Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Walker Kong - Deliver Us From People (2007)****
As someone once said, a pleasing combination of hard and smart and sweet. Brilliant, passionate power pop from a group at the top of their game.
NYRB: In Sarkoland
"A group of American campaign experts was invited to France in April by the French-American Foundation. They were impressed with the French candidates' use of the Internet, especially Sarkozy's site, and astounded by how little money could legally be spent ($22 million—€16.2 million—per candidate, mostly government-supplied), by the campaigns' non-use of focus groups, and by the strict equal-time limit on television appearances of each of the twelve candidates (including two Trotskyists, the Greens, a hunting and fishing candidate, etc.). What most shocked one of the Americans was that Ségolène Royal had allowed herself the bikini photograph. That would ruin her in America, said Barbara Comstock, a Bush (not Clinton) adviser. 'You want to look like a commander.'"

It's all about appearances over here. Will we ever get over this? Maybe if we limit the amount that can be spent to $22M and adhere to strict equal time rules AND limit the amount of TV time that can be purchased.
Venus (2006)****
Great performance by O'toole and the rest of the cast in this intelligent, bawdy, touching slice of late life meditation on what it all means, if anything.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pope acknowledges colonial injustice in Americas: Yahoo News
"In a speech to bishops at the end of a visit to Brazil earlier this month, the Pope said the Church had not imposed itself on the indigenous peoples of the Americas. He said they had welcomed the arrival of European priests at the time of the conquest as they were 'silently longing' for Christianity. Embracing it purified them, the Pope said."

You know, a lot of people I know keep telling me what a brilliant guy this Benedict is, all the books he has written, all the deep theological insights, etc. So how can he say such stupid things? Has he no proof readers? Is there no one in the Vatican that says "You know, this line about being purified and in fact the whole speech which completely ignores centuries of oppression and genocide, you might want to rethink that." I have to believe that there ARE people telling him that and that he IS a smart guy and that he DOES know exactly what he is doing.

And he does it anyway.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bush White House fires back at Jimmy Carter: Yahoo News

"'I think it's sad that President Carter's reckless personal criticism is out there,' [White House spokesman Tony] Fratto told reporters. 'I think it's unfortunate. And I think he is proving to be increasingly irrelevant with these kinds of comments.'"

When you can't attack someone's argument, attack them.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Wolfowitz resigns; Bush to nominate successor soon - Yahoo! News
Ok, he's gone from the world bank, but I want to be assured this cretin is gone from public life permanently. He's really done enough, correct that, way more than enough, damage. I don't expect it to happen, but he should be up on war crimes charges.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Little Children (2006)****
An intelligent, insightful and enormously entertaining film. My only beefs are with the football subplot (too many clichés and was it really necessary?) and the casting of Jackie Earle Haley. He does okay, but I just don't think he was right for this role. I would have preferred to find SOMETHING sympathetic in his character, but as it is he's completely repugnant. There are so many wonderful scenes in this film. Great job by Todd Field and the cast.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Sarkozy elected France's president - Yahoo! News
I was pulling for Sego, but Sarkozy seems like a competent, intelligent, well-spoken and thoughtful person. I'm not all that knowledgeable about his overall political background. I know he is spoken of as a conservative, but what conservative that we Americans are familiar with would say "I want to tell (the U.S.) that friendship is accepting that one's friends can act differently, and that a great nation like the United States has the duty to not obstruct the fight against global warming but on the contrary to take the lead"? The great thing about this whole election though was how quickly it happened! Wouldn't that be great? And I LOVE the "day of reflection" ban on all political talk/discussion the day before the polls open. Paradise! This sure seems like a civilized way to run a country.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Night at the Museum (2006)*
One star for Mickey Rooney.