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Archive for February, 2013

Quartet

 

Quartet is a new movie out directed by the one and only “Tootsie”!… err, Dustin Hoffman!

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And what a movie he chose for his first directorial movie!

Right off the bat I will tell you that this movie won’t be for everyone. But it certainly broke barriers for me!

Storyline

Cecily, Reggie, and Wilfred are in a home for retired musicians. Every year, on October 10, there is a concert to celebrate Verdi’s birthday and they take part. Jean, who used to be married to Reggie, arrives at the home and disrupts their equilibrium. She still acts like a diva, but she refuses to sing. Still, the show must go on… and it does.

 MaggieSmithQuartet_zpsea84cbae[1] Dame Maggie Smith is, as always, fabulous!

tom-courtenay_zps07ddc062[1] I thought Tom Courtenay was new to me, but you will be surprised to click on his link and see what else he  has been in.

la-la-ca-10_zpsb4422af9[1] Billy Connelly. I haven’t seen him in ages but he has been active in his career. For a few moments all I could say is, “I know that voice”..then I realized I remember him most from  “Mrs. Brown” which was another fabulous movie!

20130125_inq_sraqua25-a_zpsd1935f27[1] I have to admit I didn’t know Pauline Collins but I will from now on.

quartet-michael-gambon_zps909c498b[1] And you’d have to be one of the few people in the world not to have seen Harry Potter to not know who Michael Gambon is !

Maggie Smith: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001749/?ref_=tt_cl_t1

Pauline Collins:  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0172604/?ref_=tt_cl_t4

Tom Courtenay: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0183822/?ref_=sr_1

Billy Connolly: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0175262/bio

Michael Gambon: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0002091/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

Quartet: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1441951/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

Dustin Hoffman: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000163/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

And last but not least.. the Director ..Dustin Hoffman.

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I think I’d like to pick his brain to find out why he chose a movie like this to be his first directorial debut.  The movie is filled with white hair (and no one had to bleach it).  It is filled with Opera singing and Opera music.  (I fear the younger movie goers are not going to stand in line for this one)  But behind all of that, there are these magnificent actors and actresses with more experience than the most popular actor of today. There is a story of “time gone by”.  And in the midst of all of that… there is a love story.  In other words: no special effects, no high shoot ‘em up chases, no sex or scandal… hell, one might say there wasn’t anything here to direct!..  one MIGHT say that, but I wouldn’t. 

For his first outing as a director Dustin Hoffman brought to the screen A Story. One that needed nothing but a good script and a group of really good actors. 

Bravo Dustin Hoffman!  You did good!

And just in case you go to see this movie… watch the credits!  You will find that many of the retired musicians and singers in the movie were the actual musicians and singers.

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Gone But Not Forgotten

I realize that when the Oscars and other programs do “In Memorandum” of those we lost from the movie industry that they can’t do them all… but in this case they left off (among others) TWO that I remember so very well.

The first that they missed is Harry Carey Jr. 

Harry was one of John Ford’s stable of “cowboys”.  Whenever Ford made a western (especially with John Wayne) you could count on the fact that Harry would also be in the movie.  His Filmography begins in 1946….

(Article on Harry’s passing.)

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I was very lucky in that I got to meet Harry at the autograph shows in California when I lived there.

My story goes like this:  I was at the show when 2 men I knew instantly were before me.. they were David Stollary and Tim Considine.  Or to others my age: Disney’s Mickey Mouse Club’s “Spin and Marty”.  I  had a crush on “Marty” back then so I was thrilled to meet them.  Naturally we talked about the series that ran on the Mickey Mouse Club and about Harry Carey Jr being the head of the Ranch they were all on.

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The next thing I knew I was calling to find out Harry’s agent and I wrote Harry a letter and sent it to his agent who forwarded it to Harry.  I told him of the show and that “Spin and Marty” would be there again.

Low and behold.. I got a postcard from Harry saying he would do the show!!!!

Next thing to happen was that Harry wrote a small book called “Company of Heroes” about his cowboy days.  I sent for a signed copy and received it in the mail not long after.   So now I had a postcard written and signed by Harry and his book!

I read the book.. it was very good indeed.  It told how the “valley” (San Fernando Valley) where I lived, was like back in the early days of cowboy movies.. I totally enjoyed the book.  In fact I liked it so much I loaned it to my friend DeForest Kelley (who also did cowboy movies and lived in the valley) to read and later he sent the book back with a post note in it.

 

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So you see why I was shocked to find that Harry Carey Jr had passed away and yet was not mentioned on television.  So this is my little tribute to Harry..who (along with his wife) did the show and were super nice people! 

