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April 16, 2017   Posted in: Brother Nathanael  Comments Closed

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Unisex T-Shirt

Women’s T-Shirt

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Hoodie (Pullover)

Classic T-Shirt

Tri-blend T-Shirt

Graphic T-Shirt

Women’s Chiffon Top

Contrast Tank

Graphic T-Shirt Dress

A-Line Dress

Women’s Fitted Scoop T-Shirt

Women’s Fitted V-Neck T-Shirt

Women’s Relaxed Fit T-Shirt

Scarf

Lightweight Sweatshirt

iPhone Case/Skin

Samsung Galaxy Case/Skin

iPad Case/Skin

Laptop Skin

Laptop Sleeve

Poster

Canvas Print

Photographic Print

Art Board

Art Print

Framed Print

Metal Print

Mug

Clock

Acrylic Block

Wall Tapestry

Travel Mug

Studio Pouch

Drawstring Bag

Sticker

Greeting Card

Spiral Notebook

Hardcover Journal

Brother Nathanael: Holding the Cross

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April 15, 2017   Posted in: Brother Nathanael  Comments Closed

Strolling in historic East Greenwich – Ricentral.com

The Eliza A. Greene House 21 Liberty Street

In 1849, Eliza A. (Parkinson) Greene (1797-1863) purchased this lot, and she and her husband James C. Greene (1786-1865) built this house at 21 Liberty Street. The house today is a single-family home with 8 rooms, and 2,312 sq. ft. of living area. In the 1800s, the census records show that sometimes it was a 2 family house.

Eliza (Parkinson) Greene was the daughter of James & Mary Parkinson. Elizas husband, James C. Greene was the son of James C. & Ruth Greene. James is listed as gentleman in 1860 (age 73), and shoemaker in 1865 (age 78). James is not part of the Greene family descended from Surgeon John Greene (well known as the family of General Nathanael Greene). James is probably a member of the Quidnesset Greene family.

James & Eliza A. Greene had a large family, with 7 children: Mary E., Anne M., R. Maria, Jane A., J. Edmund, Catherine C. and Hannah C. Greene. However, only the two youngest children, Catherine and Hannah were involved in the ownership of this house, as well see.

There are no probate records for either James or Eliza, but we know that Eliza died in 1863, and James died in 1865, and we know that their daughters Hannah Casey (Greene) (Dawley) Hussey (1825-1883) and Catherine C. Greene (b. 1833, d. after 1880) inherited the house.

Hannah Casey Greene married (1) Horace F. Dawley (b. 1822, d. before 1860). He was a machinist. Hannah m. (2) 1867, Dr. Leander Hussey (1809-1875), becoming his 3rd wife. He was born in Camden, ME, son of Ira & Irena (Fales) Hussey. Hannah was a schoolteacher in 1860. Hannahs younger sister Catherine C. Greene never married. She was a dressmaker in 1880. By his first marriage, Dr. Hussey had a daughter named Emma Pitts Hussey (1853-1931).

In 1872, Leander & Hannah Hussey and Catherine C. Greene sold the house to Sarah Greene Allen (1807-1899) and her sister Charlotte Allen (1805-1890). Sarah and Charlotte were daughters of Thomas Gould Allen and his wife Mary (Hill) Allen.

Charlotte Allen died in 1890, and left her share of the Liberty Street house to her sister Sarah G. Allen. Sarah died in 1899, and left the house to her nephew Charles Henry Allen (1844-1922), son of her brother, Daniel Gould Allen. Charles worked as a clerk in a grain store in 1880, and as a farmer in 1900 and 1910.

When Charles H. Allen died in 1922, he left to his son Howard V. Allen the house and lot on Liberty Street, which had been left to him by his aunt Sarah G. Allen.

Howard Vernon Allen (1878-1969) was probably one of the most well known residents of East Greenwich. Known as H.V. or simply Colonel Allen, he was at an early age a member of the Kentish Guards, and in 1907, helped found the Varnum Continentals with 44 other Charter Members. He served as the Commanding Officer 1914-1969, dying in office at the age of 91. Professionally, he was Manager of Union Trust Co, and ran the H.V. Allen Agency, which dealt in real estate and insurance. He served in the RI State/National Guard as Captain of the 16th Co, in 1918, and retired as Lt. Col. Coastal Artillery Corps. His business office was on Main Street, and he also had an office at the Varnum Amory as the head of that organization. He went to work at his office every day, until a few days before his death. While I did know him, I was only 22 when he died at the age of 91. I followed his footsteps and served 15 years as Commanding officer of the Varnum Continentals myself. Fifteen years seems like a long time, until compared to his 55 years!

In 1938, Howard V. Allen and his wife Alice Whitford (Butts) Allen sold this house to Frank B. Rhodes, Jr. and his wife Ida C. Rhodes.

Frank Bruner Rhodes, Jr. (1894-1950) was born in Maryland. His occupation, listed in the census records, include, Theatrical Manager, 1900; Actor, 1910; wire works manager, 1930, and sales manager, staple equipment, 1940. He was a colonel in the U.S. Army Infantry. His wife was Ida (Collette) Rhodes (1901-1954). She was also listed in 1910 as an actress.

Frank B. Rhodes, Jr. died in 1950, and his widow Ida became the sole owner. When Ida died in 1954 the house was inherited by their 3 children: Catherine (Rhodes) Ott (19231993), Frank B. Rhodes, 3rd (1924-2008), and Donald C. Rhodes (1925-2003). Remarkably, all 3 of these children were World War II Veterans. Donald received the Purple Heart. Catherines husband Arpad Ott was also a World War II veteran.

In 1955, Catherine and Donald sold their share in the house to their brother Frank B. Rhodes, 3rd. Frank followed up his WWII service, enlisting in the Army Reserves and became a Chief Warrant Officer. He was also well known in town, serving as the long time Chairman of the Parade Committee, managing decades of Memorial Day and Veterans Day Parades. He also followed in his parents footsteps, being very involved with the Academy Players theater productions. Frank and his wife Barbara A. (Ikola) Rhodes lived here from 1955 to 1986, when they sold the house to John V. & Lynn C. Veradian. In 2003 the Veradians sold the house to Timothy W. & Brigid Myers Pavilonis, the current owners.

Bruce MacGunnigle is the East Greenwich Town Historian. He can be reached at greenwich1677@gmail.com. His book Strolling in Historic East Greenwich is available at the Green Door, 130 Main Street.

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April 15, 2017   Posted in: Brother Nathanael  Comments Closed

NOC Enid’s Black appreciates baseball’s life lessons – Enid News & Eagle

The character of Northern Oklahoma College Enid’s baseball team (21-13 overall and 1-3 in conference) could be tested in a 1 p.m. doubleheader with Carl Albert (17-15, 3-1) today after the Jets were swept by Western Oklahoma, 13-10 and 8-5 Monday blowing a 10-4 lead in the seventh in the first game.

But such situations are a reason why second baseman T.J. Black is drawn to baseball.

“The way you handle adversity going 0-for-something or making an error is a reflection on your character and your personally as a baseball player,” Black said. “As long as you can preserve through adversity, it makes the successful moments that much better.”

Adversity is as much a part of baseball as hitting, field and pitching to Black.

“Baseball teaches you many of life’s lessons as well as teaching you to be competitive and being able to get along with your teammates,” he said. “The lifelong friends that you make out of it makes a great experience.”

He agreed with Jets head coach Raydon Leaton that the Jets have already put the Western games behind them.

“You just have to forget what happens and move on,” he said. “I think (Leaton) has the right approach. There’s nothing we can do about it now, so why dwell on it? We have to move on and get better at what we did wrong and improve.”

Black has done that throughout his career at NOC Enid and is the prototypical No. 2 hitter. He is hitting .342 with four doubles, three triples, two homers and 24 RBI. He has drawn 17 walks and has struck out just seven times in 143 plate appearances. He has an on-base percentage of .465 and a slugging percentage of .486.

“A lot of it is just practicing every day and doing everything the best I can,” Black said. “If you give 100 percent in practice, it will carry over to the game. I completely focus on the task that’s at hand with every single at-bat. Dava’s (lead-off hitter Daniel Davilla) and my job is to get on base, so our 3-4-5 guys can hit us in.”

Black has scored 37 runs this season, second to No. 3 hole hitter Carlos Andujar’s 45.

Black’s average is up 60 points from the .282 he hit as a freshman when he had four homers and 45 RBI.

“Experience is going to help in anything that you do,” Black said. “This being my second year, the game isn’t slowing down, but it is at it’s natural speed.”

Black and Justin Brown, an All-Region 2 selection and now at the University of Central Oklahoma, combined for 32 double plays last season. Brown committed only six errors and had a fielding percentage of .970. Black and new shortstop Andujar have turned 18 double plays so far this season.

“Carlos and I are doing pretty good together,” Black said.”There are definitely times and situations where both of us could improve.I think we’re just feeling each other out. We get along together real well and that’s going to help us out, too.”

Black’s goal is to win the Division II World Series. He is motivated for family reasons as well.

His older brother, Gunner, signed with the Jets two years ago but a torn labrium ended his career.

“My brother and I were the first baseball players in our family,” Black said. “I learned from my older brother. … He taught me what I should and shouldn’t do. The plan was that he was going to go here and I was going to go here and we would be roommates. It just didn’t work out that way.”

So he plays for both brothers.

“I play for my family,” Black said. “I play for my brother. I know how much he misses the sport. I play for my dad because he is a big inspiration in my life. He keeps me motivated every single day to work hard.”

“He’s just one of those guys you wish could stay forever in your program,” Leaton said. “He’s been a solid player and a solid representative of our program. When he leaves here, somebody is getting a great combination of player and a good kid.”

Black has talked with some four-year colleges but is putting recruiting on the back burner.

“I’m just waiting to see where it takes me,” he said. “I try not to think about it too much. I just focus on what we’re doing and what we have coming up, so I can stay in the right frame of mind. I think my season so far has been reflective of ours as a team. We’re always trying our best to each help each other out.”

Carl Albert took three of out of four from NOC Tonkawa last week and defeated Division I Connors, 18-14 Monday night. The Vikings are led by Nathanael Makaya Richardson (.421, three homers, 21 RBI), Breyden Varner (.395, three homers, 13 RBI) and Dylan Thurber (.375, three homers, 28 RBI).

“We’ll be in a dogfight,” Leaton said.

The Jets will go with Josh Rutland (4-1, 5.18 ERA) the first game and Kyler Patterson (4-1, 4.62 ERA) the second. Patterson shut down Western for NOC Enid’s lone win in the series.

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Chargers score five in first, top Irish 9-2 [photos] – Chattanooga Times Free Press

Gallery: Chargers score five in first, top Irish 9-2

It didn’t take long for the visitors to get comfortable.

Chattanooga Christian’s five-run first inning proved too plenty for the Chargers in a 9-2 District 7-AA baseball victory Tuesday night at Notre Dame.

“A five-spot in the first definitely settles everyone down a little bit and gets the offense going,” CCS coach Ben Wharton said. “I think district games are always a little bit more focused when they happen because they mean a little bit more, so we played loose and free, but we just wanted to make sure we were ready for the district tournament.

John Rhodes’ three-run homer to right center got the Chargers (14-2, 9-1) on the board early. They added two more runs in the first, but Notre Dame retaliated with two outs in the bottom half of the inning. Evan Cheney’s two-run single to right field closed the gap to three.

That gap widened in a hurry, though, after Rhodes added an RBI triple to dead center, scoring Amos Davenport and extending the lead to 7-2.

Nathanael Kapp’s RBI groundout coupled with Justin Wheeler’s sacrifice fly in the fifth inning capped off the scoring. The Irish were unable to generate runs and were held scoreless after starting pitcher Joseph Wharton settled in, allowing no runs and striking out seven from the second inning on.

“He has pitched really well for us this year,” Coach Wharton said of his brother. “He gave up more baserunners than he’s used to, but he battled after a rough first inning to keep them within striking distance. I think he got stronger as the game went on, and I think it was good for him to face a little adversity.”

The younger Wharton pitched six solid innings, striking out eight and allowing the two runs on six hits. Besides Rhodes going 2-for-3, Aaron Anand also delivered two hits and drove in a run, and he pitched a scoreless seventh.

Calvin Sims went 2-for-4 for Notre Dame.

“We have been playing really well lately so I knew our pitching would be there and our hitting is reliable,” Rhodes said. “I was just going up with the same approach as always and I knew we had runners on so I just went up there and did my job and got a good pitch to hit.”

Contact Anthony Sigismond at sports@timesfreepress.com

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Chargers score five in first, top Irish 9-2 [photos] – Chattanooga Times Free Press

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A dysfunctional family’s long journey to seder in a dystopian America – Jewish Journal

All the stars are in alignment for a remarkable new book by novelist and short-story writer David Samuel Levinson, Tell Me How This Ends Well (Crown Publishing/Hogarth). Set in a dangerously dystopian Los Angeles a scant five years in future, the story focuses on the Passover gathering of the Jacobson family in Calabasas, and the authors timely commitment to truth-telling in the guise of a comic novel is evident from the outset.

A Passover seder at the Jacobson house, we are told, is like a terrifying golem made from the clay of behavioral tics and personality disorders a litany of ills and a penchant for hypochondriasis and full-blown neurosis, with bouts of accompanying sanctimony, blinding narcissism, and a plain, old-fashioned, wrath-of-God-style guilt.

The prime mover of the Jacobson familys dysfunction is Julian, the paterfamilias, who possesses an obscenely pronounced underbite, which went hand in hand with the rest of his handsome albeit cavemanlike face, thick, bushy eyebrows, broody, overhanging brow. Julian is the problem to be solved by his three long-suffering adult children, Jacob, Moses (known as Mo) and Edith.

Jacob is a gay man with a problematic German lover, and his siblings call him Gay-Jay. Mo is a registered dietician and semifamous actor. Edith adopted the nickname Thistle in early adolescence, and Jacob describes her as our Thistle of the Congregation of Least Resistance. We see the story through the eyes of each sibling in turn, but it is Gay-Jay who first imagines taking the final Oedipal step to protect their ailing mother from what they fear are the evil intentions of their father, a notion that may or may not be a joke.

