Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Things I Can't Resist

I have a fetish.

No, it's not a freaky kind of thing.  I'm not going all "Fifty Shades of Grey" on you. It's fetish in the obsession sense, a fetish for certain items. Items I can't resist.

I mean, do you ever find yourself buying yourself another handbag, even though you already have 20 at home?  Or shoes.  Shoes are one of those things some people can't resist. Or golf clubs?  Or cars?

My Dad had a fetish for trumpets.  He kept buying them, hoping to find the one that he thought would let him hit the high notes like Doc Severinsen.

Some fetishes come from childhood, I think.

For example, I have this fetish for jackets. 

I just cannot resist buying a cute jacket. 

I think it's because growing up I wasn't able to buy all of the clothes I wanted.  We were comfortable but my family certainly didn't have the money for me to have all of the latest styles I would see in "Seventeen" magazine. And I hung with some of the popular girls in high school whose family could afford all of those cute things - plaid skirts with matching vests, expensive jeans, little suits, though my Dad did get me this one.  I was over the moon.  It had been on the cover!

It was those little suits I coveted.  I must have thought if I had those cute outfits, I would be popular too.  So I guess that accounts for my almost 100 jackets.

Here is my latest acquisition.

I am particularly partial to military jackets.  I don't even want to get into where that might have come from!

In addition to jackets, I also can't help myself around luggage.

Like my Dad, I guess I think that if I find the perfect carry-on bag I will magically be able to take everything I want to Europe in a carry-on without being hassled by the airline staff.  When I get on a plane, I look like a homeless person wearing every article of clothing I own because I am so paranoid that I will have to check my carry-on.

Another fetish is faux fur. 

How many faux fur coats does a person need?   Mmmm, how about 10?  I know, it's crazy, but they make me feel glamorous.  And if it's leopard, I go even more nutty.  Leopard is the new black, you know.

I can also add anything velvet, suede or leather and blingy to that clothes fetish too.

I also cannot resist earrings, and the bigger the better.

Should a woman of a certain age wear big, flashy earrings?  Yes!  A woman of a certain age can do whatever she likes.  She no longer cares what others think of her fashion choices.

I go to the library (and so should you!) and check out books and DVDs, but I also buy books.   For some reason, there are some I think I should own or that I think will take me longer to read, so I had better purchase them. But because I go to the library for the latest books, the ones I have purchased start to languish.  But I keep buying books, thinking that if I am ever bedridden, I won't run out of reading material. 

It's also kind of like Sarah Winchester (whose husband was the gun magnate, William Wirt Winchester) and the famous Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California.  A psychic once told her to move west and continuously build a house to atone for all of the deaths caused by the Winchester rifle. Sarah believed that if the house was ever finished she would die so she kept adding on to it, seven stories, strange staircases that went nowhere, that sort of thing.  Like Sarah,  I think I will stay around as long as I still have all of these unread books.

But how do I explain my fetish for poodles?

In my lifetime, I have had seven miniature and toy poodles.

Is it that they are just so darn cute?

So magically loving and sweet?

Or is it because they satisfy that other fetish?

Dressing them up.



I know. 

We all have our issues,
er, I mean fetishes.
Those are some of mine.

What are yours?

Thanks for Reading!

See you Friday

for my review of the new movie 
"The Longest Ride

The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)

and the latest on
"My 1001 Movies I Must See Before
 I Die Project."


If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rosythereviewer

Friday, May 8, 2015

"Ex Machina"" and The Week in Reviews

[I review the new movie "Ex Machina" and DVDs "Finding Vivian Maier" and "The Voices." The Book of the Week is "Home Sweet Anywhere."  I also bring you up to date on "My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project with "Tokyo Olympiad"]

Ex Machina

A young programmer thinks he has won a contest to spend the week with, and at the estate of, the head of his company only to discover the real reason why he is there.

