Monday, June 21, 2021

Happy International Day of Yoga

Namaste. Enjoy the International Day of Yoga by doing some yoga. Here are some easy beginner poses:






Corpse Pose (Savasana)
usually shown on the floor, this pose can also be done on your bed

Sunday, June 20, 2021

The Long Ships

The Long Ships is a 1964 British/Yugoslav film starring Richard Widmark and Sidney Poitier. There is so much not to like here unless you're a Widmark or Poitier completest. I didn't finish it.


In 3 parts below with ads.

Part 1:


Part 2:


Part 3:


DVD Talk calls it a "total botch" and says, "The only way to account for the erratic final result is to point at the gross miscasting and waste of good actors in minor roles. Much of the film appears to be played for laughs that aren't in the script." Rotten Tomatoes has a 50% critics consensus and a 39% audience rating. TCM has an overview.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

The Red House Mystery

The Red House Mystery is a 1922 "locked room" story by A.A. Milne and is his only mystery novel. This is a fun read. I enjoyed the writing style, how the plot progresses, the characters... all of it. You can read it online here or here or listen to it read to you at the bottom of this post. Here's the first chapter:
CHAPTER I.

Mrs. Stevens is Frightened

In the drowsy heat of the summer afternoon the Red House was taking its siesta. There was a lazy murmur of bees in the flower-borders, a gentle cooing of pigeons in the tops of the elms. From distant lawns came the whir of a mowing-machine, that most restful of all country sounds; making ease the sweeter in that it is taken while others are working.

It was the hour when even those whose business it is to attend to the wants of others have a moment or two for themselves. In the housekeeper’s room Audrey Stevens, the pretty parlour-maid, re-trimmed her best hat, and talked idly to her aunt, the cook-housekeeper of Mr. Mark Ablett’s bachelor home.

“For Joe?” said Mrs. Stevens placidly, her eye on the hat. Audrey nodded. She took a pin from her mouth, found a place in the hat for it, and said, “He likes a bit of pink.”

“I don’t say I mind a bit of pink myself,” said her aunt. “Joe Turner isn’t the only one.”

“It isn’t everybody’s colour,” said Audrey, holding the hat out at arm’s length, and regarding it thoughtfully. “Stylish, isn’t it?”

“Oh, it’ll suit you all right, and it would have suited me at your age. A bit too dressy for me now, though wearing better than some other people, I daresay. I was never the one to pretend to be what I wasn’t. If I’m fifty-five, I’m fifty-five—that’s what I say.”

“Fifty-eight, isn’t it, auntie?”

“I was just giving that as an example,” said Mrs. Stevens with great dignity.

Audrey threaded a needle, held her hand out and looked at her nails critically for a moment, and then began to sew.

“Funny thing that about Mr. Mark’s brother. Fancy not seeing your brother for fifteen years.” She gave a self-conscious laugh and went on, “Wonder what I should do if I didn’t see Joe for fifteen years.”

“As I told you all this morning,” said her aunt, “I’ve been here five years, and never heard of a brother. I could say that before everybody if I was going to die to-morrow. There’s been no brother here while I’ve been here.”

“You could have knocked me down with a feather when he spoke about him at breakfast this morning. I didn’t hear what went before, naturally, but they was all talking about the brother when I went in—now what was it I went in for—hot milk, was it, or toast?—well, they was all talking, and Mr. Mark turns to me, and says—you know his way—‘Stevens,’ he says, ‘my brother is coming to see me this afternoon; I’m expecting him about three,’ he says. ‘Show him into the office,’ he says, just like that. ‘Yes, sir,’ I says quite quietly, but I was never so surprised in my life, not knowing he had a brother. ‘My brother from Australia,’ he says—there, I’d forgotten that. From Australia.”

“Well, he may have been in Australia,” said Mrs. Stevens, judicially; “I can’t say for that, not knowing the country; but what I do say is he’s never been here. Not while I’ve been here, and that’s five years.”

“Well, but, auntie, he hasn’t been here for fifteen years. I heard Mr. Mark telling Mr. Cayley. ‘Fifteen years,’ he says. Mr. Cayley having arst him when his brother was last in England. Mr. Cayley knew of him, I heard him telling Mr. Beverley, but didn’t know when he was last in England—see? So that’s why he arst Mr. Mark.”

“I’m not saying anything about fifteen years, Audrey. I can only speak for what I know, and that’s five years Whitsuntide. I can take my oath he’s not set foot in the house since five years Whitsuntide. And if he’s been in Australia, as you say, well, I daresay he’s had his reasons.”

“What reasons?” said Audrey lightly.

“Never mind what reasons. Being in the place of a mother to you, since your poor mother died, I say this, Audrey—when a gentleman goes to Australia, he has his reasons. And when he stays in Australia fifteen years, as Mr. Mark says, and as I know for myself for five years, he has his reasons. And a respectably brought-up girl doesn’t ask what reasons.”

“Got into trouble, I suppose,” said Audrey carelessly. “They were saying at breakfast he’d been a wild one. Debts. I’m glad Joe isn’t like that. He’s got fifteen pounds in the post-office savings’ bank. Did I tell you?”

But there was not to be any more talk of Joe Turner that afternoon. The ringing of a bell brought Audrey to her feet—no longer Audrey, but now Stevens. She arranged her cap in front of the glass.

“There, that’s the front door,” she said. “That’s him. ‘Show him into the office,’ said Mr. Mark. I suppose he doesn’t want the other ladies and gentlemen to see him. Well, they’re all out at their golf, anyhow—Wonder if he’s going to stay—P’raps he’s brought back a lot of gold from Australia—I might hear something about Australia, because if anybody can get gold there, then I don’t say but what Joe and I—”

“Now, now, get on, Audrey.”

“Just going, darling.” She went out.

To anyone who had just walked down the drive in the August sun, the open door of the Red House revealed a delightfully inviting hall, of which even the mere sight was cooling. It was a big low-roofed, oak-beamed place, with cream-washed walls and diamond-paned windows, blue-curtained. On the right and left were doors leading into other living-rooms, but on the side which faced you as you came in were windows again, looking on to a small grass court, and from open windows to open windows such air as there was played gently. The staircase went up in broad, low steps along the right-hand wall, and, turning to the left, led you along a gallery, which ran across the width of the hall, to your bedroom. That is, if you were going to stay the night. Mr. Robert Ablett’s intentions in this matter were as yet unknown.

