• 2012

Year: 2012

My Top Ten Movies for 2012–Reviewed, Not Necessarily New

Happy New Year–the Year of the Snake in 2013!  Most of all, I want to again thank all of you for your responses and comments, and for continuing to read my blog! With 2012 coming to an end, I wanted to take a look back at the movie reviews I wrote this year.  When I counted the reviews I have written this year (=21), I wanted to see what would be my top ten favorites.  It wasn’t easy, especially for independent films. This list is not ranked –only my top ten for 2012, grouped by genre. INDIES and FOREIGN CINEMA 1) A Separation  (March 23 review)– An Iranian “Rashomon”,...

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“Babymoons and Doulas, Push Presents and Placenta Pills”–A New Riff on the Cycle of Life

  We baby boomers may not know all the latest ways to celebrate one of the most miraculous stages of the cycle of life–the birth of a baby. Over the course of the past year, I have enjoyed learning about the 21st century style of celebration of birth.  Babymoons, doulas, push presents and placenta pills are now part of my vocabulary. Take the term “babymoon”.  At first I thought maybe this referred to the new moon, a baby’s bottom, or a children’s book, like “Goodnight Moon”.  Wrong.  A babymoon is like a honeymoon, a vacation taken by the expecting...

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“Garrow’s Law”–The Gallows of a Hanging Court

I recently discovered a lesser known BBC series, Garrow’s Law (2009-2012), and highly recommend this superb British period drama based upon the life of 18th-century lawyer William Garrow. As the  barrister who demanded that the accused was  “innocent until proven guilty,” Garrow became the Perry Mason for the poor and unjustly accused. But the extraordinary story of William Garrow might never have been dramatized had it not been for the online publication of the Old Bailey Proceedings (1674-1913) in 2008. (The Old Bailey is a reference to the Central Criminal Court of England...

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The Garden–Harvest of Justice?

A 2009 Academy Award nominee for best documentary, “The Garden” is a powerful cinematic essay focusing in on the political and social battle over the largest community garden in the U.S, a vibrant 14 acre garden, in South Central Los Angeles. The origin of the 14 acres came from a defunct plan to build a municipal incinerator.  The city of Los Angeles seized by eminent domain a 14-acre site occupied by warehouses in South Central LA in 1986. The purchase price was $5 million.   From the ashes of the 1992 Rodney King riots, arose a lush garden of vegetables, blossoming trees, and...

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Lolinda–Gaucho Gourmet

Recently we had the good fortune of celebrating at Lolinda, the new hipster Argentine restaurant on Mission Street, in San Francisco. Sister restaurant to Beretta (Italian food), the massive warehouse used to be the home of Medjool, a Middle Eastern restaurant.  Now, Lolinda has been transformed into a sleek, dimly lit open space with two bars, dining area seating approximately 200 people (including some banquettes on the side). Fabulous food in a boisterous, somewhat noisy setting–very lively and urbane! It’s a carnivore’s delight:  Argentina is world-famous for its churrasco barbecue...

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Moxibustion–Moxie for Spinning Babies

Moxibustion Sticks Last week while visiting our expecting daughter, we learned about moxibustion firsthand. A traditional Chinese medical therapy closely related to acupuncture, moxibustion involves using the mugwort herb (not Harry Potter territory) to supplement the benefits of acupuncture.  Mugwort is sold as black-colored cigar-shaped sticks, not unlike chubby incense. While Asian medical specialists actually burned the mugwort onto the patient’s skin, the Californian way of doing this is to wave the burning mugwort as close to the acupuncture point as possible without actually making...

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