It is difficult to describe the number of ways that writer-director Alfonso Cuaron’s semi-biographical ROMA represents an Ichthian leap in cinema. There are no special effects to speak of, no costumes except at a New Year’s Eve party cum fire. To compare the film with the level of change that Italian Neorealism presented in the middle of the last century seems strident, yet true. Equally valid is the sense that this film represents the 7th Art at its best in both the creative and technical expression of cinema. There is not a super hero among them — but a sense of magic at the level of Murakami’s Wind Up BirdChronicle or Hayao Miyazaki’s Howl’s Moving Castle. It is a universal film from the soul of a Spanish master.
See more at: http://www.bioethicsscreenreflections.com/2019/01/roma-bioethics-and-mobius-loop.html
As we move into the Oscar Season — I am reviewing films from the fall. A PRIVATE WAR is a film that likely will not win an Oscar, despite an Oscar winning director, and an Oscar nominated actor who gives an Oscar worthy performance. This ought to be the period where male and female actors are held as equal not separate and compete against one another for awards — this past year gave so many stellar leading roles for women that the dramatic bar iis set somewhere in the moons orbit. There are women directors, and directors of color unlike any other — kind of reminds me of the midterm elections in terms of land-slide. I’ll be giving you a look several other films if you want to get a head start: The Hate You Give, If Beale Street Could Talk, The Kindergarten Teacher, Destroyer, Roma, Widows,
So — A Private War— Things are not wrapped up in a tidy fictional bow in the end. I really should have used one of the gorgeous shots of Rosamund Pike in the protagonist role — but that would be misleading. You may want to understand the history in more detail — given the story turns on a region of the world where the USA has troupes on the ground in several countries — at least for the moment. You will be mad as hell and guilty too. So I have posted a two part series on Bioethics Screen Reflections http://www.bioethicsscreenreflections.com — with some references.
It is a hard story to tell, about a woman with a compulsion to change just one thing — the capacity for anyone to say “But I didn’t know that atrocity was going on.” If you vote, anywhere in the world — if you believe science and technology should be used for beneficent purposes and war doesn’t meet that bill, and if you, I dare say —believe in love— this is a film you need to see.
In the spirit of full disclosure — many readers of my novel Chasing Mercury know that one of the protagonist, Forest, is a whistleblowing journalist. They are not easy types to live with— or without.
I won the Poppy Field Diary in a Goodreads Romance Audiobook Giveaway. Because the delivery of the prose by the narrator was so eloquent I bought the ebook and reread it without the bias of the audio voice -- Guess what? It stands up in print as well as in audio! A version of this review is also on Amazon.
When I was halfway through the book, I was stunned by the lushness and beauty. I was absorbing it as I would an old uncle reading the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam after lunch, and before nap, on a warm summer day by the sea--begging it not to end -- I sent a note to the Author, Carey Richard, saying so. For me it became a slow read -- because I did not want it to end. I didn't want to devour the meal but savor it. I listened to a chapter every few days usually while doing something outside.
Grady Harp is one of the top reviewers on Amazon and he has written a review of The Elephant in the Room: Bioethical Concerns in Human Milk Banking which truly warms my heart. I know the whole thing with babies is that they are magic anyway you look at it. But I’m glad Grady caught all the bells and whistles I could hope for a reader to recognize. He is a top contributor of reviews in Children’s books and so it makes sense that he should care deeply about a subject that affects children and families so profoundly. Despite Reading thousands of books over his reading career — he managed to dig out less apparent jewels in the little monograph with the gigantic title. He got it. it is a story for the average person — and I dare say as he did— a story for “The MAN in the street.” Things that men may not think of made the read worth while for for Grady.
Lots of people ask me what I am going to be reviewing on Bioethics Screen Reflections from the Pre-Oscar Run Up Film Festivals. As it turns out, I picked the town where I have been living for the past 14 because it has one of the best International and local Film Festivals in the world. Every October — beginning on the Thursday closest to my birthday, a ten day screening event begins. Sixty Thousand people watch some of the best films of their time. Last year I was in Geneva at the Minamata Convention COP1 and through I was delighted to be there ( It took 60 years to get to the treaty), I admit I missed the being at the MILL VALLEY FILM FESTIVAL. So— I will share with you over the next week the tiles I will be watch on the MVFF big screen
Well, this year has been a heck of a ride — On August 16, 2017 the World Minamata Convention on Mercury was ratified and thus transitioned from a convention to treaty to international with the strength of international law . That means the first year anniversary of the treaty has just passed.http://www.mercuryconvention.org.) I was able to be at the first convention of the parties signatory to the convention in Geneva this past September. Over this year my romance suspense novel Chasing Mercury seems to have opened up the dialog on environmental toxins to several thousands of people who otherwise might not have cared as much — and hopefully more will come. Here are some reviews from the past month— but what is clear to me is what readers are appreciating is not me — but the story of a group of people who came together to make change and who are still working at it. Hope people will continue to support Chasing Mercury and remember that a portion of the proceeds continue to go to greenaction.org and http://freegrassy.net/mercuryhome/
Tracking the process of application to the convention has been brought with joy and fear as I begin to understand how hard people worked to achieve the convention and how much work still has to be done —
Mercury is a natural element: it is found in the Earth’s crust and naturally released through volcanic activity and weathering of rocks. It exists in various forms, each with a varying degree of toxicity but all equally harmful, affecting the nervous system, the brain, the heart, the kidneys, the lungs and the immune system of all living beings. Because exposure to mercury – even small amounts – may cause serious health problems, including in utero, the World Health Organization considers it one of the top ten chemicals of major public health concern.