As Audrey came across the hall she gave a little start as she saw Mr. Cayley suddenly, sitting unobtrusively in a seat beneath one of the front windows, reading. No reason why he shouldn’t be there; certainly a much cooler place than the golf-links on such a day; but somehow there was a deserted air about the house that afternoon, as if all the guests were outside, or—perhaps the wisest place of all—up in their bedrooms, sleeping. Mr. Cayley, the master’s cousin, was a surprise; and, having given a little exclamation as she came suddenly upon him, she blushed, and said, “Oh, I beg your pardon, sir, I didn’t see you at first,” and he looked up from his book and smiled at her. An attractive smile it was on that big ugly face. “Such a gentleman, Mr. Cayley,” she thought to herself as she went on, and wondered what the master would do without him. If this brother, for instance, had to be bundled back to Australia, it was Mr. Cayley who would do most of the bundling.

“So this is Mr. Robert,” said Audrey to herself, as she came in sight of the visitor.

She told her aunt afterwards that she would have known him anywhere for Mr. Mark’s brother, but she would have said that in any event. Actually she was surprised. Dapper little Mark, with his neat pointed beard and his carefully curled moustache; with his quick-darting eyes, always moving from one to the other of any company he was in, to register one more smile to his credit when he had said a good thing, one more expectant look when he was only waiting his turn to say it; he was a very different man from this rough-looking, ill-dressed colonial, staring at her so loweringly.

“I want to see Mr. Mark Ablett,” he growled. It sounded almost like a threat.

Audrey recovered herself and smiled reassuringly at him. She had a smile for everybody.

“Yes, sir. He is expecting you, if you will come this way.”

“Oh! So you know who I am, eh?”

“Mr. Robert Ablett?”

“Ay, that’s right. So he’s expecting me, eh? He’ll be glad to see me, eh?”

“If you will come this way, sir,” said Audrey primly.

She went to the second door on the left, and opened it.

“Mr. Robert Ab—” she began, and then broke off. The room was empty. She turned to the man behind her. “If you will sit down, sir, I will find the master. I know he’s in, because he told me that you were coming this afternoon.”

“Oh!” He looked round the room. “What d’you call this place, eh?”

“The office, sir.”

“The office?”

“The room where the master works, sir.”

“Works, eh? That’s new. Didn’t know he’d ever done a stroke of work in his life.”

“Where he writes, sir,” said Audrey, with dignity. The fact that Mr. Mark “wrote,” though nobody knew what, was a matter of pride in the housekeeper’s room.

“Not well-dressed enough for the drawing-room, eh?”

“I will tell the master you are here, sir,” said Audrey decisively.

She closed the door and left him there.

Well! Here was something to tell auntie! Her mind was busy at once, going over all the things which he had said to her and she had said to him—quiet-like. “Directly I saw him I said to myself—” Why, you could have knocked her over with a feather. Feathers, indeed, were a perpetual menace to Audrey.

However, the immediate business was to find the master. She walked across the hall to the library, glanced in, came back a little uncertainly, and stood in front of Cayley.

“If you please, sir,” she said in a low, respectful voice, “can you tell me where the master is? It’s Mr. Robert called.”

“What?” said Cayley, looking up from his book. “Who?”

Audrey repeated her question.

“I don’t know. Isn’t he in the office? He went up to the Temple after lunch. I don’t think I’ve seen him since.”

“Thank you, sir. I will go up to the Temple.”

Cayley returned to his book.

The “Temple” was a brick summer-house, in the gardens at the back of the house, about three hundred yards away. Here Mark meditated sometimes before retiring to the “office” to put his thoughts upon paper. The thoughts were not of any great value; moreover, they were given off at the dinner-table more often than they got on to paper, and got on to paper more often than they got into print. But that did not prevent the master of The Red House from being a little pained when a visitor treated the Temple carelessly, as if it had been erected for the ordinary purposes of flirtation and cigarette-smoking. There had been an occasion when two of his guests had been found playing fives in it. Mark had said nothing at the time, save to ask with a little less than his usual point—whether they couldn’t find anywhere else for their game, but the offenders were never asked to The Red House again.

Audrey walked slowly up to the Temple, looked in and walked slowly back. All that walk for nothing. Perhaps the master was upstairs in his room. “Not well-dressed enough for the drawing-room.” Well, now, Auntie, would you like anyone in your drawing-room with a red handkerchief round his neck and great big dusty boots, and—listen! One of the men shooting rabbits. Auntie was partial to a nice rabbit, and onion sauce. How hot it was; she wouldn’t say no to a cup of tea. Well, one thing, Mr. Robert wasn’t staying the night; he hadn’t any luggage. Of course Mr. Mark could lend him things; he had clothes enough for six. She would have known him anywhere for Mr. Mark’s brother.

She came into the house. As she passed the housekeeper’s room on her way to the hall, the door opened suddenly, and a rather frightened face looked out.

“Hallo, Aud,” said Elsie. “It’s Audrey,” she said, turning into the room.

“Come in, Audrey,” called Mrs. Stevens.

“What’s up?” said Audrey, looking in at the door.

“Oh, my dear, you gave me such a turn. Where have you been?”

“Up to the Temple.”

“Did you hear anything?”

“Hear what?”

“Bangs and explosions and terrible things.”

“Oh!” said Audrey, rather relieved. “One of the men shooting rabbits. Why, I said to myself as I came along, ‘Auntie’s partial to a nice rabbit,’ I said, and I shouldn’t be surprised if—”

“Rabbits!” said her aunt scornfully. “It was inside the house, my girl.”

“Straight it was,” said Elsie. She was one of the housemaids. “I said to Mrs. Stevens—didn’t I, Mrs. Stevens?—‘That was in the house,’ I said.”

Audrey looked at her aunt and then at Elsie.

“Do you think he had a revolver with him?” she said in a hushed voice.

“Who?” said Elsie excitedly.

“That brother of his. From Australia. I said as soon as I set eyes on him, ‘You’re a bad lot, my man!’ That’s what I said, Elsie. Even before he spoke to me. Rude!” She turned to her aunt. “Well, I give you my word.”

“If you remember, Audrey, I always said there was no saying with anyone from Australia.” Mrs. Stevens lay back in her chair, breathing rather rapidly. “I wouldn’t go out of this room now, not if you paid me a hundred thousand pounds.”

