1/10 – 7/10 incl. Spanish-Language movies, Paul Rudd and Upstream

news on the march

Welcome to Monday’s News on the March – The week that was in my digital world.

Poem by the  Intellectual Shaman:

We get ambitious

until we can’t give things up

even though we realize

they aren’t for us.

We have a brain that cries

“I need this…I want that”

But if we stay

in the emptiness

and wait… (read more).

You Tube Video presentation by Netflix is a Joke:

Paul Rudd sat down with Zach Galifianakis to discuss the Me Too Movement, having looks with no talent, and being in Marvel movies vs movies no one has ever heard of.
(Watch full episode)

Article by Rotten Tomatoes:

As we head into Hispanic Heritage month, Monica Castillo and Rotten Tomatoes bring together the best Spanish-language movies, from recent instant classics like Roma and The Heiresses to Tristana and Sin Nombre.

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States, and the recent boom in streaming services has made it easier than ever for audiences looking for Spanish-language movies to find them. Earlier this year, Alfonso Cuarón’s landmark film Roma earned an impressive 10 Oscar nominations, and the director took home three statuettess for Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Foreign Language Film. (Read More).

Article by Richard Williams at thebluemoment.com:

Upstream, a new half-hour television film written by Robert Macfarlane and directed by Rob Petit, puts the viewer in the realm of that very different perception of time. It’s the result of half a dozen trips over three years to the Cairngorms, where Petit guided a camera-bearing drone over the River Dee from its floodplain to its source high in the mountains. Macfarlane, our greatest contemporary observer of landscape,  contributes an accompanying prose-poem, its spare, evocative lines murmured by the Scottish singer Julie Fowlis. (Read All)

Article by Bruce Goodman at Weave a Web:

This is the third time we’ve dropped grandma deep in the forest and the third time she’s found her way home. Goodness knows how she does that. She’s a bit of a Houdini. Last time we tied an oily rag from the trunk of the car around her mouth so no one would hear the screams, then we tied her to the tree with a tow rope. (Read More)

news on the march the end

Posted in Movies and TV, News

Angels – Robbie Williams

Robbie Williams 1997

Robbie Williams 1997

Unless you have been living under a rock somewhere for the last quarter century, it is unlikely you will not be familiar with this tune. If I were to take a guess, ‘Angels’ by Robbie Williams would be in the top five 5 songs which have received the most amount of airplay in the western world since its release in 1997. Both his original and his Spanish recorded version I even hear played in Colombia regularly.

Angels by Robbie Williams is one my music project’s most commercially mainstream hits. I hopped onboard the Robbie bandwagon when he broke through as a solo artist. I bought his Live at Knebsworth dvd and played this song to death. Although I am less infatuated with it these these days I still enjoy Angels a heck of a lot.

The following is paraphrased from Wikipedia:

Angels” was included on Williams’s debut solo album Life thru a Lens (1997), and released as a single in December 1997. “Angels” was written by Williams and Guy Chambers, based on an earlier song written by Ray Heffernan. It is Williams’ bestselling single and was voted the best song of the previous 25 years at the 2005 Brit Awards. 

In 2011, Robbie Williams said he wrote “Angels” with collaborator Guy Chambers in 25 minutes about his aunt and uncle. By his account, he and Chambers were sitting outside a cafe watching a water fountain, which inspired them to write the chorus.

I’m afraid I haven’t listened to much of Robbie’s discography after his first few breakout years. Angels and Feel remain my favourite songs of his. Robbie is just one month shy younger than me born on February 13, 1974 which makes him Aquarius. We could have been good friends..I get along very well with Water Bearers.

