Victoria & Abdul
There are multiple pleasures to be had by witnessing a powerful, still-vital woman finding unexpected late-life joy of the platonic variety.
Edited by Marie Haws, Club SecretaryFrom Roger Ebert: Club members receive the complete weekly Newsletter. These are abridged and made public on the site three weeks later. To receive the new editions when they're published, annual dues are $5. Join here.From The Grand Poobah: Reader Steinbolt1 writes in: "Mark Mayerson has been putting together mosaics of all the scenes from specific Disney animated films, and is currently working through Dumbo. Each scene has the specific animator(s) who worked on the film listed above it. This is my favorite post on Dumbo, so far:
"The only humans we've seen previously are in sequence 3. They are all white and wearing uniforms that clearly mark them as circus employees. When we get to this sequence, the only humans we see are black. As they are disembarking from a railroad car, we know that they are also employees, but they don't get uniforms. The roustabouts are the ones who do the heavy lifting, regardless of the weather. Why aren't the rest of the employees helping? I guess the work is beneath them. Let's not forget that the circus wintered in Florida, at the time a Jim Crow state." - Mark Mayerson; animator, writer, producer, director, Canadian.
"There is hope. People are good." - Roger, from his tweet for A Small Act. The heartwarming documentary "A Small Act" had its broadcast debut July 12 on HBO. For a list of additional dates on HBO along with Festival screenings, go HERE.New Boy (2007) Award-winning short from Ireland. Directed by Steph Green. Starring Olutunji Ebun-Cole, Norma Sheahan, Simon O'Driscoll. Written by Roddy Doyle (short story) and Steph Green (writer). A young African boy with a haunting back story starts school in Ireland, and quickly finds out exactly what it means to be the new kid. Won Best Narrative Short: 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. Nominated for an Oscar.
A Small Act (2010) directed by Jennifer Arnold. With Chris Mburu, Jane Wanjiru Muigai and Hilde Back. "A Small Act" centers on the life story of Chris Mburu, who as a small boy living in a mud house in a Kenyan village had his primary and secondary education paid for by a Swedish woman. This cost her $15 a month. They had never met. He went on to the University of Nairobi,graduated from Harvard Law School, and is today a United Nations Human Rights Commissioner." - Roger, from his review HERE.
Speaking of evolution and art...Behold the Central Hall and Grand Staircase inside The Natural History Museum, in London. Widely regarded as a "Cathedral to Nature", the landmark "High-Victorian" Alfred Waterhouse building with its ornate terracotta facade and interior was built and opened by 1881. The museum is home to some 70 million specimens and items within five main collections: Botany, Entomology, Mineralogy, Paleontology and Zoology, and includes specimens collected by Charles Darwin. Members will perhaps recall seeing a video of its painted ceiling, inside the Newsletter. (Photo by Andy Allum 2008)(Click photos to enlarge)And seeing as we're in England, let's go visit the countryside.. smile..
The Grand Poobah writes: thanks to club member Jana J. Monji for her tip on this animation discovery she made far from the beaten track. BIG BANG BIG BOOM (2010) direction/animation by BLU. A short film featuring wall-painted animation. An unscientific point of view on the beginning and evolution of life ... and how it could probably end.
Shaun The Sheep: "Still Life" - series 1 ep 6. Shaun the Sheep is a much beloved British stop-motion animated children's TV series produced by Aardman Animations (Wallace and Gromit) for the BBC. Plot: the Farmer takes up oil painting and is determined to paint a masterpiece. But when his back is turned, Shaun and his buddies decide to give it a try. Note: series one is available in North America on DVD.
Shaun the Sheep: "Timmy in a Tizzy" Series 1 ep 4 (2007) Little Timmy gets upset after Farmer takes his teddy bear. And it's up to Shaun and his friends to get it back before his arch-nemesis Pidsley the cat, notices...
The Passenger (2009) Chris Jones is an Australian artist, animator and musician. Six years in the making, "The Passenger" premiered at the 2006 Los Angeles International Short Film Festival where it won Best Picture. It was also awarded Best Film at the Melbourne International Animation Festival, in Australia. Synopsis: "storm clouds gather as a timid bookworm braves his daily walk to the bus stop. When he discovers what awaits him on board, he realizes he'd have been better off outside in the storm." - from the official site for The Passenger.
For the friend who already has a Shakespearean insults mug...Cookie Misfortune Evil Fortune Cookies: fortunes range from insulting to hilarious and come packaged in a quart-sized take out box. 10 cookies per. $9.99 at ThinkGeek.
Alarm (2009) Directed by Moohyun Jang. Produced by the independent Animation team, MESAI. Alarm is a brilliant animated short from Korea about our relationship with devices that measure time and wanting to sleep in.
Lifted (2006) Pixar animated short directed by Gary Rydstrom. Lifted was shown with Ratatouille (2007) and also screened at The 42nd Chicago International Film Festival. It's the story of a young alien taking his abduction test. Note: there's low sound. You'll need to turn up your speaker volume.
FFC Gerardo Valero considers the flaws within "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens."
An appreciation of the Disney film "Something Wicked This Way Comes."