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tribeca-film-festival

Tribeca-Film-Festival (1)

by Sam Juliano

The weather has been warming up, and on the movie front Lucille and I are pounding the mat at Tribeca, having seen thirteen films over the past four days after taking in the new release Midnight Special on the Monday before the festival began.  It appears that we will be able to work in twenty-one more feature films over the next and final seven days of the festival beginning with the two for this evening.  Otherwise we are still in the preparation stage of the science-fiction countdown, which is clearly getting much less interest than the five previous genre projects.  Still, I won’t give up the ship until or unless it becomes conclusive it won’t be flying.  Group e mails have been sent out and deadlines have been set, and completed ballots are awaited.

On the political front we have the huge New York primary set for tomorrow.  Hillary Clinton appears to have a stranglehold in the pollings, though Bernie Sanders has made up some ground.  Donald Trump should win the state in a landslide, though his opponents may be able to sneak off with a few of the ninety-five up for grabs.  I will be voting in the New Jersey Democratic primary on June 7th.

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by Sam Juliano

The Tribeca Film Festival begins this coming Thursday, and Lucille and I will be busy for the eleven (day) duration of the affair, save for Wednesday the 20th, a day we have another commitment for.  I project we will somehow see around 30 to 34 films, which will come close to the 37 we saw last year, though nothing will ever match the 52 do we managed in 2014.  We are busy now piecing together a schedule for the event.  We are very proud that one of Melanie’s films will be screened this coming Tuesday at the famed Manhattan revival house, the Anthology Film Archives, and we will be there too with bells on.  I will have reports on the first part of the Tribeca Festival and Melanie’s screening on next week’s Monday Morning Diary.

The entire family (and our friend Broadway Bob) made an encore trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania over the weekend, sleeping at a Day’s Inn on Saturday night.  This was our second visit to the splendidly rustic and historical location in the past year, and I’m afraid we now addicted to this scenic and fascinating enclave.  We again completed a comprehensive tour of the battlefield, and survived a 28 degree frigid ghost tour at night, which included a stop in front of the famed Jennie Wade House, where the 20 year old woman lived and became the first civilian casualty of the coming historic three day battle.  We had a wonderful meal and Gettysburg Eddie’s on the main road, Steinwehr Avenue.  On the way back east we spend Sunday afternoon in the Amish Country, located in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, ate at Good and Plenty’s (fantastic Pennsylvania Dutch family meal with deserts) and toured the amazing countryside where the mode of transportation is horse and buggy. (more…)

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until-21

Capture from Tadashi Imai’s 1950 “Until We Meet Again”

happiness

Capture from 1962’s “Happiness of Us Alone”

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Capture from Kinoshita’s 1955 “She Was Like a Wild Chrysanthemum”

 

by Sam Juliano

I have gone thorough a difficult week as a result of yet another visit from my perennial nemesis, the kidney stones.  Yes it is hard to believe I haven’t yet mastered a way to keep them at bay, but I can attribute this to my failure to drink enough water.  All week I suffered discomfort, but I caught a break when I passed the culprit stone on Sunday unexpectedly after some intense pain and nausea, allowing me to avert the planned Wednesday shock wave procedure.  Still, there is a stone within the kidney around the same size that I’d be smart to have blasted within the next month or so if I want to avoid a recurrence of what I just experienced.

As a result of all this discomfort, launched by my seven hour stay in a hospital emergency room, I have been unable to do much on the movie front, or on any front for that matter.  I rallied after passing the stone to take in three Japanese masterpieces on a rare online site, used often by Allan for films that have yet to see the light of day on DVD. (more…)

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my golden 1

eye in the sky

by Sam Juliano

After a week of soul-searching that originally had me concluding that various domestic responsibilities and a marathon writing project would prevent me from proceeding on with the long planned science fiction countdown (the sixth year in a row such a demanding project was being posed) I have decided to move forward with it.  I will be sending a  group e mail out later this week to the expected participants. On that correspondence I will ask that anyone not wanting to be part of this venture for whatever legitimate reason should e mail me separately so I can remove that person’s name from the master e mail.  I am projecting that all final ballots should be submitted on that chain by the first week of June.  The middle of the month should see the countdown begin, with a modest Top 50 in place.

