Monday, June 27, 2016

Days of Youth

Days of Youth is a 1929 Yasujiro Ozu film. A silent comedy film, it tells the story of 2 young men, college friends, who court the same young woman. This is the earliest known of his films to survive. I liked it but found myself distracted so decided to put it aside for another time. Of course, once I went back to it Hulu didn't have it available.

via Youtube:



DVD Talk says, "The picture is quite enjoyable, easy to follow and influenced by Hollywood comedies" and concludes, "Days of Youth is an enjoyable and accessible if somewhat overlong comedy that exemplifies Ozu's early career."

I've also blogged these other of his films:

Late Spring (1949)
Tokyo Story (1953)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Lake Barkley State Park, Blue Spring Trail


This trail, like the other one I walked, began in the lodge area but went in the opposite direction. You follow the signs to the Fitness Center/Tennis Courts/Indoor Pool:





and cross that road above to get to the beginning of the trail:



There were several interpretive signs:


It was in this area that I saw the deer:


There's a sweet resting spot, but I didn't stop:


Just a bit past the swing, I saw a turkey family. I must've startled them, because she made her alarm gobble and a couple of babies headed up into the trees. I did stop then, because how can you resist watching a family of turkeys?

The second trail head is here:



I saw another family of animals in the brush, and I showed this photo to the park staff who identified it as a groundhog. They said there are a lot of them around there:


The park literature directs you not to walk the trails alone, which is sad. If I had taken their advice I'd have missed the trails entirely, since The Younger Son likes trails but not in the heat and The Husband has health issues which make trail walking impossible. These are short, easy walks; my cell phone was working fine; and my family knew where I was. It didn't seem like a risky choice at all to do this.








Saturday, June 25, 2016

Lake Barkley State Park


Last week we went to Lake Barkley State Park in Kentucky for a vacation. It was a peaceful time away. The rooms in the lodge have balconies that look out over the lake:


We saw a lot of Great Blue Herons and Egrets, but this was the only picture I got:


Here's the view from the bed:


I love a place with trails, and I walked 2 short trails while I was there. This one starts at the back of the building where our room was:



There were critter signs:


but the only big critter I saw on this walk was a deer.

There's a swinging bridge:




The trail loops back to the lodge area, and these were taken from the concrete walkway that runs between the lake and the lodge complex:


You can see the building where our room was on the left:


What a beautiful place! I'll show the other trail in a separate post.



Friday, June 24, 2016

Suspiria

Suspiria is a 1977 Dario Argento horror film. This is the first in the Three Mothers Trilogy, which continues with Inferno and The Mother of Tears. Suspiria focuses on an American ballerina, who realizes after a while that the German ballet school she's enrolled in is a front for all kinds of evil goings-on. Joan Bennett is in it.

trailer:



Moria says, "Many regard Suspiria as Dario Argento’s finest film." 1000 Misspent Hours concludes with this: "Suspiria, in its best moments, is like a nightmare whose horrific power is impossible to convey to anyone upon waking, and which remains unsettling in memory precisely because it can never be adequately explained to anyone else."

Images Journal calls it a "masterpiece of gothic horror" and "one of the most beautiful, dream-like horror films ever conceived, and quite simply the crowning achievement of a stylistic master, director Dario Argento." Slant Magazine has a positive article that discusses the influences on this film. Empire Online says it's "As close to perfection as the genre has probably ever come." Time Out rates it #9 on the list of 100 best horror films.

DVD Talk says, "Dario Argento's masterpiece, the dark fairy tale known as Suspiria, remains one of the most beloved Italian horror films of all time. A fantastic exercise in style and atmosphere". Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 93%.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Club Dead

image from Wikipedia

Club Dead (2003) is the 3rd in the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris. These are a good example of the snack food of books. It's steamy romance/vampire/mystery with plenty of comic elements all wrapped up in one package. It also has rape and other forms of violence. And an un-named Elvis. Elvis is definitely here.

