Cultural tidbits and such



I watched WATERMARKS last night and really enjoyed it. I'm having trouble remembering other documentaries I saw this year, but this will definitely be up there. I thought the editing between current footage of the Hakoah (Jewish) Sports Club members and archival footage when they were active in the 1930s was well done. The ladies, now in their 80s, really come to life and have unique personalities of their own. The women also talked about the general world situation in that era and as I've said, I love hearing what people think about different things and especially why. This film was satisfying in this way. 5/5


Concert Review

She Wants Revenge, The Lovemakers

Despite asking many people to attend this concert with me, I ended up going to this concert with just me. The concert was only moderately interesting and that had nothing to do with being there alone. Before the concert I knew one song by each band and both songs were played. That was probably the highlight (and getting a refund for my extra ticket)! The instruments (amps) were so overpowering that I couldn't hear most of the vocals. In that regard it was fortunate that neither band really tried to get the audience involved, I just missed the lyrics which for me are a very important part of the music.

My experience at recent concerts (also including the Magnetic Fields, Green Day, Dresden Dolls and Franz Ferdinand) has given me some thoughts that I would like to share about what makes a good concert.
1) knowing the music beforehand
2) seeing a group that puts on a fun show

I guess there are just those two main ones. I want to add 'going to a punk concert' as a third quality, but the ones that I have gone to also fall into one of the other two categories.

Now for a very brief review of the above mentioned concerts in relation to the 2 qualities. Magnetic Fields I had heard some of their 69 Love Songs, but didn't actually buy the album until after the concert. But they also fall in group 2. They had a great, humorous on-stage dynamic.

Green Day (those of you who know me will realize that there is no way for me to be objective about this). I spent the many months before the concert, from the time I saw them on a late night show in December 2004, listening to as many of their albums as I could request from the library. I wasn't able to get my hands on all of their albums before the show, so there were a few 'surprise' songs, but I knew the music pretty well. In addition, they also put on a good show. Billie Joe could hardly stand still, walking all around the stage and hopping up on amps regularly. He brought out a super-soaker and a king costume among other displays I won't mention and he 'forced' the crowd to get into the show.

Franz Ferdinand was not a particularly interesting stage presence and I didn't know their music very well before attending, so it was minimally entertaining.. very much like the She Wants Revenge, The Lovemakers concert too lud instruments and/or too quiet vocals.

Dresdon Dolls were in town on Halloween. I had heard maybe snippets of "Coin-Operated Boy" before attending the concert, but there stage show was incredible. (Not to mention their 3 or 4 opening bands/acts). They also started off with a cover of "Science Fiction" from Rocky Horror which I know so that got me excited from the start! This duo also had a great stage presence and a sense of humor which made for an entertaining show. Especially with the guy, Brian, wearing a black skirty thing and removing his shirt near the beginning of the set.

So, knowing the music and being able to sing along and sway, etc. is important, but the group also has a strong effect on making a show enjoyable even if I don't know the music well.

Do you all have thoughts/insights about what makes a concert good? Please share... Yay for comments!



I'm not sure what to say about this movie. I feel I should write soon (now) because I will forget it very quickly. I already am. I was tempted to leave like at least one other person.. but I suffered through the whole movie and the Q & A. While they sort of rambled about their point in making the movie, it really told me that the movie didn't really have a point. It was like the director and his buddy decided to make a movie incorporating various real-life experiences that had nothing to do with tennis and then they threw in the tennis theme and made that the "focus" of the movie. I would argue, however, that there was no focus. I laughed a few times in spite of myself, but overall I was impressed (disappointed?) that I stayed awake for the whole thing. (1.5/5)


Twin Peaks Marathon

Saturday night was spent at the Brattle watching Twin Peaks. First the movie which chronologically precedes the series, but was made after. Then the first season of the series. My friend had invited me to go and I thought she had seen the series before. Anyway, she hadn't and after watching the movie I was wondering what I'd gotten myself into. As with most David Lynch stuff it terrified me.

The series (what I saw) was much better. More comedy than creepy. We got coffee and cherry (or apple) pie.

As for the experience, it was quite something... got to the theater about 9:15pm and didn't leave again until about 8:30am at which time it was snowing! I was not really prepared for that. Got home at about 9:30 wet and cold, shed my layers and jumped into bed to catch up on sleep.


I watched this on DVD a few nights ago. It was much deeper than I was expecting. So Ben Affleck plays a reverse engineer (and kendo master) who gets hired to reverse engineer things, but all the jobs require that his memory is erased on completion of the project. One day he receives an envelope that he had sent a few weeks earlier with 20 items (instead of a paycheck). The project had been a machine to see the future and so he gathered these items, knowing that they would help him when he got out. Anyway so that's the basic plot, but the time lapse and memory lapse were interesting and the opinions about knowing your future versus being able to change it were not new but, again, fun to consider and think about. 3/5



I only read a short blurb before seeing this film, so I didn't really know what to expect. I found the story engaging and the characters realistic, but not very developed. The depth was in the story and subsequent discussion, about knowing and continuing your ethnic/racial heritage.

The director was there in person and the questions and answers made me think more deeply about the film. I still need to think more about it before I "rate" it, but what was neat is how the film/discussion related to issues raised at lectures I've attended: one a few weeks ago and one just today. Particularly about the way religion is revered in society even though some horrible tragedies have occured because of religion or religous differences. There were also issues of identity (beyong just the heritage) that gave me something to think about as I try to really figure out who I am and if that is who I want to be.