by Sam Juliano
It would be hard for me to imagine a richer or more active week than the one my family and I enjoyed this past week. We only saw a single film in theaters, but movies were only a blip on the itinerary of this most memorable of seven day periods. Lucille and I got the once-in-a-lifetime chance to see Pope Francis, who made a whirlwind visit through Central Park late Friday afternoon during his hectic Big Apple sojourn. We paid our penance to realize this opportunity, made possible by a friend of many years, and stayed the course with a line of people that snaked up and around the 59th Street entrance of the park. It took a little over five (5) hours on the line before we finally made our way through the checkpoint to join the massive crowd of over 80,000 waiting to catch a fleeting glimpse of His Holiness as his Popemobile rolled down the road that split the crowd in half. We parked near the corner of 18th Street and Seventh Avenue, and took a subway up to Columbus Circle, arriving at our destination at around 11:00 A.M. Our legs took a serious hit with all that standing, but the exhilaration and goosebumps we absorbed during this Pope’s electrifying arrival will be something we’ll remember for the rest of our lives. This rock superstar of a Pope has not only moved mountains within the church, but has climbed Mount Everest for people of all faiths around the world.
Lucille, Sammy, Jeremy and I also attended the annual Warwick, New York Children’s Book Festival in the rustic town in Orange Countyon Saturday afternoon. Renowned author illustrators like Wendell and Florence Minor, Frane Lessac, Mark Greenwood, James and Lesa Ransome, Ame Dyckman and numerous others exhibited their work on tables, where book fans visited and made purchases. A real celebratory event!
Our entire family of seven attended the Renaissance Faire in Tuxedo Park, New York on Sunday afternoon on the final day of the two month festival that ran for the 38th consecutive years. Jousting matches, Shakespearean shows, castles, and medieval themes games, activities and traditions were highlighted in this most sublime of rural locations, and some remarkable talented people brought a measure of authenticity to the proceedings. We were particularly thrilled that our son Danny was called on from the audience to play Horatio in a comedic rendition of HAMLET.
We saw one film in theaters on Saturday night:
Pawn Sacrifice *** 1/2 (Saturday night) Chelsea Cinemas
The film focused on Bobby Fischer and the chess match of the century staged in 1972 in Reykjavik, Iceland. Toby Maguire seemed a bit over-the-top, but was fine enough as the eccentric American chess great whose behavior during the match was borderline crazed. I well remember the match and as an 18 year-old followed it on Channel 13 with commentator Shelby Lyman. I was an enthusiastic college chess player from 1971 to 1978. The film showed focused on Fischer’s increasing instability during his victorious match over Spassky, his gentlemanly Russian opponent. Many consider Fischer the greatest chess player of all-time. He died in Iceland at age 64 in 2010.
With the mania of the past week I was only able to revise a few links, but will try and do more as we move forward through the week:
At Noirish, the renowned writer (and voracious reader) John Grant has penned a superb review on 1952’s “A Killer Walks”: https://noirencyclopedia.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/killer-walks-a-1952/
At FilmsNoir.net Tony d’Ambra has posted a full list of films noir in US Library of Congress National Film Registry: http://filmsnoir.net/film_noir/list-of-films-noir-in-us-library-of-congress-national-film-registry.html/
Joel Bocko has published a brilliant review on “The Favorites – Place de la Republique” at The Dancing Image: http://thedancingimage.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-favorites-place-de-la-republique-88.html
Aaron West has posted the eighth installent of his podcast series at Criterion Blues entitled “Hiroshima Mon Amour & Romance Across Borders: http://criterionblues.com/2015/09/27/episode-8-hiroshima-mon-amour-romance-across-borders/