And through it all she offers me protection
A lot of love and affection
Whether I’m right or wrong
And down the waterfall
Wherever it may take me
I know that life won’t break me
When I come to call, she won’t forsake me
I’m loving angels instead

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Posted in Music

Waterland (1992) – Stephen Gyllenhaal (Friday’s Finest)

Waterland

Waterland (1992) starring Jeremy Irons is based on Graham Swift’s 1982 book of the same name (shortlisted for the booker award).  I’m perplexed why Waterland is so underappreciated (6.6 IMDB, 53% RT) and why it failed at the box office (cumulative worldwide gross: $1,100,218 and Budget 10,000,000). It is beautifully shot, haunting and nostalgic. It contains my favourite acting from Jeremy Irons and it showcases Ethan Hawke in the prime of his youth. The director Stephen Gyllenhaal is the father of Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal.

IMDB Movie Description: Tom Crick (Jeremy Irons), a high school history teacher, is having trouble connecting – with his class, with his wife. He ventures into telling his class stories about his young adulthood in the Fens district in England. The emotional wounds from his younger life wash over him in present day, affecting his work and his relationships with his students and his wife.

Tom Crick in a sense reflects the underwhelming reception of Waterland.  No-one is interested in what he has to say including his wife, history class, society at large and the public audience as it turns out. Talk about ‘art imitating life’. This washed up history professor is left clueless about he can engage with people.  Crick pleads with the rebellious student Matthew Price played by Ethan Hawke Bloody Hell Price! Why do you make all that extra effort for mathematics and nothing for history?” Price replies “Cuz math makes sense.
So one day in class he decides to make sense of history- ‘to hell with the curriculum‘ and recounts the history of his life. He is of course opening himself up to all kinds of ridicule but this cathartic exercise allows him to reassess his life and reengage with the class who had given up on him.

Waterland is one of the most moving films I have ever seen. It is very melancholic and contains some disturbing scenes which could alienate some viewers. The film touches the taboo of early sexual longing (male and female) and leaves us to look at the costs of opening Pandora’s’s box. I remember the first time I saw it, I wasn’t too sure what to think. I’ve seen it countless times since and I am completely in awe. The movie addresses universal and important questions: How do you forgive yourself after you may have contributed to the death of someone you loved? How do you forgive your past selves? How can you stop the cycle of abandonment after you’ve been abandoned? How do you not abandon yourself?

Interesting Movie Trivia about Waterland from IMDB and Wiki:

  • Maggie Gyllenhaal’s motion picture debut
  • Mr Irons and Ms Cusack are real-life husband and wife.
  • Part of the film was filmed at Doddington Place Gardens, near Faversham. The Victorian mansion was used as the ancestral home to Tom Crick
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Posted in Movies and TV

Angeles – Enya

Enya Shepherd Moons
Angeles
is the second song of Enya presented in this music library. It is the 5th song on Enya’s 3rd album Shepherd Moons released in 1991. The following is paraphrased from Wikipedia:
Although her music could be described as celtic and new-age music Enya never believed her music belonged in the latter genre. The album peaked at 17 on the US Billboard charts and she won a Grammy Award for Best New Age Album. She would pick up four Grammys in her career for this category.

When her previous album Watermark became an unexpected success and touring worldwide she returned to the studio to prepare her next album. She said “It felt like Watermark was a dream. It felt like it hadn’t happened. And in a way it’s nice because you can concentrate only on the music. You can forget about charts, how much you sold. You forget that…When I was composing new melodies I kept thinking “Would this have gone on Watermark? Is it as good?”

Enya picked “Angeles” and “Caribbean Blue” as highlight tracks along with her singing in Irish. I can see why she liked Angeles; it is a very mellow yet seductive piece which can induce in the listener a feeling of floating and lucid abandon.

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Posted in Music

Alby Mangels – Beyond World Safari (Lynn Santer)

Alby Book What people Have Said 1

Alby Book Cover.jpgToday we take a walk off the beaten track in Wednesday’s book quotes to look at an authorised biography of the pioneer Australian adventurer Alby Mangels. The author Lynn Santer who I was in contact with in the early 2000s asked if I would read a draft and write a few words about it.  Lynn kindly published those words in the pre-forward section of the book (image above).

