Monday, November 17, 2008


Happy Sabbath! Mick and I spent our mornings as we so often do on Sundays, with me singing a service at St. Luke’s and Mick cleaning house. As it happened, there was only one tenor in the choir this morning, so I sang tenor today! Admittedly I do not sound my best on those low notes, but it made the choir’s sound balance.

We shared lunch with Tiffani and Gary, who then took off for Bernheim Forest in the chill and gray afternoon for a hike while Mick and I watched The Stone Angel. This film has a classic flashback premise, as Ellen Burstyn, playing an old woman near death from cancer, deals with the issues of old age while remembering younger days, all the way from childhood through marriage, her children and even their adulthood. The movie might have worked better if the heroine had experienced a life with more notes of whimsy and humor. As it was, we dragged from one sad tale to the next.

Burstyn was excellent in the role, summoning a sharpness of tone as she delivered some very good sarcastic one-liners that balanced well the usual soft-spoken humility of other aspects of her character’s voice. The music was edgy and folksy, a Celtic-feeling source of comment and the expresser of unsaid things throughout the piece.

The film took us until late because we inserted a nap in the middle of the running, so we took a bath and had a break before we saw the second film, Deception. This movie gave us a delicious, dark journey. Hugh Jackson made an excellent villain and Ewan McGregor was equally good as his puzzled, then deeply threatened pawn.

The sensibility of the film was pure “art film”. Every shot was carefully assembled, with the color scheme of blues, browns and blacks with many small spots of light creating a sober palette which painted the intricacies of the urban world of high finance and high rises. When you saw red, orange or yellow touches in the shot, look out! Here came trouble! The pivotal scene held all the colors of the rainbow! It was a marvelously well integrated artistic statement.

I lapped this film up with a big spoon. I love a mystery, and this eerie string of events which kept tightening like a noose around our poor pawn's neck was as unpredictable as it was inevitable. I understand that this film got mostly bad reviews. I can only assume that many reviewers these days do not speak “art film” or grasp the nuances of them. That’s too bad for us all!

We said good night to Tiffani and Gary after the Gaia Meditation, knowing that she would leave tomorrow morning before we will rise. It was lots of fun being with Tiff! Mick offered the closing prayer tonight.