Joker

“Joker”

“Joker” is definitely a blockbuster cast in true Wagnerian style with a bombastic music soundtrack mostly provided by a single huge a-rthymic drum doing its best to keep you awake and aware that this was (by God) Important! As far I was concerned, however I, iconoclast that I am, found the first hour to be mostly turgid melodramatic tripe; where each plot point was belaboured to the point of death and, to be on the safe side, repeated louder for the dimwitted.
If he first three-quarters of the film drag, their point is simple; the vicissitudes of life drive a comparatively normal chap round the bend and turning him into a dangerous out-and-out-nutter. Common stuff, it happens every day, in fact the world’s looney bins are crammed to popping with such people and it is of course tragic that our hero is pushed well beyond the point of no return by a culture that is itself largely sociopathic, having fed on its own toxicity to the point where the tortured victims have turned on each other in a dystopian hell-on-earth.
There is no question of it. Americans know how badly buggered up their own steociety is – and in a state of purposefully induced ignorance think that the whole world is inthe same sta and in a spirit of sharing they set about the spreading of these cheery damn melodramas that always end with a dash of the old ultraviolent and lashings of their obsession with guns. In this though “Joker” is different. While to be sure thereis violence aplenty , “Joker” shows its true identity lateras an even blacker re-make of Martin Scorsese’s 1982 classic “The King of Comedy” – a major reference that I would guess only a tiny percentage of “Joker”’s target demographic would notice, or care about. But for older more cinematically educated viewers it is, as in jokes go, a mammoth in the room that everyone seems to be ignoring. The harder one looks, the easier it becomes to see that “Joker” is simply a remake of that earlier film, perhaps better, perhaps not, suffice to say the world has changed since 1982, and the “Joker” is a surprisingly decent product for 2019. Far from perfect, but surprisingly suspenseful, with a very respectable script, camera work and technicals showing Joachim Phoenix’s over-the-top character and bravura performance to their very best advantage. And if you feel this review seems negative most of the way through, and finishes positive, that is exactly how I felt about “Joker” -for much of its run time I felt I was watching bombastic overblown shit; Then, abruptly, it switched gears on me, & I decided I liked it

Recommended.

Downhill Review

“Downhill” Review.

It was the best thing available that day. I know it wasn’t Sonic the fucking Hedgehog (which was a bad game on a rubbish system) and consequently had no “nostalgia appeal” for me, and it didn’t have Vin Diesel in it- added to that it didn’t have “reboot” in the title ands not based on an”extended DC universe” or a product of Marvel Studios” – Yes it did have Will Ferrell in it but he had to be bearable at some point in his long career, the trailer looked funny and It did have Julia- Louise-Dreyfus, who I’ve always had a lot of time for. Finally finally, Miranda Otto. I decided to chance it.

I got rather more, (and less) than I’d expected. The thing is “Downhill” both is, (and simultaneously is most definitely NOT) a good film. It is really goddam interesting. Most films start life as books or short stories. Some start as original scripts. Some films simply start as an idea, some films patently start with even less than that “Downhill” on the other hand, is “based on” a film called “Force Majure” made in 2014 I by Ruben Ostlund – and, in seeing “Downhill” one gets the unmistakeable feeling that one is seeing both films at the same time with “downhill” laid over the top of “Force Majure” in a not-transparent enough sheet between the original film and the viewer. Throughout “Downhill” I continually found myself mildly amazed that the characters were all speaking English and that I wasn’t chasing subtitles. The ideas behind the words were European and not American, and to be honest the actors frequently seemed to be out of their depth in this regard, but as far as I could see it seemed to be something like a shot-for-shot copy of the film it was based on, though I will admit to not having seen “Force Majure” (yet). I simply had the feeling that I was seeing a different film the one I was watching, with different actors- just frankly not as good, in exactly the same way that the end of “Star Wars” just isn’t as good as the end of The original “Dam-busters” [https://youtu.be/xmypLqkW3Jc]

It gets stranger than that though; in “Downhill” there is a line that does not allude to anything – one of the locals says to the wife that it is the local custom to go to the sauna naked, since nudity is not considered “naughty” “OHO” I thought, that is a setup for a gag if ever I have heard one- I spent the rest of the film waiting for it and was surprised by the end credits because it hadn’t eventuated.
Then, lo and behold the joke appears- next day-in the [trailer for”Force Majure]”the father having some sort of a sexual identity crisis in a steamy environment full of boisterous and presumably naked, men – and I am left reflecting that the last credit for “Downhill” was “A Buena Vista Production”

Nice try, but no cigar.