“Oh, Mrs. Stevens!” said Elsie, who badly wanted five shillings for a new pair of shoes, “I wouldn’t go as far as that, not myself, but—”

“There!” cried Mrs. Stevens, sitting up with a start. They listened anxiously, the two girls instinctively coming closer to the older woman’s chair.

A door was being shaken, kicked, rattled.

“Listen!”

Audrey and Elsie looked at each other with frightened eyes.

They heard a man’s voice, loud, angry.

“Open the door!” it was shouting. “Open the door! I say, open the door!”

“Don’t open the door!” cried Mrs. Stevens in a panic, as if it was her door which was threatened. “Audrey! Elsie! Don’t let him in!”

“Damn it, open the door!” came the voice again.

“We’re all going to be murdered in our beds,” she quavered. Terrified, the two girls huddled closer, and with an arm round each, Mrs. Stevens sat there, waiting.


Friday, June 18, 2021

Paterson

Paterson is a 2016 award-winning Jim Jarmusch film starring Adam Driver. I watched it on Amazon Prime. A lovely way to spend a couple of hours.

trailer:


Vox says, "Paterson, the quietly philosophical tale of a bus-driving poet, is one of 2016's best films". Rolling Stone says, "Jim Jarmusch Scores With Tribute to Poetry All Around Us" and calls it "a quiet celebration of everyday people". Empire Online closes: "Quiet, thoughtful and deeply human, this is one of Jarmusch’s finest and features Adam Driver’s best performance yet — although you do risk coming out with a new affection for modernist poetry."

The New Yorker opens a positive review with this:
im Jarmusch is among the rarest and most precious filmmakers of our time, because, at his best—as he is in his new film, “Paterson”—he conjures an entire world of his own imagination. He does so with his wry and tamped-down tone, his loping rhythms, his puckishly frontal compositions, his worn-in sense of design, the winking terseness of his dialogue—and the loving precision of his documentary-rooted observations, which anchor his microcosmic cinematic world, with its austerely whimsical passions, in the world at large.

Roger Ebert's site concludes, "That is ultimately the very real thing that the movie is about: the conviction that if you can live at least part of your life breathing poetry (and that poetry is not necessarily a verbal thing), you can make your life more worthwhile." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 96%.

I have also seen these other Jarmusch films:



Thursday, June 17, 2021

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Quiet Duel

The Quiet Duel is a 1949 Akira Kurosawa film starring Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura. You won't go wrong watching any film with any of these three names associated with it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Melancholy

Melancholy (1916):


by Nicholae Vermont, who died on June 14, 1932, at the age of 65. Please share a drink-related post and join us at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth.

Monday, June 14, 2021

Iron Monkey

Iron Monkey is a 1977 Hong Kong/Taiwanese martial arts film.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Haunted Memphis

Haunted Memphis by Laura Cunningham is part of the Haunted America book series. It's an interesting look at some of the old Memphis stories and would be a good starting point, but I found it more helpful to use an internet search to find the ghost stories. That allows me to easily find maps to sites and to follow the links down related bunny trails. For visitors to the city I'd recommend one of the local ghost tours.

from the back of the book:
Much like its muddy riverbanks, the mid-South is flooded with tales of shadowy spirits lurking among us. Beyond the rhythm of the blues and tapping of blue suede shoes is a history steeped in horror. From the restless souls of Elmwood Cemetery to the voodoo vices of Beale Street, phantom hymns of the Orpheum Theatre and Civil War soldiers still looking for a fight, peer beyond the shadows of the city’s most historic sites. Author and lifelong resident Laura Cunningham expertly blends fright with history and presents the ghostly legends from Beale to Bartlett, Germantown to Collierville, in this one-of-a-kind volume no resident or visitor should be without.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Princess Iron Fan

Princess Iron Fan is a 1941 film loosely based on a part of a novel. It's the first animated feature length Chinese film. I loved the animation in this.



Friday, June 11, 2021

Tiamat's Wrath

Tiamat's Wrath by James S.A. Corey is the 8th book in the science fiction series The Expanse. This is one of the best science fiction series I've ever read. I look forward to the next book, which I'll be putting on my wish list for the next gift-giving occasion. The television adaptation is well-done, too.

from the back of the book:
THE ENEMY IS HERE

Thirteen hundred gates have opened to solar systems around the galaxy. But as humanity builds its interstellar empire in the alien ruins, the mysteries and threats grow deeper.

In the dead systems where gates lead to stranger things than alien planets, Elvi Okeye begins a desparate search to discover the nature of a genocide that happened before the first humans existed, and to find weapons to fight a war against forces at the edge of the imaginable.

At the heart of the empire, Teresa Duarte prepares to take on the burden of her father's godlike ambition. The sociopathic scientist Paolo Cortazar and the Mephistotophelian prisoner James Holden are only two of the dangers in a palace thick with intrigue...

And throughout the wide human empire, the scattered crew of the Rocinante fights a brave rearguard action against Duarte's authoritarian regime. Memory of the old order falls away, and a future under Laconia's eternal rule -and with it, a battle that humanity can only lose- seems more and more certain.

Tiamat's Wrath is the eighth and penultimate novel in the Expanse series, a modern masterwork of science fiction.
Reviews are positive. Honestly, if you like science fiction and haven't started reading these books, jump in! Read them in order.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

The Last Valley

The Last Valley is a 1971 historical drama starring Michael Caine and Omar Sharif as a mercenary soldier and a teacher respectively who find themselves during wartime in a peaceful valley untouched by the 30 Years War. The Younger Son has the DVD (or BluRay, I forget which) and watched it with me. It was a box office failure, but don't let that stop you. It gets mostly positive reviews now. I liked it.


Wednesday, June 09, 2021

Charles Dickens

Today is the anniversary of the death of Charles Dickens in 1870 at the age of 58 having not regained consciousness after a second stroke (according to Wikipedia). You can read his works online. There's an interactive virtual tour of the Charles Dickens Museum online here. There are images and descriptions of the rooms at his home here. There is information on what England was like during the lifetime of Dickens here. Here's a 4 1/2 minute BBC animated life of Dickens:


There's a 45-minute biography here at Biography.com.

Tuesday, June 08, 2021

The Web

The Web is a 1947 film noir starring Ella Raines, Edmond O'Brien, William Bendix and Vincent Price. You can watch it online here or via Internet Archive:



Here's a screen shot from fairly early on:



Please share a drink-related post and join us at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's weekly T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, June 07, 2021

Just Got Paid

Just Got Paid:



The East Memphis Trio, a band that used to be active in Memphis.

