Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Magnificent Arts

If you would want to understand soul of Iran, you should study their arts and architecture.
Photos by Mohammad Domiri

The Ballad of Narayama

“This haunting, kabuki-inflected version of a Japanese folk legend is set in a remote mountain village where food is scarce and tradition dictates that citizens who have reached their seventieth year must be carried to the summit of Mount Narayama and left there to die. The sacrificial elder at the center of the tale is Orin (Kinuyo Tanaka), a dignified and dutiful woman who spends her dwindling days securing the happiness of her loyal widowed son with a respectable new wife. Filmed almost entirely on cunningly designed studio sets, in brilliant color and widescreen, The Ballad of Narayama is a stylish and vividly formal work from Japan’s cinematic golden age, directed by the dynamic Keisuke Kinoshita.” The movie was made in 1958.

Watch the new version of the same folk legend made in 1985

First They Came....


First They Came....

"First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me"

By: Martin Niemöller (1892-1984)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Connecting strength and vulnerability of the creative brain

“Why have so many creative minds suffered from mental illness? Nancy Andreasen, Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa, has devoted decades of study to the physical differences in the brains of writers and other highly accomplished individuals. Produced in partnership with The Atlantic magazine, Judy Woodruff visits Andreasen to explore her work.”

PBS, Newshour interviews Nancy Coover Andreasen an American neuroscientist and neuropsychiatrist on strength and vulnerability of the creative brain. Dr.  Andreasen currently holds the Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Idiot

 The Idiot, based on Dostoevsky’s novel,  is a 1951 Japanese film directed by Akira Kurosawa. Kurosawa writes:
"I had wanted to make The Idiot long before Rashomon. Since I was little I've liked Russian literature, but I find that I like Dostoevsky the best and had long thought that this book would make a wonderful film. He is still my favorite author, and he is the one — I still think — who writes most honestly about human existence."

“Dostoyevsky wanted to portray a genuinely good man. It may seem ironic choosing a young idiot as his hero. But in this world goodness and idiocy are often equated. This story tells of the destruction of a pure soul by a faithless world.”
Audio book...
Films by Kurosawa


Dennis Kusinich writes:

“No matter our politics, we must take the side of humanity, which encompasses us all, and demand an end to all violence which occurs, implicitly, in our name.

According to a CNN report yesterday, since July 8 a total of 548 Palestinians have been killed and around 3,300 others wounded.

The Times reports, "Israeli tanks opened fire on a hospital, pushing the death toll well over 500. Tank shells crashed through the third-floor of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in central Gaza, killing two patients and their relatives inside a medical ward and wounding scores hit by rubble and shrapnel. They were among at least 65 people killed or pulled dead from the rubble a day after the bloodiest 24 hours of the conflict saw 140 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers"

Below is an eloquent eye-witness testimony published Sunday, by a Norwegian physician attending to the Palestinian people under attack in Gaza. It is a powerful cry from the heart about the plight of innocent people beset by massive, horrifying injustice. “
Dennis Kucinich