Sunday, April 30, 2023

In My Own Shire, If I Was Sad

Blackman Street, London, Grimshaw John Atkinson (1885)

In my own shire, if I was sad,
Homely comforters I had:
The earth, because my heart was sore,
Sorrowed for the son she bore;
And standing hills, long to remain,
Shared their short-lived comrade’s pain
And bound for the same bourn as I,
On every road I wandered by,
Trod beside me, close and dear,
The beautiful and death-struck year:
Whether in the woodland brown
I heard the beechnut rustle down, And saw the purple crocus pale
Flower about the autumn dale;
Or littering far the fields of May Lady-smocks a-bleaching lay,
And like a skylit water stood
The bluebells in the azured wood.

Yonder, lightening other loads,
The seasons range the country roads,
But here in London streets I ken
No such helpmates, only men;
And these are not in plight to bear,
If they would, another’s care.
They have enough as ’tis: I see
In many an eye that measures me
The mortal sickness of a mind
Too unhappy to be kind.
Undone with misery, all they can
Is to hate their fellow man;
And till they drop they needs must still
Look at you and wish you ill.

is an 1896 poem by A. E. Housman, who died on this date in 1936 at the age of 77.

Saturday, April 29, 2023

The Music Man (1962)

The Music Man is an award-winning 1962 musical film. I've always liked this one. It's such a feel-good, positive story. It stars Robert Preston (who is worth your time in anything in which he appears), Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett, Hermione Gingold, Ronny Howard, and Paul Ford. I watched it on HBO Max.


Common Sense Media gives it 5 out of 5 stars. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 94%.

Friday, April 28, 2023

The Red Balloon (1956)

The Red Balloon is an award-winning French fantasy comedy-drama short film. I had this on VHS back when The Kids were little, and I've always adored it. A delightful film. It's available on HBO Max.

via YouTube:

Criterion has a glowing article which says, in part,
The Red Balloon is filled with indelible images, but as I screened it again, I was struck repeatedly by the filmmaker’s use of sound. It’s a nearly wordless film, but it’s not silent. There is Maurice Le Roux’s enchanting score, full of sweet melodies, jaunty strings, mischievous woodwinds and horns, something that sounds like a music box, and surprising moments of panic and fear. Especially lovely is the theme that plays when we first realize that the balloon has a consciousness of its own...

Empire Online describes it as, "A legendary cinematic masterpiece, of course, but also a poignant and magical piece." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 96%.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

The Golden Pot: A Modern Fairy Tale

self-portrait of the author

The Golden Pot: A Modern Fairy Tale is a novella by E. T. A. Hoffmann, first published in 1814 and revised by the author in 1819. Hoffmann regarded it as his best story, and it is widely praised as a masterpiece by literary scholars. You can read it online here or here. It begins,
On Ascension Day, about three o'clock in the afternoon in Dresden, a young man dashed through the Schwarzthor, or Black Gate, and ran right into a basket of apples and cookies which an old and very ugly woman had set out for sale. The crash was prodigious; what wasn't squashed or broken was scattered, and hordes of street urchins delightedly divided the booty which this quick gentleman had provided for them. At the fearful shrieking which the old hag began, her fellow vendors, leaving their cake and brandy tables, surrounded the young man, and with plebian violence scolded and stormed at him. For shame and vexation he uttered no word, but merely held out his small and by no means particularly well-filled purse, which the old woman eagerly seized and stuck into her pocket.

The hostile ring of bystanders now broke; but as the young man started off, the hag called after him, "Ay, run, run your way, Devil's Bird! You'll end up in the crystal! The crystal!" The screeching harsh voice of the woman had something unearthly in it: so that the promenaders paused in amazement, and the laughter, which at first had been universal, instantly died away.

