Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Eternal Spring

As long as there's a spring
I'll gladly brave the cold
dark days of winter
as the year is getting old.

As long as there are flowers
that come back every year,
I'll gladly take the darkness;
With it's cold stabbing, icy shear.

As long as there are people
planting trees they'll never see,
I have faith earth will prevail,
and last all eternity.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Ken Burns Reads Rooftop Reviews! ("The Way" with Martin Sheen) 2011

NOTE:  September 22nd, 2019. Have just noticed the many recent negative comments about my review of this long forgotten film. But the best part was the comment from Ken Burns. Who knew he even read this blog? He wanted me to remove the whole thing. This post was originally done October 29, 2011. I have to wonder about the timing of these recent negative comments about an 8 year old review.

It seems I made an error in believing that the film is a true story, when in fact, it is only loosely based upon one. And I'm not the only one who was fooled, as you can see by googling the film on IMdB. Link handily provided below and in comments.

I have been on here for 10 years, apparently reviewing things with no problems of perception. I was surprised at the comments. (Please read them below.)

As previously stated, I am not the only one confused by this film. Read the plot summary on IMdB. It clearly says that he goes to retrieve the body of his son who died on the Pilgramage. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1441912/

So, in essence, this review is an example of what can happen when a film is made too convoluted, or with an assumption that everyone knows the backstory.

Out of my 2,200 posts I may have gotten this one wrong. I think that figure speaks more to the clarity of the film's direction than to my ability to understand a film. It was pretty cool to have any comment at all though, even a negative one, from Ken Burns. I don't kid myself he is a regular reader. Just friends with someone who was annoyed with my review.

I have attempted to research and find out just what my error was, all the comments after the first one in 2012 were less than informative, just that the review was bad. If I ever re-screen this long forgotten film I will attempt to review it again. Meantime, I have modified it to remove any factual errors.
...................................

This film, is a story about hiking the Pyrenees between France and Spain. The purpose of the hike is to trod the road taken by so many Catholics over the centuries in tribute to Santiago de Compostela who made the journey centuries ago, arriving at the site of the famed cathedral named after him.

APPARENTLY THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH WAS INCORRECT. I WILL HAVE TO RE-SCREEN THE FILM TO SEE WHY THIS WAS SO UNCLEAR TO ME IN THE FILM. I HAVE MODIFIED IT FROM THE ORIGINAL UNTIL I DO SO.

The film was written, and directed, by Mr. Estevez in tribute to his son, named Daniel in the film, and whom he plays in flashbacks. His death necessitated his father, named Tom in the film, played by Martin Sheen, traveling to France in order to collect his son's remains. Mr. Sheen was Daniel's real grandfather. Along the way he remembers the conversations he had with his son about taking this journey, and on a whim he decides to take the trip.

The Camino de Santiago crosses the Pyrenees from France to Spain, ending at the Cathedral. Tom decides to take this journey partly in tribute to his son, as well as a way to come to terms with his death. He is hoping to find the meaning of his son's death, but soon begins looking for the meaning behind his own life.

Tom, a widower, had not been especially close to his son in the last few years of his too short life. The last contact he had with Daniel took the form of a phone call in which Daniel describes the journey he is about to embark upon. The next call Tom receives is from the French authorities. His son is dead and now he must go to France to claim the remains, which in this case are ashes.

When he begins the trip he starts to experience flashbacks of the father-son conflicts they had been through. Daniel has repeatedly asked that his father not "judge" him. In reality, Tom doesn't want to judge him at all; merely understand him. Arriving in France he meets a French policeman, played by Tcheky Karyo, who explains the history, and meaning, of the journey his son was taking. This serves to propel Tom on the path that his son was walking at the time of his death. He also plans to scatter his son's ashes at various places along the way.

There are three major characters whom Tom meets, and befriends, along the way. There is the obese Dutch party guy, played by Yorick van Wageningen; an Irish braggart suffering from writer’s block, played by James Nesbitt; and finally the chain-smoking Canadian woman, played by Deborah Kara Unger, who never learned how to be civil. Tom is stuck with this group as he struggles to keep his reasons for the hike to himself.

