Méliès Magic meilleures tours de magie

Today’s Google Doodle is SO cool! A tribute to Georges Méliès’ 100th birth anniversary.

More details on this link here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/comic-riffs/wp/2018/05/03/georges-melies-google-creates-its-first-vr360-doodle-to-salute-the-film-pioneer/

Excerpt from an article on the same in Billboard magazine:

For the first time ever, to celebrate the work of French visionary Georges Méliès, Google premiered a VR film for today’s Google Doodle (May 3.) The doodle — titled Back to the Moon, and inspired by Méliès’ iconic 1902 silent film A Trip to the Moon — is a digital animation packed with multiple references to Méliès’ innovative characters and work.

“George Méliès transformed the world of cinema more than a century ago,” wrote the Doodle art director Helene Leroux. “Melies brought magic to filmmaking through dozens of tricks and illusions. What better way to pay homage to this then by using one of the most innovative and immersive tools we have for storytelling today? Virtual Reality!” 

“The magic of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg today could not have been possible without Méliès’ development of techniques across theatrical machinery,” said Laurent Manonni, Director of Heritage at The Cinémathèque Française.

Méliès passed away from cancer at the age of 76 in 1938. His last recorded words were “Laugh, my friends. Laugh with me, laugh for me, because I dream your dreams.”

Make sure to span/spin around on the 360 degree animated tribute doodle to Georges Méliès and also the fantastic “making of” video.(…and ok – I’ve watched Melies’ films and also Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” based on him, the latter thrice in fact – it contained one of the very, very few girl characters in film I could relate to, and brought back such wonderful memories of childhood.)

Here’s the VR 360 degree animated doodle where you need to span the skit as it moves along to see how the story develops. Just use the arrows to follow the two lead characters as they run across the “set.”

 

And equally engrossing is the “making of” or “behind the scenes” video:

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L’accordeur pour Halloween

New York. 31st October, 2013.  It’s  grey and rainy in New York City as Halloween night descendeth.  A perfect time to place Olivier Treiner’s haunting Hitchcockian 13 minute 2012 César-winning short film, “L’accordeur” (The Piano Tuner). I first watched this mesmerizing gem of a film last year on the eve of Hurricane Sandy around this same time, and it still remains etched in my memory. Ach, the chilling  uncertainties of life…………

Piano Tuner (L'accordeur)

For a high-res version of the film: http://www.lstudio.com/films-on-l/the-piano-tuner.html

Directly on Vimeo: http://vimeo.com/72408751

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Goodbye, Mr. Soprano

New York, June 20, 2013. Since last night and all of today, there’s been the name of only one man dominating the media and people’s conversations from Italy to Jersey and far beyond – the man who became legendary in his role of TV’s favorite Italian-American mobster Tony Soprano – actor James Gandolfini. He died in Rome, Italy, last night of a sudden heart attack. He was only 51 years old.

Here is a wonderful, candid and insightful interview of his from the series “Inside the Actor’s Studio” in New York. 

RIP James Gandolfini, who despite all his other movie, theatre and TV roles, will forever be entrenched in the psyche of his audience as the complicated and memorable character of  Tony Soprano.

At the price of sounding like a total buffoon, I will admit that I am perhaps, one of the very few in North America who did not watch the entire series. Five sporadic episodes was all that I’d watched (television has never been one of my pass times, and the only few shows I watch/watched with some regularity are Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, BBC’s Planet Earth, a few wildlife series on National Geographic and yes – a guilty addiction – Science Channel’s How it is made. And of course, Monty Python any time, as well as BBC’s Sherlock. For some reason, soaps, drama, character-laden plots just don’t draw me in. Don’t know why – they just don’t (unless it involves Daniel Day Lewis.)

But just five episodes of the Sopranos were enough to at least understand what a great actor Gandolfini was. While I could not share the same addiction as many of my friends had for the series, I can fully comprehend their immense attachment to the show. So, while for many who loved him as Tony Soprano, it was as though the mob-boss himself had died, for me – this interview reveals more the workings of one of the finest television actors of our time James Gandolfini.

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Live long and prosper!

When I was in high school, girls my age used to fawn over and have posters of and crushes on rock stars and sportsmen. I must have had some  “norm-chip” missing, as the only two men I was fascinated by – heck, even related to – were two fictional characters: Mr. Spock and Sherlock Holmes.  To use a cheesy movie phrase – Spock had “had me” at “It’s logical, Captain,” and Holmes about whom I’ve written (or rather gushed) about in an earlier post – had had me at “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts,and of course, much more.

