Saturday, April 28, 2007

Three movies and some funerals

Working on the 15th street and living on the 4th does not mean it is an easy walk home after work. On the way, there are distractions. For example, the Quad Cinema that makes me want to spend the entire day watching movies. I recently saw A Dios Momo, the story of a newspaper boy from Uruguay with a committed soccer buddy, a loving grandmother, and no school, discovers via lyrics of Murgas and the magic of Carnival, to read, write and deal with the loss of his soccer buddy. Fellini-esque. It didn't deserve panning by the Village Voice that latched on to the presence of Big Cola.

Home has its own distractions too. I relived the mirth of Welcome back Mr. McDonald on DVD. A screwball comedy about live radio drama performance that goes through uncontrollable changes of characters, names, professions, locale, and everything else but manages to adher to the basic tenets and truths (can't do machine gun fire in NY, that is Chicago!), and ultimately tells the story of the playwright. The detour that yanks the old man from the security in basement to do Foley sound effects is awesome (Corn in US but Pistachio on the microphone for the effect of the rain, a bursting dam from a toilet flush and the slap-your-head-and-jiggle-your-body for whatever). Alas, I don't see any reviews with a personality, damn the flat e-critic and the insipid wikipedia.

Also, at home, one can do a double shot without guilt. I watched Tampopo. It is a noodle-western. A tall man with cowboy hat comes to town and eventually teaches Tampopo how to clean up her act and make real noodles, complete with a real time exam in which the five committee members stuff themselves with hot streaming noodles in loud slurps and gulp down the soup (that animates the noodle!). Fabulous movie that makes one fly over to Kyoto for this and this. The movie gets a great review from Washington Post.

Finally, the funerals. I wish our research papers will get reviewed publicly like movies, plays and other works of (other) artists. Will our egos stand the panning from the ever-sharp NYer?


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