But as the group make their way across the mountains defenses break down, as each of the group comes to realize that life is not so much about changing the things you don't like about yourself. Sometimes it's more about accepting who you really are, and then moving on, content with that knowledge.

Some reviewers have likened the movie to both "The Canterbury Tales", as well as "The Wizard of Oz", both of which Estevez has called inspirations for the film.

For more about the making of this extraordinary film, including the parallels to "The Wizard of Oz", read the interview with Mr. Estevez at;

http://www.avclub.com/articles/martin-sheen-emilio-estevez,62918/

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Faces and Frames

What is it like to paint a face in a frame?
Do you start with the head, or is that the same?
How is it done, how does it work,
to capture an essence, the smallest of quirks?

Can you paint a laugh, a tear or a sigh?
I don't know for sure, though many have tried...
Mona Lisa is one; a painting which irks.
We really don't know - is that a smile, or a smirk?

Great critics argue that point to this day,
I have the answer, I'll put it this way;
Some say, "No difference", but I disagree;
she's smirking at you, but she's smiling with me.....

(Ruminating on my inability to draw....)

Friday, August 30, 2019

Light

They look benign
there by the sink.
Temporarily mine,
they make me think.

These candlesticks
Might soon be gone,
but a light, once lit;
shines on and on.

August 30, 2019
Stonecroft

The duality of all things.The fleeting vs. the permanent.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Por Mon Fille (For My Daughter)

If I could be your Jesus,
I would take your pain.
I'd stand the cross and the nails
so your tears won't fall like rain.

I'd gladly wear the Crown of Thorns;
take all the jeers and tauntings.
I'd do anything I could
to keep you from your hauntings.

All the sins upon my back
would be mine to suffer.
I'd gladly be your Jesus.
I'd gladly be that buffer......

I did not know the artist name and asked my friends on Facebook. Maryann Held nailed it in less than a minute after I posted it. Here is her reply to my plea for help...... Thanks, Maryann!

"Peter Paul Rubens, Hercules’ Dog Discovers Purple Dye, c.1636 Musée Bonnat-Helleu

Hercules’ dog largely contributed to art history as it had discovered purple dye. According to the legend, while running on the beach the dog bit a sea snail and dyed his mouth purple. Clever boy.  Hope this helps."

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Nana and My Dream



I used to have nightmares of my dad screaming at me, close up drill sergeant style, which he used to do, veins in his neck bulging out. Haven't had them in years.

The other week he was in one, about to go off on me, and Nana; who rarely is in my dreams at all; was hovering there, right next to him, and told him; just by her presence,  to leave me alone! 😁 What a great dream!

She was there several times in real life when he did that, though never directly interfered. This was around 1964 and 65. I was 10-11years old at the time.

I had gone grocery shopping, one of my many chores because Mom was always sick or in hospital etc. This particular day Nana and Aunts Gloria and Gladys took me to the bungalow at Breezy Point and when Nana took me upstairs at about 10 PM my dad was waiting, fuming!

In my haste to leave that day I had left out a package of bologna so it was no good anymore. He hit the roof and wouldn't stop yelling, screaming.....

Nana wouldn't leave and he finally calmed down. Gloria was waiting downstairs for her and kept ringing the intercom, wondering what was taking so long.

Nana; what a saint she was and still is. You know at one point I was forbidden to go see her! Now, imagine not being allowed to see your own grandmother! She was only 15 streets away at 2807 Kings Hwy. We were at 1310 Ave R. So, it was only about 1 mile.

I used to take my bike and visit her and had to lie about where I'd been. I didn't want to put this on the wall at first and wrote it as an IM to cousin Patsy, but decided to share it anyway.

They say when you speak lovingly of the departed they live forever. Kind of like the Saints. Nana doesn't need to be Canonized by anyone or thing. I did that long ago in my heart.

Photo is cropped from my wedding album. Aunt Gloria made sure she was there for my wedding....

Monday, August 5, 2019

Earth from Space

Saturn has its' many rings
We both share the same sun.
And Jupiter has its' many moons
While poor old Earth has only one.

Now, Mars might look good in red,
And Venus has its' clouds.
But when I see the Earth from space,
It makes me very proud.

We've got greens and blues and reds.
It's colorful, what we are.
So, why at night when I go to bed,
Do I wish upon a Star?