Tuesday 7th February 2017

Thunder In My Heart

Leo Sayer and Tom Snow

Standing here alone with you
Wondering what it is that I’m supposed to do
And there you are with the lovelight in your eyes
Your bridges are burnt down
Your arms are open wide
Am I in too deep or should I swim to the shore
Is this the real thing I don’t know
But I’ve never been here before
And I feel a thunder in my heart
That I just can’t control
I feel a thunder in my heart
Should I walk away or follow my soul
I feel a thunder in my heart
Where it comes from I just don’t know
Oh no, oh no

There’s a storm ragin’ deep in my soul
There’s a howlin’ wind that I just can’t control
There’s a fire inside me I can’t explain
Every time you touch me my love falls like rain
I’ve only known you for an hour or more
But the time is standin’ still
Your love has opened up the door
I feel a thunder in my heart
It takes my breath away
I feel a thunder in my heart
Will I ever be the same
I feel a thunder in my heart
It’s telling me you’re here to stay
Oh no, oh no

There’s a thunder in my heart
There’s a thunder in my heart
There’s a thunder in my heart
There’s a thunder in my heart

Take me baby I’m all yours
Do just what you wanna do with my love
Let’s not let the night overtake us
‘Cos what’s happening right now may make or break us
Do you feel the way I do
Open up your heart now baby
I’m coming’ through
I feel a thunder in my heart
Takin’ my breath away
I feel a thunder in my heart
Since I met you I’ll never be the same
I feel a thunder in my heart
I know you’re here to stay
I feel a thunder in my heart
And I know you’re here to stay

20170207_12292520170207_122902danton-1

Danton

Danton is a 1983 French language film depicting the last months of Georges Danton, one of the leaders of the French Revolution. It is an adaptation of the Polish play “The Danton Case” by Stanisława Przybyszewska.

The film stars Gérard Depardieu in the title role with Anne Alvaro as Éléonore Duplay. It was directed by the Polish director Andrzej Wajda and was an international co-production between companies in France, Poland and West Germany. All supporters of Danton (with the exception of Bourdon) are played by French actors, while Robespierre’s allies are played by Poles. The film draws parallels between the Reign of Terror after the French Revolution and the situation in contemporary Poland, in which the Solidarity movement was struggling against the oppression of the Soviet-backed Polish government. The film had 1,392,779 admissions in France.

1345228088_danton_01maxresdefault

The film begins in the spring of 1794, when the Reign of Terror was in full swing. On the borders of Paris, any vehicles entering Paris, including the carriage of Danton, who has just ridden in, are being searched. Robespierre, meanwhile, is sick in his bed. His landlady’s daughter, Éléonore Duplay, attempts to comfort him, but is unable to. Her nephew, whom she is taking care of, is meanwhile being made to memorize lines from the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen. Back in the streets of Paris, starving lines of people, waiting for bread, discuss the possible reasons for the lack of it. Whether or not it is an enemy plot, the people do know that they are hungry, and that hunger leads to revolt. Once the bread store actually opens, and they finally begin to receive their bread, they are distracted by their other source of faith and hope in life: Danton. As Robespierre is watching, Danton is swarmed by a mob of supporters and fans, who all cry out for help. Robespierre, in his flat, is visited by Heron, the chief of the secret police, and instructs him to destroy the print shop of Camille Desmoulins, who is publishing pro-Dantonist circulars.

As the shop is being attacked, Robespierre is having his wig powdered. His friend Saint-Just comes in, and urges him to have Danton guillotined, but Robespierre ignores him. Later, when Robespierre meets with the other members of the Committee of Public Safety, they push the same point. Robespierre resists for various reasons, mainly because Danton is a brilliant and highly popular statesman and orator, but also because Danton is his personal friend. Before the National Convention commences for the day, Danton discusses with general Westermann about a coup to overthrow Robespierre and the committee, of which Danton disapproves. Danton’s closest supporters warn him that Robespierre is planning on having him jailed. Danton, however, is positive that his newspaper and the support of the people will prevent anything like that from ever happening. All of his supporters urge him to strike now and take power, but he resists. That day, at the convention, one of Danton’s supporters, Bourdon, makes a speech against Heron and his secret police (a central part of Robespierre’s regime), and has Heron jailed.

