Monday, January 17, 2011

Latest Reviews of Movies and Books

The Social Network (2010The Social Network
At long last, we went to the dollar theater and saw the Social Network, which is about how facebook began. How interesting can that be, right? Well, I loved it. The beginning of the movie is this absolutely hilarious monologue between the main character and his girlfriend... and from then on it was just such an interesting story and such a well-made movie. The dichotomy that they emphasized (sometimes a bit superficially) between the high-class old money/traditional big business and the nerds with a good idea that takes off.... also pretty funny. There were some good life lessons in there as well.

Into Great Silence
Into great silence0001This was a documentary about a Carthusian monastary in the Alps. It's mostly a silent community and in such a beautiful setting. The documentary is really different because it has no commentary and very little speaking at all because it's in this silent monastery. Apparently the filmaker asked for permission to do the filming in the 80's, and they didn't respond until 16 years later. He went and lived there for months, filming with no artificial light or editing. It is meant to catch the simplicity of the rhythm of monastic life. It was pretty ironic to watch it while both multitasking and doing other things, unable to be fully entertained by a silent documentary. It is definitely slow ... but also beautiful.

We now own the entire collector's version of LOST. We've been rewatching it - I don't watch all the episodes with Isaac, but it's definitely fun to watch some!

Winter's Bone
Ack... I wanted to watch this, it seemed like my kind of movie. Powerful realism that is sort of dark... for some reason I tend to like powerful depressing movies. Unfortunately I tried to watch this one in the week after I delivered Judah and I knew I was SO hormonal and just couldn't take anything too sad. So really, I just vaguely watched. I was surprised that Isaac actually liked it a lot, maybe his family comes from that area of the country and can attest to the truth of the poverty and darkness portrayed.

Growing Up Yanomamo - by Mike Dawson
The book The Spirit of the Rainforest was a truly amazing story drawn from the recorded autobiography of a shaman from the Yanomamo tribe, who converted to Christianity in his old age and told the story of his tribe and his conversion from the perspective of a man who saw life half through visions and things that I as a Westerner find completely freaky and weird. He wrote about priests, missionaries, and anthropologists, and his stoy sort of debunked a lot that was written by a very famous anthropologist who lived with the tribe. Well, this book is the authobiography of one of the people in the shaman's story, mk and missionary Mike Dawson. He grew up in the tribe, speaking Yanomamo before he spoke English. He spent his life working there as well, and the book is the sentimental memories of his unique growing up years. I love books like this... cross cultural mk village experiences are usually pretty hilarious.

The Airman and the Headhunters
I found this book via a recommendation from The Forney Flyer blog, written by a pilot in Kalimantan, Indonesia. It's the story of two different planes filled with US airmen that were shot down over Kalimantan during WWII, when the island was occupied by the Japanese. The men hid in the jungle and ended up running into the Dayaks, a very primative and formerly head-hunting tribe that took up that practice again in resistance to the Japanese and in defense of the airman. It's not the best writing, but the story is pretty fascinating! And it turns out that when I googled the book to post the link above, I discovered that PBS did a special on the adventure, which you can watch online.


Jaimie said...

Loved The Social Network. I wouldn't be bummed if it won Best Picture, but I think it'll be The King's Speech.

Secretly I wish Toy Story 3 would win it. I think it deserves it the most. But animated films just don't win Best Picture.

cclarebear said...

I loved the Social Network but some of the dates didn't make sense to me because I remember you telling me about facebook when i was at uni in 2002... hrm.

Kacie said...

I'm dying to see both The Kings Speech and Toy Story 3