[Jacob] had a sneaking, awful suspicion, though, that because he was the youngest and thus usually dared and bullied into mischief by his older brother and sister, it would fall on him to interview the hit men, whomever Mo had found to do it, probably former, disbanded Mossad operatives the USA was rife with them, Levinson writes. Mo has a different idea: If we were keeping with the Passover theme, then wed drop him off in the middle of the desert without food or water, Mo cracks. He wouldnt last forty hours, much less forty days in that heat.

But the authors anxieties transcend those of the Jacobson family, which is why Tell Me How This Ends Well has been compared to Philip Roths memorable novel about an anti-Semitic version of the history of the United States, The Plot Against America. Levinson imagines that an isolationist American president has refused to come to the aid of Israel in a war with Syria, Iran and Lebanon, a catastrophe that has resulted in the destruction of the Jewish homeland, a massive influx of Israeli refugees, and an upwelling of violence against Jews: [A]nother torched synagogue, another murdered youth, another suicide bomber on the 405 or the 101, the anti-Semitism that swept across L.A. with the tenacity of a wildfire.

So Levinson dares to play out a worst-case scenario that overshadows the woes of all unhappy families: Theyd given Israel back, yet the world still came for them, muses Edith, who happens to be a professor of ethics. How could anyone have guessed that a mere eighty years after the end of World War Two the Jews would be made to roam the world yet again?

Levinson has been compared by the early blurbers of his book to authors ranging from Roth to Nathanael West to Flannery OConnor. (I would add Joseph Heller to the list.) But Levinson also deserves to be praised for qualities of his own a mastery of verbal invention and rhetorical pyrotechnics, an imagination that shocks us by showing us an alternate future that is all too plausible nowadays, and a gift for humor so dark that we find ourselves dancing on the edge of the grave.

By the time we reach the Passover seder itself, the opening words of the Four Questions (Why is this night different from all other nights?) suggest a new, different and especially terrifying answer.

Jonathan Kirsch, author and publishing attorney, is the book editor of the Jewish Journal.

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April 7, 2017   Posted in: Brother Nathanael  Comments Closed

The DVD Wrapup: Rogue One, Office Party, Three, Story of Sin, Actor Martinez and more – Movie City News

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: Blu-ray If, like me, you were a tad confused about how Rogue One: A Star Wars Story would fit within the Star Wars mythos, especially since the franchises Mother Ship is currently between Episodes VII and VIII and two related novels, a soundtrack album and a video game also were being released in December. Moreover, Rogue One had been incorporated into YouTubes The Star Wars Show and the ongoing Lego Star Wars series on Disney XD. Anyone whos visited Disneyland lately can see the companys commitment to the Star Wars franchise/brand by strolling past the former site of Big Thunder Ranch, which is giving way to a 14-acre mega-attraction, unofficially known as Star Wars Land. So, where does Rogue One: A Star Wars Story fit into the mix? In a nutshell, it is the first installment of the Star Wars Anthology series, set immediately before the events of the original Star Wars film. (Untitled Anthology standalones, including a Han Solo project, are set for 2018 and 2020.) Ironically, the storys seed was planted way back in 1977, in the opening crawl of Episode IV: A New Hope, On it, quizzical audiences were advised that Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empires ultimate weapon, the Death Star OK. Four decades later, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story would follow that group of rebels on their mission to steal the plans for the Death Star, or die trying, which, of course, didnt happen. According to interviews included in the extensive bonus package, John Knoll, visual effects supervisor for the prequel trilogy at Industrial Light & Magic, pitched the idea for the film 10 years before its development began. After the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm, in 2012, Knoll decided to re-pitch it, this time to his new boss, Kathleen Kennedy, who ran it up the flagpole at the newly combined company.

The first things longtime fans will notice is the absence of an updated crawl and an overture by a composer not named John Williams, although his aural fingerprints can be heard throughout the score. Buffs probably were already aware of the absence of Jedi in the cast of characters and the difference in narrative tone from the other episodes. Director Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) and co-writers Chris Weitz (Cinderella) and Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Indentity) have emphasized that Rogue One was conceived as a war story with a sometimes ambiguous moral code. Otherwise, almost everything that happens in the story would require a spoiler alert to summarize. Because the movie has passed the billion-dollar barrier, worldwide, I suspect that very few, if any diehard fans have yet to see Rogue One. So, lets not ruin the surprises for the one or two people out there whove yet to enjoy them. Returnees should know that the Blu-ay presentation is excellent, from beginning to end and inside-out. The more sophisticated the home-theater setup, the better the experience will be. That said, however, while RogueOne is available in 3D, new owners of 4K UHD players and monitors will be disappointed to learn that Disney/Buena Vista has decided, once again, to play the delay game. Collectors should know, as well, that Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target and the Disney Store surprise, surprise offer the movie in exclusive packaging and slightly different bonus selections. None of the dozen making-of featurettes is longer than nine minutes, but they do add value to what already is a noteworthy addition to the franchise. I further suspect that commentary and longer featurettes will be added to the inevitable super-duper holiday edition.

Office Christmas Party: Unrated: Blu-ray The unrated version of Office Christmas Party, which kept two directors and six writers from the unemployment lines, is five minutes longer than the theatrical edition (also enclosed), and eight, if you include deleted scenes. It contains a bit more of everything that warranted the originals R-rating, but nothing terribly salacious. Among the things that offended the MPAA ratings board were several scenes with partial nudity, crude sexual references throughout, a scene in which a man drinks eggnog from a phallic-shaped portion of an ice sculpture, coarse language, a penis sculpted by a 3D-printing machine and more shots of alcohol/drugs/smoking than in all three Porkys movies combined. In Germany, Norway, Netherlands and Sweden, however, anyone over the age of 12 was allowed entrance to the multiplex showing Office Christmas Party. Here, of course, kids under 17 would be required to drag along a parent or guardian or simply buy tickets for the PG-13 screening next-door. To be fair, though, most parents probably would agree with the MPAA on this one, especially in its unrated iteration. (Based on Office Christmas Party and Bad Santa 2, some impressionable youngsters might come to believe that holiday parties in Chicago really are this outrageous and degrading, and pray someday they get a job there, too.) All snarkiness aside, though, OCP is probably as good as things are going to get in the out-of-control-party subgenre, at least until someone dramatizes what goes on at a state dinner at Mar-a-Lago, with Bill Murray playing President Trump. The filmmakers were allotted a generous $45-million production money, most of which probably went to secure a cast of talented comic actors.

The setting is Chicagos Zenodek company, a failing tech interest that takes up two floors in a Loop hi-rise. The office is run by Josh Parker (Jason Bateman) and party-hardy figurehead Clay Vanstone (T.J. Miller), who inherited the company from his fun-loving dad. His uptight sister, Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston), was made CEO of the international corporation and has ordered Josh and Clay to spend the days leading up to Christmas, downsizing the Chicago office. She also demands that the annual holiday party be cancelled, along with bonuses, which Clay is loath to do. They might be able to save the company, but only if they can convince a major client, Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance), to send millions of dollars in business their way. Where better than at an orgy, where everyone will be on their worst behavior? Joshs cohort, Tracey Hughes (Olivia Munn), has committed herself to sealing the deal, but it isnt until Walter accidentally inhales a kilo of cocaine, mistakenly dumped in the snow-making machine, that the skids are sufficiently greased. Even so, when Carols flight is canceled at a snowbound OHare, she could still ruin everyones plans and holiday cheer. This includes an emergency run to a pimps-n-hos soiree, just down the street. Mayhem, of course, ensues. Directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck benefit from a supporting cast of funny actors: Kate McKinnon and Vanessa Bayer (SNL), Jillian Bell (Workaholics), Rob Corddry (Ballers), Randall Park and Sam Richardson (Veep), Jamie Chung (Gotham), DaVine Joy Randolph (This Is Us), Andrew Leeds (Bones) and Jimmy Butler, of the Chicago Bulls. The Blu-ray adds commentary with the directors (on the theatrical disc); the background featurette, Throwing an Office Christmas Party; outtakes and alternate lines from various scenes; deleted scenes, not included in the extended version; and an alternate ending.

Three: Blu-ray The Legend of Bruce Lee: Volume Two Even by current standards, Johnnie Tos latest crime thriller, Three, is a departure from the norm. Set almost entirely inside the intensive-care unit of a bustling Hong Kong hospital, it pits a trio of completely different professionals against each other. Their paths cross in the emergency room after a desperate criminal is brought in with a bullet lodged in his head. The patient, Shun (Wallace Chung), shot himself to avoid being taken directly to jail after a blown heist. He knew he would be rushed to the hospital and given sanctuary until his gang was able to hear about his arrest and rescue him. Awaiting him is the headstrong surgeon Dr. Tong Qian (Zhao Wei), whose tireless pursuit of perfection has begun to backfire on her. She wants to remove the slug as soon as possible, but Shun violently resists her efforts. Waiting for Shun to be released is Chief Inspector Ken (Louis Koo), a dogged cop who sometimes ignores regulations to secure a conviction. The criminal has given the doctor a phone number to call, but Ken has forbidden her from doing so, in fear of a bloody escape attempt. As these three bump heads, everyone else is required to act as if nothing unusual is going on around them. It precipitates some unlikely interaction between bed-ridden patients, nurses and doctors on their rounds. The director compresses six hours of time into 90 tension-filled minutes, with a stunning slow-motion climax that Sam Peckinpah might have envied. Three works best as a diversion, akin to a parlor trick, as To makes us wait for the ending we all know is coming, but surprises us with its ferocity. The Blu-ray adds featurettes, Making-Of: Master Director Johnnie To and Three Complex Characters.

In the 40-plus years since the untimely death of Bruce Lee, filmmakers far and wide have stood in line to create biopics that have attempted to interpret/exploit his legacy. Most of them have distorted the facts to suit the tastes and gullibility of their audience. Others were made according the stipulations imposed by family members. It wasnt until 1993, when Rob Cohens Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story became the first to acknowledge the influence of Wing Chun master Ip Man, that the real Bruce Lee saga began to emerge. Kar Wai Wongs The Grandmaster and Donnie Yens Ip Man series a new one arrives next year, were told gave serious fans of martial arts a reason to cheer. Produced by China Central Television and exec-produced by daughter Shannon Lee, The Legend of Bruce Lee played out in 50 episodes on the CCTV network and was syndicated around the world. It starred Hong Kong actor Danny Chan and American actress Michelle Lang as Lees wife, Linda Lee Cadwell. Lionsgate compressed the series into a 183-minute straight-to-DVD film that satisfied almost no one. Released on November 1, 2016, the first volume of Well Go USAs Legend of Bruce Lee times in at 451 minutes, while Volume Two covers the 480-minutes of Episodes 11-20. This one opens with Lee suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of an older master and his determination to combine disciplines to create a new system and school, based in Seattle. Langs part expands as Lee suffers a serious back injury a rival fighter assaults him with a log true story and she devotes herself to his recovery. Because the series was designed to appeal primarily to the vast Chinese audience, it isnt surprising that the overtly melodramatic and mythic elements dominate the narrative. Too often, the lame English dubbing curiously, the non-Asian actors are made to sound like characters in an anime interferes with the narrative flow. The fighting and training scenes are good enough to keep hard-cord fans interested, though.

The Story of Sin: Special Edition: Blu-ray Property Is No Longer a Theft: Special Edition: Blu-ray In revealing his list of the ten-best animated films of all time, Terry Gilliam described Walerian Borowczyk as a twisted man whose films were infused with a unique cruelty and weirdness. Im sure he meant that as a compliment. His obituary in the New York Times opened with, Walerian Borowczyk (was) an internationally known Surrealist filmmaker, described variously by critics as a genius, a pornographer and a genius who also happened to be a pornographer. The Polish-born Borowczyk, who also spent much of his career in France, was all of that and, as weve begun to learn, a whole lot more. In 2015, Arrow Video released brilliantly restored Blu-ray editions of Immoral Tales, The Beast and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne, three of his most notorious films, all packed with illuminating bonus material. Later this month, Olive Films is sending out Walerian Borowczyk: Short Films, Blanche, Goto Isle of Love and Theatre of Mr. & Mrs. Kabal. Apart from being a sexual provocateur, Borowczyks features are distinguished by their exquisite period look, attention to details and integration of classical music into situations one might think wouldnt support it. The Story of Sin was released in France in 1975, the same year as The Beast opened in Poland. While the latter remains one of the cinemas more outrageous re-conceptualizations of the La Belle et la Bte fantasy, Story of Sin is a thoughtful and beautifully constructed adaptation of Stefan eromskis 1908 novel about a young womans picaresque quest to reconnect with the man who took her virginity and disappeared. As a boarder in the home of Ewa Pobratynska (Grazyna Dlugolecka), Lukasz Niepolomski (Jerzy Zelnik) promised to divorce his wife and make a proper lady of her. After being refused a divorce in Catholic Poland, Lukasz travels to Rome, ostensibly to seek an annulment, leaving Ewa behind to struggle making ends after being kicked out of her home. In Warsaw, Ewa is approached by friends and wealthy acquaintances of Lukasz, who provide her with information on his whereabouts and enough money to tempt her to follow them around Europe in search of him.

Finally, while still professing her love for Lukasz, whos a bit of a conman, Ewa succumbs to life in the Victorian Era fast lane. Lessons are learned and lives are ruined. Borowczyks gift for period staging makes the journey from sumptuous spas and resorts, to sordid brothels a visual treat. As Ewa, the stunning Dlugolecka is required to spend much of her time in the nude, although almost all of it is presented in ways that cover her nether regions. Lovers of turn-of-the-century erotica surely will find much here to savor. In addition to a recent interview with the delightfully candid actress, the crisply restored Arrow edition offers a great deal of evidence to substantiate Gilliams admiration for Borowczyks animated films, nearly a dozen of which are included here. Theyre wonderful. Also included are an introduction by poster designer Andrzej Klimowski; featurettes on Borowczyks career in Poland and innovative use of classical music; a reversible sleeve, with original and newly commissioned artwork by Klimowski; and, in the first pressing, a fully illustrated collectors booklet, featuring new and archival writing, including an exclusive interview with the producer of Story of Sin, director Stanislaw Rozewicz, a text by art historian and one-time Borowczyk collaborator, Szymon Bojko, and excerpts from Borowczyk s memoirs, presented in English for the first time.

