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Oct 08th
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film_micmacs-canonFrench filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet stole hearts with Amelie, and made them soar with A Very Long Engagement. His lovably goofy new comedy, Micmacs,  has an unexpected comic hero—a man with a bullet in his brain—and a very serious subtext: devastating weapons of war and the arms dealers who profit from them. (In French slang, "micmacs" refers to shifty dealmaking.) At the emotional and narrative heart of the movie is Bazil, played by Danny Boon, a graceful and winsome screen clown who doesn't need dialogue or subtitles to communicate with an audience. When Bazil was a child, his soldier father was blown up trying to diffuse an anti-personnel land mine in North Africa. The grown-up Bazil, a Paris video store clerk, is watching Bogie and Bacall in The Big Sleep in the shop one night (reciting all the dialogue in French); a cops-and-robbers chase goes by outside, and a stray bullet lodges in Bazil's head. He survives (after a coin-toss in the ER to determine if the operation is worth it), but loses his job and apartment. Winding up on the streets, he's taken in by a "family" of resourceful folk who live in a junkyard, building everything they need out of scrap parts. Out collecting salvage one day, Bazil discovers two rival arms manufacturers with corporate headquarters across the street from each other; one built the mine that killed his father, the other forged the bullet in his brain. Bazil and his cronies target the rival CEOs in a complex trap to shut down both companies by exposing their corrupt, and illegal machinations. But the complications of the plot are less important than the film_micmacsdelightful, home-made, Rube Goldberg contraptions built to carry it out, or the whimsical joie de vivre of the storytelling—from sly fantasies emanating from Bazil's compromised brain, to the scavengers' magical junkyard workshop, to the canny way Jeunet borrows Max Steiner's vintage score from The Big Sleep (and its black-and-white credits) to enhance Bazil's own unfolding detective story. The terrific cast includes courtly, Quixote-like Jean-Pierre Marielle, Jeunet regular Dominique Pignon as a human cannonball, and contortionist Julie Ferrer. (Warm, maternal Yolande Moreau was last seen as outside artist Séraphine.) Nobody combines dark themes and daffy humanism with as much charm and finesse as Jeunet. He's a true original. (R) 105 minutes. In French with English subtitles. (★★★1/2) Watch film trailer >>>

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Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


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