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​Best of the Rest of the Film Fest

THE OLDER I get – and the shallower Carnival gets – the more I think the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival week is the year’s unequivocal best seven-day period. The festival’s terrific opening film, Damian Marcano’s Cheese, screens for the last time at the NALIS amphitheatre at 7pm on Friday. Admission is free if you register online. Here are my recommendations for the rest of the festival, six fleeting days to see films made by and for people just like you.

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​Queen of Trumps

IT’S PROBABLY NOT an exaggeration to say I speak for millions when I say I’m Queened right out! Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl, as the Beatles sang, and I am saddened by the death of anyone’s mother – but when American television networks screen near 24 hours a day of mainly old folks in usually old buildings in always dark clothing speaking in monotones, it makes me yearn for the pre-therapy radio shock jock version of Howard Stern; at least with the old Howard there was always the potential for lesbians.

I’ve felt sorrier each day for BBC, Sky TV and LBC Radio presenters challenged to wring even more blood out of a long-dry stone for yet another 24 hours. Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl for the Beatles and she held her job for 70 years, longer even than the Rolling Stones, and all lives should be put in perspective – but a solid week of the Queen is what Spinal Tap at Elvis Presley’s grave called “a little bit too much firetrucking perspective.”
And chances are it’ll go on even longer!
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​Just Not Myself

EVEN FOR very fortunate people like me, who’d happily pay to do their jobs, the weight of the world can be too much. On most days like those, a good movie, book or great piece of music and/or tail will lift the spirits. Some days, though, not even chocolate, the best thing you can have with your clothes on, will work.

Days like that, especially if someone in public life does something noticeable, I wonder if I’d be happier (or less miserable) if I were someone else.
Here are the people I considered this week.
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​David Elcock in the Mourning

THEORETICALLY, I LOVE all mankind; in practice, I can tolerate very few individuals. I accept John Donne’s dictum that every man’s death diminishes me and send not to know for whom the bells toll but most people’s deaths don’t bring me down and some actually perk me up; on hearing someone I disliked has died, I usually say, solemnly, from the heart, “Good!”

Dave Elcock’s death last week leaves me deeply upset.
Big Brother Dave, the name he gave himself, calypsonian-style, on 610 Radio, was the first person I remember (outside of family and faculty) who showed my 11-year-old self what it was to be a professional in Trinidad, to respect oneself and to take one’s job seriously — even as he cracked me up every weekday morning on the way to school.
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