Last night I watched (for the umpteenth time) the DVD of Manon des Sources, which with its predecessor Jean de Florette must be a favoured candidate for one of the best films ever. Superb acting, superb script, heartbreaking denouement and above all the incomparable flavour of la France profonde.
I know that some prefer to see their films on the big screen but, for me, that experience has been soured by the lingering smell of popcorn and the smoking ban. Besides, it has become awfully expensive. Far better to settle back into the sofa with a glass of dry white and get the DVD player up and running.
It is for that reason I brought some DVDs over to Spain with me, including Casablanca and Gilda. Man, they made some cracking films in those days. Each repeat viewing brings new rewards. And you can get them from Amazon for less than a fiver.
Nor am I averse to DVDs of more recent vintage. One of my pleasures during this trip has been the first series of Game of Thrones. Not exactly sophisticated watching but painting in bold, perhaps even lurid, colours has its own charms.
Anyway, here is a special treat: the wonderful Rita Hayworth in Gilda. (Some of you may remember that she was the subject of one of the first posters in Shawshank Redemption behind which the hero burrowed his way out.)