Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Three Movies

Most of the time, I work in silence. I have a lot of things I need to think about, and the silence helps me think. When I am ready for some entertainment, I usually listen to BBC. Occasionally, as in the last three days, I turn on the TV, more for background noise than anything else.

Most of the shows I like the best have sharp women as main characters – I love Veronica Mars! I enjoy The Closer, and Crossing Jordan. I love how they overcome their dysfunctions, and how they use their smarts to solve cases. I love it that they screw up from time to time, and have to suffer the consequences, but that they overcome their screw-ups and prevail.

The last three days, I watched parts of three movies. In the first, Braveheart, we were watching Mel Gibson playing Braveheart, but I was constantly distracted by his preening. Have you seen Braveheart? It’s like he is conscious of the camera on him every minute, we the viewers are merely mirrors, absorbing and reflecting his glorious countenance – how annoying! His vanity distracted from a pretty good movie.


Then I watched segments of Dracula playing Ludwig von Beethoven. I am from a family of movie watchers; my son and husband know all the names and rush to IMDb to check out anachronisms, historical inaccuracies, goofs in continuity, etc. All I know is that every time he went to kiss one of those Viennese women, I wanted to scream “Watch your neck!”

The movie was interesting, and they made good use of all Beethoven’s most loved music, and they used it appropriately. Oldman did a good job of bringing Beethoven to life and making his deafness tragic and believable. He also shows the fickleness and cruelty of the audience for whom he made his music.


Then, yesterday, there was Jack Bauer playing Paul Gauguin! In the early parts of the movie, he lived in a luminously violet painted interior, one I am dying to copy. But that is not the point. Jack Bauer is a stoic. Stoicism is great when it comes to playing a guy who has so many bad things happen to him in the space of 24 hours.

(this is also beside the point, but can you imagine being married to a guy like Jack Bauer? Like he would never tell you what he was really up to, the most exciting times in his life are not with you and his children but off protecting the United States of America, he comes back to you addicted to heroin, or totally burned out and just when you have him all patched up again he gets a call that his services are needed, and you don’t hear from him because he is all caught up in his latest adventure and then after 24 hours he comes home again, a total wreck? What kind of family life is THAT??)


As Paul Gauguin, he leaves his stockbroker existence and becomes a starving painter, then a starving painter who somehow makes it to the South Seas to paint some of the most amazingly colored art every created but his facial expression never changes much. Paul Gauguin was all about passion – and it is just too much a stretch for Jack Bauer. He is not a believable Gauguin. He is not even a believable Frenchman. He barely moves his hands! I would watch the movie again, however, just for a glimpse of those violet colored walls.

It must be a problem for actors, especially TV actors who become too closely associated with one role. I had to look up his real name: Kiefer Sutherland. Fortunately, a new season of 24 starts in just three days. If you ever want to feel sorry for Kiefer Southerland, look at his dad’s resume’ of movies: Donald Sutherland. It wouldn’t be easy to live up to that legend.

October 22, 2007 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Entertainment, Family Issues, France, Generational, Random Musings, Relationships | , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Qatteri Cat Makes the Bed

As quietly as I can, I take the sheets out of the linen closet and into the bedroom. Almost silently, I strip off the old sheets, and pillowcases. I stuff the pillows into new pillowcases, and then quietly, quietly I unroll the bottom sheet. I don’t dare give it a shake and a whip to get the wrinkles out; the Qatteri Cat might hear.

Slowly, I put the first corner on the bed, and move to the second, but it is too late. Although dead in sleep, the Qatteri Cat has detected the sound of sheets, and has made a bee-line for the bedroom.

He wants to help. He jumps into the middle of the bed, then, thankfully, he moves to one corner. I get three corners settled on the mattress, and something intrigues him to move to the center of the bed, so I can get the fourth corner.


Now, for the part the Qatteri Cat loves the best. The top sheet! I shake the sheet out and it drapes over the Qatteri Cat. He is in ecstacy; “No one can see me!” he purrs.)


He makes a quick dash for safety as I start to put on the quilt, rushing back to the corner of the bed. I arrange the quilt around him and walk away – if I am not there for him to obstruct, he loses interest quickly.


He thinks it is a game we play. He is sad when it is finished. He brings Dolly in to the finished bed and grieves that I won’t play the bed-making-game with him any more.


October 22, 2007 Posted by | Family Issues, Friends & Friendship, Pets, Relationships | , | 17 Comments