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Monthly Archives: November 2012

Recommending John Ford, as Opposed to Sex with a Tentacled Monster

The sure thing at the Cinematheque this weekend is probably, once again, the classic film: 1962’s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance by legendary director John Ford, starring John Wayne, James Stewart and Lee Marvin. It treats serious themes about law and morality and truth and mythology. It’s the last project that Wayne and Ford did […]

Better Than Science

In my Latin class today, I shared a reading about Proserpina and Ceres (Persephone and Demeter, in Greek). I find it necessary to debunk all that the scientific mumbo-jumbo about the seasons, relating to planets and stars and orbits. Forget, I tell my students, what you may have heard about the tilt of the earth on its […]

Richard Russo’s Difficult Mom

How could Richard Russo’s memoir Elsewhere not intrigue me? I’m already a fan. His novels Nobody’s Fool and Empire Falls, for example, tell heartfelt and funny stories about flawed, even infuriating, but ultimately sympathetic characters. Russo has mastered an assured, sincere tone that doesn’t get sentimental. A glance at reviews of the new book told […]

A Film Trio

If you haven’t seen The Imposter  yet, I suggest you catch it at the Cinematheque this weekend (Saturday at 9:45; Sunday at 6:30). This crazy documentary tells the story of a lost child who reappears in his Texas family’s life after three years–with different colored eyes and a French accent. The family takes him in, and most […]

You Always Hurt the One You Love

I’ve struck up an email correspondence with a reader named Mary, whose elderly mother has borderline personality disorder, and a psychiatrist named David Allen. In recent correspondence, Dr. Allen suggests that people with BPD show their love for family members in a distorted way. Their criticism and evident disdain are really demonstrations of love, albeit […]

Ozu Once Again

My Cinematheque choice this week is An Inn at Tokyo (Friday, November 16, 7:30 pm). Okay, this event might be off-putting at first glance. It’s silent. It’s Japanese. It’s in black and white. But it’s made by the great Yasujiro Ozu, who directed Late Spring and Tokyo Story, among others, and it features a benshi. […]

See Scout and Pina

A couple weeks ago, before the rains came, I opened the windows one last time on a warm night. When I heard the dry leaves skittering on the sidewalk outside, my mind went to To Kill a Mockingbird. This movie, as you’ll recall, ends on Halloween, evoking the nostalgia and the scariness of childhood. Seeing To […]