the song of the sea & bohemian rhapsody

the song of the sea

a chunkily animated irish folk-tale cartoon about a lighthouse-keeper, his selkie (seal-mermaid) lover, and their children; set in modern ireland, the story tells of children discovering their parents’, and their own, identities

it’s beautiful to watch, and from start to finish soaked, sunken, in irish music

bohemian rhapsody

the reviewers were right: a weak script – sentimental, sometimes cringy, and (i learnt later) not even historically accurate (e.g. freddie never left queen, to return for live aid); but – magical in its re-creation of the 70s, and of the live aid performance; ‘doing alright’ performed pre-mercury at a student gig was amazing to watch – something from the little-known first album, but containing all the elements of later queen – beautiful tune, rapid changes, hard rock

How they are related

Mercury as an Irish fairy – beautiful, vulnerable but with a deep power – mercurial? Well… Certainly both are about the power of music: in the Queen film, when you see the audiences rhythmically chanting and swaying with Freddie, particularly at Live Aid, you realise how music grabs us, and how skilfully Mercury operated those grabs.

‘[The Song of the Sea] tells of children discovering their parents’, and their own, identities’ – OK – one of the narrative frames of Bohemian Rhapsody is the move from his mother’s initial incomprehension of her son and her later proud acceptance, and some of the film’s sense is Freddie’s discovering his gay identity, and how his particular lifestyle within this killed him.

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