Wikipedia attribution link for MTS Center picture.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
The title of the song here ("You're the top") does sound like a pun, doesn't it.
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
I owned a Kimball console piano for years, and occasionally (not often enough) had it tuned.
In the new German-language documentary "PianoMania", First Run Features, Wildart and Oval, with directors Robert Cibis and Lilian Franck trace the work of Austrian Steinway piano tuner Stephen Knupfer, with moderately egotistical client pianists Lang Lang, Aldred Brendel, Buchbinder, and Pierre-Laruent Aimand. The last of these pianists plans to record the Bach "Art of the Fugues" one year later, and much of the film concerns the efforts to tune the piano (with its own production number) for the right effect for this one commercial recording. The film climaxes with the recording session, and joking around. The film has segments of a lot of piano music, including a Haydn Sonata, the Beethoven A-flat Sonata fugal finale, and the opening of the Schumann C Major Fantasy, which is impressive, and some Elliott Carter.
The film takes place in Vienna and in Hamburg (home of Steinway). There are some scenes that show the internal mechanics of a grand piano, and an interesting depiction of a 400 year old clavier.
Here is the link.
I saw this on a Friday afternoon at Landmark E-Street before a small crowd.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Ingmar Bergman's "Persona": a near monologue with a touch of David Lynch, and plenty of existentialism
Note: In the original posting, "Persona" was accidentally mistyped as "Personal" in the posting heading; the name of the posting when located directly will have the "l". That is not really a problem! (It's sometimes spelled as "Personae".)
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
All this movie needs is a talking dog or a cat like "Paw Paw". After all, both partners in this "couple" have commitment issues for all twenty-plus years that the movie spans.
Here is the website.
(No longer available as of 11/2011; have to look for it somewhere else. )
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
"Toy Story 3": Pixar's series continues to show us what it's like to be a toy in a higher being's world
Monday, August 22, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
"Nobody's Child": Biography of Marie Balter shows how over "treatment" of mental illness perpetuated it
One aspect that I remember well: therapists and nurses would use euphemisms. They would say a particular patient was "not able" to do what is expected. How does personal responsibility fit in to such thinking?
I also remember the "occupational therapy", which in my case comprised working in a lab with cancer patients' urine samples. The "occupational therapist" talked about learning the discipline to stay with repetivie tasks. That shows in the movie, as Marie is rewarded for being able to work increasingly long days as a clerk, but still sometimes sees demons in the typewriter.
Picture: above: NIH Clinical Center, Bethesda, MD, where I was a "patient" in 1962.
Below: extract from my own "thermafaxed" patient records.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Section picture: Wikipedia attribution link for Las Vegas strip.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Pictures: local disco, not from film but similar
"Motherland Afghanistan": PBS Independent Lens documentary explores medical care for women in war-torn country
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Picture: no, not from movie. but Robert E. Lee's birthplace in VA.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
"If a Tree Falls": Is eco-vandalism more than that? Documentary from the POV of a man who goes to jail for his gradual involvement
Friday, August 12, 2011
“something amazing is about to be served”). In time, the movie layers itself, as a book by “Anonymous” called “The Help” is published and suddenly takes off. But then there is one final twist.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
"A Childhood Place", short film about George Washington's birthplace at Popes Creek Plantation (shown by NPS)
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Monday, August 08, 2011
Sunday, August 07, 2011
"A Better Life": (another) remake of "Bicycle Thief"; also a commentary on the cultural divide between "illegal immigrants" and US mainstream
Saturday, August 06, 2011
Picture: (not in film) around Newburgh, NY, recent trip, 2011.
Friday, August 05, 2011
Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Monday, August 01, 2011
In Maldives, an iman says that "a man is a single person, a woman is a man's future" and says his daughter will not work and will take care of the home. I understand that "intellectually" but cannot relate to it emotionally.
Another iman talks about the strict rules of the Koran (which seem to guarantee that everybody "pays his dues"), but says that the Koran forbids violence and terrorism.
"Witnesses": gritty thriller from Croatia about the horror of the early 90s war, with "vantage points"
Recently, I rented the well-produced and expansive, if brief, Croatian film “Witnesses” (“Svjedoci”), from Vinko Bresan (2003), from Film Movement. A man and his family are assassinated in a kind of home invasion, and there are multiple witnesses. The film traces several characters, affected by different poits of view. But this film is not so much about what happened (like “Vantage Point” by Pete Travis and Columbia in 2008) as how it affects the characters going forward. And generally, it’s badly. There are family strifes over the sacrifices already made (one man has lost a limb), and a general mood supporting the “ethnic cleansing” that the media reported back in 1993 about Bosnia. One man urinates on his prisoners, and another blows up a religious statue, almost the way the Taliban did in 2001 in Afghanistan. There is a certain meanness to all of this, a willingness to mow down victims for “my side”. Sound like our current political crisis?
Here is the official site.
Apparently the film did well at a 2004 Berlin Film Festival. The on location photography, 2.35:1,however rain-soaked and gray, is stunning.
The DVD has a short, 13 min, “Little Terrorist”, by Asvin Kumar. A little boy, Jamal, a Muslim, crosses the border from Pakistan into India, and is sheltered by an Indian family that shaves his head as a disguise.
There are a couple other major films about “witnesses”. One is “The Witnesses” or “Les Temoins” (2007) by Andre Techine (Strand Releasing), about a young man from North Africa who develops AIDS (even Kaposi’s Sarcoma) after befriending a physician and a police officer.
But the best known film with this title keyword is “Witness” (1985, Paramount) by Peter Weir, where Harrison Ford plays a cop who must work with an Amish family after a woman from that group witnesses a murder.
And don’t forget Billy Wilder’s convoluted “Witness for the Prosecution” for United Artists in 1957, courtroom drama with unbelievable last minute surprises that questions marriage itself, all the way back then.