Friday, December 14, 2012


 Boys Don't Cry
A true story about hope, fear, and the courage it takes to be yourself, "Boys Don't Cry" is "One of the 10 best films of 1999" (National Board of Review). Critically acclaimed and nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, this four-star, "must-see" (People), "riveting" (Enterainment Weekly) drama features incredible performances by newcomers Hilary Swank and Chloe Sevigny-amazon-

The Dust Bowl
The Dust Bowl chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history, when a frenzied wheat boom on the southern Plains, followed by a decade-long drought during the 1930s, nearly swept away the breadbasket of the nation. Menacing black blizzards killed farmers’ crops and livestock, threatened the lives of their children, and forced thousands of desperate families to pick up and move somewhere else. Vivid interviews with more than two dozen survivors of those hard times, combined with dramatic photographs and seldom seen movie footage, bring to life stories of incredible human suffering and equally incredible human perseverance.  -amazon-
This is a beautiful film, about a taboo subject in India, and it is handled magnificently by the director and cast alike. It follows the story of two sister-in-laws (Azmi and Das) who dare to fall in love with each other. Not only do they fall in love but they conspire to leave their inadequate husbands -amazon-
Hard Nut
It's interesting and fun and beautiful and tender.'' Morris' brilliant, irreverent, gender-bending 1991 ballet, set to the gorgeous music of Tchaikovsky, is now as much an annual holiday treat as any of the more conventional Nutcracker performances mounted by dance companies around the world as a prelude to Christmas.  -amazon-
. The ending is quite unlike most other gay-themed movies: the two characters we have followed from the outset turn out very differently: Hugh Grant's character capitulates to the societal "norm" and, at the end, is actually a little despicable, or would be, if one didn't feel so sorry that he "sold out". But the final scenes -- in which Maurice (Wilby) realizes that Scudder (Graves) has not left England and in consequence has risked his future to be with Maurice, and where finally, Maurice does the same for Scudder-- where they end up together, against the admittedly tough odds, and risk all for love-- is beautiful .-amazon-
My Beautiful Laundrette
...the British dramedy "My Beautiful Laundrette" is more than just a love story where the love is between two men; this film will make you laugh, make your eyes well with tears, and make you angry as it explores the working classes of England, as well as the racial tensions that exist between white and Pakistani people there. It's touching, funny, romantic, charming, and full of heart. -amazon-

Pariah is a powerful first film by an emerging director, Dee Reese, well acted by a wonderful ensemble of actors, and beautifully and evocatively shot by Director of Photography Bradfford Young. Certainly the story is one that is not widely present within contemporary cinematic culture, but the film stands on its own as a powerful piece of work, not merely a sociological footnote. The true brilliance of this movie is the way in which the visual experience wraps itself around the film's narrative. The camera work alone is truly groundbreaking and original, creating a consistently shallow sense of visual space that directs and redirects our attention in ways that allows us to experience the world intimately through the eyes of the young protagonist. -A. Lover, amazon-

Friday, December 7, 2012


Accidental Asian
In these compellingly candid essays, Liu reflects on his life as a second-generation Chinese American and reveals the shifting frames of ethnic identity. Finding himself unable to read a Chinese memorial book about his father's life, he looks critically at the cost of his own assimilation. But he casts an equally questioning eye on the effort to sustain vast racial categories like “Asian American.” And as he surveys the rising anxiety about China's influence, Liu illuminates the space that Asians have always occupied in the American imagination. Reminiscent of the work of James Baldwin and its unwavering honesty, The Accidental Asian introduces a powerful and elegant voice into the discussion of what it means to be an American.  
 - amazon-
Atomic Obsession nuclear alarmism from Hiroshima to al-Qaeda
Examining the entire atomic era, Mueller boldly contends that nuclear weapons have had little impact on history. Although they have inspired overwrought policies and distorted spending priorities, for the most part they have proved to be militarily useless, and a key reason so few countries have taken them up is that they are a spectacular waste of money and scientific talent. Equally important, Atomic Obsession reveals why anxieties about terrorists obtaining nuclear weapons are essentially baseless: a host of practical and organizational difficulties make their likelihood of success almost vanishingly small.  -amazon-