Domhnall Gleeson stars as Caleb, a smart young programmer who wins a contest to spend the week with Nathan (Oscar Isaac), the rich reclusive head of BlueBook, a company that runs the largest search engine in the world.  When he arrives by helicopter at Nathan's remote estate, he discovers that he will be privy to Nathan's experiments in artificial intelligence (AI) and, in fact, was brought to the estate to test how "human" his latest robot is. 

Nathan introduces Caleb to Ava, a robotic woman, that Nathan wants Caleb to subject to the Turing test, named after Alan Turing, often called The Father of the Computer, and immortalized in the recent film "The Imitation Game."  This is a test of a machine's ability to exhibit intelligent behavior indistinguishable from a human's.  As Caleb meets with Ava in the series of test sessions, he is amazed at her "humanness" and they interact just as humans would.  Caleb starts to have feelings for her, much to his detriment.

Oscar Isaac seems to be everywhere these days.  From his splash on the scene in "Inside Llewyn Davis" to "The Two Faces of January" to "A Most Violent Year," and soon the upcoming "Star Wars," here he puts in an even more bravura performance as the strange, eccentric Nathan.  Likewise Domhnall, who started out as Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter films but became a romantic lead in the charming rom-com "About Time," plays a computer geek who finds himself in over his head (he is also hot right now and will be starring in the new Star Wars movie with Isaac).  Alicia Vikander is Ava and makes a most lovely robot.  The body make-up is astonishing.  Her face, hands and feet seem to be flesh but the rest of her is transparent.  You can see the workings of her computerized body.

Like "Her," "Chappie" and "2001: A Space Odyssey," this film raises many questions about AI, what makes us human and what can happen when we play God. 

Alex Garland has deftly written and directed a smart thriller with many twists and turns.

Rosy the Reviewer says...another film that ranks as one of the best of the year.  If you like intelligent scifi, you will like this film.   It's mesmerizing.


You Might Have Missed
(And Some You Will Be Glad You Did)

A serendipitous auction purchase leads to the discovery of an unknown photographer who now has a posthumous reputation as one of our best street photographers.

In 2007 John Maloof, who had a penchant for buying items at auction and at flea markets as well as whole storage units, won a box of negatives at auction for $380.  He was told who the photographer was - Vivian Maier - but when he tried to Google her, he found nothing.  He was struck by how masterful her photos were. He scanned 200 of the photos and created a photo blog to try to find out who she  was.  His post went "insane."  He then found those who had bought the other boxes of negatives at that auction and bought those too. 

But who was Vivian Maier?

Maloof found an obituary and located some people mentioned in it and discovered that Vivian Maier had been their nanny. That led to his finding her storage locker and buying that too. He reached out to some museums for some help with archiving the material and he applied for a show at the Cultural Center in Chicago.  It was a huge hit and the strange story of Vivian Maier took off.

Maloof and his fellow director and writer Charlie Siskel ask the questions:  why did Vivian take so many photos and why did no one know about her?

Vivian Maier was a housekeeper and a nanny (she even was a nanny for Phil Donahue's children for about a year), but her private life was a mystery.  Maloof went through all of her things in her storage locker - videos, mementos, collectibles - to try to find out more about her.  He interviewed people she worked for and everyone remembers her with a camera constantly around her neck.  She also wasn't a Mary Poppins kind of nanny. She could be kind of mean.  She was also a hoarder who hoarded her own photographs.  She was paranoid, eccentric and eventually fell into mental illness.

Today, because of Maloof, Vivian Maier's photographs are hanging in galleries in Los Angeles, London, and cities in Germany and Denmark.  But who she really was and why she didn't share her photographs remain a mystery  But Vivian Maier got the fame in death that she never got in life.  Likened to Diane Arbus, Maier's street photos were extraordinary and she took thousands of them.
I absolutely adore documentaries.  It all began with the extraordinary "7-Up Series" and now I am addicted (must explain my other addiction:  reality TV).
The film masterfully primes us to want to know more about this eccentric woman and to solve her mysteries.  And one can't help but think that Maloof was a bit of an eccentric as well to take on this massive project.  Museums were reluctant to show the work of a dead person, but Maloof made it his mission to get her work widely seen.
Rosy the Reviewer says...this 2015 Oscar-nominated documentary is a fascinating mystery that also deserves to be widely seen.
The Voices (2015)

Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) is a likable schmoe with a mysterious past who just happens to live with a talking dog and cat.

