The Astronaut of Casar Is An Unsolved Mystery, But Can We Explain It?

Some artifacts seem to be easy to misunderstand or are not well understood at all and this leads to wild theories. One of the biggest curiosities on display at the Caceres Museum in Caceres, Spain is a stele or upright stone slab that originally stood at the southern end of the cemetery in the nearby village of Casar. The carving on the stele appears to be a human figure with a misshapen head and bulbous shoulders. It has been dubbed by some “the astronaut of Casar”, but why?

The stele has an inscription, which is in Latin letters , but, so far, no one has managed to decipher the text. This has led to a great deal of speculation regarding the nature of this carving. Some fringe theorists have even gone as far as to suggest that it is an image of an of extra-terrestrial, hence the name “the astronaut of Casar.” But archaeological and linguistic analysis of the astronaut of Casar stele shows that the unusual features of the stele can all be explained with the knowledge that scholars have of the cultures and languages of ancient Iberia. Within this explanation, visitations from extra-terrestrials are not necessary. Nonetheless, the astronaut of Casar artifact does highlight ways that the science of archaeology may one day be able to contribute to the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence.

The stele dubbed “astronaut of Casar” is exhibited in the Caceres Museum, Caceres, Spain. ( verpueblos)

The Mysterious Astronaut Of Casar Stele

The astronaut of Casar stele was originally located in the cemetery of Casar, a village outside of the city of Caceres, Spain. The image appears to have generated a lot of local suspicion and superstition. It is alleged that villagers would cross themselves as they walked by the stele and that children would throw rocks at it.

The figure in the stele does look strange. His head is misshapen and appears slightly too large. His shoulders also appear to bulge out. Although the carving is weathered, the figure looks like he is smiling. The image has been suggested to be that of a Celtiberian warrior made in the 2nd or 1st century BC. The inscription in Latin letters suggests that it was written during Roman times or just before the Roman occupation of Iberia.

Most mysterious of all is the inscription on the astronaut of Casar stele. Although the inscription is in the Latin script it appears to be written in an unknown language . The language is not completely mysterious, however, since it is likely an Indo-European language. Nonetheless, scholars have not been able to translate it and some say that it cannot be translated.

The Astronaut Of Casar Stele Inscription Origin Theories

At the beginning of the Roman period in Spain, several languages were spoken on the Iberian Peninsula including Celtiberian, Lusitanian, Tartessian, proto-Basque, Latin, and probably Greek and Punic. Of these languages, Celtiberian, Lusitanian, Tartessian, and proto-Basque were native to the Iberian Peninsula while the others were introduced by foreign cultures.

The equally mysterious Stela of Hernan Perez VI, like the astronaut of Casar stele, was also found in Caceres, Spain. It is carved in a single granite block and shows etched eyes, eyebrows, nose and mouth. (manuel m. v. / CC BY 2.0 )

Although the astronaut of Casar stele inscription seems mysterious it could have been written in one of the lesser-known native Iberian languages. The understanding of many of the Iberian languages is fragmentary and only a handful of inscriptions or documents have been found for some of these languages.

This makes it probable that the inscription uses words from Iberian languages that have not been found in other inscriptions. The fact that it appears to be an Indo-European language may also help to identify the language. One way to identify the language is to examine each of the Iberian languages and determine which one is most likely the dialect used in the inscription on the stele.

The Inscription Could Be In The Basque Language

The original, ancient Basque language was already being spoken in northern Spain in Roman times. The Basque language is unique among western European languages in that it is a non-Indo-European language. Ancient Basque is a language isolate, and its language family is unknown. This has led to speculation about the origins of the Basque people, including the idea that they descend from Paleolithic hunter-gatherers , although current evidence suggests that they are more closely related to early Neolithic farmers .

An ancient inscription written in proto-Basque. (Nafarroako Gobernua - Gobierno de Navarra / CC BY-SA 4.0 )

The Basque language is agglutinative, meaning that phrases are constructed from root words using prefixes and suffixes. The Basque language also follows the SOV (subject-object-verb) word order, in contrast to languages, such as English, that have a SVO (subject-verb-object) word order. Other languages that are SOV, like Basque, include Japanese and Turkish.

The ancient Basque language influenced the development of Castilian Spanish. Certain features of the Spanish language, such as the lack of consonant clusters, are features that come from the Basque language. Furthermore, certain Spanish words, such as arroyo and izquierda, are Basque in origin.

Although the Basque language, or at least a proto-Basque language, existed during the time the astronaut of Casar stele was made, it was largely restricted to northern Spain. However, the stele was found in southwestern Spain near the modern Portugal border. Also, the inscription appears to be Indo-European, suggesting that the language was more likely a Celtic or Romance language, the two Indo-European language groups that were most prevalent in the Iberian Peninsula at the time. All these facts suggest Basque may not be the best way to figure out the inscription on the astronaut of Casar stele.

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What About Celtiberian?

Celtiberian was spoken on the Iberian Peninsula until about the 1st century BC. Celtiberian is a Celtic language that is related to the Gaelic languages of Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. This is interesting because the Irish Book of Invasions claims that the Irish descended from the Milesians who were supposed to have come from Iberia.

An example of the ancient Celtiberian writing script.

The Celtiberians are described by Roman writers as having been a mixture of Celtic and native Iberian stock. They may have been related to the Hallstatt culture, a Celtic culture known across Europe, which first entered the Iberian Peninsula around 600 BC.

About two hundred Celtiberian inscriptions have been found. Considering the possible origin of the Celtiberians as a mixed Celtic and Iberian population, the Celtiberian language may have loanwords from early non-Indo-European Iberian languages. The Celtiberians also used their own script, which was similar to other Iberian scripts.

It is possible that the inscription on the stele is in Celtiberian, but the Celtiberian language is relatively well known and would be more likely to be recognized. Also, the Celtiberians lived to the northeast of the region in which the stele was found. This makes it less likely that the inscription was in Celtiberian.

Would Lusitanian Be A Better Candidate?

Lusitanian was a language spoken in western Iberia. It is named for the realm of the Lusitania, where inscriptions in the Lusitanian language have been found. However, few inscriptions in the Lusitanian language have been uncovered possibly suggesting that the language was not typically used for official documents or written declarations. The Lusitanian language appears to have been mainly written in the Latin script even though native scripts are found in surrounding regions.

The Lusitanian script.

Lusitanian was spoken in the general vicinity of the region in which the stele was found. Also, the Lusitanian language was generally written in the Latin script used for the astronaut of Casar stele inscription. The timeframe of when the language was used, from the 1st century BC to the 2nd century AD, is also roughly consistent with the period during which scholars believe that the stele was made.

Nonetheless, Lusitanian is still a fairly well-known language so a Lusitanian inscription might be more likely to be recognized. For this reason, it is possible that the inscription is written in a yet rarer, or at least less well-known, Indo-European language.

Maybe The Tartessian Language Is The Key

The Tartessian language was spoken in southwestern Iberia in what is today southern Portugal and southwestern Spain. It is named for the city of Tartessus known for its great wealth. The region surrounding Tartessus was considered highly valuable by ancient civilizations such as the Phoenicians, the Greeks, and probably the Romans, because of its silver mines. The region of Tartessus was also distinctive in having retained a largely pre-Celtic, Iberian character, whereas the northern parts of Iberia were more influenced by Celtic culture or conquered by Celtic peoples who displaced or absorbed the native Iberian populations.

The Tartessian script. (Papix / )

The Tartessian language used its own script which has not yet been deciphered. For this reason, the Tartessian language is shrouded in mystery. It is uncertain whether Tartessian was a Celtic language or more related to pre-Celtic Iberian languages. Some scholars believe that Tartessian was related to Lusitanian and some even call it southern Lusitanian.

It is not known if Latin letters were ever used to write Tartessian or if Tartessian continued to be spoken into Roman times. The latest inscriptions in the Tartessian script only date to the 5th century BC. Nonetheless, The Tartessian language was probably spoken in the vicinity of where the stele was found, and it is a language that is largely unknown and undeciphered. For this reason, it is possible that the language of the inscription could be Tartessian.

This is speculation, but it is possible that the stele could have been made by a community living in the vicinity of modern-day Caceres which lived in Roman times but still spoke Tartessian or Lusitanian as a mother tongue. They may have forgotten how to write the script of their mother tongue, so they wrote the inscription using Latin letters.

Was The Man of Casar An Ancient Astronaut?

There has been much speculation among fringe theorists that the man depicted on the Casar stele is not a human being. This is mainly due to the unusually shaped head and bulging shoulders of the figure that make it look like he is wearing a spacesuit. The oddly shaped head bears a passing resemblance to the big-headed aliens of popular science fiction and UFO lore.

Some think the odd shape is reminiscent of a space suit. (Alberto del Barrio Herrero / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 )

Although this is an interesting idea, all the evidence surrounding the stele can be explained by conventional means. The inscription is in an unknown language, but it is most-likely Indo-European. Also, the stele appears to be extremely weathered so the misshapen appearance of the head could be due to time and weathering. Moreover, it could be that he is wearing a helmet, or it could be his hairstyle. Also, besides the passing resemblance to modern depictions of extra-terrestrials or astronauts, there is nothing unusual or otherworldly about the man on the stele. It looks like it was carved out of stone by human tools and it fits into the archaeological and historical context of Celtiberian and Roman Spain. The only reason to believe that the figure is an extra-terrestrial is if there is a strong desire on the part of the observer for the figure to be an extra-terrestrial.

Another reason that it is unlikely that this is an extra-terrestrial is the low probability that an intelligent being from another planet would resemble a human being. The fact that it looks so human makes it likely that it is meant to depict something that is earthly in origin.

Implications For The Search For Extra-terrestrial Life

Most claims that particular archaeological discoveries reveal past visitations by life from another planet have eventually been disproven or at least found to be unconvincing. Nonetheless, this does not mean that there is no place for archaeology in the search for evidence of extra-terrestrial intelligence on planet earth.

The big question about extra-terrestrials is did they visit planet earth or didn’t they? (fergregory / Adobe Stock )

The vast majority of organisms that have evolved over the course of the earth’s history have gone extinct. It is likely that the same rule applies on other planets where life and civilization have evolved. For this reason, we will probably find an extinct extra-terrestrial civilization before we find a living one.

Therefore, it makes sense to use archaeological methods to search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. One way to conduct exo-archaeology would be to look at nearby stars for signs of megastructures, such as Dyson spheres. This would use the tools of astrophysics and would not be significantly different from traditional SETI research approaches, which focus on extra-solar and extra-terrestrial intelligence.

Another approach that could be considered exo-archaeology would be to use the remote sensing tools of planetary science to survey planetary surfaces, such as the moon and Mars. It is unlikely that anything would be found from such a survey, but the discovery that another technological civilization existed in our solar system would be extraordinary. So, a low-cost search of high-resolution images from spacecraft that have visited the Moon and Mars would seem a good start.

Finding extra-terrestrial intelligence, however, requires critical thinking and careful analysis of the evidence. Claims such as the astronaut of Casar can be easily explained without any extra-terrestrials. A true archaeological discovery of intelligent life outside of Earth would be one which was unmistakably non-earthly in origin, such as the discovery of artificial structures made of materials that did not exist anywhere else on earth or in our solar system.

Conclusion? The Astronaut Of Casar Was Human Made!

The astronaut of Casar stele is mysterious but the inscription and the appearance of the figure can both be explained without involving any theories about extra-terrestrials. Nonetheless, the astronaut of Casar does reveal the increasing enthusiasm for archaeology as a big part of the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence. Archaeology does have a role to play in this quest, but the so-called astronaut of Casar is really nothing more than an example of earthly archaeology being mistaken for something otherworldly.

Giants of the Polar Deep

Recently the Colonial Pipeline in Texas was hacked by cyber-criminals that shutdown fuel and gasoline supplies in America. Oil is precious commodity that is essential to human society but as the planet looks towards ecological alternatives, how in danger are we are running out of oil before it's too late?

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Filmmaker Bertie Gregory records the first-ever video of two predators facing each other in the Canadian Arctic.
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The Unique Biology of Cephalopods

Cephalopods exhibit some incredible features. Out of all 8,000 living species of marine invertebrates in the oceans, by far the largest, most deadly and most intelligent are the cephalopods. A class of highly developed mollusks that includes octopuses, squid, cuttlefish and the mysterious nautilus. Their graceful fluid movements, vibrant colour changes and complex brains make them one of the most peculiar and important groups of organisms in our oceans. The largest - the giant squid - measures longer than a school bus, while the smallest could sit atop your finger. Let’s take a closer look at these diverse and often alien-looking invertebrates.

00:00 - An Introduction to Cephalopods
00:48 - The Diversity of Cephalopods
01:12 - The Structure of Cephalopods
01:50 - The Intelligence of Octopuses
02:34 - The Unique Appendages of Squid
03:05 - Bioluminescence in Cephalopods
03:26 - Adaptations of the Firefly Squid
03:59 - How Cephalopods Change Colour
04:56 - Mimicry in the Mimic Octopus Explained
05:38 - Courtship in Cuttlefish
05:52 - The Unique Anatomy of the Nautilus
06:27 - Deep Sea Gigantism in Cephalopods
06:44 - The Creepy Magnapinna Squid (Bigfin Squid)
07:42 - Gigantism in the Humboldt Squid
07:56 - Gigantism in the Giant Squid
08:25 - The Role of Cephalopods in the Ecosystem
09:20 - Conclusion

Footage used is from YouTube, MBARI, OceanX, NatGeo, the Ocean Exploration Institute and the Schmidt Ocean Institute.

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Dipper, F. (2016). The Marine World: A Natural History of Ocean Life. United Kingdom: Princeton University Press.

Most Dangerous Jobs on the High Seas | Extreme Trades | Episode 1 | Free Documentary

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Ocean fisherman, on-board surgeons, rescue pilots from the French Navy and icebreakers pilots: every single day they work, they stand up to the challenges of the high seas. Through storms, ice, ferocious winds, freezing cold and physical exhaustion, these men and women work, repair, fish and save lives. Day and night, despite the dangers and the accidents, they battle, on unbeaten by the angry oceans. Totally embedded with them, The Heroes of the high seas goes right to the heart of daily life in these extraordinary situations. In each of the jobs something different is at stake. Each of the situations has its own inherent dangers. The heroes of these films take us into their work, sharing their daily challenges with us. Challenges in which the working conditions and the constant dangers and risks push them to the limit.
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Under the ice of the Arctic and Antarctic, there lies a hidden world of giant creatures. The phenomenon of polar gigantism means that many of the invertebrates found at the poles grow to immense sizes.

The deep ocean around Antarctica is a unique place. The weight of the ice sheets has pushed down the submerged continental shelf to be deeper than most places. Usually, the continental shelf is found between 100 and 200 metres down. But here, we must sink to 600 metres before the edge looms out of the darkness, and a gaping void opens up beneath.

00:00 - Introduction
01:12 - Chapter 1: A Land of Ice - The Polar Environment
02:19 - Chapter 1: A Land of Ice - Life on the Icy Desert
03:29 - Chapter 2: Beneath the Ice - The Food Web
04:51 - Chapter 2: Beneath the Ice - The Hidden Arctic
05:36 - Chapter 2: Beneath the Ice - Concealed Cavities
06:30 - Chapter 3: The Antarctic Deep - A Hidden World
07:44 - Chapter 3: The Antarctic Deep - Life-Giving Waters
08:21 - Chapter 3: The Antarctic Deep - Giants of the Deep
11:03 - Conclusion

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Deep Sea Gigantism Explained

Deep Sea Gigantism (abyssal gigantism) is defined as the the tendency for deep-sea animals to grow to much larger sizes than their shallow water relatives.

Biologists still aren’t certain why it is that some abyssal creatures grow to these immense sizes, for we have still only scratched the surface of discovery in the deep. But there are many theories, which may help to shed light on this mystery of the oceanic deep.

A brilliant example to show that deep sea fauna does indeed follow this rule, is the mollusk group, gastropods, which includes slugs and snails. In the deep, many species that are near symmetrical to shallower varieties, grow to be huge. The deep sea isopod belongs to a group that rarely grows larger than a few inches in the shadows, but down here they can grow to half a metre in length, and weigh approximately 1.7 kilograms. This variety, the giant isopod, is found in the deep, cold waters of the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean.

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0:00 Introduction
0:47 Deep Sea Gigantism
1:16 How Deep Sea Organisms Grow so Large
1:52 Kleiber's Rule - Larger Animals are More Efficient
2:44 Bergman's Rule - Sea Animals Grow Larger in Cold Climates
3:57 Gigantism in the Colossal Squid
4:13 The Island Rule
5:16 How the Deep Sea Mirrors the Island Rule
6:03 Gigantism in the Giant Isopod
6:40 Resources in the Deep Ocean
7:03 Conclusion
7:54 Outro

In this video I touch on the processes that allow for a 200000+ year storm to rage on freely. Then go on to talk about the underwater current. I think I was able to explain whats happening there pretty well!

Giants Emerging Everywhere - They Cant Hide This

The Sumerian Civilization tells of a race of giants which ruled over the Sumerians, and there are many depictions of them. Sumerian records speak of a giant king by the name of Gilgamesh who ruled for 126 years. He is generally seen by scholars as an actual historical figure since inscriptions have been found which confirm the existence of other figures associated with him. In Ancient Egypt, there are hundreds of depictions of giants, and the Egyptian records describe the old pharaoh dynasties to be a race of tall giants, and hundreds of giant sarcophagus were also found, but the mummies there were long looted. The Book of Genesis, which is the first book of the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament, tells us the story of an ancient giant race called the Nephilim. The story of the Nephilim giants is further elaborated in another ancient manuscript – The Book of Enoch. Apparently, the Watchers who were fallen angels, interbred with the women on earth, and as a result, the Nephilim giants were born.

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Missing in Alaska: Ferocious Alaskan Bear God | Full Episode | History

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Sixty years ago, the residents of an Alaskan village disappeared. A passing fisherman witnessed a massive, ferocious white bear, reminiscent of a northern legend, the Bear God called Torngarsuk, in Season 1, Episode 13, Scared of the Bear God. #MissinginAlaska
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Cetaceans, the Giants of the Open Ocean

The wonderful world of whales and dolphins. Below the waves lies a world of giants. Out in the open ocean, whales and dolphins are well-suited for to a life of wandering, traversing thousands of miles each year in search of krill blooms or breeding grounds. Together, these colossal mammals belong to the infraorder cetaceans. A name with roots in Greek, from ketos, meaning ‘a large sea creature’. But despite their size, cetaceans are elusive creatures, spending most of their lives underwater and in remote areas far out to sea. Let’s shine a light on the wonderful world of these marine mammals.

00:00 - An Introduction to Cetaceans
01:11 - The Diversity of Cetaceans
01:50 - The Structure of Whales and Dolphins
02:47 - The Two Cetacean Superfamilies
03:01 - Mysticeti: How Baleen Whales Hunt
03:34 - The Colossal Blue Whale
03:58 - Rorqual Whales Explained
04:20 - Seasonal Whale Migrations
04:55 - Odontoceti: The Toothed Whales
05:14 - The Acrobatic Spinner Dolphin
05:42 - Hunting: Strand Feeding in Dolphins
06:12 - Hunting: Mud Ring Feeding in Dolphins
06:36 - Hunting: Bubble-net Feeding in Humpbacks
07:53 - Deep Dive: The Cuvier's Beaked Whale
08:24 - Deep Dive: The Sperm Whale
08:42 - The Mammalian Diving Reflex
09:10 - Vocalisations in Cetaceans
09:29 - The Song of the Blue Whale
09:44 - The Song of the Fin Whale
09:56 - The Song of the Humpback
10:23 - The Song of Toothed Whales
10:59 - The Mighty Killer Whale
11:33 - Whale-Fall Communities
12:24 - The 'Whale Pump'
12:57 - Conclusion

Footage used is from YouTube, MBARI, OceanX, NatGeo, the Ocean Exploration Institute and the Schmidt Ocean Institute, as well as other sources.

Precious Life by Savfk
On the Origin of Species by Savfk
Big Day Tomorrow by Savfk
Through The Crystal by Jeremy Blake
Space Walker by Au.Ra
Footsteps Underwater by JAde Wii

#deepsea #wildlife #nature #documentary #ocean #marinebiology #science #biology

Dipper, F. (2016). The Marine World: A Natural History of Ocean Life. United Kingdom: Princeton University Press.


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This film Living History focuses on the career of Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd and his research expedition to the Antarctic in the late 1920’s to the early 1930’s. Admiral Richard Byrd was an American naval officer, explorer and had won himself the Medal of Honor for valor. His first expedition consisted of two ships and three airplanes with the flagship of the trip being the City of New York. On this trek, he and his crew conducted photographic expeditions and geological surveys. The film is presented by The News Magazine (:12) with American students being the targeted audience. Ships of the expedition are seen in the waters of the New York Harbor in 1930 after returning from their first voyage to the North and South Poles (:24). Admiral Byrd first appears at (:34) prior to celebrations in the streets of New York upon his arrival (:38). Byrd rides a parade car through the streets (:49). He is seen again 23 years later addressing students (:59) about the differences between the northern and southern poles. Footage follows of the North Pole (1:15) and the South Pole (1:25). Men of the 1926 expedition are seen donning thick cold weather gear (1:57) near the Josephine Ford Byrd Expedition plane. This expedition lead to the North Pole becoming one of the most strategic locations (2:15). The Josephine plane is seen returning to the expedition’s base at Spitsbergen (2:23). Men on the ground surround the plane as it touches down from the trek which took over 16 hours (2:27). The pilot, Floyd Bennett and Admiral Byrd are pictured together (2:35). Byrd returns to speak about avoiding war though he believed if it was to come to fruition it would take place mainly across the top of the world (2:41). Snow plows move snowy terrain across the arctic tundra (2:55). Footage follows of one of Byrd’s six expeditions (3:55) as he charts the 1,400-mile course (4:03). As their vessel neared the destination, it is seen cutting through large ice patches (4:13). The expedition arrives on the shores of Antarctica (4:25). Scouts raise the US flag (4:31). Native penguins of the area are seen (4:38). Men move blocks of snow which will be utilized for water sources (4:41). An aerial shot of the area known as Little America follows (5:19). Admiral Byrd returns from a scouting flight just ahead of a blizzard (5:29) as members of the voyage head below ground for shelter and to study the photographs taken during Byrd’s flight (5:50). The blizzard is viewed from above ground (5:55). Participants of the expedition take navigation classes in the underground shelter (6:46). The storage lockers which hold the camp members’ frozen food supplies are viewed (6:57). Meat is so deeply frozen it must be chopped with an axe (7:12). As the storm passes, the men resurface (7:23) and set to uncovering snow bound tractors (7:28). Dogs and dog sleds are used to carry supplies of important information retrieved on the trip (7:40). The drivers of the dog sleds are seen returning to ships which were being loaded up with supplies (7:47). The film begins to wrap up as Byrd appears for a final time to talk about returning to Antarctica (8:09). The film had been produced by Warner Brothers Pictures Inc. (8:46).

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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit

A Court of Mist and Fury

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

New Releases: June 7, 2021

When Dahlia decided to become a foster mother, she had a few caveats: no howling newborns, no delinquents, and above all, no girls. A harrowing incident years before left her a virtual prisoner in her own home, forever wary of the heartbreak and limitation of a girl's life. Eleven years after they began fostering, the Moscatellis are raising three children as their own and Dahlia and Louie consider their family complete, but when the social worker begs them to take a young girl who has been horrifically abused and neglected, they can't say no. Six-year-old Agnes Juniper arrives with no knowledge of her Native American heritage or herself beyond a box of trinkets given to her by her mother and dreamlike memories of her sister. Before long, this stranger in their midst has strengthened the bond in this unusual family, showing them how to contend with outside forces that want to tear them apart.

The Anatomy of Desire - L R Dorn

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Claire Griffith seems to have it all, a thriving career, a gorgeous, successful boyfriend, a glamorous circle of friends. She always knew she was destined for more than the life her deeply conservative parents preached to her. Arriving in Los Angeles as a flat broke teenager, she has risen to become a popular fitness coach and social media influencer. Having rebranded herself as Cleo Ray, she stands on the threshold of achieving her most cherished dreams.

One summer day, Cleo and a young woman named Beck Alden set off in a canoe on a quiet, picture-perfect mountain lake. An hour later, Beck is found dead in the water, her face cut and bruised, and Cleo is missing. Authorities suspect foul play and news about Cleo’s involvement goes viral. Who was Beck and what was the nature of her and Cleo’s relationship? Was Beck an infatuated follower who took things too far? If Cleo is innocent, why did she run? Was it an accident? Or was it murder?

As evidence of Cleo’s secret life surfaces, the world begins to see just how hard she strived to get to the top— and how fast and far the fall is from celebrity to infamy.

Arctic Storm Rising (Nick Flynn #1) - Dale Brown

Genres: Fiction, Thriller

After a CIA covert mission goes badly awry, U.S. Air Force intelligence officer Nicholas Flynn is exiled to guard a remote radar post along Alaska’s Arctic frontier. This dead-end assignment is designed to put his career permanently on ice, but Flynn’s not the type to fade quietly into obscurity.

As winter storms pound Alaska and northern Canada, Russian aircraft begin penetrating deep into friendly airspace. Are these rehearsals for a possible first strike, using Russia’s new long-range stealth cruise missiles? Or is some other motive driving the Kremlin to take ever-increasing risks along the hostile Arctic frontier separating two of the world’s great powers?

When an American F-22 collides with one of the Russian interlopers, things go south fast—in seconds, missiles are fired. There are no survivors. Despite horrific weather, Flynn and his security team are ordered to parachute into the area in a desperate bid to reach the crash sites ahead of the Russians. It’s now obvious that the Pentagon and CIA are withholding vital information, but Flynn and his men have no choice but to make the dangerous jump.

Soon they’re caught in a deadly game of hide-and-seek with Spetsnaz commandos operating covertly on American soil. It seems that the F-22s and their Russian counterparts aren’t the first aircraft to have gone missing in these desolate mountains. The Kremlin is hunting for the first prototype of its new stealth bomber—which vanished on what was supposed to be a test flight…while loaded with nuclear-armed stealth cruise missiles.

As Russia and the U.S. square off on the brink of all-out-war, it’s up to Nick to find the missing bomber…and prevent a potential nuclear holocaust.

Arsenic and Adobo (Tita Rosie’s Kitchen #1) - Mia P. Manansala

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She's tasked with saving her Tita Rosie's failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case. With the cops treating her like she's the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila's left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block.

Basil’s War - Stephen Hunter

Genres: Fiction, Historical, Thriller

Basil St. Florian is an accomplished agent in the British Army, tasked with dozens of dangerous missions for crown and country across the globe. But his current mission, going undercover in Nazi-occupied France during World War II, might be his toughest assignment yet. He will be searching for an ecclesiastic manuscript that doesn't officially exist, one that genius professor Alan Turing believes may hold the key to a code that could prevent the death of millions and possibly even end the war. St. Florian isn't the classic British special agent with a stiff upper lip--he is a swashbuckling, whisky-drinking cynic and thrill-seeker who resents having to leave Vivien Leigh's bed to set out on his crucial mission. Despite these proclivities, though, Basil's Army superiors know he's the best man for the job, carrying out his espionage with enough charm and quick wit to make any of his subjects lower their guards.

The Betrayals - Bridget Collins

Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Mystery

At Montverre, an ancient and elite academy hidden high in the mountains, society’s best and brightest are trained for excellence in the grand jeu—the great game—an arcane and mysterious competition that combines music, art, math, poetry, and philosophy. Léo Martin once excelled at Monteverre, but lost his passion for scholarly pursuits after a violent tragedy. He turned to politics instead, and became a rising star in the ruling party, until a small act of conscience cost him his career. Now, he has been exiled back to Monteverre, his fate uncertain.

But this rarified world of learning he once loved is not the same place Léo remembers. Once the exclusive bastion of men, Montverre is now run by a woman: Claire Dryden, also known as Magister Ludi, the head of the grand game. At first, Léo feels an odd attraction to the Magister—a mysterious, eerily familiar connection—though he’s sure they’ve never met before.

As the legendary Midsummer Game approaches—the climax of the academy’s year—long-buried secrets rise to the surface and centuries-old traditions are shockingly overturned.

The Bookshop of Second Chances - Jackie Fraser

Genres: Fiction, Romance

Thea Mottram is having a bad month. Her husband of nearly twenty years has just left her for one of her friends, and she is let go from her office job--on Valentine's Day, of all days. Bewildered and completely lost, Thea doesn't know what to do. But when she learns that a distant great uncle in Scotland has passed away, leaving her his home and a hefty antique book collection, she decides to leave Sussex for a few weeks. Escaping to a small coastal town where no one knows her seems to be exactly what she needs.

