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Monday, 27 October 2008

Family moments

Most week nights after work, stroll in the park, and the exercise regime, I am dreaming of the sofa for reading or watching a movie. Friday night, which is the most important cocooning night - you see the fatigue load of the entire week is released - some other guys had the same idea...
This is what I saw once I was out of my shower, into my PJs and with my book in the hand. We ended up watching a movie. Impossible to read a book with Klelia licking my hand all the time.

Impossible is nothing!

I have very often quoted Adidas' slogan. I find it extremely powerful. Watching Gerbelassie break another world record a month ago in Berlin - in marathon this time - does turn this slogan into a mantra. More so four years ago when the Greek national team won the Euro. In that sense, impossible is nothing.
The same would be true on its negative - or mirror -image. It is not impossible to lose when a team is winning 3-0!!! Milan lost to Liverpool a few years ago in the CL final in Istanbul. But this is because Liverpool played an amazing second half. Not because, like AEK yesterday, they decided that the football matches should last 45minutes and not 90!!
Yesterday, I did not watch the game between Thrasyvoulos and AEK. After having watched the Barca game the previous night where they were winning 5-0 at the 30th minute playing artistic football, I did not want to have a bitter aftertaste so I did not watch any superleague game. Instead, during the game yesterday I did my daily jogging routine - on the treadmill this time, watching 'le diner des cons' a superb movie on which I shall elaborate on a later posting.
This season I have only been in the pitch once. Just one time. I don't even have my season ticket. I gave it to my brother to take any friends along that wished to go and watch what is left of a once great team. Olympiakos lost, but at least they were playing with Aris, not Thrasy-who????. Panathinaikos got a draw at last moment. It is not, unfortunately so, that the smaller greek teams got better and the league more competitive. It is that the bigger teams are becoming smaller and smaller.
After 2004 Greek football is becoming worse. How is that possible???

Entre les Murs

In 'Entre les Murs' (between the walls), François Bégaudeau, a French highschool teacher plays himself in a movie based on a book that he wrote about a year of teaching a racially mixed class of 14-year olds in a rough neibhborhood of northern Paris. The students can be clever, lazy, abnoxious, hopeful, in short entertaining. But they can be tiring if a job is not paid well, student attitude can be demotivating, and parents don't usually work with the teachers as their life priorities stem from a completely different set of values.
Begaudeau is not trying to provide a formula to fix France's social problems of its economically challenged class. Instead, he is attempting - with great success I would say - to portray modern Paris which is a bit further away from La Seine, Champs Elysee, La Tour Eiffel, les bistrots dans le Marais, les philosophes du Sorbonne et les coquilles St. Jacques, but still want to be close to Galleries Lafayette...
Besides the focus on Paris' racial, hence cultural, richness, there is a lot of emphasis placed between the relationships of the teacher and his students and the students themselves. Whoever has been a teenager (and can remember that:-) or has a teenage child will definitely find a lot of familiarities with that. What however I find beautiful in this movie is the way that the teacher/author/protagonists mix and matches street French with subjonctif du passe...Superb mastery of the so demanding French language is required and undoubtably Begaudeau has it
The film received le Palm d'Or at Cannes Film Festival. Besides François Bégaudeau who plays himself, so do the students..Everyone in this movie is a real figure. A most interesting project and a must see film

DVD review

Michael Clayton

A great movie, disclosing the lunacy required to keep a cool facade in the board room. A superb cast performing under the direction of a great master. George Clooney is portraying the role of the laywer with broken dreams turned fixer superbly and Tilda Swinton proves once again what a great actress she is (I first saw her in the Beach and she is the main reason why I finished watching that movie). After Syrianna, Clooney is involved in a project that brings to the surface some of our deepest nightmares regarding the society around us. Things we fear but try to avoid believing they are true. In Syriana, US conglomerates were responsible for keeping an entire nation under a siege of an uncompetent rich man, killing the only hope. In Michael Clayton, an american legal firm - in our nightmares second in command in evilness after oil companies - wants to hush a carcinegous practice of a manufacturing company by killing the lawyers that are fighting to get the truth out.
I must say that I have developed a strong respect for George Clooney as an actor, director, and generally as a thinker for choosing to participate in meaningful projects. In many ways his work reminds me of Robert Redfort in charisma, talent and anticomformity.

In the valley of Elah

Tommy Lee Jones, in my mind one of the best actors ever, stars in this tragic movie about a war veteran who has already lost his eldest son in the airforce and his youngest son gone missing after return from Iraq. Jones belongs to this school of actors where they tell the most with their face without talking. A most powerful performing technique without the noise. The absurdity of war and its dreadful consequences are portrayed magnificently. Jones' son was perished because war veterans come home and are expected to function in our society as they were before the war. But wars kill far away from the warzone and this poor soldier was killed by his mates, the very people that would die for him, and him for them, at the war front. Men are deprived from their humanity and operate by insticts. Unfortunately the war front has turned human survival insticts to paranoia, hence the death of Jones second son. A story that was not underlined as much as it should have been is the relationship of the soldiers' parents. Susan Saranton, the mother, kisses her husdband when he drops her off at the airport after seen the remains of her dead, burned and chopped son. This kiss alone for me is formidable. Any mother would loathe her husband; why is he still alive? her sons are dead. Both of them. Following his tracks. But she kissed him goodbye. Relationships like that are extremely rare. A very sad movie with a powerful anti-war message. Tommy Lee Jones is superb. The entire cast is. The predominant color of the movie is black. It sets the stage appropriately. The valley of Elah was where David beat Goliath. Still not sure who is David here though

Pugs are the superior creatures in any planet

Don't you wish you were hot like Frankie (the Pug)???
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Pugs talk!