Archive for the 'movies' Category

Things from the past

It’s Christmas time and I have some time off work, so Isabel and I drove from Bilbao to our old place in Santiago de Compostela, my home town, where we are spending a few days. Coming to this old home always feels like coming back to a diffent time. Nobody lives in the apartment, just us when we come for a few days like now, so we keep just enough stuff in it so that a couple of persons can survive for a short time. There is no dishwasher and no DVD player, but there are blankets and cutlery and brand new furniture. You may wonder why we keep brand new furniture in this place where we spend no more than two or three weeks a year. Well, we bought the apartment in 2000 and be spent some money in furnishing it and setting it up nice and cozy. Who would know that, shortly after, I would be offered a position in Australia and we would move there for 4 years! Since carrying large things to the other side of the world is insanely expensive, and houses in Sydney are much smaller than here, all the furniture and stuff that we had just bought stayed, and it’s been sitting here since then, gathering dust but still lovely and so ours.

This is why coming to this place feels like coming back to the past. It is amazing how much it can influence me. After two or three days in the apartment, it is like I haven’t ever moved out of it, and Australia and Bilbao feel so distant. At the same time, things look old-fashioned and like taken from a dream, especially the tiles in the bathrooms and the kitchen. But it’s our place.

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Just back from the cinema with Isabel. We went to see Volver, Almodóvar’s last film. The story is beautiful and the acting is decent, but a few details did spoil the experience. For instance, Penélope Cruz’s character is supposed to come from La Mancha and consequently she starts the movie talking with a distinctive accent from that region; unfortunately, this accent disappears and reappears through the movie several times. Is this so hard to fix for a director?

In other sequence, Pe’s character sings a song and the voice is so evidently not hers that the dramatism of the moment is completely ruined.

I would expect that a world-famous director like Almodóvar would pay more attention to details like these.

I found the movie!

I found it. The scary movie with the doll in it is titled “The Bermuda Triangle”. You can find it on IMDB. Beautiful.

Now for getting a copy.

The Corporation

I’ve just finished watching the documentary “The Corporation”, directed by Mark Achbar. In case you are not familiar with it, this is a documentary film, over 2 hours and 20 minutes long, that describes how corporations are taking over the world and putting their agendas above public interests. Sounds leftie? It is.

I knew about the film and I wanted to watch it, so when I found it at the video shop I didn’t hesitate and grabbed it. The blurb on the back of the box says something about a timely, critical enquiry about corporations’ inner workings, curious history, controversial impacts and possible futures. I was a bit disappointed to see that the whole film is completely focused on corporations in the USA. There is no reference whatsoever (let alone reports or studies) regarding corporations from other places in the world. I tend to think that, if corporations are indeed taking over the world and putting their agendas above public interests, USA corporations must be top of the list, given the hyper-liberal, right-wing environment of that country. However, I was expecting Mark Achbar to be a bit more worldly and not so parochial in his treatment of the theme.

Anyway, a couple of pearls from the movie. Some years ago, citizens of California asked the government to revoke the charter of Standard Oil of California because of their repeated offenses against public interests. It didn’t work. During a debate on TV between one of the community leaders asking the revocation and a representative of Standard Oil of California, the latter points out that this company has been part of California’s economy and life for more than a century and that it offers citizens a great amount of jobs. The community leader replies saying that many people in California were very angry with Standard Oil because of what they had done. The executive rebuked with a sneer: “yeah, but the angry people were from the left side of the spectrum, who produce nothing but hot air”. Clever, eh?

Continue reading ‘The Corporation’

A scary movie with a doll in it

When I was a kid I saw a movie that really scared me. I spent months before I could sleep unafraid at night.

I would like to watch that movie again. The problem is that I don’t remember the title or the actors or anything. Just the plot and some of the scenes. I will give you some data:

I saw the movie at the cinema around 1979, so I imagine the movie was made at some point in the 70s. It started with a family happily cruising on a nice boat. There is a girl in the family and they suddenly spot a doll floating on the water. The girl asks her dad to retrieve the doll so they bring it on board and the girl keeps it. From that moment, very scary things start happening on the boat. And, you are right, the doll is to blame!

Some people get shredded to pieces by the boat’s propeller. Some people just disappear while rowing on a dinghy and a huge shadow swims under them (the cenital shot showing the shadow swimming under the little dinghy was really good). Some divers get trapped underwatter when a tremour fells ancient columns on the seabed. And so on and so forth.

Can you provide the title of the movie for me? Or any other details? Thanks!

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