Vitorrio De Sica: Garden of Finzi Contini

FinziContini“The thing is, you can’t count on anything. And nothing permanent can be permitted to take place during this period of waiting.

De Sica’s film creates a feeling of nostalgia for a lost time and place, but it isn’t the nostalgia of looking back. It’s the nostalgia of the time itself, when people still inhabiting their world could sense it slipping away, and already missed what they had not yet lost.”

-excerpt from Roger Ebert’s review of The Garden of Finzi Contini (1971) by director Vitorrio De Sica, who also directed The Leopard (1963), perhaps his best film about the passing of time. 

Quotes from my favorite author, Geoff Dyer

I don’t read as much fiction as I used to these days.  But there are a few current authors that no matter what they publish, I’ll buy their books sight unseen.

British author Geoff Dyer is one of the few, along with Paul Auster.  I first discovered Dyer about twenty years ago with one of his very first novels, Paris Trance, his modern take on expats living in Paris, which I found to be Hemingway-esque.  It was well observed and just a really good book.  I think I just happened to pick up the book at a book store – because I liked the cover. But that’s how life works sometimes – accidental discoveries.

I’ve since read most of all of Dyer’s books (he has many), some of which are non-fiction. Some of my personal favorites are Missing of the Somme, Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It and Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, which I consider his best fiction novel.

His 2012  book, Zona, which is a reflexive meditation on Andrei Tarkovski’s film, Stalker, is one of the best books I’ve ever read on film analysis from a viewer perspective.  It’s brilliant.  It should be mandatory reading in any film theory class in college (alongside Transcendental Style in Film by Paul Schrader).

I got the chance to meet Geoff Dyer back in 2013 here in Austin (at a screening of Stalker) and he kindly autographed one of his books for me.

Because I had nothing else better to do today, I’ve listed some of his best quotes below.  Enjoy.

“But you cannot wind the clock back in this life, not even two seconds. Everything that has happened stays happened. Everything has consequences.” – Geoff Dyer

“Nine times out of 10, the most charming thing to say in any given situation will be the exact opposite of what one really feels.” ― Geoff Dyer, Another Great Day at Sea: Life Aboard the USS George H.W. Bush

“I’ve always liked things I can just trance out to. Because what that means is that you’ve escaped the chafe of time. Often when you’re bored, it’s that friction between you and time.”
― Geoff Dyer

“Life is bearable even when it’s unbearable: that is what’s so terrible, that is the unbearable thing about it.”
― Geoff Dyer, Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling With D.H. Lawrence

French Icon Jeanne Moreau Passes

Moreau The Night Antonioni.jpgJeanne Moreau, one of the most well known French actresses of all time alongside Catherine Deneuve and Brigitte Bardot, has passed away.  

Louie Malle made Moreau a big star in his 1958 film, Elevator To The Gallows, and she went on to superstardom afterwards.  

Moreau starred in movies with all the great directors of the era including Michelangelo Antonioni, Orson Welles, Jacques Demy, Luis Bunuel and Francois Truffaut.  

My favorites Moreau films were Bay of Angels (Jacques Demy), 400 Blows (Francois Truffaut) and The Night (Michelangelo Antonioni), among so many others.

Moreau also starred in The Train (1964, John Frankenheimer) with Burt Lancaster, another all-time favorite of mine, and she performed the haunting voice over in The Lover (1992, Jean Jacque Annaud).

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Take Kids on Vacay

Miles Luke holding Rock edited

USA Today published an article on benefits of taking kids on vacation.

Having done a couple trips with kids, it sure ain’t easy at first but once you figure out what works – and what doesn’t – it’s a fun experience discovering new places together.

For me, the hardest part was finding the right activity/experience that both kids and adults can enjoy at the same time.  It’s harder than it sounds.  

Bringing along an iPad for kids to entertain themselves on road trips to and from – just like at home – certainly helps, too.