Jerry works at a bathtub company, Milton Fixtures, in the small town of Milton.  He is a nice guy with a crush on one of his co-workers, Fiona, played by British actress Gemma Arterton. Fiona is not interested in Jerry.  We also discover that he is on probation, is seeing a court-appointed shrink, has to take meds and has a nasty cat with a Scottish accent, Mr. Whiskers, who berates him all of the time and a bull mastiff named Bosco, who tries to pump him up with his kindly southern drawl. 

Jerry asks Fiona out on a date and she accepts but then stands him up to go sing karaoke with her girlfriends.  On the way home, her car breaks down.  It's pouring down rain and Jerry just happens to come by so he picks her up and she apologizes for standing him up. The weather is so bad that Jerry hits a deer. The deer tells Jerry to put him out of his misery by slitting his throat.  Yes, you heard me.  The deer talked to him.  That's Jerry's problem.  He hears voices. However, Fiona doesn't so when Jerry slits  the deer's throat, that scares the crap out of Fiona and she takes off running.  Jerry goes after her wielding the knife and, well, accidents happen.  Jerry trips and accidentally kills Fiona.

Now Jerry just doesn't know what to do.  Bosco the dog tells him he needs to call the police, but Mr. Whiskers, that devil of a cat, tells him not to do that because the cops will arrest him.  Just imagine a little good angel on one of Jerry's shoulders and a little bad devil on the other.  Bosco and Mr. Whiskers continue to advise Jerry about what to do with the body and it ain't pleasant.  He cuts her up into little pieces and puts them in Tupperware containers.  Fiona's head is placed in the fridge and now the head is talking to Jerry too, encouraging him to continue to kill because she wants another head to keep her company.  A serial killer is born.

Ryan Reynolds is definitely trying to shed his rom/com image with this and his recent film "The Woman in Gold."  Here he does a good job of playing an endearing guy whose world is much brighter when he isn't taking his meds.  Unfortunately, without the meds, he is prone to those damn voices.  Reynolds also supplies the voices for Mr. Whiskers and Bosco, who are hilarious. I wish they had talked more. Anna Kendrick plays Lisa, another co-worker who actually likes Jerry and Jacki Weaver plays his shrink.

Directed by Marjane Satrapi, known for her comic book-style memoir "Persepolis" and written by Michael R. Perry, this is another dark, bloody comedy similar to "Home Sweet Hell," which I reviewed last week, except this one is better and much more visually appealing, kind of in the vein of "Little Shop of Horrors."   However, I didn't find it very funny.  One could say this was a satire on psychology, but I think it made light of schizophrenia, which is no laughing matter.

Rosy the Reviewer says...a relatively entertaining and stylish comedy if you like your comedy dark and bloody.

***My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project***

264 to go!

Tokyo Olympiad  (1965)
From the Opening Ceremony to the Closing Ceremony, director Kon Ichikawa captures both the athletic side and the personal side of the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo in this documentary some say "ranks among the greatest documents of sport ever committed to film." 
Ichikawa captures the tension and drama of the events, the tension and drama experienced by the athletes and the tension and excitement of the crowd.
Though I enjoy the Olympics, I am not much of a shot put, weight lifting or wrestling fan, but Ichikawa's camerawork even makes those sports exciting.  I am more of a gymnastics girl and his coverage there does not disappoint.  "Poetry in motion" comes to mind.
The music used to illustrate and dramatize the film is enjoyable especially with the men on the rings and uneven bars.
My one caveat is that this film is two hours and 49 minutes long so prepare.
Why it's a Must See:  "Kon Ichikawa's record of the 1964 Tokyo Olympiad raised the stakes of epic documentary and achieved a level of artistic reportage subsequent sports programming has been clamoring to minic ever since...Putting action to image...is Ichikawa's strength.  Bodies are synecdochically represented with feet, buttocks, or straining neck, turning physical achievement into the very grace of existence.  Purposefulness is found both in preparing and executing athletic achievements and, as is often the case in documentary, historicity itself remains indelible."
---1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die
Rosy the Reviewer says...if you are a fan of the Olympics, you will particularly enjoy this but fans of movies in general can appreciate the incredible camerawork and directorial choices that turned this event into art.
(In Japanese with English subtitles)