So, it gives me great pleasure, and in a sense, a form of therapeutic closure that characters for which I was teased about for having crushes on back in school (and college) have now proven to be timeless icons of intelligence, poise and “cool.” Why is it that in life, those who were considered “uncool” for not following any trend, nor buckling to any peer-pressure or fashion-du-jour find out years later that they had just been ahead of their times in their individualism, and years later when more prominent figures reveal that they too liked trend-buckling oddballs – it is considered “cool?”

Why is it so important to be “cool?” Really, who cares? In fact the people who are really cool are those who never cared about trying so hard to be “cool” in the first place but the guts to face the snickering for not being afraid to like what they themselves could relate to – not what everyone was following. Also, trying to make a great show of going completely in the opposite direction of trend-following, and thereby joining anti-establishment groups – is quite simply following something else in the opposite direction – so that’s not being too different either. The true individualist doesn’t really care too much about being popular nor unpopular and that’s what makes them different, without even trying. There is freedom is just being. Being you. Knowing yourself. 

Some people wrongly assume that loving or possessing a Vulcan sense of Logic or stoicism must mean that Emotion is alien to such possessors. I do not understand why there is such an either/or approach. Having a logical and analytical mind does not mean that that person is devoid of deep, indescribable emotional magnitude. In some, the Apollonian and the Dionysian does not come at the expense of the other. It is best described in the words of Spock’s father Sarek when he explains to his young half-human half-Vulcan son the basis of their calm self-assuredness on the surface while a wide spectrum of emotional depth churns underneath. (For some reason when I watched that scene in the 2009 reboot movie, it made me cry. For some reason I could relate too well.) Sarek’s words to a very young Spock: “Emotions run deep within our race. In many ways, more deeply than in Humans. Logic offers a serenity Humans seldom experience. The control of feelings, so that they do not control you.”

Anyway – on the eve of the release of Into Darkness, a photo of me and Jack Black – who is doing his own version of Spock’s hand sign. Both of Black’s parents were satellite engineers who worked on the Hubble Space Telescope. This was during a spontaneous moment after which Jack and I did a silly Star Wars laser hand-fight but with Spocky hands.

Live long and prosper, those who loved/love Spock – especially the few girls who were open about it and thereby faced ridicule for making choices which were  different than those of their peers…..

Actor/comedian/musician Jack Black & yours truly, bonding in geeky, Spock salutes

Actor/comedian/musician Jack Black & yours truly, bonding in geeky Vulcan salutes (click to enlarge)

Actor/comedian/musician Jack Black & me doing geeky, Spock signs

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The new May 2013 Audi commercial featuring both the old and new Spocks

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPkByAkAdZs

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Star Trek fan President Obama flashes the Spock sign:  http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/star-trek-fan-president-obama-picture-nichelle-nichols-vulcan-hand-gesture-article-1.1055970

Aaah….therapeutic indeed after those early years of being teased for being the oddball girl in school who loved Mr. Spock and Sherlock Holmes…….and who still thinks they are timelessly awesome.

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Here’s one more – moi and Scott Ian from Anthrax (Thanks, Alex Skolnick)

Scott Ian (Anthrax) and the Gipsy Geek backstage

Scott Ian (Anthrax) and me both making our respective ‘signs’ (Thanks Alex Skolnick for taking this!)

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Beasts of the wild at heart

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Beasts of the Southern Wild

One of the most poetic, poignant and original movies I’ve seen in a looong time. (ok – loved Django insanely) but this is a whole other animal. And it’s an independent film made on a small budget. I’m in love with this little strong-willed girl/actress who is the protagonist in the movie. The trailer does no justice to the full film though. Do turn off the irritating youtube annotation button if you watch this.

 If there are problems viewing the video, you can watch it directly on this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZF7i2n5NXLo

I will not write a long post or review of the film, just that it is one of the most beautiful, fantastical, poignant, quirky and unique films I have had the pleasure of watching in my life, and is a reminder of the magic film-making can still be able to create with no expensive CGI effects, but just a strong narrative, stunning camera-work, incredible acting by first-time actors (both the little girl and her daddy) and a lot of love and passion by the film’s makers – Benh Zeitlin and Luci Alibar.

