Yesterday I was watching Empire of the Sun, which is a troubling movie in many levels (but not quite as troubling as JG Ballard’s other works), and the Welsh lullaby Suo Gân punctuates a key scene of the film.
Bryn Terfel performs my favorite version of Suo Gân. You can buy the MP3 from Amazon, but it was also used in this beautiful short film, The Dinner Guest by Joe Gleason, to great effect:
Here’s Bryn, with a piano accompanist,
Today is the Feast of the Epiphany. May God bless you and your family and loved ones.
It’s been a veryhardweek, even when I had a wonderful birthday, so the other day, after a friend mentioned the movie, I took some time to watch Julie & Julia, which I missed when it first came out.
Yes, it’s a chick flick.
I must have been the only blogger on earth to not know that Julie Powell blogged her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking , an endeavor that brought her fame and movie rights. This is yet another thing (like coming up with Ninja Turtles action figures named after Renaissance artists) I wish I had thought of first; would blogging my way through Cocina Criolla bring me movie rights? And, if so, would J-Lo want to star in it?
But I digress.
The movie is two stories in one, Ms Powell’s, and Mrs. Child.
What a revelation it was.
While I have been known to do Julia Child’s “Bon appetit!” falsetto at times (two glasses of Malbec help), watched her on TV, and bought The Book (no way I’d cook all 524 recipes, thank you) I knew very little about Julia Child. It turns out Julia was a very strong woman who worked for the [warning: annoying audio starts when you click on the next link] Office of Strategic Services – the movie doesn’t dwell into that – during war, traveled the world, married a great guy and had a fabulous marriage, and persevered in bringing about a literary (and culinary) masterpiece.
Best of all, Julia was resilient, fun, and terrific.
Compared to larger-than-life Julia, poor Julie comes across as self-absorbed and whiney. Paul Child is interesting, strong, and supportive; Julie’s husband pales by comparison. The movie also takes a few jabs at Republicans, a distraction that has nothing to do with anything other than perhaps Paul Child‘s career in the Cold War years.
In all, you wish the movie had more Julia and Paul.
Purists will also notice that the movie’s boef bourguignons (there are at least three) have lots of carrots and celery cooking in the stew, while the recipe in The Book (volume 1, page 316) only has 1 sliced carrot. Julia’s TV recipe in the first show of The Frech Chef omitted the carrot altogether,
The prelude to tango begins at the moment that two people stand face to face and listen silently to a few notes of the music, before settling in on the embrace and beginning to dance.
Tango is a dance that stresses elegant walking and close attention to the music. More than anything, if you are new to it, just enjoy the scene. Notice the subtle movements of the dancers, the ways in which they negotiate small spaces and crowded dance floors, and the delicate way they accomplish the seductive invitation to dance.
Congressman Allen West stopped by Bloggers’ Row and answered our questions,
Among his remarks,
“If your policies (i.e., the Obama administration’s) have failed, the only thing you can rely on is the politics of envy and divisiveness.”
“I am about economic freedom, not economic dependency.” Asked about his interview in the film Runaway Slave, “we’ve got to get more people off the economic plantation.” Here’s a link to the film, Runaway Slave. I attended a preview last night, and recommend it.
A fun movie, starring Jean Dujardin, who looks like someone mixed Douglas Fairbanks’s genes with Gene Kelly’s with great success
If you like the Turner Movie Classics and Kevin Brownlow’s Hollywood, you’ll like this
And yet, the movie transcends mere pastiche. In one scene, Bejo wistfully interacts with Valentin’s empty tailcoat in the most chaste yet erotic movie moment in recent memory. In another, Bejo luminously ascends a flight of stairs clad in white as Valentin descends, dressed in somber gray, in the iconic Bradbury Building (seen in “Blade Runner” and many more), a perfect melding of themes and production design.