***Book of the Week***

Home Sweet Anywhere by Lynne Martin (2014)

A retired couple decide they want to live abroad full-time.

Tim and Lynne Martin are reunited in their golden years and decide to take life by the reins and make the whole world their home.  They sell their home and most of their belongings and head for Mexico.  That is followed by Buenos Aires, Paris, London, Ireland, Morocco and Portugal where they plan extensive stays and live like the locals.

This is a travel memoir, but it also provides practical tips for doing likewise in their chapter "The Learning Curve:  Things the Guidebooks Won't Teach You."  They tell you what to do before you go such as dealing with visas, mail and health considerations, how to get there and what they learned at each of their destinations.

I have always dreamed of doing something like this but I can never figure out what to do with the dogs!

Rosy the Reviewer says...this is a must-read for anyone planning on a similar lifestyle but it's also a great read for those of us who can only dream (those damn dogs)!


Thanks for Reading!

That's it for this week.

See you Tuesday for

"Things I Can't Resist"


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Check your local library for DVDs and books mentioned.

Note:  Next time you are wondering whether or not to watch a particular film, check out my reviews on IMDB (The International Movie Database). 


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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Mother's Love

As Mother's Day approaches, I am thinking of my mother more than usual.

My mother was born in 1908.


She graduated from high school in 1926.

I was born in 1948.


 My mother died in 1999 at the age of 91.



After her death, when going through her things, I found this:

She had kept this for over 50 years.

That is a mother's love.

That lock of hair kept for over 50 years symbolized and reminded me of all of the loving things my mother did for me and the sacrifices she made as I grew.

So I have kept it, too, as a reminder of my mother and a mother's love.


Happy Mother's Day
to all of you loving mothers and those who came before you.
Your sons and daughters
appreciate you.

Now call your Mom!



See you Friday

for my review of the new movie 
"Ex Machina"
The Week in Reviews
(What to See or Read and What to Avoid)

and the latest on

"My 1001 Movies I Must See Before
 I Die Project."


If you enjoyed this post, feel free to click on the share buttons to share it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, email it to your friends and LIKE me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/rosythereviewer

Friday, May 1, 2015

"The Age of Adaline" and The Week in Reviews

[I review the new movie "The Age of Adaline" and DVDs "Unbroken" and "Home Sweet Hell" and The Book of the Week is "A Modern Marriage (And this is a REALLY modern marriage. Swingers, anyone?)."  I also bring you up to date on "My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project: Claude Chabrol's masterpiece "Le Boucher"]


Adaline, born in 1908, seems to have a relatively normal life until 1937, when she has a car accident and is stuck at 29 forever, never to age.

Adaline (Blake Lively) was born at the turn of the 20th century, was married, had a daughter and then was widowed.  In 1937, at the age of 29, she is on her way to meet her daughter in Northern California when inexplicably it starts to snow.  She loses control of her car and it plunges into some water.  Again, inexplicably a series of fanciful events all come into play to bring Adaline back to life, but to forever remain 29.  It takes her awhile to realize she is not aging and when the FBI turns up to take her away for some "experiments," Adaline decides she must live a life on the run and never tell anyone about her "condition."  Thus we now see her in the present day in San Francisco.