As I allude to in my description Alby Mangels was the first household-name Australian  adventurer. When his real-life adventure documentary ‘World Safari’ hit cinemas in Australia it out-revenued Star Wars to give you an idea of its impact. ‘This came from Alby setting off from Adelaide in 1971 on a motorbike with $400 in his pocket, a 16mm Bell and Howell film camera and an insatiable lust for adventure. He came home six years later having travelled through 56 countries, across four continents, shooting a total of eight hours of film that he turned into a two-hour zero-budget movie called World Safari’. – The Australian

Yet his name now scarcely gets a mention. I remember as a child when he journeyed to South America in his budgie smugglers in World Safari II: The Final Adventure. We would watch his documentaries like they were giving out candy. As a boy he presented us to the world for the first time. Never in my wildest dreams back then could have I imagined I would some day be included in his authorized biography on the same page with famous Australians Barry Crocker and Caroline Hayes.

Australian Lynn Santer is definitely a person who knew people and very famous people at that. I remember her telling me about her conversations with close friends Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas. As this 2017 article in one of Australia’s most distinguished papers ‘The Weekend Australian‘ reported about her and the legacy of Alby Mangels:

There are signed mementos in her house from wildlife activists across the world; a Born Free poster signed by the film’s star, Virginia ­McKenna. A note from Priscilla Presley: “Thank you for the Easter good wishes and all the goodies… Hope all is well down under. All my best to you, Priscilla.”

“Further down you’ve got signed covers of Tippi Hedren’s most famous films,” Lynn says. There are signed images of Hitchcock’s The Birds and Marnie.

Alby Book What people Have Said

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Posted in Movies and TV, Reading

And It Stoned Me – Van Morrison

Van Morrison 1970

Van Morrison 1970

Van Morrison is an artist who’s music catalogue I wish I had delved more deeply into. I can’t remember how I first came across him, it may have been when I bopped to Brown Eyed Girl in some dirty dive in my youth or it could have been hearing Moondance which saturated the airwaves in Australia. I only became aware of today’s song recently, but I instantly liked it. And It Stoned Me is the opening track on his 1970 Moondance album. Moondance of course was an immediate critical and commercial success.

I concur with fellow blogger Badfinger who described in his post, ‘The song reminded me of when I grew up’. One thing it’s not about is getting ‘high’. Morrison biographer Ritchie Yorke nailed it saying “how it was when you were a kid and just got stoned from nature and you didn’t need anything else”. The song for mine sounds so much like something you might hear Levon Helm sing from ‘The Band’.

Then the rain let up and the sun came up
And we were gettin’ dry
Almost let a pick-up truck nearly pass us by
So we jumped right in and the driver grinned

And he dropped us up the road
Yeah, we looked at the swim and we jumped right in
Not to mention fishing poles

Also his heralding ‘Oh the water’ over and over denotes it’s cleansing effect and perhaps spiritually signifies the purity and innocence of youth.

The song has been covered by a plethora of artists including Bob Dylan (with Van Morrison).

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Posted in Music

Richmond Tigers win the AFL premiership 2019 (Special Edition)

Richmond Tigers 2019

Richmond players celebrate their win over the Greater Western Sydney

This post is to celebrate this weekend’s win of my beloved Richmond Tigers in the AFL premiership final.

Australian Rules or Australian Football League (AFL) to be exact has a religious-like following in Melbourne. If I had a dollar for every time I was asked, “Hey, what team do you follow?” I would be sipping cocktails in Barbados. Initially I didn’t know what all the fuss was about – that is, until I watched my first game which was between two arch rivals, Richmond and Collingwood back in 1995 with over 90,000 in attendance.

