Like the title indicates I'm going to talk about something that didn't exactly happen yesterday. Last month, on 11 February, I was lucky enough to attend the Manchester premiere of Song For Marion with the amazing Terence Stamp doing a Q&A afterwards. My friend Josh texted me around three the same day and asked me if I wanted to go because his wonderful sister Emma is a part of the Film Partnership Promotions team at Damaris and he couldn't go. As a Screen Studies student I couldn't let this opportunity pass me and I even got to bring a my friend and a fellow Screen Studies student Tania. She's the one from Canada that doesn't have a pet beaver, what's up with that?
The film, directed by Paul Andrew Williams, is set in London and follows grumpy "old" Arthur and his life. His wife Marion enjoys spending her time at highly unconventional local choir, to say the least, whilst battling cancer. Arthur does indeed embody grumpiness in the beginning of the film and he doesn't like Marion spending so much time with the choir. It doesn't help matters that he's at odds with his son James. Elizabeth, the choir director, is always there for both Marion and Arthur and her dating life, or lack of it, is hilarious. With the film's tagline, "Open your heart. Find your voice", in mind I would describe it as a dramatic comedy with one teaspoon of musical in it.
I've always preferred films about real life over the big blockbusters, stories about people that affect you in some way. And this one really gets to you. If it isn't the elders singing "Let's talk about sex" then Terence Stamp's and Gemma Arterton's performances will. In the end I could hear sniffles all around me and I'll admit that it was hard not to cry, but the mascara and contact lenses are what kept me from crying. After the screening Terence said that the whole crew wept either during his or Vanessa Redgrave's (who plays Marion) song. I'm pretty sure I would have done the same thing if I had seen it live.
It wasn't until in the Q&A that I knew that the film was made with a low budget and that's something that makes it even more special. Naturally I was totally starstruck with Terence sitting a few meters away from me (sorry I'm from Iceland and I haven't acquainted myself with the whole yard thing). It was so amazing to hear him tell all the stories from the film industry and you realized that he has also had is ups and downs like we all have. My favorite story was when he was talking about playing General Zod. He didn't like the fact they made him all green and that they weren't really shooting him from his best angles when his manager pointed out that every kid was going to see Superman. Today when he's out walking and sees people in their 40s look at him strangely he says: "Kneel before Zod." This is my favorite story because I'm a huge Smallville geek and there Terence voices Jor-El.
When I listened to Terence talk about his life and career it was very evident how open and especially how grateful he was. The great blessing of his life was that his parents saw 25 years of his fame, i.e. he did everything he could for them. And I think gratitude is extremely important, to focus on what you have instead of focusing on what you don't have. I think we should try to keep in mind better late than never. Whether we're speeding on our way home, if we still haven't seen Song For Marion, if we haven't said all the things we need say or if we have put some dreams on hold.
It's never too late to become the best version of yourself and go chase your dreams. You just have to start. Or like Henry David Thoreau put to:
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined
So from today do something different, something new. Go and do that one thing that you've always wanted to do but the timing was never right or you didn't have the courage to do. Make it happen and find the time because nobody will do it for you. All you really need to know is that you are the creator of your own destiny and you can become or do whatever you want.