The Silver Lining


The plague. There hasn’t been such a worldwide global phenomena as this since the Black Death. Or perhaps syphilis, or the Spanish Flu epidemic after World War One. But of course all of them were a while ago and have faded from popular memory, leaving Covid-19 as the new grand champion. But for all the palaver, the expert opinions ad nauseam and the the deranged Presidential tweets, I think there’s more to be said and some important questions to be asked – even if there’s no way they’re likely to ever be answered. Be aware though, I think the disease Covid-19 is real, sometimes fatal and a naturally occurring virus. I don’t think it is the product of a germ warfare laboratory (it’s not lethal enough), or part of a vast conspiracy (the obvious conspirators show no signs of sufficient intelligence). While it must be acknowledged that the virus has lowered oil prices to unprecedented levels (today, crude oil prices actually moved into negative figures with the holders of crude actually [*paying] to have the stuff taken away!). Perhaps co-incidentally the winner here is China who is the world’s leading producer of renewable energy products from Solar panels to wind turbines. This is probably icing on the cake to any conspiracy theory type who is already squinting suspiciously at China simply on the basis of the virus’ origin and the fact that the Chinese are well, Chinese.

At the beginning of this article I said there were several important questions that remained unanswered. In no particular order;

The virus first appeared in several locations, Wuhan China, (where the Chinese attempted to keep it secret as long as possible), the United States and Iran. It then appeared in various cruise ships – how are these locations linked? Are they random? Did various Chinese stop in to the Wuhan market for a quick meal of bat curry before deciding on a whim to go on an invigorating ocean cruise? (presumably to test their increased sexual vigour from their bat-curry) or a road trip to Iran for some reason? The Chinese blamed “American soldiers” for releasing the virus in Wuhan (claim rendered dubious by their secretive initial attitude to the outbreak). Trump very quickly stopped flights from China (after it was already rather too late).

So we have a highly dynamic situation, the flux known as the 21st century. At one moment, we have Chinese “wet marketers” industriously chopping up bats for tea and infecting market-goers one-way or the other, by blood spray or bat curry, in droves. The market-goers probably still cheering their bat curry, suddenly remember urgent business in the United States, or in Iran, or that they’re late back on their cruise ship – though the nearest seaport to Wuhan is Shanghai – at 600 miles distance, a little far for a day excursion. But seemingly within days multiple cruise ships were infected and travelling in every possible direction.


It must be said that a cruise ship is the perfect location for a virus. Thousands of people packed into a confined space breathing piped air in small cabins. Over the last few decades there have been more than a handful of ships suffused by airborne viruses -usually of the gastro intestinal variety. The usual outcome being the cruise line attempting to keep it all quiet and offering their weakened veterans another cruise of the same value by way of compensation. As far as I am concerned, I am a writer of fiction by trade and I’ve thought for years that cruise ships make for a really excellent terrorist target. True germ warfare is a bit beyond the budget and technical achievements of most terrorists but the Aum Supreme Truth managed to make Sarin Gas, spread it (shambolically) in the Tokyo subway back in 1995 – my guess is that a similar amount of gas in a cruise ship’s air conditioning at night – the casualty rate would have been far higher – which would have made that fat pervert Shoko Asahara happy – if he hadn’t been hung. Too sad.

So, rhetorical questions: How did the virus end up on multiple cruise ships in multiple places? Was it some kind of evil plot, or as simple as someone coughing a lot and not covering their mouth in the Shanghai cruise terminal (assuming of course that there is such a place). By the same logic it doesn’t require infected people travelling directly from Wuhan to the U.S by plane (though I’m sure there were some) all it takes is a few big infected sneezes in the right airport terminal.

At this point I should probably say “Drat; I’ve dispelled my own conspiracy suspicions”
and follow that realisation up with one of my favourite sayings – a variation on Occam’s razor;

”Never attribute to malice that which is more easily explained by simple stupidity.”