Sunday, June 06, 2021

Measure for Measure (1979)

Measure for Measure is the 1979 BBC adaptation of the Shakespeare play. I watched it on Amazon Prime. The play can be read here and here and listened to here.

Here's one scene:


There's information and background on the play here. There's a Wikipedia entry on this play that has background and historical information and a plot description.

Saturday, June 05, 2021

Theories of International Politics and Zombies



Theories of International Politics and Zombies is a 2014 book by Daniel W. Drezner, an American professor of international politics at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, an author, a blogger, a commentator, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Project on International Order and Strategy at the Brookings Institution. I found this a fascinating look at how zombies might play out in real life and an interesting way of looking at different philosophies of international relations without getting distracted by particular controversial issues. The overview of this book at Princeton University Press says,
What would happen to international politics if the dead rose from the grave and started to eat the living? Daniel Drezner’s groundbreaking book answers the question that other international relations scholars have been too scared to ask. Addressing timely issues with analytical bite, Drezner looks at how well-known theories from international relations might be applied to a war with zombies. Exploring the plots of popular zombie films, songs, and books, Theories of International Politics and Zombies predicts realistic scenarios for the political stage in the face of a zombie threat and considers how valid—or how rotten—such scenarios might be.
You can read the author's blog here.

Here he's speaking at the Harvard Coop in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Here he speaks at the Centre for International Governance Innovation:



This is from Tedx:

Friday, June 04, 2021

The Ghost Breakers (1940)

The Ghost Breakers is a 1940 horror comedy film starring Bob Hope and Paulette Goddard. Noble Johnson appears as The Zombie. Anthony Quinn and Paul Fix are also in this. You can watch it online at this link.

trailer:


DVD Talk calls it "A light and breezy Bob Hope comedy that comes up with some not-bad haunted house thrills when needed, The Ghost Breakers is one of his more pleasant vehicles." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 83%.


Thursday, June 03, 2021

The Blithedale Romance

The Blithedale Romance is an 1852 novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Wikipedia says, "Its setting is a utopian farming commune based on Brook Farm, of which Hawthorne was a founding member and where he lived in 1841." Interesting Literature says it
is set in a Utopian settlement, Blithedale, in New England, where a poet, a strong-headed woman in favour of equal rights, a young woman with extra-sensory powers, a philanthropist, and a middle-aged man with a secret all clash as they seek to determine what Blithedale should be.
You can read it online here or have it read to you at the bottom of this post. It begins,
I. OLD MOODIE

The evening before my departure for Blithedale, I was returning to my bachelor apartments, after attending the wonderful exhibition of the Veiled Lady, when an elderly man of rather shabby appearance met me in an obscure part of the street.

"Mr. Coverdale," said he softly, "can I speak with you a moment?"

As I have casually alluded to the Veiled Lady, it may not be amiss to mention, for the benefit of such of my readers as are unacquainted with her now forgotten celebrity, that she was a phenomenon in the mesmeric line; one of the earliest that had indicated the birth of a new science, or the revival of an old humbug. Since those times her sisterhood have grown too numerous to attract much individual notice; nor, in fact, has any one of them come before the public under such skilfully contrived circumstances of stage effect as those which at once mystified and illuminated the remarkable performances of the lady in question. Nowadays, in the management of his "subject," "clairvoyant," or "medium," the exhibitor affects the simplicity and openness of scientific experiment; and even if he profess to tread a step or two across the boundaries of the spiritual world, yet carries with him the laws of our actual life and extends them over his preternatural conquests. Twelve or fifteen years ago, on the contrary, all the arts of mysterious arrangement, of picturesque disposition, and artistically contrasted light and shade, were made available, in order to set the apparent miracle in the strongest attitude of opposition to ordinary facts. In the case of the Veiled Lady, moreover, the interest of the spectator was further wrought up by the enigma of her identity, and an absurd rumor (probably set afloat by the exhibitor, and at one time very prevalent) that a beautiful young lady, of family and fortune, was enshrouded within the misty drapery of the veil. It was white, with somewhat of a subdued silver sheen, like the sunny side of a cloud; and, falling over the wearer from head to foot, was supposed to insulate her from the material world, from time and space, and to endow her with many of the privileges of a disembodied spirit.

Her pretensions, however, whether miraculous or otherwise, have little to do with the present narrative—except, indeed, that I had propounded, for the Veiled Lady's prophetic solution, a query as to the success of our Blithedale enterprise. The response, by the bye, was of the true Sibylline stamp,—nonsensical in its first aspect, yet on closer study unfolding a variety of interpretations, one of which has certainly accorded with the event. I was turning over this riddle in my mind, and trying to catch its slippery purport by the tail, when the old man above mentioned interrupted me.

"Mr. Coverdale!—Mr. Coverdale!" said he, repeating my name twice, in order to make up for the hesitating and ineffectual way in which he uttered it. "I ask your pardon, sir, but I hear you are going to Blithedale tomorrow."

I knew the pale, elderly face, with the red-tipt nose, and the patch over one eye; and likewise saw something characteristic in the old fellow's way of standing under the arch of a gate, only revealing enough of himself to make me recognize him as an acquaintance. He was a very shy personage, this Mr. Moodie; and the trait was the more singular, as his mode of getting his bread necessarily brought him into the stir and hubbub of the world more than the generality of men.

"Yes, Mr. Moodie," I answered, wondering what interest he could take in the fact, "it is my intention to go to Blithedale to-morrow. Can I be of any service to you before my departure?"

"If you pleased, Mr. Coverdale," said he, "you might do me a very great favor."
*******


Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Cairo Station

Cairo Station is a 1958 Egyptian drama film. It's available on Netflix.



The Guardian calls it "an unmissable film". Time Out concludes, "It's a strikingly controlled, confident, bitingly effective display, which leaves you wondering where this film has been all our lives." Empire Online says it "tackles heavy themes of modern life."

BBC closes with this:
With its tense score, contrasting performances of Chahine (twitchy and tightly coiled) and Rostom (sexy but cruel) and audacious moments of formal brilliance (Chahine even slots in a musical be-bop interlude from "Mike and the Skyrockets"), "Cairo Station" is a cinematic triumph.
Rotten Tomatoes has a 100% score.

