Tuesday, January 24
Monday, January 23
Sunday, January 22
Junebug is the 2005 festival darling that was recently released on DVD. It depicts newlyweds Madeleine and George as they visit North Carolina in Madeleine's pursuit of a folk artist for her gallery in Chicago. George's family lives nearby and they return to his home town to introduce Madeleine to his family.
Every character is given justice in this movie. Likeable or not, they are depicted with sincerity. The standout character is clearly Ashley. She is George's sister-in-law, due to give birth at any moment. She is warm and genuine and reflects the values of the culture she inhabits. She is married to Johnny, George's younger, less accomplished brother. Johnny struggles with his brother's visit and copes by being annoyingly insensitive to everyone in his family. Peg is the family matriarch suspicious of George's glamourous new wife. She criticizes and scrutinizes while George's father quietly neutralizes and polishes relationships behind the scenes.
This movie is simple and modest but so powerful. The family dynamics are realistically complex. The conundrum of how family's support, shape and frustrate simultaneously is portrayed with care. This is another one of those quiet, character-driven films that I love and recommend.
Friday, January 20
We have just entered the sun influence of Aquarius. From now until February 17th, we could all do well by practicing altruism. This is the time to exercise all of your humanitarian, independent and inventive inclinations. Be careful not to go overboard with any rebellious tendencies. This is also a good time to enjoy group activities and friendships.
Star Detective encourages everyone to have a good time, be social and consider how we are all in this life together.
Tuesday, January 17
Saturday, January 7
What is up with the continued overuse of the word clearly? It has been the pet word øf politicians and people wishing to sound like they believe in transparency for years now...Here's a little game for you NPR listeners. Count how many times you hear the word Clearly on any given morning. Also, share any other ubiquitous words with as little meaning that you hear.
Thursday, January 5
New Year's Day was tough. We couldn't motivate to ski and found ourselves lounging at noon. Lazy and full from breakfast we decided that it was acceptable to further waste daylight by watching this movie. But a waste of time it was not.
Mad Hot Ballroom grabbed me from the first dance lesson scene and kept me cheering, sighing and even crying. The film follows threee New York 5th grade classrooms as they prepare for a citywide ballroom dancing competition. By now, all of you blog readers know I am a softie. But, MHB, captures the exuberence and fragility of youth. Even more effective is its potrayal of the best kind of teacher. The teacher that recognizes the many perils awaiting kids and seeks a way to guide them towards some goodness. The beauty of MHB is that it does not patronize its young subjects but lingers on their insights and wisdom. At the end of the film I wanted more of the student's biographies. What happens? Where do they go from here? Alas, there was no special feature to tell the tale. What the viewer can take from the movie is an appreciation of life. Who among us has not strived for something and fallen short? Or, other times succeeded. Who do we have to thank for our inspiration?