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Found 10 results

  1. None other than Dr. William Lessne, a noteworthy film buff, advised me to watch the early Stanley Kubrick film, "Paths of Glory." This film is to Kubrick as "Johnny Got His Gun" is to Dalton Trumbo - following in footsteps of "All Quiet on the Western Front," this is a patently anti-war, WWI film - all three of these are must-sees within this narrow genre, although unlike the other two, "Paths of Glory" focuses more on bureaucratic corruption, rather than the simple horrors of war (this will be made clear within minutes). Kubrick trivia: Only two actors have been in three Kubrick films - Philip Stone, and Joe Turkel, who was in "Paths of Glory," and who also played the ghostly bartender in "The Shining." Film historian Robert Osborne says this was the favorite war film of Sen. John McCain. How many young men and women do you think are prepared to do this for our country right now? A country needs to be worth fighting for ...
  2. "Ai Wei Wei's Beijing Studio Destroyed by Chinese Authorities" by Shannon van Sant on npr.org
  3. "Wild Strawberries" is a simple story, beautifully told, about an old man, highly respected in his community but lacking in human warmth and affection, who finds a way to reestablish his connection with this family by revisiting his youth. It is a story of longing, missed opportunities, love lost and second chances. It is a lovely and quietly brilliant film that brought tears to my eyes. Victor Sjöström is outstanding in his final screen performance as Professor Isak Borg, the old man recalling his past, and Bibi Andersson is delightful in her dual roles as Sara. Beautiful Ingrid Thulin gives an outstanding performance as the old man's daughter-in-law, Marianne. I highly recommend this film.
  4. Couldn't you say, though, that unlike hitting - and to a lesser degree, pitching - defense is more of a "lone-wolf skill" that can show up each year? All three skills are, of course, but hitting is *so* fickle that anyone might emerge and have a career year (or conversely, go into a two-month slump). The same holds true with pitching, albeit to a lesser degree: You're up against a different batter each time - plus, there are a myriad of pitching injuries. The ability to field and throw a ball doesn't change as much, because it's less dependent on opposing players, and more dependent on skills that you've acquired over time. I'm not saying this quite right, because obviously, hitting and pitching are acquired "over time" also - what I'm really trying to say is that fielding and throwing are more independent of your opponents, and may lend themselves more towards multiple awards in a row, because you're not thinking about Randy Johnson pitching behind your head, Kirby Puckett up with the bases loaded, etc. I'd make a comparison with Pete Maravich dribbling a basketball - he was possibly the best ball-handler and dribbler every single year he was in the NBA (of course, they don't give awards for dribbling a basketball). I may be wrong (I actually just now thought of this), but it seems like fielding and throwing are more independent of other people's intervention than hitting and pitching. Note also: The judges consist exclusively of managers and coaches; not sportswriters, and as of 2013, a Sabermetrics component accounts for 25% of the tally as well. (*) MC Horoscope: Note the third paragraph of that article, which supports what you say about "lazy voters." --- The Gold Glove Award should be named after Brooks Robinson, who won 16 of them in a row. Robinson just turned 80 years old this month - sigh, I wish they'd do it now. Until there is adequate video to show people how great Brooks Robinson was, day-after-day, year-after-year, all people will have is largely anecdotal evidence - I have not once, for example, seen video of him fielding a bunt, which he did in many games (remember, scoring was *much* lower before 1968, and teams bunted a lot - pitchers bunted all the time), and the way he charged, made a barehanded pickup (sometimes supported by his glove), and threw at 4'o'clock, all in one motion, was pure poetry. "Grounders to shortstop" were often intercepted by Robinson, who cut to his left, and fielded the ball perhaps ten feet in front of where Mark Belanger would have, which also gave Robinson momentum towards first base when he threw - he did this *all the time*. People who watched Brooks Robinson play are now at least in their 50s, and will eventually no longer be around - I'm going to do my part to make sure people in the future remember just how amazing a defensive player he was: He was so good that he changed the strategies of opposing teams. Truth be told, I'm just as amazed at some of the things Andrelton Simmons does (Manny Machado also), but it's called the Cy Young Award; not the Greg Maddux Award - plus, all games were played on natural grass which made it more difficult.