Tuesday, June 01, 2021

Baby Tasmanian Devils

Tasmanian Devils have had a hard time of it, having been made extinct in Australia 3,000 years ago and now suffering from a contagious cancer which has wiped out 95% of affected populations. Conservation efforts have been ongoing, and the Tasmanian Devil was re-introduced in the wild in Australia last year.

Now there's the exciting news that "just months after their release, the creatures have successfully reproduced -- and conservationists have identified the tiny marsupials, which they say are the size of shelled peanuts, inside the pouches of the mothers."

Here's a 1-minute BBC video showing the tiny babies:


Shall we lift a glass in celebration?



That's one of my ATCs from back when I made them. Please post something drink-related and join us at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's weekly T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, May 31, 2021

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is specifically dedicated to remembering the military personnel who have died in the performance of their military duties while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It's not to honor all veterans (there's a day for that).

Enjoy your picnic, but remember what the day is set aside for.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Knives Out (2019)

Knives Out is a hilarious black comedy mystery film with a star-studded cast, including Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, and Christopher Plummer. I watched it on Amazon Prime and loved every minute.

trailer:



Roger Ebert's site calls it "one of the most purely entertaining films in years." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 97%.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Madame Maigret's Own Case

Madame Maigret's Own Case is a 1950 mystery novel by Georges Simenon. I enjoy the books in this series. They can be read in any order.

from the back of the book:
Madame Maigret's trip to the dentist brings surprising insight to a baffling case.

When two human teeth are found in the furnace of a Flemish bookbinder, police quickly take him into custody. Blood stains are discovered on a suit in the suspect’s closet, but he denies ownership. Then, a strangely heavy suitcase found in his workshop disappears. A neighboring shoemaker is willing to talk but his story changes with successive trips to the local tavern and is discredited. Without a body, the case seems impossibly perplexing –until Madame Maigret offers her help.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Sleepless (1957)

Sleepless is a 1957 Egyptian melodrama film. It is considered a classic of Egyptian film, and is, to my knowledge, the first Egyptian film I've seen. Melodramas aren't my preferred genre, but this is an interesting movie. I found the Electra Complex plot unpleasant enough, though, that I didn't finish it.

The online video I watched is gone, and now I can't even find a trailer.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Without Remorse

Without Remorse is a 2021 action thriller inspired by the Tom Clancy novel. This film spent over 20 years in development hell, and I'm glad it finally made it to us. I watched it on Amazon Prime. Michael B. Jordan is the best thing about the movie. The end sets up for a sequel. We'll see.

trailer:


Roger Ebert's site is unimpressed. Hollywood Reporter concludes, "Audiences weary of superhero franchises and craving something leaner and meaner could do worse." Variety praises Jordan's performance.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Henry lV, part 1

Henry IV, part 1 is one of Shakespeare's historical plays. You can read the play online here. It begins:
SCENE I. London. The palace.

Enter KING HENRY, LORD JOHN OF LANCASTER, the EARL of WESTMORELAND, SIR WALTER BLUNT, and others

KING HENRY IV

So shaken as we are, so wan with care,
Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,
And breathe short-winded accents of new broils
To be commenced in strands afar remote.
No more the thirsty entrance of this soil
Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood;
Nor more shall trenching war channel her fields,
Nor bruise her flowerets with the armed hoofs
Of hostile paces: those opposed eyes,
Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
All of one nature, of one substance bred,
Did lately meet in the intestine shock
And furious close of civil butchery
Shall now, in mutual well-beseeming ranks,
March all one way and be no more opposed
Against acquaintance, kindred and allies:
The edge of war, like an ill-sheathed knife,
No more shall cut his master. Therefore, friends,
As far as to the sepulchre of Christ,
Whose soldier now, under whose blessed cross
We are impressed and engaged to fight,
Forthwith a power of English shall we levy;
Whose arms were moulded in their mothers' womb
To chase these pagans in those holy fields
Over whose acres walk'd those blessed feet
Which fourteen hundred years ago were nail'd
For our advantage on the bitter cross.
But this our purpose now is twelve month old,
And bootless 'tis to tell you we will go:
Therefore we meet not now. Then let me hear
Of you, my gentle cousin Westmoreland,
What yesternight our council did decree
In forwarding this dear expedience.

WESTMORELAND

My liege, this haste was hot in question,
And many limits of the charge set down
But yesternight: when all athwart there came
A post from Wales loaden with heavy news;
Whose worst was, that the noble Mortimer,
Leading the men of Herefordshire to fight
Against the irregular and wild Glendower,
Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken,
A thousand of his people butchered;
Upon whose dead corpse there was such misuse,
Such beastly shameless transformation,
By those Welshwomen done as may not be
Without much shame retold or spoken of.

KING HENRY IV

It seems then that the tidings of this broil
Brake off our business for the Holy Land.

WESTMORELAND

This match'd with other did, my gracious lord;
For more uneven and unwelcome news
Came from the north and thus it did import:
On Holy-rood day, the gallant Hotspur there,
Young Harry Percy and brave Archibald,
That ever-valiant and approved Scot,
At Holmedon met,
Where they did spend a sad and bloody hour,
As by discharge of their artillery,
And shape of likelihood, the news was told;
For he that brought them, in the very heat
And pride of their contention did take horse,
Uncertain of the issue any way.

This was recorded live:

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Dead Again in Tombstone

Dead Again in Tombstone is a 2017 action/horror/Western film, a direct sequel to Dead in Tombstone. If you liked the first one, which I did, this is more of the same. You need to have seen the first one to appreciate this one at all. I watched it on Netflix.

trailer:


It was not well-reviewed by critics.

Monday, May 24, 2021

The Wages of Fear

The Wages of Fear is a 1953 French film starring Yves Montand. This is shown with commercials, but I'm just happy to find it online:


The Guardian includes it in their list of best action and war films of all time, saying it "has no superior in the field of action-suspense". Roger Ebert has a positive review. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 100%.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Love Songs from a Shallow Grave

Love Songs from a Shallow Grave is a 2010 mystery novel, 7th in the Dr. Siri Paiboun mystery series by Colin Cotterill. I was seriously disappointed in book six in this series, but this one restores my faith. My feminist side had some difficulty with the plot, but nothing's perfect. These books should be read in order, so don't start with this one.

from the back of the book:
When a Lao female security officer is discovered stabbed through the heart with a fencing sword, Dr. Siri, the reluctant national coroner for the People's Democratic Republic of Laos, is brought in to examine the body. Soon two other young women are found killed in the same unusual way. Siri learns that all three victims studied in Europe and that one of them was being pursued by a mysterious stalker. But before he can solve the case, he is whisked away to Cambodia on a diplomatic mission. Though on the surface the Khmer Rouge seem to be committed to the socialist cause, Siri soon learns the horrifying truth of the killing fields and finds himself thrown into prison. Can the seventy-four-year-old escape with his life?
Publishers Weekly closes with this: "This immensely satisfying mystery has it all—a heroic protagonist, a challenging puzzle, and an exotic setting." Eurocrime concludes, "the author appears to have found a new twist yet again, and this latest edition to the saga is a fascinating read." Mysterious Reviews says, "this outstanding series deserves a wider audience".

