Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Girlfriend Experience on Onelink cable tv

Onelink's HD Net Movies is showing excellent independent movies BEFORE they are shown on theaters. And last night I saw Steven Sodenberg;s new movie "The Girlfriend Experience". This movie is a kind of back to his roots as director of "Sex, Lies and Videotape", the movie that made him famous. It's basically a character study. This time of a high priced call girl and the people around her. It's a fascinating look into that world. One thing also makes it interesting. The call girl is played by a hard core porno actress named Sasha Grey. And she is very good playing a woman who decides she wants this kind of life. And the movie makes the point (but not in an too obvious way) that any type of work is a kind of prostitution.

I am not a Sodenberg fan. I like some of his movies, despise some of them. But al least, he is a director that takes chances. And if you're in the mood and want some intelligent cinema for 75 minutes (it's pretty short for a regular movie), you can do worse than seek out "The Girlfriend Experience". It won't be shown on HD Net Movies anymore, but you can catch it on Onelink Video On Demand or 4 months from now at Fine Arts Cafe.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Their story has been a kind of obsession of mine. "Alive" was the first adult book I remember reading. And I am very much fascinated by theri story. I am talking, of course, of the Uruguayan students whose plane crashed in the Andes in 1972 and had to resort to eating the flesh of the dead. And I'm not fascinated so much by the gruesomeness of it, but by the humanity they represented. The idea that surviving is the most important thing in the world and that our instinct for survival can be so amazing.

So this week I saw the documentary "Stranded" in which survivors tell their story. It is so interesting to see them talking to camera, explaining 30 years later, how they felt. Most of it I had read in various books, but listening to them made it more intimate and frankly, more human.

But one thing stuck with me this time around. Towards the end of the documentary a helicopter travesl the distance from where the plane crash to where the survivors finally found civilization. And someone says that someone would have needed super human strength, proper equipment and much training to have been able to climb those mountains. And yet these men did it half starved to death and without even a rope for equipment. Another aspect of this incredible story was revealed.

This is one excellent documentary.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Awful movies

When I was a kid I used to love Terence Hill movies. I thought the Trinity westerns were so cool. Well , the other day the cable channel Encore Westerns showed a Terence Hill movie that I adored way back. It's "Man of the East", an Italian western from 1974. I recall I dragged my mom and dad to see it and I came out of the theater thinking it was the coolest movie ever. So last night I decided to embark on a nostalgia trip. I was going to watch a movie I had not seen for 30 years. I didn't make it past the 15 minute mark. I hated every minute of it. The comedy was broad and stupid. Everything about it was just so amazingly awful. I usually find something to like in movies I saw as a kid, but I couldn't find anything here. I ended up watching some nature documentaries to compensate for the mind numbing 15 minutes of "Man of the East".

Which makes me want to thank my mom and dad. I can imagine how they felt watching this movie with me. Made me realize again how wonderful they are.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


There are ceratin routines that I still carry from my youth. And one of them is buying a CD from a favorite artist the very day it comes out. I know this is incredibly old fashioned, but I still like the idea of physically owning the CD. I read the small booklet and the lyrics and I like looking at the list of musicians involved. I also like seeing the artwork. Somehow a cd should be a complete work of artistic expression.

So yesterday I went through my routine and bought the new Cat Stevens cd. I am still looking at the artwork. Then I will listen to the music. A routine I love.

Monday, May 04, 2009


I had plans to see a few movies I had rented from Netflix, but eneded up doing other things and only saw one. It was a movie called "Iris" from a few years back. It stars Kate Winslet and Dame Judi Dench as young and old author Iris Murdoch. It is a movie about a carefree woman and her life with her supportive husband and it is intercut with her later life as she loses her mind to Alzheimer's. Winslet is wonderful as the young Iris in all her wildness. Dame Judi Dench is heartbreaking as a woman who suddenly is unable to do the most simple things. And Jim Broadbent is amazing as her husband , who despite Iris infidelities with men and women, stands by her side. It is a sad movie, but Iris's enjoyment of life in her youth makes you realize that despite the sad eneding, she did enjoy life.

Friday, May 01, 2009

8:30 am

My boss recommended me a new camera the other day. It's the CanonG10. And i decided to test it by taking some photos at the beach the other morning. And it does feel like a great camera. And I was able to capture the world of the Ocean Park beach at 8:30 am. The people practicing beach volleyball. The people walking or the ones just sitting there, looking at the ocean, maybe meditating. It's a wonderful, quiet little world. And one that I hope to capture again.

why I don't go to movies anymore

I used to love going to the movies on Saturday afternoons. Usually to the Metro in Santurce. I would go in, catch a flick at 2pn and leave around 4:30pm. But these days I can't. Just look at the garbage mainstream movies that are playing. "Wolverine", a movie concentrating on a character from the mediocre at best "X-Men' movies. A movie aimed at 14 year olds. Then there's the Beyonce vehicle "Obsessed", the one millionth variation on the "Fatal Attraction" plot, that was itself a replica of "Play Misty for Me". Haven't people seen this stupid plot too many times? Maybe not. Since it was the #1 movie of last week. Oh, right, it's aimed at 14 year olds and 14 years old were not born when the whole femme fatale, erotic thriller cycle happened, So I will watch a movie I rented from Netflix and enjoy it at home. My own Saturday matinee at home. But somehow it isn't the Metro theater. Still, a movie fan has to see a movie on Saturday afternoons.