Category Archives: drama

constantly gardening

I trust a Democracy Now interview response better than my own words. Thanks for the tip-off, Shash.

AMY GOODMAN: “Can you give us a thumbnail sketch of The Constant Gardener?”

JOHN LE CARRÉ: “It’s a young fellow in the Foreign Office, born into the clover, Eton-educated, a sense of political responsibility, a little bit of a frozen child, stiff parents, no love in his early life, falls in love with a beautiful, idealistic young woman, and she marries him. It’s almost she who does it. And they go off to Kenya, and she engages in charitable work and comes upon evidence that a big pharmaceutical company is using a bunch of people in a village in Africa, in Kenya, as human guinea pigs. They sign the consent forms. They don’t know what they’re signing. They’re bullied into it by the local representatives of the pharmaceutical company. Everything is outsourced. Everything is given away to other people, so that the company itself is never directly responsible. And she becomes very involved in this. She takes a stand, and she is murdered. He, who adores her, comes to the conclusion that he must take up her message and take up her fight, and carries it on. And in the end, romantically—I’m nothing, if not a romantic, in some respects—in the end he dies, as part of the mission, and you may say that he joins her, makes a similar sacrifice. And so, they, both of them, did the decent thing against the most anonymous and horrific kind of threat, which is one of sort of untouchable corporate power.

The things that are done in the name of the shareholder are, to me, as terrifying as the things that are done—dare I say it—in the name of God. Montesquieu said, “There have never been so many civil wars as in the Kingdom of God.” And I begin to feel that’s true. The shareholder is the excuse for everything. And, to me—I’m not suggesting we make some sudden lurch into socialism, that isn’t the case at all. I think it’s more to do with the exercise of individual conscience.”

Source: http://www.democracynow.org/2010/11/25/british_novelist_john_le_carr_on

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these are my top 10. what are yours?

In my humble opinion, these movies (in no particular order) are the brightest of the Netflix Instant gems- that I have found so far!

1. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: Edward Albee’s irreverence coupled with Elizabeth Taylor’s alcoholic rage may not sound like a pleasant way to spend over 2 hours watching black and white BUT TRUST ME- YOU’LL LOVE IT. The acting, the lighting, the writing, the directing, blah, blah, blah- I could go on. A must must must see.

2. The Lady Eve: If you like movies from the 1940s, then you’ve probably seen it. If you don’t, well maybe you’ll start liking movies from the 1940s by watching this one. A comedy that keeps the viewer interested mostly because Barbara Stanwyck is so sexy and gets so sassy.

3. Easy Street: Small scale documentary made in 2006 depicting the lives of several homeless folks in St. Petersburg, Florida. Provides an honest interpretation of the realities of homelessness- including the roles that addiction and mental illness play.

4. Sin Nombre: This is a emotionally intense and aesthetically beautiful thriller that pieces together the story of several characters trying to make it from Central America to the good ol’ U.S. of A. In Spanish with English subtitles. Definitely was a tearjerker for me- more because it is such a vivid reminder of how heartbreaking the tales of immigration often are.

5. Fargo: I don’t think I’m qualified to write a review on this movie. Dad, can you help me out?

6. The Messenger: Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster LAY IT DOWN in this unforgettable movie about two current-day U.S. soldiers whose job is to notify families of killed soldiers. Definitely not a date night movie, but don’t let that stop you. Emotionally sophisticated, poignant, thought-provoking. Oh yeah, and Steve Buscemi’s cameo doesn’t hurt.

7. Tarnation: Another one that definitely shouldn’t be put on the “date night” list- unless you like your dates really disturbing. Tarnation is a documentary filmed over the course of almost 20 years, made up of a mixture of home videos, voicemail messages, early short films and snapshots–all depicting the life of filmmaker Jonathan and his oh so schizophrenic mother. The music is really great as well. Overall very powerful, although the pacing is a little strange. But I give him credit- he made it on a budget of $218.32, editing the entire thing on iMovie on his Mac. And now you can rent it at Blockbuster. Or watch it on Netflix Instant as the case may be.

8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Hmm, if my audience is who I think it is, you’ve probably seen this. Now you get to watch it again on Instant.

9. Amelie: If you all haven’t figured it out yet, that tiny little icon next to the site address for this blog is actually an image of Amelie’s head from the part of the movie where she is at the movie theater glued to the screen. ANYWAY, the film Amelie is such an aesthetic experience so my words probably won’t do much good. So go have a look-see.

10. Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic: Not for the easily offended, for those who don’t appreciate/understand satire, or for those who think offensive satire perpetuates societal ills. Sarah jam packs her absurd stand-up comedy/spontaneous musical numbers with the most taboo of topics- and looks cute while doing it! AND IT’S HYSTERICAL. I think she’s a genius.

What are your Top 10 Netflix Instant finds?