The Tribeca Film Festival is now two and a half weeks away, and Lucille and I will again be attending many of the films being offered there in the annual event.  As always, I’ll be reporting back here at Wonders in the Dark.   The past week has been an unconscionable one on the world stage, and the American political process has gone beyond embarrassment. (more…)

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clinton-trump-comp

by Sam Juliano

Presidential election madness continues, and like so many stateside I have immersed myself into the process by way of a close eye on the evolving news cycles, the day to day analysis online and of course the actual results and post mortem.  A special treat has been offered on CNN – “the race to the White House” – which superbly examines past presidential races by way of news footage and re-enactments.  Lincoln’s first election in 1860, and JFK’s one hundred years later were especially fascinating in the manner the shows were crafted.  We history buffs have long known the contents, but still appreciate the craftsmanship and execution.  As to the current election it is clear enough that Hillary has won the nomination, but that Sanders will still pursue the contest to the convention.  On the Republican side it appears it will be Trump, but it may well go to an open convention, where the anti Trump forces are determined to undermine him.

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zootopia

10-cloverfield-lane-image-1

by Sam Juliano

Because I have been caught with the once-every-four-years Presidential election bug, I’ve been away from the site and other blogs the last several weeks.  For both parties the moment of truth has arrived with five crucial state primaries tomorrow that will pretty much define the race.  I am expecting Bernie Sanders to prevail in Illinois and perhaps even Ohio, though I see Hillary Clinton winning a narrow contest in Missouri and much bigger wins in North Carolina and Florida.  The results will insure that Sanders will continue on till the convention.  On the Republican side Donald Trump will win the vital vote in Florida by a big margin, and will also triumph in North Carolina, Illinois and Missouri, though he will almost surely lose in Ohio to John Kasich.  Watching the debates, the daily election cycle and the primary results has been quite a sobering experience to say the least.  Similarly I’ve kept up with all the various commentaries, many quite fascinating.

Lucille and the three boys accompanied me to Mount Holly, New Jersey on Saturday afternoon to take in our friend Jeff Stroud’s art exhibition in a quaint home in the community on the outskirts of Philadelphia.  We picked up one of the artist’s sublime creations too.

I have not given up on the links, but have been forced to take a short break because of the time-consuming nature of this feature at this time. (more…)

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cemeterycemetery 2cemetery 3

by Sam Juliano

Americans have been amply regaled by the presidential election over the past weeks, and things will only get more intense as wee move through March and April.  I have already committed to Bernie Sanders in the New Jersey June Democratic primary, but I recognize his chances are remote.  Still the man is giving it his all, and the debates and news cycles have been fascinating to witness.  The same could be said about the Republican primary where the perverse Donald Trump is raising all kinds of hell, and making this the most irresistible campaign in my lifetime.  I predicted Trump would win many months ago against the clueless early prediction of NY Times guru Nate Silver, but right now it is very hard to say how it will end up, even with a modest likelihood of a Trump victory.  At the present time it looks like Hillary Clinton in November.  Huge primaries are set for tomorrow in Michigan and Mississippi, where Trump and Clinton hold wide leads in polls.  Then comes the real day of reckoning on March 15th when voters will be casting ballots in Florida (winner takes all), North Carolina, Missouri, Illinois and Ohio (winner takes all).

With retirement dinners, family responsibilities revolving around the college attendance of my two oldest, and dealing with my improving lower back pain, Lucille and I have been pretty much spoken for over the past week.  We did see one new release, which is the first masterpiece of 2016.  I did manage to see a few blu rays at home, one a recent Criterion release of an Italian film I thought quite good. (more…)

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