Good King Wenceslas
Beautifully illustrated in rich, glowing colours, this is the exciting story behind the well-known carol of Good King Wenceslas. The words and music of the carol are also included.   - amazon-

Charles Barque and Jean-Leon Gerome
If you're serious about classical realism, or just improving your own drawing ability, I highly recommend this book. Justin C. Henry  - amazon-

Dancing in the Street: Motown and the Cultural Politics of Detroit
Dancing in the Street, by Suzanne E. Smith, explores 1960s Motown music and culture against the backdrop of Detroit itself. She contrasts the racism that greeted migrating black auto workers with the shrewd way Motown created upbeat music that seemed to erase color lines. As Smith sees it, music and culture had to meet.
--David Hinckley (New York Daily News 20010110) -amazon-

  • The Dwarf / Cho Se-hŭi ; translated by Bruce and Ju-Chan Fulton.
  • Author:Cho, Se-hŭi
  • ... The movement among different characters is subtle and imaginative, and the different perspectives are illuminating. One strength of the book is the interesting window it provides on Korean society in the midst of wrenching industrialization, but in my mind this is linked to the book's only real weakness as well: we don't really need the gross details of the degradation of the human and natural environment, or the soaring rhetoric of those defending the workers against the evil capitalists, rubbed in our faces quite so explicitly. Overall, though, I recommend this book highly.  R. Pittman -amazon-
    ...Fog of War shows that in reality the momentum for civil rights was not so clear cut, with activists facing setbacks as well as successes and their opponents finding ways to establish more rigid defenses for segregation. While the war set the scene for a mass movement, it also narrowed some of the options for black activists. This collection is a timely reconsideration of the intersection between two of the dominant events of twentieth-century American history, the upheaval wrought by the Second World War and the social revolution brought about by the African American struggle for equality.-amazon-

Funk The Music, The People and The Rhythm of The One
Funk: It's the only musical genre ever to have transformed the nation into a throbbing army of bell-bottomed, hoop-earringed, rainbow-Afro'd warriors on the dance floor. Its rhythms and lyrics turned bleak urban realities inside out with distinctive, dance able  downright irresistible music.  -amazon-

Garlic Ballads: A Novel
The Garlic Ballads is a powerful vision of life under the heel of an inflexible and uncaring government. It is also a delicate story of love between man and woman, father and child, friend and friend—and the struggle to maintain that love despite overwhelming obstacles. -amazon-

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Amazing Spider-Man
Not all movies are accurate in terms of characters or plots, but this one is much more accurate than the previous origin story movie with Maguire. Luis F. Quiroz  -Amazon review-

American Teacher
Weaving interviews of policy experts with the lives of four teachers, American Teacher reveals startling truths about the challenges facing teachers in classrooms across our country.   -amazon-
The ending theme may be about bravery, but the story is rich in family relationship and in choosing who you are, who you want to be and how you treat others. It's a great movie to take your kids to see with you.  Dr. M. A. Dixon      - amazon-
This was a beautifully filmed piece of art. Each scene was gorgeous to watch, and the unfolding love between these two women was portrayed in a realistic way. The story was not only moving but the film as a whole touches on extremely important political and social issues in Persian culture. Yet, it also transcends Persian culture as the theme of patriarchy is relevant everywhere. Heartbreaking and relevant - a must-see.  swami.salami  -amazon-
It's very well made and plays largely as an action epic. A great experiment that really works, this is an easy recommendation for adult audiences. K. Harris  -amazon-

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Steve Carell and Keira Knightley lead an all-star cast in this clever and heartwarming comedy that explores the crazy things people do when humanity's last days are at hand.