Almost instantly, Thea becomes enamored with the quaint cottage, comforted by its cozy rooms and shaggy, tulip-covered lawn. The locals in nearby Baldochrie are just as warm, quirky, and inviting. The only person she can't seem to win over is bookshop owner Edward Maltravers, to whom she hopes to sell her uncle's antique novel collection. His gruff attitude--fueled by an infamous, long-standing feud with his brother, a local lord--tests Thea's patience. But bickering with Edward proves oddly refreshing and exciting, leading Thea to develop feelings she hasn't felt in a long time. As she follows a thrilling yet terrifying impulse to stay in Scotland indefinitely, Thea realizes that her new life may quickly become just as complicated as the one she was running from.

Courage, My Love - Kristin Beck

Genres: Fiction, Historical

Lucia Colombo has had her doubts about fascism for years, but as a single mother in an increasingly unstable country, politics are for other people--she needs to focus on keeping herself and her son alive. Then the Italian government falls and the German occupation begins, and suddenly, Lucia finds that complacency is no longer an option. Francesca Gallo has always been aware of injustice and suffering. A polio survivor who lost her father when he was arrested for his anti-fascist politics, she came to Rome with her fiancé to start a new life. But when the Germans invade and her fiancé is taken by the Nazis, Francesca decides she has only one option: to fight back. As Lucia and Francesca struggle against the Nazi occupation, they learn to resist alongside the partisans to drive the Germans from Rome. As winter sets in though, the occupation tightens its grip on the city, and the resistance is in constant danger. In the darkest days, Francesca and Lucia face their pasts, and find the courage to love and strive for a future that is finally free.

The Devil May Dance - Jake Tapper

Genres: Fiction, Historical, Mystery, Thriller

Charlie and Margaret Marder, political stars in 1960s Washington DC, know all too well how the tangled web of power in the nation's capital can operate. Attorney General Robert Kennedy needs them to look into a potential threat to the security of the United States. Charlie and Margaret quickly find themselves on a flight to sunny Los Angeles. At the center of their investigation is Frank Sinatra, a close friend of President John F. Kennedy and a rumored mob crony. But in a town built on illusions, where friends and foes all look alike, nothing is easy, and drinks by the pool at the Sands and late-night adventures with the Rat Pack soon lead to a body in the trunk of their car. Before they know it, Charlie and Margaret are being pursued by sinister forces from Hollywood's stages to the newly founded Church of Scientology, facing off against the darkest and most secret side of Hollywood's power.

Early Morning Riser - Katherine Heiny

Genres: Fiction, Comedy, Romance

Jane falls in love with Duncan easily. He is charming, good-natured, and handsome but unfortunately, he has also slept with nearly every woman in Boyne City, Michigan. Jane sees Duncan's old girlfriends everywhere--at restaurants, at the grocery store, even three towns away. While Jane may be able to come to terms with dating the world's most prolific seducer of women, she wishes she did not have to share him quite so widely. His ex-wife, Aggie, a woman with shiny hair and pale milkmaid skin, still has Duncan mow her lawn. His coworker, Jimmy, comes and goes from Duncan's apartment at the most inopportune times. Sometimes Jane wonders if a relationship can even work with three people in it--never mind four. Five if you count Aggie's eccentric husband, Gary. Not to mention all the other residents of Boyne City, who freely share with Jane their opinions of her choices. But any notion Jane had of love and marriage changes with one terrible car crash. Soon Jane's life is permanently intertwined with Duncan's, Aggie's, and Jimmy's, and Jane knows she will never have Duncan to herself. But could it be possible that a deeper kind of happiness is right in front of Jane's eyes?

The End of Her - Shari Lapena

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

In upstate New York, Stephanie and Patrick are adjusting to life with their colicky twin babies. When Erica, a woman from Patrick's past, drops in on them unexpectedly, raising questions about his late first wife, Stephanie supports her husband wholeheartedly. But Erica is persistent, and now she's threatening to go to the police. And when the police start digging, Stephanie's trust in her husband begins to falter and Patrick is primed to lose everything he loves. As their marriage crumbles, Stephanie feels herself coming unglued, and soon she isn't sure what--or who--to believe. Now the most important thing is to protect her girls, but at what cost?

Everyone is Beautiful - Katherine Center

Genres: Fiction, Romance

Lanie Coates’s life is spinning out of control. She’s piled everything she owns into a U-Haul and driven with her husband, Peter, and their three little boys from their cozy Texas home to a multiflight walkup in Boston. She’s left behind family and friends—all so her husband can realize his dream of becoming a professional musician. But somewhere in the eye of her personal hurricane, it hits Lanie that she once had dreams too . . . if only she could remember what they were.

These days, Lanie always seems to prioritize herself last—and when another mom accidentally assumes she’s pregnant, it’s the final straw. Fifteen years, three babies, and more pounds than she’s willing to count since the day she said “I do,” Lanie longs desperately to feel like her old self again. It’s time to rise up, fish her moxie out of the diaper pail, and find the woman she was before motherhood consumed her entire existence.

Lanie sets change in motion—joining a gym, signing up for photography classes, and finding a new best friend. But she also creates waves that come to threaten her whole life. Balancing motherhood and me-time, marriage and independence, and supporting loved ones while also realizing her own dreams, Lanie must figure out once and for all how to find herself without losing everything else in the process.

Family Law - Gin Phillips

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

When an ambitious female lawyer becomes the victim of harassment, she must decide what's more important: her family's safety or the rights she's fighting for. Set in Alabama in the early '80s, Family Law follows a young lawyer, Lucia, who is making a name for herself at a time when a woman in a courtroom is still a rarity. She's been the recipient of threats and vandalism for her work extracting women from painful and sometimes dangerous marriages, but her own happy marriage has always felt sheltered from the work she does. When her mother's pending divorce brings teenaged Rachel into Lucia's orbit, Rachel finds herself smitten--not just with Lucia, but with the change Lucia represents. Rachel is out-spoken and curious, and she chafes at the rules her mother lays down as the bounds of acceptable feminine behaviour. In Lucia, Rachel sees the potential for a new path into womanhood. But their unconventional friendship takes them both to a crossroads. When a moment of violence--a threat made good--puts Rachel in danger, Lucia has to decide how much her work means to her and what she's willing to sacrifice to keep moving forward. Written in alternating voices from Lucia and Rachel's perspectives, Family Law is a fresh take on what the advancement of women's rights looks like on the ground to the ordinary women and girls who imagine a world redefined. Addressing mother-daughter relationships and what roles we can play in the lives of women who aren't our family, the novel examines how we shape each other and how we make a difference. The funny, strong and yet tender-hearted female leads of Family Law illuminate a new kind of Southern women's fiction--atmospheric, rich, and with quietly surprising twists and nuances all its own.

The Final Revival of Opal and Nev - Dawnie Walton

Genres: Fiction, Historical

Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, Afro-punk before that term existed. Coming of age in Detroit, she can’t imagine settling for a 9-to-5 job—despite her unusual looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her at a bar’s amateur night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together for the fledgling Rivington Records.

In early seventies New York City, just as she’s finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal’s bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially black women, who dare to speak their truth.

Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo’s most politicized chapter. But as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens to blow up everything.

The Final Twist (Colter Shaw #3) - Jeffery Deaver

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Just hours after the harrowing events of The Never Game and The Goodbye Man, Colter Shaw finds himself in San Francisco, where he has taken on the mission his father began years ago: finding a missing courier bag containing evidence that will bring down a corporate espionage firm responsible for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of deaths.

Following the enigmatic clues his father left behind, Shaw plays cat and mouse with the company's sadistic enforcers, as he speeds from one gritty neighborhood in the City by the Bay to another. Suddenly, the job takes on a frightening urgency: Only by finding the courier bag can he expose the company and stop the murder of an entire family--slated to die in forty-eight hours.

With the help of an unexpected figure from his past, and with the enforcers closing the net, Shaw narrows in on the truth--and learns that the courier bag contains something unexpected: a secret that could only be described as catastrophic.

Find You First - Linwood Barclay

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Tech millionaire Miles Cookson has more money than he can ever spend, and everything he could dream of-except time. He has recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and there is a fifty percent chance that it can be passed on to the next generation. For Miles, this means taking a long hard look at his past . . . Two decades ago, a young, struggling Miles was a sperm donor. Somewhere out there, he has kids-nine of them. And they might be about to inherit both the good and the bad from him-maybe his fortune, or maybe something much worse. As Miles begins to search for the children he's never known, aspiring film documentarian Chloe Swanson embarks on a quest to find her biological father, armed with the knowledge that twenty-two years ago, her mother used a New York sperm bank to become pregnant. When Miles and Chloe eventually connect, their excitement at finding each other is overshadowed by a series of mysterious and terrifying events. One by one, Miles's other potential heirs are vanishing-every trace of them wiped, like they never existed at all. Who is the vicious killer-another heir methodically erasing rivals? Or is something even more sinister going on? It's a deadly race against time . . .

Finding Ashley - Danielle Steel

Genres: Fiction, Romance

Melissa Henderson is leading a quiet life. Once a bestselling author, she now pours all her energy into renovating a Victorian house nestled in the foothills of rural New England. Six years ago, she lost her young son to cancer, and her marriage dissolved. She stopped writing. It was only when she bought the old house that Melissa found a purpose, and came alive as she made it beautiful again. After a wildfire that threatens her home appears on the news, Melissa receives a call from her sister, Hattie. They were close once, but that was before Melissa withdrew from the world. Now Hattie, who became a nun at twenty-five, is determined to help Melissa turn a new page, even if it means reopening one of the most painful chapters of her life.

The Girl from the Channel Islands - Jenny Lecoat

Genres: Fiction, Historical

Summer 1940: Hedy Bercu watches the skies over Jersey for German planes, convinced that an invasion is imminent. When it finally comes, there is no counterattack from Allied forces. Most islanders and occupying forces settle into an uneasy coexistence, but for Hedy, the situation is perilously different. For Hedy is Jewish. With no means of escape, Hedy works as a translator for the Germans while silently working against them, and forges a tentative friendship with a sympathetic German officer. Soon, her survival will depend not just on her own courage but on the community she has come to cherish and a man who should be her enemy.

The Girls in the Stilt House - Kelly Mustian

Genres: Fiction, Historical, Mystery

Ada promised herself she would never go back to the Trace, to her unbearable life on the swamp, and to her harsh father in Mississippi. But now, after running away to Baton Rouge and briefly knowing a different kind of life, she finds herself with nowhere to go but back home. And she knows there will be a price to pay with her father. Matilda, daughter of a sharecropper, is from the other side of the Trace. Doing what she can to protect her family from the whims and demands of some particularly callous locals is an ongoing struggle. She forms a plan to go north, to pack up the secrets she's holding about her life in the South and hang them on the line for all to see. As the two girls are drawn deeper into a dangerous world of bootleggers and moral corruption, they must come to terms with the complexities of their tenuous bond and a hidden past that links them in ways that could cost them their lives.

The Good Sister - Sally Hepworth

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

From the outside, everyone might think Fern and Rose are as close as twin sisters can be: Rose is the responsible one, with a home and a husband and a fierce desire to become a mother. Fern is the quirky one, the free spirit, the librarian who avoids social interaction and whom the world might just describe as truly odd. But the sisters are devoted to one another and Rose has always been Fern's protector from the time they were small. Fern needed protecting because their mother was a true sociopath who hid her true nature from the world, and only Rose could see it. Fern always saw the good in everyone. Years ago, Fern did something very, very bad. And Rose has never told a soul. When Fern decides to help her sister achieve her heart's desire of having a baby, Rose realizes with growing horror that Fern might make choices that can only have a terrible outcome. What Rose doesn't realize is that Fern is growing more and more aware of the secrets Rose, herself, is keeping. And that their mother might have the last word after all.

Hour of the Witch - Chris Bohjalian

Genres: Fiction, Historical, Thriller

Boston, 1662. Mary Deerfield is twenty-four-years-old. Her skin is porcelain, her eyes delft blue, and in England she might have had many suitors. But here in the New World, amid this community of saints, Mary is the second wife of Thomas Deerfield, a man as cruel as he is powerful. When Thomas, prone to drunken rage, drives a three-tined fork into the back of Mary's hand, she resolves that she must divorce him to save her life. But in a world where every neighbor is watching for signs of the devil, a woman like Mary - a woman who harbors secret desires and finds it difficult to tolerate the brazen hypocrisy of so many men in the colony - soon finds herself the object of suspicion and rumor. When tainted objects are discovered buried in Mary's garden, when a boy she has treated with herbs and simples dies, and when their servant girl runs screaming in fright from her home, Mary must fight to not only escape her marriage, but also the gallows.

How Lucky - Will Leitch

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Daniel leads a rich life in the university town of Athens, Georgia. He’s got a couple close friends, a steady paycheck working for a regional airline, and of course, for a few glorious days each Fall, college football tailgates. He considers himself to be a mostly lucky guy—despite the fact that he’s suffered from a debilitating disease since he was a small child, one that has left him unable to speak or to move without a wheelchair.

Largely confined to his home, Daniel spends the hours he’s not online communicating with irate air travelers observing his neighborhood from his front porch. One young woman passes by so frequently that spotting her out the window has almost become part of his daily routine. Until the day he’s almost sure he sees her being kidnapped.

The Hunting Wives - May Cobb

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Sophie O'Neill left behind an envy-inspiring career and the stressful, competitive life of big-city Chicago to settle down with her husband and young son in a small Texas town. It seems like the perfect life with a beautiful home in an idyllic rural community. But Sophie soon realizes that life is now too quiet, and she's feeling bored and restless. Then she meets Margot Banks, an alluring socialite who is part of an elite clique secretly known as the Hunting Wives. Sophie is completely drawn to Margot and swept into her mysterious world of late-night target practice and dangerous partying. As Sophie's curiosity gives way to full-blown obsession, she slips further away from the safety of her family and deeper into this nest of vipers. When the body of a teenage girl is discovered in the woods where the Hunting Wives meet, Sophie finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and her life spirals out of control.

Imposter Syndrome - Kathy Wang

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense

In 2006 Julia Lerner is living in Moscow, a recent university graduate in computer science, when she’s recruited by Russia’s largest intelligence agency. By 2018 she’s in Silicon Valley as COO of Tangerine, one of America’s most famous technology companies. In between her executive management (make offers to promising startups, crush them and copy their features if they refuse) self promotion (check out her latest op-ed in the WSJ, on Work/Life Balance 2.0) and work in gender equality (transfer the most annoying females from her team), she funnels intelligence back to the motherland. But now Russia's asking for more, and Julia’s getting nervous.

Alice Lu is a first generation Chinese American whose parents are delighted she’s working at Tangerine (such a successful company!). Too bad she’s slogging away in the lower echelons, recently dumped, and now sharing her expensive two-bedroom apartment with her cousin Cheri, a perennial “founder’s girlfriend”. One afternoon, while performing a server check, Alice discovers some unusual activity, and now she’s burdened with two powerful but distressing suspicions: Tangerine’s privacy settings aren’t as rigorous as the company claims they are, and the person abusing this loophole might be Julia Lerner herself.

The closer Alice gets to Julia, the more Julia questions her own loyalties. Russia may have placed her in the Valley, but she's the one who built her career isn’t she entitled to protect the lifestyle she’s earned?

Infinite Country - Patricia Engel

Genres: Fiction

Talia is being held at a correctional facility for adolescent girls in the forested mountains of Colombia after committing an impulsive act of violence that may or may not have been warranted. She urgently needs to get out and get back home to Bogota, where her father and a plane ticket to the United States are waiting for her. If she misses her flight, she might also miss her chance to finally be reunited with her family in the north. How this family came to occupy two different countries, two different worlds, comes into focus like twists of a kaleidoscope. We see Talia's parents, Mauro and Elena, fall in love in a market stall as teenagers against a backdrop of civil war and social unrest. We see them leave Bogota with their firstborn, Karina, in pursuit of safety and opportunity in the United States on a temporary visa, and we see the births of two more children, Nando and Talia, on American soil. We witness the decisions and indecisions that lead to Mauro's deportation and the family's splintering--the costs they've all been living with ever since.

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island - Colleen Oakley

Genres: Fiction, Romance

Sometimes all you need is one person to really see you.

Piper Parrish's life on Frick Island-a tiny, remote town smack in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay-is nearly perfect. Well, aside from one pesky detail: Her beloved husband, Tom, is dead. When Tom's crab boat capsized and his body wasn't recovered, Piper, rocked to the core, did a most peculiar thing: carried on as if her husband was not only still alive, but right there beside her, cooking him breakfast, walking him to the docks each morning, meeting him for their standard Friday night dinner date at the One-Eyed Crab. And what were the townspeople to do but go along with their beloved widowed Piper? Anders Caldwell's career is not going well. A young ambitious journalist, he'd rather hoped he'd be a national award-winning podcaster by now, rather than writing fluff pieces for a small town newspaper. But when he gets an assignment to travel to the remote Frick Island and cover their boring annual Cake Walk fundraiser, he stumbles upon a much more fascinating tale: an entire town pretending to see and interact with a man who does not actually exist. Determined it's the career-making story he's been needing for his podcast, Anders returns to the island to begin covert research and spend more time with the enigmatic Piper-but he has no idea out of all the lives he's about to upend, it's his that will change the most.

Just Last Night - Mhairi McFarlane

Genres: Fiction, Comedy, Romance

Eve, Justin, Susie, and Ed have been friends since they were teenagers. Now in their thirties, the four are as close as ever, Thursday pub trivia night is sacred, and Eve is still secretly in love with Ed. Maybe she should have moved on by now, but she can’t stop thinking about what could have been. And she knows Ed still thinks about it, too.

But then, in an instant, their lives are changed forever.

In the aftermath, Eve’s world is upended. As stunning secrets are revealed, she begins to wonder if she really knew her friends as well as she thought. And when someone from the past comes back into her life, Eve’s future veers in a surprising new direction.

They say every love story starts with a single moment. What if it was just last night?

Klara and the Sun - Kazuo Ishiguro

Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Sci-fi

From her place in the store, Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, watches carefully the behaviour of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass in the street outside. She remains hopeful a customer will soon choose her, but when the possibility emerges that her circumstances may change for ever, Klara is warned not to invest too much in the promises of humans.

In Klara and the Sun, his first novel since winning the Nobel Prize in Literature, Kazuo Ishiguro looks at our rapidly-changing modern world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator to explore a fundamental question: what does it mean to love?

The Lamplighters - Emma Stonex

Genres: Fiction, Historical, Mystery

The heavy sea whispers their names. Black rocks roll beneath the surface, drowning ghosts. And out of the swell like a finger of light, the salt-scratched tower stands lonely and magnificent. It's New Year's Eve, 1972, when a boat pulls up to the Maiden Rock lighthouse with relief for the keepers. But no one greets them. When the entrance door, locked from the inside, is battered down, rescuers find an empty tower. A table is laid for a meal not eaten. The Principal Keeper's weather log describes a storm raging round the tower, but the skies have been clear all week. And the clocks have all stopped at 8:45. Two decades later, the wives who were left behind are visited by a writer who is determined to find the truth about the men's disappearance. Moving between the women's stories and the men's last weeks together in the lighthouse, long-held secrets surface and truths twist into lies as we piece together what happened, why, and who to believe.

The Last Bookshop in London - Madeline Martin

Genres: Fiction, Historical, Romance

August 1939: London prepares for war as Hitler’s forces sweep across Europe. Grace Bennett has always dreamed of moving to the city, but the bunkers and blackout curtains that she finds on her arrival were not what she expected. And she certainly never imagined she’d wind up working at Primrose Hill, a dusty old bookshop nestled in the heart of London.

Through blackouts and air raids as the Blitz intensifies, Grace discovers the power of storytelling to unite her community in ways she never dreamed—a force that triumphs over even the darkest nights of the war.

The Last Exiles - Ann Shin

Genres: Fiction. Historical

Jin and Suja meet and fall in love while studying at university in Pyongyang. She is a young journalist from a prominent family, while he is from a small village of little means. Outside the school, North Korea has fallen under great political upheaval, plunged into chaos and famine. When Jin returns home to find his family starving, their food rations all but gone, he makes a rash decision that will haunt him for the rest of his life. Meanwhile, miles away, Suja has begun to feel the tenuousness of her privilege when she learns that Jin has disappeared. Risking everything, and defying her family, Suja sets out to find him, embarking on a dangerous journey that leads her into a dark criminal underbelly and tests their love and will to survive.

The Last Green Valley - Mark Sullivan

Genres: Fiction, Historical

In late March 1944, as Stalin’s forces push into Ukraine, young Emil and Adeline Martel must make a terrible decision: Do they wait for the Soviet bear’s intrusion and risk being sent to Siberia? Or do they reluctantly follow the wolves—murderous Nazi officers who have pledged to protect “pure-blood” Germans?

The Martels are one of many families of German heritage whose ancestors have farmed in Ukraine for more than a century. But after already living under Stalin’s horrifying regime, Emil and Adeline decide they must run in retreat from their land with the wolves they despise to escape the Soviets and go in search of freedom.

The Last Thing He Told Me - Laura Dave

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to smuggle a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to who the note refers-Owen's sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother. As Hannah's increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, as the FBI arrests Owen's boss, as a U.S. marshal and federal agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn't who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen's true identity-and why he really disappeared. Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen's past, they soon realize they are also building a new future-one neither of them could have anticipated.

The Last Thing to Burn - Will Dean

Genres: Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Thriller

On an isolated farm in the United Kingdom, a woman is trapped by the monster who kidnapped her seven years ago. When she discovers she is pregnant, she resolves to protect her child no matter the cost, and starts to meticulously plan her escape. But when another woman is brought into the fold on the farm, her plans go awry. Can she save herself, her child, and this innocent woman at the same time? Or is she doomed to spend the remainder of her life captive on this farm?

Letters Across the Sea - Genevieve Graham

Genres: Fiction, Historical

At eighteen years old, Molly Ryan dreams of becoming a journalist, but instead she spends her days working any job she can to help her family through the Depression crippling her city. The one bright spot in her life is watching baseball with her best friend, Hannah Dreyfus, and sneaking glances at Hannah’s handsome older brother, Max.

But as the summer unfolds, more and more of Hitler’s hateful ideas cross the sea and “Swastika Clubs” and “No Jews Allowed” signs spring up around Toronto, a city already simmering with mass unemployment, protests, and unrest. When tensions between the Irish and Jewish communities erupt in a riot one smouldering day in August, Molly and Max are caught in the middle, with devastating consequences for both their families.

Six years later, the Depression has eased and Molly is a reporter at her local paper. But a new war is on the horizon, putting everyone she cares about most in peril. As letters trickle in from overseas, Molly is forced to confront what happened all those years ago, but is it too late to make things right?

Libertie - Kaitlyn Greenidge

Genres: Fiction, Historical

Coming of age as a free-born Black girl in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, Libertie Sampson is all too aware that her mother, a physician, has a vision for their future together: Libertie will go to medical school and practice alongside her. But Libertie feels stifled by her mother's choices and is constantly reminded that, unlike her mother, Libertie has skin that is too dark. When a young man from Haiti proposes to Libertie and promises she will be his equal on the island, she accepts, only to discover that she is still subordinate to him and all men. As she tries to parse what freedom actually means for a Black woman, Libertie struggles with where she might find it-for herself and for generations to come.

The Light Through the Leaves - Glendy Vanderah

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

In a moment of crisis, Ellis Abbey leaves her daughter, Viola, unattended - for just a few minutes. But when she returns, Viola is gone. A breaking point in an already fractured marriage, Viola's abduction causes Ellis to disappear as well - into grief, guilt, and addiction. Convinced she can only do more harm to her family, Ellis leaves her husband and young sons, burying her desperate ache for her children deeper with every step into the mountain wildernesses she treks alone. In a remote area of Washington, a young girl named Raven keeps secrets inside, too. She must never speak to outsiders about how her mother makes miracles spring from the earth, or about her father, whose mysterious presence sometimes frightens her. Raven spends her days learning how to use her rare gifts - and more important, how to hide them. With each lesson comes a warning of what dangers lie in the world beyond her isolated haven. But despite her mother's cautions, Raven finds herself longing for something more. As Ellis and Raven each confront their powerful longings, their journeys will converge in unexpected and hopeful ways, pulled together by the forces of nature, love, and family.

Little Cruelties - Liz Nugent

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Will, Brian and Luke grow up competing for their mother's unequal love. As men, the competition continues - for status, money, fame, women…

They each betray each other, over and over, until one of them is dead.

But which brother killed him?

Local Woman Missing - Mary Kubica

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

People don’t just disappear without a trace…

Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.

Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find….

Madam - Phoebe Wynne

Genres: Fiction, Gothic, Historical, Mystery, Thriller

For 150 years, high above rocky Scottish cliffs, Caldonbrae Hall has sat untouched, a beacon of excellence in an old ancestral castle. A boarding school for girls, it promises that the young women lucky enough to be admitted will emerge 'resilient and ready to serve society.' Into its illustrious midst steps Rose Christie: a 26-year-old Classics teacher, Caldonbrae's new head of the department, and the first hire for the school in over a decade. At first, Rose is overwhelmed to be invited into this institution, whose prestige is unrivaled. But she quickly discovers that behind the school's elitist veneer lies an impenetrable, starkly traditional culture that she struggles to reconcile with her modernist beliefs-not to mention her commitment to educating 'girls for the future.' It also doesn't take long for Rose to suspect that there's more to the secret circumstances surrounding the abrupt departure of her predecessor-a woman whose ghost lingers everywhere-than anyone is willing to let on. In her search for this mysterious former teacher, Rose instead uncovers the darkness that beats at the heart of Caldonbrae, forcing her to confront the true extent of the school's nefarious purpose, and her own role in perpetuating it. A darkly feminist tale pitched against a haunting backdrop, and populated by an electrifying cast of heroines, Madam will keep readers engrossed until the breathtaking conclusion.

Malibu Rising - Taylor Jenkins Reid

Genres: Fiction, Historical, Romance

Malibu: August 1983. It's the day of Nina Riva's annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over--especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud--because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he's been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can't stop thinking about promised she'll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own--including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family's generations will all come rising to the surface.

Meet Me in Another Life - Catriona Silvey

Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Two people. Infinite lifetimes. One impossible choice.

Thora and Santi are strangers in a foreign city when a chance encounter intertwines their fates. At once, they recognize in each other a kindred spirit—someone who shares their insatiable curiosity, who is longing for more in life than the cards they’ve been dealt. Only days later, though, a tragic accident cuts their story short.

But this is only one of the many connections they share. Like satellites trapped in orbit around each other, Thora and Santi are destined to meet again: as a teacher and prodigy student a caretaker and dying patient a cynic and a believer. In numerous lives they become friends, colleagues, lovers, and enemies. But as blurred memories and strange patterns compound, Thora and Santi come to a shocking revelation—they must discover the truth of their mysterious attachment before their many lives come to one, final end.

Mirrorland - Carole Johnstone

Genres: Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Cat lives in Los Angeles, about as far away as she can get from her estranged twin sister El and No. 36 Westeryk Road, the imposing gothic house in Edinburgh where they grew up. As girls, they invented Mirrorland, a dark, imaginary place under the pantry stairs full of pirates, witches, and clowns. These days Cat rarely thinks about their childhood home, or the fact that El now lives there with her husband Ross.

But when El mysteriously disappears after going out on her sailboat, Cat is forced to return to the grand old house, which has scarcely changed in twenty years. No. 36 Westeryk Road is still full of shadowy, hidden corners, and at every turn Cat finds herself stumbling on long-held secrets and terrifying ghosts from the past. Because someone—El?—has left Cat clues all over the house: a treasure hunt that leads right back to Mirrorland, where she knows the truth lies crouched and waiting.

Missing and Endangered (Joanna Brady #19) - J A Jance

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

When Jennifer Brady returns to Northern Arizona University for her sophomore year, she quickly becomes a big sister to her new roommate, Beth Rankin, a brilliant yet sheltered sixteen-year-old freshman. For a homeschooled Beth, college is her first taste of both freedom and unfettered access to the internet, and Jenny is concerned that she’s too naïve and rebellious for her own good.

Her worries are well-founded because one day Beth vanishes, prompting Jenny to alert campus authorities, local police, and her mom, Sheriff Joanna Brady—who calls in a favor. Beth is found, but Jenny’s concern has unwittingly put her in the crosshairs of a criminal bent on revenge.

With Christmas vacation approaching, and Beth at war with her parents, Jenny invites Beth to the shelter of the Brady home. While Joanna is sympathetic, she’s caught up in a sensitive case—an officer-involved shooting that has placed the lives of two young children in jeopardy—leaving her stretched thin to help a fragile young woman recently gone missing and endangered.

Mother May I - Joshilyn Jackson

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Revenge doesn't wait for permission. Growing up poor in rural Georgia, Bree Cabbat was warned that the world was a dark and scary place. Bree rejected that fearful outlook, and life has proved her right. Having married into a family with wealth, power, and connections, Bree now has all a woman could ever dream of. Until the day she awakens and sees someone peering into her bedroom window-an old gray-haired woman dressed all in black who vanishes as quickly as she appears. It must be a play of the early morning light or the remnant of a waking dream, Bree tells herself, shaking off the bad feeling that overcomes her. Later that day though, she spies the old woman again, in the parking lot of her daughters' private school . . . just minutes before Bree's infant son, asleep in his car seat only a few feet away, vanishes. It happened so quickly-Bree looked away only for a second. There is a note left in his place, warning her that she is being is being watched if she wants her baby back, she must not call the police or deviate in any way from the instructions that will follow. The mysterious woman makes contact, and Bree learns she, too, is a mother. Why would another mother do this? What does she want? And why has she targeted Bree? Of course Bree will pay anything, do anything. It's her child. To get her baby back, Bree must complete one small-but critical-task. It seems harmless enough, but her action comes with a devastating price. Bree will do whatever it takes to protect her family-but what if the cost tears their world apart?

