Quelles Horreurs!

While some of us object to the invasion of American Halloween and K-mart clad ghosts and goblins knocking at the door demanding treats, we would do well to recall that the holiday is rooted in the Druid Samhain – the last day of the ancient Celtic summer – a between-seasons day, when the dead walkedContinue reading “Quelles Horreurs!”

Marlon Brando: More than a contender

By the end of his life, Marlon Brando was often portrayed as a buffoon, a colossal wreck of a man, whose personal tragedies dominated his life; irrelevant to moviegoers three generations removed from his tormented, “Stella! Hey Stellaaaaa!” Yet Brando’s sweaty muscle-bound Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire set a new standard of performance,Continue reading “Marlon Brando: More than a contender”

On the way to Lahemaa Woods

A more magical  Estonia tale – a visit to Lahemaa woods with my cousin Kaupo and his wife Kadri. Estonia is a tiny country, and these woods are tucked up in the northeast corner – getting close to the Russian border. Though they have been ‘managed’ i.e. harvested and replanted, this particular stand of treesContinue reading “On the way to Lahemaa Woods”

Queen Elizabeth Square, downtown Auckland

I was last in Queen Elizabeth Square last summer, around Christmastime. It was buzzing and beautiful, with giant ornaments, reminiscent of Jeff Koons installations, placed here and there. Near the waterfront with the ferry docks and cargo ships nearby, a real hub of activity a spot in Auckland a visitor shouldn’t miss. My newly formedContinue reading “Queen Elizabeth Square, downtown Auckland”

Midnight Cowboy

Midnight Cowboy broke all the rules when it was released in 1969. After a decade dominated by glossy, Technicolor, feel-good musicals, John Schlesinger’s x-rated exposé of shattered dreams amongst the grime and desperation on New York’s mean streets made the entire industry sit up and take notice. It’s not just the only X-rated film toContinue reading “Midnight Cowboy”

An Angel at My Table

Jane Campion’s delicate, almost leisurely construction of Kiwi Janet Frame’s autobiographies is one of those rare films that draw you completely into its world, so while watching you lose all sense of time and place. Frame’s life unfolds at so naturally, you may not notice the overlap of the three actresses (Alexia Keogh, Karen Fergusson,Continue reading “An Angel at My Table”

The Bothersome Man

Director: Jens Lien Andreas (Trond Fausa Aurvaag) stands alone waiting for a subway, blank faced and despondent. He tries to ignore a couple dispassionately French kissing, but their slurping and grunting fills his head until it is ready to explode, until it is blissfully drowned by an approaching train. He jumps. Suddenly Andreas is theContinue reading “The Bothersome Man”

Croupier

Sophisticated and stylish, Mike Hodges’ (Get Carter) Croupier is a contemporary film noir masterpiece; its star, Clive Owen, an embodiment of Humphrey Bogart’s detached cool not seen since Annette Benning’s performance in the Grifters.  If you see only one indy film this year – make it Croupier. Clive Owen is Jack Manfred – an aspiringContinue reading “Croupier”

No more porn for me…

That’s right. No sooner did I declare my perturbed state regarding pornography seekers looking for porn on my site – than they have cleaned up their act! Crikey! And I mean crikey! A random sampling of the last few days search engine requests: staten island fotos everything is illuminated staten island the commitments irish soulContinue reading “No more porn for me…”