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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Never Sorry Folly?

I’m recommending Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry and Almayer’s Folly, both showing at the Cinematheque this weekend. Unlike past weeks, I haven’t seen either one. The documentary about Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has earned a 97% at the website Rotten Tomatoes, which aggregates critics’ reviews. Weiwei is an iconoclast who’s fought Chinese government censorship of his […]

Ozu’s “Tokyo Story”

Yasujiro Ozu’s 1953 Tokyo Story is a quiet, moving film about an essential theme of life: change. It’s not to be missed. Chishu Ryu, Ozu’s iconic actor, plays an elderly father who travels from the countryside to Tokyo with his wife to visit their grown children. Chishu Ryu should serve as an example in acting classes–he conveys benevolence and humanity […]

To See, or Not to See?

Documentaries are often tempting, because their subject matter is usually inherently interesting: some unique, strange, or heartwarming story that inspired the filmmakers to begin with. In Kumare, this weekend’s Museum selection, the filmmaker, Vikram Gandhi (at left) conned people into believing he was a spiritual guru and then recorded the results. Presumably, he’s making fun of people’s gullibility […]

A Clown, but Not “Klown”

Maybe I’ll always be recommending a classic film, here, in my weekly musings on my husband John’s film programs. If so, I may get boring, but I gotta be me. I generally want people to read classic books and see classic movies, because they’re usually great.  A year or two ago, my book group, who usually […]

A Collection of Choosers

I discussed the electoral college with my Latin students today, apropos of the Presidential election, of course, and described its Roman historical and etymological roots. As a break from our essential but enervating grammar explanations, such a lesson passes as “fun” in my class. The Roman Republic divided its voting citizens into groups of 100, […]

Reflecting on the 47%

By now everybody knows what Republican candidate Mitt Romney said about 47% of Americans. It goes something like this. People will vote for President Obama because they are dependent on government and believe they are victims. These 47%  pay no income tax and think the government must take care of them. They believe they’re entitled […]

Good Docs

Two documentaries at the Cleveland Museum of Art sound interesting this weekend. Booker’s Place: A Mississippi Story revisits a 1965 NBC interview, in which an African-American waiter named Booker Wright spoke openly to TV reporters and later paid the price. The son of the original filmmaker returns to Mississippi in this film to examine the effects […]

Hands Down, It’s “Madame de…”

No zombies or giant man-eating sandworms for me this weekend. I’ll pass over Juan of the Dead (Cuba’s first zombie movie) and Dune, David Lynch’s version of the Frank Herbert science-fiction novel, for Max Ophuls’s exquisite 1953 gem, The Earrings of Madame De… at the Cleveland Cinematheque. Thinking this movie was based on a Guy de […]

La Grande Illusion

It happened again tonight. As I was tearing up watching Jean Renoir’s great 1937 anti-war film La Grande Illusion at the Cinematheque, I was thinking that I should have told everyone I know to come and see it. John didn’t need my help–the crowd was big enough. I just felt sad that some people who […]