Thursday, March 20, 2008

You Were There

I walk amongst the ruins of the Roman Forum
And wonder that they have stood the test of time;
I turn to share this with you but I'm alone.
The Colosseum is across the way, standing in its glory;
Hundreds of years have passed and yet the tourists still walk beneath
Those arches, picturing in the mind's eye the events that took place there.
I want to ask you how you feel, standing there, breathing in the history,
Wanting to share this feeling of awe that washes over me but I'm alone.
Those romantic moonlit nights along the Amalfi Coast;
Lovers walking hand in hand passing through groves of lemon trees.
I'm alone but buried deep within my heart, my mind, my soul
You are there.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

French Cinema

I got up early this morning and watched a French movie. I had read an article about body image earlier in the week and the author mentioned a French horror film, Les Yeux Sans Visage, where body image is taken to an extreme. A doctor's daughter has her face horribly disfigured in a car accident. He is obsessed with returning her to her former beauty.

His assistant searches for beautiful young women in the streets of Paris to replace his daughter's face with. Yes, rather macabre. The daughter has to wear a mask because she can't bear her reflection. Her father is a renowned surgeon and has conducted experiments on grafting. There is a rather gruesome scene where we see the doctor removing the "face" from a second victim. I won't tell too much more for fear of spoiling the story for anyone who may want to watch it.

It's a great little movie, especially since it's from 1959. I enjoyed the music score by Maurice Jarre (Dr. Zhivago). It set the mood for the film. The look of it was also tres cool! Movies from this era beat the blood and guts movies that we get now. Who doesn't remember Saturday afternoon matinees? In the Windsor/Detroit area, kids in my era grew up watching Sir Graves Ghastly on Channel 4. This movie reminded me of those Saturday afternoons.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I was doing some cleaning in the house and glanced at some of my photos from past travels. I LOVE to travel! If I could afford to, I'd go somewhere every year.

I've only gone once without family and friends and while it was a fantastic experience, there is nothing like sharing a new place with family or friends. The memories are there and when we get together we enjoy nothing more than sharing some of the experiences we had while abroad.

I've decided that along with the other topics I'd like to write about on this blog, I would add that of travels--past and those I'd like to have in the future. I don't know yet if they will follow a chronological order. I'm fortunate to have parents who are from Europe and especially a father who loved to roam the world. They instilled that wanderlust in me and a thirst to learn more about exotic and historic locations.

So, tune in to my travel stories and share any of your own if you happen to drop by. My first entries will deal with France. Adieu until then.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Poor Anne

Friday night I went out with a girlfriend for dinner and a movie. We've both got English degrees and are history nuts so we went to see "The Other Boleyn Girl". Yes, there were some liberties taken with history and sure the drama was a bit overwrought at times but overall I thought the movie was better than some critics are saying. I enjoyed both Scarlett and Natalie's performances. I think I would have liked to see another actor in the role of Henry VIII--Eric Bana just didn't do it for me.

I did a little bit of research when I got home. I know the "story" pretty well but can get mixed up with a lot of the names, details, etc. Two sites that are quite good are Tudor History and Elizabeth 1 . Take some time to look at the galleries and read a bit about what life was like for the women of these times. My next task will be to check out some biographies--if anybody out there reads this, I'd love some suggestions.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Treading on Dreams

Last night I watched a fascinating movie that I'd never heard of, Equilibrium, starring Christian Bale.

World War III has taken place and the world has fallen under the control of Father and the Tetragrammaton. The government has outlawed feelings--anger, hatred, bigotry, etc. These are the emotions that have led to wars. Citizens are forced to take Prozium (a clever uniting of Prozac and Valium) which eliminates emotions. Of course these aren't the only feelings being erased. Man loses love, joy, happiness--you get the picture. John Preston is an elite soldier whose job it is to wipe out the "Sense Offenders", citizens who feel. One day, shortly after executing his partner who has been "feeling", Preston accidentally breaks his morning dose of emotion suppressant drug and begins to feel for the first time, setting off a chain of events.

I've always been interested in stories that take place after some sort of catastrophe. How would humans react? Could they pick up the pieces and rebuild? Should they? There are always the references to 1984 and A Brave New World, both classics of the genre.

Sean Bean, who plays Bale's partner, quotes from a poem by William Butler Yeats. He is reading from a book he confiscated from a raid on a group of sense offenders. I just thought it was beautiful and wanted to share it here.

He Wished for the Cloths of Heaven

HAD I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.