The Next Wife - Kaira Rouda

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Kate Nelson had it all. A flourishing company founded with her husband, John a happy marriage and a daughter, Ashlyn. The picture-perfect family. Until John left for another woman. Tish is half his age. Ambitious. She's cultivated a friendship with Ashlyn. Tish believes she's won. She's wrong.

Tish Nelson has it all. Youth, influence, a life of luxury, and a new husband. But the truth is there's a lot of baggage. Namely, his first wife and suspicions of his infidelity. After all, that's how she got John. Maybe it's time for a romantic getaway, far from his vindictive ex. If Kate plans on getting John back, Tish is one step ahead of her. She thinks. But what happens next is something neither Kate nor Tish saw coming. As best-laid plans come undone, there's no telling what a woman will do in the name of love and revenge.

Northern Spy - Flynn Berry

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

A producer at the Belfast bureau of the BBC, Tessa is at work one day when the news of another raid comes on the air. The IRA may have gone underground after the Good Friday agreement, but they never really went away, and lately, bomb threats, arms drops, and helicopters floating ominously over the city have become features of everyday life. As the anchor requests the public's help in locating those responsible for this latest raid--a robbery at a gas station--Tessa's sister appears on the screen. Tessa watches in shock as Marian pulls a black mask over her face. The police believe Marian has joined the IRA, but Tessa knows this is impossible. They were raised to oppose Republicanism, and the violence enacted in its name. They've attended peace vigils together. And besides, Marian is vacationing by the sea. Tessa just spoke to her yesterday. When the truth of what has happened to Marian reveals itself, Tessa will be forced to choose: between her ideals and her family, between bystanderism and action. Walking an increasingly perilous road, she fears nothing more than endangering the one person she loves more fiercely than her sister: her infant son. A riveting and exquisite novel about family, terror, motherhood, betrayal, and the staggering human costs of an intractable conflict.

Not Dark Yet (Inspector Banks #27) - Peter Robinson

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

The gruesome double-murder at an Eastvale property developer's luxury home should be an open and shut case for Superintendent Alan Banks and his team of detectives. There's a clear link to the notoriously vicious Albanian mafia, men who left the country suspiciously soon after the murder. When Banks and his team find a cache of spy-cam videos hidden in the house, the investigation pivots to another violent crime that could cast the murders in an entirely different light.

Meanwhile, Banks's friend Zelda is increasingly uncertain of her future in Britain's hostile environment. She thinks she will be safer in Moldova, hunting the men who enslaved her, than she is Yorkshire or London. Her search takes her back to the orphanage where it all began. By stirring up the murky waters of the past, Zelda is putting herself in greater danger than ever before.

And as the threat to Zelda escalates, so does the danger for Banks and all those around them . . .

Of Women and Salt - Gabriela Garcia

Genres: Fiction, Historical

In present-day Miami, Jeanette is battling addiction. Daughter of Carmen, a Cuban immigrant, she is determined to learn more about her family history from her reticent mother and makes the snap decision to take in the daughter of a neighbor detained by ICE. Carmen, still wrestling with the trauma of displacement, must process her difficult relationship with her own mother while trying to raise a wayward Jeanette. Steadfast in her quest for understanding, Jeanette travels to Cuba to see her grandmother and reckon with secrets from the past destined to erupt. From 19th-century cigar factories to present-day detention centers, from Cuba to Mexico, Of Women and Salt is a kaleidoscopic portrait of betrayals--personal and political, self-inflicted and those done by others-that have shaped the lives of these extraordinary women. A haunting meditation on the choices of mothers, the legacy of the memories they carry, and the tenacity of women who choose to tell their stories despite those who wish to silence them, this is more than a diaspora story it is a story of America's most tangled, honest, human roots.

Open Water - Caleb Azumah Nelson

Genres: Fiction, Romance

In a crowded London pub, two young people meet. Both are Black British, both won scholarships to private schools where they struggled to belong, both are now artists-he a photographer, she a dancer-and both are trying to make their mark in a world that by turns celebrates and rejects them. Tentatively, tenderly, they fall in love. But two people who seem destined to be together can still be torn apart by fear and violence, and over the course of a year they find their relationship tested by forces beyond their control. Narrated with deep intimacy, Open Water is at once an achingly beautiful love story and a potent insight into race and masculinity that asks what it means to be a person in a world that sees you only as a Black body to be vulnerable when you are only respected for strength to find safety in love, only to lose it. With gorgeous, soulful intensity, and blistering emotional intelligence, Caleb Azumah Nelson gives a profoundly sensitive portrait of romantic love in all its feverish waves and comforting beauty. This is one of the most essential debut novels of recent years, heralding the arrival of a stellar and prodigious young talent.

The Other Bennet Sister - Janice Hadlow

Genres: Fiction, Historical, Romance

What if Mary Bennet's life took a different path from that laid out for her in Pride and Prejudice? What if the frustrated intellectual of the Bennet family, the marginalized middle daughter, the plain girl who takes refuge in her books, eventually found the fulfillment enjoyed by her prettier, more confident sisters? This is the plot of The Other Bennet Sister, a debut novel with exactly the affection and authority to satisfy Austen fans. Ultimately, Mary's journey is like that taken by every Austen heroine. She learns that she can only expect joy when she has accepted who she really is. She must throw off the false expectations and wrong ideas that have combined to obscure her true nature and prevented her from what makes her happy. Only when she undergoes this evolution does she have a chance at finding fulfillment only then does she have the clarity to recognize her partner when he presents himself--and only at that moment is she genuinely worthy of love. Mary's destiny diverges from that of her sisters. It does not involve broad acres or landed gentry. But it does include a man and, as in all Austen novels, Mary must decide whether he is the truly the one for her. In The Other Bennet Sister, Mary is a fully rounded character--complex, conflicted, and often uncertain but also vulnerable, supremely sympathetic, and ultimately the protagonist of an uncommonly satisfying debut novel.

Our Darkest Night - Jennifer Robson

Genres: Fiction, Historical, Romance

It is the autumn of 1943, and life is becoming increasingly perilous for Italian Jews like the Mazin family. With Nazi Germany now occupying most of her beloved homeland, and the threat of imprisonment and deportation growing ever more certain, Antonina Mazin has but one hope to survive--to leave Venice and her beloved parents and hide in the countryside with a man she has only just met. Nico Gerardi was studying for the priesthood until circumstances forced him to leave the seminary to run his family's farm. A moral and just man, he could not stand by when the fascists and Nazis began taking innocent lives. Rather than risk a perilous escape across the mountains, Nina will pose as his new bride. And to keep her safe and protect secrets of his own, Nico and Nina must convince prying eyes they are happily married and in love. But farm life is not easy for a cultured city girl who dreams of becoming a doctor like her father, and Nico's provincial neighbors are wary of this soft and educated woman they do not know. Even worse, their distrust is shared by a local Nazi official with a vendetta against Nico. The more he learns of Nina, the more his suspicions grow--and with them his determination to exact revenge. As Nina and Nico come to know each other, their feelings deepen, transforming their relationship into much more than a charade. Yet both fear that every passing day brings them closer to being torn apart.

People We Meet on Vacation - Emily Henry

Genres: Fiction, Romance

When Poppy met Alex, there was no spark, no chemistry, and no reason to think they'd ever talk again. Alex is quiet, studious, and destined for a future in academia. Poppy is a wild child who only came to U of Chicago to escape small-town life. But after sharing a ride home for the summer, the two form a surprising friendship. After all, who better to confide in than someone you could never, ever date? Over the years, Alex and Poppy's lives take them in different directions, but every summer the two find their way back to each other for a magical weeklong vacation. Until one trip goes awry, and in the fallout, they lose touch. Now, two years later, Poppy's in a rut. Her dream job, her relationships, her life--none of it is making her happy. In fact, the last time she remembers feeling truly happy was on that final, ill-fated Summer Trip. The answer to all her problems is obvious: She needs one last vacation to win back her best friend. As a hilariously disastrous week unfolds and tensions rise, Poppy and Alex are forced to confront what drove them apart--and decide what they're willing to risk for the chance to be together.

Perfect Kill (DI Callanach #6) - Helen Fields

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Alone, trapped in the darkness and with no way out, Bart Campbell knows that his chances of being found alive are slim. Drugged and kidnapped from his Edinburgh home, the realization soon dawns that he's been locked inside a shipping container - but what Bart doesn't know is that he's now heading for France, where his unspeakable fate is already sealed. DCI Ava Turner and DI Luc Callanach are working on separate cases that soon collide as it becomes clear that the men and women being shipped to France are being traded for women trafficked into Scotland. With so many lives at stake, it seems an impossible task - but there's no option of failure when Bart and so many others will soon be dead.

The Plot - Jean Hanff Korelitz

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Jacob Finch Bonner was once a promising young novelist with a respectably published first book. Today, he's teaching in a third-rate MFA program and struggling to maintain what's left of his self-respect he hasn't written-let alone published-anything decent in years. When Evan Parker, his most arrogant student, announces he doesn't need Jake's help because the plot of his book in progress is a sure thing, Jake is prepared to dismiss the boast as typical amateur narcissism. But then . . . he hears the plot. Jake returns to the downward trajectory of his own career and braces himself for the supernova publication of Evan Parker's first novel: but it never comes. When he discovers that his former student has died, presumably without ever completing his book, Jake does what any self-respecting writer would do with a story like that-a story that absolutely needs to be told. In a few short years, all of Evan Parker's predictions have come true, but Jake is the author enjoying the wave. He is wealthy, famous, praised and read all over the world. But at the height of his glorious new life, an e-mail arrives, the first salvo in a terrifying, anonymous campaign: You are a thief, it says. As Jake struggles to understand his antagonist and hide the truth from his readers and his publishers, he begins to learn more about his late student, and what he discovers both amazes and terrifies him. Who was Evan Parker, and how did he get the idea for his "sure thing" of a novel? What is the real story behind the plot, and who stole it from whom?

Reunion Beach

Genres: Fiction, Romance, Short stories

Inspired by the title Dorothea Benton Frank planned for her next book—Reunion Beach—these close friends and colleagues channeled their creativity, admiration, and grief into stories and poems that celebrate this remarkable woman and her abiding love for the Lowcountry of her native South Carolina—a land of beauty, history, charm, and Gullah magic she so brilliantly brought to life in her acclaimed novels.

From Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author, a sequel to Summer of ’69.

From Adriana Trigiani, New York Times bestselling author, comes a heartwarming, humorous interview from the hereafter with Pat Conroy and Dorothea Benton Frank, two beloved icons of Southern literature.

From Patti Callahan, bestselling author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis and Surviving Savannah, comes The Bridemaids, a story about a trip to the South Carolina beach.

From Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author, Mother and Child Reunion, a heartwarming story set under the warm South Carolina sun.

The Shadow Man - Helen Fields

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

He collects his victims. But he doesn't keep them safe. Elspeth, Meggie and Xavier are locked in a flat. They don't know where they are, and they don't know why they're there. They only know that the shadow man has taken them, and he won't let them go. Desperate to escape, the three of them must find a way out of their living hell, even if it means uncovering a very dark truth. Because the shadow man isn't a nightmare. He's all too real. And he's watching.

The Siren - Katherine St. John

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Romance, Thriller

In the midst of a sizzling hot summer, some of Hollywood's most notorious faces are assembled on the idyllic Caribbean island of St. Genesius to film The Siren, starring dangerously handsome megastar Cole Power playing opposite his ex-wife, Stella Rivers. The surefire blockbuster promises to entice audiences with its sultry storyline and intimately connected cast.

Three very different women arrive on set, each with her own motive. Stella, an infamously unstable actress, is struggling to reclaim the career she lost in the wake of multiple, very public breakdowns. Taylor, a fledgling producer, is anxious to work on a film she hopes will turn her career around after her last job ended in scandal. And Felicity, Stella's mysterious new assistant, harbors designs of her own that threaten to upend everyone's plans.

With a hurricane brewing offshore, each woman finds herself trapped on the island, united against a common enemy. But as deceptions come to light, misplaced trust may prove more perilous than the storm itself.

Sooley - John Grisham

Genres: Fiction, Thriller

After seventeen-year-old Samuel "Sooley" Sooleymon receives a college scholarship to play basketball for North Carolina Central, he moves to Durham from his native, war-torn South Sudan, enrolls in classes, joins the team, and prepares to sit out his freshman season, but Sooley has a fierce determination to succeed so he can bring his family to America, working tirelessly on his game until he dominates everyone in practice, and when Sooley is called off the bench, the legend begins.

Sorrowland - Rivers Solomon

Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Horror

Vern - seven months pregnant and desperate to escape the strict religious compound where she was raised - flees for the shelter of the woods. There, she gives birth to twins, and plans to raise them far from the influence of the outside world.

But even in the forest, Vern is a hunted woman. Forced to fight back against the community that refuses to let her go, she unleashes incredible brutality far beyond what a person should be capable of, her body wracked by inexplicable and uncanny changes.

To understand her metamorphosis and to protect her small family, Vern has to face the past, and more troublingly, the future - outside the woods. Finding the truth will mean uncovering the secrets of the compound she fled but also the violent history in America that produced it.

The Soulmate Equation - Christina Lauren

Genres: Fiction, Romance

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents--who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno--Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father's never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn't "father material" before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard. and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that's predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98% compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly's founder, Dr. River Pena. This is one number she can't wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Pena. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate.

But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we'll pay you. Jess--who is barely making ends meet--is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River.

As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the "Diamond" pairing that could make GeneticAlly a mint in stock prices, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist--and the science behind a soulmate--than she thought.

The Summer of Lost and Found (Beach House #7) - Mary Alice Munroe

Genres: Fiction, Romance

The coming of Spring usually means renewal, but for Linnea Rutledge, Spring 2020 threatens stagnation. Linnea faces another layoff, this time from the aquarium she adores. For her--and her family--finances, emotions, and health teeter at the brink. To complicate matters, her new love interest, Gordon, struggles to return to the Isle of Palms from England. Meanwhile, her old flame, John, turns up from California and is quarantining next door. She tries to ignore him, but when he sends her plaintive notes in the form of paper airplanes, old sparks ignite. When Gordon at last reaches the island, Linnea wonders--is it possible to love two men at the same time? Love in the time of the coronavirus proves challenging, at times humorous, and ever changing. Relationships are redefined, friendships made and broken, and marriages tested. As the weeks turn to months, and another sea turtle season comes to a close, Linnea learns there are more meaningful lessons learned during this summer than opportunities lost, that summer is a time of wonder, and that the exotic lives in our own back yards . Linnea and the Rutledge family continue to face their challenges with the strength, faith, and commitment.

Sunflower Sisters - Martha Hall Kelly

Genres: Fiction, Historical

Georgeanna "Georgy" Woolsey isn't meant for the world of lavish parties and the demure attitudes of women of her status. So when war ignites the nation. Georgy follows her passion for nursing during at a time when doctors considered women on the battlefront a bother. In proving them wrong, Georgy and her sister Eliza venture from New York to Washington, D.C., to Gettysburg and witness the unparalleled horrors of slavery as they become involved in the war effort. In the South, Jemma is enslaved on the Perler Plantation in Maryland, where she lives with her mother and father. Jemma's sister, Patience, is enslaved on the plantation next door, and both live in fear of LeBaron, an abusive overseer who tracks their every move. When Jemma is sold by the cruel plantation mistress Anne-May at the same time the Union army comes through, she sees a chance to finally escape - but only by abandoning the family she loves. Anne-May is left behind to run Peeler Plantation when her husband joins the union army and her cherished brother enlists with the Confederates. Now in charge of the household, she uses the opportunity to follow her ambitions and is drawn into troubles of her own, as she works to sabotage Northern soldiers, finally exposing herself to the fate she deserves. Inspired by true accounts, Sunflower Sisters provides a vivid, detailed look at the Civil War experience, from the barbaric and inhumane plantations, to a New York City struggling to stay united, to the horrors of the battlefield. It's a sweeping story of women caught in a country on the brink of collapse, in a society grappling with nationalism and unthinkable racial cruelty, a story still relevant today.

The Treadstone Exile (Treadstone #2) - Joshua Hood

Genres: Fiction, Thriller

Operation Treadstone made Jason Bourne, but he's not the only agent they trained. After the revival of Operation Treadstone, former operative Adam Hayes has retreated to Africa, determined to escape the black-ops CIA program for good. Hayes knows just how destructive the program can be, as it turns government agents into nearly superhuman assassins. But his quiet life in Africa changes irrevocably, when Hayes is attacked by extremists while flying a charitable mission in Burkina Faso. Forced to make an emergency landing, his plane is damaged and he is left in a hornet's nest of trouble. In order to get back in the air, Hayes agrees to transport a passenger - Zoe Cabot, the daughter of a tech baron - to a small coastal city. But on arrival, Zoe is abducted. Searching for the missing girl, Hayes runs afoul of multiple enemies, including a rogue Treadstone operative, all of whom are searching for him - and for the information about a wire transfer of millions of dollars bound for the relief effort in Burkina Faso. Hayes must outrun and outgun the factions that are hunting him and prevent the theft of the much-needed millions from one of Africa's poorest nations.

Twenty (Jack Swyteck #17) - James Grippando

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

After a deadly school shooting claims twenty casualties at Riverside Day School, the tragedy prompts mass hysteria-- and dangerous speculation. The police haven't identified the shooter, but a handgun found on the school grounds is registered to a parent, a Muslim man named Amir Khoury. News of the gun goes viral, and Al Qaeda claims responsibility. When Xavier, Amir and Lilly's oldest child, an eighteen-year-old senior at Riverside, confesses to the crime, anti-Muslim fervor explodes to levels unseen since 9/11. Lilly asks Jack to step in. Now he must unearth the Khourys' family secrets to save his client from certain death.

Unfinished Business (Ali Reynolds #16) - J A Jance

Genres: Fiction, Mystery

Mateo Vega, a one-time employee of Ali Reynold’s husband, B. Simpson, has spent the last sixteen years of his life behind bars. According to the courts, he murdered his girlfriend. But Mateo knows that her real killer is still on the loose, and the first thing he’s going to do when he gets a taste of freedom is track him down.

After being granted parole, a wary Mateo approaches Stu Ramey of High Noon Enterprises for a reference letter for a job application, but to his surprise, Stu gives him one better: He asks him to come on board and work for B. once again. Just as Mateo starts his new job, though, chaos breaks out at High Noon—a deadbeat tenant who is in arrears has just fled, and tech expert Cami Lee has gone missing.

As Ali races to both find a connection between the two disappearances and help Mateo clear his name with the help of PI J.P. Beaumont, tragedy strikes in her personal life, and with lives hanging in the balance, she must thread the needle between good and evil before it’s too late.

Unsettled Ground - Claire Fuller

Genres: Fiction, Mystery

Twins Jeanie and Julius have always been different from other people. At fifty-one years old, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation and poverty. But when Dot dies suddenly, threats start raining down. Jeanie and Julius would do anything to preserve their small sanctuary against the perils of the outside world, even as their mother's secrets begin to unravel, putting everything they thought they knew about their lives at stake.

The Venice Sketchbook - Rhys Bowen

Genres: Fiction, Historical, Mystery, Romance

Caroline Grant is struggling to accept the end of her marriage when she receives an unexpected bequest. Her beloved great-aunt Lettie leaves her a sketchbook, three keys, and a final whisper…Venice. Caroline's quest: to scatter Juliet "Lettie" Browning's ashes in the city she loved and to unlock the mysteries stored away for more than sixty years. It's 1938 when art teacher Juliet Browning arrives in romantic Venice. For her students, it's a wealth of history, art, and beauty. For Juliet, it's poignant memories and a chance to reconnect with Leonardo Da Rossi, the man she loves whose future is already determined by his noble family. However star-crossed, nothing can come between them. Until the threat of war closes in on Venice and they're forced to fight, survive, and protect a secret that will bind them forever. Key by key, Lettie's life of impossible love, loss, and courage unfolds. It's one that Caroline can now make right again as her own journey of self-discovery begins.

What Comes After - Joanne Tompkins

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

In misty, coastal Washington state, Isaac lives alone with his dog, grieving the recent death of his teenage son Daniel. Next door, Lorrie, a working single mother, struggles with a heinous act committed by her own teenage son. Separated by only a silvery stretch of trees, the two parents are emotionally stranded, isolated by their great losses--until an unfamiliar sixteen year-old girl shows up, bridges the gap, and changes everything. Evangeline's arrival at first feels like a blessing, but she is also clearly hiding something. When Isaac, who has retreated into his Quaker faith, isn't equipped to handle her alone, Lorrie forges her own relationship with the girl. Soon all three characters are forced to examine what really happened in their overlapping pasts, and what it all possibly means for a shared future.

When the Stars Go Dark - Paula McLain

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

A detective hiding away from the world. A series of disappearances that reach into her past. Can solving them help her heal?

Anna Hart is a seasoned missing persons detective in San Francisco with far too much knowledge of the darkest side of human nature. When unspeakable tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the Northern California village of Mendocino. She spent summers there as a child with her beloved foster parents, and now she believes it might be the only place left for her to heal. Yet the day she arrives, she learns a local teenage girl has gone missing. Anna is in no condition to become involved with the search--until a childhood friend, now the village sheriff, pleads for her help. Then, just days later, a twelve-year-old girl is abducted from her home. The crimes feel frighteningly reminiscent of the most crucial time in Anna's childhood, when a string of unsolved murders touched Mendocino. As past and present collide, Anna realizes that she has been led to this moment. The most difficult lessons of her life have given her insight into how victims come into contact with violent predators. As Anna becomes obsessed with these missing girls, she must learn that true courage means getting out of her own way and learning to let others in. Weaving together true crime, trauma theory, and a hint of the metaphysical, this tense, affecting story is about fate, unlikely redemption, and what it takes, when the worst happens, to reclaim our lives--and our faith in one another.

While Justice Sleeps - Stacey Abrams

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Avery Keene, a brilliant young law clerk for the legendary Justice Howard Wynn, is doing her best to hold her life together--excelling in an arduous job with the court while also dealing with a troubled family. When the shocking news breaks that Justice Wynn--the cantankerous swing vote on many current high-profile cases--has slipped into a coma, Avery's life turns upside down. She is immediately notified that Justice Wynn has left instructions for her to serve as his legal guardian and power of attorney. Plunged into an explosive role she never anticipated, Avery finds that Justice Wynn had been secretly researching one of the most controversial cases before the court--a proposed merger between an American biotech company and an Indian genetics firm, which promises to unleash breathtaking results in the medical field. She also discovers that Wynn suspected a dangerously related conspiracy that infiltrates the highest power corridors of Washington.

As political wrangling ensues in Washington to potentially replace the ailing judge whose life and survival Avery controls, she begins to unravel a carefully constructed, chesslike sequence of clues left behind by Wynn. She comes to see that Wynn had a much more personal stake in the controversial case and realizes his complex puzzle will lead her directly into harm's way in order to find the truth.

The Wild Girls - Phoebe Morgan

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

It’s been years since Grace, Felicity, Alice and Hannah were together – The Wild Girls, as they were once called, are no longer so wild. Alice has settled with a new baby and partner. Hannah is now a teacher. Grace has gone to ground. Only Felicity seems to have the same spark she once had.

And now Felicity has invited them all on the weekend of a lifetime – a mini-break in Botswana to celebrate her birthday, a chance to put that night two years ago behind them, when things went so very wrong between them, and their bomb-proof friendship was shattered forever.

But on arriving at the luxury safari lodge, a feeling of unease settles on Grace, Hannah and Alice. Felicity isn’t there to meet them. There’s no sign of the party she promised. The awful phone signal means that they are on their own, in the wild…

It’s a weekend with a difference. But who is hunting who?

You Love Me (You #3) - Caroline Kepnes

Genres: Fiction, Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Joe is done with the cities. He’s done with the muck and the posers, done with Love. Now, he’s saying hello to nature, to simple pleasures on a cozy island in the Pacific Northwest. For the first time in a long time, he can just breathe.

He gets a job at the local library—he does know a thing or two about books—and that’s where he meets her: Mary Kay DiMarco. Librarian. Joe won’t meddle, he will not obsess. He’ll win her the old-fashioned way. by providing a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand. Over time, they’ll both heal their wounds and begin their happily ever after in this sleepy town.

The trouble is. Mary Kay already has a life. She’s a mother. She’s a friend. She’s. busy.

True love can only triumph if both people are willing to make room for the real thing. Joe cleared his decks. He’s ready. And hopefully, with his encouragement and undying support, Mary Kay will do the right thing and make room for him.

You Will Remember Me - Hannah Mary McKinnon

Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Lily Reid thinks she knows her boyfriend, Jack. Until he goes missing one night, and her frantic search reveals that he's been lying to her since they met, desperate to escape a dark past he'd purposely left behind. Maya Scott has been trying to find her estranged stepbrother, Asher, since he disappeared without a trace. Having him back, missing memory and all, feels like a miracle. But with a mutual history full of devastating secrets, how far will Maya go to ensure she alone takes them to the grave?

Adult Non-Fiction

Billie Eilish - Billie Eilish

Genres: Non-fiction, Autobiography

Legendary recording artist Billie Eilish shares an intimate inside look at her life - both on and off the stage - in this stunning, photo-filled book. Billie Eilish is a phenomenon. With distinctive visual flare and darkly poignant lyrics that are unparalleled among music icons of the 21st century, Billie is a musician who stands out from the crowd. Between her record-shattering award-winning music and her uncompromising and unapologetic attitude, it's no surprise that her fanbase continues to grow by millions month after month. She is that rare combination of wildly popular and highly respected for her prodigious talent, a once in a generation superstar. Now in this stunning visual narrative journey through her life, she is ready to share more with her devoted audience for the first time, including hundreds of never-before-seen photos. This gorgeous book will capture the essence of Billie inside and out, offering readers personal glimpses into her childhood, her life on tour, and more. A must-have for any fan.

Blackjack: Play Like the Pros - John Bukofsky

Genres: Non-fiction

Blackjack gives you the best odds of any casino game, and armed with a little know-how, you can obtain an advantage. Let veteran blackjack player and expert card counter John Bukofsky show you how.

So you want to be Rain Man but just can't seem to instantly divide eight zillion by your shoe size? No problem--neither can the world's best blackjack players. But what they can do is work some simple techniques to increase their chances at the one game that already offers better odds for winning than slots, craps, roulette or any other.

John Bukofsky explains all you need to know--from the basics of game-play and strategy to card counting at the professional level--so you can actually gain an advantage over the house. Blackjack: Play Like the Pros also provides helpful information on other important aspects of the game, including:

• Plus a special section devoted to "negative swings"--the number-one reason why many players end up leaving the game

Beating the casinos at their own game isn't easy. But it can be done, and Blackjack: Play Like the Pros can increase your chances of walking out a winner.

Broken (in the best possible way) - Jenny Lawson

Genres: Non-fiction, Autobiography, Comedy

As Jenny Lawson’s hundreds of thousands of fans know, she suffers from depression. In Broken, Jenny brings readers along on her mental and physical health journey, offering heartbreaking and hilarious anecdotes along the way.

With people experiencing anxiety and depression now more than ever, Jenny humanizes what we all face in an all-too-real way, reassuring us that we’re not alone and making us laugh while doing it. From the business ideas that she wants to pitch to Shark Tank to the reason why Jenny can never go back to the post office, Broken leaves nothing to the imagination in the most satisfying way. And of course, Jenny’s long-suffering husband Victor―the Ricky to Jenny’s Lucille Ball―is present throughout.

A treat for Jenny Lawson’s already existing fans, and destined to convert new ones, Broken is a beacon of hope and a wellspring of laughter when we all need it most.

Call Me Indian - Fred Saskamoose

Genres: Non-fiction, Autobiography

Trailblazer. Residential school survivor. First Indigenous player in the NHL. All of these descriptions are true -- but none of them tell the whole story. Fred Sasakamoose suffered abuse in a residential school for a decade before becoming one of 125 players in the most elite hockey league in the world -- and has been heralded as the first Canadian Indigenous player with Treaty status in the NHL. He made his debut with the 1954 Chicago Black Hawks on Hockey Night in Canada and taught Foster Hewitt how to correctly pronounce his name. Sasakamoose played against such legends as Gordie Howe, Jean Beliveau, and Maurice Richard. After twelve games, he returned home. When people tell Sasakamoose's story, this is usually where they end it. They say he left the NHL after only a dozen games to return to the family and culture that the Canadian government had ripped away from him. That returning to his family and home was more important to him than an NHL career. But there was much more to his decision than that. Understanding Sasakamoose's decision to return home means grappling with the dislocation of generations of Indigenous Canadians. Having been uprooted once, Sasakamoose could not endure it again. It was not homesickness a man who spent his childhood as "property" of the government could not tolerate the uncertainty and powerlessness of being a team's property. Fred's choice to leave the NHL was never as clear-cut as reporters have suggested. And his story was far from over. He continued to play for another decade in leagues around Western Canada. He became a band councillor, served as Chief, and formed athletic programs for kids. He paved a way for youth to find solace and meaning in sports for generations to come. This isn't just a hockey story Sasakamoose's groundbreaking memoir intersects Canadian history and Indigenous politics, and follows his journey to reclaim pride in an identity that had previously been used against him.