The Student Anselmus, for the young man was no other, even though he did not in the least understand these singular phrases, felt himself seized with a certain involuntary horror; and he quickened his steps still more, until he was almost running, to escape the curious looks of the multitude, all of whom were staring at him. As he made his way through the crowd of well-dressed people, he heard them muttering on all sides: "Poor young fellow! Ha! What a vicious old witch!" The mysterious words of the old woman, oddly enough, had given this ludicrous adventure a sort of sinister turn; and the youth, previously unobserved, was now regarded with a certain sympathy. The ladies, because of his fine figure and handsome face, which the glow of inward anger rendered still more expressive, forgave him his awkwardness, as well as the dress he wore, though it was at variance with all fashion. His pike-gray frock was shaped as if the tailor had known the modern style only by hearsay; and his well-kept black satin trousers gave him a certain pedagogic air, to which his gait and manner did not at all correspond.

The Student had almost reached the end of the alley which leads out to the Linkische Bath; but his breath could no longer stand such a pace. From running, he took to walking; but he still hardly dared to lift an eye from the ground, for he still saw apples and cookies dancing around him, and every kind look from this or that pretty girl seemed to him to be only a continuation of the mocking laughter at the Schwarzthor.

In this mood he reached the entrance of the Bath: groups of holiday people, one after the other, were moving in. Music of wind instruments resounded from the place, and the din of merry guests was growing louder and louder. The poor Student Anselmus was almost ready to weep; since Ascension Day had always been a family festival for him, he had hoped to participate in the felicities of the Linkische paradise; indeed, he had intended even to go to the length of a half portion of coffee with rum and a whole bottle of double beer, and he had put more money in his purse than was entirety convenient or advisable. And now, by accidentally kicking the apple-and--cookie basket, he had lost all the money he had with him. Of coffee, of double or single beer, of music, of looking at the pretty girls-in a word, of all his fancied enjoyments there was now nothing more to be said. He glided slowly past; and at last turned down the Elbe road, which at that time happened to be quite empty.

Beneath an elder-tree, which had grown out through the wall, he found a kind green resting place: here he sat down...

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Godzilla vs. Destoroyah

Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, a 1995 award-winning Japanese kaiju film produced and distributed by Toho Studios, is the 22nd installment in the Godzilla franchise and is the 7th and final film in the franchise's Heisei period. I watched it on Hulu, but it doesn't seem to still be available there.

via YouTube:

Million Monkey Theater says,
This movie gives us the best drama, the most eye-popping special effects, the most shed tears for a monster, and some of the cutest girls in any Godzilla movie. It was a fitting end to the 1990's run of Godzilla and a lot of fun to watch.
Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 100%.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

You never drink the same coffee twice

via Open Culture:
No matter how much coffee you drink, you never drink the same coffee twice. Coffee-drinkers understand this instinctively, even those who only drink their coffee at home using the same beans and the same brewing process day in and day out. For even in the most controlled coffee-making conditions we can achieve in our everyday lives, variations have a way of creeping in. Endless scrutiny of those variations is all in a day’s work for someone like Matt Perger, who’s come out on or near the top of several barista championships, and who founded the online coffee-education service Barista Hustle and its associated Youtube channel.

In the channel’s most popular video by far, Perger delivers an 80-minute lecture on “advanced coffee making”...

I just pour boiling water from the electric kettle over grounds in my 1-cup pour-over for my morning coffee most days. Maybe I should improve my coffee game... Please share your own drink-related post with us over at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, April 24, 2023

Route 666

Route 666 is a 2001 horror film I watched on the strength of Lou Diamond Phillips being in it. It's worth seeing for him but not for much else. I watched it on Freevee through Amazon Prime.


Sunday, April 23, 2023

Peaches In the Springtime

Peaches In the Springtime:

by the Memphis Jug Band, 1928.

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Happy Earth Day!

Today is Earth Day. I remember the first one back in 1970, and I have to admit I find the degree of our progress to be discouraging.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Second Dawn

Second Dawn is a 1951 science fiction story by Arthur C. Clarke. You can read it online here or here. It begins,
“Here they come,” said Eris, rising to his fore-feet and turning to look down the long valley. For a moment the pain and bitterness had left his thoughts, so the even Jeryl, whose mind was more closely tuned to his than to any other, could scarcely detect it. There was even an undertone of softness that recalled poignantly the Eris she had known in the days before the War—the old Eris who now seemed almost as remote and as lost as if he were lying with all the others out there on the plain.