The inelegantly phrased title of co-writer/director Elio Petris Property Is No Longer a Theft can be traced to a slogan coined by French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in his 1840 book, What is Property? Or, an Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government. As a onetime committed Communist Party member he quit in 1956, after the suppression of the Hungarian uprising Petri would have been aware of the property is theft concept, which even was questioned by Karl Marx and German philosopher Max Stirner. Here, most of thieving is done in reaction to those capitalists who would argue that property is a gift, handed down by God himself. Its a dark comedy, informed by giallo and radical politics of 1970s Italy. Theft is the final entry in Petris Trilogy of Neurosis, which also included the Oscar-winning Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion and Lulu the Tool (a.k.a., The Working Class Goes to Heaven). The former tackled the corrupting nature of power, while the latter questions where a worker fits in a world in which he cant even trust his trade union. Here, Total (Flavio Bucci) is a low-level bank clerk whos allergic to money, even though its his job to handle it every day. His father raised him to believe that property was to be respected, if not worshipped. His mind is changed when he is refused a loan request, moments after a dishonest businessman blackmails his boss into giving him an exorbitant loan.

The customer, known only as the Butcher (Ugo Tognazzi), endears himself to bank employees by handing out packages of prime cuts of beef. If he pulls his money out of the bank, the boss knows it could ruin him. That kind of arrogance makes the Butcher the perfect target for Totals newly invigorated anti-capitalism. After quitting his job, Total devotes himself to tormenting the Butcher, stealing his possessions one-by-one, starting with the mans meat cleaver and mistress (Daria Nicolodi), who bears an uncanny resemblance to Morticia Addams. Eventually, the former clerk begins stealing from thieves, who go about their business without the benefit of a political agenda. (Total only steals property, not money.) Theft is enhanced by some hallucinogenic visuals and a complementary score by Ennio Morricone. The nice thing is that viewers need not be politically left of Bernie Sanders to get a kick out of it. The newly restored Blu-ray adds fresh interviews with Bucci, producer Claudio Mancini and make-up artist Pierantonio Mecacci; a reversible sleeve, featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh; and, with the first pressing, an illustrated booklet containing new writing on the film by Camilla Zamboni.

Youth in Oregon Its difficult to imagine a comedic premise dark or light more challenging than the one that informs Joel David Moore and writer Andrew Eisens Youth in Oregon. In it, Billy Crudup plays Brian Gleason, the son-in-law of 80-year-old Raymond Engersol (Frank Langella), who insists upon traveling from New York to Oregon to take advantage of the states Death with Dignity Act. Raymond doesnt look particularly ill, but hes already undergone one excruciating operation on his heart and doesnt want to go under the knife again, even if the surgery could delay an inevitable second heart attack. Tellingly, he breaks the news to his incredulous family on his birthday. Raymonds wife, Estelle (Mary Kay Place), wants to tag along, if only to help Brian try to talk him out of going through with the euthanasia. Brians wife (Christina Applegate) is unable to make the trip, because their daughter (Nicola Peltz) is experiencing boyfriend problems and leaving her alone is out of the question. Estelle plans to break the tedium by remaining high or unconscious on pills and booze. No sooner does Brian put the SUV in gear than Raymond puts on his favorite CD of bird songs. Already, viewers know that theyre in for a long ride, because the codger isnt listening to their arguments hes already done all the necessary homework and hes intent on making amends with his estranged gay son (Josh Lucas) along the way. Brian also decides, while theyre in the neighborhood, to swing northward to Montana to visit his own college-age son, who informs them of his decision to drop out of school. He thinks that grandpa is doing the admirable thing and shouldnt be talked out of it. Theres humor here, folks, but its the kind that sneaks up on you. The punch to the heart comes at the end, but not in the way weve been led to believe it will arrive. Needless to say, Youth in Oregon isnt for everyone. As usual, Langella is terrific as a frequently unlikeable character in a difficult situation for himself, his family and the audience.

We Dont Belong Here If Peer Pedersens debut drama We Dont Belong Here somehow landed on a double-bill with Sidney Lumets adaptation of Eugene ONeills Long Days Journey Into Night, management might consider handing out samples of Prozac and Zoloft with every bag of popcorn if not complimentary whiskey and morphine. Then, at least, viewers could be on the same wavelength as the desperate characters in both movies. This isnt to say that We Dont Belong Here deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the ONeill classic, just that you wouldnt want to see it after being fired from your job or dumped by a lover. As usual, Catherine Keener is extremely convincing as the tightly wound matriarch of a very messed up family, living in a posh suburb of Boston. Also good is the late Anton Yelchin in one of his final performances as Nancy Greens only son, Max, a recently institutionalized drug addict and survivor of a suicide attempt. His sisters Elisa, Lily and Madeline (Riley Keough, Kaitlyn Dever, Annie Starke) may not be as fragile as Max, but they also qualify as damaged goods. While her kids tread on wafer-thin ice, Nancy attempts to hold her shit together long enough to make it through a party for high-society hens at her home. Good luck on that one, mom. The cast also includes Maya Rudolph, as Nancys BFF and secret lover; Molly Shannon, Cary Elwes, Justin Chatwin and Michelle Hurd, as various dealers, enablers, shrinks and other unstable adults. Everything that could possibly go wrong, does. Trivia fanatics should note that Annie Stark is the daughter of actress Glenn Close and producer John H. Starke; Riley Keough is Elvis granddaughter; and Rudolphs mother was singer Minnie Ripperton.

Actor Martinez In the world of independent filmmaking, there are pictures that look unpolished because budgets were tight and the production team lacked the experience and/or equipment to slicken it to studio standards. And, lots of us like them that way. There are other indie films that push the boundaries of the experimental envelope and are less concerned with audience acceptance than that of their peers. Depending on the eyes of the beholder, they can either be wonderful or horrible. Mike Ott and Nathan Silvers latest brainteaser, Actor Martinez, is exactly the kind of movie that finds lots of traction at festivals, but struggles to be seen and reviewed outside of them. Depending on which press release you believe, the filmmakers went to Denver to find an aspiring actor around whom they could build a faux documentary or they were hired by aspiring actor and full-time computer tech Arthur Martinez to collaborate on a film that would showcase his skills. Does it matter? Yes and no. At first glance, its the former. Thats because, at first glance, it looks like a mockumentary, with delusional characters who might have been recruited from a Salvation Army superstore. While articulate and dedicated to his craft, Martinez looks as if he could find plenty of work as an extra in a movie set in a factory or as a member of the stars bowling team. That isnt intended as an insult, just an observation. A world-class know-it-all, Martinez is allowed an inordinate amount of time arguing with the directors. When they decide to spike the action by bringing in a working actress (Lindsay Burdge), who was chosen because she looks like Martinez ex-wife, things really go haywire. Actor Martinez is very weird and, if intentional, borderline cruel. That ambiguity probably is what endeared it to festival audiences and a goodly number of critics. The DVD adds the short film, Riot; festival Q&A panels at the Denver and Tribeca Film Festivals; and deleted scenes. For the record, Martinez has since appeared in four short films.

Cooking at the Worlds End For gourmands whove graduated to the next level planning vacations according to star ratings in the Michelin Guide Cooking at the Worlds End should qualify as a must-see. There are enough great restaurants in Spains easy-to-get-to locations to keep visitors satiated for year. Getting to Galicia, on the northwestern coast of the Iberian Peninsula, requires the kind of energy many non-European travelers could put to good use eating in great restaurants in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and the nearby Basque country, where four of the recently announced top-50 restaurants in the world are located. (Catalonia also had two winners.) Alberto Baamonde Bellos documentary describes what began to happen when, in 2003, nine young Galician chefs combined their talents and knowledge to transform the cuisine of their region. Along with a new generation of producers and farmers, the Grupo Nove developed a theory of gastronomy grounded in traditions, attached to the land and the product, using radically new cooking techniques. Today, Grupo Nove is composed of 20 chefs and in a short period of time, has accounted for 8 Michelin stars, 19 Soles Repsols awards and international recognition. Among the people interviewed here are Pepe Solla, Xos Cannas, Yayo Daporta, Beatriz Sotelo and Javier Olleros.

Puppylove Delphine Lehericeys sexually charged coming-of-age drama, Puppylove, has not, as far as I know, been shown in theaters in the U.S. Its been exhibited at several prestigious festivals in Europe and been considered, at least, for awards there. It deals with situations not uncommon in Hollywood and indie films, but rarely depicted with the same visual integrity. Until Film Movements release of the DVD edition of the 2013 release, its likely that distributors didnt see any upside in courting the same kind of controversy however, marketable that greeted such pictures as Lolita (both versions), Baby Doll, Pretty Baby and Blue Lagoon (both with Brooke Shields), The Crush, Birth, American Beauty, Hounddog and Fat Girl. In all of these films, underage actresses, their body doubles or characters were either seduced or compromised by older men. That taboo was reversed in the 1980s in such coming-of-age comedies as Class, My Tutor, Private Lessons, In the Mood and Theyre Playing with Fire. Because statutory rape isnt considered laughing matter or particularly romantic in most places outside California and France, standards were imposed on the industry here forbidding nude scenes in which underage actors are involved or present during production; depictions of rape or sexual-related violence, without the presence of parents and child-labor reps during the shoot; and use of adult body doubles in scenes involving underage characters in sexual situations. Even the porn industry has conformed with such laws, going so far as to display disclaimers and addresses of its records keepers. The studios will push the limits of the laws on occasion, but only sparingly and on the advice of counsel.

In Puppylove, Diane (Solne Rigot) is a 14-year-old loner, who juggles looking after her little brother, Marc, with a turbulent relationship with her single father, Christian (Vincent Perez). She prefers to dress conservatively and shuns makeup. Her polar opposite is Julia (Audrey Bastien), a newcomer to Dianes school and neighborhood. She exudes independence, spontaneity and an adventurous spirit everything that Diane seems to be missing. They form a somewhat uneasy mentor/student relationship, based on a shared interest in the piano, substantiating each others alibis, pop music and dancing. While Diane is overtly hostile to her fathers advice and girlfriends, Julia appears to have set her sights on seducing him. Again, hardly an unusual setup in mainstream movies. The closer the girls become, the more willing Diane is to experiment with her inhibitions. We realize how dangerous this might be when she responds to the mostly innocent, if belittling harassment from male classmates by strolling into the boys locker room with only a towel to protect her modesty. It ceases to be amusing when she drops the towel and allows herself to be ogled by the startled adolescents. Lehericey ratchets up the sexual tension when, on separate occasions, the girls convince their parents to bring them along on weekend retreats. If we were experiencing Puppylove first as a novel, the depictions wouldnt be nearly as upsetting. On the screen, however, the nudity alone is enough to give most viewers pause. It caused me to check out the ages of the actresses not included in their IMDB.com resumes if for no other reason than to ease my own misgivings about staying with the movie. (Both were in their late-teens or early-20s at the time of production.) That said, I came away from the movie feeling that the sexual intimacy was treated honestly, as was the girls behavior. The mens willingness to suspend their disbelief over their ages is never in question, either. (No obvious references to the continuing Roman Polanski saga were necessary.) The unexpected ending also worked. Francophile viewers should find plenty here to enjoy, but only if theyre not easily shocked.

Bob Dylan: In His Own Words Its only taken five months for Bob Dylan to make his way to Stockholm, where he finally received his Nobel Award in literature. He was in the neighborhood at the time, so, he must have figured, why not? It was a closed ceremony, as opposed to the one in which Patti Smith stood in for him, leaving the gathered media at a loss for his words. The one juicy detail revealed, by a photographer with a long lens, was that he arrived wearing a black hoodie and brown boots. Even at his most loquacious, the Bard of the Mesabi Iron Range has confounded reporters attempting to get more than a handful of words out of him, one or two of which might reveal something about his opinions on extemporaneous poetry to why he began to wear mime makeup on the Rolling Thunder tour. What you hear is what you get. It explains why I.V. Medias Bob Dylan: In His Own Words despite its many technical imperfections will be must-viewing in the homes of Dylanologists. It includes 100 minutes of filmed interviews some rare, others not with Dylan, primarily when he was on the road outside the U.S. and probably had nothing better to do. Although never completely forthcoming, he gives them the benefit of answers that probably pleased their editors, anyway. And, he does so without appearing hostile, superior or purposefully ambiguous. At one point he even takes the time to sketch a portrait of the reporter interviewing him, and its quite good. The downside comes in the producers lack of concern over the viewers inability to cut throw background noise, the need for subtitles and identification of names and places. Most of them took place during the 1970-80s, but also included are the excellent Ed Bradley interview for 60 Minutes and his bizarre acceptance speech at the Grammys. As usual, beginners probably will wonder what all the fuss was about.

Tank 432: Blu-ray Veteran UK camera operator Nick Gillespie has chosen for his debut as writer/director a claustrophobic thriller, in which a small group British mercenaries, their hooded prisoners and a victim of gas poisoning are attacked by mysterious forces represented by a figure in the distance, wearing a gas mask. After taking refuge inside an abandoned M41Walker Bulldog tank, left standing in a field overlooking a lovely English valley, they discover to their dismay that the door is jammed and all but one wounded comrade are stuck inside the cramped, immobile vehicle. While Gillespie plays with themes of isolation, paranoia and combat insanity the wounded soldier (Michael Smiley) taunts the tank as if it were a bull in a plaza de toros in Spain viewers may stop caring about their fate. Tank 432 (a.k.a., Belly of the Bulldog) only begins to pick up speed when one of the men inside manages to hot wire it and kick it into gear. The fact that Gillespie apprenticed under executive producer Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High-Rise) should lure fans of the pressure-cooker subgenre, especially for its unforgiving atmosphere and well-sustained mystery.