Driven - Marcello di Cintio

Genres: Non-fiction, Short stories

In conversations with drivers ranging from veterans of foreign wars to Indigenous women protecting one another, Di Cintio explores the borderland of the North American taxi. 'A taxi,' writes Marcello Di Cintio, 'is a border.' Inside every cab is a space both private and public: accessible to all, and yet, once the doors close, strangely intimate, as two strangers who might otherwise never have met share a five or fifty minute trip. In a series of interviews with Canadian taxi drivers, their backgrounds ranging from the Iraqi National Guard, to the Westboro Baptist Church, to an arranged marriage that left one woman stranded in a foreign country, Di Cintio seeks out those missed conversations, revealing the untold lives of the people who take us where we want to go.

Everyone’s Table - Gregory Gourdet

Genres: Non-fiction, Cooking

Everyone's Table features 200 mouth-watering, decadently flavorful recipes carefully designed to focus on superfoods--ingredients with the highest nutrient-density, the best fats, and the most minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants--that will delight and inspire home cooks. Gourdet's dishes are inspired by his deep affection for global ingredients and techniques--from his Haitian upbringing to his French culinary education, from his deep affection for the cuisines of Asia as well as those of North and West Africa. His unique culinary odyssey informs this one-of-a-kind cookbook, which features dynamic vegetable-forward dishes and savory meaty stews, umami-packed sauces and easy ferments, and endless clever ways to make both year-round and seasonal ingredients shine.

The Happiest Man on Earth - Eddie Jaku

Genres: Non-fiction, Autobiography, History

Born in Leipzig, Germany, into a Jewish family, Eddie Jaku was a teenager when his world was turned upside-down. On November 9, 1938, during the terrifying violence of Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass, Eddie was beaten by SS thugs, arrested, and sent to a concentration camp with thousands of other Jews across Germany. Every day of the next seven years of his life, Eddie faced unimaginable horrors in Buchenwald, Auschwitz, and finally on a forced death march during the Third Reich’s final days. The Nazis took everything from Eddie—his family, his friends, and his country. But they did not break his spirit.

Against unbelievable odds, Eddie found the will to survive. Overwhelming grateful, he made a promise: he would smile every day in thanks for the precious gift he was given and to honor the six million Jews murdered by Hitler. Today, at 100 years of age, despite all he suffered, Eddie calls himself the “happiest man on earth.” In his remarkable memoir, this born storyteller shares his wisdom and reflects on how he has led his best possible life, talking warmly and openly about the power of gratitude, tolerance, and kindness. Life can be beautiful if you make it beautiful. With The Happiest Man on Earth, Eddie shows us how. .

Iconic Stories from 150 Years of Sport in Manitoba - Sean Grassie

Genres: Non-fiction, History, Sports

The book consists of 150 stories from 150 years of Manitoba sports history (1870-2019). There are stories on athletes, teams, events, and iconic sports moments. Cindy Klassen and Clara Hughes, who each won six Olympic medals, are among the athletes featured in the book. Others include sprinter John Armstrong Howard, who became Canada's first black Olympian in 1912, and Brigette Lacquette, who became the first First Nations player to play on Canada's Olympic women's hockey team in 2018. The 1967 and 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg are among the events featured in the book.

My Name is Selma - Selma van de Perre

Genres: Non-fiction, Autobiography, History

Selma van de Perre was seventeen when World War II began. She lived with her parents, two older brothers, and a younger sister in Amsterdam, and until then, being Jewish in the Netherlands had not presented much of an issue. But by 1941 it had become a matter of life or death. On several occasions, Selma barely avoided being rounded up by the Nazis. While her father was summoned to a work camp and eventually hospitalized in a Dutch transition camp, her mother and sister went into hiding—until they were betrayed in June 1943 and sent to Auschwitz. In an act of defiance and with nowhere else to turn, Selma took on an assumed identity, dyed her hair blond, and joined the Resistance movement, using the pseudonym Margareta van der Kuit. For two years “Marga” risked it all. Using a fake ID, and passing as non-Jewish, she traveled around the country and even to Nazi headquarters in Paris, sharing information and delivering papers—doing, as she later explained, what “had to be done.”

But in July 1944 her luck ran out. She was transported to Ravensbrück women’s concentration camp as a political prisoner. Without knowing the fate of her family—her father died in Auschwitz, and her mother and sister were killed in Sobibor—Selma survived by using her alias, pretending to be someone else. It was only after the war ended that she could reclaim her identity and dared to say once again: My name is Selma.

My Remarkable Journey - Katherine Johnson

Genres: Non-fiction, Autobiography, History

Katherine Johnson was 97 years old in 2015, when the world caught up to her. That year, President Barack Obama awarded her the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom-the nation's highest civilian honor-for her pioneering work decades earlier as a mathematician on NASA's first flights into space. The next year, a blockbuster movie, Hidden Figures, told the world the story of the West Area Computing unit, where Katherine worked as a human computer among an unheralded cadre of African American female mathematicians. In the days before IBM introduced its first electronic computers and at a time when African Americans were subjected to inferior treatment and status, these brilliant women were among those doing the computations that helped send the United States' first manned spaceflights to the moon. Even among such a talented group, Katherine stood out. Astronaut John Glenn was reluctant to trust her computations of NASA's first electronic computers for the trajectory of his 1962 flight to the moon, until Katherine did the math by hand. "Get the girl," Glenn said then, referring to Katherine. "If she says they're good, then I'm ready to go." Now, in her definitive new memoir, Katherine shares her personal journey from a child prodigy growing up in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia to the peaceful centenarian she was in her final days. In A Remarkable Journey: The Wisdom, Grit, and Grace of a Pioneering NASA Mathematician, Katherine wraps her story around some of the basic tenets of her life-the value of knowing that no one is better than you, education is paramount, timing is everything, and asking questions can break barriers. Readers will see this heroine in full dimension-curious "daddy's girl," standout college student, pioneering professional, doting mother, grieving widow, and sage elder. They will hear the wisdom of a woman who handled great fame with genuine humility and great tragedy with enduring hope. They will see the brilliance of a young college student who latched onto a dream, inspired by a college professor who told her she would make a good "research mathematician." She would carry the mantle of that professor, who in 1933 became one of the first African Americans in the country to receive a doctorate in math, only to find his own dreams of becoming a research mathematician crushed by racism. The book moves with Katherine through 100 years of racial history, pausing to show, for example, the influential role that educators at segregated schools and Historically Black Colleges and Universities played in nurturing the dreams of trailblazers. In this uplifting narrative, readers see a woman who navigated tough racial terrain with the soft-spoken grace expected of a woman of her era, and the unrelenting grit required to make history and inspire future generations.

Nishga - Jordan Abel

Genres: Non-fiction, Autobiography, Poetry

From Griffin Poetry Prize winner Jordan Abel comes a groundbreaking and emotionally devastating autobiographical meditation on the complicated legacies that Canada's reservation school system has cast on his grandparents', his parents' and his own generation. NISHGA is a deeply personal and autobiographical book that attempts to address the complications of contemporary Indigenous existence. As a Nisga'a writer, Jordan Abel often finds himself in a position where he is asked to explain his relationship to Nisga'a language, Nisga'a community, and Nisga'a cultural knowledge. However, as an intergenerational survivor of residential school--both of his grandparents attended the same residential school in Chilliwack, British Columbia--his relationship to his own Indigenous identity is complicated to say the least. NISHGA explores those complications and is invested in understanding how the colonial violence originating at the Coqualeetza Indian Residential School impacted his grandparents' generation, then his father's generation, and ultimately his own. The project is rooted in a desire to illuminate the realities of intergenerational survivors of residential school, but sheds light on Indigenous experiences that may not seem to be immediately (or inherently) Indigenous. Drawing on autobiography, a series of interconnected documents (including pieces of memoir, transcriptions of talks, and photography), NISHGA is a book about confronting difficult truths and it is about how both Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples engage with a history of colonial violence that is quite often rendered invisible.

Peyakow - Darrel J McLeod

Genres: Non-fiction, Autobiography

Mamaskatch, Darrel J. McLeod's 2018 memoir of growing up Cree in Northern Alberta, was a publishing sensation---winning the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction, shortlisted for many other major prizes and translated into French and German editions. In Peyakow, McLeod continues the poignant story of his impoverished youth, beset by constant fears of being dragged down by the self-destruction and deaths of those closest to him as he battles the bullying of white classmates, copes with the trauma of physical and sexual abuse, and endures painful separation from his family and culture. With steely determination, he triumphs: now elementary teacher now school principal now head of an Indigenous delegation to the UN in Geneva now executive in the Government of Canada---and now a celebrated author. Brutally frank but buoyed throughout by McLeod's unquenchable spirit, Peyakow, a title borrowed from the Cree word for "one who walks alone" is an inspiring account of triumph against unimaginable odds. McLeod's perspective as someone whose career path has crossed both sides of the Indigenous/white chasm resonates with particular force in today's Canada.

Remember - Lisa Genova

Genres: Non-fiction, Science

The Harvard-trained neuroscientist presents an exploration of the intricacies of human memory that distinguishes between normal and concerning memory loss while explaining the profound roles of sleep, stress, and other contributing influences. Have you ever felt a crushing wave of panic when you can't for the life of you remember the name of that actor in the movie you saw last week, or you walk into a room only to forget why you went there in the first place? If you're over forty, you're probably not laughing. You might even be worried that these lapses in memory could be an early sign of Alzheimer's or dementia. In reality, for the vast majority of us, these examples of forgetting are completely normal. Why? Because while memory is amazing, it is far from perfect. Our brains aren't designed to remember every name we hear, plan we make, or day we experience. Just because your memory sometimes fails doesn't mean it's broken or succumbing to disease. Forgetting is actually part of being human. In Remember, neuroscientist and acclaimed novelist Lisa Genova delves into how memories are made and how we retrieve them. You'll learn whether forgotten memories are temporarily inaccessible or erased forever and why some memories are built to exist for only a few seconds (like a passcode) while others can last a lifetime (your wedding day). You'll come to appreciate the clear distinction between normal forgetting (where you parked your car) and forgetting due to Alzheimer's (that you own a car). And you'll see how memory is profoundly impacted by meaning, emotion, sleep, stress, and context. Once you understand the language of memory and how it functions, its incredible strengths and maddening weaknesses, its natural vulnerabilities and potential superpowers, you can both vastly improve your ability to remember and feel less rattled when you inevitably forget. You can set educated expectations for your memory, and in doing so, create a better relationship with it. You don't have to fear it anymore. And that can be life-changing.

The Secret Ingredient Cookbook - Kelly Senyei

Genres: Non-fiction, Cooking

Kelly Senyei, founder of the food site Just a Taste, has garnered millions of fans with a delicious hook--every one of her recipes has a secret ingredient, something totally unexpected that takes a dish from common to extraordinary. Some of the 125 tried-and-tested recipes are surprisingly simple, like her Vanilla Bean Drop Doughnuts made with Greek yogurt, or the Sweet and Tangy Baked Chicken Wings made with blackberry jam. Other recipes are nothing short of genius, such as the Kale Panzanella made with croissants, the Healthy White Chicken Chili made with hummus, or the Crispy Slow Cooker Carnitas made with cocoa powder. And just because the secret ingredients are surprising doesn't mean they're expensive or hard to find, either. Kelly is a busy mother of two, and she made sure every ingredient can be found in any supermarket. Her family-friendly recipes cover every occasion, from crowd-pleasing snacks and 30-minute entrées to make-ahead sides and holiday-worthy desserts.

Sure, I’ll Be Your Black Friend - Ben Philippe

Genres: Non-fiction, Autobiography, Comedy

In an era in which “I have many black friends” is often a medal of Wokeness, Ben hilariously chronicles the experience of being on the receiving end of those fist bumps. He takes us through his immigrant childhood, from wanting nothing more than friends to sit with at lunch, to his awkward teenage years, to college in the age of Obama, and adulthood in the Trump administration—two sides of the same American coin.

Ben takes his role as your new black friend seriously, providing original and borrowed wisdom on stereotypes, slurs, the whole “swimming thing,” how much Beyoncé is too much Beyoncé, Black Girl Magic, the rise of the Karens, affirmative action, the Black Lives Matter movement, and other conversations you might want to have with your new BBFF.

Oscillating between the impulse to be "one of the good ones" and the occasional need to excuse himself to the restrooms, stuff his mouth with toilet paper, and scream, Ben navigates his own Blackness as an "Oreo" with too many opinions for his father’s liking, an encyclopedic knowledge of CW teen dramas, and a mouth he can't always control.

From cheating his way out of swim tests to discovering stray family members in unlikely places, he finds the punchline in the serious while acknowledging the blunt truths of existing as a Black man in today’s world.

Baixar O Grande Mestre 4 – A Batalha Final 2020 MP4 Dublado e Legendado

Informações Do Filme:
Título no Brasil: O Grande Mestre 4 – A Batalha Final
Título Original: Ip Man 4
Direção: Wilson Yip
Gênero: Ação, Drama
Ano de Lançamento: 2020
Duração: 1H 35Min
Qualidade: BluRay
Qualidade de Áudio: 10
Qualidade de Vídeo: 10
Formato: MP4
Tamanho: 500MB/1,50GB
Idioma: Português/Inglês
Legenda: Inglês/Português Continue lendo

Coming Soon

The following shows, series, and movies have been officially announced by Apple and will typically will begin streaming in the next few weeks or months.


What it’s about: A half-hour drama/comedy series set in a 1980s Southern California beach community. It’s about a tortured woman who finds a path to power in the world of aerobics.

Important names: The star of the series is Rose Byrne, and the series is written and created by Annie Weisman.

When you can watch: Physical will premiere on June 18, 2021.

Watch the Sound with Mark Ronson

What it’s about: A six-part documentary series that follows DJ and producer Mark Ronson as he “uncovers the untold stories behind music creation and the lengths producers and creators are willing to go to find the perfect sound.”

Important names: Artists featured in the series are Paul McCartney, Questlove, King Princess, Dave Grohl, Ad-Rock and Mike D, Charli XCX and more.

When you can watch: The series premieres on June 18, 2021.

Central Park (season 2)

What it’s about: The second season of this animated musical comedy about a family who lives in Central Park.

Important names: Featuring the voices of Josh Gad, Stanley Tucci, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Daveed Diggs, Tituss Burgess, Kathryn Hahn, and Leslie Odom Jr.

When you can watch: The second season starts streaming on June 25, 2021.


What it’s about: A documentary film in which two scientists engage in parallel research journeys on opposite sides of the world, trying to better understand humpback whale culture and communication.

Important names: Directed and photographed by Drew Xanthopoulos, following doctors Ellen Garland and Michelle Fournet.

When you can watch: Fathom will premiere on June 25, 2021.

Who are you, Charlie Brown?

What it’s about: A documentary about the life of “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz and the impact of his work.

Important names: Narrated by Lupita Nyong’o. Featuring interviews with with Jean Schulz, Drew Barrymore, Al Roker, Kevin Smith, Billie Jean King, Paul Feig, Ira Glass, and more.

When you can watch: Who are you, Charlie Brown? will premiere on June 25, 2021.


What it’s about: The characters discover the magical town of Schmigadoon on a backpacking trip, where everyone acts like they’re in a 1940’s musical. They can’t leave until they’ve found “true love.”

Important names: Lorne Michaels produces, and the series will star Keegan-Michael Key, Fred Armisen, Kristin Chenoweth, and Cecily Strong.

When you can watch: This series will debut on July 16, 2021.

Ted Lasso (season 2)

What it’s about: A charming fish-out-of-water comedy about a U.S. college football coach who takes a job as head coach of a U.K. Premiere League team. Easily one of the best shows on Apple TV+.

Important names: Starring Jason Sudeikis, Hannah Waddingham, Brendan Hunt, Jeremy Swift, Juno Temple, Sarah Niles, and many more.

When you can watch: Season 2 of Ted Lasso premieres on July 23, 2021.

What it’s about: A coming-of-age story about a high school senior who is the only hearing person in her deaf family and is torn between holding together that unit or seeking her own dreams. The film’s name is short for “Child of Deaf Adults.”

Important names: The film is written and directed by Siân Heder and stars Emilia Jones.

When you can watch: The film lands in theaters and on Apple TV+ on Friday, Aug 13, 2021.

See (season 2)

What it’s about: In the far future when humankind has lost its sense of sight. In season two, Baba Voss is fighting to reunite his torn-apart family and get away from the war and politics that surround him, but the more he moves away, the deeper he gets sucked in, and the emergence of his nemesis brother threatens his family even more.

Important names: In season 2, Dave Bautista joins the principle cast of Jason Momoa, Alfre Woodard, and Hera Hilmar.

When you can watch: The second season of See premieres on August 27, 2021.


What it’s about: This animated short film “follows the journey of a stranded horticulturist-astronaut’s chances for survival after he crash lands on a desolate dwarf planet. When an ethereal visitor arrives, the once-lone traveler discovers the joy in building a new life and realizes the universe has delivered astonishing salvation.”

Important names: Written and directed by Joe Mateo.

When you can watch: Apple says Blush is “coming soon.”

The Problem with Jon Stewart

What it’s about: A new current-affairs series and the first return to TV for Jon Stewart since 2015 when he left The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Apple says this is to be, “a multiple season, one-hour, single-issue series which will explore topics that are currently part of the national conversation and his advocacy work.” This is one of several projects in the multi-year partnership between Apple and Stewart.

Important names: Getting Jon Stewart back in front of the camera is a huge get for Apple.

When you can watch: Fall 2021

The Line

What it’s about: A combination podcast and video documentary limited series. The podcast is available now and will eventually be comprised of six non-fiction episodes. The four-part video limited series comes to Apple TV+ this fall. It features independently reported accounts of US Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who was charged with committing war crimes before ultimately being acquitted on all but one count: for posing in a photo with a corpse.

Important names: The podcast is hosted by Dan Taberski. The series is directed by Jeffrey Zimbalist.

When you can watch: Fall 2021 (the podcast part is available now)


What it’s about: Of all of Isaac Asimov’s famous science fiction work, none is as sprawling, weighty, or influential as the Foundation series. The original book trilogy (part of which was originally published as a short story series in sci-fi magazine Astounding) was published in the 1950s, and has served as influential fodder for a lot of the science fiction that followed.

Important names: Lee Pace and Jared Harris will star in the series.

When you can watch: Apple says Foundation will stream in 2021.

Dr. Brain

What it’s about: A brain scientist is obsessed with discovering new ways to access memories and consciousness. When his family dies in an accident, he accesses memories from his wife’s brain to figure out what really happened.

Important names: Written and directed by Kim Jee-Woon, starring Lee Sun-Kyun.

When you can watch: Dr. Brain will debut later in 2021.

The Velvet Underground

What it’s about: A documentary film about the famous rock group of the same name.

Important names: Directed by Todd Haynes.

When you can watch: This series is “coming soon.”

The Tragedy of Macbeth

What it’s about: This drama is the latest film by celebrated director Joel Coen. We don’t know whether it’s an actual retelling of the Shakespeare tragedy, though.

Important names: Stars Denzel Washington and Francis McDormand, directed by Joel Coen.

When you can watch: The film is due in theaters in late 2021, with an Apple TV+ release to follow.

Baixar Tempo de Matar (1996) MP4 Dublado MEGA

Sinopse: Em Canton, no Mississipi, dois brancos espancam e estupram uma menina negra de dez anos. Eles são presos, mas quando estão sendo levados ao tribunal para terem o valor da sua fiança decretada o pai da garota (Samuel L. Jackson) decide fazer justiça com as próprias mãos e mata os dois na frente de diversas testemunhas, além de acidentalmente ferir seriamente um policial. Ele é preso rapidamente, mas a cidade se torna um barril de pólvora e, além do mais, a defesa tem de se defrontar com um juiz que não permite que no julgamento se mencione a razão que fez o pai cometer o duplo homicídio, pois o julgamento é de assassinato e não de estupro.

The Astronaut of Casar Is An Unsolved Mystery, But Can We Explain It? - History

by iambiguous » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:49 pm

A particularly strange true story.

At the beginning of the film we see her hunched over a basket of cleaning implements she is scrubbing the floor while her employer tacks yet another chore on to her list of tasks. She's a maid. a housekeeper. In her own way [I suppose] she was another Henry Darger.

It might be said she embodied two aspects of religiosity that propelled her artistic impulses: ecstasy and mental affliction.

And just her luck: One of her employers was a German art critic.

Here's the thing though: He liked her painting. He was an art critic. Does that make them good? They are striking though. At least I thought so.

She also made her own paints.

Then there is WWI. and being a "boche". And always the real world where art and money sometimes cohere but most times do not. Not until after you die. Or [in this case] after you are put in an insane asylum.

Since the film's release, the number of visitors at the museum of Senlis exhibiting Séraphine's works has quadrupled (August 2009).

Written in part and directed by Martin Provost

Mother Superior: I'm glad to see you are doing so well. Are you lacking for anything.
Seraphine: Time, Mother Superior. Cleaning takes it all.
Mother Superior [patting her on the head]: And in there? Is everything better?

Employer [appraising a painting she asked Seraphine to bring her]: Shall I tell you what I think? You're wasting your time. These apples are anything but apples. They could just as easily be plums or peaches. Go back to your cleaning. You have better things to do.

Wilhelm: Who painted this?
Mme Duphot: That? I forget.
Wilhelm: Tell me who painted this.
Mme Duphot: Seraphine.
Wilhelm: What do you mean?
Mme Duphot: Your. I mean, our cleaner. She worked at the convent. One day, her guardian angel commanded her to paint.
[snickers from all the other dinner guests]
Mme Duphot: My son insisted I keep hold of it.
Wilhelm: I'll buy it off you.

Wilhelm [to Seraphine]: Do you have others? I want to see them immediately.

Wilhelm: You can't spend your life cleaning when you have gold in your hands.
Seraphine: "Be ardent in your work and you will find God in your cooking pots," said Saint Teresa of Avila.
Wilhelm: I'm not very religious, you know.
Seraphine: But the Virgin Mary? Sir believes in the Virgin Mary, at least?
Wilhelm: It depends.
Seraphine: It depends on what?
Wilhem: On how I am feeling. But I believe in the soul. Definitely. I believe that we humans have a soul. It's what makes us so sad, compared to animals. Animals are never sad, are they?
Seraphine: Yes, they are. If you take her calf from a cow, she cries.

Wilhem: Seraphine, now I am going to tell you what I think. You're talented. But you will have to work very hard. Don't worry about what other people say. They know nothing.

Seraphine [to Wilhelm]: Sir thinks someone of my rank isn't able to understand things as well as him.
Wilhelm: Not at all. Not at all.
Seraphine: Lies!
Wilhelm: Don't talk to me like that!
Seraphine: How do you think people talk to me, ever since I was born?

Madame Delonges: Your flowers are strange. They move. They look like insects. They look like eyes, wounded eyes. Shredded flesh. Terrifying things.
Seraphine: Me, too. When I look at them, what I've done scares me.

Title card: Seraphine died in 1942 in Clermont Asylum. Thanks to Uhde, her work was exhibited 3 years later in Paris and worldwide. She is known today as Serpahine de Senlis.

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:35 am

This guy is so despicable he attends the funerals of complete strangers only in order to pass out his business card. And his business is being a sleazy lawyer.

But it's not as bad as it looks. He was once a respectable [and respected] attorney. But then some sons of bitches shafted him. Now he gets by on crumbs and booze.

So what are the odds then that he can take on the medical establishment, the legal establishment and the Roman Catholic Church?

Well, what's the script say?

Money and power. That's always being exposed again and again in films like this. We know we're being suckered into going along but we let them do it to us anyway. Vicarious truth and justice is better than nothing at all.

The world isn't always like this of course. But it is often enough to propel cynics like me into the future.

And I'm always a sucker for a film where a cynical, corrupt scumbag gets drawn into a set of circumstances that completely turns him [or her] around. But there are consequences.

Look for Bruce Willis. He's supposed to be in here [uncredited] but I never spot him. Same with Tobin Bell.

The Verdict [1982]
Directed by Sidney Lumet

Mickey [to Frank]: Listen to me. Listen to me. listen to me, Frank, 'cause I'm done fuckin' with you. I can't do it any more. Look around you: You think that you're going to change? What's going to change it? You think it's going to be different next month? It's going to be the same. And I have to stop. This is it. I got you a good case, it's a moneymaker. You do it right and it will take care of you. But I'm through. I'm sorry, Frank, this is the end. Life is too fucking short, and I'm getting too fucking old.

Dr. Gruber: Her doctors murdered her. They gave her the wrong anesthetic and they put her in the hospital for life. Her doctors killed her. She ended up drowning in her own vomit.
Galvin: Do you know who her doctors were?
Dr. Gruber: I read the file. Yeah. Marx and Towler. I know who they were.
Galvin: The most respected.
Dr. Gruber: Whose side are you arguing. I thought that you wanted to do something. I don't have any interest in the woman's estate. I have an interest in the Hospital and I don't want those bozos working in the same shop as me. They gave her the wrong anesthetic. They turned the girl into a vegetable. They killed her and they killed her kid. You caught 'em.

Galvin: Uh, why, why are you doing this?
Dr. Gruber: To do the right thing. Isn't that why you're doing it?

Uh, guess who gets bought off?

Galvin: How did you settle on the amount?
Bishop Brophy: We thought it was just.
Galvin: You thought it was just?
Bishop Brophy: Yes.
Galvin: Because it struck me, um, how neatly 'three' went into this figure: 210,000. That means I would keep seventy.
Bishop Brophy: That was our insurance company's recommendation.
Galvin: Yes, that would be.
Bishop Brophy: Nothing we can do can make that woman well.
Galvin: And no one will know the truth.
Bishop Brophy: What is the truth?
Galvin: That poor girl put her trust into the. into the hands of two men who took her life. She's in a coma. Her life is gone. She has no home, no family. She's tied to a machine. She has no friends. And the people who should care for her - her doctors. and you and me - have been bought off to look the other way. We've been paid to look the other way. I came here to take your money. I brought snapshots to show you so I could get your money. I can't do it I can't take it. 'Cause if I take the money I'm lost. I'll just be a. a rich ambulance chaser. I can't do it. I can't take it.

Galvin: I'm going to help her.
Mickey: To do what. To do what, for chrissake. To help her to do what? She's dead.
Galvin: They killed her. And they're trying to buy it.
Mickey: That's the fucking point, dummy. Let them buy it. We let them buy the case. That's what I took it for. You let this drop -- we'll go up to New Hampshire, kill some fuckin' deer.
Galvin: I can win this case.
Mickey: You won, Frankie. You won. When they give you the money, that means you won.

Mickey: Do you know who the attorney for the Archdiocese is? Ed Concannon!
Galvin: He's a good man.
Mickey: He's a good man? Heh, heh, he's the Prince of fucking Darkness! He'll have people testifying they saw her waterskiing in Marblehead last summer. Now look, Frank, don't fuck with this case!

Judge: Frank, what will you and your client take right now this very minute to walk out of here and let this damn thing drop?
Galvin: My client can't walk, your Honor.

Judge: It seems to me, a fellow's trying to come back, he'd take the settlement, get a record for himself. I, myself, would take it and run like a thief.
Galvin: I'm sure you would.

Galvin: I swear to you I wouldn't have turned the offer down unless I thought that I could win the case.
Doneghy: What you thought!? What you thought . I'm a workingman, I'm trying to get my wife out of town, we hired you, we're paying you, I got to find out from the other side they offered two hundred.
Galvin: I'm going to win this case Mr. Doneghy. I'm going to the Jury with a solid case, a famous doctor as an expert witness, and I'm going to win five or six times what they.
Doneghy: You guys. you guys are all the same! The doctors at the hospital, you. it's always what I'm going to do for you. And then you screw up, and it's, "Ah, we did the best that we could, I'm dreadfully sorry." And people like us live with your mistakes the rest of our lives.

Mickey [to Laura]: Stearns thought Frankie needed some help, so they bribed a juror. So Frankie finds out. He comes to me in tears. He thinks that anybody who knows what a 'spinnaker' is got to be a saint. I told him 'Frankie, wake up. These people are sharks. What do you think they got so rich from? Doing good?' He can't be comforted. He tells the boys at Stearns and Harrington they've disappointed him, he's going to the Judge to rat them out. But they were way ahead of him. Before he can get there here comes this Federal Marshal, and Frankie's indicted for Jury tampering, they throw him in jail, he's gonna be disbarred, his life is over.

