The Unthanks – Diversions, Vol. 4: The Songs and Poems of Molly Drake

Enlisting Gabrielle Drake, The Unthanks provide the perfect outlet for Molly Drakes’ songs and poems. An unassuming yet transcendent album.

Molly Drake is perhaps best known as the mother of Nick Drake, the uniquely talented, famously fragile and ill-fated songwriter whose three albums attained a status that quickly grew from cult to classic after his death in 1974. But what is less well-known is that Molly was a prolific songwriter and poet in her own right, at a time when that sort of thing was considered a pastime rather than a valid vocation for women. She was born in Rangoon in 1915 and spent much of her life abroad – much of her life’s path was dictated by British colonial activity in South Asia. In 1944, four years before Nick was born, Molly gave birth to a girl, Gabrielle. [ . . . ]

Source: The Unthanks – Diversions, Vol. 4: The Songs and Poems of Molly Drake

 

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How we made Brassed Off 

‘I spent months learning the flugelhorn – and I didn’t even have to play it’

Pete Postlethwaite, who was playing my father, took me down to Grimethorpe a week before filming to talk to locals and let them know this was their story. The miners were reticent at first. Not long before, a TV crew had stitched up the town, getting kids to throw stones at derelict buildings and making it seem as if it was a regular occurrence, as if Grimethorpe had become a wild west town. [ . . . ]

More at source: How we made Brassed Off | Film | The Guardian

Richard E Grant Never Met The Real Withnail – But Tonight He Met His Brother

he character of Withnail, played by Richard E Grant, in the seminal movie classic Withnail And I, was based on a man called Vivian MacKerrell, with whom the movie’s writer and director Bruce Robinson once shared a flat.Grant never met MacKerrell – he was discouraged from doing so by Robinson. MacKerrell died over twenty years ago and tonight [ . .  . ]

More: Richard E Grant Never Met The Real Withnail – But Tonight He Met His Brother – Bleeding Cool News And Rumors

Rachel Unthank: how I fell in love with the defiant songs of Nick Drake’s mother Molly

She fled Burma and made it to Delhi on foot – where she discovered her voice. The singer of the Unthanks explains why the band fell for her spellbinding songs about heartbreak, loss, fragility and fear

“Destiny, do your worst,” declared my five-year-old son the other day. It’s a line from The First Day, a Molly Drake song he has been hearing a great deal of, as we take our new album on tour. I’m confident he doesn’t understand what it means, but he’s certainly taken by its drama. The song – hopeful and defiant, melancholic and searching – captures the essence of Molly’s bittersweet poetry.

A woman came up to me after a recent Unthanks show, with tears in her eyes but smiling warmly, and said: “That was utterly devastating.” This has been the pattern of post-show exchanges: a steady flow of women deeply moved by Molly’s words. They are confused and confounded that they don’t know more about the woman whose songs and poems they have just spent two hours listening to.

Mother of singer-songwriter Nick Drake and the actor Gabrielle Drake, Molly came to public attention in her own right only in 2013, with a limited edition release of her songs and poems, 20 years after her death and almost 40 years after the suicide of her son. We had always been fans of Nick’s music – our album Cruel Sister featured my sister Becky’s interpretation of his beautiful River Man – and we developed a relationship with Gabrielle and the Drake estate. Like many Nick fans, we were eager to hear Molly’s songs, not least because of what we might we glean about her son. [ . . . ]

Read Full Article: TheGuardian

Why British film needs to form a countryside alliance

Out on Friday, new British film The Levelling is a breath of fresh air from its very first shot of a country lane. Why? Because this is a film that has escaped the cities with which British filmmakers are so obsessed – and not only that, offered an authentic depiction of our nation’s countryside for once.Our film industry has an awful habit of regurgitating successful movies until way after the dead horse has been flogged. Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels led to a plethora of cheap East End gangster film replicas. As we laughed and cried at Four Weddings and a Funeral, producers Working Title were busy starting a conveyor belt of upper-middle-class metropolitan comedies. Merchant Ivory created a cottage industry around [ . . . ]

Read Full Story: Why British film needs to form a countryside alliance

The female screenwriter hidden from history

I saw Diana Morgan’s film Hand In Hand in grade school. It was one of the few non-Disney movies the Sisters of Mercy allowed for us to see on the rare and exciting Movie Day in the school cafeteria. The film is about the friendship between a Jewish and a Roman Catholic child, and their attempts to understand each others’ faith. I believe our parish also presented an “encore” presentation of the film one evening for parents to see, and I remember later discussing the film with my dad. Hard to believe, but Morgan’s film was somewhat controversial in some households, though not with Dad who loved it. Miss you Dad.
– Johnny Foreigner


Just as in other aspects of British life, women were at last getting a chance to do jobs that had for decades been the sole province of men.Women are working lathes making munitions; land army girls bring in the harvest; female pilots deliver spitfires; female crews work canal boats and at least one woman is writing the scripts of patriotic comedy films.I had heard that the inspiration for the new film was screenwriter Diana Morgan, who was one such woman and that the part of Catrin Cole in Their Finest was modelled on her. [ . . ]

More: Morning Star :: The female screenwriter hidden from history | The People’s Daily