Heidi The first credit registered under the name of Zurich-born filmmaker Alain Gsponer on IMDB.com is a three-minute animated short, Heidi, that asked the musical question: Does the image of Switzerland as Heidiland, which so many Swiss have helped to spread to the far corners of the Earth, correspond to any kind of reality? His latest release is a feature-length Heidi thats far more traditional and almost two hours longer. Its the most recent of about 20 filmed and televised versions of Johanna Spyris beloved 1881 childrens novel, with the most famous being the 1937 musical, directed by Allan Dwan and starring Shirley Temple and Jean Hersholt. Gsponers adaptation stars 10-year-old Anuk Steffen, alongside the great Swiss-born actor Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire) and a very credible herd of goats. It was shot on location in the Alps, mainly in the region of Grisons, including Bergn and Rheinwald, and has been dubbed into English. And, yes, Heidi easily qualifies as fun for the whole family.

TV-to-DVD The Best of Tim Conway PBS: Dead Reckoning: War, Crime and Justice from WWII to the War on Terror PBS: The Talk: Race in America Smithsonian: Sports Detectives: Season 1 This year marks the 50th anniversary of the start of The Carol Burnett Show on CBS. It feels as if the folks at Time Warner/WEA and, before that, Columbia House and Gunthy-Renker, have been anticipating the landmark occasion for most of the last 17 years. The highlights and seasonal compilations first were made available through direct-response infomercials and, now, through Internet and retail outlets. The Best of Tim Conway appears to be the first stand-alone collection dedicated to the gifted comic actors contributions to the show, which has been in syndication on various cable outlets for most of the last half-century. Most fans of the show probably think Conway and his trademark characters were there from Day One. In fact, he was only made a regular performer, as opposed to an occasional guest, in Season Nine. Although the material featuring Conway in this 153-minute disc is funny, there isnt enough of it to justify the title and, for no good reason, there are too many times when Conway isnt part of whats being shown on screen. That caveat noted, the highlights include Conways Oldest Man, as the worlds slowest head of a racetrack pit crew; The Virgin Prince, in which hes a swishbuckling hero with an appetite for flies and destruction; Conways take on the Lone Ranger; the hilarious Conway/Korman sketches, The Dentist and Mans Best Friend; and Mr. Tudball, who takes leave of his senses while showing compassion for his dimwitted secretary, Mrs. Wiggins. The DVD includes outtakes.

With this weeks news of the Syrian governments complicity in the deaths of dozens of men, women and children in a gas attack makes PBS Dead Reckoning: War, Crime and Justice from WWII to the War on Terror essential viewing for anyone who cares about how wars are conducted and what constitutes a crime against humanity. Before the Allied victory in World War II, such questions were rhetorical, at best. The willingness of Japanese and German leaders to condone and encourage even the most hideous atrocities against non-combatants and prisoners-of-war forced the victorious governments to seek justice in the name of the victims of the Holocaust and other mass murders. Most of the worst offenders were rounded up and forced to face the music for crimes that hitherto had no names. Others, like Adolph Eichmann and Claus Barbie, found new homes in South America, protected by local authorities and comrades still in governmental positions in Germany. Barbie worked for the CIA while he was being hunted by French police and Nazi hunters. Our fear of communism allowed Japans royal family to escape prosecution for its complicity in the crimes committed by insanely loyal Japanese soldiers and officers. Atrocities committed by Soviet troops in Poland were ignored, because they were on the winning team. As time passed and genocides continued around the world, it became increasingly more difficult to bring the monsters to justice. The worlds superpowers could barely agree on what constituted genocide, let alone which of their proxies should pay for atrocities committed in their interests. The World Court has tried leaders of insurgent movements in Bosnia and Africa, while others have evaded justice. The big shots who should have been held responsible for the My Lai massacre in Vietnam were cleared, leaving platoon leader Lieutenant William Calley Jr. to take the heat, which amounted to serving only three and a half years under house arrest. The documentary inquiry begs the question as to whether Syrian President Bashar Assad will ever be arrested and tried for the gassing of civilians and other crimes in the countrys civil war. If Dead Reckoning doesnt break your heart, nothing will. Hes more likely to end up in a condo in Moscow or Tehran than on trial at the Hague.

The Talk: Race in America is a two-hour documentary about a subject that, even two years ago, was easily ignored by the mainstream media, politicians and law-enforcement officials. Complaints about police brutality were nothing new and neither were accusations of unjustified killings of minorities in police custody. In most cases, the police were given the benefit of the doubt by grand juries and investigative bodies within the departments. That all changed in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a lumpen auxiliary cop, George Zimmerman, who stood behind Floridas stand-your-ground law and was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter. The verdict was largely seen as business-as-usual in a state where such miscarriages of justice happen all the time. When similar shootings of unarmed suspects began to happen in Missouri, Baltimore, Cleveland, South Carolina, Washington and Los Angeles, trigger-happy cops no longer were able to hide behind their badges, spawning the Black Live Matter was born. Citizens armed with cellphone cameras captured any behavior they judged to be suspicious, police were forced to wear cameras as part of their uniforms and ride in patrol cars equipped with them, as well. The title, The Talk: Race in America, refers specifically to the increasingly common conversations that began taking place in homes and communities across the country, between parents of color and their children. Sons, especially, were advised about how to behave if they were ever stopped by the police in driving-while-black situations or while strolling through predominantly white neighborhood where paranoia runs deep. African-American and Hispanic celebrities related stories of their own about being stopped while driving within minutes of the homes, even in ritzy neighborhoods. Growing up in fear of the people entrusted with protecting all Americans is a heck of a civics lesson.

Also timely is the Smithsonian Channels Sports Detectives, which might have joined the search for Tom Bradys Super Bowl jersey if the theft had happened a couple of years earlier than last February. The reason O.J. Simpsons cooling his heels in a Nevada prison isnt because he killed his wife and a friend who made the mistake of following her home that fateful night, but for attempting to recover memorabilia he claims was stolen from him. The documentary series reminds us that these incidents were anything but isolated and rare. Some of the most coveted and valuable treasures from historys greatest games and players are missing or misidentified. In Season One, private investigator Kevin Barrows and sports reporter Lauren Gardner travel the country in search of Muhammad Alis missing Olympic gold medal, Jim Craigs Miracle on Ice flag, Dale Earnhardts first race car, the saddle worn by Triple Crown-winner Secretariat, Wilt Chamberlains 100-point game ball, a bat used by Lou Gehrig and other valuable items.

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The DVD Wrapup: Rogue One, Office Party, Three, Story of Sin, Actor Martinez and more – Movie City News

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Heroes in the heartland are quietly protecting our land and water – Grist

My social media bubble tells me that coastal liberals work to protect nature, while inland conservatives seek to exploit it.

That might seem like a useful stereotype to explain elections and, say, the popularity of hunting, but, like most stereotypes, it obscures more than it reveals. Farmers and ranchers manage some two-thirds of the land in the United States, and are responsible for some extraordinary environmental improvements. Not to say every conservative farmer is a stewardship superstar, but youd be surprised by how many are.

Theres been a desire to cast everyone as good or bad, said Miriam Horn, an author who works for the Environmental Defense Fund. But theres a whole world of people doing really important work who get written off, ignored, or demonized.

Look at results, not stereotypes thats the underlying message in her book,Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland. A documentary based on the book is screening at film festivals around Earth Day and is scheduled to run onDiscovery Channel in August.

In her book, Horn profiles a Montana rancher, a Kansas farmer, a Mississippi riverman, a Louisiana shrimper, and a Gulf fisherman, all working to save the natural resources under their care. I talked to Horn about that Kansas farmer: Justin Knopf, one of this years Grist 50. Hes a no-till farmer, which means that he works to keep the community of roots, worms, and bugs that live in the soil intact, instead of breaking them up with a plow. He also grows cover crops, keeping soil from blowing away and preventing pesticides and fertilizers from sliding into streams. These techniques suck carbon out of the air, where it fuels global warming, and adds it into the soil, where it helps provide bountiful harvests.

Our interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Q. Why show people in red states doing environmental work?

A. If we are going to move forward, we are all going to have to learn from each other. And the people I wrote about were all eager to learn from me and eager to be argued with. They are not walking around with the sense that they have all the right answers by any means. At this very grim moment, its wonderful to see people who arent dug into their little trenches, who are willing to reach across political divides and all kinds of divides.

Q. Can you describe the farmer that you write about Justin Knopf and his operation?

A. Justin farms close to 5,000 acres in Salina, Kansas. Its a fifth-generation farm his mothers family emigrated from Sweden in the 19th century and homesteaded it right after the Civil War. So his family busted that sod and then lived through the consequences of ripping up those 20 to 30 feet of roots during the Dust Bowl.

When Justin started farming, he just could not get ahead of these terrible weed infestations and these low yields, so he kept doubling down on the strategies that the previous generations had used: more plowing, burning off the weeds, pouring on more fertilizer. It was all getting worse, and he was watching the soil run off into the ditch.

Then he went off to Kansas State and studied with, most notably, Chuck Rice, a great soil microbiologist. He came back and persuaded his dad and brother to convert the whole farm to a no-till operation.

At this point, they havent tilled their soil for about 20 years. Their cover crops are often a mix of eight or 10 crops, each for a different role: One might have a big umbrella-shaped leaf to shield the soil from pounding rain, another might be a radish to create a nice big water channel into the soil, another might be something that microbes really like, and then something like an oat that grows fast and blocks the weeds.

Q. And hes no longer plagued by weed problems, and has seen yields more than double the local average. But hes also made big missteps. How is he able to experimentand still make money?

A. This is one reasonwhy I admire the subjects in my book so much. They really are putting their families livelihoods on the line. They are constantly balancing that desire to create something really lasting, with potentially bankrupting their family.

Part of the answeris that some of Justins experiments have worked. The weather in Kansas has been really erratic heatwaves, blizzards, droughts and the average yields have been just as volatile. But Justins yields really stabilized, and stayed high, because his soil is so protected. So he has enough financial stability to keep pushing further.

Another part of it is that Ive never met anybody who works harder or longer than Justin. And he works closely with scientists and other farmers, so hes not on his own.

Q. The farmers share information?

A. Yes, theres this great group, No-till on the Plains. One of the funniest moments in working on this book was going to their conference and watching these farmers showing off these pictures of their worms on their cellphones. There was this farmer from Texas that Justin really loves because they are both creationist Christians so they are both motivated by a sense of taking care of the garden and this guy had a worm that was the size of your arm and everyone wanted to see the picture. I thought that was hilarious.

Q. We need more farmers comparing worms rather than just yields.

A. Right, we can have worm competitions.

Q. When you say protecting the soil, for most of us thats pretty opaque because, well, soil is opaque, its underground. But you have this lovely scene where Justin makes a big hole in the ground and compares it to soil thats been plowed a long time. Can you explain what differences he sees?

A. The soil we are accustomed to seeing is stripped bare the idea was to get nature out of the way so we could plant what we wanted without competition. The biggest difference with no till is that its not stripped naked. You walk into one of Justins fields and its like walking on a tatami mat this wonderfully thick carpet of stubble, and corn cobs, and leaves. The other part of no till is leaving the soil undisturbed. Ive seen healthy soil likened to a coral reef or a nice chocolate cake. Its got a tremendous amount of space in it, which allows water and organisms to move through it.

So Justin will dig a pit six-to-10 feet deep and look at all the layers, the evidence of life, the earthworms, the silvery spiderwebs of fungi, the water pores. So he was showing us where an alfalfa root had come down and these legumes will send roots down 30 feet, carving out an opening for water. And if you dont plow the soil, that pore will stay there and water will be able to run all the way down.

If you plow that soil, you create this hardpan at the depth of the plow, the alfalfa roots cant penetrate, they turn to the side. And if the roots cant penetrate, the water certainly cant. So then water runs into the rivers, carrying whatever nutrients and pesticides are there.

Q. The conventional wisdom is that trying to improve industrial farming is like making SUVs more aerodynamic. What we really want is to just get rid of them. Whats wrong with that reasoning?

A. I guess I have to start with vocabulary. Justin isnt organic, but hes also not anything like an SUV. I guess most people would think the Prius in that analogy would be small, and use organic methods, and cater to a local market but none of those things tell you whether the farm is sustainable.

I did a piece for PBS NewsHour, entitled When Industrial-Scale Farming is the Sustainable Path,and intentionally used the word industrial to poke at that hornets nest. But it was because I feel like people think big, industrial, conventional, unsustainable all mean the same thing, and they dont. The categories weve been relying on just arent very useful. The questions shouldnt be: Is it organic? Is it small? The questions have to be: What kind of biodiversity is being maintained in the soil? How efficient is the soil at capturing and holding water? Whats running off from that field? How well is your crop getting along with the native biota?

Q. In other words, we should champion farmers who are good for the environment, not one particular class of farmers.

A. My goal is the opposite of pittingone kind of farmer against another. My goal is to celebrate the people who are thinking about the whole system, who are really being honest about the tradeoffs, and who are accepting that you are never there that you have to keep getting better. Thats whats heroic to me.