Mickey [to Laura]: Okay, so now he's in jail. He, finally, he gets to see the light, he calls up Harrington, he says he thinks he made a mistake. As if by magic, just like that, charges against him are dropped, he's released from jail. He's fired from the firm, his wife divorces him, he turns to drink and mopes around three and a half years. You like that story, Laura?

Nurse Rooney: You know you guys are all the same. You don't care who gets hurt. You'd do anything for a dollar. You're a bunch of whores. You got no loyalty. No nothing. You're a bunch of whores!

Young Lawyer: . and he's black.
Concannon [sternly): I'm going to tell you how you handle the fact that he's black. You don't touch it. You don't mention it. You treat him like anybody else. Neither better or worse. And, uh, let's get a black lawyer to sit at our table. Okay.

Mickey [to Frank]: All we have is the witch doctor, right?

Concannon [to Laura]: I know how you feel. You don't believe me, but I do know. I'm going to tell you something that I learned when I was your age. I'd prepared a case and old man White said to me, "How did you do?" And, uh, I said, "Did my best." And he said, "You're not paid to do your best. You're paid to win." And that's what pays for this office. pays for the pro bono work that we do for the poor. pays for the type of law that you want to practice. pays for my whiskey. pays for your clothes. pays for the leisure we have to sit back and discuss philosophy as we're doing tonight. We're paid to win the case. You finished your marriage. You wanted to come back and practice the law. You wanted to come back to the world. Welcome back.

Mickey: The 'History'.
Galvin: Yeah, how old are you, how many children do you have.
[he stops, handing Mickey the admitting form. then he leaves the office]
Mickey [reading from the form]: How old are you, how many children do you have. when did you last eat.

Laura [looking up at men holding Frank back after he punched her in the face]: Leave him alone.

Galvin: If she had eaten, say one hour prior to admission, the inducement of a general anesthetic. the type you gave her. would have been negligent?
Dr. Towler: Negligent. Yes. it would have been criminal. But that was not the case.
Galvin: Thank you.

Kaitlin [testifying why she kept a copy of the admittance form]: After the operation, when that poor girl she went into a coma, Dr. Towler called me in. He told me that he'd had five difficult deliveries in a row and he was tired. and he never looked at the admittance form. And he told me to change the form. He told me to change the '1' to a '9'. or else. or else he said, he said he'd fire me. He said I'd never work again. Who were these men? Who were these men? I wanted to be a nurse!

Galvin: You know, so much of the time we're just lost. We say, "Please, God, tell us what is right tell us what is true." And there is no justice: the rich win, the poor are powerless. We become tired of hearing people lie. And after a time, we become dead. We think of ourselves as victims. and we become victims. We become. we become weak. We doubt ourselves, we doubt our beliefs. We doubt our institutions. And we doubt the law. But today you are the law. You are the law. Not some book. not the lawyers. not the, a marble statue. or the trappings of the court. See those are just symbols of our desire to be just. They are. they are, in fact, a prayer: a fervent and a frightened prayer. In my religion, they say, "Act as if ye had faith. and faith will be given to you." If. if we are to have faith in justice, we need only to believe in ourselves. And act with justice. See, I believe there is justice in our hearts.

Judge: Have you reached a verdict?
Jury Foreman: We have, your Honor. Your Honor, we have agreed to hold for the Plaintiff. But your honor, are we limited on the size of the award? What I mean. sir, are we permitted to award an amount greater than the amount the plaintiff asked for?

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Fri Apr 26, 2013 8:53 pm

I've always been drawn to films set in small towns. In part because I spent a good part of my own youth growing up in one. And in part because everywhere I went, one way or another, there was God. And all the things which made that inevitable.

The guy just got out of prison. And boy is he ever on his best behavior. But you know right from the start where this is going. To the part where you can't help but wonder: If God does exist where does He fit in here ? Especially as the guy found God in prison.

Of course some folks think: Why should we give a fuck about them anyway? They are all just hicks from the sticks trudging from day to day in the strait jacket of their own prattle and prejudice. Only aren't we all in our own way. Give or take the part about God. And the particular narritive we cling to as "reality".

Of course nothing changes. God goes on. People will just chalk it up to a misguided soul who didn't get Him the way we are supposed to.

EYE OF GOD [1997]
Written and directed by Tim Blake Nelson

Sheriff [voiceover]: Sunday evenings, my dad read to us from the Bible. The stories were beautiful, austere, terrifying. And one loomed over all the others--the story of Abraham. God sends a man to slaughter his own son, only to stop him perilously close to the act, to reveal it's all been a ruse. To me that story was, and always will be, not Abraham's story, but Isaac's. This boy must grow with the image of his own father poised above him without it ever explained why he's a victum. I always knew I would devote my life to clarity. I would save the world's uncomprehending victums. What I never knew is, when dealing with matters of life and death, as policemen inevitably do, there's no way around the question of God. In fact, there are moments when there's nothing else that can be thought of but, why? And like Isaac found there's only silence in response. Lonely, indeterminate silence.

Parole officer: So you found religion too?
Jack: Yes, sir.
Parole officer: That's neither one way or the other with me, religion. If Christ died for my sins, I sure as hell ain't seen any of the benefits. But if you get satisfaction in praying, so be it.

Jack: I need to know where the church is in town.
Parole officer: That should be easy enough. Just pick and choose. Unless you're a Morman or a Jew.

Ainsley: I don't think I believe in God.
Jack: That's all right.
Ainsley: It is?
Jack: You just ain't found Him yet. He's in your life, you just can't see Him.
Ainsley: Don't nobody see God.
Jack: But we see what He does. That's what faith is.
Ainsley: How do I get faith?
Jack: You just got to let go.

Ainsley [to Tommy]: I think I might have left my husband tonight.

Parole Officer: The state feels that Jack is rehabilitated. but they always say the spouse has a right to know.
Ainsley: What did he do?
Parole Officer: He nearly beat a woman to death and, uh.
Ainsley: And what?
Parole Officer: And, uh, she was carrying their child at the time.

Sheriff: "Revelation."
Jack: You've read the Bible. It's more than most Christians.
Sheriff: Your parole officer is right. If this goes to trial, we'll win. You'll get the chair. I want that. I want your life to end. I used to think a man's life was God's domain. But you've changed that.

Sheriff: This got nothing to do with God.
Jack: Everything's got to do with God. It's that you and this whole world's forgot.
Sheriff: Was God with you on Friday night?
Jack: You don't believe that?
Seriff: I don't see why he'd let that happen to one of His children.
Jack: God ain't about asking why.
Seriff: You never ask why?
Jack: Even if I did, think I'd hear an answer?

Sheriff [voiceover]: Faith. God tells a man to sacrifice his own son. The man has faith, and he will do it. He doesn't ask why. Maybe Abraham, as he binds his son, knows why they are there. I don't anymore.

Ainsley [to Tom]: Children. That's all we are, Lord, if you're out there at all. Your children, boys and girls. Forgive us.

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Sat Apr 27, 2013 1:42 am

Another small town, another love story. And boy do I know a thing or two about falling in love there.

But you never forget the first time you bump into someone actually worth falling in love with. Someone who finally makes you understand there is more to the world than the town you had always mistaken for the world. And the last thing you come to care about then is that she's your friend's sister.

This brought back so many memories for me. The gap between a mind at that age and the complexity of the world as it really is. And it's all the wider back then because you are so sure that it's not. And while I've tried and tried to make contact with the two women this reminds me of most, I have never been successful.

And these particular folks are a hell of a lot more down to earth than lots of big city types I have known. Some of them anyway.

This is mostly about marbling love into the quotidian---the world you have to live in day to day to day to day. The miraculous and the mundane. The thrills side by side with the trials and the tribulations. It's like watching a rendition of Bruce Springsteen's The River:

Written and directed by David Gordon Green

Tip: Are you stupid or just blind?
Noel: Neither one. You clearly don't know him.
Tip: What are you talking about? I've seen him fuck every girl in this town.
Noel: That's not true.
Tip: It is true. Just ask him.

Bo: It's different when it's your family.
Paul: I wouldn't know that.
Bo: What Tip sees in you is exactly what he hates in himself. You think he's just gonna forgive you and forget about it? Grow up, tell you it's all right? "Go ahead, date my sister, I've seen what you done to every other girl on town, but it's okay." What do you want him to do?
Paul: I want him to calm down.
Bo: That's not going to happen. If you were not in the history of all as the hapless ex-boyfriend. But you are.

Girl [to Tip]: He's gonna fuck your sister over like he fucked over every other girl in this town.

Noel: You're the first person that I've wanted to tell that to, 'cause you're the first person that I've wanted to talk to for more than five minutes. ever.

Paul [to Noel after her confession]: I'm looking at you right now and I hear you talking and all the words that are coming out of your mouth are like they're coming out of a stranger. Why don't you put your fucking hair back on and come back, just come on back.

Paul [drunkenly]: Listen, I want to talk. about when we were dating, I wanted to say to you that if I hurt your feelings. if I hurt your feelings, that I'm sorry.
Mary-Margaret [interrupting]: Shut up.
Paul: I'm sorry I hurt your feelings!
Mary-Margaret: Shut up!
Paul: I'm really sorry and I'm trying to apologize to you in a real way.
Mary-Margaret [seething with anger and pain]: You're not sorry. You know how I know that? Because you're not smart enough to be sorry. Guys like you. you never quit, and you never leave - you're gonna be here forever. How does it make you feel knowing that?

Paul [to Mary-Margaret]: Do you wanna know a secret that I didn't tell anybody ever. You know how ducks fly home in a V? It's like a v-shape when they get home? I was walking my dog and I looked up and there's this big V above me, there's all these ducks flying back to their home. And right when they flew above me, I saw 'em and, they crashed into a big house! The whole V! And then, they hit the ground, and they just kinda curled up. You ever fucking see that? Have you ever seen a mistake in nature? Have you ever seen an animal make a mistake?

Noel: I don't know what to say to you, anymore.
Paul: Then don't say anything.
Noel: Okay, then don't smoke in my room.

Elvira [Paul's mother]: You sitting around crying, it ain't gonna do you any good. I got news for you. Grow up and balance your personal life with your responsibilites.
Paul: What am I supposed to do, dress up as a clown and change bed pans? I don't understand why I have to listen to this crap when you know I'm fucking standing here with a broken heart about ready to split my ribs.
Elvira: Oh that's good. That's a good one.
[She flaps the clown costume]
Elvira: Do you know what this is? DO YOU KNOW WHAT THIS IS?!
Paul: Clown clothes.
Elvira: That's right. This is what I get for living through hard times. These are the clothes I wear. This is my face now. Do you want to look like me? Do you want to look like this? I was fucking beautiful!
[She slaps him across the face. Then again]
Elvira: Look at me. I got my own battles to attend to. It don't mean that I don't love you. It's just that I can see the future and you got other opportunities. Opportunities that I don't have.

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:51 pm

A post modern family if there ever was one. At least here in America. The father is gone and the mother is struggling in order to pay all the bills necessary to raise two kids. There is nothing that really anchors them. So [one day at a time] they deal with the dysfunction as best they can. And one of them is losing her mind. She's just a kid. About 6 years old and already a cutter. She thinks she's an angel when she flies out the window.

Life pummels them and they pummel each other. That's the American way.

And sex. The accursed male libido. It has to be reined in and most times most men [of this sort] are able to. But things can get complicated. We just pretend that they don't.

On the other hand, he knows how vulnerable she is. And he is familiar enough about her precarious "situation" to know this: that sex with him can only make things a whole lot worse.

And the hints are broad: He's done this before.

Good luck trying to put it all in perspective.

My own particular subtext: Where does the government fit into all this? What is the minimum each citizen should be able to expect from it? Especially children. Should Megan have to abandon the poetry contest because her family can't afford to get her to it? Should she be reduced to stealing ties from her employer?

BLUE CAR [2002]
Written and directed by Karen Moncrieff

Lily [reading from a book]: "A man in Mexico burst his own eardrums with a pencil and sewed his eyelids shut because he said the government is deaf and blind to people's pain."

Diane [Megan's mother]: I expect you to take care of her when I'm gone.
Meg: Get a babysitter.
Diane: I can't afford a babysitter. You do have a responsibility to this family.
Meg: You had her. You take care of her.
Diane [startled]: What did you say?

Meg [to Lily]: It's gonna get infected. You gotta stop hurting yourself.

Auster: A world emerges from little details. For example, when we buried my son, I had forgotten to put in my contact lenses. I stood over him before they closed the coffin, trying to fix him in my memory. I could see the red from his sweater and his blue pants, and there was a scab on his forehead that hadn't healed. It was from a bicycle accident. I could feel that scab when I kissed him, but when I looked at him. he was out of focus.

Auster [after reading her poem]: Okay. you tell me.
Meg: I don't know.
Auster: Why not? Are you afraid I'm going to tell you your work stinks?
Meg: Does it?
Auster: What do you think?
Meg: Probably. I don't know.
Auster: Come back when you do.
[rises, starts to leave]
Meg: It doesn't stink. There's a line that I like.
Auster: Which one?
Meg: "Lost leaves spin past the glass, but the trees don't go. They stay by my window."
Auster: What about the rest of it?
Meg: I could go deeper.
Auster: Good for you.

Meg [to Auster]: Why are you so nice to me?

Meg: I'll go and live with Dad.
Diane: Oh, good. You do that. You think he is so wonderful? See how you like it.
Meg: At least he doesn't control everything I do.
Diane: Your father doesn't give a shit about you. How many times did he come last year? Three?
Meg: He doesn't come because of you.
Diane: He can't even manage to pay the $60 a week in child support he owes me. I am up to here in debt to give you a life I can't afford. I go to work 12 hours a day and I go to school at night so that I can make life nice.

Meg [at poetry contest]: This poem -- po-em -- is for Mr. Auster. It's called "Now That I've Read Your Book".

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:49 am

She was born in the wrong place at the wrong time. And she's bloody bored. And she is fully determined [and fully prepared] to make damn sure everybody knows it.

Besides she can get away with it [around some] because she's so gorgeous.

It's the 1950s. England. No Beatles yet. So there's really not much here that isn't viewed as an act of rebellion. But she's no teddy boy.

Instead, she sees through much of the bullshit that is "normal society" and plays the innocent waif. Gosh, what's all the fuss, she seems to says, all I did was.

But, really, how many options [for "girls"] were there back then?

In many ways she is not nearly as sophisticated as she likes others to think she is. And she plays her games around folks not so much intent on being dignified as in being seen that way by others. Every culture has its own rendition of saving face.

Look, if all you do is watch the scene with her and shrink going through the alphabet, you know you're watching a gem.

Oh, and by the way, "Up yer bum!"

Written and directed by David Leland

Lynda: Have I got nice tits, or have I got nice tits?

Lynda: But I was only showing them my new knickers, Mr. Figgis, look.

Dave: Do you fancy me?
Lynda: Not half as much as you fancy yourself.

Lynda: Just trying to find a cat, Mrs. Fartly.

Lynda: Do you love me?
Eric: No, I don't love anyone. not even myself.

Lynda [to Eric]: You don't know how lucky you are. I'm practicaly a virgin.

Lynda: No plonker, no nooky.

Eric [unbuttoning her dress]: You'd better take this off and all. I can just fit you in before the novices handicap at Kempton.
Lynda: Just hold me please, just hold me.

Needless to say, he's not the holding type.

Eric: I don't believe you. How? How do you know you're pregnant?
Lynda: You're the one who should know. You put it up me, Mr. Bareback Rider. You knew when you were gonna spunk! How the hell was I supposed to know?! All you see are tits and arses.
Eric: Have you seen a doctor? How do you know it's mine?
Lynda: If it walks with a limp and thinks with its prick, it's yours.

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:25 pm

Watching this is always a surreal and exasperating experience for me. It is basically two films in one. One is completely enthralling and the other is, well, rather tedious. To me. Judah, Ben, Jack and Dolores converge around the crime while Cliff, Lester, Halley and Wendy haggle over the misdemeanors. It's actually reached the point now where, aside from the part where Professor Levy comes into play, I'm mostly fast fowarding on to the crime. Lester and Halley in particular set my teeth to grinding.

In my view, this might well have been as enthraling as Another Woman had he saved the comedy for his next film. Remember Alice ? Me neither.

The Seder scene alone is a masterpiece.

I just think it would have been so much beter had it explored in more depth, say, the relationship between Judah and Jack. drawing in on some of the characters from the Seder perhaps.

Bottom line: The world with and without God. Because, without Him, morality can never be more than a shifting point of view cobbled together existentially out in a particular world. This film imagines an actual context in which one confronts the proposition that "in the absense of God all things are permitted". And they are permitted because they are rationalized.

Woody Allen felt that he had been too "nice" to the characters in the end of Hannah and Her Sisters, so he wrote this film as a response to those feelings.

Written and directed by Woody Allen

Clifford [on Lester's films]: Hey, I can't watch his stuff. It's sub-mental.

Judah [to Ben]: I’ve done a foolish thing. Senseless, vain, dumb. Another woman. Maybe I was flattered, vulnerable. Maybe because she was helpless and alone. Now my life’s about to go up in smoke.

Judah: You know what’s funny? Our entire adult lives, you and I have been having this same conversation in one form or another.
Ben: It’s a fundamental difference in the way we view the world. You see it as harsh and empty of values and pitiless, and I couldn’t go on living if I didn’t feel with all my heart a moral structure with real meaning and forgiveness, and some kind of higher power. Otherwise there’s no basis to know how to live. And I know you well enough to know that the spark of that notion is inside you, too.

Professor Levy [voiceover]: The unique thing that happened to the early Israelites was that they conceived a God that cares. He cares but, at the same time, he also demands that you behave morally. But here comes the paradox. What’s one of the first things that that God asks? That God asks Abraham to sacrifice his only son, his beloved son, to him. In other words, in spite of millennia of efforts, we have not succeeded to create a really and entirely loving image of God. This was beyond our capacity to imagine.

Clifford: A strange man defecated on my sister.
Wendy [matter of factly]: Why?
Clifford: I don't know. Is there any reason I could give you that would answer that satisfactorily? Human sexuality is just…it’s so mysterious. Which I guess is…you know. I guess it’s good in a way.

Judah [to Jack]: Let me get something straight here.

Judah [to Jack]: She's not an insect! You don't just step on her!

Instead, you hire someone else to.

[in an imagined conversation]
Ben: It's a human life. You don't think God sees?
Judah: God is a luxury I can't afford.
Ben: Now you're talking like your brother Jack.
Judah: Jack lives in the real world. You live in the kingdom of heaven. I'd managed to keep free of that real world but suddenly it's found me.
Ben: You fool around with her for your pleasure and then when you think its enough you sweep her under the rug.
Judah: There's no other solution but Jack's, Ben. I push one button and I can sleep at nights.
Ben: But the law, Judah. Without the law, it's all darkness.
Judah: You sound like my father. What good is the law if it prevents me from receiving justice? Is just justice? Is this what I deserve?

Judah: It's pure evil, Jack! A man kills for money and he doesn't even know his victims!

[in Judah's imagination]
Man: What are you saying, May? There’s no morality anywhere in the whole world?
May: For those who want morality, there’s morality. Nothing’s handed down in stone.
Woman: Sol’s kind of faith is a gift. It’s like an ear for music, or the talent to draw. He believes. You can use logic on him and he still believes.
Man: Must everything be logical?
Judah: And if a man commits a crime, if he…if he kills…
Sol: One way or another he will be punished.
Man: If he’s caught, Sol.
Sol: If he’s not, that which originates from a black deed will blossom in a foul manner.
Man: You’re relying too heavily on the Bible.
Sol: No, no, no. Whether it’s the Old Testament or Shakespeare, murder will out.
Judah: Who said anything about murder?
Sol: You did.
Judah: Did I?
May: And I say, if he can do it and get away with it and he chooses not to be bothered by the ethics, then he’s home free. Remember, history is written by the winners.
Man: And if all your faith is wrong, Sol, I mean just what if?
Sol: Then I'll still have a better life than all of those that doubt.
May: Wait a minute, are you telling me that you prefer God to the truth?
Sol: If necessary I will always choose God over truth.

Professor Levy [voiceover]: But we must always remember that we, when we are born, we need a great deal of love in order to persuade us to stay in life. Once we get that love it usually lasts us. But the universe is a pretty cold place. It’s we who invest it with our feelings. And, under certain conditions, we feel that the thing isn’t worth it any more.

Clifford [to Halley after Professor Levy's demise]: He left a note. He left a simple little note that said "I've gone out the window." This is a major intellectual and he leaves a note that says "I've gone out the window." He's a role-model. You'd think he'd leave a decent note.

Judah: I believe in God, Miriam. Because without God, the world's a cesspool.

Judah: . and after the awful deed is done, he finds that he's plagued by deep-rooted guilt. Little sparks of his religious background which he'd rejected are suddenly stirred up. He hears his father's voice. He imagines that God is watching his every move. Suddenly, it's not an empty universe at all, but a just and moral one, and he's violated it. Now, he's panic-stricken. He's on the verge of a mental collapse-an inch away from confessing the whole thing to the police. And then one morning, he awakens. The sun is shining, his family is around him and mysteriously, the crisis has lifted. He takes his family on a vacation to Europe and as the months pass, he finds he's not punished. In fact, he prospers. The killing gets attributed to another person-a drifter who has a number of other murders to his credit, so I mean, what the hell? One more doesn't even matter. Now he's scott-free. His life is completely back to normal. Back to his protected world of wealth and privilege.
Clifford: Yeah, but can he ever really do back?
Judah: Well, people carry sins around with them. Oh, maybe once in a while he has a bad moment. but then in time it all fades.
Clifford: Yeah, but now his worst beliefs are realized.
Judah: Well, I said it was a chilling story.

With God though, there's the part about after we die. There's the part about Sin and Hell and Devine Justice.

Judah: In reality, we rationalize, we deny, or we couldn't go on living.
Clifford: Here's what I would do. I would have him turn himself in because then your story assumes tragic proportions because in the absense of a God he's forced to assume that responsibility himself. Then you have tragedy.
Judah: But that's fiction, that's movies. You've seen too many movies. I'm talking about reality. I mean if you want a happy ending you should go see a Hollywood movie.

Or broach it here with an objectivist.

Professor Levy [voiceover]: We are all faced throughout our lives with agonizing decisions. Moral choices. Some are on a grand scale. Most of these choices are on lesser points. But! We define ourselves by the choices we have made. We are in fact the sum total of our choices. Events unfold so unpredictably, so unfairly, human happiness does not seem to have been included, in the design of creation. It is only we, with our capacity to love, that give meaning to the indifferent universe. And yet, most human beings seem to have the ability to keep trying, and even to find joy from simple things like their family, their work, and from the hope that future generations might understand more.

It's the same ending Allen always opts for. But then what other one is there in a world without God?

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:28 pm

Well, at least we're off to a good start.

He is the consumate intellectual. There is art and "culture". And there are words piled up aesthetically into sublime ideas. And then there is everything else.

But among all "else" there is the flesh. And he is smitten. And, apparently, this is how it works for gay folks who still live in the 19th century too.

Come on, lots of us have these vicarious "relationships". We see someone up on the screen and the fantasies begin. And they play themselves out right up to the moment he/she opens his/her mouth and says something. Then we rationalize. They aren't like that in "real life". They are forced to be these cartoon characters because that's the only stuff "the industry" makes. And even if they aren't all that much like us "in reality" once we spend some time with them we can turn them around. What's really important is that "in the flesh" they turn us on and we want them.

Not entirely sure why but it all sort of reminds me of. Lolita?

trailer: [couldn't find one in English]

Written and directed by Richard Kwietniowski

Giles [voiceover]: It is so difficult to know where I should begin, especially when, unlike you, I already know the ending. But let us say that this story began with the end of another far, far from the surf of Long Island. For many years, I had absolutely no public life. I had said, "No," to interviews so often, it was widely regarded as my forte. Then, just once -- on impulse -- I said, "Yes."

Giles [aloud in the theater]: "This isn't EM Forster."

Taxi Driver: The sign says "no smoking."
Giles: No, the sign says "thank you for not smoking." As I am smoking, I don't expect to be thanked.

An imagined Quiz Master: And what is your chosen specialized subject?
Giles: The life and work of Ronnie Bostock.
Quiz Master: You have two minutes on the life and work of Ronnie Bostock, starting. now. Ronnie Bostock was born in Southern California but where does he live now?
Giles: Chesterton, Long Island.
Quiz Master: Correct. What is the name of the dog which features prominently in his publicity stills?
Giles: Strider.
Quiz Master: Correct. What is Ronnie Bostock's favorite reading material?
Giles: Stephen King and science fiction.
Quiz Master: Correct. For what does Ronnie have a self-confessed weakness?
Giles: Pizza?
Quiz Master: Yes. I'll accept that. It's actually pizza with extra anchovies. Under what circumstances would Ronnie do a nude scene?
Giles: If it were tasteful.
Quiz Master: And?
Giles: . essential to the plot.
Quiz Master: Correct. Why was he not cast in the original Hotpants College?
Giles: Uh, too young?
Quiz Master: No. He was unable. to break his contract with the sitcom Home Is Where The Heart Is. What is Ronnie's favorite kind of training shoe and why?
Giles: Reeboks, because British stuff is cool.
Quiz Master: Correct. With which of his rock idols was he recently photographed?
Giles: Axl Rose.
Quiz Master: Correct. Ronnie claims to like nothing better than hanging out with the guys. What exactly do these "guys" mean to him?
Giles: I wonder.

Giles: If one has to have a theme, Henry, it would be the discovery of beauty where no one ever thought of looking for it.

Giles [as a lecturer]: So, the largely unrecognized art of film acting depends entirely on the ability of the actor to make everything about himself seem equally permanent. When, thus, an actor is called upon to smile, he must then try to select a smile from a collection -- a repertoire -- a whole file of smiles, as it were. Naive, rueful, sly, sarcastic. and so on.

Giles [looking at himself in the mirror]: Dear God, this is ridiculous.

Giles: In Europe, we have a much stronger tradition of work with what you call a message. That is, after all, why I've been persuaded to write my first screenplay. Yes, if Tex Mex had been, say, German about the plight of the exploited Gastarbeiters, it would have met with a far greater success. It probably would have made less money than Hotpants, but in Europe we're not necessarily interested in that kind of a success, not when a film can change the way people think. And that, Ronnie, is why I write. It's also why you act, although you may not yet know it.

Now it's up to Ronnie to play his part.

Giles: Ronnie, there is nothing more solitary than an artist's life. No doubt you'll find that out for yourself. Painfully, perhaps. One yearns for solace without quite knowing where to look for it. But I found it in you.
Ronnie: Oh--That's great.
Giles: Ronnie, I have another confession to make. I brought you here not to say good-bye, but to make you an offer.
Ronnie: An offer?
Giles: I am prepared to devote myself to your career.
Ronnie: Wow, Giles, I, uh--I'm honored. I don't know what to say. You got to come out west. We can start to work on something.
Giles: No, Ronnie, forget Los Angeles. Put it behind you. Your future lies in Europe.
Ronnie: Giles, I gotta take things one step at a time. Aud would love to go back to Europe and do more work. It would be cool to spend time there--
Giles: "Cool"? I'm talking about a turning point in your life!

Giles: Listen to me, Ronnie. In Europe, it is often the case that a--a young man benefits from the--the wisdom and the experience of an elder. Why, there's almost a tradition of such friendships. Cocteau and Radiguet. Uh, Verlaine, Rimbaud.
Ronnie: Rambo?
Giles: Arthur Rimbaud, French poet. He. He was Paul Verlaine's lover.

Giles [to himself after Ronnie leaves]: Dear God. What have I done.

Giles [voiceover in a fax to Ronnie]: But what of you my darling? For no one on earth knows you better than I do. And if you've read thus far, I know you'll never bring yourself to destroy this letter, nor will you ever show it to anyone else. And it will gradually dawn on you that your life might have taken a very different course had you simply been able to open your heart to another. And you'll often return to this letter. You'll read it again and again in the years to come until you no longer have to read what you know by heart. And you'll cherish it as a source of pride in the face of an uncaring world.

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:09 pm

Based on a true [and oh so familiar] story.

The names of the tragedies change like the names of the folks that made them names in the first place. But it always revolves around the part that libertarians and objectivists [among others] insist has little or nothing to do with real capitalism.

After all, if a company is befouling the water we drink or the food we eat or the air we breathe and people start to get sick and die we can just go out into the marketplace and get these things from a competitor. And we can always rely on the governmment to do the right thing when they get caught.

Erin is rather resourceful. She always seems to come up with a way to solve her problems. But, again, why in the world should someone be reduced to this in the richest nation on earth?

What's crucial of course is not that a major corporation fucked up and people died. After all, it's not like it was premeditated murder. It's not like they meant to do it. What's important is that over and over and over and over and over and over again the expression "profits before people" has very real [sometimes dire] consequences "out on the world".

But claims were "settled". And the criminal prosecutions? Where were they? Are any of these fuckers in jail?

This is a movie about emotion. Erin takes the lawsuit personally because she is absolutely outraged at what these "suits" did -- destroyed lives! killed people! -- and knew that they did and never gave a fuck about anything other than their own bottom line. Right up to the time they got caught.

