31 janeiro, 2013

No Times de hoje #143

... vem um artigo sobre um Rick's Café em Casablanca. No mês do 70º aniversário do  lançamento do célebre filme.

Palavras lidas #213

Ai, Margarida,
Se eu te desse a minha vida,
Que farias tu com ela?
— Tirava os brincos do prego,
Casava c'um homem cego
E ia morar para a Estrela.
Mas, Margarida,
Se eu te desse a minha vida,
Que diria tua mãe?
— (Ela conhece-me a fundo.)
Que há muito parvo no mundo,
E que eras parvo também.
E, Margarida,
Se eu te desse a minha vida
No sentido de morrer?
— Eu iria ao teu enterro,
Mas achava que era um erro
Querer amar sem viver.
Mas, Margarida,
Se este dar-te a minha vida
Não fosse senão poesia?
— Então, filho, nada feito.
Fica tudo sem efeito.
Nesta casa não se fia.

(Comunicado pelo Engenheiro Naval Sr. Álvaro de Campos em estado de inconsciência alcoólica)

29 janeiro, 2013

Ditto #231

In the midst of winter I found there was within me an invincible summer.

--Albert Camus

28 janeiro, 2013

Foi neste dia #194 (1813)

Two hundred years ago Pride and Prejudice was first published in the UK. Darcy and Elizabeth still make current news.

Há duzentos anos Orgulho e Preconceito era publicado pela primeira vez no Reino Unido. Darcy e Elizabeth ainda chegam às páginas da imprensa actual.

26 janeiro, 2013

Numa sala perto de mim #216

Quartet (2012) yet another flavor of the aging baby boomers but with a twist: a retirement home for former musicians, including divas and their swingy moods. The neat storyline and careful music selection highlight the experienced main cast, but also the seasoned musicians in the secondary roles. A good start to Dustin Hoffman's directing career!

23 janeiro, 2013

Ditto #230

The trouble with weather forecasting is that it's right too often for us to ignore it and wrong too often for us to rely on it.

--Patrick Young

Espantos #349

Ainda as temperaturas: todo o Canadá abaixo de zero, à excepção da franja oceânica da British Columbia onde as temperaturas são positivas, mas de apenas um digito.

22 janeiro, 2013

Espantos #348

No dia 22 de Janeiro às 2.15pm, hora de Nova Iorque, as temperaturas variam entre os -8 e  os 76°F (ou -22 e 24°C) sem o efeito vento. No Tennesse central a temperatura máxima não chega a 0°C (ou 32°F)... mas no Michigan está bem pior!

Ditto #229

Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.

--Dennis Wholey

21 janeiro, 2013

Numa sala perto de mim #215

The Flat (2011) uncovers the puzzling past of a Jewish couple --German to the bone-- with Nazi connections. The investigation takes Arnon Goldfinger to distant relatives, friends of his grandparents, as well as the descendants of those who knew them, met them at some point, or wrote about their connections. As more surprising facts become unearthed, more questions emerge on matters that were never told or asked. Denial is evident on all ends.

Arnon: My mother claims she never knew her grandmother perished in the holocaust.
Grandmother's friend: It's quite possible that Gerda never told her. Only three-generation descendants ask questions, not second. You don't understand this and I am very glad you don't!

19 janeiro, 2013

Caprichos #232

Delicious food cooked by others tastes better!

18 janeiro, 2013

Coisas que não mudam #206

Walking back from lunch I picked up a penny on the sidewalk. My friend didn't see this and continued walking so I had to step faster to reach him from behind. That's when I opened my hand and said:

me: found a penny... who bends down to pick up a penny these days?
he: If a penny's not worth picking up, then you're not worth a penny, we say in Israel...

17 janeiro, 2013

Numa sala perto de mim #214

José e Pilar (2010) again. This time at Vanderbilt's international movie series. There were about 30 people in the theatre. Before introducing the movie I asked how many people in the room had heard of Saramago before hearing about the movie. About half raised their hands. Then I asked how many had read anything by Saramago. Four hands remained in the air. I said "good! I hope I won't bore you too much with my brief introduction." And I got on with it...

