Arts & Culture

Movies: "Anna Karenina"

Movies: "Anna Karenina"

 

Here’s a handsome Christmas present in the form of a highly original and sumptuous staging of the Leo Tolstoy novel, scripted by the great British playwright Tom Stoppard and directed by Joe Wright (“Atonement”).

 

The movie was shot almost entirely in an old theater, with the actors deftly moving from scene to scene.  As doors open, new sets are revealed.  Some of those doors also lead outdoors to offer ravishing shots of the Russian countryside -- but of the main characters, only one is allowed outside.  That is Levin (Domhnall Gleeson, son of Brendan), whose happy scything with the peasants frees him from the chilly embrace of 19th century Russian high society.

Creating the book I will never publish...

Creating the book I will never publish...

Cut and Paste means a whole lot more than Control+C, Control +V for me.

Forgive my absenteeism, dear reader.  Here's what I've been up to!

I'm creating the book that I will never, ever publish.  And it's my favorite book ever.

 

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Movies: "Lincoln"

Movies: "Lincoln"

 

Four great talents came together for the making of “Lincoln”:  Steven Spielberg, surely America’s greatest contemporary filmmaker;  playwright Tony Kushner, who wrote “Angels in America” as well as the screenplay for Spielberg’s 2005 movie “Munich”;  historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, whose book “Team of Rivals: the Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” formed the basis for Kushner’s script;  and Daniel Day Lewis, who seems to have been born to play Abraham Lincoln.

 

There are lesser talents on display here as well, several of whom add juice to the 1865 business of getting the 13th Amendment through a divided House of Representatives while the Civil War still rages.

Rabies!

Rabies!

Rabies has been in the news in Maine this year, with confirmed cases in wildlife, and even one case (that I know of) in a pet dog.

We have a good handle on the rabies virus, especially in developed nations, but it is FAR from eradicated.  Don't kid yourself.  Rabid: A Cultural History of the World's Most Diabolical Virus is a well-researched book that doesn't pull any punches.

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Movies: "Skyfall"

Movies: "Skyfall"

 

Boy, are you in for a good time at the new James Bond movie.

 

I don’t know what got into British director Sam Mendes (“American Beauty,””The Road to Perdition”) but whatever it was, it worked.  He’s brought the energy, the action and the wit of the early Bond movies back to life and the results are pure movie pleasure.

 

Another great asset in “Skyfall” is its villain.  Javier Bardem (the cattle-gun killer in “No Country for Old Men”) plays Silva, a Wikileaks-style computer hacker who burrows into MI6 files, causing all sorts of mayhem.  It’s a personal at

Happy Birthday, Carl Sagan!

Happy Birthday, Carl Sagan!

Did you know that in addition to loving space, and the planets, Carl Sagan loved books too?

Today is his birthday.  He would only be in his late 70s. 

I loved Carl Sagan.  As a kid, I can remember his NOVA specials on PBS (one of the 3 stations we got) being total appointment television.  Yeah, I'm geeking out here....

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