Tag Archives: Movies

Monday at the Movies — What World Leaders Saw at the UN

“What’s Possible,” a New Film for World Leaders on the Urgency of Global Warming from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

I think I should have given this post the title: Bill Moyers is getting tired of trying to reason with you people. Except that, Goddess Guard Him, he never seems to be.

This short film — and I am pleading with you on bended knee to watch the entire twelve and one-half minutes — was shown to our world “leaders” last week when they gathered at the UN to mouth platitudes talk about the crisis of Global Climate Change.

The brief discussion afterwards, between Mr. Moyers and the people who made the film, makes important points about how art can shift a conversation, how humans are hard-wired to care about and protect beauty, and how, when it comes to saving our only home, quitting is not an option.

Even so, the film barely skirts the real issue: too many people; not enough planet. That would require addressing women’s rights.

Monday at the Movies

I have the usual feminist love/hate relationship with most comic book superheroes.

I’ve always been drawn to some of the “minor” characters and recently stumbled across Arrow (aka The Green Arrow) on Netflix. (Not getting cable means that I’m often a year or so behind everyone else.)

I’m liking this series for its lefty emphasis; the “bad guys” are more often than not the 1%ers or those who want to be. The Arrow shows up to confront them with the line: “[Insert name], you have failed this city!” I like the connection to a specific landbase and the idea that being a greedy jerk is a way of showing yourself to be a failure. And, of course, the story line is an interesting re-telling of the Robin Hood tale — also a story involved with a landbase.

Monday at the Movies

You can watch the movie online. And you should.

Monday at the Movies — Double Feature Blogging

Here are two very good movies.

The first, tells the story of China’s activist artist, Ai Weiwei. I went to see his According to What exhibit last year at the Hirshorn Museum.

Theodora Goss recently tweeted that, “You can despair about the world. Or you can make art.” I think Ai Weiwei’s art exemplifies that and it’s often impossible to tell where his work stops being art and starts being activism.

The second tells the story of Beatrix Potter. If you know her only as the Victorian author and illustrator of twee children’s books, you’re in for a surprise. Ms. Potter was also an illustrator of fungi and spores and a prize-winning farmer with a keen interest in land conservation. She left a large swath of land and the proceeds from her work to England’s Land Trust.

(PS: I planned to post about Miss Potter, last Monday, but pushed back due to Margot Adler’s passing. Hence, today’s double feature.)

Monday at the Movies

“Three or four times only in my youth did I glimpse the Joyous Isles, before they were lost to fogs, depressions, cold fronts, ill winds, and contrary tides… I mistook them for adulthood. Assuming they were a fixed feature in my life’s voyage, I neglected to record their latitude, their longitude, their approach. Young ruddy fool. What wouldn’t I give now for a never-changing map of the ever-constant ineffable? To possess, as it were, an atlas of clouds.”

~ David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

Also, I am SO there:

Saturday at the Movies

There’s a connection here. Can you articulate it?

/hat tips to The Green Man and @thehermitage

Thursday Hot Summer Evening PotPourri


*The famous Witch, Nanny Ogg, it is said, did not DO housework, but she was often THE CAUSE of housework in other people. (And, Goddess, do I aspire to similar status!) Likewise, I am not very good at making cocktails, but I am, as often as possible, the cause of making cocktails in other people. I am fortunate to have family and friends who excel at this practice.

On that note, if you, too, appreciate the civilization inherent in a well-made mint julep or a carefully-shaken martini, then you should really, really follow Amy Stewart, @Amy_Stewart, aka The Drunken Botanist. Amy is, indeed, a botanist, having written the wonderful Wicked Plants (a must-have for every Witch’s library), not to mention Flower Confidential, The Earth Moved (the best book you’ve never read about earthworms), and From the Ground Up. Landscape Guy and I went to hear her speak about her recent book, Wicked Bugs, at the U.S. Botanical Gardens and she’s brilliant, funny, athame-sharp, and as human as all-get-out.

