Thursday, November 6, 2008

i saw "the big picture"...

on boston.com, and i was so riveted by these photos of our president-elect, i burned my dinner.
it was hard to pick a favorite, so i chose two...

taken during a campaign event at colorado state university, october 26, 2008 in fort collins, colorado.

photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

and i think this is just a fantastic moment...

taken at ebenezer baptist church, after the announcement that obama would be the next president of the united states.

(ap photo/pouya dianat, atlanta journal & constitution)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

RMS, R.I.P.

on monday, the department that i have been proud to work for and with for the last 21 months, was dissolved as part of a company-wide cutback. extraordinary people have lost their jobs.

i will miss laughing and lunching and brainstorming and bitching and whining and woohooing...

and the shouting and the stress and the silliness...

and participating in, and bearing witness to, all manner of hilariously inappropriate behavior.

as you can see from the video, which features several of our team members, we had a hell of a lot of fun.

i am lucky to have had them in my every day life.

and now, my heart hurts.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

"paradiso" found!

i decided to be a sommelier for halloween (i went home, changed into a fresh white shirt, and opened a bottle of spicy mallorcan red...)

and then i parked myself on the couch to watch cinema paradiso.

friends of mine have raved about the film for years--that i'd love it, that it would be one of my favorite movies of all time. i think it's part of the reason i passed on seeing it until now. all that buildup--could the film live up to it?

and then there's the crying. everyone cried, but my sister is my barometer (i cry watching little house on the prairie; she rarely tears up), and not only is cinema paradiso one of her favorite movies, she bawled. i was sure to be a wreck. and i just haven't been in the mood for that.

well...i DID love it! and i held up throughout (a few tears here and there), but with the final scene came the flood. jacques perrin watching that kissing montage--how he shifts in his seat... his hands..and his eyes, rimmed with tears that you can see a-glimmer in the dark--with that sweet, haunting morricone soundtrack soaring ...it might be one of my all-time favorite film scenes.

here it is (starting at 4:51):



you tube video via foreign classics

************

i spent most of this morning thinking about the movie and wanting perspective from past reviews. I pulled two favorite books off my shelf (pauline kael's "for keeps," and anthony lane's "nobody's perfect) and was surprised and sorry that neither volume featured a review of the film.

so i googled. vincent canby pretty well hated it back in 1990 (nytimes subscribers can login to read it). (i wonder if his opinion changed at all after that?) but also on the times site was a brief clyde haberman piece about writer/director giuseppe tornatore. it's a nice little primer about the sicilian native and the early history of the film (written before the oscar win). the bits about the italian film industry are dated, but it still makes me wonder what movie-going has been like in sicily in recent years?

*****

i loved the dozens of film clips within cinema paradiso, but this one left the deepest, happiest impression:





youtube video courtesy of jack11anbar

that is silvana mangano lip synching to flo sandon's rendition of "el negro zumbon" for the film "anna", but the moves are all hers. i love.

and, as if i needed another reason to love her, i found out that mangano's performance in the "earthy" drama riso amaro inspired one of the most hilarious i love lucy episodes (lucy prepares for an audition to star in the "earthy" italian film " bitter grapes" by spending the day crushing grapes).

here is lucy in the wine vat:



youtube video via krunk4theking

i am officially obsessed.

a final bit of trivia: silvana mangano also happens to be the grandmother of food network's toothy, yet comely giada de laurentiis.