What Stella Sees written by author Sarah Kornfeld is the sort of novel any publisher would want to to share, though few will have the opportunity to do so. Cove International Publishers finds itself with a remarkable author of literary fiction grounded at once in reality and fantasy. Sarah hits it to the horizon on the first swing. The project is accented by the extraordinary editor & book interior engineer, Eric P. Carlson. The cover is by designer Marta E. Johansen, working with the exquisite image of the consummate Danish artist and photographer Lone Morch.
What Stella Sees is equally lyrical as it is brassy in its exploration of love, family, and the environment. It is an inditement of medicine while extolling its processes. Stella awaits her readers, now on Amazon, and coming soon through Ingram Partners to booksellers near you. Here is a little bit more
In the the throws of of helping the publication of Sarah Kornfeld’s “What Stella Sees” I saw the original certificate of copyright for that book. It was signed by the same person as who signed that of Chasing Mercury. I realized that it was just over a year ago when one of the finest public servants the nation has known resisted collaboration with —well— what we have in our government today— Are is the piece form last year. piece — the “Canary in the Tunnel.” I’ve republished it for you here today.
“I had a very strange experience today. I went to the drawer where I keep my copyright certificates for film and written works. I couldn’t remember the date I received the copyright for Chasing Mercury. I needed it for the front matter of the book as we prepare to publish. I opened the drawer, in the space which we laughingly refer to as my desk. The copyrights are there so my kids can find them when I die. I fished out and unfolded the certificate. Then I saw it—”
This project is directly related to themes in Chasing Mercury. I can't begin to express the admiration I have for the founder/executive director of the Performing Stars Youth Program -- Felecia Gaston. She is truly a woman who knows "What plot of ground she has been given to till," As Ralph Waldo Emerson would say. And thanks to my dear friend Ola Bonds for flagging Performing Stars and it's director. PS is onto a new venture after taking children on driving tours across the USA to historically significant sights of contribution to the world of African American figure the program's right place is being honored. Performing Stars' youth ( http://performingstars.org) from Marin City are invited to attend the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, and Legacy Museum From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration in Montgomery, Alabama.
Today, Chasing Mercury is #1 Best Seller in Memoirs/Biographies and environmentalist E books., #7 in all books in that category, and #78 ( Top 100) in ebooks Mysteries, thrillers & Suspense and international Crime!
That will last a day maybe — they recalculate Amazon best sellers every hour! But thank you so much for every one who has been reading and buying Chasing Mercury over the past week!! Part of the proceeds go to Green Action for Health and Environmental Justice, www.greenaction.org and to freegrassy.net
I'm excited to make this offer-- PLEASE ENJOY THE CHASING MERCURY AUDIOBOOK IN HONOR OF THIS AMAZING TRAVELING INTERNATIONAL EXHIBIT OPENING IN CHICAGO POST/11/9/ THE NEW NOW [NOW]. The Art Exhibit opens this THURSDAY. PLEASE SHARE THIS GIFT ON YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA AND WITH FRIENDS. The cost of your free audiobook will be donated by Chasing Mercury to the POSt/11/9 THE NEW NOW [NOW] Collective as Chicago is only the first venue of many national and international sites fo for this marvelous exhibition. I'm not just saying that because I'll be there reading from Chasing Mercury.
There is something inherently exhausting about compacting 3 years of work into 12 hours of audio recording -- I guess it's what makes diamonds. I had a great 4 days with Greg, a super sound engineer at Command Productions in Sausalito, recording the audiobook edition for Chasing Mercury. It's off to the distributors and hopefully it will be available by the end of this week or next...
From Chasing Mercury, Chapter 17, San francisco Bay 1969-1972
“Paco often traveled through the back alleys of Venice, as he had that night, to reach our house. He tried the back door. Locked, as it should have been, he started to knock. That was when he heard the sound of our front windows shattering. Kicking the door open, he had a line of sight through the living room to the front yard. Two unfamiliar shadows held cigarette lighters. Whoosh, whoosh—Molotov cocktails, gasoline soaked cloth wicks in Coke bottles, flew through the already broken glass.
“HOT ENOUGH TO BLISTER THE skin, the Santa Ana Winds ravaged Los Angeles. Sirens raced down Manchester to the hospital on the other side of the cul-de-sac. They were loud and frequent, stopping us from opening the windows to let even the hot breeze blow through. From the ranch house picture window we could see black clouds from fires burning eight miles south. Newscasters called it a riot. Later, the people who lived in that part of the city, and history, would call it The Watts Uprisings.
Today I found a box at my front door. At first I thought it was expresso pods. When I opened it two gorgeous hard covered books were in it. Toxic Water, Minamata Japan - a book offered by Bearport Publishing for children's school libraries , and for which it was my honor to consult, is out and ready to be purchased by a school library near you! Let them know it exist. This is a book that is a part of Bearport's environmental disaster series helping the next generations understand what has happened in the past.