Monday, December 26, 2011
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Az Buddy is new to the opera but is definitely hooked. Thanks to the Met's live HD seen in local
theaters around the country.
theaters around the country.
Today it was Rodelinda by Handel. Well known for his "Messiah" Handel also composed 40 some operas. With the rebirth of interest in Baroque music we are going see more of this style of music.
Milan, 18th Century, Bertarido(Andreas Scholl) has been deposed as King, leaving the
Queen Rodelinda (Renee Flemming) and their young son Flavio behind. The story is one of love versus quest for power. OR will love conquer all?
Within the first few measures one recognizes the rhythm and musicality of Handel. Baroque music's use of the counter tenor has never been so beautiful as with the voices of Andreas Scholl and Lestyn Davies (as Unolfo). Also terrific were the performances of Stephanie Blyth as Eduige and Joseph Kaiser as Grimoaldo who have to decide are they more in love with each other or the desire for the throne.
Use of mostly strings and harpsichord are also typical of the Baroque style. The production, set design and use of non singing actors gave this video production a feeling of film. Probably due to very talented camera direction, avoiding that dreaded close-close up so common in many of today's films.
I encourage everyone to look for these Met Operas in
their local movie theaters.
Bringing Opera to the people.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Tucson Museum of Art has a great exhibit called "Who Shot Rock and Roll". This is an exhibit originating in Brooklyn of predominately black and white photographs of rock and roll musicians from about 1955 with the Everly Brothers and Elvis until the present with Eminem
and Justin Timberlake. I was at first impressed and in turn surprised by who was left out = Prince, Stevie Nicks, The Grateful Dead until it struck me that: This exhibit is about the Photographers and their art and not the musicians.
Through January 15, 2012 Don't miss it! Stop in at the Cafe for a great lunch afterwards.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Casa Community center in Green Valley, Arizona prides itself in offering quality programs for children and seniors. Ninos de Valle is a certified day care for preschool children. All day programs provide schedules activities that include a meal and snacks.
The Adult Day Care provides socialization, activities and food for seniors in need of care so that their loved ones can get respite from the 24 hour care needed for these people.
Kids and seniors get together on a regular basis.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
We just completed an eight week series of feature films about
undocumented immigrants. Since we live in Arizona we are familiar with the plight of Mexicans therefore these films featured immigrants from other countries.
Crossing Over was a an excellent movie to finish on.
It portrays 5 intersecting stories of immigrants from
Iran, Bangladesh, Korea, Australia and Africa residing in
Harrison Ford is an INS officer and ties the various
Class participants listed the following commonalities seen in all eight of the complications these people face.
victims of exploitation, rape, murder
separation of families
imprisonment without charges
The above is only a small example of the plight
of these human beings.
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Les Femmes du 6e etage is a French Comedy set in 1961 in Paris. Escaping Franco's austere measures, Spanish women come to Paris to work as maids for well-to-do French bourgeois couples. Maria ends up working for Jean-Louis Joubert and his starchy sophisticated wife and their two arrogant teenage sons. What results is a LOL situation as Jean-Louis finds out that he is more comfortable in the company of these women than he is with his conservative upper class.
This is Upstairs Downstairs turned up side down with the servants on the 6th floor above those that they serve. A comedic example of class differentiation in French society in the early 60's. Could be considered a French version of The Help.
Seen yesterday at the Loft film festival but I feel confident it will get a wider distribution soon.
5***** a must see.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Regardless of the many reviews, some
positive and some negative, I loved this movie.
So did the 3 other women attending with me.
It is LOL funny. A clear take off on Bernie Madoff, this spoof features a cast of characters who lost their money to a money swindler, take revenge and plan to steal the money back with the help of a real crook.
Great casting, with Ben Stiller as the Tower Manager, Eddie Murphy as the thief and Alan Alda as the Wall Street swindler.
Interesting new information, the producer of this film Brett Ratney was recently excused from his production of this years Oscars because of an anti gay slur he made in public.
Consequently His friend Eddie Murphy withdrew as Oscar MC. Buzz is that Billy Crystal will take the job.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
This is the message of the CEO of the Investment Banking
Company portrayed in the movie Margin Call.
Billed as a financial Thriller it tells the story of a company who realized
their assets were less that the sales. Faced with this information from
an underling in the company they work all night to decide what to do
about it. It won't be a spoiler to say that they decide to sell the bogus
An interesting film about what we all expect can go on on Wall Street.
Interesting but in spite of a sterling cast, as a movie it didn't work for me.
They look at money as numbers on a computer screen that can be manipulated.
They have no concept of what it is to take a $5.00 bill to the grocery store
to buy milk and bread.
Stars Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Stanley Tucci, Jeremy Irons and Demi Moore.
2** Just OK
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
The day of the Dead is a Mexican remembrance of those that have passed. It is a merging of the Aztec and Catholic celebration of All Saints Day. To the Mexicans it is a day celebration and death. A number of years ago I took a trip to Patzcuaro, Mexico, a village with a lake that has a Island where the Day of The Dead is truly celebrated. Ofrendas (altars) are built near or on the grave of a loved one. On this ofrenda, families bring the things the deceased loved, be it bread, beer, flowers etc. Photos of them are placed at the center. People moan and cry and laugh and generally celebrate the life of the passed loved one. My trip there was long before digital cameras but I include here photos from the Day of the Dead Tucson. Calaveras or skull or skeletons are a bog part of the celebration. Brides and grooms are a favorite depiction. Sunday at The Good Shepherd Church we celebrated this day with particular attention to the 182 undocumented immigrants that perished in the desert of our back yard of the Sonoria Desert.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
You may have to be a birder to appreciate this movie fully. I am not nearly the birder that the pepople in this film but I do like going out to the trees and bushes and water ways to look for birds. Be they familiar or rare I enjoy seeing their beauty and their movement.
I loved this movie. It is based on the book by the same name of 3 very different meant who want o log the most bird species seen in a calendar year - New Years to New years. Owen Wilson is the "best birder in the world" based on previous records. Steve Martin is the wealthy entrepreneur ready to retire and try the "big year". Jack Black is a 30 something that simple loves bird watching. To him the record affirms that his hobby is respectably more than just a hobby.
The direction is good. The cinematography fabulous. Since the contest encompasses the Continental US one gets a tour of many states. Birds of the various ares are written in white across the screen. Be sure to day for the credits as photos of many birds flash by.