• 2014

Year: 2014

Green Chalk Contemporary–It’s All About Fish

The year-old gallery, Green Chalk Contemporary,  in Monterey, is currently presenting “FRESH FISH “, a show of  over 50  artworks  contributed by local, national and international artists.  Emotionally resonant subject matter, expressive brushwork, vibrant colors, deep and rich paint and ink tones, mixed media, found objects and industrial materials all are evident in eclectic compositions.  Squid ink, seaweed, threads, epoxy and glass, and dried anchovies screamed out “FISH.” This exhibit ( part of the Lighthouse District’s Big Splash” events going on in...

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“The Lunchbox”–Tidbits of Love

    This 2014 Indian film is  a quirky romantic tale of two very lonely and desperate people attempting to find something to live for.  A psychological study of loneliness and hope, “The Lunchbox” masterfully questions how much an individual is willing to risk to change his or her life. Saajan Fernandes is a fifty-something civil servant on the cusp of retirement and  resentful about it.  Long a widower, his life is now empty as he coldly but minimally interacts with others:   the children in his apartment complex to the young man assigned to be trained as his replacement. ...

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“The Escape Artist”–Thrilling Escapism

  In this two-part mini-series aired on PBS’ Masterpiece Mystery Theater over the past two weeks, Will Burton (David Tennant of “Broadchurch”, “Dr. Who”, and “Harry Potter” fame) is  London’s top-ranked criminal defense barrister.   Maggie Gardner (Sophie Okonedo, 2014 Tony-award winner for “A Raisin in the Sun”), is equally brilliant but number two in trial victories.  Both Will Burton and Maggie Gardner are at the top of their game,  two intellects who are perfectly matched and relentlessly ambitious.   Burton believes “everyone deserves...

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A Prophet–But Not in His Own Land

This French film, winner of the 2009 Grand Prix at Cannes and France’s official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, is a prison drama in the same league as “Shawshank Redemption” and secondarily “Goodfellas”:  raw, intense, and violent.  It works largely because  Malik El Djebena (Tahar Rahim), a 19-year-old French youth of Algerian origins, finds himself in horrific circumstances far exceeding the crime of resisting arrest for which he was found guilty and sentenced to a harsh six-year prison sentence.  Having to face situations in which both choices will...

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“North Face” (Nordwand) (2008)–The Ogre of the Alps

  Based on a true story, “North Face” is a suspenseful adventure film about a competition to climb the most dangerous rock face in the Alps. Set in 1936 as Nazi Germany  urges the nation’s mountain climbers to conquer the unclimbed north face – the Eiger (“Ogre” in German) – two reluctant German climbers begin their daring ascent despite knowing their exploits will be used as propaganda. After being refused leave from the German army, they volunteer to make the climb, disinterested   in Third Reich  politics.  (Nazi politics play only a historical...

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“Cold in July”–Left this viewer cold too

        “Cold in July”  is the first film that Michael C. Hall has starred in following his tremendous performance as “Dexter”.   In addition, Sam Shepard appears as a Texan out for revenge for his ex-con son who has disappeared.  But neither of these fine actors can save this movie. The story is convoluted and the twists for  “film noir” are not easy to follow nor complete as the plot’s arc.  A husband and wife, sleeping at night in Texas in 1989, are disturbed by the noise of a burglar.  Soon after killing the culprit, Richard...

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