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Sherlock Holmes Baffled

In observance of Sherlock Holmes Day I watched Sherlock Holmes Baffled, a 1900 short, silent film. This is the first film adaptation of Holmes.

Friday, May 21, 2021

Da 5 Bloods

Da 5 Bloods is an award-winning 2020 war movie, a tragedy that tells the story of a group of men who go back to the site of their last mission in Vietnam. Spike Lee directs. It was the last Chadwick Boseman film released before his death from cancer at the age of 43 in August of that year. I watched it on Netflix.

trailer:


The New Yorker closes a glowing review with this:
The transformative, prophetic power of “Da 5 Bloods” is rooted in its overarching sense of a never-ending war—not the Vietnam War, specifically, but the daily war at home that’s waged against black Americans, who are forced to fight for survival, equality, and justice.
Roger Ebert's site opens a 4-star review with this:
Spike Lee’s excellent “Da 5 Bloods” opens with Muhammad Ali and closes with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., two legends who are inextricably tied to the Civil Rights movement and Black pride. Lee uses them to highlight another commonality: their strenuous opposition to the Vietnam War. For Ali, the objection cost him several productive years of his career and his heavyweight title; for Dr. King, this new focus was quite possibly the final straw that led to his assassination. The first words we hear are Ali’s famous explanation of why he refused to enlist. The last words we hear are from a speech King gave on April 4, 1967, exactly one year before his murder, where he quotes poet Langston Hughes’ “Let America Be America Again.”

Between these two bookends is a heist movie of sorts, albeit one with far more on its mind than its plot details would suggest.
Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 92%.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

The Devil's Daughter

The Devil's Daughter is a 1939 zombie horror film (or a romantic comedy/drama, depending on which site you believe), which takes place on a Jamaican banana plantation. It's under an hour long.


Black Horror Movies has screen shots and says, "The Devil’s Daughter is an all-black melodramatic semi-remake of Ouanga with no devil and with daughters so bland the devil wouldn’t want ’em anyway."

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About the Interstate 40 Mississippi River "M" bridge closure...

A new photo has surfaced showing that same crack being there back in 2016. Makes me wonder exactly what those inspectors are doing out there.

There's some concern about whether or not the old 1949 bridge that carries Interstate 55 across the Mississippi River here in Memphis can hold up under all the increased traffic. Inspections are being made. Let's hope these inspections are more thorough than the ones that missed the current problem for at least 5 years, right? The next closest crossings would be 100 miles to the north at Dyersburg, TN, and 60 miles to the south between Helena, AR, and Lula, MS.

Here's a map from Google:


There's an interesting piece here that explains how the unusual design of the bridge contributes to the risk:
This bridge's structural system is defined as an arched truss bridge with a deck suspended from the truss. This system is not the ideal system for a bridge that long. For this type of bridge, it's far preferable that the truss extend below the deck of the bridge at the pier (the upright structure that goes into the river to hold the bridge up) to provide better force distribution.

But because of this bridge's unique "M" shape, the entire truss (the arch of the "M") is above the deck and the pier is in direct contact with the bridge deck (which holds the highway). Because the arched "M" shape also requires the cables connecting the truss to the bridge to be shorter in places, this imposes high stress concentrations at the beams near the pier, specifically where this fracture was located.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

The House of Seven Gables

The House of Seven Gables is an 1851 Gothic novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne, who died on this date in 1864 at the age of 59. This book was required reading in school. I thought it was the most boring thing I'd ever read at the time and never re-read it, but I'm giving it another try. You can read it online here or listen to it read to you at this link or at the bottom of this post. It begins,
THE HOUSE OF THE SEVEN GABLES

I.

The Old Pyncheon Family

Halfway down a by-street of one of our New England towns stands a rusty wooden house, with seven acutely peaked gables, facing towards various points of the compass, and a huge, clustered chimney in the midst. The street is Pyncheon Street; the house is the old Pyncheon House; and an elm-tree, of wide circumference, rooted before the door, is familiar to every town-born child by the title of the Pyncheon Elm. On my occasional visits to the town aforesaid, I seldom failed to turn down Pyncheon Street, for the sake of passing through the shadow of these two antiquities,—the great elm-tree and the weather-beaten edifice.

The aspect of the venerable mansion has always affected me like a human countenance, bearing the traces not merely of outward storm and sunshine, but expressive also, of the long lapse of mortal life, and accompanying vicissitudes that have passed within. Were these to be worthily recounted, they would form a narrative of no small interest and instruction, and possessing, moreover, a certain remarkable unity, which might almost seem the result of artistic arrangement. But the story would include a chain of events extending over the better part of two centuries, and, written out with reasonable amplitude, would fill a bigger folio volume, or a longer series of duodecimos, than could prudently be appropriated to the annals of all New England during a similar period. It consequently becomes imperative to make short work with most of the traditionary lore of which the old Pyncheon House, otherwise known as the House of the Seven Gables, has been the theme. With a brief sketch, therefore, of the circumstances amid which the foundation of the house was laid, and a rapid glimpse at its quaint exterior, as it grew black in the prevalent east wind,—pointing, too, here and there, at some spot of more verdant mossiness on its roof and walls,—we shall commence the real action of our tale at an epoch not very remote from the present day. Still, there will be a connection with the long past—a reference to forgotten events and personages, and to manners, feelings, and opinions, almost or wholly obsolete—which, if adequately translated to the reader, would serve to illustrate how much of old material goes to make up the freshest novelty of human life. Hence, too, might be drawn a weighty lesson from the little-regarded truth, that the act of the passing generation is the germ which may and must produce good or evil fruit in a far-distant time; that, together with the seed of the merely temporary crop, which mortals term expediency, they inevitably sow the acorns of a more enduring growth, which may darkly overshadow their posterity.