The second person I had already mentioned back when he died and that’s Turhan Bey.

He was one of the loves of my life, and although I never got to meet him he did write me a note and sent me an autographed photo. See my blog entry here.

I am sad that neither of them were mentioned while Barbra Streisand sang “The Way We Were”.. good song for remembering those that we have known for so long in the movies, and who we will always miss.

(article on Turhan’s passing)

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addendum to my post about forgotten celebs at the Oscars..
I was reading an article about Andy Griffith being “snubbed” by not being on the list of celebs we lost when at the very end of the article it said that it’s not easy getting on their list to honor..even the relatives have to  campaign to be included. So if there are no relatives or they don’t know they have to campaign they are left aside.  That makes me angry. At the very least they should divided up the entire list between the Oscars and Globes and award shows so that everyone gets their last hooray from all of us.  Here’s a link to an article about the fact they have to campaign to be seen:  http://news.moviefone.com/2013/02/08/oscars-memorial-2013_n_2646729.html

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No Ordinary Time

No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Publisher: Hardcover (October 1, 1994)
759 pages
ASIN: B004S7Y3X6

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Amazon.com Review

A compelling chronicle of a nation and its leaders during the period when modern America was created. With an uncanny feel for detail and a novelist’s grasp of drama and depth, Doris Kearns Goodwin brilliantly narrates the interrelationship between the inner workings of the Roosevelt White House and the destiny of the United States. Goodwin paints a comprehensive, intimate portrait that fills in a historical gap in the story of our nation under the Roosevelt’s.

Here I am, once again, reading about Eleanor and Franklin during the war years.  I have to admit that there is so much that I either never knew, or have forgotten about that I had learned, while the Roosevelt’s were in office, that I found this book better then any history book I could possible want to read.

This is a fantastic book and if you have any interest in things that happened during WWII (and behind the scenes at the White House) this is the book for you.  But the book doesn’t “just cover” WWII, it also covers “Eleanor”. (that could say everything in one word if you know much about her)  During the years in office Eleanor never slowed down.  She never stopped fighting for the “everyday person”, or for the rights of the blacks or for women in general.  It seems impossible that one woman could take on so much and actually make headway with nearly everything she tried to help.  Meanwhile, she had so much influence on her husband that I feel  it was because of her that made him even more famous then he could make himself.

I find myself grieving for Eleanor .  Her kind will most likely, never be seen again.  At least not to the huge degree that she obtained in her lifetime.

Their life as man and wife was far from conventional, however, since I have read 2 books on Eleanor and now this book, I am left with the feeling that there was such a love/ respect for each other that nothing could break their bond.

No Ordinary Time is a very well written book, chock full of things you may well not have known about the Roosevelt’s, as well as the war, such as: due to Eleanor over 105,000 British children were brought to America under “visitor’s passes” to keep them safe until such a time as they could return to England. And although most know that Franklin married his cousin did you know it was his 5th cousin?  Did you know Franklin had an affair which left Eleanor and Franklin to sleep in separate rooms from that time on?  Did you know of the deep regard that Churchill had for Franklin? And did you know that Eleanor traveled extensively around the USA to learn the plights of the American working people so that she could report all the news back to Franklin?  They were an extraordinary couple, the likes of we shall never see again

As slowly as I read (especially where it concerns politics) I found that I would not give up on the book until it was completed.  I was maybe a year old when Franklin died, and to be honest the first President I truly remember is Eisenhower (who had much to do in WWII) when he ran against Adali Stevenson II. (I remember in school we had a mock voting for the President, but honestly I can’t remember who we voted in lol)

Once again, I highly recommend this book to any history buff or anyone wanting to know more about WWII or Franklin and Eleanor.  And if you read it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

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Easy Peasy..

It’s oh so easy to make BooBoo happy!  Just give him a new “scratch pad” with some kitty “weed” and he’s in heaven!

 

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Chicken Vegetable Soup

Yes, I know, you’ve seen many photo’s of my soup being made.. and this is my latest batch…

So… any guesses how many vegetables in “this batch”?

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I say “this batch” because many times it depends on what’s available when I food shop for the soup.

Ok.. take a guess ..

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The answer is 15!…

(garlic, onions, celery, carrots, broccoli, green beans, zucchini, cabbage, brussel sprouts, rutabaga, potato, peas, lima beans, sugar snaps, tomatoes)

I have been eating my Chicken Vegetable Soup as my main meal since mid July and as of today I have lost 20 lbs!!!!  (no guarantee’s it will stay off but I sure will try!) my goal is to loose 7 more pounds and then try to regulate my weight . At a younger age I’d say, “no problem” but not so sure now that am much older.  It’s been coming off really slowly so I hope that means it will pretty much stay off.. I am afraid to find out what happens when I try to eat foods other than the soup!  If the weight comes back on you can be sure I won’t blog about it! heh.