Or, I suspect in this case, simple bad luck. A conspiracy theorist would say that after the first few cases showewd up in Wuhan, the Communist Party kept it quiet just long enough to export a few infected people by plane, to the U.S.A by way of sharing the damage to their respective economies – but I think a more likely explanation, is that the Chinese, like any other large bureaucracy, always err towards caution, secrecy and maintaining the status quo. While they were doing this normal travel between Wuhan and the U.S and Europe did the rest. I think that the massive outbreaks in Italy and Spain are do to their attractiveness as tourist destinations; Madrid has the Prado and Rome is well, Rome. London too, had a particularly nasty outbreak; I might even guess that some tourist ran up and touched the door of Downing street, before scuttling away, giggling – thereby infecting Boris Johnson.

The astronomical death toll in New York is, I surmise the disease running rampant through the homeless community. I’m led to this conclusion by the way the N.S.W. State Government suddenly decided to start housing the homeless in Hotel rooms, in a act of kindness so totally removed from their normal penny-pinching sociopathy as to cause serious doubts as to their sanity and party credentials. But less homeless people freezing in the streets at night, as far as I am concerned, this is the silver lining in the Corona virus cloud.

The Village

Once upon a time, long, long ago in a distant land far beyond the mountains, there was a little village, and in that village there lived a man. He was reasonably tall as judged against the other men of the village, and reasonably well-formed. The top of his head was covered in a thick thatch of sandy blonde hair and his eyes were the sharp blue of a clear summer’s sky. He had good teeth too, they weren’t stained and they were even and people could see them a lot because he was usually smiling, or at least grinning because he was usually very happy what with having no particular reason not to be. His name was Awllen and he did many jobs in the village. Being strong and well-formed he would fetch and carry and do simple work that required only strength, but Awllen had a natural affinity for machines, and it was through this ability that he met the Miller’s wife. The miller was the most important man in the village because it was his mill that ground all the wheat and corn from miles around that everyone had grown on their farms. When the grain were ground to powder the powder would be mixed with fresh water and baked into loves of bread. The people would then buy the bread, and eat it.

The Miller’s mill was powered by a waterwheel that was placed across a stream that ran through the village, and due to a finely developed business sense, and a flash of inspiration, the Miller had built a annex to the mill in which he built a bread oven. His bakers sold bread back to the people who wanted it. In no time at all Miller became the most important man in the village and dressed himself in the finest cloths bought from passing journeymen, and the best furs bought from the luckiest and most skilled hunters. With wealth came, as it usually does, a desire for power. He put it about among the people that the village had gotten big enough to be called a town, and a town needed some sort of control, to keep the citizens safe. He told them he should be made “Burgomaster.”
The people had never heard this word before and for the most part a fair number of them didn’t like the “master” part of the word much. There was a great deal of animated discussion, and simply because the miller was easily the richest man in the village (or town if you prefer) a lot of the discussion was emotional and ran against the miller – much of this because the people simply didn’t like change. The wives of the village had baked the bread at home for many generations, some because they were forced to and most out of a sense of duty that they had been educated into feeling. The availability of bread, at a shop, for money many did not have anyway, struck directly at the root of what the loudest voices called, “the very nature of marriage.” All in all, the situation was the biggest drama the village had seen since the bad winter when wolves had hunted in the snow in the Main Street. As far as the miller was concerned, everything was fine; he didn’t care about people’s opinion, he was far more interested in the growth of his store of coins. A stream of copper, silver and sometimes even gold flowed into the strongbox in his cellar and the sight of it, and sometimes only the thought of it, would make him happier, and more relaxed.

Outside the cellar though people were, on the whole, less happy and relaxed. When wives were “with child” or otherwise unable to bake bread, the miller’s bread would be much more necessary. That of course would take money, although the miller would swap raw wheat or corn for fresh bread, the exchange rate was always rather savagely in his favour, one sack of grain to four, or sometimes only two loaves. The miller made no secret of preferring cash to barter, but that made life more difficult for the people of the town. The miller didn’t like paying out his precious coins for grain so the farmers would have to take their harvests to one of the surrounding towns to sell it for cash. The miller didn’t mind, he liked the strange coins from distant places, but the farmers minded. They found the situation to be far more bothersome than they had any taste for, when all they wanted was their dinner and not to look at the back end of their mule for a five or ten league journey.