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About that Interstate 40 Memphis-Arkansas bridge:

Our own Governor Bill Lee met yesterday with the Arkansas governor here in Memphis to discuss the situation. Count on Lee to make this about national politics sigh:“We are making swift progress on repairs to the Hernando de Soto bridge to ensure safety and a return to uninterrupted commerce,” Lee said. “While Congress ponders the definition of infrastructure, we call upon the federal government to prioritize the safety of actual roads and bridges.”

TDOT has awarded the repair work contract, and work may begin as early as today. There's still no projection on how long the bridge will be closed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Faces in the Dark

Faces in the Dark is a 1960 psychological thriller film starring John Gregson, Mai Zetterling, and John Ireland.


There's an overview at TCM.

Screenshots for T Stands for Tuesday:




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Our ongoing bridge issue (the bridge that carries I-40 across the Mississippi River at Memphis is closed to all traffic for the foreseeable future due to serious issues found during the annual inspection) will cause shipping delays and increased prices for consumer goods.

The inspection process continues. from our local news: "MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Hernando Desoto I-40 bridge remains closed due to a fracture in a support beam that Memphians are beginning to realize was there years ago."

Monday, May 17, 2021

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame is an award-winning 2010 Hong Kong action/adventure/mystery film that tells the story of one of the most celebrated officials of the Tang dynasty, who is tasked by the Empress to solve a series of inexplicable murders in which victims suddenly burst into flames. Who can resist spontaneous human combustion? The special effects are great, and this film is fun to watch. I watched it on Amazon Prime, but you can also watch it free on Pluto, Tubi, and Youtube:



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Now, about the "M" bridge:

There's evidence there was damage to this bridge at least as long ago as 2019. Apparently the only reason the bridge was closed this time is that this time one of the inspectors called 911 and said the traffic needed to be cleared as soon as possible. This is making us wonder what the heck these inspections are for. To give us comfort and confidence? In spite of the present dangers? Do these inspection reports just get submitted, ignored, and filed without any serious consideration of the issues uncovered? Scary!

from the news:
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - One of the benefits of the M-bridge being so beloved and so photographed by Memphians is we have lots of pictures and videos of it. So, when transportation officials said they didn’t know when that bridge fracture happened, a couple of curious citizens started looking through their photo albums.

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from WKNO: While reviewing their current investigation of the fracture, ADOT spokesperson Dave Parker says staff came across drone footage from a consulting firm’s inspection of the bridge’s cables in 2019. “That drone video happened to capture an image of what looks to be evidence of damage in May of 2019 that’s in the same area as this break,” he says, noting that the consulting firm was not hired to do a “full blown inspection,” just examine the cables. Now, the agency is looking into whether damage was identified during ADOT’s official inspection of the crossing in September of 2019.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Double Crossbones

Double Crossbones is a 1951 comedy/adventure/pirate movie starring Donald O'Connor, Helena Carter, and Will Geer. It's just an hour and 15 minutes long. I watched it during lunch one day and enjoyed it.


Saturday, May 15, 2021

Murder, My Sweet (1944)

Murder, My Sweet is a 1944 film noir starring Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, and Anne Shirley. Priceless.


Rotten Tomatoes has a consensus critics score of 94%. It's included in the book 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die.

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And speaking of infrastructure... were we speaking of infrastructure?

The Interstate 40 bridge across the Mississippi River at Memphis has been evaluated as safe for river traffic, so the river itself has been re-opened to all those barges waiting.

from CNBC:
The Mississippi River reopened to vessel traffic near Memphis on Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard said, ending a shutdown of a part of the waterway that disrupted shipments of oil and corn and caused a backlog of more than 1,000 barges.
from Agriculture.com:
The TDOT conducted three separate analyses of the bridge with nothing on it.

“They (TDOT) determined that the bridge was stable enough for vessels to transit underneath the bridge,” [U.S. Coast Guard Sector Commander] Captain Rhodes says.

The closure of a Mississippi River bridge on the Tennessee-Arkansas state line sent the grain markets nosediving Thursday.

On Tuesday, a bridge inspector discovered a “significant fracture” that has indefinitely closed the Hernando de Soto Bridge that carries Interstate 40 across the Mississippi River between Memphis, Tennessee, and West Memphis, Arkansas.
The bridge itself remains closed, with road traffic being detoured three miles sounth to the old Highway 55 bridge.

Friday, May 14, 2021

The Shallows' 42


I haven't seen this film, but I've never seen Jaws, either. This one does have a 42.

trailer for The Shallows:



*******

Speaking of infrastructure, were we speaking of infrastructure? ... the "M" Bridge across the Mississippi River at Memphis has been closed, including river traffic under the bridge, because a serious structural crack was found during a routine annual inspection. The bridge may be closed for months. There's another bridge, but it's a much narrower 2-lane bridge, and some of those big trucks won't even fit. I'm glad I don't make that commute every day.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

The Spectre Bridegroom

The Spectre Bridegroom is a gothic tale by Washington Irving. Published in 1819, it was inspired by a German legend. It's tagged "horror" because of the gothic atmosphere, but it's not "horror" as many would define that word. You can read it online here or have it read to you at the bottom of this post. It begins,
On the summit of one of the heights of the Odenwald, a wild and romantic tract of Upper Germany that lies not far from the confluence of the Main and the Rhine, there stood many, many years since the castle of the Baron Von Landshort. It is now quite fallen to decay, and almost buried among beech trees and dark firs; above which, however, its old watch-tower may still be seen struggling, like the former possessor I have mentioned, to carry a high head and look down upon the neighboring country.

The baron was a dry branch of the great family of Katzenellenbogen, and inherited the relics of the property and all the pride, of his ancestors. Though the warlike disposition of his predecessors had much impaired the family possessions, yet the baron still endeavored to keep up some show of former state. The times were peaceable, and the German nobles in general had abandoned their inconvenient old castles, perched like eagles’ nests among the mountains, and had built more convenient residences in the valleys; still, the baron remained proudly drawn up in his little fortress, cherishing with hereditary inveteracy all the old family feuds, so that he was on ill terms with some of his nearest neighbors, on account of disputes that had happened between their great-great-grandfathers.

