“Film Noir” by Nicholas Christopher

The girl on the rooftop stares out
over the city and grips a cold revolver.
Laundry flaps around her in the hot night.
Each streetlight halos a sinister act.
People are trapped in their beds, dreaming of
the A-bomb and hatching get-rich-quick schemes.
Pickpockets and grifters prowl the streets.
Hit-men stalk informers and crooked cops hide in churches.
Are there no more picket fences and tea parties
in America? Does no one have a birthday anymore?
Even the ballgames are fixed, and the quiz shows.
Airplanes full of widows circle the skyline.
Young couples elope in stolen cars.
All the prostitutes were wronged terribly in childhood.
They wear polka dot skirts, black gloves, and trench coats.
Men strut around in boxy suits, fedoras, and palm-tree ties.
They jam into nightclubs or brawl in hotel rooms
while saxophone music drowns out their cries.
The girl in the shadows drops the revolver
and pushes through the laundry to the edge of the roof.
Her eyes are glassy, her hair blows wild.
She looks down at her lover sprawled on the sidewalk
and she screams.
A crowd gathers in a pool of neon.
It starts to rain.

Remember Bob?

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD1MW-nyhxg&NR=1%5D

Classic comedy, indeed. I wish he was still on the air.

Moon

A friend recommended and lent me the DVD for Moon starring Sam Rockwell. I’m not a big sci-fi fan, but I did get pulled into this film, which is part drama/part mind game.  Moon is the story of a man who’s nearing the end of his three year contract working on a moon station for a Korean energy corporation, called Sarang. (I’m not sure how this works out but Sarang means love in Korean. There’s no love lost between the corporation and the worker.)
Sam Bell, Rockwell’s character, has a robot companion, who watches and helps him. The robot’s not quite a HAL, nor an R2D2. Kevin Spacey provides the robot’s eerie voice quite effectively.

[youtube+http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twuScTcDP_Q]

As you’d expect, things get very troubled and complex as the story develops. Whom to trust becomes a major concern as does survival. I can’t say more as it would spoil the film.

I did get drawn in, but was left with some questions. We never find out why this man would ever take this job. It’s rather odd that we don’t learn that.

The State Within

A seven episode thriller from the BBC, The State Within would have been better at five episodes. Jacob Isaacs stars as the British Ambassador in the US.  He’s had a stellar career and is about to move on to bigger and better things, when a British Airways plane crashes and terrorism is suspected. Sharon Gless stars as an Iron Lady type, Secretary of Defense. Meanwhile down in Florida a Brit is about to be executed and for two murders he didn’t commit. Soon we see political intrigue and a possible war with Turkistan.

The ambassador’s surrounded by villains and in the beginning we wonder how this is connected to the Florida attempt to get a stay of execution.

I was hoping for something on par with Luther or MI-6, but The State Within doesn’t attain those heights. It’s decent enough, but the story does drag and the dialog and characters don’t stand out. I actually groaned when I realized the series wasn’t going to wrap up after 5 episodes. I’d had enough. But I did make it through the rest, but television should entertain, delight and/or stimulate. It shouldn’t feel like a chore and this did after a few episodes.  The ending disappointed and I’m not sure why but it seems that the ambassador ends up with two romantic interests and a small child at the end. Huh?

The trouble with a thriller is your hooked. Even if I’m not having a great time, I do want to know who did it and why.

Fast Talkin’ Speech on the Value of Liberal Arts

As I was searching for information on The Great Gatsby, I ran across this Vlog Brothers video. Quite interesting, though too rapid fire for my students. Thank you, Vlog Brothers!