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Heroes in the heartland are quietly protecting our land and water – Grist

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Let the Love Language speak – Trinidad Guardian


Trinidad Guardian
Let the Love Language speak
Trinidad Guardian
The spotlight on Saturday will also make way for accompanying artistes Mya Scott, Candice Caton, Nathanael Hamilton and gospel hip hop artiste Ancel Maloney, who is the brother of Timothee Maloney. Timothee Maloney said he is hoping the concert will …

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Let the Love Language speak – Trinidad Guardian

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"Brother Nathanael: Holding the Cross" Classic T-Shirts by …

Brother Nathanael: Holding the Cross Classic T-Shirts Sizing Information 36″ 40″ 44″ 48″ 52″ 56″ 28″ 29″ 30″ 31″ 32″ 33″ Model wears a size L Unisex T-Shirt Women’s T-Shirt Lightweight Hoodie Hoodie (Pullover) Classic T-Shirt Tri-blend T-Shirt Graphic T-Shirt Women’s Chiffon Top Contrast Tank Graphic T-Shirt Dress A-Line Dress Women’s Fitted Scoop T-Shirt Women’s Fitted V-Neck T-Shirt Women’s Relaxed Fit T-Shirt Scarf Lightweight Sweatshirt iPhone Case/Skin Samsung Galaxy Case/Skin iPad Case/Skin Laptop Skin Laptop Sleeve Poster Canvas Print Photographic Print Art Board Art Print Framed Print Metal Print Mug Clock Acrylic Block Wall Tapestry Travel Mug Studio Pouch Drawstring Bag Sticker Greeting Card Spiral Notebook Hardcover Journal Brother Nathanael: Holding the Cross Loading more work by Albert… desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait 10% off for joining the Redbubble mailing list

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"Brother Nathanael: Holding the Cross" Graphic T-Shirts by …

Brother Nathanael: Holding the Cross Graphic T-Shirts Sizing Information 37″ 39″ 41″ 43″ 45″ 47″ 27″ 27″ 28″ 28″ 29″ 29″ Features Unisex T-Shirt Women’s T-Shirt Lightweight Hoodie Hoodie (Pullover) Classic T-Shirt Tri-blend T-Shirt Graphic T-Shirt Women’s Chiffon Top Contrast Tank Graphic T-Shirt Dress A-Line Dress Women’s Fitted Scoop T-Shirt Women’s Fitted V-Neck T-Shirt Women’s Relaxed Fit T-Shirt Scarf Lightweight Sweatshirt iPhone Case/Skin Samsung Galaxy Case/Skin iPad Case/Skin Laptop Skin Laptop Sleeve Poster Canvas Print Photographic Print Art Board Art Print Framed Print Metal Print Mug Clock Acrylic Block Wall Tapestry Travel Mug Studio Pouch Drawstring Bag Sticker Greeting Card Spiral Notebook Hardcover Journal Brother Nathanael: Holding the Cross Loading more work by Albert… desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait 10% off for joining the Redbubble mailing list

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Strolling in historic East Greenwich – Ricentral.com

The Eliza A. Greene House 21 Liberty Street In 1849, Eliza A. (Parkinson) Greene (1797-1863) purchased this lot, and she and her husband James C. Greene (1786-1865) built this house at 21 Liberty Street. The house today is a single-family home with 8 rooms, and 2,312 sq. ft. of living area. In the 1800s, the census records show that sometimes it was a 2 family house. Eliza (Parkinson) Greene was the daughter of James & Mary Parkinson. Elizas husband, James C. Greene was the son of James C. & Ruth Greene. James is listed as gentleman in 1860 (age 73), and shoemaker in 1865 (age 78). James is not part of the Greene family descended from Surgeon John Greene (well known as the family of General Nathanael Greene). James is probably a member of the Quidnesset Greene family. James & Eliza A. Greene had a large family, with 7 children: Mary E., Anne M., R. Maria, Jane A., J. Edmund, Catherine C. and Hannah C. Greene. However, only the two youngest children, Catherine and Hannah were involved in the ownership of this house, as well see. There are no probate records for either James or Eliza, but we know that Eliza died in 1863, and James died in 1865, and we know that their daughters Hannah Casey (Greene) (Dawley) Hussey (1825-1883) and Catherine C. Greene (b. 1833, d. after 1880) inherited the house. Hannah Casey Greene married (1) Horace F. Dawley (b. 1822, d. before 1860). He was a machinist. Hannah m. (2) 1867, Dr. Leander Hussey (1809-1875), becoming his 3rd wife. He was born in Camden, ME, son of Ira & Irena (Fales) Hussey. Hannah was a schoolteacher in 1860. Hannahs younger sister Catherine C. Greene never married. She was a dressmaker in 1880. By his first marriage, Dr. Hussey had a daughter named Emma Pitts Hussey (1853-1931). In 1872, Leander & Hannah Hussey and Catherine C. Greene sold the house to Sarah Greene Allen (1807-1899) and her sister Charlotte Allen (1805-1890). Sarah and Charlotte were daughters of Thomas Gould Allen and his wife Mary (Hill) Allen. Charlotte Allen died in 1890, and left her share of the Liberty Street house to her sister Sarah G. Allen. Sarah died in 1899, and left the house to her nephew Charles Henry Allen (1844-1922), son of her brother, Daniel Gould Allen. Charles worked as a clerk in a grain store in 1880, and as a farmer in 1900 and 1910. When Charles H. Allen died in 1922, he left to his son Howard V. Allen the house and lot on Liberty Street, which had been left to him by his aunt Sarah G. Allen. Howard Vernon Allen (1878-1969) was probably one of the most well known residents of East Greenwich. Known as H.V. or simply Colonel Allen, he was at an early age a member of the Kentish Guards, and in 1907, helped found the Varnum Continentals with 44 other Charter Members. He served as the Commanding Officer 1914-1969, dying in office at the age of 91. Professionally, he was Manager of Union Trust Co, and ran the H.V. Allen Agency, which dealt in real estate and insurance. He served in the RI State/National Guard as Captain of the 16th Co, in 1918, and retired as Lt. Col. Coastal Artillery Corps. His business office was on Main Street, and he also had an office at the Varnum Amory as the head of that organization. He went to work at his office every day, until a few days before his death. While I did know him, I was only 22 when he died at the age of 91. I followed his footsteps and served 15 years as Commanding officer of the Varnum Continentals myself. Fifteen years seems like a long time, until compared to his 55 years! In 1938, Howard V. Allen and his wife Alice Whitford (Butts) Allen sold this house to Frank B. Rhodes, Jr. and his wife Ida C. Rhodes. Frank Bruner Rhodes, Jr. (1894-1950) was born in Maryland. His occupation, listed in the census records, include, Theatrical Manager, 1900; Actor, 1910; wire works manager, 1930, and sales manager, staple equipment, 1940. He was a colonel in the U.S. Army Infantry. His wife was Ida (Collette) Rhodes (1901-1954). She was also listed in 1910 as an actress. Frank B. Rhodes, Jr. died in 1950, and his widow Ida became the sole owner. When Ida died in 1954 the house was inherited by their 3 children: Catherine (Rhodes) Ott (19231993), Frank B. Rhodes, 3rd (1924-2008), and Donald C. Rhodes (1925-2003). Remarkably, all 3 of these children were World War II Veterans. Donald received the Purple Heart. Catherines husband Arpad Ott was also a World War II veteran. In 1955, Catherine and Donald sold their share in the house to their brother Frank B. Rhodes, 3rd. Frank followed up his WWII service, enlisting in the Army Reserves and became a Chief Warrant Officer. He was also well known in town, serving as the long time Chairman of the Parade Committee, managing decades of Memorial Day and Veterans Day Parades. He also followed in his parents footsteps, being very involved with the Academy Players theater productions. Frank and his wife Barbara A. (Ikola) Rhodes lived here from 1955 to 1986, when they sold the house to John V. & Lynn C. Veradian. In 2003 the Veradians sold the house to Timothy W. & Brigid Myers Pavilonis, the current owners. Bruce MacGunnigle is the East Greenwich Town Historian. He can be reached at greenwich1677@gmail.com. His book Strolling in Historic East Greenwich is available at the Green Door, 130 Main Street.

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April 15, 2017   Posted in: Brother Nathanael  Comments Closed

NOC Enid’s Black appreciates baseball’s life lessons – Enid News & Eagle

The character of Northern Oklahoma College Enid’s baseball team (21-13 overall and 1-3 in conference) could be tested in a 1 p.m. doubleheader with Carl Albert (17-15, 3-1) today after the Jets were swept by Western Oklahoma, 13-10 and 8-5 Monday blowing a 10-4 lead in the seventh in the first game. But such situations are a reason why second baseman T.J. Black is drawn to baseball. “The way you handle adversity going 0-for-something or making an error is a reflection on your character and your personally as a baseball player,” Black said. “As long as you can preserve through adversity, it makes the successful moments that much better.” Adversity is as much a part of baseball as hitting, field and pitching to Black. “Baseball teaches you many of life’s lessons as well as teaching you to be competitive and being able to get along with your teammates,” he said. “The lifelong friends that you make out of it makes a great experience.” He agreed with Jets head coach Raydon Leaton that the Jets have already put the Western games behind them. “You just have to forget what happens and move on,” he said. “I think (Leaton) has the right approach. There’s nothing we can do about it now, so why dwell on it? We have to move on and get better at what we did wrong and improve.” Black has done that throughout his career at NOC Enid and is the prototypical No. 2 hitter. He is hitting .342 with four doubles, three triples, two homers and 24 RBI. He has drawn 17 walks and has struck out just seven times in 143 plate appearances. He has an on-base percentage of .465 and a slugging percentage of .486. “A lot of it is just practicing every day and doing everything the best I can,” Black said. “If you give 100 percent in practice, it will carry over to the game. I completely focus on the task that’s at hand with every single at-bat. Dava’s (lead-off hitter Daniel Davilla) and my job is to get on base, so our 3-4-5 guys can hit us in.” Black has scored 37 runs this season, second to No. 3 hole hitter Carlos Andujar’s 45. Black’s average is up 60 points from the .282 he hit as a freshman when he had four homers and 45 RBI. “Experience is going to help in anything that you do,” Black said. “This being my second year, the game isn’t slowing down, but it is at it’s natural speed.” Black and Justin Brown, an All-Region 2 selection and now at the University of Central Oklahoma, combined for 32 double plays last season. Brown committed only six errors and had a fielding percentage of .970. Black and new shortstop Andujar have turned 18 double plays so far this season. “Carlos and I are doing pretty good together,” Black said.”There are definitely times and situations where both of us could improve.I think we’re just feeling each other out. We get along together real well and that’s going to help us out, too.” Black’s goal is to win the Division II World Series. He is motivated for family reasons as well. His older brother, Gunner, signed with the Jets two years ago but a torn labrium ended his career. “My brother and I were the first baseball players in our family,” Black said. “I learned from my older brother. … He taught me what I should and shouldn’t do. The plan was that he was going to go here and I was going to go here and we would be roommates. It just didn’t work out that way.” So he plays for both brothers. “I play for my family,” Black said. “I play for my brother. I know how much he misses the sport. I play for my dad because he is a big inspiration in my life. He keeps me motivated every single day to work hard.” “He’s just one of those guys you wish could stay forever in your program,” Leaton said. “He’s been a solid player and a solid representative of our program. When he leaves here, somebody is getting a great combination of player and a good kid.” Black has talked with some four-year colleges but is putting recruiting on the back burner. “I’m just waiting to see where it takes me,” he said. “I try not to think about it too much. I just focus on what we’re doing and what we have coming up, so I can stay in the right frame of mind. I think my season so far has been reflective of ours as a team. We’re always trying our best to each help each other out.” Carl Albert took three of out of four from NOC Tonkawa last week and defeated Division I Connors, 18-14 Monday night. The Vikings are led by Nathanael Makaya Richardson (.421, three homers, 21 RBI), Breyden Varner (.395, three homers, 13 RBI) and Dylan Thurber (.375, three homers, 28 RBI). “We’ll be in a dogfight,” Leaton said. The Jets will go with Josh Rutland (4-1, 5.18 ERA) the first game and Kyler Patterson (4-1, 4.62 ERA) the second. Patterson shut down Western for NOC Enid’s lone win in the series.

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Chargers score five in first, top Irish 9-2 [photos] – Chattanooga Times Free Press

Gallery: Chargers score five in first, top Irish 9-2 It didn’t take long for the visitors to get comfortable. Chattanooga Christian’s five-run first inning proved too plenty for the Chargers in a 9-2 District 7-AA baseball victory Tuesday night at Notre Dame. “A five-spot in the first definitely settles everyone down a little bit and gets the offense going,” CCS coach Ben Wharton said. “I think district games are always a little bit more focused when they happen because they mean a little bit more, so we played loose and free, but we just wanted to make sure we were ready for the district tournament. John Rhodes’ three-run homer to right center got the Chargers (14-2, 9-1) on the board early. They added two more runs in the first, but Notre Dame retaliated with two outs in the bottom half of the inning. Evan Cheney’s two-run single to right field closed the gap to three. That gap widened in a hurry, though, after Rhodes added an RBI triple to dead center, scoring Amos Davenport and extending the lead to 7-2. Nathanael Kapp’s RBI groundout coupled with Justin Wheeler’s sacrifice fly in the fifth inning capped off the scoring. The Irish were unable to generate runs and were held scoreless after starting pitcher Joseph Wharton settled in, allowing no runs and striking out seven from the second inning on. “He has pitched really well for us this year,” Coach Wharton said of his brother. “He gave up more baserunners than he’s used to, but he battled after a rough first inning to keep them within striking distance. I think he got stronger as the game went on, and I think it was good for him to face a little adversity.” The younger Wharton pitched six solid innings, striking out eight and allowing the two runs on six hits. Besides Rhodes going 2-for-3, Aaron Anand also delivered two hits and drove in a run, and he pitched a scoreless seventh. Calvin Sims went 2-for-4 for Notre Dame. “We have been playing really well lately so I knew our pitching would be there and our hitting is reliable,” Rhodes said. “I was just going up with the same approach as always and I knew we had runners on so I just went up there and did my job and got a good pitch to hit.” Contact Anthony Sigismond at sports@timesfreepress.com

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A dysfunctional family’s long journey to seder in a dystopian America – Jewish Journal

