I watched this alone with a biscuit. That was a while ago, in the middle of the 1980s. With so many bums on seats, who would have watched this anyhow? I mean, a stuffy costume drama cum period piece set in the toff part of England. And the religious themes were of interest to only the affiliated, bar a few. But there I was, watching this. One of the few. A British film that signaled the resurgence of the film industry in Britain. Winner of four Oscars including best costumes and best film. A profundity rarely seen on screen some seemed to be saying. A rarely filmed exploration of “the race of faith”.
There I was, alone, watching. Who would but me? I was curious. The guy who would not watch Porkys, Yellowbeard, or the likes of The Missionary. But I would watch this Chariots of Fire (1981). What did I think of this excursion from the norms of childhood read: The Black Hole, Star Wars, Superman, The Muppet Movie, and Mission Galactica? Had I graduated all of sudden into maturity and learnedness?
Chariots of Fire barely moved me then and now, except the ending holds the most bitter sweet touch that brings the bird’s eye view and the nature of life. From like God’s view I saw the transience of life. Two men once both Olympic champions, come to the end of their lives. Both were on top of the world for only a moment, then released into the way of Every Man. Every man will wear the grave, whatever their lives have been, but what will their lives count for? In Chariots of Fire, it’s running the race of life and faith that matters, right to the end.
There is such a column called where were you? What it means is where were you at such and such a time, usually a significant time like events of some magnitude. The author, usually someone well-known, relays their memories of being somewhere during a significant event or the person was actually at the event that impacted many. Some may have been at home when this was happening, they seen it on television, and because they are a celebrity and have some invested interest in it may tell others about what they remember of that time and what it meant to them.
Bloggers and ordinary, everyday people should be able to do this sort of column as well. It is something that is instinctively human–to remember where one was. Something triggers it and the memory surfaces. The trigger could be an article. It could be a conversation with a former friend one runs into, a television program about a historical event, an old song. Whatever. I love these kind of articles. They are instinctively interesting and I love writing about my memories of past moments–which seemed to be forgotten, but something triggers it back.
These would be interesting historical studies: The French Revolution, the American Civil War, the Russian Revolution, the Italian Risogimento, and the Italian Resistance in World War II. Where to start? I would start with the Russian Revolution as this arouses my interest most, the reason may be that I missed studying Russian history at High School and I have become increasingly curious about the subject over the years. That tells me something. But, yes, a bit of history never hurts, something to read, study even, and learn from…when one is able to.