Friday, February 28, 2014

Animal Television: is a German televison network devoted entirely to our animal friends. And more importantly, It focuses on the positive, not the negative (i.e. Animal Planet).

Thursday, February 27, 2014

A forgotten Hitchcock Masterpiece: Sabotage

(Spoiler Alert: This video contains information about Sabotage.
Don't watch until you've seen the movie. Sabotage is available on Youtube for free.)

Sabotage (1936) is an early Alfred Hitchcock movie that's unfortunately often overlooked. I recently saw it and was completely surprised by its technical innovation and editing techniques. You can see why Hitchcock is considered the master of suspense and plotting. Sabotage has all the Hitchcock trademarks, including quick edits, cleverly placed humor, and a surprise ending. Like Shadow of a Doubt (my favorite Hitchcock film), Sabotage thrills and makes you laugh. It's a masterpiece!

As an aside, Sabotage is also the only Hitchcock film where he worked with Walt Disney. The cast includes the wonderful Sylvia Sydney, Oscar Homolka, and John Loder.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Die Maus ist Toll!

Die Sendung mit der Maus (The Program with the Mouse) is a very popular German children's show that airs on Sunday mornings. Adults love it too, including yours truly. In fact, it's must see viewing at my house.

Each shows consists of several segments, including educational features, and of course, short cartoons featuring the mouse and his friends. The show first aired in 1971 and has become a German cultural institution. If you want to understand German culture then watch die Maus.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Journey into Dementia: "Turn of Mind"

"You are all intelligent, educated people. You know you are running out of time. What you do with it is up to you. Be positive! Having Alzheimer's can be like going to a party where you don't happen to know anyone. Think of it! Every meal can be the best meal of your life! Every movie the most enthralling you've ever seen!"
So begins, Alice LaPlante's, Turn of Mind, a suspense thriller told from the viewpoint of a woman suffering from dementia. Alzheimer's disease doesn't seem like a likely subject for a thriller or mystery, but LaPlante's cleverly crafted novel combines fear, suspense, and even humor to create a real page-turner. It's one of the best books I've read in very long time.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Vladimir's Olympic Spectacle is Over

I love these recent covers from the The New Yorker and The Economist. It's hard to remember when these magazines agreed on anything. 

Is There a God?

Here's a wonderful video clip from Cosmos, the classic 1980 television series that explained our universe and much more. Carl Sagan was a great inspiration and died far too young. Cosmos is now available on Netflix and worth a view.  

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

"Concrete" by Vegan Smythe

A haunting Video from my favorite Australian, Vegan Smythe