Personally, I have always felt a strong connection with movies which had the female protagonist who was different, not the loud, “popular” girl, or the one who is always with a bunch of other girls – but the introverted, introspective and precocious girl who lives in her own world of action, intellect, imagination, loves her solitude, books and nature and wild clean adventures, looks soft and feminine yet is strong and self-assured and is not afraid to fight her battles or those of the innocent….there are so few in films that way – Amelie (Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain), Lisbeth Salander (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Lara Croft (Tomb Raider), Elizabeth (Pride & Prejudice – the 2005 film) and Jane Eyre – two Victorian women I have always loved, along with Irene Adler from Sherlock Holmes (the books – not the movies which do not even come close to the intelligence Doyle had endowed Irene with) and Ofelia (in Pan’s Labyrinth). And Hushpuppy from Beasts of the Southern Wild certainly is one from the same family – even though at five years of age, she is definitely the bravest yet the most vulnerable and the youngest and poorest. But you see the same characteristics – the strong will, the powers of observation of the world around her, and the inner strength and ability for introspection; and quiet non-verbal kindness and understanding, but at the same time a determined sense of justice, and wishing to heal and fix the fractures in existence. The introverted girl – a minority in our world and in evolutionary statistics.

Beasts of the Southern Wild also has one of the coolest movie websites…took me a while to realize if you hover the mouse on the screen, little creatures pop up to take you to different scenes.You can directly download the movie from the Apple website (details on the film’s website in the link below) for only 5$.

http://www.welcometothebathtub.com/

An experience not to be missed…..

Movie synopsis: In a forgotten but defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, a six-year-old girl exists on the brink of orphanhood. Buoyed by her childish optimism and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural world is in balance with the universe until a fierce storm changes her reality. Desperate to repair the structure of her world in order to save her ailing father and sinking home, this tiny hero must learn to survive unstoppable catastrophes of epic proportions.

A good review by Bret Fetzer: The devastated landscape of the Louisiana bayou becomes a primordial world in the eyes of 6-year-old Hushpuppy (the fierce and magnetic Quvenzhané Wallis). Hushpuppy’s father Wink (Dwight Henry), emotionally unstable and increasingly ill, fights to maintain their ramshackle home, along with the rest of the precarious community of the area known as the Bathtub–but a Katrina-esque storm leaves the Bathtub flooded, driving Wink to desperate lengths. Faced with the loss of everything she knows, Hushpuppy decides her only hope is to find her mother, but her only clue is a winking light in the distance. Beasts of the Southern Wild tells its story entirely from the 6-year-old girl’s perspective; the actions and emotions of adults take on a mythic scope, as does the damaged environment in which she lives. The movie is dense and rich, often as obscure and murky as the overgrown bayou itself, sometimes off-putting and enticing at the same time. Wallis, her performance brimming with feral energy and a wounded soul, carries the movie with more star power than most adults could muster. The dialogue is thick with intriguing metaphors and the images resist being easily interpreted into a conventional plot, but the story gradually emerges, rising to a potent end. Viewers who take the time to sink into its mysteries will be rewarded. 

beasts of the southern wild

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Come hail or storm….

New York, October 31, 2012. Yes, indeed, it has been 10 full months since I have posted anything new on this blog. It has been an interesting year, professionally and personally. On April 9th of this year, I lost my father, suddenly, unexpectedly, to a massive heart attack. He was always a hyper-active man, with no prior heart issues, so it did come as a surprise. Thankfully for him, death was quick and he did not suffer. A sudden afternoon 3 second attack on a normal day. 

Today is Halloween, which comes after the largest hurricane to ever hit the Atlantic Ocean. While the area I live in, in New York, was safe and sound, devastation occurred in Lower Manhattan, parts of Queens, and many areas of New Jersey and upstate New York. Some of the most dramatic photographs can be found on this link:

http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/10/hurricane-sandy-after-landfall/100396/

The lights on the Brooklyn Bridge stand in contrast to the lower Manhattan skyline which has lost its electrical supply, early on Tuesday, October 30, 2012, after megastorm Sandy swept through New York. A record storm surge that was higher than predicted along with high winds damaged the electrical system and plunged millions of people into darkness. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

A parking lot full of yellow cabs sits flooded as a result of Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday, October 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

A 168-foot water tanker, the John B. Caddell, sits on the shore Tuesday morning, October 30, 2012 where it ran aground on Front Street in the Stapleton neighborhood of New York’s Staten Island. (AP Photo/Sean Sweeney)

So, for Halloween and after the trauma of Sandy – one of the most brilliant, metaphoric and strangely traumatic short films I have seen in a while: ‘Keha Malu’ or ‘Body Memory’ or ‘La memoire du corps’ by young Estonian director Ulo Pikkov. This multiple award-winning experimental film, just 8 mins long, looks at the idea that our bodies remember more than just our individual experiences, but the pain and sorrow of those who came before us.

