Essays

The Nighttime Metropolis on Film

By on Jun 3, 2013 in Essays | Comments Off

WARNING: Plot spoilers below for Collateral In daylight, the cities we inhabit take on a very different function and feel to that of nighttime. At sunrise, the city becomes a place of labour and socialization, of culture and community. The constant movement of raucous transportation and talkative commuters offers a distraction to the surroundings and an immersion into the frantic flow of the city. Our senses become numbed by the intense over-stimulation that the squeal of subway trains, the hum of tall buildings, the exhaust fumes of continuous traffic and the hustle that crowds of people...

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I Am Iron Fan

By on Jun 3, 2013 in Essays | Comments Off

We are wedged in between Michael Angelo and a man who laughs a lot at his own jokes. He is young but bald and wearing a brown tweed jacket with elbow patches and jeans — he resembles a professor. His wife and kids are in line too and, apparently, the boy who looks to be about six can play “Iron Man” on guitar already. When his father tries to get him to tell the nice strangers, the boy breaks off with his sister to lie on the patch of sunny grass nearby and read Harry Potter. He is too young to care about fame. In his mind there is no doubt he will live forever. He leaves the adults to...

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Gijon International Film Festival

By on Jun 3, 2013 in Essays | Comments Off

The Festival Internacional De Cine De GIJÓN, also known as FICXixon in Spain, is a wonderful festival in Spain that this year celebrated its golden jubilee, or 50th anniversary. On November 16-24, 2012, the festival celebrated in a suitably grand manner, starting with a red carpet event. The festival opened with Spanish actress Leticia Dolera, and during the opening ceremony, the famous Asturian Spanish casting director Luis San Narciso was awarded the Nacho Martínez Award for his special achievements. Narciso found casts for such films as By My Side Again (Gracia Querejeta, 1999), The Sea...

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Retirement: Phase II

By on May 12, 2013 in Essays | Comments Off

At age seventy and after thirty-six years of marriage, I am in a new relationship. He’s seventy-three, tall, lean, intelligent, curious, and kind. He’s got boyish charm, and when he laughs, his blue eyes sparkle. We share a love of good food and wine; we enjoy the theater, dance, jazz, college basketball, chamber music, and movies. We’re solitary types, readers, and we can be quiet together. My new love is my old husband, Weldon, and since his retirement four years ago, we’ve been redefining our relationship. It hasn’t been easy, and the challenge took me by surprise. When Weldon...

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Nymph in the Bathtub

By on May 6, 2013 in Essays | Comments Off

The photo jumps out at me from the pile of vintage photos that wind a trail back through my family on my mother’s side. I recognize the image and the person in it. I’ve seen another copy of the photo, framed, hanging on the walls of two different bathrooms in two of the houses my mother has lived in over the past ten years. I know the black-and-white toddler is Mom. She’s standing naked in a bathtub with her backside to the camera. Her head is turned to the right and slightly cocked over her shoulder. She wipes the edge of the tub with a rag. It looks like all the water has been...

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Superior Dairy

By on Feb 10, 2013 in Essays | Comments Off

My stomach churned as I dressed to take Dad on our first lunch date in decades. For our outing today, he had groomed as carefully as a suitor. He’d taken his weekly shower, shaved, and put on a clean chambray shirt. His collar yawned around his neck, and the skin below his cuffs was papery as corn husks. Bracing his elbow so he wouldn’t stumble on the buckled sidewalk, I heaved open the thick glass door, and my father stuttered into Superior Dairy on his wooden cane. The place wasn’t really preserved as a 1950s-style diner — they simply had never remodeled. The booths and bar stools...

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