Uncle Bardie’s Movie of the Week: When in Rome

Once a week on Monday, Uncle Bardie shares a movie with his Readers he gives a big two thumbs up. It will simply be a short excerpt or a trailer. Uncle Bardie might even throw in a reflection on the movie. If so, it will make an appearance below the video. So pop some popcorn and give yourself a treat. This week’s movie is

Not sure why I love this movie. It’s a post-World-War-II 1954 and America was the penultimate Good Guy. Everybody loved the good ole U S of A. After all, we had beat the crap out of Hitler and Mussolini and freed Europe, so that the French could be French again and the Italians could be Italians. It was a good time to be an American abroad. So there’s that.

Then there’s Rome. Rome, man. And Rome in the spring too. You can’t go wrong with Rome, can you? Rome puts on its best face for “Three Coins in a Fountain”. Rome is the star and the actors are only in the movie to support the city. The Eternal City has never been lovelier. So much so that the camera can’t take its lens off the City of the Seven Hills.

At the beginning, the director, Jean Negulesco, does a Woody Allen before Woody Allen did it with Manhattan. His camera surveys Rome. Its fountains. And there are a lot of fountains. With an uncredited Frank Sinatra singing “Three Coins in a Fountain”. The camera pulls back and gives a long view of the Tiber and the Seven Hills. Then more fountains. In addition to Rome, we get Venice and the Italian countryside.

The three coins of title are for the three female Americans who toss their coins into a fountain and wish. If I were looking for a cast, I couldn’t find a superber cast than the cast cast of Clifton Webb, Dorothy McGuire, Jean Peters, Louis Jourdan, Maggie McNamara and Rossana Brazzi. Each get a chance to charm our socks off. It’s great to see one of my favorite character actors, Clifton Webb, at his Clifton Webb best, a bit crusty on the outside but a sentimentalist deep down.

So we have three women who come to Rome to escape a boring life back home. One, the longest in Rome, is a secretary to writer Clifton Webb. Jean Peters is getting ready to return to America. Her replacement is Maggie McNamara, the newby.It is through her eyes mostly that the viewer discovers Rome.

So see the movie, fly to Rome, find a fountain and toss a coin in. Maybe your wishes will come true too.

What is your favorite city?

Lost in Space

Song for this post. Florence and the Machine: Ship to Wreck

What can I say but here’s another pickin’ and grinner.

Danger, danger, Will Robinson. Danger.

They were folks lost in space
When they left the old home place
And went out searching for
A new home among the stars.

Danger, danger, Will Robinson. Danger

Past the Van Allen Belt
So fast the ship might melt
Passing Mars and Jupiter
The outer planets a blur

Danger, danger, Will Robinson. Danger.

Neptune and Pluto flew by
Onward they did fly
Into the deepest space
Leaving the human race

Danger, danger, Will Robinson. Danger.

They left on their trip
In a tin can of a ship

On board the Robinsons,
Doctor Smith, Major Don
And a B9 robot
For all parts cold and hot

Danger, danger, Will Robinson. Danger.

On a lovely moony night
Look at the sky to the right
In the distant night
There’ll be a small small light

Danger, danger, Will Robinson. Danger.

It’ll be the Robinsons
Out there on their own
Out for an evening stroll
To the right of a black hole

Danger, danger, Will Robinson. Danger.

They left on their trip
In a tin can of a ship

They were folks lost in space
When they left the old home place
And went out searching for
A new home among the stars.

Friday’s Creator Corner: Art Shanty Project in Minnesota

Each Friday I feature a Creative Artist on Friday’s Creator Corner. Creativity is the art of making something out of nothing. I leave the post up for a week, then replace it with another post. After taking it down, I link it to Friday’s Creator Corner Artists page.

Today’s Creator’s Corner artists are the artists who participate in the Art Shanty Project in Minnesota in the coldest days of winter. It was suggested by Greg, the awesome blog-meister of Almost Iowa. Check his blog out. It’s a hoot. Thanks, Greg, for the suggestion.

 

 

Hamlet: This Week We Mourn

Andrew Bird: My Sister’s Tiny Hands

For Hamlet’s plot till now, see Hamlet So Far.

Act 4 Scene 7 (continued). A sadness has fallen upon Elsinore, sadder than the day King Hamlet died. A sadness has fallen upon Elsinore. Ophelia is dead. The coroner’s report says she drowned. But we know the True Cause. She died of a Broken Heart.

Gertrude tells us how with these sad lines:

There is a willow grows aslant a brook,
That shows his hoar leaves in the glassy stream;
There with fantastic garlands did she come
Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples
That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do dead men’s fingers call them:
There, on the pendent boughs her coronet weeds
Clambering to hang, an envious sliver broke;
When down her weedy trophies and herself
Fell in the weeping brook. Her clothes spread wide;
And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up:
Which time she chanted snatches of old tunes;
As one incapable of her own distress,
Or like a creature native and indued
Unto that element: but long it could not be
Till that her garments, heavy with their drink,
Pull’d the poor wretch from her melodious lay
To muddy death.

Could it be that with these lines Shakespeare is mourning his son, Hamnet?

As “Much Ado About Nothing” illustrates, love always overcomes hatred. But where is the love in “Hamlet”. It is only Ophelia who loves and there is none who would love her. She has a pure heart. When thinking of Ophelia, for some reason I recall another play. “Antigone.” If Lear is Oedipus, Ophelia is Antigone.

Ophelia is not mad. She has no one. She is lonely. But it is not just lonely the way you and I get lonely. It is an existential loneliness that goes to the depth of who she is. It is a loneliness without the hope of love. It is a loneliness without God. So she dies. This little girl lost. Alone.

The priest says she committed suicide. Since when does falling from a tree and getting your clothes caught on a rock in the water add up to suicide. Ophelia is Catholic. And though she may have stepped out over the edge, I don’t think she commits suicide. No, she drowns and let’s leave it at that.

Alas, Ophelia is dead. Laertes is heartbroken, and he is mourning. Mourning for the sister he never paid much attention to. Mourning for the sister he did not know.

Uncle Bardie’s Movie of the Week: Celie

Once a week on Monday, Uncle Bardie shares a movie with his Readers he gives a big two thumbs up. It will simply be a short excerpt or a trailer. From time to time, a reflection on the movie will appear below the video. So pop some popcorn and give yourself a treat. This week’s movie celebrates Black History Month. It is “The Color Purple” (1985):

Celie is a poor black girl. Celie is pregnant with her daddy’s baby. Celie’s daddy takes her baby girl child when she is born. Celie is sold to a black farmer. Celie goes to live with a farmer. The farmer has three children by another wife. The house the farmer lives in is the messiest house you ever did see. Celie cleans it from top to bottom till it is spick and it is span. Celie’s younger sister comes to live with Celie to escape her daddy’s lust for her. The farmer lusts after the sister too. Celie’s sister will not give into the farmer’s demands. The farmer chases her off the farm. Celie and her sister don’t want to part. The farmer forces the sister to go away. Celie and her sister are separated. Will they ever see each other again?

This is the life of a poor black girl in the South. This is the story of a poor black girl surviving. This is the story of that poor black girl becoming a woman. This is the story of how love overcomes all things.