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Archive for October, 2017

I will be missing some of my favorite movies screened at the Film Forum in New York City. Beginning from October 27 through November 16, I am particularly interested in the vintage movies of Henry Fonda and James Stewart. New York Times rightly describes these as  “a companion series’ to the book “Hank and Jim” by Scot Eyman.  the book is about the friendship between Henry Fonda and James Stewart which  began during the Depression era and lasted for the rest of their lives.  Apart from enjoying the comforts of watching their movies in a theater, the audience will also have a chance to buy the book. What a novel way to present the movies of the two giants of Hollywood.

The first day started with the screening of back-to-back Hitchcock movies: The “Rope”starring James Stewart and the “Wrong Man” Henry Fonda. It is always hard to compare Hitchcock’s thrillers and that is the case here, both the movies are excellent, and both, Hank and Jim have done justice to their roles.

Another favorite that I will be missing is the “12 Angry Men” showing today. Being a fan of court room dramas, last week I incidentally watched on Netflix “Tokyo Trial.” For those who have watched the “Judgement at Nuremberg” must watch this to complete the story of the second World War trials. “12 Angry Men,” however, is about a young man suspected of murder. His fate is in the hands of a jury comprised of  “twelve angry men” Henry Fonda, comes to rescue him in the role of the most sane member of that jury.

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Who’s Kazuo Ishiguro?  It’s not only the Japanese but many others around the world who might be asking this question. In the early 1990’s even I had no idea who he was; I just picked the book because of its beguiling title “The Remains of the Day.” It was an engaging story of a British butler told by a Japanese author. Apart from several praiseworthy aspects of the book , the best that I liked were the  well-researched details of the duties  of a butler who takes pride in his perfection of setting the table. Through such details Ishiguro builds the story to bring in smoothly a piece of history; an important dinner where the butler too plays ‘his role’ along with the international dignitaries including Herr von Ribbentrop, the Nazi foreign minister.  There is much more in the book that gives an insight of Britain’s social and political life in the second quarter of the twentieth century and the change that comes with the Americanization. Ishiguro shows all this through the little World of the Darlington Hall where change comes through the change of masters-from British to an American.

Ishiguro has written several books but my favorite will always be “The Remains of the Day” and, as he receives the Nobel Prize, I am planning to reread it. Those who do not have the patience of reading can see its film version, a beautiful Merchant Ivory Production starring appropriately the British actors Emma Thompson and Anthony Hopkins along with the all-American Christopher Reeve.

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