I remember an older lady yelling across my shoulder at the match. I turned around to see a short stocky woman in Collingwood ‘get up’ bent over her knees with steely eyes barking inexplicable orders to the umpire. Her kids were oblivious to their mum’s yelping while they applied crayons to stencils on grainy recycled paper. In between her screams, I managed to ask her what the game’s rules were. Despite her passion for the contest, she hollered into my ears the rules of the game that night.

The whole place was humming. It touched a spot in me that I didn’t even know was there. It was like I had untapped a new sense of what community represented by the sheer effervescent and vibrant nature of the Melbourne public.

Picket's blind turn.gif

Debutante Marlion Pickett’s blind turn 2019 Grand Final

I was brought up on Rugby league having growing up in Western Sydney. My old man even played for New South Wales. I supported Collingwood in the very early days upon my arrival to Melbourne until my best Navy mate who followed the Tigers brought me to my senses in 1995. Although Richmond would suffer a drought of success for more than 3 decades I always loved watching them.

I migrated to Colombia in 2009 and having watched all of this season’s games here in Colombia with the ‘watchafl’ subscription and the preliminary game and grand final live with my kids I still feel over the moon about Richmond’s recent supremacy in the competition and that grandiose win we just all witnessed. To quote Paul Kelly ‘I go Leaps and Bounds’ and to share it with my kids who are relatively new to Tiger territory is something I won’t ever forget.

Below are the highlights of this year’s grand final and further below their celebration of the club song in the dressing room. Richmond waited 37 long years for premiership success. It now has two flags in three seasons. The ‘Dimma Dynasty’ (Damien Hardwick is the coach) started on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the MCG (Melbourne Cricket Ground). It was just as invigorating and exciting two years on, as Damien Hardwick’s remarkable group brushed aside Grand Final rookies Greater Western Sydney on its way to an emphatic 89-point win.

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Posted in Sport and Adventure

24/9 – 30/9 incl. Astronomy, IT (Chapter 2) and Mercury 7 Pre-Launch Facilities

news on the march

Welcome to Monday’s News on the March – The week that was in my digital world.

Poem by River Dixon at  The Stories in Between:

If you could see
What I see
In those moments when
You're most vulnerable
You might recognize
Through the haze
Of your sadness
There is something within you
The word beautiful
Fails to describe

 (read more).

Video presentation by David Butler:

I would recommend anyone with an interest in astronomy to subscribe to David Bulter’s video channel. The combination of the classical music and his monologue (timbre of the voice) is eerily soothing. The Hubble and other Space and ground based Telescope pictures are stunning.
(Watch full episode)

Article by  Reely Bernie:

The shadows are the most important element, I think. In the midst of reading and mentally manufacturing a setting, shadows appear in familiar places that aren’t normally there in real life. Our imagined world – aided by the articulate prose of Stephen King – forms itself out of light, only to be darkened one chapter at a time. King’s best works “darkened” the most light from 1975 to the late 90s. It was in the wheelhouse in 1986 and remains one of the scariest reads of my life… (Read More)

Video podcast on the David Pakman show:

I have always admired Sam Harris for his courage to speak about on his disenchantment with the modern left. Sam’s thinking is clear and consistent and Pakman’s interview style mature and respectful. This is the way conversation and the exchange of ideas should be conducted. (Listen to full podcast)

Article by  Michael Stephen Wills:

Here is the sixth in a series of photographs centered on the early history of space flight on Cape Canaveral mostly taken during a tour organized by the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse Foundation. “Google” the foundation for details of future tours. Here we explore pre-launch support for the Mercury program, including the first USA Orbital Launch of John Glenn from Launch Complexe 14 (LC 14). (Read More)

news on the march the end

Posted in Movies and TV, News, Science

An Mhaighdean Mhara (The Mermaid)- Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh

Mairead

I cannot recollect how I found this song, nor had I even heard of the singer or could understand the lyrics. I imagine I stumbled across it on a wordpress blog and I hastily added it to my collection. It’s simply beautiful and in preparing this post I am learning like most of you about this traditional lament from Gaeltacht (an irish speaking region) for the first time.