This installment takes place during the season before Christmas -Advent, for those of you who observe such things. It doesn't figure prominently in the plot, but mentions of decorations and shopping for presents are scattered throughout.

These books have been adapted for TV, but I haven't seen them.

from the back of the book:
There's only one vampire Sookie Stackhouse is involved with (at least voluntarily) and that's Bill. But recently he's been a little distant -in another state distant. His sinister and sexy boss, Eric, has an idea where to find him. Next thing Sookie knows, she is off to Jackson, Mississippi, to mingle with the under-underworld at Club Dead. It's a dangerous little haunt where the elitist vampire society can go to chill out and suck down some type O. But when Sookie finally finds Bill -caught in an act of serious betrayal- she's not sure whether to save him... or sharpen some stakes.
SF Site calls the series "one of my favorites for its humor and characters." Love Vampires closes by saying, "In a nutshell, if you like supernatural fantasy, romances and mystery stories you are going to love this book."

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Grand Canyon Massacre

Grand Canyon Massacre is a 1964 spaghetti western directed by Albert Band and Sergio Corbucci, and starring James Mitchum (son of Robert Mitchum). I think the younger Mitchum bears a strong resemblance to the elder, which makes me happy.

via youtube:


Spaghetti-Western.net calls it "mediocre". The Examiner gives it 3 out of 5 stars and says, "it is still a western, however much it has been adapted to fit the Euro, Italian-style mold".

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Formosa


The Daughter and I met a group of women at Formosa Chinese Restaurant for lunch a couple of weeks ago. Neither of us had ever been, though some of our lunch companions had. The exterior is just boring strip mall design, but the interior was attractive:


The Daughter had the vegetable fried rice, and I had the vegetable low mein:


We shared a pot of delicious hot tea. You can see their menu here. To be honest, I prefer a lunch buffet when I eat Chinese, because I'd rather have a wider variety and less of each dish. This was good food, though. Very good.

Yelp gives it 4 out of 5 stars, as does Trip Advisor.

Please join the T Tuesday gathering at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is a 1964 French musical film. It's directed by Jacques Demy and stars Catherine Deneuve. This is a beautiful film -stunning to watch- and a touching story. It'll bring you to tears if you let it.

trailer:



"I Will Wait for You":


Watch it online via Vimeo.

Slant Magazine opens a 4 out of 4 star review with this: "Deceptively simple in form and, despite its swooning sentiment, knowing about the fluid complications of amour, Jacques Demy's The Umbrellas of Cherbourg retains its direct appeal to the eyes, ears, and tear ducts after nearly 50 years, with an emotionalism that's shameless but never crass."

Roger Ebert says, "When she made "Umbrellas" for the French director Jacques Demy, Deneuve was 20, and her work in this film was a flowering that introduced one of the great stars of modern French cinema" and concludes, "it is remembered as a bold original experiment, and now that it is restored and back in circulation, it can also be remembered as a surprisingly effective film, touching and knowing and, like Deneuve, ageless."

It's included in the book 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 98%.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Tokyo Godfathers

Tokyo Godfathers is a 2003 anime film, a comedy/drama that takes place before Christmas. A homeless trio (an alcoholic man, a drag queen, and a runaway girl) find a baby and try to care for it while they search for its parents. I found it a sad story.

trailer:



The NYT gives it a positive review and describes it as "a heartfelt urban fable about human decency among the down-and-out." Roger Ebert gives it 3 out of 4 stars and calls it "an animated film both harrowing and heartwarming". Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 89%.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Django's Cut Price Corpses

Django's Cut Price Corpses is a 1971 spaghetti western. We didn't much like this one, but we finished it. There are a lot of good spaghetti westerns out there. Watch one of those instead.

trailer:



DVD Talk calls it a "confusing, boring mishmash". Spaghetti-Western.net says, "It's universally acknowlegded that [director] Batzella's movies belong to the lower echelons of the genre, but some think this is his best effort".