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Feb 13th
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TETRO

film_poster_tetroFrancis Ford Coppola is out of the giant, make-or-break blockbuster biz and back making small indie movies for the sheer joy of it. His newest, Tetro, is such an adventure in technique, style, and pure cinematic brio, it almost doesn’t matter that the story gets away from him the fourth act, and the film runs about 30 minutes too long. You can have too much of a good thing, and the sins of admission in Tetro detract from otherwise masterful storytelling, but there’s still plenty of swoony delight to be had in the look of the film and the operatic scope of its story.

 

film_tetroShot mostly in brooding, shimmering black and white, the story begins with dewy young American Bennie (Alden Ehrenreich), military school dropout and cruise ship busboy, arriving in Buenos Aires in the dead of night to visit his prodigal brother, Tetro (Vincent Gallo), a failed writer. Bennie was a child when Tetro left home to follow his muse, after their renowned composer father (played in flashback by the great Klaus Maria Brandauer) told him there was only room for one genius in the family. For the few days that his ship undergoes repairs, Bennie tries to reconnect with the prickly older brother who wants nothing more to do with their family. A father-sons drama of near-Biblical proportions (lust, betrayals, guilty secrets) unfolds against Tetro’s life with his warm and grounded girlfriend, Miranda (Maribel Verdu), and their bohemian artist friends, as Bennie probes for answers about their fractured family. Coppola injects dramatic revelations into the story in spasms of saturated color created in homage to the lush, slightly berserk Technicolor dance melodramas of the great Robert Powell (The Red Shoes). Snippets from Powell’s “Tales Of Hoffmann” are featured in Tetro, and Coppola stages a few more dances-within-the-film of his own to express the characters’ unspoken sorrows. This works beautifully on an emotional as well as visual level; the film is a pleasure to watch, even during a lengthy detour to an arts festival in Patagonia that eats up too much time and contributes nothing that might not have been more effectively inserted elsewhere in the film. Still, a mesmerizing performance from the ever-iconoclastic Gallo, and terrific support from accomplished Spanish actress Verdu and newcomer Ehrenreich, along with the vivacity of Coppola’s filmmaking, make Tetro a cinematic feast to be savored. (Not rated) 127 minutes. (3 1/2 stars out of 4)

 

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 12

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