Saturday, April 19, 2014


Death and rebirth relate only to two words

Friday, April 18, 2014


"THE ADDRESS, a 90-minute feature length documentary by Ken Burns, was aired on PBS.  The film tells the story of a tiny school in Putney Vermont, the Greenwood School, where each year the students are encouraged to practice, memorize, and recite the Gettysburg Address.  In its exploration of the Greenwood School, the film also unlocks the history, context and importance of President Lincoln’s most powerful address."
Watch the complete movie.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Your Inner Fish

Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

 “If I knew that today would be the last time I’d see you, I would hug you tight and pray the Lord be the keeper of your soul. If I knew that this would be the last time you pass through this door, I’d embrace you, kiss you, and call you back for one more. If I knew that this would be the last time I would hear your voice, I’d take hold of each word to be able to hear it over and over again. If I knew this is the last time I see you, I’d tell you I love you, and would not just assume foolishly you know it already.”
Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

Absolute Desert

Michael Palin did make it to the mysterious Timbuktu, and this episode opens with views of the famous mosque built of mud. Palin talks to the imam, who shows Palin documents indicating that Muslim scholars had discovered that the Earth circled the Sun at least 100 years before Europeans figured it out.

After this, Palin joins a tribe of Wodaabe nomads on their way to Ingal (in Niger) to participate in the Cure Salée festival. He talks to a young Wodaabe man named Doulla and to Céline, a young French woman who is also following along with the group. The subject of polygamy is again raised, and we see the unusual courting rituals of the Wodaabe. Here the young girls choose the man they would like to try out, while the young men stand in a line dancing and rolling their eyes and looking very feminine (by Western standards) with lots of makeup.

At Tabelot, Palin visits an oasis, where a camel is used to raise water from a deep well using a long rope and a goatskin bucket. Palin visits the home of Omar and his four wives and 15 children. That evening there is a party before the departure of the camel caravan the next day.

The rest of the episode follows Palin as he follows the camel caravan on its way across the Tenere Desert, which the French had called "absolute desert". There is nothing here but sand, sand, and more sand. Finding a tree is cause for celebration. Palin shares conditions with the camel drivers, walking with them and eating their food. He tries to talk to them, but they speak no English or French, and they end up attempting to teach each other their native languages. "Bottoms up" is a favorite expression. After five day,s Palin leaves the camel caravan, to return in the next episode.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

All the Mornings of the World

"Tous les matins du monde (English Translation: All the Mornings of the World) is a 1991 French film based on the book of the same name.  Set during the reign of Louis XIV, the film shows the eminent musician Marin Marais looking back on his young life when he tried to become a pupil of Monsieur deSainte-Colombe,  and features much music of the period, especially that for the viola da gamba. The title of the film is explained towards the end of the film; « Tous les matins du monde sont sans retour » ("all the mornings of the world never return") spoken by Marais in chapter XXVI of Quignard's novel when he learns of the death of Madeleine."
Watch a scene: Sainte Colombe playing viola de gamba & dreaming of his wife.