I don't really care how much the latest superhero film took at the box office, although I'd probably know if you asked me. When I watch a film the main thing I am looking for is a good story. I like it when I look up at the big screen and can see a part of me staring back at me. More than anything, I am still looking for Jimmy Stewart and Jack Lemmon and Billy Wilder in every film I see.
Tuesday, 21 June 2011
I went to see "Point Blank" today. Two screens away, in the same cinema, my friend Nora was watching "Senna".
A few hours before that I was having breakfast with Nora in a cafe just west of Covent Garden. We were meant to be talking about a project we're doing, but instead I kept talking about 'Senna'. I demanded she see it. She agreed to do so. We left the cafe and we walked directly to the cinema (Cineworld on Haymarket). I'd already made plans to see "Point Blank" with Marcus, a fellow film director, so was unable to join her for the experience. My review of Point Black: It's decent, cool, it's like all the other movies. But it's not the reason we love cinema. "Senna" is the reason. It's a life-changer. It's one of those that takes over your mind and shapes your thoughts for the next five days. Nora was gone by the time my movie finished. So I text her, "how was it?". Here's her response: "Brilliant. It was brilliant. Sort of dazed out right now, but thank you; well glad I went!" And she didn't even know who Senna was. She doesn't like motor racing.
'Point Blank' finished and Marcus and myself were soon in Cafe Nero. We talked about Ayrton Senna. We talked about how great he was, we talked about how the film was edited. We talked about Alain Prost. Turns out Marcus saw Senna racing in Monaco in the early 90's. Marcus was just a kid then, but he felt the magic. Everyone wanted Senna to win, he had that something.
Brazil had a three day mourning period when Ayrton Senna died. That's how much he meant to people. One man who races cars can really change the world for the better. One person can do anything. That's what this film shows us. You've just got to show up and dedicate yourself, become an expert in whatever you're passionate about. They always take the geniuses away from us when they're young. Ayrton Senna, 34, Tupac, 25, Martin Luther King 39 , Bill Hicks 32. Maybe its meant to be that way. You can dribble on till you're 98 but it doesn't mean you'll mean anything. Senna did more in 34 years than most of us do in a lifetime. He put a sport into the consciousness of the world, became a Brazilian hero, and left his impact on the world stage. When people are good, they're good. When they're great, they're inspiring. When they get even better, they transcend. Chaplin became more than a tramp, The Beatles became more than rock stars, and Senna was more than a racing driver. 'Senna' documents that. It shows us someone crossing over into greatness, becoming one of the Gods.
People like Ayrton Senna don't come along very often. Give him two hours of your time, go see the documentary.