Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

The Golden Compass was sold out at our local movie theater last night, which proved fortuitous since it meant we saw Juno instead. Wonderful movie! By all means, go see it. The dialog was extremely clever, even verging on Whedonesque. The basic story is about 16-year old Juno getting pregnant (after what seemed like her first time, though I don’t think that was definitively established) and then giving the baby up for adoption. I do wonder a little about a girl as intelligent and strong-willed as Juno not figuring out how to use reliable birth control, but I guess that was necessary to get the plot moving.

Of course, the movie had the obligatory, girl-goes-to-abortion-clinic-but-decides-not-to-go-through-with-it-at-the-last-minute scene. Otherwise it mostly avoided clichés. At least it didn’t go with the usual television cop-out of Juno magically discovering she wasn’t pregnant after all.

Still, just once I’d like to see a movie about a teenage girl who gets knocked up, has an abortion, and lives happily ever after, just like thousands of real teenagers do every year. (more…)

Fowler’s Toad

Saturday, July 7th, 2007

Fowler’s Toad

Fowler’s Toad, Bufo woodhousii fowleri
Robert Moses State Park, 2007-07-07


Le Pont du Nord

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

Yesterday afternoon after visiting my accountant (tax time, you know) I stopped over at FIAF for the Tuesday afternoon movie. It usually doesn’t matter a great deal what’s playing. It’s mostly just about practicing French, but boy did this one test me. If I didn’t have another event at 7:30 I might have left early. Apparently Eric Rohmer is not the only nouvelle vague director que je deteste. The poor sound quality in the print we watched didn’t help either. It’s hard enough to follow French without having to strain to hear every word.

I wasn’t the only one who felt this way either. At least a third of the audience, most of whom speak much better French than I ever will, had left by the end of the film. That the audience is almost entirely composed of FIAF members who get free admission may contribute to that. Mostly it’s Francophone senior citizens who show up no matter what’s playing. Usually one or two people leave early, but I’ve never seen an exodus like yesterday before.

Still, I can’t help but think there was something more going on that I (and most of the audience) just didn’t get. The Don Quixote theme was apparent, but there were lots of hints of other things. I suspect this may be a deeply symbolic movie, but if you’re not clued into to the symbolism, it’s just flat-out incomprehensible. I’ve googled a little looking for further info, without a lot of success so far. Does anyone understand this picture?

Copy protection steals Speilberg’s BAFTA

Wednesday, January 11th, 2006

The Guardian explains how copy protecttion is now even befuddling and bedeviling wealthy movie producers. When are people going to realize this stuff is more trouble than it’s worth? It’s not like I can’t go out onto the streets of New York City right now and find a pirated copy of Munich. Copy protection only hurts the honest, who in this case include people who might have otherwise voted for a Munich for a BAFTA award.