You have to hand it to him – two and a half hours or so of medium paced observations based on the guys later years…No obvious plot; a little artistic license with historical detail, and what have you got? A great movie that’s what. Of course I refer to Mr Turner, and my admiration goes out to Mike Leigh for the way he was able to pull it off without too much fuss and a poke of fun, but without transgressing a ‘national treasures’ collective memory.
Where I park my car most days for work is right next to the river Tyne in Newcastle. Looking out of the window this morning it was a miserable grey gloom no light kind of a day with little to recommend it. Drizzle, damp and wind funneling down the Tyne valley. There is a small boat club at the mouth of the Ouseburn (a tributary to the Tyne). The boats here are not worth a packet. In fact they no doubt cost more to maintain than their actual value in hard cash. They are mainly rough little tubs; a big kids dream, and not overly seaworthy. Mongrels of the sea. Stood on the quay, directly below me, was one of those pugs… a mast proudly flying the St. George cross and erm.. a skull and cross bones underneath. Says it all. I was reminded of the red buoy Turner famously painted into the foreground of his picture, to outsmart Constable, in their Royal Academy showdown of 1832. I recorded it with the only camera I had to hand. Yeah it’s shot on my mobile, but the look sort of seems to fit the overall murky day>>