  5. in 2007, the American Film Institute voted "12 Angry Men" the #2 Courtroom Drama of all-time (it doesn't take much to guess #1). This is a really good movie that is deeply flawed in a couple of spots, forcing resolution much sooner than would actually occur in order to finish the play (variants on Deus ex Machina). Still, it's a wonderful character study and drama that has essentially one setting, but was filmed in several hundred takes (!), with 12 men deciding the life-or-death fate over a young Puerto Rican man (who sure looked Pakistani to me, but I guess back then, "what's the difference?"). Jack Klugman is of special interest to me because he's a Baltimore Orioles fan, and this film takes place in 1954 - the first year that the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles. If you watch this film, you'll know why I think Brooks Robinson should be nicknamed "The Groundskeeper" instead of "The Human Vacuum Cleaner." There were a couple moments that were simply so improbable that I felt they tainted the story - imagine unbreakable steel, withstanding all sorts of assaults, and finally buckling when a gnat flies into it - you get the point. But if you can forgive that - and I can - it's an important film that would also make for a solid play. I don't know if this was actually a theatrical production, but it would be very, very easy to stage, and it is in no way dated. A lot of the names up above you won't recognize, but you'd absolutely recognize their faces (Robert Webber, for example, in "Private Benjamin"). "12 Angry Men" is a great way to spend ninety minutes, and you'll enjoy trying to guess what happens at the end. The *actual* end, i.e., the final scene, which takes place in a moment of time outside the courthouse, is a small blip of genius.
  6. The iconic image of a knight playing chess with the personification of death is all I knew about "The Seventh Seal" ("Det sjunde inseglet") before viewing it. The knight, brilliantly portrayed by Max von Sydow, seeks the meaning of life and death, and questions the existence of God, during the Black Plague. Answers to his questions elude the knight (Antonius Block), and the closest he comes to finding meaning in life is an idyllic afternoon he spends eating strawberries and drinking milk with a married pair of traveling thespians. Watching their toddler son frolic around the campsite, Block remarks, "I shall remember this moment: the silence, the twilight, the bowl of strawberries, the bowl of milk. Your faces in the evening light...I shall carry this memory carefully in my hands as if it were a bowl brimful of fresh milk. It will be a sign for me, and a great sufficiency." This is my favorite scene, and it stands in sharp contrast to the darkness Block encounters on his journey through Sweden's countryside during the plague. The burning of a young "witch" at the stake and self-flagellation by a group of passing peasants ( in their futile attempt to ward off the Black Death) reinforce Block's doubts about the existence of a higher power. The chess game with death continues throughout the film, and Block gradually accepts that this is a game no one can win. Other characters are stalked by death in a variety of ways, but always with the same result. While the subject matter is bleak, the film is not. Surprisingly, there is a lot of humor in the film. The antics of the traveling actors, and relationship advice from Block's down-to-earth but woman-weary squire, made me laugh out loud. "The Seventh Seal" is a classic film, considered a masterpiece by many critics. With its gorgeous cinematography, thought-provoking themes, witty dialogue and empathetic and engaging characters, I can see why.
  7. Yeah, yeah, that's what they all say - I saw you in that Honeybaked Ham store last week ... I mean ... oops ...
  8. Peter Murphy left Bauhaus and did his own thing. A friend gave me a listen. Went to see in in 86 or 87 at the old 930 Club (horribly distorted speakers and all) and he was great. A skeleton, but great. "Final Solution" (1986) "My Last Two Weeks" (1988) "The Sweetest Drop" (1992) Not as much a fan as I was back then, but still he did some interesting stuff.
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