Monday, 30 January 2012

Military Money

Schools across the U.K can receive a share of a 3 million pound pot of money that's been put aside by the Ministry of Defence. It's part of a grant scheme provided by the M.O.D to help schools that have children whose parents are in the armed or reserved forces.

At the moment 11 schools in Wiltshire are to receive a total of £175,000 between them. The lowest grant around £600 and the highest £40,000 going to Colerne Church of England Primary. I went to visit the school and find out what they were planning to do with the money.

The money the schools get is on top of and separate to the pupil premium military schools get anyway. The M.O.D grant will be in place for another 3 years. At a time when the M.O.D have just announced their next round of cuts, it does seem odd this money is being protecting. Having spoken to the M.O.D they say it's all to do with the military covenant and the duty of care Britain needs to provide for its armed forces.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Artist

I went to watch The Artist at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle. It's the first time I've been to the Tyneside and what a lovely experience it was. Apart from the lengthy march to the fourth floor screen and the endless streams of people in the corridor my trip to the cinema was great. Blue chairs with lots of leg room, less adverts than a typical screening and a proper bar where you can buy drinks and take them into the showing. But I didn't go to the Tyneside to critic it's decor and functionality, I was there for The Artist.

It's always slightly strange when you go and watch a film that has had so much hype and praise preceding it. Luckily The Artist lived up to all my expectations. A beautifully crafted black and white silent movie. The right combination of an emotive story line,comedy and tragedy. Watching a silent movie really makes you appreciate the mis-en-scene and captivates you in an entirely different way to 'talkies'. You have to concentrate, you have to watch and engage. Without the help of speech or natural sound your imagination works in overdrive as you compensate for the things you are used to getting a film. As a result you become more involved in the film. Feeling every tear and smile.

The Artist is a great film. he main stars Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo are brilliant. They bring back the glamour of the era and give an excellent tribute to the silent film form, reminding us of the art form it is. But for me, the biggest star of the show is the dog. What a performance. If you want to know what I mean. go and watch it.

Monday, 2 January 2012

New Years Day!

I jumped in the North Sea on New Years Day. Yes it was cold, but well worth it!
Enough said.