A knitting group friend shared this video with me and the group. I think this is an absolutely awesome idea for recycling plastic shopping bags and helping the homeless. What a great crochet project!
This weekend I treated myself to an “old-fashioned” movie – a movie minus special effects explosions and magic, fast and furious chase scenes, and torrid sex scenes one or two nude shots short of triple X theater. The movie was Ondine starring Colin Farrell as Syracuse (a.k.a. Circus) and Alicja Bachleda as Ondine. At the core of the movie is a story; that’s what I would consider old-fashioned for so many movies today lack this ingredient and are rather a series of escapades with no unifying message about life, society, or human nature. Additionally, these story-absent films often have characters, such as Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Sherlock Holmes (also, Robert Downey Jr.), which are frenetically portrayed. In both Iron Man II and Sherlock Holmes I wondered why Downey seemed to be on amphetamines (Yes, I know he’s a reformed addict, but I’m not alluding to that). I found his characterizations highly annoying. Downey delivered a terrific performance in Fur. I hope soon he’ll return to acting in offbeat dramas with real story lines; if not, I’m going to scratch him from my favorite actors list.
Once again, at the heart of Ondine is a story. In a nutshell, it is the tale of a reformed, alcoholic seaman, Syracuse, who one day while out fishing nets a nearly drowned woman, Ondine. He revives her and hides her, per her request, within the house left to him by his deceased mother. Shortly thereafter, he tells his pre-adolescent daughter, handicapped by kidney disease, that he has snared a woman from the sea. His daughter, very erudite, suggests that he has captured a selkie, a mythological creature that can shed its seal skin to become human. As events unfold, Syracuse wonders if his daughter’s assertion is correct. Ondine, quite a woman of mystery, puzzles Syracuse, and when he begins to feel trepidations about his future, viewers can’t help but feel anxious and wonder how the story will end for him, his daughter, and Ondine.
Colin Farrell gives a very believable and genuine performance. It’s a sure thing that if he hadn’t, the movie would not have resonated with me. I want the actor TO BE the character. Even highly talented actors can deliver less than authentic performances; Meryl Streep’s performance in It’s Complicated comes to mind.
Alicja Bachleda was cast perfectly in the role of selkie. Her mermaid-likeness makes me think no one else could have settled into the role as well. I’m eager to see other films in which she’s appeared. She may be one of those rare gems who is both beautiful and talented.
Neil Jordan definitely seems to be filmmaker interested in telling stories. He’s one of a select group of directors who know how to lead an audience to conclusions and then surprise them in the end. That’s a gift!
So, if you’re looking for something to do on a hot, summer day that will keep you alert, challenge you, and definitely entertain you, I suggest you take a chance on Ondine.
Related articles by Zemanta
- Colin Farrell shines in Neil Jordan’s ‘Ondine’ (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Ondine: Film review (guardian.co.uk)
- Trailer for Ondine Starring Colin Farrell and Alicja Bachleda (shoppingblog.com)
This week I had the pleasure of listening (NPR Radio) to Matthew Debord share his summer job experience as a garbage man. The story was delightful, and it caused me to recall an experience I had one summer while on the job.
For several summers while in college I worked as a lifeguard. In all that time, only once was I required to jump into the pool for a rescue.
It was a typically hot summer day in Texas. The cloudless, blue sky stretched to infinity above the large, blue, L-shaped pool. I lounged under an umbrella attached to my high chair. I monitored the diving end of the pool where two low spring boards and one high spring board stretched over the water. There 12-feet of water accepted divers and jumpers repeatedly.
I enjoyed the graceful dives of the experienced divers and the big splashes of the jumpers. The boys got a kick out of splashing me with their cannonballs. I didn’t mind though because the water felt great in the heat. A few divers I envied with their nearly professional approaches to the edge of the board and confident leaps into the air and splash-less plunges into the water. Inexperienced divers and jumpers made me hold my breath. Many times these jumpers angled themselves at the edge of the boards, and when they jumped they aimed for the pool edge. Thinking about it now, I’m surprised I only had to rescue one person during my life-guarding career.
Things were moving along predictably until a young, African American woman in a ruffled, pink, two-piece bathing suit and dreadlocks that stretched to her elbows ambled to the edge of a low board. David Hockney would have been pleased with such a pool scene. The woman stood with her toes over the edge of the board, the one furthest from me, and peered into the water below. I thought she hesitated because she wasn’t sure if she wanted to get wet. I expected her to leave the board if the height frightened her. People did it all the time. Also, if you know you can’t swim, you’re not going to leap off a diving board into deep water, right?
After a wave to her friends, she pinched her nose and jumped off the board. Once in the water, her hair swam around her face; it was as if a squid had swallowed her head. I thought for a second she was waving her arms and hands to push the hair from her face, but another second later I realized that she could not see where she was, and she could not swim! I did a split jump into the pool from my chair and swam over to her and pulled her to the surface and then over to the ladder.
I was furious. I questioned her sensibility. I could not fathom why she jumped in when she knew she lacked the necessary skills to maneuver in water. My heart pounded. When I completed my rant, she strolled away from the deep end and me and stayed in water no higher than her navel for the rest of the afternoon. It seemed as if it were another day in the park for her. For me, it was one of life’s craziest moments.
Here’s a satirical (but “cute”) video.
How does one execute pirouette after pirouette and not hurl after?
The mosquitoes were in full force during this photo session. Take part in cat blogging every Friday – join the Friday Ark – Blog Carnival.
These Texas Longhorn graze in a field near business offices in West Plano, Texas.