Like Russian Ark — but not quite

Saw Birdman last night. Smiled throughout. Just a delight to follow the cinematographer’s eye as he shot the movie in one long take. Michael Keaton, Ed Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts — brilliant. Movies, movies, movies — can’t get enough.

3 movies and a couple of smiles

LOVE movies, films, DVDs, videos. Even when I don’t love specific ones, like three I’ve seen in the last four days.

Didn’t like Gone Girl. Twisted, bleak, diabolical. Felt depleted after watching it.

Enjoyed This is Where I Leave You — but it’s forgettable. Formulaic, predictable, the requisite dysfunctional family and sex banter.

Didn’t appreciate H.G. Wells’ Things to Come, which I saw yesterday. Could appreciate the wondrous (for their time) special effects. Just not a fan of science fiction or futuristic tales. Better enjoyed the talk and dinner afterwards with a couple of film profs and two friends.

Really appreciate the ability of directors, photogs, editors to tell stories for what used to be called “the big screen.” It’s an art.


There are no thoughts wider and deeper than those thought in early morning hours when shadows soften or threaten, depending on perception, cognition, perspective. Most of the time, my early morning thoughts meander and, meeting no obstruction, continue meandering until, out of puff, they give way to sleep or work or reading or just something else.

It doesn’t matter what.

And, if I think about this any longer, I will have diminished the gentle sway of it, thereby reducing its effect.

Today will be lovely, with four films, each produced in a different country. Thinking about that makes me happy.




On Monuments Men

Not a fan of George Clooney, at all. And, sure enough, he totally Clooneyesqued this film. In more capable hands, oh my, this story would have shone on screen. As it is, blah. Except for the amazing Cate Blanchett, who is brilliant in everything she does.

The rest of the cast, mis-cast, in my opinion.

This is an amazing story of the bravery of men whose profound understanding of art as an expression of human yearning and culture deserves a beautiful rendering. This article shares something of their valor.

Another fabulous festival, Cleveland

Way to go, Cleveland! You outdo yourself every year. But this year’s film festival — most wonderful, wonderful and out of all hooping! It was incredible! Here are the movies that most captured my heart: Lemon Tree, Cherry Blossoms, The Reckoning, In a Dream, Prodigal Sons, Tricks, Chef’s Special, Black Sea.

More tomorrow.

A colossal success

I was Really, Really, Really Happy to attend the 33rd Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) last weekend.  And, really, that’s an understatement. I could have done handsprings. Saw some absolutely wonderful movies as well as the little woman who attends the festival each year in the only way she can: on a gurney. I’ve seen her almost every year I’ve attended the festival, which has been since 1983.

She was breathing through a tube, which meant she’d take a breath, talk, take a breath, talk. Said she loves to talk with people who approach her — a good thing because, in fact, people approach her quite readily. She’s very sophisticated and prefers not to be called “the woman in the bed.” (See post from several days ago.) I did get her name this time but will honor her request to not use it here.

Another little note I have to add is to thank my friends Sean and Rysiek for putting me up yet again in their wonderful, cozy home in Slavic Village. I’ll stay with them this weekend, too. They’re completely delightful — and I take supplies, including food, to incline them even more in my favor.

If you’d like to see this year’s CIFF trailer, just click.

My favorite film last weekend was Cherry Blossoms. Also loved The Reckoning, a documentary about the International Criminal Court. Looking forward to seeing if those hold up after this weekend.

Movies, movies, movies

It’s off to the Cleveland International Film Festival for a fabulous weekend of movies, movies, movies!


Very cool, this event. Could be Cleveland’s coolest thing. Anyway, I love it!

I love Cleveland’s film fest


I started attending the Cleveland International Film Festival in 1983. One of the best films that year was Night of a Thousand Stars. Not actually sure if that was its title. Do remember, though, that it was a delectable film about Italy. I was hooked and have made it to the festival almost every year since.

Cleveland actually has many things to commend it, but honestly, I think the CIFF is its most commendable. Incredibly well-organized with hundreds of delightful volunteers — and the films! I’ve never been disappointed.

And there is an interesting side story to my loving this event. For many years, I’ve seen the same person come wheeling into a film on her bed. I saw her first in 1984, maybe. She is probably about 10 or so years older than I am and the size of a 10-year-old. Last time I saw her, I mentioned that I’d been seeing her off and on at the festival since about 1984. She just smiled. Her daughter was with her that time. It’s always gratifying to see that she gets rolled in to the front of the theater. By this time, I would imagine she gets free tickets. Hope so. What a tribute to the festival that this woman with considerable health issues makes such an effort to get to the films.

Cleveland International Film Festival — check it out!