José e Pilar (2010)
José Saramago was born in 1922 in Azinhaga, some 60 miles northeast of Lisbon, that is, in rural Portugal. His family was poor and he started working at a young age in manual jobs while going to school at night. After completing high school he worked as a clerk. His first novel dates from 1947. It was his most distinguished failure; the publisher accepted it subject to a title change (from The Widow to Land of Sin) fearing it wouldn’t sell… it remained unnoticed for years and Saramago put his other writings on the shelf. For two decades he earned his living as a translator, and as a journalist. In his fifties he started writing again and was finally able to support himself as a full time writer by the late 1970s. In 1982, his fourth novel Baltasar and Blimunda brought him international acclaim at age 60. Set in eighteenth century Portugal, the story develops around the construction of a massive royal palace built with the riches of empire. In a way that only he knew, Saramago contrasted the lives of the masons who built the palace --afflicted by hardship and affected by the inquisition-- and the lives of the royals who promised God a magnificent palace in return for an heir. [The latter is actually an historical fact and the palace is real; you can visit it if you ever go to Lisbon, it’s only 25 miles out]

Other historical and non-historical novels followed, such as The Stone Raft, The History of the Siege of Lisbon, The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, Blindness, All the Names. The list goes on. Just a couple of words about two of them: The Gospel According to Jesus Christ earned him a huge fight with the Portuguese Church and state when the government ordered its removal from the short list for the European literary prize in 1992… after this, Saramago moved to the Spanish island of Lanzarote in the Canary islands, which we will see extensively in the movie; Blindness was published in Portuguese in 1995 and in English in 1997, shortly after Saramago was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1998. It is the only book of his that has been adapted to film in 2008, featuring Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo.

In 1986 Saramago met the Spanish journalist Pilar del Río, 28 years his junior. She requested to meet him after having read all his books published to that date. They married in 1988 and Pilar became the official translator of his books into Spanish. The movie tells us about the special bond between José and Pilar. The director of the documentary, Miguel Gonçalves Mendes, followed the couple for about two years, while they travelled the world for many talks and events associated with Saramago’s books. At the same time Saramago was writing his second to last novel The Elephant’s Journey, from which we'll hear a little about in the movie.

I leave you with a few of my thoughts about Saramago after attending a talk of his at NYU on October 26, of the year 2000. I wrote to a friend about it at the time, and I was able to recover the email from which I now give you an excerpt. Note: a little of what you’ll hear are my thoughts, a lot are his… I am sure you’ll have no trouble distinguishing the two. Here it is:

I spent 45 minutes listening to a 78 year old man who doesn’t say anything spectacularly new, but talks about his worries (“the problems that torment his thoughts” as he says) in such a way that makes you look at reality differently.

At some point he affirmed that “mankind lives in complete blindness... the same mankind who wrote The Divine Comedy, committed horrible atrocities in Auschwitz. Humans today spend millions in personal hygiene products and yet they live in the dirtiest possible cities, without even noticing the garbage when they get outside. We are the only rational being on earth, we say of ourselves, and yet we are the only beings in this world capable of cruelty against each other.”

“Our world is a show of infinite cruelty”... "it’s easier to get to Mars with a machine that will study the characteristics of the stones there, than to put an end to hunger in this planet. How is it possible to die of hunger in a world that produces more than enough for all its inhabitants? One can die of cancer, of typhoid fever, but of hunger? That’s the most undignified form of death!".

He also spoke about his theory of the creation of the universe: "it does not make sense that God created mankind to put it in a remote and insignificant planet of a remote and insignificant galaxy… that’s why I believe God created the universe for us. Initially we inhabited the universe in its entirety... but when God realized the terrible things we were doing he said ‘let me get rid of these people.’ He then placed us in this tiny planet so we leave the rest of the universe clean and pure".

