The King’s Tweets

[I have re-ordered these tweets to clarify the sequence of the conversation in places. Many thanks to @KelliMarshall, @DarkEyeSocket, @silent_london, @flickerdrome, and @reverse_shot for their spontaneous contributions.]

3 thoughts on “The King’s Tweets

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention The King’s Tweets « Spectacular Attractions --

  2. Brilliant, hilarious. This actually amounts to a terrific review by itself, Dan. Lovely work.
    I’d actually missed half of this conversation because I don’t follow some of these feeds. Now I get the full picture.

    I really liked the film, and what strikes me most in this stream above is your point about history being neglected for a speech impediment. That was the major thing that nagged me first. But I think relegation of history is part of the agenda, as if pointing out that for both KG-VI and the film, a smaller glitch is much more oppressive than a huge war. History always tries to butt in into the smaller picture. The scene with the Hitler propaganda reels were rather interesting I thought. But I think, ultimately, the film doesn’t rewrite history as much as it suggests that history is generally inaccessible. I’m not sure if that is reproachable that much.


  3. Thanks, JAFB. I’m glad you found some ‘review’ content in there. I was hoping some would emerge, without it being written in a review format, and the contributions of others helped to shape it.

    The film seals its protagonists off from the bigger picture. It wants to give an intimate picture of the interior life of public figures, and only occasionally pulls out for ‘wide shots’ of the scale of things – those queasy moments where he gets to see a massive audience waiting for him to speak really capture the discomfort of public speaking. I don’t mind it doing that, but at times I thought the film wanted me to read this allegorically as a bigger struggle between the public and the private, and to imagine that how the king spoke was truly important. ‘We’ the people were an amorphous mass waiting be soothed by the composure of this symbolic monarch, as if it didn’t matter what he said, as long as he could show enough confidence to instil a similar calm in us all. I hoped the film would critique this position at some point, but it didn’t.

    There are ways to do this kind of historical portrait without needing all the expositional dialogue (the script of The King’s Speech is very mechanical); I’m thinking of Sokurov’s ‘The Sun’, which creates a slightly surreal portrait of Hirohito at the end of WWII, but it feels truthful and illuminating about his separation from the consequences of his rule.

    I have to admit that The King’s Speech seemed to fly by, so it must have entertained me, or maybe it just threw no obstacles to my enjoyment into my path – such crucial moments of history should be more troubling than this.

    As for the Hitler bit, yes there was a lovely revelation there – what’s that in the king’s face when he sees Hitler dominating huge crowds? Is it …. envy? Or is it the release of realising that confident speech-making is something to be feared, that it always comes with the danger of the hypnotised mob? Do we therefore summise that the king’s stammer is a mark of his sincerity, a sign that he really feels the importance of what he says, the weight of his responsibility, while Hitler abuses the power given to him by his platform? I’m glad they left that point hanging and didn’t belabour it beyond that one scene.

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