Gurrumul

Movies, Documentary

Gurrumul

No Comments 10 July 2018

You may have never heard of Gurrumul. I certainly had not when I was asked to see this biopic. After the first 10 to 15 minutes, you realize that you are for a very special story that is deeply moving. It is a remarkable piece of work and I put up there on the level of Searching for Sugar Man, which is my all-time favorite documentary of a musician. The Gurrumul story is so different from Sugar Man that it feels in no way repetitive. But what they have in common individuals whose music and poetic vision is so strong that they find against to odds a large audience.

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Foxtrot

Movies, Drama

Foxtrot

No Comments 10 June 2018

The first third of this Israeli film is almost too hard to bear. A father and mother are visited by the military representatives who bring the sad news that their son has been killed in the line of duty. The next 40 minutes we are shown the horrific emotions that a father would go through at this moment. I was saying to myself, “I am not sure if I want to watch this for another hour or so.” But then the film takes an unexpected turn and we get a break.

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The Shop around the Corner

Movies, Documentary

The Shop around the Corner

No Comments 31 May 2018

Today successful Hollywood actors are widely admired. This was not always the case. Some years ago, I visited LA and learned about the surprising history of Hollywood. The good society of LA looked down on actors. They were only seen as slightly better than prostitutes and so they were not allowed to live in town. The actors needed to move outside the city in a new area called Hollywood. I was reminded of this history in the opening minutes of The Shop around the Corner, which was produced in 1940.

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Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Movies, Drama

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

No Comments 13 May 2018

A mother lost her only daughter to rape and murder. She is underwhelmed by the efforts of the police department in a little town in Missouri to find the perpetrators of the crime. This is moment the film starts.

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The discovery of Frank Conroy

Books, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Movies

The discovery of Frank Conroy

No Comments 21 April 2018

I am excited to have discovered the writer Frank Conroy. You read a few pages of Stop Time and you know you are in the hands of the master. I just bought Body and Soul and started reading it as well. Now I need to make up my mind which of the two books I want to read first. A difficult choice but it seems whatever choice I make, I will not make a difference because both books promise to be fantastic.

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Amy

Movies, Documentary

Amy

No Comments 18 April 2018

Since every person now has a smartphone, documentaries of people living today will much easier to do because so much film material will be available on each person. Compared to the documentary on Bob Marley that I covered earlier, a lot of film material was available on Amy Winehouse. Relatively cheap digital video cameras were around when she turned 14 and she and her friend started to interview each other like teenagers do. Documentaries on popular musicians are generally wonderful because we love to hear the music again that accompanied our own lives. Amy is a rewarding film to watch.

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Purple Rain

Movies, Documentary, Drama

Purple Rain

No Comments 8 April 2018

Prince’s premature death prompted me to see Purple Rain for the first time. The film feels a bit like Flashdance. Incidentally, Jennifer Beals, the star of Flashdance was asked to play lead female role but declined. The plot is apparently based on Prince’s life but the main story is Prince’s talent. No plot can compete with his musical genius. The movie’s ending, where Prince shows off his musical talent, is worth seeing.

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