Lately, in preparation for her new book, entitled, not too surprisingly, The Drunken Botanist, Amy’s been tweeting lots of amazing recipes for summer cocktails that use ingredients such as pineapple sage (which I gave up growing because I couldn’t find anything to DO with it!) and beet bloody mary mix. But I think that my favorite recipe of hers (so easy that even I could do it) is this one, for, as opposed to a cordial, a consolation:

Peach and Bourbon Consolation
2 oz bourbon
2 tbsp sugar
1 peach
Optional: orange or peach bitters, Luxardo cherries

Mix equal parts sugar and water in a heatproof glass. Nuke it for just under a minute, until the sugar melts. In a tumbler, muddle bourbon with a couple slices of peach. Strain but do not discard the peach remnants; that is a lost opportunity. Just slurp them down while standing over the sink. Don’t worry, nobody’s looking.

Now add to the tumbler a little of the the still-hot simple syrup to taste (or just a little hot water), plus a few drops of bitters if you have them. Stir well. Garnish with another slice of peach. Or just eat the peach. Add a Luxardo cherry if you want to, or–hell, it’s your Consolation, so add whatever you want. You could drop a chocolate chip cookie in there and I wouldn’t tell anybody.

Drink it while it’s slightly warm and lovely. If you sneak back to the kitchen and add a little more bourbon later on, I won’t tell anybody about that, either.

What’s your poison?

*DiL tried to tell me, years ago, how good this book was, but I’ve never been able to get past the 1st couple of chapters. However, the movie looks so good that I’m going to go back and give the book another try.

Earth is crammed w/ heaven and it’s all so much more glorious and mysterious than we spend much time acknowledging.

*This could either be fun or terrible, but it tickles me how The Green Man continues to just crop up (and how homemade spells keep showing up in American culture):

*A sunken garden. Poetry. Summer. What else could you want? (OK, except for a comfy quilt, a Summer cocktail, and maybe some of that serious Southern specialty, cheese straws). And thou, beside me in the wilderness, ah!

A Baroque Wall-Fountain in the Villa Sciarra

~ Richard Wilbur

for Dore and Adja

Under the bronze crown
Too big for the head of the stone cherub whose feet
A serpent has begun to eat,
Sweet water brims a cockle and braids down

Past spattered mosses, breaks
On the tipped edge of a second shell, and fills
The massive third below. It spills
In threads then from the scalloped rim, and makes

A scrim or summery tent
For a faun-ménage and their familiar goose.
Happy in all that ragged, loose
Collapse of water, its effortless descent

And flatteries of spray,
The stocky god upholds the shell with ease,
Watching, about his shaggy knees,
The goatish innocence of his babes at play;

His fauness all the while
Leans forward, slightly, into a clambering mesh
Of water-lights, her sparkling flesh
In a saecular ecstasy, her blinded smile

Bent on the sand floor
Of the trefoil pool, where ripple-shadows come
And go in swift reticulum,
More addling to the eye than wine, and more

Interminable to thought
Than pleasure’s calculus. Yet since this all
Is pleasure, flash, and waterfall,
Must it not be too simple? Are we not

More intricately expressed
In the plain fountains that Maderna set
Before St. Peter’s—the main jet
Struggling aloft until it seems at rest

In the act of rising, until
The very wish of water is reversed,
That heaviness borne up to burst
In a clear, high, cavorting head, to fill

With blaze, and then in gauze
Delays, in a gnatlike shimmering, in a fine
Illumined version of itself, decline,
And patter on the stones its own applause?

If that is what men are
Or should be, if those water-saints display
The pattern of our aretê,
What of these showered fauns in their bizarre,

Spangled, and plunging house?
They are at rest in fulness of desire
For what is given, they do not tire
Of the smart of the sun, the pleasant water-douse

And riddled pool below,
Reproving our disgust and our ennui
With humble insatiety.
Francis, perhaps, who lay in sister snow

Before the wealthy gate
Freezing and praising, might have seen in this
No trifle, but a shade of bliss—
That land of tolerable flowers, that state

As near and far as grass
Where eyes become the sunlight, and the hand
Is worthy of water: the dreamt land
Toward which all hungers leap, all pleasures pass.

Photo by the author; if you copy, please link back.