October 12th 1975

“Started to read James Dean book and finished it – good book!! Film in PM was “Catch 22″ – v.good!”

Aaaah, those were the days…. when I had the patience and lack of distraction to finish a book in a single day!

One book I never read in full – even though over the years I have tried countless times – is Joseph Heller’s “Catch 22”, regarded by many as a modern day classic.

I think it’s because the book flip-flops all over the place and moves backwards and forwards through time, often without notice. A bit too confusing for my already complicated little mind.

Better then the movie, a Mike Nicholls directed tour de force about the lunacy of war and the madness it can inflict on its participants.

Alan Arkin is dead-on perfect as the “is he crazy?” Bombadier Yossarian, trying manfully to escape his fate but up against the quizicality of being told that an airman “would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane he’d have to fly them. If he flew them he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t, he was sane and had to”

Once again it’s a film that I deemed “v.good” in 1975 but which later viewings resulted in less favourable remarks from me. Maybe, like many other seventies films, it has just not stood the test of time very well?

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