Daily Archives: June 23, 2014

Just when you thought you had it bad

Hi readers.  Maybe it’s worth watching some foreign films just to remind ourselves that things could be a lot worse.   All these are for streaming on Netflix.  I’ve given them all four, or five stars:

Tall as the Baobab Tree, 2012 NR 81 minutes, When an accident threatens his struggling family’s survival, a father decides to sell his 11-year-old daughter into an arranged marriage. Starring:Dior Kâ, Oumoul Kâ  Director:Jeremy Teicher

Mandabi 1968 NR 91 minutes A down-and-out man receives much-needed financial aid but hits bureaucratic roadblocks as he tries to convert the money order to cash. Starring:Makhouredia Gueye, Ynousse N’Diaye Director:Ousmane Sembène

 The Grocer’s Son  2007 NR 95 minutes After his father suffers a stroke, a young man reluctantly returns home to his small mountain village to help out with the family business.  Starring:Nicolas Cazale, Clotilde Hesme  Director:Eric Guirado

Lost in Thailand  2012 NR 105 minutes  This Chinese comedy caper tracks the competition between two managers for control over their company, which has developed a miraculous new product. Starring:Zheng Xu, Baoqiang Wang

Aftershock  2010 NR 135 minutes   In the decades after her mother chooses to save her brother and leave her to die following an earthquake, a girl struggles to rebuild her life. Starring:Fan Xu, Jingchu Zhang Director:Xiaogang Feng

Ali Zaoua: Prince of the Streets 2000 NR 98 minutes A group of urchins living on the hard streets of Casablanca create a familial bond of friendship in order to survive amid violence and poverty. Starring:Mounim Kbab, Mustapha Hansali Director:Nabil Ayouch 

A Thousand Months  2003 NR 120 minutes 1981 Morocco, young Mehdi comes to terms with his own culture during Ramadan, secure in the knowledge that his beloved father is away in France. Starring:Fouad Labied, Nezha Rahile Director:Faouzi Bensaïdi

 Journey of Hope 1990 PG 110 minutes Beckoned by tales of economic prosperity, a Turkish family leaves their meager existence and sets off on a grueling journey to Switzerland. Starring:Necmettin Çobanoglu, Nur Sürer
Director:Xavier Koller

Times and Winds 2006 NR 111 minutes Reha Erdem writes and directs this award-winning film set in rural Turkey, where three friends entering adolescence share the struggles of growing up. Starring:Taner Birsel, Nihan Asli Elmas Director:Reha Erdem

The Deserted Station 2002 NR 88 minutes Inspired by a photographic jaunt, this lyrical film asks what happens next when a couple is stranded in a small village after their car breaks down. Starring:Leila Hatami, Nezam Manouchehri Director:Alireza Raisian

Tsotsi 2005 R 94 minutes After shooting a woman and driving off in her car, a ruthless thug is surprised to discover a crying infant in the back seat. Starring:Presley Chweneyagae, Terry Pheto Director:Gavin Hood

Munyurangabo 2007 NR 93 minutes A Tutsi orphaned by Rwanda’s genocide sets off to mete out rough justice with his Hutu friend but their tribal differences soon come to a head. Starring:Jeff Rutagengwa, Eric Ndorunkundiye Director:Lee Isaac Chung

Sounds of Sand 2006 NR 92 minutes With a drought killing their livestock and a war looming, the residents of an African village decide to migrate in search of an easier existence. Starring:Marion Hansel, Isaka Sawadogo

American Flyer 2010 NR 86 minutes After failed attempts to cross the border at Tijuana, a young man constructs a flying machine out of a wheelbarrow to try to fly into California. Starring:Douglas Spain, Julian Scott Urena
Director:Mark Christensen




It’s been a long century

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

June 28, 1914, the Coincidence Coordinators [CCs] finally got a belly full of a particularly venal form of aristocratic, dynastic and imperialistic exploitation of world populations.  They pulled the trigger on the first, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, and started a ball rolling that didn’t end until the Berlin Wall went down in the 1990s.  Maybe didn’t actually end then.

But one of the problems with WWI was nobody could figure out what it was all about, so they couldn’t pick a direction and head there, cut out all the middle men.  That’s why WWI didn’t end until the USSR packed up its tents and left eastern Europe all the way back to Moscow.  Told them all to go, and sin no more.  Here’s the keys to this stupid wall we built in Berlin.

Certainly the dynasties are still around because human beings are creatures of habit.  There are still Kennedys and Bushes and possibly a Roosevelt-or-two hanging around threatening to rear their ugly heads.  But the last Century killed off an amazing host of parasites with names such as Romanov, Hapsburg, Magyar, Hirohito, Stalin, to name a few.

The only WWI museum in the US, the National WWI Museum in KC, says that while they’re going to have a lot of special displays and ceremonies between June 22, and June 28, they aren’t celebrating.  Standard cliché of “There’s nothing to celebrate in war.”

In one sense they’re right.  Damned shame all those commoners had to die fighting wars for aristocrats.  But when you think about it, all those dead Romanovs, Magyars, Kennedys have given rise to some opportunities nobody’s likely to take advantage of.  But the opportunity is still there to hang the rest from lamp posts.

Didn’t do much long-term good when the French did it way back in the day, but maybe they weren’t thinking big enough.

Probably not, though.  This guy in the White House now might as well be named Bush or Kennedy for all the difference between him, them, and the ones named Clinton-was, and Clinton wannabe. 

Maybe some black hand organization lurking around out in the bushes will rally around the flag, gather up all the Post Office workers, rooftop snipers and school killers and explain to them they’re killing the wrong people. 

I expect if that doesn’t happen something equally appalling will, and I’m damned glad I’m not likely to have to try to live through it.  20th Century was a piece of cake from where I was sitting.

Old Jules