The baron had but one child, a daughter, but Nature, when she grants but one child, always compensates by making it a prodigy; and so it was with the daughter of the baron.
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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Please Murder Me

Please Murder Me is a 1951 film noir starring Raymond Burr and Angela Lansbury. That cast is worth watching!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

The Corner of the Table

The Corner of the Table:


by Paul Émile Chabas, who died on May 10, 1937, after a long illness. I offer this dinner setting as my "in" to the weekly T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering. Share a drink in your post and join us, won't you?

Better known for his nudes, when Chabas died September Morn (1911) was the only painting in his room:


Or rather his painting of the original from memory was in his room. The painting has a controversial history. The original was privately owned until it was donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1957. It is not on display.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Man Push Cart

Man Push Cart is a 2005 American independent film by Ramin Bahrani that tells the story of a former Pakistani rock star who sells coffee and bagels from his pushcart on the streets of Manhattan.



Sunday, May 09, 2021

The Man with the Iron Fists

The Man with the Iron Fists is a 2012 martial arts film. It stars Russell Crowe, Lucy Liu, and David Bautista. Want some mindless fun? Here ya go! I watched it on HBO MAX.

trailer:


Saturday, May 08, 2021

The House is Black

The House is Black is a 1963 Iranian short (20 minutes) film. from Wikipedia:
directed by Forough Farrokhzad, Iranian, modernist poet and film director. You can watch it online here. from Wikipedia: The film is a look at life and suffering in a leper colony and focuses on the human condition and the beauty of creation. It is spliced with Farrokhzad's narration of quotes from the Old Testament, the Koran and her own poetry. The film features footage from the Bababaghi Hospice leper colony. It was the only film she directed before her death in 1967. During shooting, she became attached to a child of two lepers, whom she later adopted.

Although the film attracted little attention outside Iran when released, it has since been recognised as a landmark in Iranian film.

This film is about leprosy and does not shy away from the subject.



Friday, May 07, 2021

Dune (1984)

Dune is a 1984 David Lynch adaptation of the Frank Herbert science fiction novel. Linda Hunt, Jose Ferrar, Patrick Stewart, Sting, Dean Stockwell, and Max von Sydow are in this one. I watched it on HBO MAX, having seen it before years ago. This is a deeply flawed adaptation, and I can't recommend it, but I watched it with a family member who liked the book but hadn't seen this film. 

trailer:


Thursday, May 06, 2021

The End of April

The End of April is a 2017 South Korean psychological drama/horror film. This one is slow to go anywhere but has a twist at the end. I watched it free but can't find it free online now. I can't even find a trailer with English subtitles. That's a real shame.

Here's a promotional piece:

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Uniform Justice



Uniform Justice is the 12th book in the Commissario Guido Brunetti mystery series by Donna Leon. I'm enjoying this series, filling in as I get books in the series for birthday and Christmas presents. Though I guess it would be helpful to read these in order, it's not strictly speaking necessary with this series. I enjoy the characters, that their relationships are fully formed but not distracting from the plot, the food descriptions, the intriguing plots, and the atmosphere. It feels like you're in Venice.

from the back of the book:
In Uniform Justice, a Publishers Weekly Book of the Year, a young cadet in Venice's elite military academy has been found hanged, a presumed suicide. Commissario Guido Brunetti's sorrow for the boy, so close in age to his own son, is rivaled only by his contempt for a community that is more concerned with protecting the reputation of the school, and its privileged students, than with finding the truth. The young man's father is a doctor and former politician. He is a man of impeccable integrity, all too rare in Italian politics. Yet, although clearly devastated and convinced that the death of his son could not have been a suicide, he inexplicably avoids talking to the police. As Brunetti pursues his inquiry, he is faced with a wall of silence. Is the military protecting its own? And what is preventing the other witnesses from talking? Or has Brunetti uncovered a conspiracy far more sinister than that of a single death?
Grove Atlantic says,
Uniform Justice is a riveting, pitch-perfect murder mystery—the work of a truly masterful storyteller. Conjuring contemporary Venice in exquisite and alluring detail, Donna Leon offers what has been widely hailed as the finest installment yet of the Commissario Guido Brunetti series.
Kirkus Reviews closes with this:
A powerful indictment of an Italian society in which “scandal had the same shelf life as fresh fish: by the third day, both were worthless; one because it had begun to stink, the other because it no longer did.”
Reviewing the Evidence says, "The author has produced her usual impeccable work." Publishers Weekly concludes, "This is an outstanding book, deserving of the widest audience possible, a chance for American readers to again experience a master practitioner's art."

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is a 2017 epic fantasy directed by Guy Ritchie. Jude Law plays the bad guy. I watched it on HBO Max. We'd like to cancel that service, and yet we continue to yield to the temptation to watch yet another movie. And then another. I'll watch any King Arthur story, and this is one. There are better ones, but this'll do 'til another comes along.

trailer:



It was not well-reviewed, though there are some positive reviews out there.
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Have a cup of coffee with me (or choose your favorite beverage)

and join me at the weekly T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering hosted by Bleubeard and Elizabeth.

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Warning, political comment ahead:


"Lies can have terrible consequences." If you're getting your news and commentary from FOX, please stop. Actually if you're getting your news from any one source, please stop. Look for sources of actual factual reporting. If you like their commentary, all the better. Fact-check even your favorite and trusted sources. Everybody makes mistakes, after all. Do your best not to be part of the problem. As the saying goes, "A lie can travel around the world while the truth is still lacing up its boots," so it behooves us all to let the lie stop with us and not repeat it and spread it further.

The following video from Jim Acosta (CNN) calls out FOX for its lies:



I found that video on The Mary Sue blog, where they say, "Jim Acosta took on Fox News in a searing indictment of their relentless lies and bad faith messaging." The Mary Sue is a fun source of commentary, describing themselves as "the geek girl’s guide to the universe."

Monday, May 03, 2021

Tale of Tales (1979)

Tale of Tales is a 1979 award-winning Soviet/Russian animated short (30-minute) film.


The Guardian says,
is a mysterious animated film, tough and delicate, that has won prizes at international festivals since it first appeared in 1980, culminating in prizes in both Los Angeles and Zagreb (in 2002) as the best animated film of all time. It was made in Soviet Russia by Yuri Norstein, who was not allowed to travel to receive any of his awards, and who was almost prevented from making, and then from showing, the film at all. It is a film that immediately changes the memory - mine at least - of all other films.