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Nov 24th
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Looking for Eric

film_LookingforEricRemember Play It Again, Sam, when the spirit of Bogie coaches Woody Allen to be tough and cool in the face of life's challenges? It's a similar deal in Ken Loach's sly urban comedy Looking For Eric, where Loach's sad-sack, midlife protagonist turns for inspiration to legendary soccer great Eric Cantona. Loach, the prolific British director best known for gritty, slice-of-life realism dramas (Ladybird, Ladybird; My Name Is Joe; The Wind That Shakes The Barley) lightens up here with unexpected elements of comedy, fantasy, and romance. There's a dark side to the story, of course, and plenty of raucous profanity, but mostly, this is a funny, upbeat film about conquering one's inner loser and going for the goal. Steve Evets is solid and crackling with nervy energy as Eric Bishop, a postal worker in industrial Manchester at the end of his short fuse. His life is going nowhere, his adopted teenage sons don't respect him, and babysitting his new grandchild will soon put him back in contact with first wife, Lily (Stephanie Bishop), whom he still loves, but abandoned 25 years earlier when he couldn't face the responsibilities of parenthood. What's constant in his life is his crew of supportive mates (they have names like "Meatballs" and "Spleen"), and their devotion to the mighty Manchester United soccer team. film_looking_for_ericNicking dope from his son's stash one night, Eric turns for guidance to his hero, French-born Manchester United star Eric Cantona, "the greatest Center Forward the world has ever seen"— and Cantona materializes in his room (and at other key moments as the story progresses) to offer his trademark poetic, if obscure, bon mots of advice. Cantona (he retired from football in 1998) plays himself in the film; famed for his aphoristic philosophizing off the field, he's terrific fun here as a droll life coach. At his urging, Eric dares to kick all the brain-sapping TVs out of his house, untangle his son from a local gangster, and pursue the woman he loves. This is probably as close to a feel-good movie as Loach will ever get, but come prepared to listen up: the North Country accents are porridge-thick, Cantona's French accent all but impenetrable, and a climactic scene where everyone talks through masks is like watching a foreign film without subtitles. (Not rated) 116 minutes. (★★★) Watch film trailer >>>

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Over Hills and Plains, Riding a White Horse, Bow and Arrows in Hand

Saturday, early morning, the sun enters and radiates the light of Sagittarius. Three hours later, the Sagittarius new moon (0.07 degrees) occurs. “Let food be sought,” is the personality-building keynote. “Food” means experiences; all kinds, levels and types. It also means real food. Sag’s secret is their love of food. Many, if not musicians, are chefs. Some are both. The energies shift from Scorpio’s deep and transformative waters to the “hills and plains of Sagittarius.” Sag is the rider on a white horse, eyes focused on the mountain peaks of Capricorn (Initiation) ahead. Like Scorpio, Sagittarius is also the “disciple.” Adventure, luck, optimism, joy and the beginnings of gratitude are the hallmarks of Sagittarius. Sag is also one of the signs of silence. The battle lines were drawn in Libra and we were asked to choose where we stood. The Nine Tests were given in Scorpio and we emerged “warriors triumphant.” Now in Sag, we are to be the One-Pointed Disciple, riding over the plains on a white horse, bow and arrows in hand, eyes focused on the Path of Return ahead. Sagittarians are one-pointed (symbol of the arrow). Sag asks, “What is my life’s purpose?” This is their quest, from valleys, plains, meadows and hills, eyes aimed always at the mountaintop. Sag emerges from Scorpio’s deep waters, conflict and tests into the open air. Sag’s quest is humanity’s quest. Sag’s quest, however, is always accompanied by music and good food.

 

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Film, Times & Events: Week of November 21

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