track on CD for our drive. I'd willing skip the video. I may just end up pointing a web cam at the on line showing.

I'm so happy you enjoyed it.

Lucindaville said...

Fortunately, I saw it in time to TIVO. Lovely.

Anonymous said...

"I'm trying to find a practical way of recording the voice track on CD for our drive."

Only thing I'd know to do is keep rewording your query into the google search field until something helpful comes back in the list of hits. Peck and hunt.


Toad said...

Thanks Flo, I think I have found a make do. I filmed the film, converted it to an audio format and burned it to CD. Haven't tested it yet though.

Sheik of Araby said...

I think you meant Snape and Trelawney.

Toad said...

I stand corrected

Jennings and Gates said...

Thanks so much, going off to look this up!