For the first time in living memory, there was a robbery in the village! One of the farmers, a man called Fyrd, sold a better than average crop at a nearby town and brought to money back to the village with him. Having worked hard over the course of the year and desiring female company because his beloved wife was in the final stages of a pregnancy which had rendered her cantankerous and critical, he went straight to the inn rather than to his home and started keeping time with Edie, the local fancy woman who earned the coins for her bread by keeping company with those who wanted to share her bed. The ale at the inn loosened both their spirits and their tongues and after a night of carousing where they first kept the inn amused, and then kept it awake, in the morning Fryd was found insensible on Edie’s bed. Neither his money, nor the fancy woman were to be found anywhere in the village. There was such hue and cry; gossip ran hot. The miller stood rounds of drinks in the bar and then announced, very loudly, that Edie had obviously stolen the money and run off. She must be found and hanged, he announced, an idea which appealed only to the more hot-headed who heard it. Cooler heads said that Fryd had brought much of his misfortune on himself. And, as most of the village could testify, had a fine old time with Edie for most of the night before passing out. If Edie really did have Fryd’s money, they said, she’d earned it. As it happened, these events had unexpected effects. The miller was kept awake for most of the night by the noises Fryd and Edie were making across the street and the noises started him thinking. He set great store in his chest of coins but they were cold and hard, not warm and welcoming like the arms of a lover. Then and there, that night, he decided to take a wife.

Now the miller, whose name by this stage, had become “miller” didn’t draw any distinctions. He considered everyone in the village, man or woman who he considered even slightly eligible.

Want to know more? Please leave a comment.

Trophy Hunting

Copyright (C) free short fiction

Trophy hunting

Dark. The sounds of the night are disturbingly loud. Quite close, a dog barks. The camera rattles in shock, in response. A backyard fence flashes past, neat vertical boards cut to shallow pointed tops. The camera’s night-vision is so sensitive that the deep sky is quickly filled with crazed jiggly contrails. A voice whispers “Shit!” urgently. The camera image is filled with a close up view of neatly cropped dew- wet grass.

“I thought we’d been rumbled!”

“Shut up!”

“Alright, keep your shirt on.” 

The camera swings past a rotary clothes hoist festooned with clothes which seem to glow in the hallucinogenic light show.

“Over here!” 

The camera scuttles, bent double, across the yard to stand next to the summoner at the fence. The summoner,  who appears to be the leader, hisses. “Keep quiet! Now you see down that way? About five houses? The lighted window? That’s the target’s window!”

He produces a large, heavy-barrelled, bolt-action rifle with a large telescopic and rests it on top of the fence, pointing towards the window.

“Right.” 

The camera shifts around behind him to look over his shoulder. He hunches into the rifle, concentrating into the sight. The shooter mumbles “beautiful.” He fires, the weapon is heavily suppressed and instead of a loud, sharp report the weapon utters what sounds like “BOOMP!’ with barely any muzzle flash. Approximately a quarter of a second later a window breaks and sheets of plate glass slide and shatter on concrete, away in the dark. A dog blathers its disapproval. Silence. 

A radio chirrups quietly. “Team two are in position and have a clear shot. Five seconds.” The viewpoint shifts back to the point over the hedge. The stars are very bright but the neighbourhood is dark. Ashot rings out. It is the sound of a suppressed small calibre weapon.A fraction of a second later there is the sound of an im0act in a solid surface; “Poc.” A moment later the sequence repeats; “Phut” “Poc.” And again. Again The soft voice over returns “Team Two’s spotter is very happy with this bag. The rifle fires again, another impact. Again. The dog wakes up and. presumably angered at having its sleep isturbed  goes into full “Burglar Alert mode.”

“Shit! Crewteam thee is under attack! Camera Threes’s been bitten!” Over the open circuit, the sound of human voices can be heard raised in alarm”Extract!”the camera runs behind the team One shooter and spotter as they run, hunched over down alleyways staying lower than the back fences. There is much puffing and panting, in fact for all their attempts at stealth the group sounds like a herd of stampeding elephants”In the bus!” a car door slams, another rolls shut. the crew sit on seats fscing foward and set about catching their breath. There is a gust of laughter as a Police car whips past the van close enough to make it rock, its sirens and flashers on”Tough luck Flatfoot!” the dim silhouette of the team on spotter gets a big laugh from the nervous crew.The van drives downhill though a driveway into an underground carpark. Roller door closes behind them. The crew pile out of the van take up positions sitting on the conrete floor smoking cigarettes or joints as their taste dictates. “Ready for live cross in 3-2-1” The image flicks