That’s it for now. Let me know if you have any questions in the end. I hope you enjoy the movie.

14 janeiro, 2013

Numa sala perto de mim #213

Barbara (2012) set in the provinces of East Germany in 1980. The sad lives of people under daily oppression are made so much more difficult in the face of very difficult decisions that will have drastic implications.

12 janeiro, 2013

Caprichos #231

New beginnings

Parece que estou a ouvir #149

The Ink Spots

I don’t want to set the world on fire
I just want to start
A flame in your heart

In my heart I have but one desire
And that one is you
No other will do

I’ve lost all ambition for worldly acclaim
I just want to be the one you love
And with your admission that you feel the same
I’ll have reached the goal I’m dreaming of

Believe me
I don’t want to set the world on fire
I just want to start
A flame in your heart

I don't wanna set the world on fire, honey
I love ya too much
I just wanna start a great big flame
Down in your heart
You see, way down inside of me
Darlin' I have only one desire
And that one desire is you
And I know nobody else ain't gonna do

I’ve lost all ambition for worldly acclaim
I just want to be the one you love
And with your admission that you feel the same
I’ll have reached the goal I’m dreaming of

Believe me
I don’t want to set the world on fire
I just want to start
A flame in your heart

Numa sala perto de mim #212

Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)

No more promises were made so that none would be broken...

If I didn't care

The Ink Spots

If I didn't care more than words can say
If I didn't care would I feel this way?
If this isn't love then why do I thrill?
And what makes my head go 'round and 'round
While my heart stands still?

If I didn't care would it be the same?
Would my ev'ry prayer 

begin and end with just your name?
And would I be sure that this is love beyond compare?
Would all this be true if I didn't care for you?

If didn't care honey child, mo' than words can say.
If I didn't 
care, would I feel this way? 
Darlin' if this isn’t love, then why do I thrill so much? 
And what is it that makes my head go 'round and 'round
while my heart just stands 
still so much?

If I didn't care would it be the same?
Would my ev'ry prayer 

begin and end with just your name?
And would I be sure that this is love beyond compare?
Would all this be true if I didn't care for you?

Caprichos #230

In the mail today!

11 janeiro, 2013

Ditto #228

Never make an enemy by accident.

--Anna Bates

Burn clearer

The Tree of Life, 1905, Gustav Klimt

Those lines that I before have writ do lie,
Even those that said I could not love you dearer:
Yet then my judgment knew no reason why
My most full flame should afterwards burn clearer.
But reckoning time, whose million'd accidents
Creep in 'twixt vows and change decrees of kings,
Tan sacred beauty, blunt the sharp'st intents,
Divert strong minds to the course of altering things;
Alas, why, fearing of time's tyranny,
Might I not then say 'Now I love you best,'
When I was certain o'er incertainty,
Crowning the present, doubting of the rest?
Love is a babe; then might I not say so,
To give full growth to that which still doth grow?

William Shakespeare, Sonnet CXV

09 janeiro, 2013

06 janeiro, 2013

Numa sala perto de mim #211

The Words (2012) tells a story within a story within a story. Greed and guilt are put in perspective as well as life after such marking events. Food for thought.

We all make choices in life, the hard thing is to live with them. And there ain't nobody who can help you with that.

05 janeiro, 2013

Coisas que não mudam #205

Entre compras e prendas a colheita deste ano nem foi nada má!

Retirado do contexto #148

Peninsulas invertidas

04 janeiro, 2013

Numa sala perto de mim #210

Trouble with the Curve (2012). The answer to Moneyball in a Clint Eastwood way. Perhaps more than any other sport, baseball is very much driven by statistics. At the margin though, intangibles make the difference.

03 janeiro, 2013

Pormenores #87

À entrada de uma loja de produtos vintage,
um anúncio vintage.

02 janeiro, 2013

01 janeiro, 2013

Caprichos #227

Xocolata amb xurros... Greeting 2013 on January 1st!