At Mondo 70 Samuel Wilson has posted an extraordinary review in his Pre-Code series, the 1932 “The Roadhouse Murder” http://mondo70.blogspot.com/2015/09/pre-code-parade-roadhouse-murder-1932.html
At Tuesdays with Laurie, our great friend Laurie Buchanan offers up a delightful “Cheese and Whine”: http://tuesdayswithlaurie.com/2015/09/13/cheese-and-whine/
Over at Attractive Variance Jamie Uhler offers us an authoritative musical capsule piece on The Who’s revered John Entwhistle, titled “One Day of Bass”: https://attractivevariance.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/one-day-of-bass/
At Movie Classics, Judy Geater has posted a fantastic piece on William Wellman’s 1942 “Thunder Birds”: https://movieclassics.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/thunder-birds-william-a-wellman-1942/
Our longtime friend the film maker and movie lover extraordinaire Jeffrey Goodman has posted Part 29 of his series on four films that recently has impressed him. His latest roundup contains some great stuff: http://cahierspositif.blogspot.com/2015/07/favorite-four-part-twenty-nine.html
Jeff Stroud brings a higher level of thought to his wonderful new post at The Reluctant Blogger titled “Blank Page”: https://jeffstroud.wordpress.com/2015/08/30/blank-page/
Over at Patricia’s Wisdom, the terrific book reviewer and friend Patricia Hamilton has penned an excellent review of Amanda Fillipacchi’s “The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty”: http://patriciaswisdom.com/2015/09/the-unfortunate-importance-of-beauty-a-novel-amanda-filipacchi/
At It Rains….You Get Wet Robert Tower has written another thoughtful post, this time on “The Death List: Part 4”: http://le0pard13.com/2015/09/25/the-death-list-part-4/
Roderick Heath has published a supedrbly sprawling essay on “Everest” at Ferdy-on-Films: http://www.ferdyonfilms.com/2015/everest-2015/25948/
J. D. Lafrance’s offers up a splendid review of “The Talented Mr. Ripley” at Radiator Heaven: http://rheaven.blogspot.com/2015/09/the-talented-mr-ripley.html
Shubhajit Lahiri has penned an excellent review of Wim Wenders’ 1975 “Wrong Move” at Cinemascope: http://cliched-monologues.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-wrong-move-1975.htm
Weeping Sam’s latest post at The Listening Ear is a terrific consideration of Iggy Pop and the Stooges in a post titled “Radio Burnin Up Alive”: http://listeningear.blogspot.com/2015/09/radio-burnin-up-above.html
At Unseen Films Steve Kopian offers up a very fine review of “Sleeping with Other People,” which ran at Tribeca last year: http://unseenfilms.blogspot.com/2015/09/opening-fridaysleeping-with-other.html
At Overlook’s Corridor, the cinematic storm trooper Jaimie Grijalba is involved in a remarkable series focusing on Hispanic American films that have won awards. The latest in his impressive string is the 2014 Cuban work “Vestido De Novia”: https://overlookhotelfilm.wordpress.com/2015/07/18/5dop-5-vestido-de-novia-2014/
Terrill Welch’s incomparably beautiful Creative Potager blogsite offers up all kinds of nature-inspired sublimity, and the latest post “A Narrow Artistic Perspective on a Mayne Island Morning” is a stream-of-consciousness beauty: http://creativepotager.com/2015/08/25/a-narrow-artistic-perspective-on-a-mayne-island-morning/
At Filmicability Dean Treadway’s latest post is a superlative examination of the film year 1947: http://filmicability.blogspot.com/2015/09/1947-year-in-review.html
Sachin Gandhi has posted an utterly fantastic report on the 2015 Calgary International Film Festival, where he served as one of the programmers: http://likhna.blogspot.com/2015/09/calgary-international-film-festival-2015.html
At his new site Enic-Cine, murderous Ink has penned a brilliant piece on 1949’s “Late Spring” titled “Ozu, Pickles and Rice Bran” (Part 1):http://www.enic-cine.net/ozu-pickles-and-rice-bran-part-1/
David Schleicher has posted a riveting look at the most anticipated films for the 2015 Fall Season: http://theschleicherspin.com/2015/09/09/the-spin-on-the-most-anticipated-films-of-fall-2015/
At The Seventh Art the exceedingly gifted writer Srikanth offers up reviews on two Hindi films under the banner grouping titled “Love in the Time of Gonorrhea”: http://theseventhart.info/2015/08/02/love-in-the-time-of-gonorrhea/