Cut:  The set is cheesy, Generated, but it still looks cheap. The Compere enters from the right. He is dressed in a loud jacket and a “presidential” toupee his teeth are large, very white and very much on display”Good evening viewers and welcome to the show- and it’s been a doozy so far tonight hasn’t it? I tell *I* was worried when those Police appeared- Even if jackson wasn’t.” Someone laughs quite loudly off camera in the same room as him and the acoustics reveal that the studio is “Homely” rather than” Palatia”l and he darts the unseen person a sharp look. “Well our Schmooze teams have finished their wok, and we all have to thank them again- they have the hardest job at “trophy Hunt(Applause)  but I’m happy to report that we have  an exceptional bag tonight. And new prize money because last week’s show didn’t jackpot- so without further ado-It’s over to my beautiful co-host Ms Lisa Minutti! The vision cuts abrupt to another set just as garish- just as cheap. a “Lisa Minutti” is stunningly beautiful, with startling blue eyes that seem to stare through the camera into the viewer.She is ravishing in a blue off- the-shoulder satin dress that does wonders for her eyes and her ice blonde hair.

“Thank you Dino.” 

“We have had a great bag tonight! Team one’s big points come from their first shot- 600 points for this “Under 11 Soccer Comp Cup” that they shot off the shelf while the little nipper was asleep in the same room! She brandishes a mid-size silver cup deformed by a large calibre rifle bullet directly through the engraved description on the upper half . And One hundred bonus points for this, a third-place ribbon  for the 100 metre dash at the Inner-West tri schools Sorts Carnival.! She holds up a small rectangular green ribbon with a “3” imprinted on it. I features a fair-sized bullet- hole between the “3” and the top of the ribbon. “But our big winners this week were Team Three! comprising Marius VandenHoorst-Spotter and Emeric Poole- Shooter who scored this perfect score- An n Amazing two thousand points for this “Sandringham hotel Pool Comp shield they shot off the den wall while the winner himself was asleep in a recliner in the same room!” She is handed a large wooden sheild decorated with an equalised pattern  of smaller engraved silver shields affixed to it. ” First, good points for this”- she points to the larger central shield “It says “grand final, 17 june 2029 warded to- And, -She giggles- I can’t read that, there’s a hole.” 

“Now look at this ! here’s where the bonus points come in! five little shields around the edge! Five perfect hits! The wood’s actually split!”It’s beautiful isn’t it Dino?”

“It is Lisa, As beautiful as you! When will people learn to close their blinds at night?”

“Oh You”

“thank you all for joining us for another episode of Trophy Hunt(c) We’ll hopefully see you all again next week, in the meantime You all keep your heads down!”I’m Dino Hanlon jr and this has been Trophy Hunt(c) Alex Rieneck 2020.

The Virus Poem

time has come, the cripple said, to talk of many things,

Of news and shit, and screaming quacks,

Of lies and naked kings

The virus first came from China, they said, where nasty people were, and deserved it.

Cruelty reaped its just deserts they said, and their pointing fingers remained steady; “Rubbish” the chinamen retorted, “the shit was probably brought by U.S. soldiers, in what what amounts to war!”

Though no-one listened, the cripple wondered why no-one else had noticed how the virus had appeared first not just in China but also in Iran; two countries with a common enemy, now with common symptoms a fever and a cough, with snot, but really only for the lucky few, who flew around in planes, in cattle class breathing each other’s noxious  vapours, up close for days on end.

”of course, Cripple” the gerbil said.” If they were really old, and already half dead, all bets were off for getting better – they’d as like as not pop their crocs from it as something else. “

“It isn’t much of a bio weapon then” the Cripple said relieved, since despite his mighty bluster his heart was perhaps too kind.

“You’ve missed the main symptoms of the sickness dear Spazz”, said the gerbil and her voice was kind. ”Shut down air travel. The Police to have far more powers. states of emergency in Victoria with police on high alert in face-masks.”

“I think I’ve got it now”, the cripple said, he really felt quite sick.

(C) Alex Rieneck 2020

Motherless Brooklyn

Films like this make me really glad that I review films. Please be clear I don’t enjoy warning people away from the occasional piece of shit I have had to sit through – thoughwhile I regard the activity as a commendable public service, its an unpleasant job, every step of the way.