We learn all of this through an unseen narrator, and I have to say right up front that I have a problem with films with a great deal of narrative and exposition.  I believe film should be a visual medium and let the visuals speak for themselves whenever possible. You know, "a picture is worth a 1000 words?"  I not only didn't like so much narration, but the narrator was a bit overdone.  He reminded me of Rod Serling saying, "Next stop....the Twilight Zone."

And certainly there is a bit of "The Twilight Zone" in this film of a woman in the 1930's getting into a car crash, and through a series of rather fantastic events happening simultaneously, including a chemical reaction that wouldn't be discovered until 2035, waking up to discover that she will never age and remain 29 forever.

This film is a combination of fantasy, soap opera, love story, Lifetime Movie and fashion show (love Lively's clothes!), but all of that never adds up to a satisfying film.

To enjoy this film you need to not only suspend disbelief, but believe that a cop, after stopping Adaline for a  traffic violation, would see her age (45) on her driver's license (remember, she's stuck at 29 forever) and make her show him her birth certificate because she looks too young to be 45.  Aren't there plenty of 45-year-olds who look 29?  Isn't 60 the new 40 so that makes 40 the new 20?  

Also you have to believe that someone noticed she wasn't aging and called the FBI on her (to do some "experiments") which resulted in her escaping, moving and changing her name frequently, never having her picture taken, deciding she would never tell a living soul her "condition" and having a blind best friend. 

You will also wonder when exactly she realized she wasn't getting older.  I would think it would take her until at least 45 to think, "Gee, I look damn good. How lucky am I?" and then at least until 60 to think, "Mmm, wonder what's going on here."  That aspect wasn't really explained nor was it clear at what age she started researching her "condition."  You can't tell unless you calculate what year we are in, because, of course, she looks the same all of the time. And does never aging also mean you can never die?  I wasn't sure about that.  I thought it might turn into a "Lost Horizon" kind of thing. 

Another thing I wondered about, even if she has lived 100 years, why would that mean she would be good at Trivial Pursuit? She seemed to know everything about everything AND she could speak all kinds of languages.  I could live to be 200 and never master one language let alone five or beat Hubby at Trivial Pursuit.  

And finally, she works in a library in the present and was manually filing cards into a card catalog.  Not a computer in sight!  Geez, already.  Where has this director (Leigh Toland Krieger) and the screenwriters been?  Card catalogs in libraries went the way of the dinosaurs long ago.

The film gets better in the second half when we are in the present and Harrison Ford makes an appearance as, William, the father of Adeline's current love, Ellis (played by a very handsome and charismatic Michiel Huisman).  Wouldn't you know, Adaline and William were in love once back when he was 26 and she was in her 50's (though he thought she was...guess?  Right, 29).  For some reason never explained, she gave him her real name, though she said people called her "Della."  I wish they had done more with this, like have her start up the love affair with the old guy while also romancing the young one.  Something.  It needed something.

It's painful for me to not like this movie. This is the kind of film that I usually love. You know how much I like Lifetime Movies.  But the dialogue was just too cheesy and melodramatic, and I can only suspend disbelief to a certain extent.

Blake Lively, who made her fame and fortune on TV's "Gossip Girls," is certainly a lovely woman and handles this role well, but the script is just not credible even for an incredible story.  When Adaline and Ellis meet, their flirty patter is just too cutesy for real life and the fact that he lives across the way from a dance studio and they enjoy watch people dancing as if it was a TV show... Ew. That is the kind of hipster stuff I complained about last week when I reviewed "While We're Young." 

I did however like seeing Ellen Burstyn as Adaline's daughter and her calling Blake Lively Mommy. Kathy Baker is always good (she plays William's wife who is none too pleased how taken with Adaline he is). And the kid who played Harrison Ford as a young man (Anthony Ingruber) -- he had this VERY deep voice.  Not sure if he was trying to sound like Harrison or they hired him because he DID sound like Harrison.  Made me laugh.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Interesting idea but too many holes, the dialogue was too clichéd and melodramatic and the whole thing just didn't gel.  Save your dollars and watch it on DVD if I haven't completely turned you off.

