Few people leave cinemas before a film ends
(it seems they'd rather suffer what they paid for)
much less soon after one begins,
as I did with Atonement
based on an unreadable book of the same name.
I also fled The Company of Wolves
and Taxi Driver. Maybe one or two more.
I could not stand a much-praised play
(Translations by Brian Friel)
and dragged my companion
out of the National Theatre in London.
I also abandoned Berg's Lulu at the Royal Opera House.
Last week I escaped a film
in two languages, stupidly
called Godland* in both English and French:
a tedious study in dreariness, partly about
mutual incomprehension between Icelanders and Danes
during Denmark's cruel colonisation
(described by the great Halldór Laxness),
whose subtitles (in French)
came 9 seconds after
the words they were translated from
– and fell over a stout woman's legs,
sprawling on the floor
in an ungainly exit.
*The Danish title is Vanskabte Land,
which means 'Lost, Disappeared and/or Forbidden Land'.