Top New Films: “A Hidden Life” Written & Directed By Terrence Malick (Dec 2019)

NY Times Film Review LogoThe arresting visual beauty of “A Hidden Life,” which was shot by Joerg Widmer, is essential to its own argument, and to Franz’s ethical and spiritual rebuttal to the concerns of his persecutors and would-be allies. The topography of the valley is spectacular, but so are the churches and cathedrals. Even the cells and offices are infused with an aesthetic intensity at once sensual and picturesque.

The hallmarks of Malick’s later style are here: the upward tilt of the camera to capture new vistas of sky and landscape; the brisk gliding along rivers and roads; the elegant cutting between the human and natural worlds; the reverence for music and the mistrust of speech. (The score is by James Newton Howard.)

To read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/12/movies/a-hidden-life-review.html

Top Food Podcasts: “Los Angeles Times 101 Best Restaurants 2019” (KCRW)

The LA Times 101 restaurant rankings are here. Yale historian Paul Freedman traces the history of American cuisine. Journalist Charlotte Druckman shares what she learned from more than 100 women in the food world. Plus: a look at the surprising connections that take you from one recipe to another.

Surgery: There Are No Low-Risk Procedures For Frail Older Patients (NYT)

From a New York Times online article:

JAMA Surgery“Our data indicate that there are no low-risk procedures among patients who are frail,” Dr. Hall and his co-authors concluded in their study.

Dr. Hall’s research, recently published in JAMA Surgery, has found that frail, older adults are more likely than other patients to die after even supposedly minor procedures — and even when the surgery goes well, without complications.

After operations, frail patients find it harder than others to regain strength and mobility, and to return to independent lives. Doctors and researchers assess frailty in a variety of ways. Geriatricians often measure things like gait and grip strength, and look for unintended weight loss and exhaustion.

 

To read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/13/health/frail-elderly-surgery.html

Film Actor Profiles: “An Essay On (64-Year Old) Willem Dafoe’s Face…” (Gentleman’s Journal)

From a Gentleman’s Journal online article:

Willem Dafoe Gentleman's Journal photo Dec 2019Thankfully, Willem Dafoe and Willem Dafoe’s face have used this innate recognisability to their joint advantage. To date, the actor has appeared in well over 100 films, and his prolific career can be charted through the cracks and comments — some nice, some not so nice — that those in the industry have made about his looks.

In fact, in the intervening decades, Hollywood has called many, many times — as have independent filmmakers, foreign studios, animation houses, video game developers and scores of theatres. On the big screen, Dafoe has taken roles in PlatoonMississippi BurningBorn on the Fourth of JulyThe English PatientAmerican Psycho and Shadow of the Vampire. He flew into The Aviator for a cameo, swung into the Spider-Man trilogy as the villainous Green Goblin and dipped his toe in voiceover work with Finding Nemo. He’s taken on John CarterJohn Wick and narrated films from Vox Lux to The Great Wall. He’s been Oscar-nominated several times, for playing characters as wild and disparate as hammy vampires, Floridian motel managers and Vincent van Gogh. The man is a chameleon — and has managed to become one despite having Willem Dafoe’s face.

To read entire article: https://www.thegentlemansjournal.com/article/willem-dafoe-interview-face-hollywood-cover/

Architecture & Design Books: “Lo-TEK Design By Radical Indigenism” By Julia Watson (Taschen)

julia_watson_lo_tek_design_by_radical_indigenism_va_gb_3d_04698_1910101554_id_1260524.png-380x526Lo—TEK, derived from Traditional Ecological Knowledge, is a cumulative body of multigenerational knowledge, practices, and beliefs, countering the idea that indigenous innovation is primitive and exists isolated from technology. It is sophisticated and designed to sustainably work with complex ecosystems.

Three hundred years ago, intellectuals of the European Enlightenment constructed a mythology of technology. Influenced by a confluence of humanism, colonialism, and racism, this mythology ignored local wisdom and indigenous innovation, deeming it primitive. Today, we have slowly come to realize that the legacy of this mythology is haunting us.

With a foreword by anthropologist Wade Davis and four chapters spanning Mountains, Forests, Deserts, and Wetlands, this book explores thousands of years of human wisdom and ingenuity from 20 countries including Peru, the Philippines, Tanzania, Kenya, Iran, Iraq, India, and Indonesia. We rediscover an ancient mythology in a contemporary context, radicalizing the spirit of human nature.

To read more or purchase: https://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/architecture/all/04698/facts.julia_watson_lotek_design_by_radical_indigenism.htm

Top Political Podcasts: Mark Shields And David Brooks On The Latest In Washington (PBS)

Shields and Brooks political podcast Dec 13 2019Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week’s political news, including the House Judiciary Committee’s passage of articles of impeachment along party lines, Republicans’ defense of President Trump, how impeachment affects Trump politically, what the Horowitz report says about the FBI and a bombshell report on the Afghan war.

News, Views and Reviews for the 55+