All the stars are in alignment for a remarkable new book by novelist and short-story writer David Samuel Levinson, Tell Me How This Ends Well (Crown Publishing/Hogarth). Set in a dangerously dystopian Los Angeles a scant five years in future, the story focuses on the Passover gathering of the Jacobson family in Calabasas, and the authors timely commitment to truth-telling in the guise of a comic novel is evident from the outset. A Passover seder at the Jacobson house, we are told, is like a terrifying golem made from the clay of behavioral tics and personality disorders a litany of ills and a penchant for hypochondriasis and full-blown neurosis, with bouts of accompanying sanctimony, blinding narcissism, and a plain, old-fashioned, wrath-of-God-style guilt. The prime mover of the Jacobson familys dysfunction is Julian, the paterfamilias, who possesses an obscenely pronounced underbite, which went hand in hand with the rest of his handsome albeit cavemanlike face, thick, bushy eyebrows, broody, overhanging brow. Julian is the problem to be solved by his three long-suffering adult children, Jacob, Moses (known as Mo) and Edith. Jacob is a gay man with a problematic German lover, and his siblings call him Gay-Jay. Mo is a registered dietician and semifamous actor. Edith adopted the nickname Thistle in early adolescence, and Jacob describes her as our Thistle of the Congregation of Least Resistance. We see the story through the eyes of each sibling in turn, but it is Gay-Jay who first imagines taking the final Oedipal step to protect their ailing mother from what they fear are the evil intentions of their father, a notion that may or may not be a joke. [Jacob] had a sneaking, awful suspicion, though, that because he was the youngest and thus usually dared and bullied into mischief by his older brother and sister, it would fall on him to interview the hit men, whomever Mo had found to do it, probably former, disbanded Mossad operatives the USA was rife with them, Levinson writes. Mo has a different idea: If we were keeping with the Passover theme, then wed drop him off in the middle of the desert without food or water, Mo cracks. He wouldnt last forty hours, much less forty days in that heat. But the authors anxieties transcend those of the Jacobson family, which is why Tell Me How This Ends Well has been compared to Philip Roths memorable novel about an anti-Semitic version of the history of the United States, The Plot Against America. Levinson imagines that an isolationist American president has refused to come to the aid of Israel in a war with Syria, Iran and Lebanon, a catastrophe that has resulted in the destruction of the Jewish homeland, a massive influx of Israeli refugees, and an upwelling of violence against Jews: [A]nother torched synagogue, another murdered youth, another suicide bomber on the 405 or the 101, the anti-Semitism that swept across L.A. with the tenacity of a wildfire. So Levinson dares to play out a worst-case scenario that overshadows the woes of all unhappy families: Theyd given Israel back, yet the world still came for them, muses Edith, who happens to be a professor of ethics. How could anyone have guessed that a mere eighty years after the end of World War Two the Jews would be made to roam the world yet again? Levinson has been compared by the early blurbers of his book to authors ranging from Roth to Nathanael West to Flannery OConnor. (I would add Joseph Heller to the list.) But Levinson also deserves to be praised for qualities of his own a mastery of verbal invention and rhetorical pyrotechnics, an imagination that shocks us by showing us an alternate future that is all too plausible nowadays, and a gift for humor so dark that we find ourselves dancing on the edge of the grave. By the time we reach the Passover seder itself, the opening words of the Four Questions (Why is this night different from all other nights?) suggest a new, different and especially terrifying answer. Jonathan Kirsch, author and publishing attorney, is the book editor of the Jewish Journal.

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The DVD Wrapup: Rogue One, Office Party, Three, Story of Sin, Actor Martinez and more – Movie City News