You Might Have Missed
(And Some You Will Be Glad You Did)

Unbroken (2014)
Angelina Jolie directed this film version of the best-selling memoir by Laura Hillenbrand that tells the story of Olympian Louis Zamperini and his 47 days adrift at sea after his plane was shot down by the Japanese during WWII and his time in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp.
Louis Zamperini's (Jack O'Connell) family moved to Torrance, California from Italy in 1919.  As a youth, he was a troublemaker and was bullied until his brother got him interested in track.  He started winning races and by the time he was 19 he had qualified for the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, the youngest qualifier ever in the 5000 meters.
In 1941 Zamperini enlisted in the Army and was a WW II bombardier on a B-24.  It was during a mission to locate a missing plane and crew that Zamperini's plane was shot down.  He and two other crew members survived and drifted at sea for 47 days.  They were then captured by the Japanese Navy and sent to a prison camp where they were beaten and severely mistreated. 
Written by the Coen brothers, this film would have been helped by chopping off about 30 minutes from this two hour and 17 minute film.  And clichés abounded. The sharks circling the raft thing was one.  And at the Olympics, one of the Japanese team members turned and nodded to him.  I thought that guy might end up being his abuser in the prison camp, but it was just a precursor, I guess, of what was to come, but it was an unnecessary bit of business. And when he was in the prison camp, I couldn't believe he would be recognized by the Japanese as being in the Olympics.  I mean, he finished 8th.
An entire hour went by and all we knew after the first hour was that our hero ran in the Berlin Summer Olympics and was now stranded in the middle of the ocean in a raft. Hardly anything happened except the usual lying around dying of thirst.  However, when a shark attacked their raft, it was so fast it made me jump out of my seat which was a good thing because I was falling asleep. Those 47 days in the boat felt like 47 days sitting there watching it. 
Not sure why I didn't go see this film in the theatres.  I meant to and was quite upset that Angelina Jolie did not get nominated for an Oscar for Best Director nor did the film get a nod for Best Picture.  I felt it was another one of those slights to women directors.  But now that I have seen it, I don't feel it was Oscar-worthy.
O'Connell's portrayal of Zamporini didn't move me. Though he was the star of the film, he didn't stand out.  "The Bird (Takamasa Ishihara)," his abuser in the prison camp, was more dynamic as were a couple of the other guys.
It's a well-meaning film but that doesn't make it enjoyable.  However, I give Jolie props for directing a film of this scale.  I just didn't agree with many of her directorial choices.  The pace was slow and I didn't really care about Zamperini.  I think this is a case of being so in love with one's work, that you just can't cut anything out.  It would have been a better film with 30 minutes less footage.  I did like the ending where we saw what happened to all of the real-life key players but it was too little too late.
Rosy the Reviewer says...a well-meaning film that was kind of boring.
Don Champagne (Patrick Wilson) has a good life or he did until his wife, Mona (Katherine Heigl), finds out about his affair with Dusty (Jordana Brewster) the young, pretty woman at work.  Then all hell breaks loose.

Mona Champagne is a bit OCD.  She likes things orderly and just so. She schedules everything, including when she and Don will have sex.  Her husband, Don, runs a furniture store and he is not happy with his nagging wife.  He hires Dusty, a much younger woman, and embarks upon an affair with her. Turns out Dusty is a bit of a gold-digger. In fact, she and her boyfriend try to extort $25,000 from Don by telling him she is pregnant.  And if he doesn't pay up, she will tell Mona.

Don can't come up with the money so he tells Mona. When Mona finds out about the affair, it's not good.  In fact, it's very, very bad. Mona is determined that nothing and no one is going to mess up her tidy little life.  And what is her solution?  Why it's what every middle class suburban housewife would decide to do. Murder Dusty, of course.  Turns out Mona is a nasty, vile person who will stop at nothing to maintain her little world.