But "the law" doesn't revolve around this sort of reaction and never will.

And that's before you get to the part about the money .

I always come back to this though: these folks killed people [and knew they did] and all that goes back and forth is money. Nobody goes to jail. It's like all the mindnumbing pain and suffering the bankers caused [to millions] flushing the economy down the toilet and none of them were ever indicted for, say, conspiracy to commit fraud. Or, in Washington, for accepting bribes from the cronies on K Street?

Directed by Steven Soderbergh

Erin: Don't make me beg. If it doesn't work out, fire me. But please don't make me beg.
Ed [after a long pause]: No benefits.

George [to Erin]: What's the matter, you got so many friends in this world, you can't use one more?

George [parrying Erin's rejection of free babysitting]: Are you always this hard on people who try and help you?
Erin: I'm out of practice.

Erin [at the moment that started it all]: I'm sorry. I just don't see why you're corresponding with PG&E about your medical problems in the first place.
Donna Jensen: Well, they paid for the doctor's visit.
Erin: They did?
Donna Jensen: You bet. Paid for a checkup for the whole family. And not like with insurance where you pay and a year goes by and maybe you see some money. They just took care of it just like.
[snaps fingers]
Donna Jensen: . that. We never even saw a bill.
Erin: Wow. Why'd they do that?
Donna Jensen: Because of the chromium.
Erin: The what?
Donna Jensen: The chromium. Well, that's what kicked this whole thing off.

Frankel: What kind of chromium is it?
Erin: There's more than one kind?
Frankel: Yes. There's straight-up chromium -- does all kinds of good things for the body. There's chrom 3, which is fairly benign, and then there's chrom 6, hexavalent chromium, which, depending on the amounts, can be very harmful.
Erin: Harmful, like -- how? What would you get?
Frankel: With repeated exposure to toxic levels -- God, anything, really -- from chronic headaches and nosebleeds to respiratory disease, liver failure, heart failure, reproductive failure, bone or organ deterioration -- plus, of course, any type of cancer.
Erin: So that stuff -- it kills people.
Frankel: Oh, yeah. Definitely. Highly toxic, highly carcinogenic. It also getds into your DNA so it very bad for your kids. Bad, bad stuff.

Frankel [to Erin]: Oh, and I wouldn't advertise what you're looking for if I were you. incriminating records have a way of disappearing when people smell trouble.

Erin: . so Donna gets this call from somebody at PG&E saying that a freeway's gonna be built and they want to buy her house so they can make an off ramp for the plant. Meanwhile, the husband's sick with Hodgkins and she's in and out of the hospital with tumors - believing one thing has anything to do with the other.
Ed: Because PG&E told her about the chromium.
Erin: Get this - they held a seminar. They invited about two hundred residents from the area. They had it at the plant in this warehouse. They set up legal booths to tell them what their legal rights were. They had medical booths to tell them what their medical rights were. Telling them all about Chromium 3 and how it was good for you, when all the time they were using Chromium 6.

Ed: What makes you think you can just walk in there and take whatever you want?
Erin: They're called boobs, Ed.

Donna: No. Hunh-uh, see, that's not what the doctor said. He said one's got absolutely nothing to do with the other.
Erin: Right, but -- didn't you say the doctor was paid by PG&E?

Baum: Mr. Masry, before you go off on some crusade, you might want to remember who it is you're dealing with here. PG&E is a twenty-eight-billion-dollar corporation.
Ed (smiling, acting excited/greedy): Twenty-eight billion dollars! I didn't know it was that much! WOW!

Pete: If PG&E messed with our water, why would they bother saying anything about it to us? Why not just keep quiet about it?
Ed: To establish a statute of limitations. See, in a case like this, you only have a year from the time you first learn about the problem to file suit. So PG&E figures, we'll let the cat out of the bag -- tell the people the water's not perfect if we can ride out the year with no one suing, we'll be in the clear forever.

Ed. and what the hell do you know about any of this anyway!? Something like this, Erin -- it could take forever. They're a huge corporation. They could bury us in paperwork for the next fifteen years. I'm just one guy with a private firm.
Erin: . who happens to know they poisoned people and lied about it.

Ed: This is a whole different ball game. A much bigger deal.
Erin: Kind of like David and what's-his-name.
Ed: It's kind of like David and what's-his-name's whole fucking family.

Erin: Hey Scott, Tell me something. Does PG&E pay you to cover their ass, or do you just do it out of the kindness of your heart?
Scott: I don't know what you're talking about.
Erin: The fuck you don't! Nobody calls me Pat-te, That heavy-breathing sicko that called the other night, Could have only found out about me from you. People are dying, Scott, you've got document after document here telling you why, and you haven't said one word. I wanna know. How the hell you sleep at night!

Erin: So then it's all up to what this one judge decides?
Ed: Basically, yeah.

Here the judges goes their way. In part because his family gets their own water right next door to Hinkley. But had he been one those Bushworld corporate lackey judges, the whole thing could have gone down the drain.

Ms. Sanchez [at the meeting with the PG & E lawyers]: Let's be honest here. $20 million dollars is more money than these people have ever dreamed of.
Erin: Oh see, now that pisses me off. First of all, since the demur we have more than 400 plaintiffs and. let's be honest, we all know there are more out there. They may not be the most sophisticated people but they do know how to divide and $20 million isn't shit when you split it between them. Second of all, these people don't dream about being rich. They dream about being able to watch their kids swim in a pool without worrying that they'll have to have a hysterectomy at the age of twenty. Like Rosa Diaz, a client of ours. Or have their spine deteriorate, like Stan Blume, another client of ours. So before you come back here with another lame ass offer, I want you to think real hard about what your spine is worth, Mr. Walker. Or what you might expect someone to pay you for your uterus, Ms. Sanchez. Then you take out your calculator and you multiply that number by a hundred. Anything less than that is a waste of our time.
[Ms. Sanchez picks up a glass of water]
Erin: By the way, we had that water brought in specially for you folks. Came from a well in Hinkley.
Ms. Sanchez [Puts down the glass, without drinking]: I think this meeting is over.
Ed: Damn right it is.

Matthew [son]: This girl's about my age. Is she one of the people you're helping?
Erin: Yeah, she's really sick so I'm going to get her some medicine to feel better.
Matthew: Why doesn't her own mom get her medicine?
Erin: Because her mom's really sick too.
Matthew: Oh.


Charles Embry: Would it be important to you if I told you that when I worked at the Hinkley plant, I destroyed records?

Charles Embry: My cousin passed away yesterday. He had kidney tumors, no colon. His intestines were eaten away. 41 years old. I'd see him over at the cooling towers wearing one of those doctor face masks. They'd be soaked in blood from the nosebleeds.

Charles Embry: I was working in the compressor, and out of nowhere the supervisor calls me up to the office and says, we're gonna give you a shredder machine, and send you on down to the warehouse. We want you to get rid of all the documents stored out there.
Erin: Did he say why?
Charles Embry: Nope. And I didn't ask.
Erin: Did you get a look at the stuff you destroyed?
Charles Embry: There was a lot of dull stuff -- vacation schedules, the like. But then there were a few memos about the holding ponds. The water in them. They had readings from test wells, stuff like that.
Erin: And you were told to destroy those?
Charles Embry: That's right. Erin plays it down, takes a sip of beer. Course as it turns out, I'm not a very good employee.

Erin [to Kurt and Theresa]: Here are internal PG&E documents, all about the contamination. The one I like best says, and I'm paraphrasing here, but it says "yes, the water's poisonous, but it'd be better for all involved if this matter wasn't discussed with the neighbors". It's to the Hinkley station, from PG&E Headquarters. Stamped received, March, 1966.

Kurt: Wha. how did you do this?
Erin: Well, um, seeing as how I have no brains or legal expertise, and Ed here was losing all faith in the system, am I right?
Ed: Oh, yeah, completely. No faith, no faith.
Erin: I just went out there and performed sexual favors. Six hundred and thirty-four blow jobs in five days. I'm really quite tired.

Erin: Ya know why everyone thinks that all lawyers are back stabbing, blood sucking scum bags? Because they are! And I cannot believe you expect me to go out, leave my kids with strangers and get people to trust you with their lives while all the while you're screwing me! You know, Ed, it's not about the number! It's about the way my work is valued in this firm.
[She looks at the two million dollar bonus check]
Ed: Like I was saying, I thought that the number you proposed was inappropriate, so I increased it.
[Turns to walk away and turns around to her]
Ed: Do they teach beauty queens how to apologize? Because you suck at it!
Erin [Long pause, after Ed has already left the office]: Uh, Ed. uh. thank you.

Title card: The settlement awarded to the plaintiffs in Hinkley v. PG&E was the largest in a direct-action lawsuit in United States history.

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Tue Apr 30, 2013 8:18 pm

After one smacks down the capitalists [above] he can then move on to the Communists. The lives of others? Indeed.

So, which one is the worst of all possible worlds?

As always: It depends on where you are at any particular place and time. And who you are.

Here though some of the government officials really do act out of idealistic conviction. The whole point [for them] is the triumph of socialism. When they go after enemies of the state the bottom line is not expressed in bulging wallets but in moral obligations.

And then there are the corrupt bastards. For them the bottom line revolves around the perks of power.

You have all of these people in the "artistic community" going right up to the line. but trying not to cross over it. But the line keeps changing depending on the will [or the whim] of the "big wigs". There is much at stake but the bottom line here is always the same: different people have more at stake than others. In other words, a lot more to lose. Every point of view is unique however much some try to cram them all together.

All the listening/recording props used in the film are actual Stasi equipment on loan from museums and collectors. The props master had himself spent two years in a Stasi prison and insisted upon absolute authenticity down to the machine used at the end of the film to steam-open up to 600 letters per hour.

THE LIVES OF OTHERS [Das Leben der Anderen] 2006
Written and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Title card: 1984, East Berlin. Glasnost is nowhere in sight. The population of the GRD is kept under strict control by the Stasi, the East German secret police. Its force of 100,000 employees and 200,000 informers safeguards the Dictatorship ot the Proletariat. It's declared goal: "To know everything".

Student [at the Stasti academy]: Why keep him awake so long? It's inhuman.
Wiesler [putting a mark next to his name]: An innocent prisoner will become more angry by the hour due to the injustice suffered. He will shout and rage. A guilty prisoner becomes more calm and quiet. Or he cries. He knows he's there for a reason. The best way to establish guilt or innocence is non-stop interrogation.

Wiesler [to Dreyman's neighbor after she beomes aware that Stasi has wired his apartment]: Frau Meineke, one word of this to anyone, and Masha loses her spot at the university. Is that understood.
Frau Meineke: Yes.
Wiesler [to colleague]: Send Frau Menieke a gift for her cooperation.

Wiesler [typing his report]: 11:04 p.m.. Lazlo and CMS unwrap presents. Then presumably have intercourse.

Lt. Stigler: I've got a new one. So. Honecker comes into his office in the morning, opens the window, looks at the sun, and says.
[his friends look worried]
Lt. Stigler. eh. what is it?
[he sees Wiesler and Grubitz sitting at the table]
Lt. Stigler: Oh, excuse me. That was. I'm just. I.
Grubitz [tries to put Stigler at ease]: No no no, please colleague. We can still laugh about our state officials. Don't worry. I probably know it already anyway. Come on! Tell it.
Lt. Stigler [feeling more comfortable]: Well. Honecker, I mean. the General Secretary. sees the sun, and says, 'Good morning dear sun!'. and the sun answered, 'Good morning dear Erich!' At afternoon Erich sees the sun again and says, 'Good day dear sun' And the sun says: 'Good day dear Erich!' After work Honecker goes back to the window and says, 'Good evening dear sun!' But the sun doesn't answer! So he says again, 'Good evening dear sun, what's wrong?' And the sun answered and said, 'Oh, kiss my ass, I'm in the West now!'
Grubitz [becoming deadly serious]: Name? Rank? Department?
Lt. Stigler [frightened]: Me? Stigler, 2nd Lieutenant Alex Stigler. Department M.
Grubitz: I don't need to tell you what this means for your career, what you just did.
Lt. Stigler [scared]: Please Lieutenant Colonel. I just.
Grubitz [angry]: You just mocked our party! That was political agitation! Surely just the tip of the iceberg! I am going to report this to the minister's office.
[Grubitz starts laughing]
Grubitz: I was just kidding! Pretty good, huh? Yours was good too. But I've got a better one. What is the difference between Erich Honecker and a telephone?
Grubitz: Nothing! Hang up. try again. Hahaha!

From IMDb: The punchline of the joke is a play on the words 'aufhängen' and 'neuwählen'. In terms of a telephone it means hang up and redial, respectively. In terms of politics it means hang somebody and elect someone new.

Wiesler [aloud to himself]: Time for some bitter truths, "Lazlo".

Georg [answering the phone]: Yes?
Wallner: Georg? Wallner herre
Georg: What's up?
Wallner: Georg, it's about Jerska. He hanged himself last night.

Georg [to Christa]: You know what Lenin said about Beethoven's Apassionata? He said, "if I keep listening to it, I won't finish the revolution." Can anyone who has heard this music -- truly heard it -- really be a bad person?

[Wiesler enters the elevator at his apartment building. A young boy with a ball joins him]
Boy: Are you really with the Stasi?
Wiesler: Do you even know what the Stasi is?
Boy: Yes. They're bad men who put people in prison, says my dad.
Wiesler: I see. What is the name of your.
Boy: My what?
Wiesler [thinks for a few more seconds]: . ball. What's the name of your ball?
Boy: You're funny. Balls don't have names.

Georg [of Hempf]: You are a great artist. I know that. Your audience knows that. You don't need him. Stay here. Don't go to him.
Christa: No? Don't I need him? Don't I need this whole system? And what about you? Then you don't need it either. Or need it even less. But you get in bed with them, too. Why do you do it? Because they can destroy you, too, despite your talent and your faith. Because they decide what we play, who isw to act, and who can direct. You don't want to end up like Jerska. And neither do I.

Georg [voiceover]: The state office for statistics on Hans-Beimler street counts everything knows everything: how many pairs of shoes I buy a year: 2.3, how many books I read a year: 3.2 and how many students graduate with perfect marks: 6,347. But there's one statistic that isn't collected there, perhaps because such numbers cause even paper-pushers pain: and that is the suicide rate.

Georg ]voiceover]: In 1977, our country stopped counting suicides. They called them "self-murderers.". When we stopped counting, only one country in Europe drove more people to their death: Hungary.

Grubitz [to Wiesler]: I have to show you something: "Prison Conditions for Subversive Artists: Based on Character Profile". Pretty scientific, eh? And look at this: "Dissertation Supervisor, A. Grubitz". That's great, isn't it? I only gave him a B. They shouldn't think getting a doctorate with me is easy. But his is first-class. Did you know that there are just five types of artists? Your guy, Dreyman, is a Type 4, a "hysterical anthropocentrist." Can't bear being alone, always talking, needing friends. That type should never be brought to trial. They thrive on that. Temporary detention is the best way to deal with them. Complete isolation and no set release date. No human contact the whole time, not even with the guards. Good treatment, no harassment, no abuse, no scandals, nothing they could write about later. After 10 months, we release. Suddenly, that guy won't cause us any more trouble. Know what the best part is? Most type 4s we've processed in this way never write anything again. Or paint anything, or whatever artists do. And that without any use of force. Just like that. Kind of like a present.

Grubitz [to Wiesler]: There's one thing you should understand, Wiesler. Your career is over. Even if you were too smart to leave any traces. You'll end up in some cellar, steam-opening letters until you retire. That means the next 20 years. 20 years. That's a long time.

Bookstore cashier: 29.80. Would you like it gift wrapped?
Wiesler: No. It's for me.

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:28 pm

Well, I come back to this "theme" time and time again: pop culture, mindless consumption and 24/7 celebrities. It's everywhere. And the paradox is this: it is both deadening and infuriating.

Roger Ebert: The first half hour or so. promises so much more than the film is finally able to deliver. Here is a film that begins with merciless comic savagery and descends into merely merciless savagery. But wow, what an opening.

It simply fails to live up to its potential.

But obviously for some more so than for others. It depends in large part on the distance you are able to keep between you and them. After all, no one forces you to indulge in this crap. On the other hand, you either are or are not able to distant yourself from "the masses".

Think of this as doing "the worst person in the world" with guns.

But with each passing year it gets harder and harder to satirize this stuff because the actual culture itself is already way ahead of you.

Written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait

Frank [voiceover]: I hate my neighbors. The constant cacophony of stupidity that pours from their apartment is absolutely soul-crushing. It doesn't matter how politely I ask them to practice some common courtesy - they're incapable of comprehending that their actions affect other people. They have a complete lack of consideration for anyone else, and an overly developed sense of entitlement. They have no decency, no concern, no shame. They do not care that I suffer from debilitating migraines and insomnia. They do not care that I have to go to work, or that I want to kill them. I know it's not normal to want to kill, but I also know that I am no longer normal.

Ed [the neighbor]: Hey buddy, what's wrong?
Frank [pumping shotgun]: A lot.

Frank: I wish I was a super-genius inventor and could come up with a way to make a telephone into an explosive device that was triggered by the American Superstarz voting number. The battery could explode and leave a mark on the face, so I could know who to avoid talking to before they even talked.

Frank: It's not nice to laugh at someone who's not all there. It's the same type of freak-show distraction that comes along every time a mighty empire starts collapsing. "American Superstarz" is the new colosseum and I won't participate in watching a show where the weak are torn apart every week for our entertainment. I'm done, really, everything is so "cool" now. I just want it all to stop. I mean, nobody talks about anything anymore. They just regurgitate everything they see on TV, or hear on the radio or watch on the web. When was the last time you had a real conversation with someone without somebody texting or looking at a screen or a monitor over your head? You know, a conversation about something that wasn't celebrities, gossip, sports, or pop politics. You know, something important, something personal.

Frank: Oh, I get it. I am offended. But not just because I got a problem with bitter, predictible, whining millionaire disc jockeys complaining about celebrities or how tough their life is, while I live in an apartment with paper-thin walls next to a couple of Neanderthals who, instead of a baby, decided to give birth to some kind of nocturnal civil defense air raid siren that goes off every fucking night like it's Pearl Harbor.

Office Worker: So, you're against free speech now? That's in the Bill of Rights, man.
Frank: I would defend their freedom of speech if I thought it was in jeopardy. I would defend their freedom of speech to tell uninspired, bigoted, blowjob, gay-bashing, racist and rape jokes all under the guise of being edgy, but that's not the edge. That's what sells. They couldn't possibly pander any harder or be more commercially mainstream, because this is the "Oh no, you didn't say that!" generation, where a shocking comment has more weight than the truth. No one has any shame anymore, and we're supposed to celebrate it. I saw a woman throw a used tampon at another woman last night on network television, a network that bills itself as "Today's Woman's Channel". Kids beat each other blind and post it on Youtube. I mean, do you remember when eating rats and maggots on Survivor was shocking? It all seems so quaint now. I'm sure the girls from "2 Girls 1 Cup" are gonna have their own dating show on VH-1 any day now. I mean, why have a civilization anymore if we no longer are interested in being civilized?

Roxy: Who you going to killing next? Do you take requests? Because I was thinking maybe some Kardashians, my gym coach. People who give high fives. Really, any jock. Twihards. People who talk about punk rock. Who else really rips my cock off? Oh, Mormons and other religious assholes who won't let gay people be married. And adult women who call their tits "the girls".

Roxy: You're seriously not interested in me at all as a girlfriend?
Frank: What the hell are you talking about? I'm not a pedophile.
Roxy: So we're Platonic spree killers?
Frank: Yeah. And that's all.

Frank: I only wanna kill people who deserve to die.
Roxy: You know who we should kill?
Frank: Who?
Roxy: People who use rockstar as an adjective. As in rockstar parking.
Frank: People who pound energy drinks all day.
Roxy: People who use the term edgy, in your face, or extreme.

Frank [On the air]: My name is Frank. That's not important. The important question is: who are you? America has become a cruel and vicious place. We reward the shallowest, the dumbest, the meanest and the loudest. We no longer have any common sense of decency. No sense of shame. There is no right and wrong. The worst qualities in people are looked up to and celebrated. Lying and spreading fear is fine as long as you make money doing it. We've become a nation of slogan-saying, bile-spewing hatemongers. We've lost our kindness. We've lost our soul. What have we become? We take the weakest in our society, we hold them up to be ridiculed, laughed at for our sport and entertainment. Laughed at to the point, where they would literally rather kill themselves than live with us anymore.

Unfortunately, Steven doesn't get that part either. So, fuck it, he goes down too.

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Wed May 01, 2013 8:06 pm

Either the irony of war or the irony in war. Apparently, that all becomes less relevant if you volunteer for it. Unless of course you volunteer because economically you had no choice. But that's another movie. Another kind of irony. And [no doubt] another catch altogether.

The catch here though is that this is all only more or less absurd depending on the war. It's not just a coincidence for example that even though the war in the movie is the Second World War it aired in theatres during the Vietnam War. In fact this movie was released while I myself was stationed in Vietnam! So I missed it. And trust me, it was Patton they showed at military installations, not Catch-22.

Really, try to even imagine this coming out when Hitler was around. It only works then when the death and destruction revolves around the "best and the brightest". Or [re Dubya, Saddam and Iraq] buffoons.

On the other hand, in all wars there are those who know how to, let's say, make the best of it. Remember Sergeant Sefton? Well, imagine how much easier it must be when you are not in a Stalag. The wheelers and the dealers in other words. And those who can twist this into that. And then back again. That's right: Another "syndicate".

Hmm. So the target here may well be more the, uh, military? Or maybe even [gasp!] the entire military industrial complex? Here in the form of M & M Enterprises. Think Dick Cheney and Haliburton.

Second Unit Director John Jordan refused to wear a harness during a bomber scene. While giving a hand signal to another airplane from the tail gunner position in the camera plane, he lost his grip and fell 4000 feet to his death.

CATCH-22 [1970]
Directed by Mike Nichols

Yossarian: Those bastards are trying to kill me.
Milo: No one is trying to kill you sweetheart. Now eat your dessert like a good boy.
Yossarian: Oh yeah? Then why are they shooting at me Milo?
Dobbs: They're shooting at everyone Yossarian.
Yossarian: And what difference does that make?
Dobbs: Look Yossarian, suppose, I mean just suppose everyone thought the same way you do.
Yossarian: Then I'd be a damn fool to think any different.

Yossarian: Can you ground someone who's crazy?
Doc: Of course. The rules say I have to ground anyone who's crazy.
Yossarian: I'm crazy! Ask anybody. Ask Nately, Dobbs, McWatt. Orr, tell him!
Orr: Tell him what?
Yossarian: Am I crazy?
Orr: He's crazy. He won't fly with me. I'd take good care of him but he won't. He's crazy, all right.
Yossarian: See that? They all say I'm crazy.
Doc: They're crazy.
Yossarian: Ground them.
Doc: They never ask me to.
Yossarian: Because they're crazy!
Doc: Of course they're crazy. I just told you that. And you can't let crazy people decide whether you're crazy or not, can you?
Yossarian: Is Orr crazy?
Doc: Of course he is. He has to be crazy to keep flying after all the close calls he's had.
Yossarian: Why can't you ground him?
Doc: I can, but first he has to ask me.
Yossarian: That's all he's gotta do to be grounded?
Doc: That's all.
Yossarian: Then you can ground him?
Doc: No. Then I cannot ground him.
Yossarian: Aah!
Doc: There's a catch.
Yossarian: A catch?
Doc: Sure. Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat isn't really crazy, so I can't ground him.
Yossarian: Ok, let me see if I've got this straight. In order to be grounded, I've got to be crazy. And I must be crazy to keep flying. But if I ask to be grounded, that means I'm not crazy anymore, and I have to keep flying.
Doc: You got it, that's Catch-22.
Yossarian: Wow. That's some catch, that Catch-22.
Doc: It's the best there is.

Danby: Weather conditions have improved tremendously over the mainland, so you won't have any trouble at all seeing the target. Of course, we mustn't forget, that means that they won't have any trouble at all seeing you.

Milo: If I take a plane this afternoon, I'll get this material to Alexandria. There's a huge cotton crop this year. Cotton is a very liquid commodity.
Cathcart: How much?
Milo: We'll trade for it.
Cathcart: With what?
Milo: Silk! Four thousand yards of silk. How did you get hold of so much silk?
Yossarian [in the bomber]: Where the hell's my parachute?!

[repeated lines]
Yossarian: What's that? I don't get you.
Voice: Help him!
Yossarian: What?
Voice: Help him! Help him!
Yossarian: Help who?
Voice: Help the bombardier!
Voice: I'm the bombardier, I'm all right.
Voice: Then help HIM. Help HIM!

Maj. Major: Sergeant, from now on, I don't want anyone to come in and see me while I'm in my office. Is that clear?
Sgt. Towser: Yes, sir. What do I say to people who want to come in and see you while you're gone?
Maj. Major: Tell them I'm in and ask them to wait.
Sgt. Towser: For how long?
Maj. Major: Until I've left.
Sgt. Towser: And then what do I do with them?
Maj. Major: I don't care.
Sgt. Towser: May I send people in to see you after you've left?
Maj. Major: Yes.
First Sgt. Towser: You won't be here then, will you?
Maj. Major: No.
Sgt. Towser: I see, sir. Will that be all?
Maj. Major: Also, Sergeant, I don't want you coming in while I'm in my office asking me if there's anything you can do for me. Is that clear?
Sgt. Towser: Yes, sir. When should I come in your office and ask if there's anything I can do for you?
Maj. Major: When I'm not there.
Sgt. Towser: What do I do then?
Maj. Major: Whatever has to be done.
Sgt. Towser: Yes, sir.
[after the major leaves]
Sgt. Towser [to Capt. Tallman]: The major will see you now, Captain.

Gen. Dreedle [to Captain Yossarian who is buck naked]: Unless I miss my guess, Captain, you're out of uniform.

Maj. Major: Is something wrong?
Chaplain: No, no. I. I just thought I saw something.
Maj. Major: A naked man in a tree?
Chaplain: Yes, that's it.
Danby [looking through binoculars]: That's just Yossarian.

Milo: I want to serve this to the men. Taste it and let me know what you think.
[Yossarian takes a bite and spits it out]
Yossarian: What is it?
Milo: Chocolate covered cotton.
Yossarian: What are you, crazy?
Milo: No good, huh?
Yossarian: For Christ's sake, you didn't even take the seeds out!
Milo: Is it really that bad?
Yossarian: It's cotton!!
Milo: They've got to learn to like it.
Yossarian: Why?
Milo: I saw an opportunity to corner the market in cotton. I didn't know there'd be a glut of the stuff. I've got warehouses full of it all over Europe. People eat cotton candy, don't they? This is even better, it's made out of real cotton.
Yossarian: People can't eat cotton!
Milo: They've got to, for the Syndicate.

Yossarian: He was very old.
Luciana: But he was a boy.
Yossarian: Well, he died. You don't get any older than that.

Yossarian: What right did they have to take all the girls?
Old Woman: Catch-22.
Yossarian: What? What did you say?
Old Woman: Catch-22.
Yossarian: How do you know it was Catch-22?
Old woman: The girls said, "Why are you taking us away?" The men said, "Catch-22." The girls said, "What right do you have?" The men said, "Catch-22." All they kept saying was, "Catch-22, Catch-22." What does it mean?
Yossarian: Didn't they show it to you? Didn't you ask them to read it to you?
Old woman: They don't have to show it to us.
Yossarian: Who says so?
Old woman: The law says so.
Yossarian: What law?
Old woman: Catch-22.

Yossarian: Milo, I'm gonna kill you, you murdering son of a bitch!
Milo: I know how you feel, but it wasn't my fault.
Yossarian: Who's fault was it?
Milo: No one's. Nately was the victim of certain economic pressures, the laws of supply and demand.

Yossarian: I didn't know.
Luciana: That I work for Milo? Everybody works for Milo.

As for the ending, I don't think it'll catch on.

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Thu May 02, 2013 1:25 am

The paper chased here is a transcript of grades. and then a diploma. It hardly focuses at all on the paper that paper chases: the kind we stuff into our wallets. This is back in 1973 though. And idealism was nobler than the pursuit of mere bank accounts. Real integrity instead revolved around securing your humanity in a culture that wants to reduce you down to a pursuit of paper.

In any event the paper now is mostly electronic. It's all about the numbers. And Harvard law may as well be be taught right on Wall Street.

The "law" is always tricky though. Often it can be infuriating because we know how words can be twisted by a lawyer to create any particular "reality" she chooses. And we know the law can be bought. We know it is used more for political gain than to secure something we might deem to be "just". But without the rule of law, what's the alternative? Philosopher kings? Metaphysical morality? Dog eat dog survival of the fittest?

We are stuck with it aren't we?

In any event the filmmaker tacks on an ending here that doesn't even have the balls to live up to the film's own "message"!

Written and directed by James Bridges

Kingsfield: Loudly Mr. Hart, fill this room with your intelligence.

