Monday, July 07, 2008


A delightfully lazy Sabbath day dawned hot and humid. I skipped church today, since there was no choir, and wrote my journals in the morning after doing the Sunday puzzles, while Mick cleaned the house and made her shine.

Our first film of three was Partition, a film reminiscent in musicality, beauty and feeling of Out of Africa. This film, however, dealt with the partition of India into Hindu India and Muslim Pakistan after India won its freedom from the British Raj in 1947. Kristin Kreuk was wonderful as an Indian Sikh who changes his religion from Sikh Hinduism to Islam in order to live with his wife in all-Muslim Pakistan. Neve Campbell was excellent also as his wife. If you like sweeping epics and sad love stories, go see this film! Director Vic Sarin also co-wrote the screenplay and his loving touch is everywhere.

Next came a slimy, nasty little film called Fierce People. The premise is interesting: a high-society clan in New Jersey is compared with the primitive African tribe of the Ishkanani. The realization is clumsy and trivialized, brutishly exaggerated and fumbled. I came away shuddering. The evil of one of the characters especially cast a pall over my afternoon and wore off only slowly, like a nightmare from which one is glad to awaken.

I am not saying that preppies are all good people. They are often manipulative and nasty people. But the cliché of type was so overdone as to be rendered silly.

After an enjoyable break, where Mick sharpened all his mower blades and I reworked some recipes, we attended the St. Luke’s "Pignic", featuring home barbecued and “pulled” pork and the fixings. The highlight of the evening, at least for me, was watching Fr. Joe get dunked a couple of times by children's accurately aimed balls. It was warm enough that I imagine the dunkings felt good!

We came home to find that Melissa had come down to Louisville for a real shower and a movie, and we shared the third film with her as night fell. It was a moving, true story rendered for the screen by Julian Schnabel. It has deservedly won several awards for Best Foreign Film. Mathieu Amalric played Jean-Do Bauby, the fashion magazine Elle’s editor, with supreme panache.

At the age of only 42, he experienced a debilitating stroke and became “locked in” – paralyzed from head to toe, unable to speak and only able to blink his eyes. Nevertheless, he used that eyeblink to create a novel, also the title of this film, with the help of two amanuenses who laboriously went through the alphabet again and again while he spelled out each word of his book. Bauby died ten days after the novel was published, so he was able to hear his rave reviews as he succumbed to pneumonia.

The film is visually lovely and the ensemble is excellent. It is not an easy film to watch – I chafed at the endlessly repeated alphabetical strings – but it is a good one.

Mel sailed off for Avalon and her chicks after the Gaia Meditation, at which Mick offered the closing prayer.