I don’t believe that adults find it harder to learn than children; just that adults find it harder to be wrong. Learning is about being wrong over and over again until you are almost right. As I get older I find it harder and harder to make things that I’m happy with. There are presently about fifteen discarded or incomplete draft posts in my ‘Blog database, for example.
My singing teacher is mystified by my wanting to be taught to sight read; she tells me that I sing pieces by ear that her other students can’t manage with the notes in front of them—not that my intonation can’t be improved. Last week I repeatedly made the same mistake in a sight reading exercise. I became so frustrated and tense that she made me stop and do an unfamiliar song from Les Misérables just to calm me down. (Thanks to her pointing out its subtler harmonic ideas, I’m beginning to understand that there’s more to that musical than first meets the ear.)
One of the reasons that I love M Night Shyamalan’s films is that he makes wonderful, wonderful mistakes. He has a child’s faith in flawed ideas. He piles mush into baroque fortresses and it’s only after I’ve left the cinema that the normal flow of my thoughts washes his creations away, but never completely. While I’m in the dark and he’s pushing the grains of light into shape I’m happy to sit and watch. The Village is another one of his flawed, grim fairy tales, and it’s well worth seeing and hearing. The look, the sound, and the words of the movie are intensely stylized. One reviewer wrote about “King James English”; they all raved about Roger Deakins‘s cinematography. The New York Times mocked that the cast used “the subjunctive with breathtaking precision”. Because everything is so staged it does come across occasionally as a play adapted for the screen, but, even at its clumsiest, The Village still more sophisticated than most things London theatre has to offer. It’ll give you more to think about. I recommend you watch it back-to-back with Shaun of the Dead.