A dark tide was flowing up the valley, advancing with a curious hesitant motion, making odd pauses and little bounds forward. It was flanked with gold—the thin line of the Atheleni guards, so terrifyingly few compared with the black mass of the prisoners. But they were enough: indeed, they were only needed to guide that aimless river on its faltering way. Yet at the sight of so many thousands of the enemy, Jeryl found herself trembling; instinctively, she moved towards her mate, silver pelt resting against gold. Eris gave no sign that he had understood or even noticed the action.

The fear vanished as Jeryl saw how slowly the dark flood was moving forwards. ...

Thursday, April 20, 2023

World of Tomorrow (2015)

World of Tomorrow is an acclaimed 2015 animated short film written, directed, produced, animated, and edited by Don Hertzfeldt. This is the first film in an ongoing series featuring the voice of Julia Pott, frequently alongside Hertzfeldt's four-year-old niece Winona Mae, who was recorded while drawing and playing. Her spontaneous, natural vocal reactions and questions were then edited into the story to create her character. Absolutely delightful!

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

The Sundering Flood

The Sundering Flood is an 1897 fantasy novel by William Morris. His last work, it was completed on his deathbed. From Wikipedia:
Its importance in the history of fantasy literature was recognized by its republication by Ballantine Books as the fifty-seventh volume of the celebrated Ballantine Adult Fantasy series in May, 1973. The Ballantine edition includes an introduction by Lin Carter.

The book appears to be the first fantasy novel to include what has become conventional in the genre, a fantasy map that defines a wholly imagined world
You can read it online here or here or here. Chapter 1:
It is told that there was once a mighty river which ran south into the sea, and at the mouth thereof was a great and rich city, which had been builded and had waxed and thriven because of the great and most excellent haven which the river aforesaid made where it fell into the sea. And now it was like looking at a huge wood of barked and smoothened fir-trees when one saw the masts of the ships that lay in the said haven.

But up in this river ran the flood of tide a long way, so that the biggest of dromonds and round-ships might fare up it, and oft they lay amid pleasant up-country places, with their yards all but touching the windows of the husbandman's stead, and their bowsprits thrusting forth amongst the middens, and the routing swine, and querulous hens. And the uneasy lads and lasses sitting at high-mass of the Sunday in the grey church would see the tall masts amidst the painted saints of the aisle windows, and their minds would wander from the mass-hackled priest and the words and the gestures of him, and see visions of far countries and outlandish folk, and some would be heart-smitten with that desire of wandering and looking on new things which so oft the sea-beat board and the wind-strained pine bear with them to the dwellings of the stay-at-homes: and to some it seemed as if, when they went from out the church, they should fall in with St. Thomas of India stepping over the gangway, and come to visit their uplandish Christmas and the Yule-feast of the field-abiders of midwinter frost. And moreover, when the tide failed, and there was no longer a flood to bear the sea-going keels up-stream (and that was hard on an hundred of miles from the sea), yet was this great river a noble and wide-spreading water, and the downlong stream thereof not so heavy nor so fierce but that the barges and lesser keels might well spread their sails when the south-west blew, and fare on without beating; or if the wind were fouler for them, they that were loth to reach from shore to shore might be tracked up by the draught of horses and bullocks, and bear the wares of the merchants to many a cheaping.

Other rivers moreover not a few fell into this main flood, and of the some were no lesser than the Thames is at Abingdon, where I, who gathered this tale, dwell in the House of the Black Canons; blessed be St. William, and St. Richard, and the Holy Austin our candle in the dark! Yea and some were even bigger, so that the land was well furnished both of fisheries and water-ways.

