Monday, June 30, 2008

The Fall & Mongol

This weekend I treated myself to the movies. I rarely go anymore because I rarely have a movie buddy. This is going to change. This summer will be dedicated to conquering the "lonely movie goer" phobia. Actually, seeing a movie in an arthouse theatre isn't so bad. Half the people there are alone. But for some reason I just can't muster the will to go to a mainstream theatre alone. I must conquer this fear over the summer.

This weekend, however, was all arthouse films. On Saturday I went to see The Fall by myself. Then on Sunday some friends joined me to see Mongol.

Both movies were fantastic! The Fall is a true art movie. It is centered around a wild story told to a little girl and seen through her imagination. Thus the colors and imagery is bold and fantastical. The actual story of the little girl and her storyteller is both sweet and tragic. There is some serious emotion near the end, although you know what is coming because the movie makes no attempt to hide the fact that their friendship is a tragic one from the very beginning. This is not a movie for everyone. Costumers will love it because it is colorful and innovative. Artists will love it because it is colorful and innovative. Storytellers and lovers of stories will love it because both stories are told very beautifully. A person who is not a fan of arthouse films may not quite enjoy it as at times it can seem more of an art piece than a movie. I really enjoyed all aspects of it. I even enjoyed the over the top performances by some as it was appropriate for a child's imagination. In all, I thought it was brilliant!

Mongol is a movie that will appeal to Many! I am still confused as to why it is only showing in arthouse theatres. Mongol was nominated for the foreign language Academy Award this year. Like Braveheart, it is a war story. Like Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, it tells an epic story. It was beautifully shot and wonderfully acted. The story was easy to become immersed in. I am hoping that it will have a strong showing in arthouse theatres and will then receive wide release so the rest of the world can see it. There are some interesting films coming out of Russia these days. I am actually quite interested in seeing how Russian cinema develops as we've not had so much exposure of Russian cinema over here in the U.S.

Mongol tells the story of the little boy, Temudgen, who became Genghis Khan from about age 10 to just when he begins taking over all of Mongolia. There is a huge undercurrent of love and loyalty running throughout the film. We are all led to respect Temudgen from the very beginning and that sets the tone for wondering What on Earth could have made this young man grow up to be the terror that we were all told about in our youth. The movie is a fantasy. There are historical elements, but as far as I can tell it never claims to be an historical account. But where it loses in accuracy, the story is so engaging that by the end you are compelled to read up on what Actually happened.

And then there's the added bonus of the amazing soundtrack. I've spent most of my morning listening to Mongolian folk music. It's very interesting stuff. And I think that this movie will usher in a surge of interest in the history of the Mongolian people and their culture. In my eyes, this is a very good thing. I know that when I was growing up, most of Mongolian history was glossed over. It will be nice to have a new reason to get ourselves and our children involved in a little known culture. I think so anyways.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Garlicky Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Herbs

Recently I made my very first attempt at roasting a tenderloin on the grill. I was Very pleased with how the recipe came out! And even better, it was Easy.

The recipe comes from Food & Wine. The chef providing the recipe is Jeri Ryan.

You can find the whole recipe here

This tenderloin was so luscious. Since it was my first I was worried that I would either over cook it or that people wouldn't like it since roast tenderloin is supposed to be cooked medium rare. To my absolute joy, the guests went crazy over it. Compliment after compliment was given over the recipe. I only wish I could have afforded the whole 4 lb recipe instead of having to scale it down to 1 lb.

If you make this recipe and enjoy it, please go back to the Food & Wine website and give them a review. Recipes this good deserve many acolades!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Could this be good news for DFW air quality?

As a person who has recently been a passenger for mass transit, anything I come across mentioning improvements to said transportation perks my ears right up. I reside where mass transit is on nearly every corner. However I work where mass transit is here, there and maybe not. Having a car for me isn't just convenience, sometimes its a necessity. Trips to the grocery store are not viable unless I'm only buying dry goods as the only stores on my route are the ones across the street from my office. But that doesn't mean that I don't look forward to more improvements to mass transit. Oh no. I get excited when I hear that we're getting more train lines and that employers are further being encouraged to purchase transit passes for their employees. I think that if we could get over our cars we'd all live a little better. But mass transit has to be better before we get over our cars.

In this week's Dallas Business Journal there is an article about a possible new ordinance that is being discussed. Some cities want to restrict car traffic.

Part of me sees the word "restrict" and it makes me squint my eyes with mistrust. I'm one of those who despises Smoking Bans because I feel that people should be allowed to do whatever they want to do provided it is within the law. We are in America, after all. But then the person in me who is constantly worried about oil prices and how we will sustain our energy needs sees this as just the thing that could push enough people over to using mass transit that could make Some Sort of Difference!

And in the process it makes me wonder why on earth it takes this much work and legislation to get people (including myself) to submit to what is right for us.

The latest addition to my line of car ownership is the First to have been made in this new millenium. So it's the First to have any sort of decent gas mileage.

Sometimes people make my skin crawl

Today I was notified that a particularly creepy man was back out in the world doing what he does best. Capturing and hoarding animals.

Following is a link to a news story about it. This story is very brief and I am linking to it as opposed to my local news because eventhough this man is abhorrent to me, I'm a little nervous about splashing his face on my blog. If you'd like to see him so you can identify him yourself, I believe you can easily google his name.

The rescue community was told today that this man was spotted in a Far North Metroplex city trying to adopt a cat "for his mother." He was turned away because nobody in rescue allows someone to adopt an animal for another grown person in the family. It's just not done. However, the following week he returned to the place where he had been turned away and someone recognized him for who he was and told him to leave. This week he was spotted hanging around a feral community by the person who cares for said feral community. This time, the police were notified.

What really gets me is that this man will continue to collect animals because it is his compulsion to do so. I believe he is mentally ill. I cannot say so for sure as I am not his physician nor have I counseled him, but I have been involved with a rescue that has tried to help him in the past and I have had the misfortune of being on lookout at the address of the shelter and location of our Adopt a Pet events for him with my cell phone ready for 911 as he has previously threatened harm upon our rescue. A person who truely loves and is "for" animals does not threaten to harm them when things don't go their way. These are the actions of a mentally ill person. And I wish whole heartedly that there was something we could do to put him away for the good of all the community animals. But since he has yet to harm an animal with clear intention of harm, there is simply nothing that can be done. So those of us in the rescue community continue to report sightings and keep counts on our animals. I guess this means that I should actually start cataloging the strays in my neighborhood so I can keep track now. I would hate for any one of them to be snatched up by him.