Friday, September 24, 2010

"The Circle" a movie

"The Circle" an Iranian movie by Jafar Panahi
James and I watched this film last night. Many thoughts are roaming around in my head regarding this film.
One- this is NOT Light and Fuzzy. It is pretty grim at times, not because of any physical violence or bad language.
Two - it would appear that the only crime any of these women committed was being born a female.
Three - dialogue is sparse, with subtitles, so it is quite easy to follow.
Four - it will make any Western woman be very aware of how very lucky she is to not have been born in some areas of the world.
This is almost done as a docu-drama, takes place in less then 24 hours. At the onset the screen is black - there is nothing wrong with the DVD or your player - you will hear moans, groans and cries, as a baby is brought into the world. The maternal grandmother learns that her daughter has just given birth to a baby girl, and so the journey begins....... Doom and gloom
Having lived in North Africa, I have never taken for granted the freedoms with which I am blessed, by an accident of birth. From now on, I believe that when I hear news of women being imprisoned in Middle Eastern countries, I will consider their plight in an entirely new way.
Maybe this is a film some of you will want to forego, but I hope that this film will make, those of you who do consider watching it, aware of how very hard women in other parts of the world really do have it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pirate Radio a movie

Well, it looks like I picked the English version of "Pirate Radio".

We watched this the other evening - now if you know me well, you know that I do not use/nor care for the "F" word, this film has its share of it. On the other hand, the music in Pirate Radio is from my junior and senior high school years, and it brought back so many memories. The setting is just off the English coast, during the 60's, when it was "forbidden" to play "rock and roll" music on English broadcast radio, based on actual events. A "wild and woolly" group of pirate dj's get together and broadcast "rock and roll" 24 hours a day. It would appear that half of England listened to their broadcasts on a daily basis.
Some of the cast are quite notable for other types of movies, Philip Seymour Hoffman was really great as the ex-patriot American "the Count", Emma Thompson as the inebriated mother "Charlotte", Bill Nighy as the skipper "Quentin", Rhys Ifans as "Gavin", and the real kicker Kenneth Branagh as "Sir Alistair Dormandy" who looked like a British version of Hitler......
They must have a had a really great time making this one.
So, if you are of the '60's generation, this movie has great music - sort of an English version of "American Graffiti".

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Just a ramble on .............

This is just a rambling on, or maybe a venting or some other such thing......

I pretty much stick to writing about books and movies, so this may come as a surprise to some of you who follow my blog.

Just this past week in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, a young girl was given a date rape drug, while at a Rave, she was then gang-raped by close to 7 boys and young men. As this dreadful thing was occuring, a 16 year old boy decided to video it, and then decided to post it on "FACEBOOK"!!!!!!!!!! Can you imagine? The RMCP have taken the 16 year old boy into custody and charged him with posting CHILD PORN, Facebook officials have tried everything in their power to take these awful postings off the site, but every time they do, some sleaze re-posts them. Facebook and the RMCP are working together to charge those who keep reposting these images.....

My vent just doesn't stop there, since I keep viewing other blogs, I find it disturbing that folks post so many photos of their young children, grandchildren and post so much information about their personal, and what should be PRIVATE, information - I mean "come on folks" you need to consider that there are really BAD people out there who can figure out where you live.......... And if you don't believe me, maybe you should consider reading "Cyber War" by Richard A Clarke, if "They" can break into the Pentagon's systems, what makes "anyone" think "their" computer system is REALLY REALLY SAFE? After all, how many fire walls do you think the Pentagon has? ONE? Time to Wake Up.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Blue Moon Circus" a novel by Michael Raleigh

"Blue Moon Circus", a novel by Michael Raleigh
I read this book several years ago, and each time I check it out to a patron or return it, I remember how surprised, and how much I enjoyed this book. There are not many copies left in our system, but if you place a hold on it, you should be able to get one copy quickly.
Set in 1926, Lewis Tully is a confirmed bachelor, and a determined circus man at heart. Times are hard in America, Oklahoma is no better off than other places, but when Lewis' older sister in Chicago sends nine year old Charlie to Lewis, well things just got a bit harder for Lewis. Being the confirmed bachelor that he is, Lewis is not smart in the ways of taking care of young children, but he is not without a "heart". Charlie is about to go on an adventure of a lifetime. Life in a small time "big top circus", is just as hard and dangerous as that on the other side of life. Lewis' circus has many competitors, some very nasty. Lewis and his local group of friends make the decision to take the Blue Moon Circus on the road, facing many disasters, as well as one really NASTY camel, with a very long memory........... Lewis and company survive and overcome most of the disasters, but not all. The ending is a REAL KICK!

