Notes from New York (9)

It’s Sunday night, and I am worn out. I have one more day left on my NYC trip, and it has been fun. The past couple days have been warm, and I’ve been walking about feeling heavy from the humidity and heat. Tomorrow the high is 21C! I need my short pants, I’m sweating way too much.

Last night I watched Bill Maher do 90 mins of standup in support of his new book, When You Ride Alone, You Ride With bin Laden. The book considers ways the US goverment might act to help its citizens fight the war on terrorism, and uses as its inspiration posters from WWII. Thirty-three new posters were created by a group of artists, and some are available on his tour. I quite enjoyed his performance, and afterwards he autographed my copy of his book.

Celebrity Sighting 1: Ann Coulter was sitting two seats away from me. I stood next to her when the crowd was leaving but said nothing.

Today I saw two very good and important movies. Far From Heaven is Todd Haynes’ new picture, an examination of upscale life in Hartford CT in 1957. Julianne Moore gives perhaps the performance of her career as a supportive housewife and mother, and one of the local society page celebrities among her friends. Her husband, Dennis Quaid, is a successful business man for the local company called Magnatech. They have two small children, a gardener and a maid, and life seems grand. It is the fall, the leaves are shades of golden red and auburn. But all is not as it seems. Moore’s life begins to unravel, and she finds herself confiding in not only her best friend, but also her new gardener, played by Dennis Haysbert of 24. That the gardener is black will come to haunt her. The film is also presented in the style of the late 50s films, and is inspired by the movies of Douglas Sirk, including All That Heaven Allows. I’ve seen none of Sirk’s movies so cannot comment on that aspect of the movie. Highly recommended. Moore’s performance is so powerful it’s almost as if she isn’t acting. She inhabits all the movement, behaviour and nuances of The Supportive Wife, wanting nothing more than the best for her husband and children.

Bloody Sunday is a new film that replays the events in Derry, Northern Ireland on 30 January 1972. A civil rights march was organized for that day, and when the march had ended, the British Army shot 27 civilians, killing 13 of them. The writer/director, Paul Greengrass, shot the film as if he was a cameraman on the day of the event. It is hard to believe the movie was made last year, everything looks like documentary or news footage. The film shows both points of view, that of the marchers, specifically the Member of Parliament for the area, and the army commanders. The bias is, as you would expect, towards the marchers, and we are reminded at the end of the movie that no soldier was ever disciplined for killing a civilian. Again, highly recommended. Shot as it is, with hand held cameras, it’s also hard to believe that the dialog between all the actors was scripted. It truly appears to be footage shot on location as it all happened.

Celebrity Sighting 2: I was walking back to the Leo House when I looked up and saw Butch Goring walking in front of me with his girl friend/wife. Again, I said nothing, but wanted to say, “Hey Butch, we went to the same high school!”

Tomorrow is my last day here, and I am looking forward to returning to Edmonton to my home and my own bed, and my friends. But it’s been a lot of fun to be here again. I think I’ve had my fill of New York for a time to come.

2 Responses to “Notes from New York (9)”

  1. Murph Says:

    Ann Coulter? Thank God it wasn’t me standing next to her; I understand Canadians are having trouble getting diplomatic representation after committing crimes these days.

  2. randy Says:

    Yes, I can imagine what you might have said to her! 😉 Her and Maher are good friends. Whatever…btw, she’s VERY THIN in person, I couldn’t believe it.

    Saw AUTO FOCUS this afternoon (just now actually). Quite good, Kinnear excels. I’m home tomorrow, looking forward to it as I am worn out.

    R

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