1. I bought my tickets today, and on both Saturday and Sunday I'll be heading up to Silver Spring to the AFI Silver Theater to see, on Saturday, Atlantic City, with Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarandon. I recorded this movie on my BetaMax back in 1982 off the Spotlight movie channel and it became a favorite with MQ and me (and Susan, too?) when we lived together in '84. Lancaster's daughter will be at the screening to answer questions after the movie. On Sunday, for the first time in my life (I can't believe it), I'll see Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet. Back in the spring of 1997, when things like this bothered me a lot more, I wanted to see this movie with someone who went without me and it bothered me so much, I never went to see it. I don't know why I didn't show any of it in my Shakespeare classes around the turn of the century. Oh, well. I'm over having felt snubbed now (ha!) and my too easily hurt feelings from seventeen years ago turn out to be sort of a good thing. I'll see Hamlet Sunday afternoon on a huge screen, presented in 70 mm, a better and more thrilling format than I would have seen had I watched it on DVD.
2. Eugene chef Ibrahim Hamide was born and raised in the occupied territory of the West Bank and was a contributor to our two year film festival at Lane Community College, showing movies made in the Islamic world. Back in April of 2013, he introduced the festival's screening of the Academy Award nominated documentary, Five Broken Cameras. I missed that showing. Today, I watched the movie. Using five different cameras, because Israeli soldiers either break or shoot his cameras, Palestinian Emad Burnat filmed five years worth of Palestinian protests against Israeli settlements in the West Bank being constructed, along with barriers. These protests occurred near the West Bank village of Bil'in. The barrier crossed through West Bank agricultural land, about half of which the Israelis were confiscating. The movie's footage is raw. Israeli soldiers use tear gas to disperse Palestinians armed with rocks, banners, and flags. They shoot at them with high powered rifles as well. The film documents several Palestinians being shot and killed. Emad Burnat collaborated with Israeli filmmaker Guy Davidi to make the movie -- and whether it is a Palestinian or Israeli movie has been the source of controversy. It's a powerful story told from the village's point of view as they stand up against the expansion of Israeli settlements, the intrusion of the wall/barrier, and the destruction and confiscation of their land. It was painful, but there is great beauty in the movie's structure, narration, courage, and intimacy, particularly as it explores how the Israeli's building of settlements in the West Bank affects Emad Burnat's family. Along with being nominated for a US Academy award, in 2013 the film was nominated for the Israeli Film Academy's award (Ophir Award) for Best Documentary (Wikipedia).
3. To wind down this evening, the Deke and I watched an episode of Midsomer Murders. As the story developed, I thought it was going to be a welcome break from the grisly content of Wallander. But, I was wrong as this episode of Midsomer Murders involved terrible, increasingly gory murders that grew out of an incestuous relationship between a brother and sister. The backdrop for the show is Midsomer, a pastoral and apparently placid English county, but underneath its lovely surface, in this episode, swirled the darkness of incest, betrayal, secrets, lying, adultery, blackmail, and murder. I enjoyed how the show's lead character, Inspector Barnaby, looked into the crimes so unflappably, almost serenely, and with remarkably good humor. He's not like the tortured Kurt Wallander, that's for sure.
I guess it's becoming obvious that I'm enjoying access to Molly and Hiram's Roku setup and watching stuff from Netflix and Amazon on their television...