Friday, September 10, 2010

"Skylark Farm" a novel by Antonia Arslan

"Skylark Farm" a novel by Antonia Arslan, based on actual events.
Set in 1915, the Turks were beginning their genocide of the Armenian people, although to this day the Turkish government still will not acknowledge this.
Two brothers, Yerwant, 53, who 40 years earlier was sent to Venice by his family for educational purposes, and his brother, Sempad, are making plans for a reunion on their family's idyllic estate, Skylark Farm, in Turkey - the brothers have never seen each other so this will be a very historic event for both. But World War I begins, Yermant is unable to reach Turkey. Sempad and his family have reached the estate, all the male members of the family and their male servants are brutally murdered by military forces. The female members become part of a forced march, enprisoned in concentration camps, suffer torture and starvation.
The author recounts the horrors told to her by her Aunt Henriette, a survivor of the event. Antonia, once a professor of Italian literature at the University of Padua, depicts these events with vivid and horrific descriptions of cruelty and immeasurable loss to so many families, not just her own.
Although very brutal in detail, this book was one I had a hard time putting down. It is certainly not for the faint of heart - if you are unable to watch or read about Hitler's annihilation of the Jewish people in Germany during WWII, then you probably won't be able to read this. I eventually purchased "Armenian Golgotha" by Grigoris Palak'ean regarding the genocide of the Armenians for James, which he read, can't say he "enjoyed" what he read, but I know that he came away with a new knowledge of the events so many people have tried to cover up for many years.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Too Many books, so don't waste time reading what you don't like

So many books, so don't waste your time reading what you don't like.
When we were students, assigned books in literature classes needed to be read to complete the assignment in order to pass the course, consequently we had to read many books that we didn't like. But we are no longer students, we have various interests, and too little time to waste on books we just don't like.
My rule of thumb for a book is, If the first 5 - 10 pages don't grab me, well I just put the book down and start something else.
The proverbial saying about "Don't judge a book by its cover", can be wrong at least 50% of the time. Authors don't always get their choice of cover illustrators, but sometimes they do, they should have more say as they know what their book is about, consequently publishers pick real "dogs" for covers. One of my very favorite cover illustrators is Wendell Minor, pick up the original "Cold Sassy Tree" or "Fried Green Tomatoes..." you will, probably, notice that the art really does convey the essence of these books, he nailed it.......
So, enjoy yourself.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"Saving Cinnamon" a book by Christine Sullivan

"Saving Cinnamon" by Christine Sullivan
Navy Reservist Mark Feffer, deployed to Afghanistan, does what most do, but are advised against by the U.S. military powers, he befriends a starving puppy, who quickly worms her way into the hearts of everyone in his squad. Nearing the end of his deployment, Mark makes arrangements to have Cinnamon shipped home. Only thing is that the person, he has entrusted Cinnamon to for the trip to Chicago, is a real scum bag of a person. This jerk leaves Cinnamon at the airport, and boards his plane. When Cinnamon does not arrive as scheduled at O'Hare airport, people begin a long involved search for Cinnamon. Mark's sister, the author of this book, takes on the task of finding Cinnamon. Christine moves mountains, people, organizations and governments in her quest to re-unite Mark with his beloved Cinnamon.
Although there are moments of utter frustration, sadness and hatred for that scum bag, this story ultimately has a happy ending. You will probably need a tissue or two, but this is a book that is worth reading.
Paraphrasing the song "What's love got to do with it?" EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!
What a story.......
Hope you will consider it.