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story: Blu-ray If, like me, you were a tad confused about how Rogue One: A Star Wars Story would fit within the Star Wars mythos, especially since the franchises Mother Ship is currently between Episodes VII and VIII and two related novels, a soundtrack album and a video game also were being released in December. Moreover, Rogue One had been incorporated into YouTubes The Star Wars Show and the ongoing Lego Star Wars series on Disney XD. Anyone whos visited Disneyland lately can see the companys commitment to the Star Wars franchise/brand by strolling past the former site of Big Thunder Ranch, which is giving way to a 14-acre mega-attraction, unofficially known as Star Wars Land. So, where does Rogue One: A Star Wars Story fit into the mix? In a nutshell, it is the first installment of the Star Wars Anthology series, set immediately before the events of the original Star Wars film. (Untitled Anthology standalones, including a Han Solo project, are set for 2018 and 2020.) Ironically, the storys seed was planted way back in 1977, in the opening crawl of Episode IV: A New Hope, On it, quizzical audiences were advised that Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empires ultimate weapon, the Death Star OK. Four decades later, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story would follow that group of rebels on their mission to steal the plans for the Death Star, or die trying, which, of course, didnt happen. According to interviews included in the extensive bonus package, John Knoll, visual effects supervisor for the prequel trilogy at Industrial Light & Magic, pitched the idea for the film 10 years before its development began. After the Disney acquisition of Lucasfilm, in 2012, Knoll decided to re-pitch it, this time to his new boss, Kathleen Kennedy, who ran it up the flagpole at the newly combined company. The first things longtime fans will notice is the absence of an updated crawl and an overture by a composer not named John Williams, although his aural fingerprints can be heard throughout the score. Buffs probably were already aware of the absence of Jedi in the cast of characters and the difference in narrative tone from the other episodes. Director Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) and co-writers Chris Weitz (Cinderella) and Tony Gilroy (The Bourne Indentity) have emphasized that Rogue One was conceived as a war story with a sometimes ambiguous moral code. Otherwise, almost everything that happens in the story would require a spoiler alert to summarize. Because the movie has passed the billion-dollar barrier, worldwide, I suspect that very few, if any diehard fans have yet to see Rogue One. So, lets not ruin the surprises for the one or two people out there whove yet to enjoy them. Returnees should know that the Blu-ay presentation is excellent, from beginning to end and inside-out. The more sophisticated the home-theater setup, the better the experience will be. That said, however, while RogueOne is available in 3D, new owners of 4K UHD players and monitors will be disappointed to learn that Disney/Buena Vista has decided, once again, to play the delay game. Collectors should know, as well, that Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Target and the Disney Store surprise, surprise offer the movie in exclusive packaging and slightly different bonus selections. None of the dozen making-of featurettes is longer than nine minutes, but they do add value to what already is a noteworthy addition to the franchise. I further suspect that commentary and longer featurettes will be added to the inevitable super-duper holiday edition. Office Christmas Party: Unrated: Blu-ray The unrated version of Office Christmas Party, which kept two directors and six writers from the unemployment lines, is five minutes longer than the theatrical edition (also enclosed), and eight, if you include deleted scenes. It contains a bit more of everything that warranted the originals R-rating, but nothing terribly salacious. Among the things that offended the MPAA ratings board were several scenes with partial nudity, crude sexual references throughout, a scene in which a man drinks eggnog from a phallic-shaped portion of an ice sculpture, coarse language, a penis sculpted by a 3D-printing machine and more shots of alcohol/drugs/smoking than in all three Porkys movies combined. In Germany, Norway, Netherlands and Sweden, however, anyone over the age of 12 was allowed entrance to the multiplex showing Office Christmas Party. Here, of course, kids under 17 would be required to drag along a parent or guardian or simply buy tickets for the PG-13 screening next-door. To be fair, though, most parents probably would agree with the MPAA on this one, especially in its unrated iteration. (Based on Office Christmas Party and Bad Santa 2, some impressionable youngsters might come to believe that holiday parties in Chicago really are this outrageous and degrading, and pray someday they get a job there, too.) All snarkiness aside, though, OCP is probably as good as things are going to get in the out-of-control-party subgenre, at least until someone dramatizes what goes on at a state dinner at Mar-a-Lago, with Bill Murray playing President Trump. The filmmakers were allotted a generous $45-million production money, most of which probably went to secure a cast of talented comic actors. The setting is Chicagos Zenodek company, a failing tech interest that takes up two floors in a Loop hi-rise. The office is run by Josh Parker (Jason Bateman) and party-hardy figurehead Clay Vanstone (T.J. Miller), who inherited the company from his fun-loving dad. His uptight sister, Carol Vanstone (Jennifer Aniston), was made CEO of the international corporation and has ordered Josh and Clay to spend the days leading up to Christmas, downsizing the Chicago office. She also demands that the annual holiday party be cancelled, along with bonuses, which Clay is loath to do. They might be able to save the company, but only if they can convince a major client, Walter Davis (Courtney B. Vance), to send millions of dollars in business their way. Where better than at an orgy, where everyone will be on their worst behavior? Joshs cohort, Tracey Hughes (Olivia Munn), has committed herself to sealing the deal, but it isnt until Walter accidentally inhales a kilo of cocaine, mistakenly dumped in the snow-making machine, that the skids are sufficiently greased. Even so, when Carols flight is canceled at a snowbound OHare, she could still ruin everyones plans and holiday cheer. This includes an emergency run to a pimps-n-hos soiree, just down the street. Mayhem, of course, ensues. Directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck benefit from a supporting cast of funny actors: Kate McKinnon and Vanessa Bayer (SNL), Jillian Bell (Workaholics), Rob Corddry (Ballers), Randall Park and Sam Richardson (Veep), Jamie Chung (Gotham), DaVine Joy Randolph (This Is Us), Andrew Leeds (Bones) and Jimmy Butler, of the Chicago Bulls. The Blu-ray adds commentary with the directors (on the theatrical disc); the background featurette, Throwing an Office Christmas Party; outtakes and alternate lines from various scenes; deleted scenes, not included in the extended version; and an alternate ending. Three: Blu-ray The Legend of Bruce Lee: Volume Two Even by current standards, Johnnie Tos latest crime thriller, Three, is a departure from the norm. Set almost entirely inside the intensive-care unit of a bustling Hong Kong hospital, it pits a trio of completely different professionals against each other. Their paths cross in the emergency room after a desperate criminal is brought in with a bullet lodged in his head. The patient, Shun (Wallace Chung), shot himself to avoid being taken directly to jail after a blown heist. He knew he would be rushed to the hospital and given sanctuary until his gang was able to hear about his arrest and rescue him. Awaiting him is the headstrong surgeon Dr. Tong Qian (Zhao Wei), whose tireless pursuit of perfection has begun to backfire on her. She wants to remove the slug as soon as possible, but Shun violently resists her efforts. Waiting for Shun to be released is Chief Inspector Ken (Louis Koo), a dogged cop who sometimes ignores regulations to secure a conviction. The criminal has given the doctor a phone number to call, but Ken has forbidden her from doing so, in fear of a bloody escape attempt. As these three bump heads, everyone else is required to act as if nothing unusual is going on around them. It precipitates some unlikely interaction between bed-ridden patients, nurses and doctors on their rounds. The director compresses six hours of time into 90 tension-filled minutes, with a stunning slow-motion climax that Sam Peckinpah might have envied. Three works best as a diversion, akin to a parlor trick, as To makes us wait for the ending we all know is coming, but surprises us with its ferocity. The Blu-ray adds featurettes, Making-Of: Master Director Johnnie To and Three Complex Characters. In the 40-plus years since the untimely death of Bruce Lee, filmmakers far and wide have stood in line to create biopics that have attempted to interpret/exploit his legacy. Most of them have distorted the facts to suit the tastes and gullibility of their audience. Others were made according the stipulations imposed by family members. It wasnt until 1993, when Rob Cohens Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story became the first to acknowledge the influence of Wing Chun master Ip Man, that the real Bruce Lee saga began to emerge. Kar Wai Wongs The Grandmaster and Donnie Yens Ip Man series a new one arrives next year, were told gave serious fans of martial arts a reason to cheer. Produced by China Central Television and exec-produced by daughter Shannon Lee, The Legend of Bruce Lee played out in 50 episodes on the CCTV network and was syndicated around the world. It starred Hong Kong actor Danny Chan and American actress Michelle Lang as Lees wife, Linda Lee Cadwell. Lionsgate compressed the series into a 183-minute straight-to-DVD film that satisfied almost no one. Released on November 1, 2016, the first volume of Well Go USAs Legend of Bruce Lee times in at 451 minutes, while Volume Two covers the 480-minutes of Episodes 11-20. This one opens with Lee suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of an older master and his determination to combine disciplines to create a new system and school, based in Seattle. Langs part expands as Lee suffers a serious back injury a rival fighter assaults him with a log true story and she devotes herself to his recovery. Because the series was designed to appeal primarily to the vast Chinese audience, it isnt surprising that the overtly melodramatic and mythic elements dominate the narrative. Too often, the lame English dubbing curiously, the non-Asian actors are made to sound like characters in an anime interferes with the narrative flow. The fighting and training scenes are good enough to keep hard-cord fans interested, though. The Story of Sin: Special Edition: Blu-ray Property Is No Longer a Theft: Special Edition: Blu-ray In revealing his list of the ten-best animated films of all time, Terry Gilliam described Walerian Borowczyk as a twisted man whose films were infused with a unique cruelty and weirdness. Im sure he meant that as a compliment. His obituary in the New York Times opened with, Walerian Borowczyk (was) an internationally known Surrealist filmmaker, described variously by critics as a genius, a pornographer and a genius who also happened to be a pornographer. The Polish-born Borowczyk, who also spent much of his career in France, was all of that and, as weve begun to learn, a whole lot more. In 2015, Arrow Video released brilliantly restored Blu-ray editions of Immoral Tales, The Beast and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne, three of his most notorious films, all packed with illuminating bonus material. Later this month, Olive Films is sending out Walerian Borowczyk: Short Films, Blanche, Goto Isle of Love and Theatre of Mr. & Mrs. Kabal. Apart from being a sexual provocateur, Borowczyks features are distinguished by their exquisite period look, attention to details and integration of classical music into situations one might think wouldnt support it. The Story of Sin was released in France in 1975, the same year as The Beast opened in Poland. While the latter remains one of the cinemas more outrageous re-conceptualizations of the La Belle et la Bte fantasy, Story of Sin is a thoughtful and beautifully constructed adaptation of Stefan eromskis 1908 novel about a young womans picaresque quest to reconnect with the man who took her virginity and disappeared. As a boarder in the home of Ewa Pobratynska (Grazyna Dlugolecka), Lukasz Niepolomski (Jerzy Zelnik) promised to divorce his wife and make a proper lady of her. After being refused a divorce in Catholic Poland, Lukasz travels to Rome, ostensibly to seek an annulment, leaving Ewa behind to struggle making ends after being kicked out of her home. In Warsaw, Ewa is approached by friends and wealthy acquaintances of Lukasz, who provide her with information on his whereabouts and enough money to tempt her to follow them around Europe in search of him. Finally, while still professing her love for Lukasz, whos a bit of a conman, Ewa succumbs to life in the Victorian Era fast lane. Lessons are learned and lives are ruined. Borowczyks gift for period staging makes the journey from sumptuous spas and resorts, to sordid brothels a visual treat. As Ewa, the stunning Dlugolecka is required to spend much of her time in the nude, although almost all of it is presented in ways that cover her nether regions. Lovers of turn-of-the-century erotica surely will find much here to savor. In addition to a recent interview with the delightfully candid actress, the crisply restored Arrow edition offers a great deal of evidence to substantiate Gilliams admiration for Borowczyks animated films, nearly a dozen of which are included here. Theyre wonderful. Also included are an introduction by poster designer Andrzej Klimowski; featurettes on Borowczyks career in Poland and innovative use of classical music; a reversible sleeve, with original and newly commissioned artwork by Klimowski; and, in the first pressing, a fully illustrated collectors booklet, featuring new and archival writing, including an exclusive interview with the producer of Story of Sin, director Stanislaw Rozewicz, a text by art historian and one-time Borowczyk collaborator, Szymon Bojko, and excerpts from Borowczyk s memoirs, presented in English for the first time. The inelegantly phrased title of co-writer/director Elio Petris Property Is No Longer a Theft can be traced to a slogan coined by French anarchist Pierre-Joseph Proudhon in his 1840 book, What is Property? Or, an Inquiry into the Principle of Right and of Government. As a onetime committed Communist Party member he quit in 1956, after the suppression of the Hungarian uprising Petri would have been aware of the property is theft concept, which even was questioned by Karl Marx and German philosopher Max Stirner. Here, most of thieving is done in reaction to those capitalists who would argue that property is a gift, handed down by God himself. Its a dark comedy, informed by giallo and radical politics of 1970s Italy. Theft is the final entry in Petris Trilogy of Neurosis, which also included the Oscar-winning Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion and Lulu the Tool (a.k.a., The Working Class Goes to Heaven). The former tackled the corrupting nature of power, while the latter questions where a worker fits in a world in which he cant even trust his trade union. Here, Total (Flavio Bucci) is a low-level bank clerk whos allergic to money, even though its his job to handle it every day. His father raised him to believe that property was to be respected, if not worshipped. His mind is changed when he is refused a loan request, moments after a dishonest businessman blackmails his boss into giving him an exorbitant loan. The customer, known only as the Butcher (Ugo Tognazzi), endears himself to bank employees by handing out packages of prime cuts of beef. If he pulls his money out of the bank, the boss knows it could ruin him. That kind of arrogance makes the Butcher the perfect target for Totals newly invigorated anti-capitalism. After quitting his job, Total devotes himself to tormenting the Butcher, stealing his possessions one-by-one, starting with the mans meat cleaver and mistress (Daria Nicolodi), who bears an uncanny resemblance to Morticia Addams. Eventually, the former clerk begins stealing from thieves, who go about their business without the benefit of a political agenda. (Total only steals property, not money.) Theft is enhanced by some hallucinogenic visuals and a complementary score by Ennio Morricone. The nice thing is that viewers need not be politically left of Bernie Sanders to get a kick out of it. The newly restored Blu-ray adds fresh interviews with Bucci, producer Claudio Mancini and make-up artist Pierantonio Mecacci; a reversible sleeve, featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Nathanael Marsh; and, with the first pressing, an illustrated booklet containing new writing on the film by Camilla Zamboni. Youth in Oregon Its difficult to imagine a comedic premise dark or light more challenging than the one that informs Joel David Moore and writer Andrew Eisens Youth in Oregon. In it, Billy Crudup plays Brian Gleason, the son-in-law of 80-year-old Raymond Engersol (Frank Langella), who insists upon traveling from New York to Oregon to take advantage of the states Death with Dignity Act. Raymond doesnt look particularly ill, but hes already undergone one excruciating operation on his heart and doesnt want to go under the knife again, even if the surgery could delay an inevitable second heart attack. Tellingly, he breaks the news to his incredulous family on his birthday. Raymonds wife, Estelle (Mary Kay Place), wants to tag along, if only to help Brian try to talk him out of going through with the euthanasia. Brians wife (Christina Applegate) is unable to make the trip, because their daughter (Nicola Peltz) is experiencing boyfriend problems and leaving her alone is out of the question. Estelle plans to break the tedium by remaining high or unconscious on pills and booze. No sooner does Brian put the SUV in gear than Raymond puts on his favorite CD of bird songs. Already, viewers know that theyre in for a long ride, because the codger isnt listening to their arguments hes already done all the necessary homework and hes intent on making amends with his estranged gay son (Josh Lucas) along the way. Brian also decides, while theyre in the neighborhood, to swing northward to Montana to visit his own college-age son, who informs them of his decision to drop out of school. He thinks that grandpa is doing the admirable thing and shouldnt be talked out of it. Theres humor here, folks, but its the kind that sneaks up on you. The punch to the heart comes at the end, but not in the way weve been led to believe it will arrive. Needless to say, Youth in Oregon isnt for everyone. As usual, Langella is terrific as a frequently unlikeable character in a difficult situation for himself, his family and the audience. We Dont Belong Here If Peer Pedersens debut drama We Dont Belong Here somehow landed on a double-bill with Sidney Lumets adaptation of Eugene ONeills Long Days Journey Into Night, management might consider handing out samples of Prozac and Zoloft with every bag of popcorn if not complimentary whiskey and morphine. Then, at least, viewers could be on the same wavelength as the desperate characters in both movies. This isnt to say that We Dont Belong Here deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the ONeill classic, just that you wouldnt want to see it after being fired from your job or dumped by a lover. As usual, Catherine Keener is extremely convincing as the tightly wound matriarch of a very messed up family, living in a posh suburb of Boston. Also good is the late Anton Yelchin in one of his final performances as Nancy Greens only son, Max, a recently institutionalized drug addict and survivor of a suicide attempt. His sisters Elisa, Lily and Madeline (Riley Keough, Kaitlyn Dever, Annie Starke) may not be as fragile as Max, but they also qualify as damaged goods. While her kids tread on wafer-thin ice, Nancy attempts to hold her shit together long enough to make it through a party for high-society hens at her home. Good luck on that one, mom. The cast also includes Maya Rudolph, as Nancys BFF and secret lover; Molly Shannon, Cary Elwes, Justin Chatwin and Michelle Hurd, as various dealers, enablers, shrinks and other unstable adults. Everything that could possibly go wrong, does. Trivia fanatics should note that Annie Stark is the daughter of actress Glenn Close and producer John H. Starke; Riley Keough is Elvis granddaughter; and Rudolphs mother was singer Minnie Ripperton. Actor Martinez In the world of independent filmmaking, there are pictures that look unpolished because budgets were tight and the production team lacked the experience and/or equipment to slicken it to studio standards. And, lots of us like them that way. There are other indie films that push the boundaries of the experimental envelope and are less concerned with audience acceptance than that of their peers. Depending on the eyes of the beholder, they can either be wonderful or horrible. Mike Ott and Nathan Silvers latest brainteaser, Actor Martinez, is exactly the kind of movie that finds lots of traction at festivals, but struggles to be seen and reviewed outside of them. Depending on which press release you believe, the filmmakers went to Denver to find an aspiring actor around whom they could build a faux documentary or they were hired by aspiring actor and full-time computer tech Arthur Martinez to collaborate on a film that would showcase his skills. Does it matter? Yes and no. At first glance, its the former. Thats because, at first glance, it looks like a mockumentary, with delusional characters who might have been recruited from a Salvation Army superstore. While articulate and dedicated to his craft, Martinez looks as if he could find plenty of work as an extra in a movie set in a factory or as a member of the stars bowling team. That isnt intended as an insult, just an observation. A world-class know-it-all, Martinez is allowed an inordinate amount of time arguing with the directors. When they decide to spike the action by bringing in a working actress (Lindsay Burdge), who was chosen because she looks like Martinez ex-wife, things really go haywire. Actor Martinez is very weird and, if intentional, borderline cruel. That ambiguity probably is what endeared it to festival audiences and a goodly number of critics. The DVD adds the short film, Riot; festival Q&A panels at the Denver and Tribeca Film Festivals; and deleted scenes. For the record, Martinez has since appeared in four short films. Cooking at the Worlds End For gourmands whove graduated to the next level planning vacations according to star ratings in the Michelin Guide Cooking at the Worlds End should qualify as a must-see. There are enough great restaurants in Spains easy-to-get-to locations to keep visitors satiated for year. Getting to Galicia, on the northwestern coast of the Iberian Peninsula, requires the kind of energy many non-European travelers could put to good use eating in great restaurants in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia and the nearby Basque country, where four of the recently announced top-50 restaurants in the world are located. (Catalonia also had two winners.) Alberto Baamonde Bellos documentary describes what began to happen when, in 2003, nine young Galician chefs combined their talents and knowledge to transform the cuisine of their region. Along with a new generation of producers and farmers, the Grupo Nove developed a theory of gastronomy grounded in traditions, attached to the land and the product, using radically new cooking techniques. Today, Grupo Nove is composed of 20 chefs and in a short period of time, has accounted for 8 Michelin stars, 19 Soles Repsols awards and international recognition. Among the people interviewed here are Pepe Solla, Xos Cannas, Yayo Daporta, Beatriz Sotelo and Javier Olleros. Puppylove Delphine Lehericeys sexually charged coming-of-age drama, Puppylove, has not, as far as I know, been shown in theaters in the U.S. Its been exhibited at several prestigious festivals in Europe and been considered, at least, for awards there. It deals with situations not uncommon in Hollywood and indie films, but rarely depicted with the same visual integrity. Until Film Movements release of the DVD edition of the 2013 release, its likely that distributors didnt see any upside in courting the same kind of controversy however, marketable that greeted such pictures as Lolita (both versions), Baby Doll, Pretty Baby and Blue Lagoon (both with Brooke Shields), The Crush, Birth, American Beauty, Hounddog and Fat Girl. In all of these films, underage actresses, their body doubles or characters were either seduced or compromised by older men. That taboo was reversed in the 1980s in such coming-of-age comedies as Class, My Tutor, Private Lessons, In the Mood and Theyre Playing with Fire. Because statutory rape isnt considered laughing matter or particularly romantic in most places outside California and France, standards were imposed on the industry here forbidding nude scenes in which underage actors are involved or present during production; depictions of rape or sexual-related violence, without the presence of parents and child-labor reps during the shoot; and use of adult body doubles in scenes involving underage characters in sexual situations. Even the porn industry has conformed with such laws, going so far as to display disclaimers and addresses of its records keepers. The studios will push the limits of the laws on occasion, but only sparingly and on the advice of counsel. In Puppylove, Diane (Solne Rigot) is a 14-year-old loner, who juggles looking after her little brother, Marc, with a turbulent relationship with her single father, Christian (Vincent Perez). She prefers to dress conservatively and shuns makeup. Her polar opposite is Julia (Audrey Bastien), a newcomer to Dianes school and neighborhood. She exudes independence, spontaneity and an adventurous spirit everything that Diane seems to be missing. They form a somewhat uneasy mentor/student relationship, based on a shared interest in the piano, substantiating each others alibis, pop music and dancing. While Diane is overtly hostile to her fathers advice and girlfriends, Julia appears to have set her sights on seducing him. Again, hardly an unusual setup in mainstream movies. The closer the girls become, the more willing Diane is to experiment with her inhibitions. We realize how dangerous this might be when she responds to the mostly innocent, if belittling harassment from male classmates by strolling into the boys locker room with only a towel to protect her modesty. It ceases to be amusing when she drops the towel and allows herself to be ogled by the startled adolescents. Lehericey ratchets up the sexual tension when, on separate occasions, the girls convince their parents to bring them along on weekend retreats. If we were experiencing Puppylove first as a novel, the depictions wouldnt be nearly as upsetting. On the screen, however, the nudity alone is enough to give most viewers pause. It caused me to check out the ages of the actresses not included in their IMDB.com resumes if for no other reason than to ease my own misgivings about staying with the movie. (Both were in their late-teens or early-20s at the time of production.) That said, I came away from the movie feeling that the sexual intimacy was treated honestly, as was the girls behavior. The mens willingness to suspend their disbelief over their ages is never in question, either. (No obvious references to the continuing Roman Polanski saga were necessary.) The unexpected ending also worked. Francophile viewers should find plenty here to enjoy, but only if theyre not easily shocked. Bob Dylan: In His Own Words Its only taken five months for Bob Dylan to make his way to Stockholm, where he finally received his Nobel Award in literature. He was in the neighborhood at the time, so, he must have figured, why not? It was a closed ceremony, as opposed to the one in which Patti Smith stood in for him, leaving the gathered media at a loss for his words. The one juicy detail revealed, by a photographer with a long lens, was that he arrived wearing a black hoodie and brown boots. Even at his most loquacious, the Bard of the Mesabi Iron Range has confounded reporters attempting to get more than a handful of words out of him, one or two of which might reveal something about his opinions on extemporaneous poetry to why he began to wear mime makeup on the Rolling Thunder tour. What you hear is what you get. It explains why I.V. Medias Bob Dylan: In His Own Words despite its many technical imperfections will be must-viewing in the homes of Dylanologists. It includes 100 minutes of filmed interviews some rare, others not with Dylan, primarily when he was on the road outside the U.S. and probably had nothing better to do. Although never completely forthcoming, he gives them the benefit of answers that probably pleased their editors, anyway. And, he does so without appearing hostile, superior or purposefully ambiguous. At one point he even takes the time to sketch a portrait of the reporter interviewing him, and its quite good. The downside comes in the producers lack of concern over the viewers inability to cut throw background noise, the need for subtitles and identification of names and places. Most of them took place during the 1970-80s, but also included are the excellent Ed Bradley interview for 60 Minutes and his bizarre acceptance speech at the Grammys. As usual, beginners probably will wonder what all the fuss was about. Tank 432: Blu-ray Veteran UK camera operator Nick Gillespie has chosen for his debut as writer/director a claustrophobic thriller, in which a small group British mercenaries, their hooded prisoners and a victim of gas poisoning are attacked by mysterious forces represented by a figure in the distance, wearing a gas mask. After taking refuge inside an abandoned M41Walker Bulldog tank, left standing in a field overlooking a lovely English valley, they discover to their dismay that the door is jammed and all but one wounded comrade are stuck inside the cramped, immobile vehicle. While Gillespie plays with themes of isolation, paranoia and combat insanity the wounded soldier (Michael Smiley) taunts the tank as if it were a bull in a plaza de toros in Spain viewers may stop caring about their fate. Tank 432 (a.k.a., Belly of the Bulldog) only begins to pick up speed when one of the men inside manages to hot wire it and kick it into gear. The fact that Gillespie apprenticed under executive producer Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High-Rise) should lure fans of the pressure-cooker subgenre, especially for its unforgiving atmosphere and well-sustained mystery. Heidi The first credit registered under the name of Zurich-born filmmaker Alain Gsponer on IMDB.com is a three-minute animated short, Heidi, that asked the musical question: Does the image of Switzerland as Heidiland, which so many Swiss have helped to spread to the far corners of the Earth, correspond to any kind of reality? His latest release is a feature-length Heidi thats far more traditional and almost two hours longer. Its the most recent of about 20 filmed and televised versions of Johanna Spyris beloved 1881 childrens novel, with the most famous being the 1937 musical, directed by Allan Dwan and starring Shirley Temple and Jean Hersholt. Gsponers adaptation stars 10-year-old Anuk Steffen, alongside the great Swiss-born actor Bruno Ganz (Wings of Desire) and a very credible herd of goats. It was shot on location in the Alps, mainly in the region of Grisons, including Bergn and Rheinwald, and has been dubbed into English. And, yes, Heidi easily qualifies as fun for the whole family. TV-to-DVD The Best of Tim Conway PBS: Dead Reckoning: War, Crime and Justice from WWII to the War on Terror PBS: The Talk: Race in America Smithsonian: Sports Detectives: Season 1 This year marks the 50th anniversary of the start of The Carol Burnett Show on CBS. It feels as if the folks at Time Warner/WEA and, before that, Columbia House and Gunthy-Renker, have been anticipating the landmark occasion for most of the last 17 years. The highlights and seasonal compilations first were made available through direct-response infomercials and, now, through Internet and retail outlets. The Best of Tim Conway appears to be the first stand-alone collection dedicated to the gifted comic actors contributions to the show, which has been in syndication on various cable outlets for most of the last half-century. Most fans of the show probably think Conway and his trademark characters were there from Day One. In fact, he was only made a regular performer, as opposed to an occasional guest, in Season Nine. Although the material featuring Conway in this 153-minute disc is funny, there isnt enough of it to justify the title and, for no good reason, there are too many times when Conway isnt part of whats being shown on screen. That caveat noted, the highlights include Conways Oldest Man, as the worlds slowest head of a racetrack pit crew; The Virgin Prince, in which hes a swishbuckling hero with an appetite for flies and destruction; Conways take on the Lone Ranger; the hilarious Conway/Korman sketches, The Dentist and Mans Best Friend; and Mr. Tudball, who takes leave of his senses while showing compassion for his dimwitted secretary, Mrs. Wiggins. The DVD includes outtakes. With this weeks news of the Syrian governments complicity in the deaths of dozens of men, women and children in a gas attack makes PBS Dead Reckoning: War, Crime and Justice from WWII to the War on Terror essential viewing for anyone who cares about how wars are conducted and what constitutes a crime against humanity. Before the Allied victory in World War II, such questions were rhetorical, at best. The willingness of Japanese and German leaders to condone and encourage even the most hideous atrocities against non-combatants and prisoners-of-war forced the victorious governments to seek justice in the name of the victims of the Holocaust and other mass murders. Most of the worst offenders were rounded up and forced to face the music for crimes that hitherto had no names. Others, like Adolph Eichmann and Claus Barbie, found new homes in South America, protected by local authorities and comrades still in governmental positions in Germany. Barbie worked for the CIA while he was being hunted by French police and Nazi hunters. Our fear of communism allowed Japans royal family to escape prosecution for its complicity in the crimes committed by insanely loyal Japanese soldiers and officers. Atrocities committed by Soviet troops in Poland were ignored, because they were on the winning team. As time passed and genocides continued around the world, it became increasingly more difficult to bring the monsters to justice. The worlds superpowers could barely agree on what constituted genocide, let alone which of their proxies should pay for atrocities committed in their interests. The World Court has tried leaders of insurgent movements in Bosnia and Africa, while others have evaded justice. The big shots who should have been held responsible for the My Lai massacre in Vietnam were cleared, leaving platoon leader Lieutenant William Calley Jr. to take the heat, which amounted to serving only three and a half years under house arrest. The documentary inquiry begs the question as to whether Syrian President Bashar Assad will ever be arrested and tried for the gassing of civilians and other crimes in the countrys civil war. If Dead Reckoning doesnt break your heart, nothing will. Hes more likely to end up in a condo in Moscow or Tehran than on trial at the Hague. The Talk: Race in America is a two-hour documentary about a subject that, even two years ago, was easily ignored by the mainstream media, politicians and law-enforcement officials. Complaints about police brutality were nothing new and neither were accusations of unjustified killings of minorities in police custody. In most cases, the police were given the benefit of the doubt by grand juries and investigative bodies within the departments. That all changed in the aftermath of the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a lumpen auxiliary cop, George Zimmerman, who stood behind Floridas stand-your-ground law and was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter. The verdict was largely seen as business-as-usual in a state where such miscarriages of justice happen all the time. When similar shootings of unarmed suspects began to happen in Missouri, Baltimore, Cleveland, South Carolina, Washington and Los Angeles, trigger-happy cops no longer were able to hide behind their badges, spawning the Black Live Matter was born. Citizens armed with cellphone cameras captured any behavior they judged to be suspicious, police were forced to wear cameras as part of their uniforms and ride in patrol cars equipped with them, as well. The title, The Talk: Race in America, refers specifically to the increasingly common conversations that began taking place in homes and communities across the country, between parents of color and their children. Sons, especially, were advised about how to behave if they were ever stopped by the police in driving-while-black situations or while strolling through predominantly white neighborhood where paranoia runs deep. African-American and Hispanic celebrities related stories of their own about being stopped while driving within minutes of the homes, even in ritzy neighborhoods. Growing up in fear of the people entrusted with protecting all Americans is a heck of a civics lesson. Also timely is the Smithsonian Channels Sports Detectives, which might have joined the search for Tom Bradys Super Bowl jersey if the theft had happened a couple of years earlier than last February. The reason O.J. Simpsons cooling his heels in a Nevada prison isnt because he killed his wife and a friend who made the mistake of following her home that fateful night, but for attempting to recover memorabilia he claims was stolen from him. The documentary series reminds us that these incidents were anything but isolated and rare. Some of the most coveted and valuable treasures from historys greatest games and players are missing or misidentified. In Season One, private investigator Kevin Barrows and sports reporter Lauren Gardner travel the country in search of Muhammad Alis missing Olympic gold medal, Jim Craigs Miracle on Ice flag, Dale Earnhardts first race car, the saddle worn by Triple Crown-winner Secretariat, Wilt Chamberlains 100-point game ball, a bat used by Lou Gehrig and other valuable items.