Then there are films like “Motherless Brooklyn” which are a complete surprise – like pulling a book off a shelf at at library random and discovering hours later, that heavy shit has been perpetrated on you and that this heavy shit will probably take a pretty long time to dissipate.
*
*films like “Motherless Brooklyn” are the kind of films which make me happy I’m alive *

On to the nitty gritty.
“Motherless Brooklyn” (2019) is a Film Noir thriller set in New York in the early 1950’s. Almost everyone in the film is a war veteran in one way or another and just about all have a case of PTSD as part of their emotional carry-on luggage. Its a potent kind of place, rather too frenetic to be comfortable especially considering that the film is almost top heavy in big name star power, all of whom were presumably working for scale for a chance at the shit-hot script.

This is an impressive film. Many big names appear in comparatively minor character roles. I’m pretty rubbish at putting names to faces, so this was actually pretty distracting from the main story as it had me fretting over who a character “was” rather than who they were in the story. But this is a very minor criticism – the person I went with just “recognised” everyone – and had a fine time at it.

The story starts with a theoretically simple murder but rapidly expands over a series of truly twisted plot twists into being a massively complicated Real-estate development swindle and; unexpectedly into being a quite blisteringindictment of the American “system” and I feel, the current president and his way of doing business. Importantly, this film lays the moral map out with unarguable clarity. Watching it will force people to choose allegiances- and in so doing, face up to themselves in ways that for a lot of people, are very overdue, and that they may well find uncomfortable.

This film is a real cracker.

(C) Copyright 2020 Alex Rieneck All rights reserved.

The Grand Illusion

The Grand Illusion

What a month its been. First the fires went out when the ashes got rained on. Then the fires were replaced by floods. Our Prime Minister sneaked back into the country from his Hawaian bolthole and made sure to get himself photographed outside recognisable locations in Canberra to prove that while he may be scared of bushfires, floods hold no terror for him; he is made of sterner stuff.

But the bad news is he may not manage the budget surplus that they promised us. Frydenberg and Morrison both appear to be embarrassed by this failing despite the very respectable excuse of having had most of the country burn down on their watch, and like most of us, having little idea what a budget surplus is good for anyway. I mean the last time we had one followed eleven years of John Howard scrimping and cutting to the point where the country almost didn’t have an infrastructure. I suspect ,mainly in reward for his stinginess the electorate threw him out of office in 2007- just in time for the Global Financial Crisis. His replacements simply spent the miserly -collected surplus to keep the economy functional. He got to watch from enforced retirement in Ryde. Truly aPyrrhic victory.

So now we’re back to chasing a budget surplus at the expense of having a viable bushfire service- which directly results in half the country burning down and incalculable damage to the world’s biosphere. The human species is destroying the planet in search of “profit” and the chasing ofinfantile theories. Our country indeed, all countries are owned by rich profoundly immoral creatures who control every election, maintain the pretence of “democracy”(or whatever)- and continue doing whatever they want. It’s how the world works.

To be blunt the only slim hope for the future is that they may want to preserve their holdings into the future- their own children, or their own artificially prolonged lives for as long as possible, and who knows how long that might be?

EMMA

It is a truth often acknowledged that Jane Austen is still jolly popular, and that two-hundred-and-three years after her death, her books are still in print and more importantly, still widely read and enjoyed. These facts have not escaped the notice of Hollywood either. The Manatees at the top of the industry have correctly surmised that anything with “Jane Austen” in the title is sure to put bums on seats – even if only because the books are still widely represented on school and university reading lists. Offerings range from the idiotic, with the addition of zombies in a rather desperate attempt at humour to the updated – “Clueless”.

As far as the movie industry is concerned, the problem is that Austen’s output was quite small, with her concentrating on quality rather than quantity, a fact which has already pushed the movie industry deep into re-make territory. This film is no less than the fifth version of “Emma” (counting “Clueless”) and is, in my opinion, the best. It’s been made with huge respect for the original text with Austen’s humour represented perfectly by the actors and the excellent script. The audience laughed out loud, and frequently. The cinema was a very pleasant place to be, that afternoon. The photography was truly sublime and of beautiful things, the editing slow and considered. I suppose it could be said that nothing much “happened”- no-one got shot, the world was not saved from marauding aliens, but my attention was sill riveted since as Ms Austen knew well, importance is a matter of degree, not of content. And if “Emma” is slight in content it is doubly charming for all that.

A Rare Gem indeed.
(C) Alex Rieneck 2020 All rights reserved.