Here’s Belle and Sebastian’s The Loneliness of the Middle Distance Runner. One of my favorites!
Lonliness of the Long Distance Runner. It’s a beautiful film despite the relentless smoky greyness of the industrial landscape, despite the gloomy wintery bleakness. The film tells the story of Colin, a poor boy from Nottingham played with characteristic brilliance by Tom Courtenay. He doesn’t have a lot of options in life, he doesn’t have a lot of hope, and he takes advantage of an open window to pilfer a cash box. It’s the rain that gives him away, washing all of the money out of its hiding place in a drain pipe to collect around his feet while he’s being interrogated by a policeman. He finds himself in a boy’s reformatory, and his only relief from the drudgery and degradation is running. He runs to escape, but you feel as though he runs to figure things out, too. He finds the space to think, in the solitude, in the regular rhythm of his feet. He finds joy and solace, and he finds enough hope and self-respect to quietly take a stand against the repressive authorities and the brutally condescending public school boys he’s pitted against in a race. As he comes to understand his life and his place in the world while he runs, so do we, we share in his memories to see what brought him to this place, and we share a bleak sort of hopefulness for his future. He might be stuck in a place he doesn’t want to live, but at least he can live with himself and his decisions. This is two two two meals in one! I made tacos with potatoes and green peppers and tomatoes from the farm, with some crispy diced tomatoes and pine nuts. They were somewhat smoky, with smoked paprika and chipotle puree. We ate them with warm tacos, basmati rice, grated cheese, and avocados mixed with cherry tomatoes. The next day I combined the leftover bean mixture with the leftover rice to make croquettes, which were almost better than the tacos themselves!We woke up this morning to grey and stormy skies, torrential rains, thunder, flood warnings. Everything was dark and slaty as far as we could see; grey upon grey upon grey. I’ve always liked a day like this in the summer time, a day to stay inside, to read and write and eat chocolate. (Of course that was before the boys and the stir craziness and the cabin feverish daziness.) I’ve always seen a lot of beauty in a grey day, and this seems like a good time to finish my small series of discussions of kitchen sink films, by talking about