A Good Yarn

Monday, June 05, 2006

This is it, seriously

We had a wonderful weekend here in the Twin Cities. Hot and summery, but not oppressive. I worked late on Friday night to try to catch up on some paperwork and get some money in. Because, you know, I've been buying yarn like they're going to outlaw sheep.

Saturday I attended a super fun thing called "Talk Cinema". They have this in other major metropolitan areas too, so if it sounds fun to you and you live somewhere else, check it out. It's at the Edina Theater, an arthouse here in the Twin Cities. They have a showing of some movie that hasn't been released yet and then a discussion of the film afterwards. You never know what film it's going to be before you get there and there's a film critic or someone who works in the field portrayed in the film or something like that involved in the discussion afterward. So totally fun! It's great to come to a film without having any preconceptions about what it's about or whether you might like it, because you probably haven't read any reviews yet.

The film this week was "The Illusionist". Usually when I see a film I post the movie poster, but this one doesn't even have a poster yet.

It's set to be released in mid-August, and I would highly recommend you see it when it comes out. The film is set around the turn of the 20th century in Vienna. It stars Edward Norton as the illusionist - a performer who can do amazing feats of magic. As a teenager, he meets and falls in love with a Duchess, but their love is forbidden because he is just a carpenter's son. After years away, he returns to Vienna as a famous Illusionist and the Duchess is at one of his shows. The Duchess is played by Jessica Biel. Unfortunately, she is with the Crown Prince played by Rufus Sewell. Of course, the sparks are flying between the Duchess and the Illusionist, which the Crown Prince doesn't like. The Illusionist also mocks the Prince in his act, which doesn't suit the cruel Prince either. He sets the Chief Inspector on the Illusionist to shut down his act. The Chief Inspector is played by Paul Giamatti. So, that's the set up and the main players. I was captivated by the magic and really drawn into the story, which turns into a mystery. I'm usually not a huge Edward Norton fan, but I loved him in this story - he was the right mix of mysterious, romantic and handsome. Paul Giamatti was his usual solid self, in a role that required him to be at turns a self-interested bad guy and a hero. The cinematography and the costumes were absolutely gorgeous. The score by Philip Glass was also very well done.

After the film I went over to the Grand Opening of the Midtown Global Market on Lake Street in Minneapolis (in the old Sears building). I'm so happy that they've finally re-developed this building and I love what they've done. It's sort of a combination of an indoors farmer's market, a giant food court and a multi-cultural arts and crafts mall. There are a ton of public places to sit and eat or play a game (or knit!). We walked around and saw what they had and then ate at Salsa a la Salsa. I absolutely loved my lunch - I had the Chicken in Devil Mary Sauce with beans and rice. LOVED the sauce. It was hot, but flavorful. They also served Mexican coca-cola, which I like - it's like the old school classic coke. I also had dessert - a refried chocolate truffle sundae. Yummy, but huge! There are lots of other good restaurants there too and great grocery stores like United Noodles and Holy Land Deli. I really hope this development is successful, so if you live in the Twin Cities, check it out some time, please! They even have an Andy's Garage if you don't like ethnic food.

After the Global Market I was very naughty and bought yet more sock yarn. But this is it, I swear! At least until my birthday. When we were looking at the German yarn stores to do a purchase, I found tell of this Regia Silk. It sounded wonderful, but we didn't order from the store that carried that yarn. And I wasn't finding it anywhere around here. Until now. Needlework Unlimited is carrying it and I had a full punch card, so I used it and bought a little bit more, because one is just never enough for me. These are horrible pictures, but they'll give you a general idea of the colors I chose:

a dark olivey green

a dark brick red

Lovely colors that I could use together in a two-color sock or separately as two pairs of socks (yes, I bought two skeins of each). This is a very sumptous feeling sock yarn! And now, I MUST start knitting socks!!

Sunday I saw another artsy film, "Live and Become". I really enjoyed this one too. It's about a 9 year old boy from Ethiopia. His mother forces him to pose as another woman's son so that he can emigrate to Israel and escape the famine. Israel accepted thousands of Ethiopian Jews, but this little boy isn't really Jewish. After the woman he left Ethiopia with dies, he is adopted by an Israeli family. The boy is unable to tell anyone that he isn't really Jewish and that his mother is really alive, which eats him alive. The film follows the little boy's life into adolescence, then young adulthood and then finally as he starts his own family and lives his destiny. The boys who play the main character throughout the years are really good and the film is really moving. It touches on a lot of themes - racism, identity, religion, peace and politics.