Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Dumbells


Phone rings at the gym...
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Hercule: Can’t talk now. I’m using weights.
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Sol: Ha! Curls or presses?
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Hercule: Bench presses.
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Sol: How many you done? Ten? Ha!
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Hercule: 650 every morning.
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Sol: You have a personal trainer?
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Hercule: Sure. She’s here now. Raisa Shyne. Telling me to get off the phone.
___________
Voice-over
Hercule is improving his upper body muscles to understand the strength needs of wheelchair athletes. He was impressed by a gymnast who was paralyzed waist down after a fall and became a Paralympian tennis sports champion.
...

Sunday, August 5, 2018

The Von Trapp Family Singers

The Sound of Music (film)…
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Lisa: I first saw it fifty years ago. Holds up well.
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von Trapps in London 1937
Julia: But is it truthful? Is it what really happened?
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Lisa: Of course not. It’s simplified. But it’s not too far off.
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Julia: It still looks good. Even if the music is er, a little too catchy.
Film Cast 1965
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Lisa: You mean too popularised?
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Julia: Even Edelweiss is not an Austrian folk song. It was written for the musical. And the individuals weren’t true to character. Captain von Trapp was not a standoffish father. Maria wasn’t constantly sunny. And they didn’t traipse up over the hills to escape. They left by train and without a car chase.
___________
Voice-over

Simplifying a story to make a myth. It was centered around music, and many critics like Judith Crist and Pauline Kael panned the film. Too simple, too sentimental, they said. But many people went to see the film countless times. They must have liked it.
...

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

White Augustus Rabbit

Augustus

We are in august company.



The emperor Augustus used to say,
On every month, the first day:


WHITE RABBIT, 
WHITE RABBIT, 
WHITE RABBIT.
Lepus



Augustus was fond of rabbits.

And, unfortunately, perhaps figs.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Koreeda’s Shoplifters: A Cannes triumph

After seeing Shoplifters
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Jona: Clever narrative. Like peeling an onion, layer by layer, until all was revealed. I thought the boy, Shota, was a girl at first.
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Emiko: Violence lurked. Killings, burials.
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Jona: But no victims or violence ever seen.
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Emiko: Just alluded to. Subtle.
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Jona: And, poor as they were, they laughed a lot.
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Emiko: All were positive about solving their problems. Didn’t sit around at home.
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Jona: Diligent about going off to their jobs when they could get work.
___________
Voice-over
Brilliant. Part Kurosawa, part Ozu, part Mizoguchi, synthesizing many great Japanese directors.

Ten years in the making, and it shows in the care Koreeda takes in telling the story. Gradually revealing that almost no one in this “family” is even related to one another. The sympathy in his portrayal of people coping with poverty and what happens to them. Very LIKE!
...