Now the name of this river was the Sundering Flood, and the city at the mouth thereof was called the City of the Sundering Flood. And it is no wonder, considering all that I have told concerning the wares and chaffer that it bore up-country, though the folk of the City and its lands (and the city-folk in special) knew no cause for this name. Nay, oft they jested and gibed and gabbed, for they loved their river much and were proud of it; wherefore they said it was no sunderer but a uniter; that it joined land to land and shore to shore; that it had peopled the wilderness and made the waste places blossom, and that no highway for wheels and beasts in all the land was so full of blessings and joys as was their own wet Highway of the Flood. Nevertheless, as meseemeth that no name is given to any town or mountain or river causeless, but that men are moved to name all steads for a remembrance of deeds that have been done and tidings that have befallen, or some due cause, even so might it well be with the Sundering Flood, and whereas also I wot something of that cause I shall now presently show you the same.

For ye must know that all this welfare of the said mighty river was during that while that it flowed through the plain country anigh the city, or the fertile pastures and acres of hill and dale and down further to the north. But one who should follow it up further and further would reach at last the place where it came forth from the mountains. There, though it be far smaller than lower down, yet is it still a mighty great water, and it is then well two hundred miles from the main sea. Now from the mountains it cometh in three great forces, and many smaller ones, and perilous and awful it is to behold; for betwixt those forces it filleth all the mountain ghyll, and there is no foothold for man, nay for goat, save at a hundred foot or more above the water, and that evil and perilous; and is the running of a winter millstream to the beetles and shrew-mice that haunt the greensward beside it, so is the running of that flood to the sons of Adam and the beasts that serve them: and none has been so bold as to strive to cast a bridge across it.

But when ye have journeyed with much toil and no little peril over the mountain-necks (for by the gorge of the river, as aforesaid, no man may go) and have come out of the mountains once more, then again ye have the flood before you, cleaving a great waste of rocks mingled with sand, where groweth neither tree nor bush nor grass; and now the flood floweth wide and shallow but swift, so that no words may tell of its swiftness, and on either side the water are great wastes of tumbled stones that the spates have borne down from the higher ground. And ye shall know that from this place upward to its very wells in the higher mountains, the flood decreaseth not much in body or might, though it be wider or narrower as it is shallower or deeper, for nought but mere trickles of water fall into it in the space of this sandy waste, and what feeding it hath is from the bents and hills on either side as you wend toward the mountains to the north, where, as aforesaid, are its chiefest wells.

Now when ye have journeyed over this waste for some sixty miles, the land begins to better, and there is grass again, yet no trees, and it rises into bents, which go back on each side, east and west, from the Flood, and the said bents are grass also up to the tops, where they are crested with sheer rocks black of colour. As for the Flood itself, it is now gathered into straiter compass, and is deep, and exceeding strong; high banks it hath on either side thereof of twenty foot and upward of black rock going down sheer to the water; and thus it is for a long way, save that the banks be higher and higher as the great valley of the river rises toward the northern mountains.

But as it rises the land betters yet, and is well grassed, and in divers nooks and crannies groweth small wood of birch and whiles of quicken tree; but ever the best of the grass waxeth nigh unto the lips of the Sundering Flood, where it rises a little from the Dale to the water; and what little acre-land there is, and it is but little, is up on knolls that lie nearer to the bent, and be turned somewhat southward; or on the east side of the Flood (which runneth here nigh due north to south), on the bent-side itself, where, as it windeth and turneth, certain slopes lie turned to southwest. And in these places be a few garths, fenced against the deer, wherein grow rye, and some little barley whereof to make malt for beer and ale, whereas the folk of this high-up windy valley may have no comfort of wine. And it is to be said that ever is that land better and the getting more on the east side of the Sundering Flood than on the west.

