Monthly Archives: July 2018

I Met Famous People

Image result for david sedarisI’ve met three famous people in my life.  Or, maybe not met – at least not exactly.  We were not introduced in the way you might meet another person, with hand shakes and “Pleased to meet you” and all that.  No, these were more like encounters.  Like what you might do at a zoo with the animals.  You pay a little extra and next thing you know you’re in the enclosure mixing it up with the kangaroos, or the giraffes.  And by ‘mixing it up’ I mean walking a well-defined path while the animals come to you, if you’re lucky. Continue reading


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The Also-Rans Project — Tsotsi (Best Foreign Language Film Winner 2005)

Tsotsiposter.jpgDirected by Gavin Hood

Screenplay by Gavin Hood, from the novel by Athol Fugard

Starring Presley Chweneyagae and Terry Pheto

Best Picture 2005 was the not-terrible, but thoroughly maligned-by-comparison treatise on racism, Crash.  Like you, I was horrified it won Best Picture over the far-more-deserving Brokeback Mountain, and like you I shook my fist at the heavens to protest this injustice.  But unlike you – or, probably unlike you – I’ve since backtracked slightly.  No, I do not think Crash is worth of Best Picture, but at least now I see that it’s not all that terrible.  Yes, it’s manipulative and pat, but the actors are trying their hardest to sell it and there are some truly amazing performances – Don Cheadle and Terrence Howard especially.  Plus, it is well-directed and visually interesting. Continue reading

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The Also-Rans Project — The Reader (Best Picture Also-Ran 2008)

Reader ver2.jpgDirected by Stephen Daldry

Screenplay by David Hare, from the novel by Bernhard Schlink

Starring Ralph Fiennes, Kate Winslet, David Kross, Lena Olin and Bruno Ganz

It’s late 1950’s, West Germany.  A 16 year-old boy (David Kross) meets and has an affair with a secretive, and standoffish, older woman (Kate Winslet).  Amongst the things they do together, besides having sex, is the woman enjoys being read to.  Doesn’t matter what she’s read, only that she’s read to.  After a time, the woman abruptly moves away and the affair ends.  Later, when the boy is in law school (still played by David Kross), he attends the trial of some suspected Nazi war criminals, one of whom turns out to be the woman he had the affair with.  Though it is clear the woman does not know how to read, and therefore could not have been the ringleader she was made out to be, she refuses to exculpate herself and is jailed.  Later still, the now-grown man (Ralph Fiennes) reconnects with the woman as a pen-pal, eventually meeting her in person again when she is on the verge of release from prison as an elderly woman.

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