Please watch in full-screen mode with the HD high-def version. It’s worth it…..There can be many interpretations of the film – the trains going towards Aushwitz and death, our existential crises as we are pulled like puppets on a string by various ‘systems’ of society, or just the collective pain of mankind from impending endings. But either way, a rather poignant and dramatic impact on the viewer.

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Parallel Lives

Split Screen : A love story featuring 3 cities

JW Griffiths’ quirky little film is shot entirely on the Nokia N8 mobile phone. It is the winner of the Nokia Shorts competition 2011. Two citizens from opposite ends of the Atlantic. At which common point will they meet, if at all? Shades of the “Griffin and Sabine” trilogy,   but in a more contemporary and refreshingly simple, concise manner.

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Director: JW Griffiths
Producer: Kurban Kassam
Director of Photography: Christopher Moon
Editor: Marianne Kuopanportti 
Sound Design: Mauricio d’Orey
Music composed by: Lennert Busch

Junipers in June – 1

JUNIPERS IN JUNE – 1 

Starry Starry Nights 

June is my birthday month. So I get to indulge myself in my favourite treats on this blog – and that includes a hobby since childhood – Stargazing.

(A) Starry Nights for Astronomy buffs (like me)

The following time-lapse video is a breathtaking labour of love by its makers – using the camera-work of Colin Legg. These sidereal motion shots of the Milky Way were taken over the Australian Outback with Fisheye and Flat lenses in late 2010, and was Grant Wakefield’s entry for the Bradford International Film Festival 2011. According to his Vimeo page, the name “Walu Ngalindi” is “from the Aboriginal Yolngu langauge meaning ‘Sun Woman – Moon man’.” The HD version of the video is worth watching, albeit a slower load. Unless you have a super high-speed internet connection, it is perhaps better to let the videos load first and then view them. In full screen of course – that goes without saying, and preferably with the lights turned off.

The second video is the trailer of an absolutely stunning piece of work by 2010 Astronomy Photographer of the Year – Tom Lowe, shot on Canon and Red MX cameras. You can order a DVD of his new film on his webiste : http://timescapes.org/  This film was shot in the American Southwest with astounding shots of both the earth and the skies. The two galaxies in the clip are the Andromeda and our Milky Way. Astronomy buffs have long known of  Tom Lowe’s work, though many people will probably be more exposed to his name after the release of the astronomy shots in the Cannes Palme d’Or winning movie “The Tree of Life” directed by Terence Malick. Prepare to be literally raptured by the insurmountable beauty of our planet and universe, of life and luminosity, the mundane and the extraordinary – captured in the following audio-visual poetry by the exceptional talent of the cameramen who made ‘Timescapes’. (Turn up the speakers for those ravishing drum beats!)

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(B) Starry nights for romantics who love Van Gogh

Not satisfied with the existing versions they had on youtube, I made a quick video of Don Mclean’s dreamy yet very darkly deep song – his ode inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night and other works and the painter’s turmoiled eccentric life – placed here solely for its lovely lyrics and melody – ici  (don’t forget to full-screen it):


You can see a close-up of the original painting of The Starry Night I took at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) here :  Thinking in Pictures  (I have used it in the above video.)

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Related posts:

1. “I told you so,” Einstein would have said.

2. Billions of Stars * Billions of sports fans

3. Jazz Trek

4. Random Acts of Planet Earth : Chopin for EROS

5. “Hello World!”

6. 6 -9

Thanking the Will of Determination

THANKING   DETERMINATION

There are no two ways about it: Go watch Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours starring the versatile James Franco. I watched it on the weekend of its release in New York and was gripped by Boyle’s direction, Anthony Dod Mantle’s cinematography, A.R. Rahman’s soundtrack and James Franco’s rivetting performance portraying over-confident climber Aaron Ralston. If I had to pick the two most fascinating films of 2010 so far (not counting a few indie flicks) it would have to be Christopher Nolan’s Inception (https://gipsygeek.wordpress.com/2010/07/21/inception-movie-dreamweavers/ ) and Boyle’s 127 Hours. (Toy Story 3 of course, despite being a sequel – is definitely a winner too.)