As to the folk of this land, they are but few even now, and belike were fewer yet in the time of my tale. There was no great man amongst them, neither King, nor Earl, nor Alderman, and it had been hard living for a strong-thief in the Dale. Yet folk there were both on the east side and the west of the Flood. On neither side were they utterly cut off from the world outside the Dale; for though it were toilsome, it was not perilous to climb the bents and so wend over the necks east and west, where some forty miles from the west bank and fifty from the east you might come down into a valley fairly well peopled, wherein were two or three cheaping-towns: and to these towns the dalesmen had some resort, that they might sell such of their wool as they needed not to weave for themselves, and other small chaffer, so that they might buy wrought wares such as cutlery and pots, and above all boards and timber, whereof they had nought at home.

But this you must wot and understand, that howsoever the Sundering Flood might be misnamed down below, up in the Dale and down away to the southern mountains it was such that better named it might not be, and that nought might cross its waters undrowned save the fowl flying. Nay, and if one went up-stream to where it welled forth from the great mountains, he were no nearer to passing from one side to the other, for there would be nought before him but a wall of sheer rock, and above that rent and tumbled crags, the safe strong-houses of erne and osprey and gerfalcon. Wherefore all the dealings which the folk on the east Dale and the west might have with each other was but shouting and crying across the swirling and gurgling eddies of the black water, which themselves the while seemed to be talking together in some dread and unknown tongue.

True it is that on certain feast days and above all on Midsummer night, the folk would pluck up a heart, and gather together as gaily clad as might be where the Flood was the narrowest (save at one place, whereof more hereafter), and there on each side would trundle the fire-wheel, and do other Midsummer games, and make music of string-play and horns, and sing songs of old time and drink to each other, and depart at last to their own homes blessing each other. But never might any man on the east touch the hand of any on the west, save it were that by some strange wandering from the cheaping-towns aforesaid they might meet at last, far and far off from the Dale of the Sundering Flood.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Modern Times

Modern Times is a 1936 Charlie Chaplin movie. This is the Little Tramp character's last film appearance. Wikipedia says this movie is often hailed as one of Chaplin's greatest achievements, and it remains one of his most popular films. It frequently appears on lists of greatest films ever made. I find it touching, a lovely film that makes you care about the characters and hope they have a happily ever after at the end of the movie. I watched it on HBO Max.


In a review on the film's original release The Guardian says,
In Modern Times Chaplin proves again what the whole world already acknowledges - that he is the greatest artist of the silent screen as apart from the half-theatrical talking screen, the most eloquent master of mime, and the simplest, most essential, and most touching of comedians. Unless recent impressions have unbalanced the judgment this would certainly appear to be one of his very best films.
Criterion calls it "a timeless showcase of Chaplin’s untouchable genius". Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 98%.

Please join me in sharing a drink reference with the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering. Here's mine:

Monday, April 17, 2023

Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx

Lone Wolf and Cub: Baby Cart at the River Styx is a 1972 film, the second in a series of six Japanese martial arts films based on the long-running Lone Wolf and Cub manga series about Ogami Ittō, a wandering assassin for hire who is accompanied by his young son. The two I've seen so far are wonderful fun, and the tender relationship between father and son is so sweet. I watched it on HBO Max.


Criterion calls it an "exploitation-cinema classic". It has a critics consensus score of 100% at Rotten Tomatoes.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

El Dorado

El Dorado is a 1966 traditional Western directed by Howard Hawks and starring Robert Mitchum and John Wayne with Paul Fix as the town doctor. James Caan costars. I'm not sure how it happened that I had never seen this movie but am happy to have rectified that. I watched it on Amazon Prime.

via Daily Motion:

Roger Ebert gives it 3 1/2 out of 4 stars and opens with this:
"El Dorado" is a tightly directed, humorous, altogether successful Western, turned out almost effortlessly, it would seem, by three old pros: John Wayne, Robert Mitchum and director Howard Hawks. You could call it, of course a "John Wayne Western." I guess that means it has the Duke in the saddle once again, drawl and all, making his laconic comments on the state of the universe and marching through old Western cliches. But "El Dorado" is more than that. It is a very good John Wayne Western.
Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 100%.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

The English Game 42

As the end credits were rolling when I first saw The English Game and I was critiquing the series (too many dining rooms, too little football, too much Oh-how-I-wish-I-had-a-baby, too much Plight-of-the-Unwed-Mother, and sadly musing on why they make up stuff when the facts would do as well), I noticed that it came from 42 Productions. Cool!