An Mhaighdean Mhara (The Mermaid) is mostly associated with the county Donegal in Ireland. The singer of this version – Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh is from Donegal as well. So you could say almost technically this old traditional song is in her blood. Lamentable Gaeltacht in which the song is sung is threatened by a serious language decline according to wiki.

It may surprise you when you hear Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh sing that her principle musical expertise is in fact ‘the fiddle’. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t heard too many fiddlers who can sing like this.  Her personal web site states: She is a native speaker and learnt her songs and tunes from her family and neighbours. Mairéad is internationally known as one of the most important fiddle players that play in the unique Donegal style.

According to this wordpress blog – CÓR An Mhaighdean Mhara (The Mermaid) tells the story of a mermaid who leaves the ocean to marry a mortal man and bear his children. Longing for the sea, she eventually returns to the waves, leaving her husband and children behind. The song has lullaby qualities and is traditionally sung to comfort children who have lost their mothers.

I do hope you feel as ‘beatified’ (in the mid 16th century denotative sense) as I did for the experience of listening to this.

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Posted in Music

Running on Empty – Sidney Lumet (Friday’s Finest)

Running on Empty

Running on Empty (1988) is another under the radar movie which I picked up for pittance here in Bogota. I hadn’t seen it since my youth, but I was very fond of it. So you can imagine my surprise when I happened to stumbled across it 30 years later. It showcases another wonderful performance by River Phoenix who we previously discussed in Peter Weir’s The Mosquito Coast. He was even nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Running on Empty. It was surprisingly his only Oscar-nominated performance. He returned with his long time adolescent sweetheart Martha Plimpton where they played romantic interests having costarred in Mosquito two years earlier.

Running on Empty tells the story of a counterculture couple on the run from the FBI, and how one of their sons (Phoenix) starts to break out of this fugitive lifestyle. According to wikipediaThe fugitive parents Arthur and Annie Pope were loosely modeled after Weather Underground leaders Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. John Simon states that the characters’ bombing of a napalm research facility was inspired by the Sterling Hall bombing of 1970. 

Running on Empty starts off as a relatively slow family drama, but as we grow accustomed to the characters and learn of their motivations it is pretty tough not to be drawn into it and emotionally invested in their plight. The only underwhelming aspect for mine about Running on Empty is it’s ‘title’ which doesn’t do it the least bit of service. The film had remained so lodged in my memory after all these years mainly because of it’s unforgettable ending where Phoenix’s character and his family launch into their homespun version of James Taylor ‘Fire and Rain‘. An iconic song which was recently showcased on Badfinger’s Powerpop’s blog.

After having rewatched Running on Empty after such a long time I was surprised at how many heartwrenching moments are in it. Christine Lahti who plays the mother has two scenes in this film which are particular standouts, including one with Steven Hill who plays her father. The characters are totally convincing. The young man played by River Phoenix is someone we must sympathize with: his dilemma is a lifelong choice between never seeing his loved ones again or continuing to grow as a very talented pianist. The choice is agonizing, and the ending is sure to bring tears to many eyes of people who are part of a close-knit family.

Interesting trivia details about Running on Empty (IMDB Trivia):

  • Running on Empty was released on September 9, 1988, in 22 theaters, where it grossed $215,157 on its opening weekend. It went on to make $2,835,116 in North America.
  • Although River Phoenix learned all the hand motions to the piano pieces his character performs in the movie, the audio was dubbed by a professional pianist.
  • The actor Jake Gyllenhaal (whose mother, Naomi Foner, wrote the screenplay for Running on Empty) recalled that he was allowed to sit in on two weeks of rehearsals before filming started.
  • Successfully had its MPAA rating changed through the formal appeals process. Originally given an “R” due to more than one use of the “F” word, it was revised to “PG13”.
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Posted in Movies and TV

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