Toombs [in the dorm after a loud piercing scream]: That's just the screamer, men. Screams every Friday and Sunday night at exactly 12 midnight. Nobody's ever seen him. Not that I know of. They say that Kingsfield drove him mad. He's driven a lot of lawyers mad over the past 40 years that he's been teaching here. I heard he ripped up a 1-L this morning so bad, the guy lost his breakfast.
Hart: That's true. That was me.

Toombs [to Hart]: There's one more thing. All that stuff about grades is true. You gotta work like hell. No kidding. Nobody jokes about grades. Try getting a job without them.

Kingsfield: The study of law is something new and unfamiliar to most of you. We use the Socratic Method here. I call on you, ask you a question and you answer it. Why don't I just give you a lecture? Because through my questions, you learn to teach yourselves. Through this method of questioning, answering. questioning, answering. we seek to develop in you the ability to analyze that vast complex of facts that constitute the relationships of members within a given society. Questioning and answering. At times you may feel that you have found the correct answer. I assure you that is a total delusion on your part. You will never find the correct, absolute and final answer. In my classroom there is always another question. and question to follow your answer.

Of course, some answers will get you an A and others an F.

Kingsfield: You teach yourselves the law. but I train your mind. You come in here with a skull full of mush and you leave thinking like a lawyer.

Hart [to Susan]: You're up against some incredible minds here. I look at the students and I think this guy's gonna be a supreme court justice, this guy's gonna run Wall Street, this guy might even be president of the United States. What it is though is this incredible sense of power.

See where the "Socratic Method" begins to shut down? The questions it doesn't encourage him to ask?

Susan: You law students are all the same. You can't let things alone. You have to organize. The endless defining of irrational human behavior into tight little patterns. People are not rational. People are irrational.

Moss: So you flunked all your practice exams, huh? Every one?
Brooks: Yeah, every one.
Moss: Aww man, don't look like that, you'll be saved. Every person in this house almost flunked out of law school in their first year. It's not hard to see why they had broads on the brain. It's the worst thing that can happen to a first-year law student. I don't suppose that's your problem?
Brooks: No, no. I'm married.
Moss: Well, the vote's split on that, but I've saved all kinds. I moved in here and saved all these dum-dums. They'll all graduate, all from Harvard. I give them a little lecture before each exam. They go out and take it on their own. They remember things for a day or two. They're not stupid. Did you bring any samples of your work?
Brooks: Yeah, I brought some notes.
Moss: Notes don't mean a thing. Take this down. Imagine an old woman comes to dinner with you. While you are mixing her drink, she slips on an ice cube, slides across the room smashing into your new breakfast table, demolishing it and killing herself. After you've cleaned her up off the floor you discover a statute which says homeowners must keep their land free of dangerous ice, especially but not exclusively ice on their sidewalks. And you find out the old lady suffered from dropsy a falling sickness. So you are sued on two accounts. The one relying on the statute and the other ordinary negligence. Can they recover from you for having caused the old lady's death? Can you recover the price of the breakfast table from the old bag's estate? Write out an answer. Take half an hour to do it. No help from your friend. Come back a month before exams, and we'll go over it together. Don't worry. There's no possibility of error in my analysis.

Hart: My mind is really in his. I know what he is saying before he says it. I am three questions ahead. I am having a true Socratic experience.
Susan: Three questions ahead, Hart? You're only three answers ahead.

Susan: They finally got you, Hart, they sucked all that Midwestern charm right out of you. Look, he's got you scared to death. You're going to pass, because you're the kind the law school wants. You'll get your diploma, your piece of paper that is no different than this [holding up a roll of toilet paper] and you can stick it in your silver box with all the other paper in your life. Your birth certificate, your driver's license, your marriage license, your stock certificates. and your will.

Hart: They're just grades, Kevin.
Brooks: You know better than that. It's a number. It's a letter. But it determines salaries and futures.

Kingsfield: Mr Hart, can you relate our case to the summary we've been building?
Hart: Thank you, I prefer to pass.
Kingsfield: What did you say?
Hart: Well, I have nothing relevant to say concerning the case.However, when I have something relevant to say, I shall raise my hand.
Kingsfield: Mister Hart, would you step down here?
[Hart walks to the podium]
Kingsfield: Here is a dime. Take it, call your mother, and tell her there is serious doubt about you ever becoming a lawyer.
Hart [turning back around as he walks toward the door]: You. are a son of a bitch, Kingsfield!
Kingsfield: Mr. Hart! That is the most intelligent thing you've said all day. You may take your seat.

Susan: Here's your mail.
[hands Hart an envelope marked "GRADES ENCLOSED"]
Susan: I just got a letter from my father, something very interesting. My divorce is final. A piece of paper, and I'm free.
Susan: Aren't you going to open your grades?

Nope. He turns the envelope containing them into an airplane and sends it flying out into the Atlantic ocean. But then, he doesn't have to open it, does he? We already know that Kingsfield gave him an A.

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Thu May 02, 2013 9:54 pm

By sheer coincidence John Houseman again. His last film.

But forget about the law here. This time the ideas revolve around the subjunctive cacaphony that is always, "how ought I to live my life?".

Let's start here: How many films are there where the leading character is the "director of undergraduate philosophy studies of a very fine women's college"? Still: Ought she to focus on that or try to fix her flaccid marriage? Or, for that matter, flaccid life.

Turning fifty. It's a personal experience of course but, for some, an ominous one. A time of Existential Doubt. The part ahead suddenly seems a lot shorter than the part behind. So the regrets become more palpable. And you are particularly keen on making the right choices now. But particularly keen as well on just how agonizing that can be. Especially as your options begin to thin. Or when you find [over and again] that you are faced with what seems to be only the lesser of two evils.

Written and directed by Woody Allen.

Marion [voiceover]: If someone had asked me when I reached my fifties to assess my life, I would have said that I had achieved a decent measure of fulfillment, both personally and professionally. Beyond that, I would say I don't choose to delve.

Lynn: Don't you know how Paul feels about you?
Miriam: Sure, we've always been very close.
Lynn: You're deluding yourself. Of course in a way he idolizes you. but he also hates you.
Miriam: I'm sorry but I don't accept that.
Lynn: You're such a perceptive woman. how could you not understand his feelings?
Miriam: Look, I'm late. To tell you the truth I make it a practice to never get into these kinds of conversations. You know they're fruitless and people just say things they always regret later.

Ken [to his ex-wife in a room filled with people]: Forgive me, I accept your condemnation.

Larry [to Miriam]: Maybe I was wrong about you. Maybe you are two of a kind.

Father: There are times when even an historian should not look at the past.

Miriam [narrating]: I thumbed through my mother's edition of Rilke. When I was 16 I had done a paper on his poem about the panther and on the image that the panther saw as it stared out from its cage. And that image I concluded was death. Then I saw my mother's favorite poem, "Archaic Torso of Apollo". There were stains on the page that I believe were her tears. They fell across the last line: For here there is no place that does not see you/You must change your life.

Paul: Do you remember some years ago when I showed you something I'd written, do you remember what you said?
Marion: No, I don't remember. I was probably just trying to be truthful.
Paul: Yes, I'm sure. You said, "This is overblown, it's too emotional, it's maudlin. Your dreams may be meaningful to you, but to the objective observer, it's just so embarrassing."
Marion: I said that?
Paul: Exactly your words. So I tried not to embarrass you any more.

[excerpt from Miriam's dream]
Hope: Life.
Psychiatrist: Life?
Hope: The universe. The cruelty and injustice. The suffering of humanity. Illness. Aging. Death.
Psychiatrist: All very abstract. Don't worry about humanity. Get your own life in order. We can continue with this tomorrow.
[Hope gets up and leaves the office]
Psychiatrist: What would you say she is suffering from.
Miriam [decisively]: Self-deception.
Psychiatrist: It's a little general.
Miriam: But I don't think she can part with her lies.
Psychiatrist: No? Too bad.
Miriam: Not that she doesn't want to.
Psychiatrist: It is precisely that she doesn't want to. When she wants to she will.
Miriam: It's all happening so fast.
Psychiatrist: I have to hurry. I'm trying to prevent her from killing herself.

Woody's world. A world where Hope's list of abstractions is something he concerned himself with only, well, abstractly. It's an apolitical world that existed only because it could exist---because the outside world never did intrude much at all. Or largely on his terms.

Miriam [to Hope]: Fifty. I didn't think anything of turning thirty. Everybody said I would. Then they said I'd be crushed turning forty. but they were wrong. I didn't give it a second thought. Then they said I would be traumatized turning fifty. And they were right. I'll tell you the truth, I don't think I've ever recovered my balance since turning fifty.

Marion [voiceover]: I closed the book, and felt this strange mixture of wistfulness and hope, and I wondered if a memory is something you have or something you've lost. For the first time in a long time, I felt at peace.

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Fri May 03, 2013 3:21 am

If you are going to choose someone to play a "humanoid alien", you can do worse than Ziggy Stardust. And wasn't David Bowie up on the wall in Men In Black?

I only vaguely recall what this is all about. I watch it now mostly because it is fascinating just to take it in from time to time. The ambiance as it were. Especially after he meets Mary-Lou and starts accummulating all the televisions.

Just one more speculation about the relationship between "down here" and "up there". And [of course] the role that the government [in conjunction with Big Business] will inevitably play in tweeking that to their own advantage.

ETs always seemed to make sense to me. Believing in them is not the same as believing in ghosts or in Gods. After all, given the estimated billions of potential earths "out there" it's not hard to imagine that maybe an advanced technological civilization has "been here". I haven't seen any hard evidence actually demonstrating it, of course, but I don't put it in the same category as, say, the "supernatural".

Nicolas Roeg originally wanted to cast the 6-foot-10 author Michael Crichton as Thomas Jerome Newton.

James Sallis, writing in the The Boston Globe, describes "The Man Who Fell To Earth" as a Christian parable, not only about the corruption of an innocent being, but as being highly critical of the 1950s conventionalism which Tevis grew up with, along with environmental destruction and the Cold War.

David Bowie worked on a soundtrack for the film that was rejected. Many of the ideas he had for the soundtrack would later be utilized in his 1977 album 'Low'.

Too bad. Low is one of my favorite albums. And it fits right into the "ambiance" I noted above.
Try it yourself:

Directed by Nicolas Roeg

Farnsworth: We've been together a long time now and I don't see why you would want to sell off this division. I mean, if I owned a copyright on the Bible, I wouldn't sell it to Random House.

Let's just say he doesn't see the bigger picture.

Mary-Lou: You know Tommy, you're a freak. I don't mean that unkindly. I like freaks. And that's why I like you.

Thomas: I can't go to church.
Mary-Lou: Come on, Tommy, it's a real good church. It makes me feel so good. It gives me something to believe in. Everybody needs to have a meaning in their lives. I mean when you look out at the sky, don't you feel that somewhere out there there has got to be a God? Got to be.

Thomas: My interest is energy - transference of energy.

Thomas: Ask me.
Bryce: What?
Thomas: The question you've been wanting to ask ever since we met.
Bryce: Are you Lithuanian?

Thomas: The strange thing about television is that it doesn't tell you everything. It shows you everything about life for nothing, but the true mysteries remain. Perhaps it's in the nature of television. Just waves in space.

Thomas: If I stay, I'll die.
Mary-Lou: What're you talking about? Take me with you, I'll see you don't die.
Thomas: I can't stay.
[walks away from her]
Mary-Lou: You're an alien!

Actually she thinks his visa has expired!

Newton: Well I'm not a scientist. But I know all things begin and end in eternity.

Bryce: Don't you feel bitter about it. everything?
Thomas: Bitter, no. We'd have probably treated you the same if you'd come over to our place.

Waiter: I think perhaps Mr. Newton has had enough, don't you?
Bryce: I think. perhaps. you're right.

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Fri May 03, 2013 11:23 pm

A tiny town somewhere in New Hampshire. Everybody knows everybody else. But that's only past the front door. In other words, as is always the case, inside a few of the homes are any number of "family secrets".

You watch enough of these films and you begin wonder just how many families out there are not dysfunctional.

Then again who wants to see a movie about them?

I always see this as the way each of us pieces the past together differently. And then the way we stitch what we think was true into what we think is right and wrong. And then the way we have to stich that into all the conflicting narratives of everyone else we interact with. But what are the limits of our responsibilities to "family". How much shit should we be forced to take before we strike back--- or just go out on our own?

And even in a small town the politics of class is everywhere. Or maybe especially there because it sticks out all the more glaringly.

But it's mostly about men and violence.

How the hell are we supposed to feel about this guy? Well, how close to or far away from his life is yours? I know some chunks of my life certainly do overlap.

During their praise of the film, Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel noted that James Coburn was the perfect kind of person that seems like he could intimidate a man like Nick Nolte, who is famous for playing domineering and blustery men.

James Coburn came out of retirement to act in the film. He would later win an Oscar for his performance.

Written and directed by Paul Schrader

Rolfe [voiceover]: This is the story of my older brother's strange criminal behaviour and disappearance. We who loved him no longer speak of Wade. It's as if he never existed.

Wade: You know I get the feeling like a whipped dog some days. Some night I'm gonna bite back, I swear!
Rolfe: Haven't you already done a bit of that?
Wade: No, no, I haven't. Not really. I've growled a little, but I haven't bit.

Lena: How about you Rolfe? Are you saved?
Rolfe: No, I'm not.
Lena: But then you'll be in hell.
Rolfe: I guess I will. Me and Mom and Wade and Pop. We'll all be there together.

Glen: Not one of you is worth a goddamn hair on that good woman's head!

Lena: Jesus is more powerful than any demon.
Glen: Oh go fuck yourself!

Glen: That's what I've got for children. Jesus freaks and candy-asses!

Lillian: I'm sorry about your mother, Wade. I liked her. You never know how much women like that suffer. It's like they live their lives with the sound turned off -- and then they're gone.

Wade: It makes me mad. That somebody can pay to kill somebody, his own father-in-law, and not be punished for it. Don't that piss you off?
Rolfe: Not particularly.
Wade: Right's right, goddamnit! Don't you care what's right?
Rolfe: I care about what happened. The truth.

Rolfe: I was always careful around Pop. I was a careful child. And I'm a careful adult. But at least I was never afflicted with that man's anger.
Wade [laughing]: That's what you think.

Wade [to LaRiviere]: I'm free of you! You're not on my back anymore! You see how easy it is?

Rolfe [voiceover]: You will say that I should have known terrible things were about to happen. You will say that I was responsible. But even so, what could I have done by then? Wade lived on the edge of his emotions. He was always first to receive the brunt of our father's anger. He had no perspective to retreat to, even in a crisis.

Wade: Love? What the fuck do you know about love?
Glen: Love? I'm made of love!

Rolfe [voiceover]: The historical facts are known by everyone. All of Lawford, all of New Hampshire, some of Massachusetts. Facts do not make history. Our stories, Wade's and mine, describe the lives of the boys and men for thousands of years: boys who were beaten by their fathers, whose capacity for love and trust was crippled almost at birth, men whose best hope for connection with other human beings lay in detachment, as if life were over. It's how we keep from destroying in turn our own children and terrorizing the women who have the misfortune to love us how we absent ourselves from the tradition of male violence how we decline the seduction of revenge. Jack's truck turned up three days later in a shopping mall in Toronto. Wade killed Jack, just as surely as Jack did not kill Evan Twombley, even accidentally. The link between Jack and Twombley, LaRiviere and Mel Gordon existed only in Wade's wild imaginings. And briefly, I admit, in mine as well. LaRiviere and Mel Gordon were indeed in business. The Parker Mountain Ski Resort is now advertised across the country. The community of Lawford, as such, no longer exists. It is an economic zone between Littleton and Catamount. The house is still in Wade's name, and I keep paying taxes on it. It remains empty. Now and then, I drive out there and sit in my car, and wonder, why not let it go? Why not let LaRiviere buy it and build the condominiums he wants there? We want to believe Wade died that same November, froze to death on a bench or a sidewalk. You cannot understand how a man, a normal man, a man like you and me, could do such a terrible thing. Unless the police happen to arrest a vagrant who turns out to be Wade Whitehouse, there will be no more mention of him. Or his friend, Jack Hewitt. Or our father. The story will be over, except that I continue.

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Sat May 04, 2013 6:45 pm

It begins with an accident. Then a ferocious argument. They're practically spitting on each other. Then he backs off. Then the cops come.

Johnny the truck driver is a familiar face to the cops. He was in prison three times. Once he put his wife in the hospital for two weeks.

But Matty has her own problems. Her husband the art teacher is a philandering asshole.

Try to guess where this is going.

Lots of us wake up one morning and find the gap between what our life is and what we want it to be [or once thought it might be] all but intolerable. But life is existential. So, for some of us, it's not entirely hopeless. But we can't rely on someone else to wrtite that script for us. Still, we are always taking a chance with someone new. We only know what they tells us about the past, for instance.

And sometimes we go back to someone not because we really want them it's more that we don't want someone else to have them.

MOSCOW, BELGIUM [Aanrijding in Moscou] 2008
Directed by: Christophe Van Rompaey

Vera: Mom, are you taking a bath?
Matty: No, a big black guy is giving me a massage.

Matty: How hold are you?
Johnny: 29
Matty: I'm 41.
Johhny: So?
Matty: Want me to explain it in words with one syllable?

Johnny: You look nice.
Matty: You don't need to get any ideas. I've come just to piss off my husband. My husband lives with his 22 year old girlfriend. He was her teacher. He teaches at the Art Academy. He's very talented and makes beautiful things and I still love him. So don't get any ideas.

Matty: Just say you want to sleep with me!
Johnny: No! My intentions are honorable.
Matty: You're talking garbage. Anyway, Da Vinci was gay.
Johnny: Really?
Matty: And Mona Lisa isn't smiling. She's being eaten up inside by sadness. She's just trying to hide it. She's trapped, stuck.
Johnny: How do you know all this?
Matty: My husband told me. You. you just want to park it inside me.

Vera: Mom, your shirt is on inside out.

Johnny: Do you know what they say in Italy? 'Ti Amo'
Matty: D'you know what they say in Ledeberg? 'Kiss my ass!'

Matty: So you hit her because you loved her.

Johnny: That's typical of an intellectual! Do you know what my Dad always used to say? He said, "John, all those intellectuals have one thing in common: they don't know shit!"
Werner: He was a philosopher, was he?

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Sat May 04, 2013 10:18 pm

This is mostly about the bombs themselves. And about those trained to put them out of commission. The war is just "there". Why it is there. or whether it is a just war. is not explored much at all. And the extent to which it reflects the actual experiences of those assigned to do the task is not something I really know much about.

For some it might be analogous to a film focusing on a German bomb squad during World War II. There is no political or moral context to speak of at all.

Let alone the part about the money.

Does this actually glorify or glamourize war? I think an argument can be made for that. Sgt. James seems to thrive on it. He's the cowboy hero sort. He's the "wild man". He's the adrenaline junkie and it is hardly ever made clear that's not a good thing here. I just see too much of the macho warrior bullshit that any idiot in the military can fall for. I didn't detect much irony here at all. But sure, I might have missed it.

Like, say, the scene in the cereal aisle of the supermarket when James gets home. The gap between that and what he'd just been through over there. His son and the boy with the bomb sewed into his chest. But all the wild man is thinking about is getting back over there. And Cheney and Bush Inc. will be more than happy to oblige him.

The expression "the hurt locker" is a preexisting slang term for a situation involving trouble or pain, which can be traced back to the Vietnam War. According to the movie's website, it is soldier vernacular in Iraq to speak of explosions as sending you to "the hurt locker".

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow

Opening Quote by Chris Hedges: The rush of battle is often a potent and lethal addiction, for war is a drug.

Sanborn: I can't get it in.
Thompson: What do you mean you can't get it in? Pretend it's your dick.
Sanborn: How about I pretend it's your dick?
Thompson: Well in that case you'll never get it in.

Eldridge: Aren't you glad the Army has all these tanks parked here? Just in case the Russians come and we have to have a big tank battle?
Sanborn: I'd rather be on the side with the tanks, just in case, than not have them.
Eldridge: Yeah, but they don't do anything. I mean, anyone comes alongside a Humvee, we're dead. Anybody even looks at you funny, we're dead. Pretty much the bottom line is, if you're in Iraq, you're dead. How's a fucking tank supposed to stop that?
Sanborn: Would you shut the fuck up, Owen?
Eldridge: Sorry. Just tryin' to scare the new guy.

Eldridge: He's a rowdy boy.
Sanborn: He's reckless.

James: Well, if he wasn't an insurgent he sure as hell is now.

Sanborn: I was in intelligence seven years before I joined EOD. We ran missions in every shithole that you could possibly imagine. So, I'm pretty sure I can figure out a redneck piece of trailer trash like you.
James: Looks like you're on the right track

Eldridge [after James removes his bomb suit]: What are you doing?
James: There's enough bang in there to blow us all to Jesus. If I'm gonna die, I want to die comfortable.

Sanborn [as James approaches unexploded bomb]: You know, these detonators misfire all the time.
Eldridge: What are you doing?
Sanborn: I'm just saying shit happens, they misfire.
Eldridge: He'd be obliterated to nothing.
Sanborn: His helmet would be left. You could have that. Little specs of hair charred on the inside.
Eldridge: Yeah. There'd be half a helmet somewhere, bits of hair.
Sanborn: Have to ask for a change in technique and protocol, and make sure this type of accident never happen again, you know? You'd have to write the report.
Eldridge: Are you serious?
Sanborn: I can't write it.
Eldrige: I mean are you serious about killing him.

James [to Eldridge]: Everyone's a coward about something.

Sgt. James [Speaking to his son]: You love playing with that. You love playing with all your stuffed animals. You love your Mommy, your Daddy. You love your pajamas. You love everything, don't ya? Yea. But you know what, buddy? As you get older. some of the things you love might not seem so special anymore. Like your Jack-in-a-Box. Maybe you'll realize it's just a piece of tin and a stuffed animal. And the older you get, the fewer things you really love. And by the time you get to my age, maybe it's only one or two things. With me, I think it's one.

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Sun May 05, 2013 8:23 pm

Hanoi. The present. But how different really is this from the lives of many folks here? Lots of themes apparently seem to overlap in the modern world. Family, friendship, marriage. infidelity. Incest?

The difficulty though is you have no idea the extent to which this reflects life "on average" in Vietnam today. Are these folks basically "typical"? Also, there are no political narratives here. That they inhabit a "communist” nation doesn't seem a factor. Or maybe Vietnam is just following in the footsteps of China. Nominally socialist but in fact state capitalist.

Try though to even imagine a film of this sort being made in Hanoi 40 years ago. Here the entire focus is on personal relationships. and among those able to afford that.

In the opening scene, Hai turns on the stereo and we hear Lou Reed's "Pale Blue Eyes". I wasn't expecting that. But what do I really know about Vietnam all these years later?

It sure is beautifully filmed though. Gorgeous. And the score is equally affecting.

THE VERTICAL RAY OF THE SUN [Mua He Chieu Thang Dung] 2000
Written and directed by Tran Anh Hung

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Mon May 06, 2013 9:03 pm

It's the American dream: rags to riches. The self-made man. Only on the other side of the law.

All that mindless mayhem chasing after all that money. And all that machismo

As with the Sopranos we are dealing here with folks that are little more than thugs. They have no class, style or wit. No interest really in anything other than being gangsters. They've got power. They get to boss people around. They wear the best suits and buy the most expensive bottles of wine in the most expensive restaurants in town. They've got big cars and big boats and big guns. But they're basically hoodlums, dupes, goons, gorillas. Philistines, vulgarians, rubes.

But not sheep. And that's where the narrative aims to go. This man basically takes what he wants while most of us only get what we are given. There is something about having this sort of power that is appealing to those who take shit all their lives. But there are many different ways to get it.

That's why we need Mama Montana to put it all in perspective.

But this is still predicated largely on the sheer stupidity of the government's "war on drugs". That and the corruption. There is so much money involved here that folks in the government, the military, the police etc. can readily be bought off. Down there especially. But also up here.

When director Brian De Palma submitted the film to the MPAA they gave it an "X rating". He then made some cuts and resubmitted it a second time again the film was given an "X rating" (one of the reasons apparently being that Octavio the clown was shot too many times). He yet again made some further cuts and submitted it a third time yet again it was given an "X". De Palma refused to cut the film any further to qualify it for an R. He and producer Martin Bregman arranged a hearing with the MPAA. They brought in a panel of experts, including real narcotics officers, who stated that the film was an accurate portrayal of real life in the drug underworld and should be widely seen. This convinced the 20 members of the ratings board to give the third submitted cut of the film an "R rating" by a vote of 18-2. However De Palma surmised that if the third cut of the film was judged an "R" than the very first cut should have been an "R" as well. He asked the studio if he could release the first cut but was told that he couldn't. However since the Studio execs really didn't know the differences between the different cuts that had been submitted, De Palma released the first cut of the film to theaters anyway. It wasn't until the film had been released on videocassette months later that he confessed that he had released his first unedited and intended version of the film.

Despite the title, Tony Montana is called "Scarface" only once throughout the movie, and in Spanish at that ("Caracicatriz").

Directed Brian De Palma
Written by Oliver Stone

Title card: [first title cards] In May 1980, Fidel Castro opened the harbor at Mariel, Cuba with the apparent intention of letting some of his people join their relatives in the United States. Within seventy-two hours, 3,000 U.S. boats were headed for Cuba. It soon became evident that Castro was forcing the boat owners to carry back with them not only their relatives, but the dregs of his jails. Of the 125,000 refugees that landed in Florida an estimated 25,000 had criminal records.

Immigration Officer: You ever been to jail, Tony?
Tony: Me? Jail? No way. No.
Immigration Officer: Been in a mental hospital?
Tony: Oh, yeah. On the boat coming over.

Tony: You a communist? Huh? How'd you like it, man? They tell you all the time what to do, what to think, what to feel. Do you wanna be like a sheep? Like all those other people? Baah! Baah!
Immigration Officer: I don't have to listen to this bullshit!
Tony Montana: You wanna work eight, ten fucking hours? You own nothing, you got nothing! Do you want a chivato on every corner looking after you? Watching everything you do? Everything you say, man? Do you know I eat octopus three times a day? I got fucking octopus coming out of my fucking ears. I got the fuckin' Russian shoes my feet's comin' through. How you like that? What, you want me to stay there and do nothing? Hey, I'm no fuckin' criminal, man. I'm no puta or thief. I'm Tony Montana, a political prisoner from Cuba. And I want my fuckin' human rights, now!
[slams desk]
Tony: Just like the President Jimmy Carter says. Okay?
Immigration Officer: Carter should see this human right. He's really good. What do you say, Harry?
Immigration Officer: I don't believe a word of this shit! They all sound the same to me. That son of a bitch Castro is shittin' all over us. Send this bastard to Freedom Town. Let them take a look at him. Get him outta here.
Tony: You know somethin'? You can send me anywhere. Here, there, this, that it don't matter. There's nothing you can do to me that Castro has not done!

Tony: What you tell 'em?
Manny: I told 'em what you told me to tell 'em, I told 'em I was in sanitation, they didn't go for it.
Tony: Sanitation?! I told you to tell 'em that you was in a sanitarium, not sanitation, sanitarium!

Tony: He's political.
Manny: Yeah. Well, he's coming in here today, man. Castro just sprung him. This guy, man, was one of the top dogs for Fidel in the early days. But Castro felt like he couldn't trust him anymore and threw him in jail. But while he was on top, he tortured a few guys to death. And one of the guy's brother is a rich guy in Miami now, and he wants the favor repaid. That's where we come in.

Murder: You gotta start somewhere.

Tony [to Manny]: Your big shot friend better come up with something soon. I didn't come to the United States to break my fucking back.

Frank [to Tony]: You're gonna find that when you stay loyal in this business you're gonna move up. You're gonna move up fast. Then you'll find out your biggest problem is not bringing in the stuff. but what to do with all the fucking cash!

Frank: Lesson number one: Don't underestimate the other guy's greed!
Elvira [sarcastically]: Lesson number two: Don't get high on your own supply.

Tony [to Elvira]: You're good-looking. You got a beautiful body, beautiful legs. a beautiful face, all these guys in love with you. Only you got a look in your eye like you haven't been fucked in a year!

Tony: Me, I want what's coming to me.
Manny: Oh, well what's coming to you?
Tony: The world, chico, and everything in it.

Tony: In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women.

Elvira [after Tony tries to kiss her]: Don't get it confused, Tony. I don't fuck around with the help .

Mama Montana [to Tony]: You know, all we read about in the papers today are animals like you and the killings. It's Cubans like you who are giving a bad name to our people. People who come here to work hard and make an honest living for themselves.
Gina: Mama! He is your son!
Mama Montana: Son? I wish I had one! He's a bum! He was a bum then and he's a bum now! Who do you think you are, hm? We haven't heard a word from you in five years. Cinco anos. You suddenly show up here and you throw money at us? You think you can buy me with your money?
Tony: Come on, mama.
Mama Montana: You think you can come in here with your hot-shot clothes and make fun of us?
Tony: Mama, you don't know what you're talking about.
Mama Montana: No that is not the way I am, Antonio! That is not the way I raised Gina to be. You are not going to destroy her. I don't need your money. Gracias! I work for my living. I don't want you in this house anymore! I don't want you around Gina! So come on, get out! And take this lousy money with you! It stinks!

