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Tuesday, January 01, 2008


A New Year Begins

A Heartwarming Movie and A Classic on Video

The celebrations are over. Those who are not sleeping off last nights excesses -- the almost enforced gaieties -- it is time to take stock. For most of us it would be just another year. Nothing wrong with finding pleasure in things that we routinely do. For some there will be momentous events -- falling in or out of love, births, weddings, career changes, and....yes, losses. All very normal as we go through life.

Now the New Year reviving old Desires,
The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,
Where the White Hand of Moses on the Bough
Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires.

---Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Translated by Edward Fitzgerald)

Juno (2007)

This film by Jason Reitman was an unexpected pleasure. Ellen Page as Juno MacGuff put in a stellar performance. She might not succeed in bagging the Oscar but she will be remembered. Don't miss it.

Three Days of the Condor (1975)

Sydney Pollack's film was prescient. That was what I thought while I was watching it on video. Released in 1975, the film brings to life rogue elements in the CIA and their nefarious activities about oil,Middle East and Venezuela.

Think of Bush's war and news stories that have appeared over the last five years. Does not take much of an imagination to picture the neocons dreaming about oil and domination of the Middle East, and the opportunity that fell into their laps when fanatic Islamic jihadis struck us on 9/11. While the country was in shock the neocons ran with it and turned war games into reality. And the CIA helped them do it.

The film was based on James Grady's "Six Days of the Condor". I read the book after watching the film in the 70's. The film script was a vast improvement over the original novel. Robert Redford perfectly fitted the role of Joseph Turner, a low-level CIA analyst who accidentally became the prey of killers let loose by his employers. Faye Dunaway looked toothy and sexy, and the great Max von Sydow very believable as a hired assassin.

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