Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Paul Gambaccini: Only Connect

Oh, yes. I mentioned the last line. There has not been a month in my life when I have not thought of it. The message from downstairs reminds us that circumstances may be individual but humanity is universal: “Who knows but that, on the lower frequencies, I speak for you?” 

Paul Gamabaccini chooses Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man as his Book Of A Lifetime, The Independent.

It's not hard to see why.

For what it's worth, it's a favourite of Fagburn, too.

Gambo's memoir, Love, Paul Gambaccini:My Year Under the Yewtree, is reviewed here.


  1. Thinking about Paul and this whole episode of spreading people's names around in public and all over social media, regardless of the fact that none had been found guilty of anything and none of those spreading the gossip had little to no personal knowledge of the situations or the people accused, reminded me of the film DOUBT - which is an amazing film set in the '50s about a seemingly kind American priest (played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman - God I miss him) who takes care of a young black boy in his charge (because the boy is an obvious outsider who's bullied and who I think is gay). Meryl Streep plays a nun who becomes suspicious of his relationship with the boy and after a certain ambiguous incident takes it upon herself to confront Hoffman and get him removed.
    The brilliance of the film is that it's all about DOUBT and posits the question 'How much can we actually be sure of?'. It's extremely powerful because it really goes into this theme and is a highly moral film, in that sense.
    By the end of the film, the audience itself is never sure what actually happened, but that's the point and the power of the film.

    Anyway, going back to Gambaccini and the witchhunts and the gossip of certainty spread throughout social media and also how many accused were automatically deemed guilty and turned into social pariahs and so on - I think this scene from the film is very powerful - it's a sermon given by Hoffman and it's obviously about what he's going through...


    1. Gawd, that sunk without a trace!

      Ironically Cliff Richard's first film, Serious Charge, was about a vicar who's falsely accused of molesting a lad.

  2. I remember reading about the Cliff film, but I haven't seen it yet.

    Oh, please, you must watch Doubt. I recommend it to anyone. It's one of those rare great films where the theme of the story is completely worked through in the writing so that it's never preachy, it's just a great story and the theme runs through it rather than the other way around. Viola Davis is in it too and she's one of the greatest actors in the world I think. There's a heartbreaking scene where Meryl confronts her with suspicions about Hoffman and her son and Davis breaks down and says... well, I won't spoil it (I think it's the scene where it's inferred that her son is gay).
    Oh please watch it. It's on veehd:

    Here xxx

    It's an extremely powerful film, I think and it should be required viewing especially with current hysteria.