A Good Yarn

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Socks and Movies

Two of my favorite things!

I started the 2nd quarter STR Ravelry group KAL a little early:

I couldn't capture the beauty of this yarn - it's much more muted changes and is absolutely gorgeous. I think it's my favorite STR colorway. The pattern is the Shur'tagal pattern.

I'm almost done with my Elsabeth Lavold sweater, too. I think I'll probably have a post about that next time. Here are a few more movies I've seen:

This is a Swedish film about a family at the beginning of the 20th century. The narrator is the oldest daughter, and she's primarily telling the story of her mother, Maria. Maria is married to an alcoholic and they have a large family. Maria won a camera and at a point of financial crisis, she tries to sell it to a professional photographer, but he convinces her to "keep it for him" and she falls in love with making photographs. It also seems like she's fallen in love with the photographer, too, but the story is really about Maria and how she finds meaning in her life, not some Hollywood love story. It's probably not a surprise that a film about photography would be gorgeous. The film really feels authentic - you can just imagine that this is a story that's been passed on down through the family. I wouldn't say it's anything groundbreaking, but it's really an interesting story, told well.

This is another interesting story, told well. The director was once the travelling manager for The Amazing Kreskin and this film is based on his experiences at that time. John Malkovich plays the Great Buck Howard, a mentalist best known for his numerous appearances on the Tonight Show when Johnny Carson was the host. Colin Hanks plays the part of the travelling manager, a law school drop out who isn't quite sure what to do with his life, much to the disappointment of his father, played by Colin's real-life father, Tom Hanks. The film feels very authentic and I'm sure a lot of the events are based on real events. Malkovich gives a fantastic performance as a past his prime entertainer, who alternates between charming and self-absorbed. There are other great small parts such as Steve Zahn and Debra Monk as Ohio siblings who host Howard during his performances in their town. Colin Hanks is sweet and sympathetic, but doesn't have the same magnetism as his dad. If you like magic and old Hollywood stories, you'll enjoy this film. If you see this in the theater, make sure you get there on time, because the opening credits are really unique and worth seeing.

Finally, this is a Belgian film that was an award winner at Cannes this year. It's about a 41 year old woman who is separated from her husband, while he explores his feelings for a 24 year old student (he's an art teacher). She's convinced he'll be coming back, so she's just marking time until she can get the life she used to know back. She has two children - a 17 year old daughter and a younger son, about 12 or so. One day she backs up in the grocery store parking lot and collides with a semi-truck. The truck driver is a 29 year old guy who blames her for not looking before backing up and she blames him for having such a big truck in a grocery store parking lot. They argue loudly and with sharp words, but something clicks. Eventually they start to date and the woman begins to wonder whether she really does want to return to her old life. The truck driver is not necessary Prince Charming either, as we begin to suspect when the police arrive at the accident scene and the police officers know him by name. I really enjoyed the film. The acting is so well done. The lead actress just blooms from a depressed, lonely woman at the beginning to a fully alive woman at the end. The oldest daughter, who behaves exactly the way the smart, funny teenage girls you know behave, is a great character. I would definitely recommend this film.

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