8cn1ktc1q3

That night, Danton and Robespierre have dinner together. Danton puts much work into setting the meal, but Robespierre refuses to drink or eat, insisting on a serious discussion. Robespierre wants Danton to join his cause and stop fighting because he does not want to be forced to have Danton executed. Danton simply drinks until he passes out, and refuses Robespierre’s advances. As Danton leaves the hotel, he is met by a group of armed men who turn out to be Westermann’s assistants, preparing to stage a coup. Danton rebuffs Westerman’s attempt to coerce him into helping. Next, Robespierre goes to Camille Desmoulins’ house, where Camille entirely ignores his presence. Robespierre tries to convince Camille that Danton is exploiting him, but he is again ignored. His wife Lucile begs Robespierre to stay and talk sense into her husband because she wants him to live, but Robespierre can do nothing. With no other options, Robespierre has Lacroix, Phillipeaux, Desmoulins, Westermann, Danton and other supporters arrested and jailed in the Luxembourg jail, after having the warrant signed by the Committee of General Security and the Committee of Public Safety. Although Danton has the power to raise up a force and resist, he doesn’t because he does not want any more bloodshed. The man who arrests Danton is scared of him, and Danton has to practically drag him along.

The next day at the national convention, the members are outraged by the arrest, but Robespierre simply justifies his action by stating that Danton is an enemy of the Republic, and must be tried regardless of his popularity. To save his own life, Bourdon joins Robespierre’s side, deserting Danton and Desmoulins, which disgusts Lucile.

4457006_3_acaf_georges-jacques-danton-revolutionnaire_2e34c3333b0f9fbe18278c04c057dbdd

While Danton waits in custody, Robespierre plans out his trial. Only seven jurors are to be used, which is against the law, but Robespierre can only ensure seven men who will find Danton guilty. Danton has given up on the Revolution and on the people. At the trial, Danton consistently breaks the order by speaking out of turn. The people are still in support of him, and judge Fouquier finds no grounds to prosecute him. The accused are kept in prison overnight and there is a solitary scene in where Danton is brought to his knees when a condemned prisoner tells him how overjoyed he is to hear that Danton, the first president of the committee, is to be executed. While Robespierre is visiting David, he is informed that Danton’s charisma is interrupting the planned process of the trial, and the sentence is going nowhere. In response a decree is issued that if anyone speaks out of turn again, which Danton has done repeatedly, they will be removed from court. Within minutes, the entire accused team has been dismissed, and the verdict of guilty is read. The day before his execution, Danton is depressed. Not due to his death, but due to the fact that he feels that he failed the people. They are led off to the scaffold and guillotined. When Robespierre finally hears of Danton’s death, he turns ghostly pale, and realizes how he has violated liberty, and the goals of the revolution. His mistress’s nephew, now fully practiced, is finally sent in to recite. As he reads off the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen, Robespierre is fully brought to the reality of what he has done.

XIR173507

On 30 March 1794, Danton, Desmoulins and others of the indulgent party were suddenly arrested. Danton displayed such vehemence before the revolutionary tribunal that his enemies feared he would gain the crowd’s favour. The Convention, in one of its “worst fits of cowardice”, assented to a proposal made by Saint-Just during the trial that, if a prisoner showed want of respect for justice, the tribunal might exclude the prisoner from further proceeding and pronounce sentence without him being present.

Danton, Desmoulins, and many other actual or accused Dantonist associates were tried from 3-5 April before the Revolutionary Tribunal. The trial was less criminal in nature than political, and as such unfolded in an irregular fashion. The jury had only seven members, despite the law demanding twelve, as it was deemed that only seven jurors could be relied on returning the required verdict. Danton made lengthy and violent attacks on the Committee of Public Safety and the accused demanded the right to have witnesses appear on their behalf; they submitted requests for several, including, in Desmoulins’ case, Robespierre.

The Court’s President, M.J.A. Herman, was unable to control the proceedings until the aforementioned decree was passed by the National Convention, preventing the accused from further defending themselves. These facts, together with confusing and often incidental denunciations (for instance, a report that Danton, while engaged in political work in Brussels, had appropriated a carriage filled with several hundred thousand pounds of table linen) and threats made by prosecutor Antoine Quentin Fouquier-Tinville towards members of the jury, ensured a guilty verdict. Danton and the rest of the defendants were condemned to death, and at once led, in company with fourteen others, including Camille Desmoulins and several other members of the Indulgents, to the guillotine. “I leave it all in a frightful welter,” he said; “not a man of them has an idea of government. Robespierre will follow me; he is dragged down by me. Ah, better be a poor fisherman than meddle with the government of men!” The phrase ‘a poor fisherman’ was almost certainly a reference to Saint Peter, Danton having reconciled to Catholicism.

Of the group of fifteen who were guillotined together on 5 April 1794, including Marie Jean Hérault de Séchelles, Philippe Fabre d’Églantine and Pierre Philippeaux, Desmoulins died third, and Danton last.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: