CALENDAR GIRLS: 10 YEARS ON

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Calendar Girls Ten Years On Did you know that 'Granny porn' has become much more rampant over the last couple of years or so? However, do you know why that is? Well, it is all because of reality television and cocaine – simple as that really. Also, it could possibly be because of the 2001 Women’s Institute Calendar, which is what this 60 minute documentary made in 2011 is all about.


Calendar Girls


THE STORY:
Ten years after eleven middle-aged women from the Women’s Institute, decided to take their clothes off for charity, six of these five same women are at it again. However, this time there journey is being chronicled in this program, and with it, an alternate perspective of the past, present, and possible future.

Now to help recount this rejuvenating journey, this program is aided by stock photography, interviews, re-enactments, and a quaint voice over narration by Pamela Hodge. What now follows is a breakdown of what this journey entails:

  • WHATS THE STORY: After the death of her husband, John Baker, Angela and her close friend from the Women’s Institute, Tricia Stewart, wanted to raise some money to battle the dreadful disease that John perished from – Leukaemia. So to do this, they persuaded a couple of friends of theirs to pose nude for an ‘alternative’ calendar, so that they could then sell this item to close family and friends. Now, at first, they though that ‘nothing much’ would come from this venture – expect for maybe a couple of quid and a funny story that they could tell to their Grandchildren. However, what they got instead, was recognition – a shed load of cash – and a media recognition that has lasted to this very day.
  • THE MEDIA: Once the ‘nude calendar’ hit the streets, things changed quite a bit for all the girls involved. Firstly, they got a lot of fan mail – to their postman’s chagrin. Secondly, the media came a calling for an eventful film based around this ‘story’ – which led to five of the girls disassociating themselves from this project. And thirdly, due to the writer of this film, Tim Firth, a theatrical production was devised also – thus prompting for a new calendar to be made in the style of the old one.
  • THE AFTER-EFFECTS: Currently, ten years on, the Calendar girl’s and their endeavours have had many long lasting repercussions: Angela has found a new husband – the girls have more wrinkles – and on top of that, thanks to their efforts, Leukaemia has had a lower casualty rate too. Still, to juxtapose this stance, they are still the same people within, and continually strive to inspire, raise money, and take a bold stand for their wares.




THE REVIEW:
Many a year ago, when I was a little git with a glint in my eye and pee in my pants, I remember a time when I first had my meat and two veg out in public. It was on sports day I think, and, by chance, I ran into a big puddle full of God knows what, thus covering myself from head to toe with... err... sh*t. In haste, my Mum came over to me and wiped me down. But in so doing, she also stripped me bare - with nothing on but an embarrassed complexion and a strained look on my face. Listen, I confess I was a mite embarrassed at first. However, when I could feel the enamored attention that I was getting from all of the onlookers – do you know what I did next? I ran around naked in the field as if nothing was wrong – just waving my Percy pecker about as if it was a puppet on a string.

Calendar Girls Theatre
OK, I know that me parading about in my Birthday suit did not cause as much inspiration as when the Women of W.I. had their giblets on display. Nevertheless, this very loose association does make me sympathise with what they had to go through, just so that they could make some cash to combat a dreadful illness. Moreover, another thing that I can sympathise with, is how a death of a loved one can make you do things that you would not normally do.

Now if I remember correctly, Friedrich Nietzsche once said ‘What does not kill me, makes me stronger’. And, in a round about way, that is exactly what the girls from the W.I. have done with their nude calendar. Granted, they carried out this same task with less pontificating and more bravado – still – the sentiment is the just the same.


The Real Calendar Girls


Though while I am on to the subject of ‘sentiment’, this brings me nicely to what I thought about this documentary ‘Calendar Girls: Ten Years On’. As it recounts a sentimental journey in a very sentimental way, and with it, a sort of ‘old world charm’ that is very humble and modest to behold. Fair enough, some of the details are glossed over in a very subtle fashion – like why the five women who left the project, thought more of Victoria Woods offer, and so negatively about the film. But by enlarge this was a really nice program to watch. Because it complements the film ‘Calendar Girls’, by relaying the true story from the real people involved. In addition to this, there is also an underlining message conveyed about how people can pick themselves up from despair, and use their sorrow in a worthwhile way.


Calendar Girl London


Bless you girls from the Women’s Institute, for giving this nudist / reviewer inspiration, a poignant tale, hope, and the message that beauty is not something that is just on the surface, but truly something that comes from within.

Great documentary.

THE RATING: B+