Friday, April 14, 2023

Adam's Rib

Adam's Rib is a 1949 romantic comedy/drama directed by George Cukor and starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as lawyers on the opposite sides of a legal case. This is one of those old classics everybody loves, but having seen it I'm not sure what the fuss is all about. That may be because I'm not fond of romantic comedies. It feels dated to me. I watched it on HBO Max.


Film Reference opens its consideration with this:
Adam's Rib represents a climax in the evolution of the classic Hollywood screwball comedy. In the 1930s, screwball comedies united antagonistic couples whose clashes revolved around egos, class conflicts, and attitudes about money and values. In the 1940s, screwball comedies replaced these conflicts with ones that revolved around egos and career-marriage decisions. In such films as His Girl Friday, Woman of the Year, Take a Letter, Darling , and They All Kissed the Bride , the comic crises hinged on the heroines' decisions regarding their professional careers and domestic roles. In 1949, George Cukor's Adam's Rib took the familiar marriage-career crisis formula of the screwball comedy to its logical conclusion—a comic study of sex role stereotyping and the invalidity of narrowly defined sex roles.
Filmsite has a detailed plot description. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 96%.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai a 1999 internationally co-produced martial arts crime thriller drama film written and directed by Jim Jarmusch. Forest Whitaker stars in the title role. I was fascinated by the concept of Whitaker as a modern-day Samurai, and I tend to like Jarmusch's work. I'd definitely recommend this one. I watched it on HBO Max.


Senses of Cinema says,
Ghost Dog attains high levels of spirituality by practicing martial arts and reading the Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai, an 18th century book that established the philosophy of the samurai. Quotes from the Hagakure are presented intermittently on the screen throughout the film. While this seems to interrupt the narrative, it actually provides a philosophical context to interpret Ghost Dog’s actions. But even more, Ghost Dog is a film whose characters share their life and philosophy by exchanging books. Therefore, Ghost Dog seems to be a self-conscious film, which tries to share its spirituality with its viewers...
Slate Magazine opens with this: "Jim Jarmusch’s 1999 masterwork Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is a film that’s strange in the most beautiful way." The Guardian concludes, "I found it increasingly beguiling - it really grows on you. Jarmusch finds in the brutal world of the professional killer not merely black comedy but sadness and his own strand of wistful poetry." Roger Ebert has a positive review and calls it "weirdly intriguing". Rotten Tomatoes has an audience consensus score of 86%.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Uzumaki (2000)

Uzumaki is a 2000 Japanese horror movie about a small town where the residents gradually become obsessed with spiral shapes. This made fine casual viewing but isn't breaking new ground or likely to become a re-watchable classic. But then few films reach that level. I watched it on Amazon Prime.


Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Say What

Say What:

by Jesse Winchester, who died on this date in 2014

Monday, April 10, 2023


Paisan is a 1946 Italian neorealist war drama film directed by Roberto Rossellini. In six independent episodes, it tells of the Liberation of Italy by the Allied forces during the late stage of World War II. The film premiered at the Venice International Film Festival and received numerous national and international prizes including an Academy Award nomination. I'm not much one for war movies, but this is a more personal film that focuses on people and relationships instead of battles. I watched it on HBO Max.

via YouTube:

Criterion calls it "enormously moving". Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 100%.

Sunday, April 09, 2023

Old Yeller

Old Yeller is a 1957 western film starring Dorothy McGuire and Fess Parker, with Tommy Kirk, Kevin Corcoran, and Chuck Connors. A classic feel-good Disney movie, this is definitely not my thing and I'm not sure why I re-watched it. It's a sweet movie, though, if you like that kind of thing or are looking for a movie for kids. I watched it on Disney+.


Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 100%.