Tony [to Sosa]: I never fucked anybody over in my life didn't have it coming to them. You got that? All I have in this world is my balls and my word and I don't break them for no one. Do you understand? That piece of shit up there, I never liked him, I never trusted him. For all I know he had me set up and had my friend Angel Fernandez killed. But that's history. I'm here, he's not. Do you wanna go on with me, you say it. You don't, then you make a move.

Bernstein: You ought to smile more, Tony. You gotta enjoy yourself. Every day above ground is a good day.

Frank: I'm giving you orders. Blow!
Tony: Orders? You giving me orders? The only thing in this world that gives orders is balls.

Manny: Right now, you happen to be the best thing in his life. The only thing that's any good, that's pure. Of course he doesn't want you mixing with those people. growing up to be like him. He has this father thing for you. Feels like he has to protect you.
Gina: Protect me against what?
Manny: Against guys like that asshole you were dancing with tonight.
Gina: I like Fernando. He's a fun guy and he's nice. And he knows how to treat a woman. All right?
Manny: He knows how to treat a woman?
Gina: Yes.
Manny: By taking her to the toilet to make out?

Frank: Tony, don't kill me, please!
Tony: I ain't gonna kill you.
Frank: Oh Christ, thank you! Thank you!
Tony [looking at Manny]: Manolo, shoot that piece of shit!

Tony: Chi Chi, get the yeyo.

Tony: You know what capitalism is? Getting fucked!

Tony: You know what your problem is, Pussycat?
Elvira: What's that?
Tony: You don't got nothing to do with your life. Why don't you get a job? Work with lepers. Blind kids. Anything's gotta be better than lying around all day waiting for me to fuck you.

Tony: Is this it? That's what it's all about, Manny? Eating, drinking, fucking, sucking? Snorting? Then what? You're 50. You got a bag for a belly. You got tits, you need a bra. They got hair on them. You got a liver, they got spots on it, and you're eating this fuckin' shit, looking like these rich fucking mummies in here. Look at that. A junkie. I got a fuckin' junkie for a wife. She don't eat nothing. Sleeps all day with them black shades on. Wakes up with a Quaalude, and who won't fuck me 'cause she's in a coma. I can't even have a kid with her, Manny. Her womb is so polluted, I can't even have a fuckin' little baby with her!

Tony [to the people in the restaurant]: What you lookin' at? You all a bunch of fuckin' assholes. You know why? You don't have the guts to be what you wanna be? You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your fuckin' fingers and say, "That's the bad guy." So. what that make you? Good? You're not good. You just know how to hide, how to lie. Me, I don't have that problem. Me, I always tell the truth. Even when I lie. So say good night to the bad guy! Come on. The last time you gonna see a bad guy like this again, let me tell you. Come on. Make way for the bad guy. There's a bad guy comin' through! Better get outta his way!

Mama Montana [to Tony]: Why do you have to hurt everything you touch? Why do you have to destroy everything that comes your way? ¡Malagradecido!

Tony: You wanna fuck with me? Okay. You wanna play rough? Okay. Say hello to my little friend!

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Tue May 07, 2013 1:59 am

Let's start with the obvious: The Pin is no Tony Montana. We're talking about a single brick here. It's just small fish in a small pond. But that doesn't make the danger any less real for the minnows perceived to have fucked up. Here then [as always] only One Man can straighten it all out.

One Man armed with the script.

But I've always been a sucker for this sort of protagonist: the outsider, the iconoclast, the cynical and nihilistic loner. But ultimately he becomes his own worst enemy for expecting the rest of the world to share his point of view. That's all it is though: a point of view that makes sense to him given the reality of his own life. But why should others living entriely different lives understand it in the same way, let alone go along with it.

So [in part] this is really a film about how not to love someone: on your terms only.

But mostly it's a complex and convoluted "who did what to whom--and why?" A murder mystery. This time though with a bunch of kids from high school.

BRICK [2005]
Written and directed by Rian Johnson

Brendan: Still picking your teeth with freshmen?
Kara: Well, you were a freshman once.
Brendan: Way-once, sister.

Laura [on phone]: Who are you? Or I'll hang up.
Brendan: You don't know me - I'll save you some time.
Laura: I know everyone and I've got all the time in the world.
Brendan: Folly of youth.

Emily: Brendan, I know you're mad at all these people, cause you think I went away from you and went to them. But you've got to start seeing it as my decision, stop being angry because where I want to be at's different from where you wanna be at.

Emily: And stop picking on Dode. He's a good guy. He's a good friend.
Brendan: So what am I?
Emily: Yeah, what are you? Eating back here alone, hating everybody. I mean, who are you judging anyone? God, I really loved you a lot but I couldn't stand it, I had to get with people. I couldn't handle life with you, I had to see what was what.

Brendan [to Brain]: So now that we've shaken the tree let's wait and see what falls on our heads.

Brendan: I was going to make up some bit of information or set up some phony deal, anything so you'd let me walk. Then I was going to go to the vice principal and spill him the street address of the biggest dope port in the burgh.
[The Pin's eyes shoot to Tugger, who doesn't flinch]
Tug: He knows zip.
Brendan: 1250 Vista Blanca, the ink blotter at the desk in the den in the basement of the house with the tacky mailbox.

Brendan [to Tug]: Which wall's the door in?

Brendan: Your muscle seemed plenty cool putting his fist in my head. I want him out.
The Pin: Looky, soldier.
Brendan Frye: The ape blows or I clam.

The Pin [to Brendan]: What are you services, exactly - so I can be specific on the invoice

Laura: Do you trust me now?
Brendan: Less now than when I didn't trust you before.

Brendan: Why are you telling me all this? What's your play?
Laura: You think nobody sees you. Eating lunch behind the portables. Loving some girl like she's all there is, anywhere, to you. I've always seen you. Or maybe I liked Emily. Maybe I see what you're trying to do for her, trying to help her, and I don't know anybody who would do that for me.
Brendan: Now you are dangerous.

Kara: You better be sure you wanna know what you wanna know.

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Tue May 07, 2013 9:43 pm

Stephanie loves Howard who loves Lane who loves Peter who loves Stephanie. Stephanie who is already married with kids. And since these are characters invented by Woody Allen their interactions will generate a lot of unrequited ambiguites about "the human heart".

With two additional characters around to reflect his contempt for pop culture and despairing sense of doom and gloom in confronting the brute facticity of an essentially meaningless and absurd universe.

Here are people who at times are so close. and yet so far removed from really understanding each other. And also groping about to understand things that can only ever be understood obliquely anyway.

For all intents and purposes these 6 people may as well be the only inhabitants on Earth. But even if that were true you can't make complex things simple. That is basically always Allen's meaning. Most folks get flustered because they can't seem to get others to really understand them. But some get flustered all the more because they grasp their own sense of "identity" in the same way. It's a contraption, a fabrication, a work in progress from the cradle to the grave. Making things simple is just the way most choose to fit all of the existential fragments together.

One thing for sure: He didn't blink at the end of this film.

Director Woody Allen cast and shot this film twice, without telling the original cast. In the re-shot version, Maureen O'Sullivan, Charles Durning and Sam Shepard were replaced by Elaine Stritch, Denholm Elliott and Sam Waterston respectively.

Movieline Magazine reported that as of 2011, September is Woody Allen's lowest-grossing movie (at only $486,484).

I guess he should have used more CGI.

Written and directed by Woody Allen

Peter [to Lane]: The only point I wanted to make is that some people are survivors and others allow life's tragedies to annililate them and this is just one of the cruelties of living.

Diane: It's hell getting older. Especially when you feel 21 inside. All of the things that sustain you throughout your life just vanish one by one. You study your face in the mirrror and you notice that something's missing. And then you realize it's your future.

Lane: How are you going to drive home?
Howard: The same way I always do---thinking about you.

Peter: What branch of physics were you involved with?
Lloyd: Something much more terrifying than blowing up the planet.
Peter: Really? Is there anything more terrifying than the destruction of the world?
Lloyd: Yeah. The knowledge that it doesn't matter one way or the other. It's all random. resonating aimlessly out of nothing and eventually vanishing forever. And I'm not talking about the world. I'm talking about the universe. All space, all time just a temporary convulsion. And I get paid to prove it.
Peter: Do you feel so sure about that when you look out on a clear night like tonight and see all those millions of stars? That none of it matters?
Lloyd: I think it's as beautiful as you do. and vaguely evocative of some deep truth that always just keeps slipping away. But then my professional perspective overcomes me and a see more penetrating view of it. and I understand it for what it truly is. haphazard, morally neutral, and unimaginably violent.
Peter: Look we shouldn't be having this conversation. I have to sleep alone tonight.
Lloyd: That's why I cling to Diane and consider myself very lucky. She is warm and vibrant, holds me while I sleep. That way I don't have to dream of photons and quarks.

Stephanie: Stand up.
Lane: I want to kill myself.
Stephanie: Don't say that.
Lane: I have no reason to get up tomorrow.
Stephanie: Well then, you're just going to have to make up a reason.

Lane: Are you and Peter in love with each other?
Stephanie: We just became attracted to each other. These things happen.
Lane: But you knew how much I cared about him.
Stephanie: I didn't instigate it. It just happened by itself. You know we're all up here isolated from the world. Unpredictable things happen.

Stephanie: Tomorrow will come and you'll find some distractions. You'll get rid of this place, move back to the city, find work, meet someone, fall in love. And maybe it will work out and maybe it won't. But you'll find a million petty things to keep ypu going, and distractions to keep ypou from focusing on.
Lane: On the truth.
Stephanie: I don't know what the truth is. and you don't either.

Stephanie: Do you really want to die?
Lane: No. That's my problem, I always wanted to live.

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Wed May 08, 2013 4:11 am

I guess if you are a genius you can make up your own rules. After all, all it takes is to accomplish something no one else has. And, as a mathematician, all that subjective and subjunctive crap sort of flies out the window. The equation either works or it doesn't. The problem is either solved or it isn't. The work is either original or it's not. After all, it's not the same as grappling with things like identity and value judgments.

And no matter how beautiful the mind works up at the chalkboard, it's always a bit more convoluted when the transactions revolve around, say, love or sex. Or mental illness.

In a sense this is like watching Confessions of a Dangerous Mind . What is real and what takes place only in his head? Or, in the case of Chuck Barris, his creative mind?

Aside from all that, I have always been drawn to folks who were convinced that others did not like them. Especially given the extent to which they withdrew into what they loved most.

Six degrees of coincidence.

John Nash is often asscoiated with game theory. So is Melvin Dresher:

Wiki: Melvin Dresher's research has been referred to and discussed in a variety of published books, including Prisoner's Dilemma by William Poundstone and A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar.

Dresher died in 1992. Shortly thereafter I began a letter correspondence with his daughter Olivia Dresher. Olivia Dresher is a close friend of Victor Munoz. And Victor Munoz's alter ego Bianco Luno prompted the creation of my "a thread for mundane ironists" here at ILP.

The film was shot in sequence in order to help Russell Crowe develop a consistently progressing manner of behavior.

The problem that John Nash writes on the blackboard in his lecture is a real one (unlike in other movies, where math on boards is usually either too simple or fake). There is an important theorem in mathematical physics that directly says the answer to this is 1. Later, when he discusses the problem with Alicia Nash, he makes additional restrictions for the solution, without which the problem is much harder, so he is pretty confident she didn't solve it.

While this film is inspired by the life of John Nash, there were elements from his life that were deliberately omitted: 1) he was married twice, both to the same woman (Alicia Nash) 2) in the past, he had several affairs with both men and women 3) he was arrested by the police by scandal 4) He fathered a child out-of-wedlock in his twenties 5) he believed that through his mental illness the extra-terrestrials spoke him, giving his advanced knowledge by means of cosmic connection with them 6) he tried to renounce to his American nationality some times, in the belief that the USA government pursued him and 7) he made numerous anti-Semitic comments during his period of extreme mental illness, most of which equated Jews with world Communism.

The Riemann Hypothesis mentioned throughout the movie is a real and famous problem in mathematics that has gone unsolved (it has not been proved yet) for nearly 150 years. Many other important theories have been proved on the condition that the Riemann Hypothesis holds, hence its importance. In the year 2000, the Clay Mathematics Institute of Cambridge, Massachusetts listed the Riemann Hypothesis as one of seven "Millennium Prize Problems" and offered a $1,000,000 reward to the person that proves it.

Directed by Ron Howard

Helinger: Mathematicians won the war. Mathematicians broke the Japanese codes. and built the A-bomb. Mathematicians. like you. The stated goal of the Soviets is global Communism. In medicine or economics, in technology or space, battle lines are being drawn. To triumph, we need results. Publishable, applicable results. Now who among you will be the next Morse? The next Einstein? Who among you will be the vanguard of democracy, freedom, and discovery? Today, we bequeath America's future into your able hands. Welcome to Princeton, gentlemen.

Nash: There has to be a mathematical explanation for how bad that tie is.

Charles [to Nash]: Is my roommate a dick?

The imagined Charles: So what's your story? You the poor kid that never got to go to Exeter or Andover?
Nash: Despite my privileged upbringing, I'm actually quite well-balanced. I have a chip on both shoulders.

Nash: The truth is I don't like people much and they don't like me.
The imagined Charles: But why, with all your obvious wit and charm.

Nash [looking out upon the students at Stanford]: I cannot waste time with these classes. and these books. Memorizing the weaker assumptions of lesser mortals! I need to look through to the governing dynamics. Find a truly original idea. That's the only way I'll ever distinguish myself. It's the only way that I'll ever.
The imagined Charles: Matter.

Hansen: Nash. Who's winning - you, or you?

Woman [at bar watching Nash stare at her]: Maybe you want to buy me a drink.
Nash: I don't exactly know what I am required to say in order for you to have intercourse with me. But could we assume that I said all that. I mean essentially we are talking about fluid exchange right? So could we go just straight to the sex.

Nash: Adam Smith said the best result comes from everyone in the group doing what's best for himself, right? That's what he said, right?
Sol: Right.
Nash: Incomplete. Because the best result will come from everyone in the group doing what's best for himself [/i]and[/i] the group.

Helinger: You do realize this flies in the face of a 150 years of economic theory?
Nash: Yes, I do, sir.
Helinger: That's rather presumptuous, don't you think?
Nash: It is, sir.
Helinger: Well, Mr. Nash, with a breakthrough of this magnitude, I'm confident you will get any placement you like.

The imagined Parcher: Oppenheimer used to say, "Genius sees the answer before the question."
Nash: You knew Oppenheimer?
Parcher: His project was under my supervision.
Nah: Which project?
Nash: Oh, that project.

The imagined Parcher: Nazi engineers were attempting to build a portable atomic bomb. The Soviets reached this facility before we did, and we lost the damn thing.
Nash: The routing orders at the Pentagon, they were about this, weren't they?
Parcher: The Soviets aren't as unified as people believe. A faction of the Red Army calling itself Novaya Svobga, "the New Freedom", has control of the bomb and intends to detonate it on U.S. soil. Their plan is to incur maximum civilian casualties. Man is capable of as much atrocity as he has imagination. New Freedom has sleeper agents here in the U.S. McCarthy is an idiot, but unfortunately that doesn't make him wrong. New Freedom communicates to its agents through codes imbedded in newspapers and magazines, and that's where you come in. You see, John, what distinguishes you is that you are, quite simply, the best natural code-breaker I have ever seen.
Nash: What exactly is it that you would like me to do?

Help them decode hallucinations?

Alicia: The problem you left on the board, I solved it.
Nash: No, you didn't.
Alicia: You didn't even look!
Nash: I never said the vector fields were rational functions. Your solution is elegant. though ultimately incorrect.

Alicia: I once tried to count all the stars. I actually made it to 4,348.
Nash: You are exceptionally odd.

Nash: I find that polishing my interactions in order to make them sociable requires a tremendous effort. I have a tendency to expedite information flow by being direct. I often don't get a pleasant result.
Alicia: Try me.
Nash: All right. I find you attractive. Your aggressive moves toward me indicate that you feel the same way. But still, ritual requires that we continue with a number of platonic activities before we have sex. I am proceeding with these activities, but in point of actual fact, all I really want to do is have intercourse with you as soon as possible.
Nash: Are you gonna slap me now?

Nash: She's so small.
The imagined Charles: Well, she's young, John. That's how they come.

Nash: Alicia, does our relationship warrant long-term commitment? I need some kind of proof, some kind of verifiable, empirical data.
Alicia: I'm sorry, just give me a moment to redefine my girlish notions of romance. Okay, how big is the universe?
Nash: Infinite.
Alicia: How do you know?
Nash: I know because all the data indicates it's infinite.
Alicia: But it hasn't been proven yet.
Nash: No.
Alicia: You haven't seen it.
Nash: No.
Alicia: How do you know for sure?
Nash: I don't, I just believe it.
Alicia: Hmm. It's the same with love, I guess. Now, the part that you don't know is if I want to marry you.

Nash [gouging his arm]: The implant is gone. I can't find it. It's gone.

Dr. Rosen [to Alicia]: You see, the nightmare of schizophrenia is not knowing what's true Imagine if you suddenly learned that the people, the places, the moments most important to you were not gone, not dead, but worse, had never been. What kind of hell would that be?

Alicia [watching Nash convulse from electo-shock treatment]: How often?
Dr. Rosen: Five times a week for ten weeks.

Dr. Rosen: You can't reason your way out of this!
Nash: Why not? Why can't I?
Dr. Rosen: Because your mind is where the problem is in the first place!

Nash: Rosen is right about one thing. You shouldn't be here. I'm not safe anymore.
Alicia: Would you hurt me, John?
Nash: I don't know.

Alicia [to Nash after telling Rosen she won't sign the commitment papers]: Rosen said to call him if you try and kill me or anything.

Nash: What truly is logic? Who decides reason? My quest has taken me to the physical, the metaphysical, the delusional, and back. I have made the most important discovery of my career - the most important discovery of my life. It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reasons can be found. I am only here tonight because of you.
[looking at and speaking to Alicia]
Nash: You are the only reason I am. You are all my reasons. Thank you.

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Wed May 08, 2013 11:11 pm

The movie The Departed is a remake of this film. They are both equally well made. Too close to call as far as I am concerned. But there is only one Jack Nicholson. So maybe not.

Both films deal with the same aspect of identity. You go in undercover thinking of yourself one way. But the new experiences you have [prolonged over the years] can change who you think you are. The best example of this is still Donnie Brasco . But there are overlapping ramifications explored here as well.

Here's the thing though. If I'm a gang boss worried about undercover cops I'd order all of the men under me to commit some major crime. A hit for instance. Or if I'm a top cop worried about the men under me I'd order them all to take a lie detector test. Which makes you wonder how this all really does unfold out in the "real world".

Or, again, just make the stuff legal to buy. You know, like booze and tobacco. Restrict and regulate the sale. but take the criminal element out of it.

When Yan and SP Wong are waiting at the elevator, the digital floor counter skips the 4th floor. In China and Hong Kong, the number 4 is considered bad luck because it sounds similar to the word 'death'.

The alternative ending found as a special feature on most Western DVD releases was created for release in China, where the authorities were uncomfortable with the political implications of the original ending.

INTERNAL AFFAIRS [Mou Gaan Dou] 2002
Directed by Wai-keung Lau, Alan Mak

Title card: [Nirvana Sutra] Verse 19: "The worst of the eight hells is called Continuous Hell. It has the meaning of Continuing Suffering. Thus the name."

Sam: What thousands must die, so that Caesar may become the great. But I don't believe in destiny. We now have the power to take fate in our hands.

Wong: Yan, you've been busted for assault three times. So I'm offically setting you up with a department shrink. You're much too involved in your role. You're acting like a real criminal. Have you forgotten you're a cop?
Yan: You tell me it's only 3 years. But it keeps getting extended over and over. I've been doing this shit now for 10 years!
Wong: I could erase your file if you'd rather be a gangster.
Yan: What do you want me to do? Never get my hands dirty? That doesn't work for a gangster. I might as well wear my badge.

Wong: Let me tell you a story. Two men need an organ transplant, but there's only one organ. So they play a game. They each put a card in their pocket. Whoever can guess the other's card wins the organ.
Sam: You know I can see your card.
Wong: I see yours as well.

Well, you know what I'd recommend.

Mary [to Ming]: I know what my next novel will be about. A man with multiple personalities. The second he wakes up, he could be anybody. He starts to forget which one is the real him.

Ming [after killing Sam]: I've chosen.

Yan: Should I salute you?
Ming: No, don't. How long have you been an undercover?
Yan: I've followed Sam for 3 years I had several other bosses before. All together, it's been 10 years.
Ming: 10 years? I should salute you, instead.
Yan: I just want an identity. I want to be a normal man.
Ming: Getting tired?
Yan: You've never been a mole. You won't understand.

Yan: Too bad I still can't find the stooge. I'll take him down when I've found him.
Ming: Don't worry. Let me give you back your identity, I'll open your file, but I don't have the password.
Yan: What's the Morse Code for undercover?

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Re: philosophy in film

by iambiguous » Thu May 09, 2013 10:39 pm

There is no way many folks today will understand the reaction to the original astronauts. Or imagine the risks involved. Back then no one was really entirely sure what would happen to a plane and a pilot that broke the sound barrier. let alone travel thousands of miles an hours in a zero g environment. Somebody always has to go first.

And only one can be the very first to get it all started. On the other hand, if Jay Leno goes Jaywalking and stops folks on the street to ask them, "Who is Chuck Yeager?", how many do you suppose will know? And while a few might remember John Glenn, how many can name the other six?

Of course back then you had to be both white and male to even have a chance to risk it all.

Not sure how true it actually is but one of the funniest things you'll ever see on film are the top scientists here trying to decide what sort of folks to pick as the first astronauts. But it does show clearly how new all this was. And you've got to remember all this unfolded in reaction to the initial Soviet accomplishments in space. It scared the shit out of many. As Senator Lyndon Johnson grumbled, ". and now the Communists have established a foothold in outer space. Pretty soon they'll have damned space platforms so they can drop nuclear bombs on us, like rocks from a highway overpass."

Written and directed by Philip Kaufman from the book by Tom Wolfe

Narrator: There was a demon that lived in the air. They said whoever challenged him would die. Their controls would freeze up, their planes would buffet wildly, and they would disintegrate. The demon lived at Mach 1 on the meter, seven hundred and fifty miles an hour, where the air could no longer move out of the way. He lived behind a barrier through which they said no man could ever pass. They called it the sound barrier.

Girl at Pancho's: I just noticed that a fancy pilot like Slick over there doesn't have his picture on your wall. What do you have to do to get your picture up there anyway?
Pancho: You have to die, sweetie.

Pancho: Why Yeager, you old bastard. Don't just stand there like some lonesome god-damn mouse-shit sheepherder. Get your ass over here and have a drink.

Yeager: Half these engineers've never been off the ground. They're liable to say the sound barrier's a brick wall in the sky. It'll rip your ears off if you try to go through it. If you ask me, I don't even believe the damn thing exists.

Man on the ground as Yeager reaches mach 1: What's that sound?
Pilot: He bought the farm.

Yeager: Hey, Ridley, make another note here, would ya? Must be something wrong with this ol' Mach meter. Jumped plumb off the scale. Gone kinda screwy on me.
Ridley: You go ahead and bust it, we'll fix it.

Pancho: What are you two rookies gonna have?
Cooper: Rookies? Now hold on, sis. You are looking at a whole new ballgame here now. In fact, in a couple of years, I bet you're even gonna immortalize us by putting our pictures up there on your wall.
[unwittingly referring to the dead pilot memorial over the bar]
Cooper: What? I say somethin' wrong here?

Lyndon Johnson: And as I was sayin', whoever controls the high ground of space controls the world. The Roman Empire controlled the world because it could build roads. Later, the British Empire was dominant because they had ships. In the Air Stage, we were powerful because we had the airplane. And now the Communists have established a foothold in outer space. Pretty soon they'll have damned space platforms so they can drop nuclear bombs on us, like rocks from a highway overpass. Now HOW IN THE HELL did they ever get ahead of us?!

Chief Scientist: Our Germans are better than their Germans.

Chief Scientist: I agree with those who say we could launch a pod.
Senator Johnson: A pot?
Chief Scientist: A POD - a, uh, capsule. Now, we would be in full control of zis pod. It vill go up like a cannonball, and come down like, uh, a cannonball, splashing down into ze water, the ocean, vith a parachute to spare the life of the specimen inside.
Senator Johnson: Spaceman?
Chief Scientist: SPE-CI-MEN.
Senator Johnson: Well, what kind of spe-ci-men?
Chief Scientist: A tough one. Responsive to orders. I had in mind a jimp.
Senator Johnson: JIMP? Well what the HELL is a jimp?
Chief Scientist: A jimp. A-a-a jimpanzee, Senator. An ape.
President Eisenhower: The first American into space is not going to be a chimpanzee!

Yeager [to NASA recruiters]: You need lab rabbits.
Recruiter: Sorry, I didn't get that.
Yeager: I said you need lab rabbits to curl up in your damn capsule. With its heart going "pitter-patter". And a wire up the kazoo. I don't hold with it.
Crossfield: I don't either. You want a pilot to become a balistic missile. And then splash down - possibly get lost at sea.
Pancho: See, some peckerwood's gotta get the thing up there. And some peckerwood's gotta land the son of a bitch. And that "peckerwood" is called a "pilot".

Yeager: I'll tell you something else, anybody that goes up in the damn thing is gonna be Spam in a can.

Cooper [during the lung capacity test]: Ha! 93 seconds. Read it and weep.
[notices Glenn and Carpenter are still exhaling]
Glenn: Congratulations, Scott. Darn good.
Carpenter [shaking Glenn's hand]: You were probably just getting warmed up, John. Next time I doubt I'll be the one to win.
Grissom [to Gordo]: You hear that? We were competing with Archie and Jughead!

Cooper [ordered to give a sperm sample]: Yeah, but uh, nurse, how am I supposed to uh.
Nurse Murch: The best results seem to be obtained through fantasization, accompanied by masturbation, followed by ejaculation.
Cooper: Well, that sounds easy enough.

Shepard [during enema continence test]: Tell me something, Mr. Gonzalez. You ever have any explosions doing this?
Gonzalez: All the time. It's a mess.

Astronaut groupie: Four down, three to go.

Slayton: What Gus is saying is that we're missing the point. What Gus is saying is that we all heard the rumors that they want to send a monkey up first. Well, none of us wants to think that they're gonna send a monkey up to do a man's work. But what Gus is saying is that what they're trying to do to us is send a man up to do a monkey's work. Us, a bunch of college-trained chimpanzees!

Shepard: Dear Lord, please don't let me fuck up.
Cooper: I didn't quite copy that. Say again, please.
Shepard: I said everything's A-OK.

Eric Sevareid [broadcasting]: There's another hold from NASA, another delay. Alan Shepard sits there, patiently waiting. What can be going through a man's mind at this moment?
[cut to Shepard in his space capsule]
Shepard: Gordo. Gordo, I have to urinate.
[cut to Alan's wife]
Wife: Alan must have had four cups of coffee before he left this morning.
[cut to Shephard]
Shepard: Request permission to relieve myself.
Cooper: Look, the man has got to go. Now, it's either that or we get the lug wrench and pry kim out.
Chief scientist: Do it in the suit.

Betty Grissom [after her husband's flight]: I thought I was going to be Honorable Mrs. Astronaut, and now they are treating me like I'm Honorable Mrs. Squirming Hatchblower.
Grissom: I did not do anything wrong! The hatch just blew! It was a glitch! It was a technical malfunction! Why in hell won't anyone believe me?!

Yeager: Monkeys? You think a monkey knows he's sittin' on top of a rocket that might explode? These astronaut boys they know that, see? Well, I'll tell you something, it takes a special kind of man to volunteer for a suicide mission, especially one that's on TV. Ol' Gus, he did all right.

Glennis Yeager: You know the government spends all that money teaching you pilots how to be fearlress. But they don't spend a god-damned thing teaching you how to be the fearless wife of a test pilot.

Cooper: You know something, Gus? I got me a new house, new furniture. Got me $25,000 a year on a magazine contract. Got me a Corvette. Got free lunch from one end of America to the other - and I ain't even been up there yet.
Grissom: Yeah, I noticed that.
Cooper: Oh, you noticed that, did you? Well I guess they're just saving the best for last.
Grissom: Yeah, I guess so, Hot Dog. Just be sure you don't screw the pooch.

Narrator: The Mercury program was over. Four years later, astronaut Gus Grissom was killed, along with astronauts White and Chaffee, when fire swept through their Apollo capsule. But on that glorious day in May 1963, Gordo Cooper went higher, farther, and faster than any other American - 22 complete orbits around the world he was the last American ever to go into space alone. And for a brief moment, Gordo Cooper became the greatest pilot anyone had ever seen.

He was like a man who wanted to change all and could not so burned with his impotence and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Watch the video: Roswell Incident: Department of Defense Interviews - Gerald Anderson. Glenn Dennis (December 2021).