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More Madness..

 Ah..well.. so… I have no excuse.  This is the latest into my apartment, though I have to say I forgot to post it so they have been here for a while now.  I can’t even guess when I might get to them…although House of Silence looks good enough to be one I might pick up soon! 

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When will I ever learn? 

Some Kind of Fairy Tale is about the disappearance of a young girl from a small town in the heart of England. Her sudden return twenty years later, and the mind-bending tale of where she’s been, will challenge our very perception of truth.  Sounds like a good mystery to me!

House of Silence is about A country house mystery… A family drama… A Gothic romantic comedy…REBECCA meets COLD COMFORT FARM in Linda Gillard’s complex new novel, HOUSE OF SILENCE.  and… that works for me too!

A Journey: My Political Life by Tony Blair is about… ummm, Tony Blair’s political life..heh.

Not a bad group of books and of course not all of them are “new” :o)

So… what’s come into your house that’s “new”?

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Eleanor Roosevelt : The Defining years: 1933-1938 by Blanche Wiesen Cook

Paperback: 686 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books(June 1, 2000)
ISBN-10: 0140178945

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 Book Description

Series: Eleanor Roosevelt, 1933-1938 (Book 2)

Historians, politicians, feminists, critics, and reviewers everywhere have praised Blanche Wiesen Cook’s monumental Eleanor Roosevelt as the definitive portrait of this towering female figure of the twentieth century. Now in her long-awaited, majestic second volume, Cook takes readers through the tumultuous era of the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the gathering storms of World War II, the years of the Roosevelts’ greatest challenges and finest achievements. In her remarkably engaging narrative, Cook gives us the complete Eleanor Roosevelt— an adventurous, romantic woman, a devoted wife and mother, and a visionary policymaker and social activist who often took unpopular stands, counter to her husband’s policies, especially on issues such as racial justice and women’s rights. A biography of scholarship and daring, it is a book for all readers of American history.

Book 2 (another chunkster!) begins with Eleanor moving into the White House.  At first she was quite unhappy about thinking she had to give up all the things she loved to become a “white house wife”. 

Her life with FDR was most unusual. Although she never got over his affair they both admired each other.  They both looked for what they could do to help the people of the United States and they always talked about their beliefs with each other.  Strangely enough they were like close, close friends without actually being that.

It took reading this second book for me to realize that FDR was the President to pass Social Security.  I probably knew this but forgot it along with many other things.  I will also say that in my humble opinion.. it was all Eleanor that not only put the bee in FDR’s bonnet for Social Security, but kept the bee buzzing until “in his great wisdom” he pushed for Social Security.

The more you read about Eleanor the more you get to feel that she was more responsible for things FDR pushed for then he was himself.  I would also go so far as to say if Eleanor were alive today that without a doubt she would become the first female President of the United States.  She was way before her time.  He continual fights for woman’s rights and equal pay and equal rights for blacks and for the poor would make anyone in politics attempts to “really help the people” to shame.

Books by Eleanor Roosevelt:

This is My Story

My Day: The Best Of Eleanor Roosevelt’s Acclaimed Newspaper Columns, 1936-1962

With Love, Aunt Eleanor: Stories from My Life with the First Lady of the World

You Learn by Living: Eleven Keys for a More Fulfilling Life

I was going to list books “about” Eleanor but the list would go on forever!  I wonder if any other female has had so many books written about her??

There are a few controversial things about Eleanor that are also brought up in these books, mostly about a female friend named Hicks, but which I could not come out of reading the books with a conclusion.  Mostly this is because when things are written using only parts of her letters you are then reading them out of context and one do not know the full story behind the partial letter nor does one know the true meaning of what she wrote. Add to that, the authors view on it is a given and so the writing is partial to their belief.. and lastly because:  it makes not one bit of difference in this outstanding woman. Nothing could ever be said that would change the things she did and the love in which she did them.

I know I said it before but it has to be said again.. she was sooooo far ahead of her time. I wonder what she would be doing “for all the people”  today if she were still alive.

I think I will end this post with the final paragraph in Volume 2 of Eleanor Roosevelt:

With grit, determination, and a very high heart, Eleanor Roosevelt helped launch  America’s crusade for freedom in the fascist era.  She was fortified every day by her new allies, her abiding partnership with FDR, love for the people in her life, and love of the world.”

Bravo, Eleanor!

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