Saturday, May 22, 2010


There's a site called 'Eccentric Cinema" that I visit regularly. Because it keeps me informed of the DVD release of really strange movies. Like this one called "Girly", also known as "Mumsy, Nanny, Sonny and Girly" . It was directed by Freddie Francis, the director of photography of classics such as "The Elephant Man". And it is quite a treat. Imagine the Addams Family with homicidal tendencies and you get a sense of this perverse, little movie. It is funny, it keeps you guessing. It is a movie that surprises you with it's weird atmosphere, but it never descends into gore or anything like that. And Vanessa Howard turns in a really amazing performance as the sexy member of the clan. But then again, the movie avoids nudity or anything explicit. Further proof that sometimes less is more.
All in all, a fine way to spend a rainy afternoon.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Color me Kubrick

There are very few movies that intensely hate. And last night I saw one of them. It is called " Color me Kubrick", a movie about a man who fooled many people pretending to be Stanley Kubrick and taking money away from them. The premise is interesting, but the execution is awful. John Malkovich is one of the most insufferable performances ever plays the main character. The movie is constantly winking at you, letting you know that this all a joke. But the problem is that the joke is not funny. I saw 45 minutes of this awful movie and decided to turn it off. 45 minutes that I completely wasted.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Crazy Heart

I'm a sucker for small movies. Perhaps because my formative cinema years were the early 1970's when small, personal films were the norm. So it's wonderful when a new movie reminds me a bit of that era. This movie about an alcoholic country singer who suddenly finds love and realizes that he must change his life is a low key affair centered by a good performance by Jeff Bridges. I must admit it's one of those performances tailored made to win awards. And I'm never too fond of those. but in this case it's fine. Colin Farrell's uncredited performance here is perhaps better.

But the movie is a fine one and has an ending that for once does not seem to be pandering to focus groups. It is real, bitterweet, more on the bitter side. "Crazy Heart" is not a masterpiece. It is not a great movie. But it is a wonderful, unpretentious one. And in these days of 3-D bombast, it's such a damn change of pace.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


One of the pleasures of European travel is the enjoyment of the wine culture. I never drink wine with a meal over here, but over there one almost feels a duty to have two glasses with dinner. And I had forgotten how wonderful that is. One enjoys the meal in another way. I ate it slower since I was pausing to really savor the wine. And maybe I'm exaggerating here, but once I had finished it, I felt so good. And falling asleep a few hours later was no problem. The relaxation after a busy day was complete. Everything was right.

There are no fat people in Paris

Last week while walking the streets of Paris, a friend commented "Have you noticed that there is not a single obese person in this city?". And it was true. There was not a single overweight individual in the damn city. And it was not because of exercise since one had to look hard to find a jogger around in the morning. We started talking about theories and the one that seemed to make the most sense involved the fact that there were few fast food joints in Paris. So maybe that is the secret. Stop eating that stupid junk food. Forget about KFC, Burger King and others and you will become a healthier person. You can eat your croissants and your butter. But forget about the Whoppers.

A theory that made sense when we went to Barcelona, a city brimming with fast food places. And there they were. The obese people. The overweight kids.