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April 7, 2017   Posted in: Brother Nathanael  Comments Closed

Heroes in the heartland are quietly protecting our land and water – Grist

My social media bubble tells me that coastal liberals work to protect nature, while inland conservatives seek to exploit it. That might seem like a useful stereotype to explain elections and, say, the popularity of hunting, but, like most stereotypes, it obscures more than it reveals. Farmers and ranchers manage some two-thirds of the land in the United States, and are responsible for some extraordinary environmental improvements. Not to say every conservative farmer is a stewardship superstar, but youd be surprised by how many are. Theres been a desire to cast everyone as good or bad, said Miriam Horn, an author who works for the Environmental Defense Fund. But theres a whole world of people doing really important work who get written off, ignored, or demonized. Look at results, not stereotypes thats the underlying message in her book,Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman: Conservation Heroes of the American Heartland. A documentary based on the book is screening at film festivals around Earth Day and is scheduled to run onDiscovery Channel in August. In her book, Horn profiles a Montana rancher, a Kansas farmer, a Mississippi riverman, a Louisiana shrimper, and a Gulf fisherman, all working to save the natural resources under their care. I talked to Horn about that Kansas farmer: Justin Knopf, one of this years Grist 50. Hes a no-till farmer, which means that he works to keep the community of roots, worms, and bugs that live in the soil intact, instead of breaking them up with a plow. He also grows cover crops, keeping soil from blowing away and preventing pesticides and fertilizers from sliding into streams. These techniques suck carbon out of the air, where it fuels global warming, and adds it into the soil, where it helps provide bountiful harvests. Our interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Q. Why show people in red states doing environmental work? A. If we are going to move forward, we are all going to have to learn from each other. And the people I wrote about were all eager to learn from me and eager to be argued with. They are not walking around with the sense that they have all the right answers by any means. At this very grim moment, its wonderful to see people who arent dug into their little trenches, who are willing to reach across political divides and all kinds of divides. Q. Can you describe the farmer that you write about Justin Knopf and his operation? A. Justin farms close to 5,000 acres in Salina, Kansas. Its a fifth-generation farm his mothers family emigrated from Sweden in the 19th century and homesteaded it right after the Civil War. So his family busted that sod and then lived through the consequences of ripping up those 20 to 30 feet of roots during the Dust Bowl. When Justin started farming, he just could not get ahead of these terrible weed infestations and these low yields, so he kept doubling down on the strategies that the previous generations had used: more plowing, burning off the weeds, pouring on more fertilizer. It was all getting worse, and he was watching the soil run off into the ditch. Then he went off to Kansas State and studied with, most notably, Chuck Rice, a great soil microbiologist. He came back and persuaded his dad and brother to convert the whole farm to a no-till operation. At this point, they havent tilled their soil for about 20 years. Their cover crops are often a mix of eight or 10 crops, each for a different role: One might have a big umbrella-shaped leaf to shield the soil from pounding rain, another might be a radish to create a nice big water channel into the soil, another might be something that microbes really like, and then something like an oat that grows fast and blocks the weeds. Q. And hes no longer plagued by weed problems, and has seen yields more than double the local average. But hes also made big missteps. How is he able to experimentand still make money? A. This is one reasonwhy I admire the subjects in my book so much. They really are putting their families livelihoods on the line. They are constantly balancing that desire to create something really lasting, with potentially bankrupting their family. Part of the answeris that some of Justins experiments have worked. The weather in Kansas has been really erratic heatwaves, blizzards, droughts and the average yields have been just as volatile. But Justins yields really stabilized, and stayed high, because his soil is so protected. So he has enough financial stability to keep pushing further. Another part of it is that Ive never met anybody who works harder or longer than Justin. And he works closely with scientists and other farmers, so hes not on his own. Q. The farmers share information? A. Yes, theres this great group, No-till on the Plains. One of the funniest moments in working on this book was going to their conference and watching these farmers showing off these pictures of their worms on their cellphones. There was this farmer from Texas that Justin really loves because they are both creationist Christians so they are both motivated by a sense of taking care of the garden and this guy had a worm that was the size of your arm and everyone wanted to see the picture. I thought that was hilarious. Q. We need more farmers comparing worms rather than just yields. A. Right, we can have worm competitions. Q. When you say protecting the soil, for most of us thats pretty opaque because, well, soil is opaque, its underground. But you have this lovely scene where Justin makes a big hole in the ground and compares it to soil thats been plowed a long time. Can you explain what differences he sees? A. The soil we are accustomed to seeing is stripped bare the idea was to get nature out of the way so we could plant what we wanted without competition. The biggest difference with no till is that its not stripped naked. You walk into one of Justins fields and its like walking on a tatami mat this wonderfully thick carpet of stubble, and corn cobs, and leaves. The other part of no till is leaving the soil undisturbed. Ive seen healthy soil likened to a coral reef or a nice chocolate cake. Its got a tremendous amount of space in it, which allows water and organisms to move through it. So Justin will dig a pit six-to-10 feet deep and look at all the layers, the evidence of life, the earthworms, the silvery spiderwebs of fungi, the water pores. So he was showing us where an alfalfa root had come down and these legumes will send roots down 30 feet, carving out an opening for water. And if you dont plow the soil, that pore will stay there and water will be able to run all the way down. If you plow that soil, you create this hardpan at the depth of the plow, the alfalfa roots cant penetrate, they turn to the side. And if the roots cant penetrate, the water certainly cant. So then water runs into the rivers, carrying whatever nutrients and pesticides are there. Q. The conventional wisdom is that trying to improve industrial farming is like making SUVs more aerodynamic. What we really want is to just get rid of them. Whats wrong with that reasoning? A. I guess I have to start with vocabulary. Justin isnt organic, but hes also not anything like an SUV. I guess most people would think the Prius in that analogy would be small, and use organic methods, and cater to a local market but none of those things tell you whether the farm is sustainable. I did a piece for PBS NewsHour, entitled When Industrial-Scale Farming is the Sustainable Path,and intentionally used the word industrial to poke at that hornets nest. But it was because I feel like people think big, industrial, conventional, unsustainable all mean the same thing, and they dont. The categories weve been relying on just arent very useful. The questions shouldnt be: Is it organic? Is it small? The questions have to be: What kind of biodiversity is being maintained in the soil? How efficient is the soil at capturing and holding water? Whats running off from that field? How well is your crop getting along with the native biota? Q. In other words, we should champion farmers who are good for the environment, not one particular class of farmers. A. My goal is the opposite of pittingone kind of farmer against another. My goal is to celebrate the people who are thinking about the whole system, who are really being honest about the tradeoffs, and who are accepting that you are never there that you have to keep getting better. Thats whats heroic to me.

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April 4, 2017   Posted in: Brother Nathanael  Comments Closed

Let the Love Language speak – Trinidad Guardian

Trinidad Guardian Let the Love Language speak Trinidad Guardian The spotlight on Saturday will also make way for accompanying artistes Mya Scott, Candice Caton, Nathanael Hamilton and gospel hip hop artiste Ancel Maloney, who is the brother of Timothee Maloney. Timothee Maloney said he is hoping the concert will …

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April 1, 2017   Posted in: Brother Nathanael  Comments Closed


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