Monday, October 27, 2008


We had a relaxing and refreshing Sabbath. In the morning I went to St. Luke’s to sing to the Lord – today our “new song” was “Ubi Caritas”, a lovely little gem of a piece whose burden, in English is, “Wherever charity and love abide, there God abides also.” Meanhwile Mick cleaned the house for the week.

Over lunch we watched the first of our two films, War, Inc. This was a fine film, with a smart, funny screenplay and a wonderful ensemble headed by John Cusack and including his sister, Joan, Hilary Duff, Marisa Tomei, Dan Ackroyd and Ben Kingsley. The film takes our current reality of rule by corporations and sends it up in a savagely hilarious spoof.

Duff’s rendition of “Bang Bang Boom Boom” wsa a high point for me, but the film was chock-full of deeply humorous moments. Rarely is it a successful ploy for a screenwriter to produce his own movie, but John Cusack was quite successful at proving the exception to the rule.

Our second feature was Goya’s Ghosts, a sumptuously realized, lavishly produced and marvelously underplayed examination of the lies everyone and every institution known to humankind tell to themselves and others. Javier Barden was masterful in his delicately nuanced and gently-voiced portrayal of an Inquisitor turned businessman, while Natalie Portman was excellent as his confessee turned prison Mom. And Stellan Skarsgaard anchored the piece as the painter, Francisco Goya, whose paintings of the Spanish Inquisition have stood the test of time.

I absolutely loved this film. Milos Forman, whose deft hand directed Amadeus as well as One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, brought a depth of maturity and sense of balance to the piece which endlessly informed without overwhelming. The story moved forward effortlessly amidst a magnificent production with stunning costumes and beautiful locations and music. The script was deeply intelligent and its points, deeply telling. It is films like this one that keep me solidly committed as a fan of the medium.

My e-mail today contained a very interesting video in which Naomi Wolf talks about America’s situation cogently and with truth. I recommend a viewing of this piece if you have a half-hour to spare. I found it infinitely worth my while. The address is

Gary joined us for dinner and offered the closing prayer at the Gaia Meditation tonight.