Many critics have focussed on the one nerve-wrenching gory scene of the movie where the protagonist takes the ultimate step to break free. I instead would like to focus on the strength and determination it took for Ralston to try everything for 127 hours before breaking free from the mess he admittedly had gotten himself into, but with logic, level-headedness and a cocky indomitable spirit.

It is also surprising to sometimes see some snide, bitter comments by certain readers under the movie synopsis in certain sites (including under a review in UK’s Guardian) that Aaron ‘capitalized’ on his accident or that he ‘deserved what he got’ for his climbing! Mindboggling – that people can envy a survivor because he refused to see himself as a victim and evoked inspiration rather than pity. Nothing can bring back a lost hand, and sometimes in sticky situations, it is better to lose a limb than lose a life. Perhaps the fact that Ralston went through his ordeal while on a self-chosen activity of sport, rather than for some ‘self-sacrificial’ act as a soldier in a war, is what irks those who cannot enjoy the spirit of endurance and determination it takes to be a true survivor who did not lose his chutzpah. Or who voluntarily enjoys rock and mountain climbing. As an avid mountaineer myself – I know that there are risks involved and that precautions must be taken, but you can’t stop a guy/gal out of fear and cowardice from climbing rocks and flying planes and diving deep! As Edmund Hillary had once said : “It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” 

Stories like those portrayed in 127 Hours of everyday ordinary people showing extraordinary courage and survival-instincts under impossible situations ARE inspirational, because they echo our hidden inherent optimisim that at the end of all the unforseen tribulations of life, or even the risks we knowingly/unknowingly take, steely determination and clear rational thinking can truly create miracles – many more positive ‘miracles’ than wallowing in self-pity or blaming supernatural forces to ‘rescue’ or curse, instead of taking full responsiblity for your own life, your own actions, your own errors and taking steps to rectify, heal, survive and live instead of giving up. Or to put it bluntly : “Ok – I made a serious error in judgment and am in deep shit now. What do I do NOW to get out of this shit and avoid a similar mistake in the future?” This attitude works much more than ‘shoulda, woulda, coulda’ or ‘Woe is me’ or ‘damn ye heavenly Father!’

On that note, I am very happy to place at the end of this post a youtube copy of a unique film that I think every man and woman should see. I had written a post about it earlier in June : (https://gipsygeek.wordpress.com/2010/06/06/d-day-and-dieter-dengler/ )

This is one of those tales that changes forever the way you view life, your place in it, the stories behind seemingly ordinary folks you run into at the grocery store or walk by the street; the manner in which you perceive reality in this world, the relativity of pain and sorrow and most of all, to witness first hand the incredible human spirit of survival against all odds. Yes, against every possible odd, when death is possibly your only friend and yet you do not give up on life. The documentary is named ‘Little Dieter Needs to Fly’.  Directed by the unique and amazingly accomplished and talented film maker Werner Herzog. I do not think words can do justice to the experience at a deep visceral and existential level that this film produces, so remarkably engrossing it is. Both visually and audibly in its unique artfulness. With just a real life character and a few hired locals from Laos who help re-enact Dieter’s journey as he narrates it, it is still the simplest yet most profound stories on film a man can experience.

The story of a man who grew up in great hardship and all he wanted was to learn how to fly, from the day  as a little boy he caught the eye of an Allied pilot who was shooting down his house. The grandson of the only man in his entire village who had not voted for Hitler and faced its consequences. The man who ended up as a pilot for the US Air Force and later a POW in Laos during the Vietnam War. And a man who for some reason just did not give up on life. I will not write the details of the harrowing tortures he went through in the hands of the Vietcong, or the details of the horrors he himself participated in due to his actions as a US army-man. Because this is a film to be seen, not written about, even though most of the experience of the viewer is simply from the narration of Dieter talking to the camera. What struck me most was quite simply the state of being of this man who was neither bitter, neither angry, neither judgmental nor traumatized but came across as just an objective, almost obsessive observer of life and the situations and realities that surrounded him. And saw both sides without any hatred, but only an obsession to fly. And in the harshest of circumstances since his childhood still somehow found inspiration.

In war both sides are victims in the power play of leaders who use their citizens and soldiers as pawns. There are no winners. One country’s hero is another country’s barbarian and vice versa. And the torture of a Caucasian is no greater nor lesser than the torture of the Asians killed by dropped bombs. (Although you do begin to understand why the Geneva Conventions for the treatment of prisoners of wars were made, in 1929 and 1949, not that they are still followed everywhere.)  As Dieter says: “I don’t think of myself as a hero. No, only the dead people are heroes.”