What follows is an exploration of the miserable marriages that exist behind the picture perfect suburban facades.  Murdering your husband's mistress seems like a good way to end the affair, right?  What follows is a series of silly but nasty and bloody attempts to get rid of Dusty in what I think is supposed to be a dark comedy.  It starts out that way but ultimately turns into a nasty little piece of work that doesn't sit that well.  It's not that funny and doesn't really say anything new about suburban hypocrisy.

Playing the uptight, controlling character is a familiar role for Heigl.  We've seen it before in "Knocked Up" and "The Ugly Truth."  And that's kind of funny as she is rumored to be difficult in real life too. So this is a no-brainer for her and actually is rather one-note, despite a bit of emotion at the end of the film.  I think she is an appealing actress, and I would like to see her get a really meaty role some time. Patrick Wilson plays the hapless, unhappy husband against type as this is not his usual kind of role.  He is funny at times, though corny.  James Belushi plays Don's colleague and doesn't do a very good job of it. And he looks like hell.  None of these characters are worth rooting for.

Rosy the Reviewer says...if you like movies such as "Eating Raoul" or "The Cook, the Thief, the Wife and her Lover," you might like this, but just a warning.  This one isn't as good as those.


***My 1001 Movies I Must See Before I Die Project***

265 to go! 

Le Boucher (1970)

A lonely butcher and a repressed school mistress become unlikely friends in a small French town in the shadow of some grisly serial murders.
Director Claude Chabrol was one of the French New Wave directors along with Godard, Truffaut, Rohmer and Rivette.  The French Hitchcock, Chabrol also specialized in thrillers and this one is considered by many as his masterpiece and some say the greatest film of all time.
Stephane Audran (probably better known to American audiences for "Babette's Feast") was Chabrol's wife at the time and looks like a French Kim Novak, again harking to Hitchcock. The film also has the intensity, cinematography and eerie soundtrack often attributed to Hitchcock.  But Chabrol is more of a poet and this film, despite its thriller status, also has a slow pace and many layers.
Why it's a Must See:  "Chabrol uses his camera as writers use a pen, and he has the grace and fluency of a master...Chabrol makes tone poems on thriller themes.  Everything in the movie is just about perfect.
---Pauline Kael, The New Yorker
Rosy the Reviewer says...not sure I can say this is the "greatest film of all time, but if you like New Wave French cinema, then you need to add this one to your repertoire. 
(In French with English subtitles)

***Book of the Week***

A Modern Marriage: A Memoir by Christy and Mark Kidd (2014)

Curious about "swinging?"  Then this is for you!
Christy and Mark Kidd looked behind a velvet curtain at a New Year's Eve party and got an eyeful.  Swingers!
Now most people would quietly back out, excusing themselves and high-tailing it out of there, happy to have gotten out of their with their clothes on.  But not this married couple. Oh, no. For some reason, they both thought this looked like a good idea!  Married five years, these two went home and just could not get that idea out of their minds.  They were curious.  They had questions.  So what do you do when you are curious and have questions?  Why, you jump right in!
This is not a cautionary tale.  Well, they didn't mean it to be, anyway.  They are still at it and feel doing this together has strengthened their marriage. 
If a "modern marriage" is one that includes swinging, then I guess I am in an "old-fashioned" marriage. No matter how curious I might be about this lifestyle, there is no way I would want to do this. And the Kidds' descriptions of their various encounters made me go "ick."  This is not for you if you don't like explicit descriptions of sexual acts that involve people of all shapes, sizes and age.
Now I have to ask myself, though, why I picked this book up to begin with.  And, let me tell you, I won't be looking behind any velvet curtains at New Year's Eve parties either.
Rosy the Reviewer says...if you are curious about the swinging lifestyle, I encourage you to read this book first before putting an ad in Craigslist.

Thanks for Reading!

That's it for this week.

See you Tuesday for

"A Mother's Love"


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