Saturday, April 08, 2023

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a 1992 comedy horror film, the genesis of the long-running Buffy franchise. It stars Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland, Paul Reubens, Rutger Hauer, Luke Perry, Hilary Swank, and David Arquette. It was written by Joss Whedon, who created the later television series. I re-watched it after I finished re-watching the Buffy and Angel television shows. This has been a fun activity filled with so many fun characters. It's on HBO Max.

movie trailer:

Friday, April 07, 2023

The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three (1974)

The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three is a 1974 crime drama film starring Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, and Martin Balsam. This kind of movie isn't usually my cuppa tea, but it came so highly recommended... It held my attention throughout. I'm glad I watched it. There have been two remakes, but I've not seen either of them. I watched it on HBO Max.


Empire Online calls it "The kind of gritty, relentless thriller that could only come from the 70s". Roger Ebert concludes a positive review with this: "And what could have been formula trash turns out to be fairly classy trash, after all." Rotten Tomatoes has critics consensus score of 100%.

Thursday, April 06, 2023

Fiddler on the Roof

Fiddler on the Roof is an award-winning 1971 musical film directed by Norman Jewison. John Williams arranged the music. Topol stars as Tevye, the Papa of a family of Russian Jews in early 20th-century Imperial Russia. I watched it on the Roku Channel, but it's also available on Freevee. This is a classic. I re-watched it now in memory of Topol because of his recent death at age 87.


Roger Ebert says, "what it does, it does well". Rotten Tomatoes has an audience concensus score of 92%.

Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Daphne (2017)

Daphne is a 2017 drama film that follows -over the course of a short period- the life of an attractive, hedonistic 31-year-old woman who lives in London. I'm glad I came across this one. I watched it on Amazon Prime, but it's also available free on Tubi.


Roger Ebert's site says,
“Daphne” at first seems overly familiar and unfocused, it relatively quickly develops into something pretty remarkable, thanks mostly to the stunning performance at its center. ... "Daphne" has one of those performances that announces a major talent. I honestly think it’s one of the best I’ll see all year.
Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus rating of 100%.

Tuesday, April 04, 2023

A Hard Day's Night

A Hard Day's Night is a 1964 musical comedy Beatles movie. What a treat. I've seen this several times, and it never gets old. I watched it on HBO Max this time, but I own the DVD.


Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 98%.

I think a cup of tea is just the thing for something to watch during this movie:

Please join me at the T Stands for Tuesday blogger gathering.

Monday, April 03, 2023

Werewolf by Night

Werewolf by Night is a 2022 TV short film (just under an hour long) based in the Marvel Comics universe. To be honest I'm not overly familiar with the larger Marvel Comics world and enjoyed this show anyway. I watched it on Disney+.


Sunday, April 02, 2023

Mystery Road

Mystery Road is a 2013 award-winning neo-Western-style crime film starring Hugo Weaving. I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The characters are fully-formed, and the plot is engaging. I watched it on Amazon Prime. I would watch the sequel film or the television series, but they're not available on any service we currently subscribe to. We already subscribe to several and are happy with them. I have no interest in adding even more expenses to my entertainment budget.


Variety describes it as " An impressively crafted, immensely satisfying contempo thriller that astutely tackles the hot-button issue of tensions between indigenous and European Australians." The Guardian gives it 4 out of 5 stars and offers a thorough plot description. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics consensus score of 92%.

Saturday, April 01, 2023

On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning

On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning is a 1981 short story by Haruki Murakami. You can read it online here at this link or listen to it read to you at the bottom of this post. It begins,
One beautiful April morning, on a narrow side street in Tokyo’s fashionable Harajuku neighborhood, I walked past the 100% perfect girl.

Tell you the truth, she’s not that good-looking. She doesn’t stand out in any way. Her clothes are nothing special. The back of her hair is still bent out of shape from sleep. She isn’t young, either - must be near thirty, not even close to a “girl,” properly speaking. But still, I know from fifty yards away: She’s the 100% perfect girl for me. The moment I see her, there’s a rumbling in my chest, and my mouth is as dry as a desert.