I have amongst my friends a few who were former US marines, corporals, officers and pilots. And an older lady who had fled Vietnam during the war and is a well established painter in America now. The marines I knew had entered the force more out of financial necessity. The lady had fled on a boat from Vietnam and would end up as a prominent painter and anti-war activist in the U.S. They had stories that were remarkable  and poignant. They had told me tales of their experiences and their views on war. The ways in which they perceived the world after that. How sometimes simple joys such as even lying back on a mound of grass and watching the sunlight filter through the veins of a leaf was a profound source of pleasure. This film only reinforced the point even more.

This is a documentary that despite picking up several awards is not something that has been shown around with great fanfare or publicity. There are no glamorous posters, and the online videos are insufficient. And though it was remade as a full length feature film later in Hollywood, the latter did no justice to the real thing. Dieter Dengler in real life with his ordinary looks and captivating thickly accented monologues is ten times better than any Hollywood actor playing his part. But every person who has seen this documentary knows that it is one of those rare gems that changes  your life forever. That makes you view every moment of freedom, every meal, every drink, every warm bed as a gift. And makes you thank your lucky stars for the gift of life and comfort. That makes you question why people get into wars over ideologies and religion. And most of all, gives you the courage and determination to overcome every little hardship in life without complaining. A truly remarkable testament of the human will, of luck and of optimism.  As one reviewer wrote on the IMDB site – ‘Cancel your shrink and watch Little Dieter.’

Stories like those of Dieter Dengler and Aaron Ralston are fascinating because they stand as testimonials that if they could survive and not lose their determination and spirits despite impossible circumstances, what excuse do we have? (especially if we are healthy, with adequate financial acumen and mental stability, and are lucky to live in countries with far better infrastructures and freedom.) As the holiday of Thanksgiving approaches, I think we have much to be grateful for…..and on watching Dieter’s story, much to thank for – everytime we have a warm meal and a comfortable bed, besides the love of true friends and families. (If only one complaint, I wish for turkey-eaters, there was a more humane way in which these birds give up their lives for this ‘holiday’- or that all turkeys raised would be cage-free and free-running. Or the ‘tofurky’ would improve its texture and taste.)

Oh well! All wishes don’t always come true….and after seeing what Dieter Dengler went through, the scene of Herzog’s camera showing the close-up of a dining-table feast takes up a whole new meaning!

Here it is. I would prefer you rent the DVD, since the youtube version is low resolution. 

Little Dieter Needs to Fly


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Watch ‘Dieter Dengler Needs to Fly’ in better quality than youtube on Daily motion here:  http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3zw7g_little-dieter-1_news

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Sidetracked Alert: Some fun facts of the origin of the word ‘turkey’ – that denizen on your Thanksgiving dinner plate  (http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=117173) :

From the Ayto Dictionary of Word Origins: “The term turkey was originally applied to the “Guinea-fowl”, apparently because the bird was imported through Turkish territory. When the American bird we now know as the turkey was introduced to the British in the mid 16th century it reminded them of the “Guinea fowl” from Turkey and they called the bird a Turkey bird.”

In French, turkey is called “d’inde”, or “from India”, either because it looked similar to the guniea-fowl or female peacock – a bird found in East India, or perhaps because French explorers on finding this bird in North America thought that they had reached the east. In Hebrew, however, the turkey is called “hodu”, which is the Hebrew name for the country of India. Another coincidence: The word “hodu” (=Hebrew name of turkeys, country of India) is related to the word “hodaya” meaning “the giving of thanks” (the Hebrew name for the holiday of thanksgiving is “chag ha-hodaya”.) It seems that Columbus’s interpreter for the expedition in the new world Luis de Torres was a Jewish man baptized shortly before the fleet had set sail.

The word “turkey” is connected to India in the following languages:

Arabic (standard) – turkey is diiq hindi, or Indian rooster.
Azari – ‘hindishga’, that’s something related to ‘Hind'(India).
Basque – “indioilar” or “indioilo”
Catalan  – “dindi”.
Hebrew – “tarnegol hodu” or “Indian rooster”
Polish – indyk, or more specifically indor ‘male turkey’, indyczka ‘female turkey’ from the name ‘India’.
Russian – indjuk_(male), indjushka/indejka  (female).  As food, the turkey is referred to by the term indjushka. In sum, it’s the “bird of India,” as in French.
Turkish – ‘hindi’.
Yidish – “indik”.

In Danish, Dutch, Finnish and Norwegian, it is associated with a town from the Malabar coast in southern India.