It’s funny how, sometimes, you can see something and it reminds you of something totally different. In this case the thing I saw was the Anglo-Greek film Minore and it reminded me of something that resonates with me for a variety of reasons…Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood. Why does an almost seventy year old radio play written by a Welsh poet mean so much to me? Well, if I had to define my ethnicity I’d have to say that, despite never having staying in the country for more than holidays, I am Welsh.
I am three eighths Welsh, a quarter English, a quarter Scots, and an eighth German. My father is where the Welsh and German bits come from. While he was proud of his lineage he didn’t let it intrude in any way. Apparently he still had a Welsh accent until the day he died but I couldn’t hear it; that’ll be down to me hearing him speak every day and he was just, well, Dad. I only saw my grandparents once a year for holidays and they most definitely had Welsh accents! For some unknown reason, though, I am besotted by the works of Dylan Thomas.
To Find Yourself, Think For Yourself – Socrates
I want Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night read at my funeral. Ideally by Michael Sheen but that may be asking too much. But the thing that makes me feel even more Welsh than usual is Under Milk Wood. So why does this “play for voices” ring bells when I watch a film set in an unnamed Greek sea port? I won’t spoil it if you haven’t already seen or heard a production of Under Milk Wood but I will just say that it is a story of various characters, their dreams, and our observations of them both.
Minore, for me, had a similar disparate group of characters interacting in various dream like situations. It is, essentially, a fantasy film with Lovecraftian elements which push it more towards the horror end of the genre. But it is the range of characters that take me back Llareggub. The immaculate sailor, the landlady, the bodybuilder, the granny, the waitress, the old men chatting while drinking ouzo and playing backgammon. They all get together when a many tentacled monster threatens their town.
There Is Nothing Permanent Except Change – Heraclitus
Somehow getting together involves bouzouki bands playing in tavernas but that just adds to the dreamlike atmosphere and overall Greekness. The action scenes are an absolute hoot providing you are ok with wildly over the top, gore filled scenes. They do manage to cross the line from scary realistic to silly, from screaming with horror to screaming with laughter. I mean a scene where someone prevents himself from being dragged off by using another victims small intestine as a lifeline has to be being played for laughs, doesn’t it?
Regardless, the effects are fairly realistic. They would be very realistic if they were turned down to about eight or nine rather than being turned up to twelve! The monster effects, though, are well done. Similarly the action scenes are carried out with great gusto. If you’ve ever been to one of the Greek islands for a holiday then you’ll recognise the atmosphere that Minore is producing. All in all, it’s a little under two hours of, pretty much, non-stop silliness, action and bouzouki music. Well worth a look if you get a chance.
Movie Grade: B+
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Former teacher, lecturer, homelessness administrator, pharmacy dispenser now happily retired, happily married, and a very happy granddad. I live next to the Mersey but on the side Daniel Craig and Taron Egerton come from rather than the side the Beatles came from!