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Showing posts from February, 2006

Nanny McPhee

I'm not going to tell you whether to watch it or not, because it's the kind of movie that only appeals to a certain type of person. If you are offended by vulgar humor, a witchlike nanny, gruesome and exaggerated characterizations, revolting sight gags, randomly lovely scenes, and the moral ambiguity (and innuendo) of recent movies such as Peter Pan and Finding Neverland, you will not like Nanny McPhee. Reasons to watch it begin with Emma Thompson, end with the artistic final credits, and encompass such remarkable elements as the absolutely stunning design (the vibrantly colored house and clothing contrast with Nanny McPhee's black garb and the snow-in-August wedding scene), the bizarrely satisfying British humor, and the fairytale plot. I loved it, and berated myself for loving it at the same time.

The puzzling paradox of children's movies that shouldn't be shown to children has been turning in my mind ever since my friend and I left the movie theater last night. P…

Spring Stream of Consciousness

Just as the weather is becoming winterish again, I'm thinking of e. e. cummings' "In Just-"; but if his free verse is not your style, try "This Is the Garden," a sonnet with a twist of Imagism. Speaking of which, you may enjoy Amy Lowell's imagery in "Lilacs" . . . for some more purple (plums, this time), "This Is Just to Say" that you should check out William Carlos Williams.

I think I've rarely experienced such poignant springs as when my family lived in the last house but one. Maybe part of the reason is that I spent my teenage years there, but I think the house had a lot to do with it--a white colonial with red shutters. The first flowers to bloom were the forsythia out back and the crocuses. Then, one after the other, the ornamental crabapple, bradford pear, and three ornamental cherries would bud and flower. We had grape hyacinths in front of the shrubs and in the round bed among the cherry trees were a variety of nameless p…