Archive for September, 2009

September 12, 2009: Two Bunuel Movies

September 16, 2009 1 comment

Needed a break, and got one. I spent my afternoon/evening watching these:

  1. The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (Aventuras de Robinson Crusoe): Luis Bunuel, 1954. An English-language adaptation of the Defoe classic. Amatuerish, un-Bunuel-like, very Disney-like. Disappointing. Anyhow, if surviving in a deserted tropical paradise is that simple, I want an island of my own. Along with a ship-ful of provisions, among which is an endless stash of booze and tobacco (as the film would have us believe). Very disappointing.
  2. Le Voiee Lactee (The Milky Way): Luis Bunuel, 1969. The exact opposite of the previous film. Brilliant stuff. The story revolves around two pilgrims making their way across France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain (a popular medieval pilgrimage route). On the way, they come across a whole host of heresies (atleast as Catholicism defines it) and other characters – free love Catholics, Jansenists, the Marquis de Sade, the Devil, the Virgin Mary, Jesus himself, the Spanish Inquistion, assorted clerics, and a prostitute.  The director and producer compiled a list of the reasons (loopholes in Catholic theology) leading to most heresies, and the list that they came out with suggested no obvious linkages or structure – so they just dramatized all the instances/heresies. The movie zips between early Christians, the Spanish Inquisition, the Jansenists and 1960s France/Spain. It also has the distinction of getting the most number of what the fuck/where did that come from expressions from me . Must-watch, but not when sober. Pass it if you are an idiot (which goes for most).

Music: Slania (Eluvetie, 2008)

Categories: Bunuel, Cinema

Clearing forests for conservation

September 15, 2009 Leave a comment

From the ClimateArk:

The RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) is accused of causing massive environmental damage as it seeks to clear hundreds of acres of non-native confireous woodlands to restore traditional heather habitats.

For me, it reflected a larger question: that of so-called plague species in non-native habitats. In this case, it is just human stupidity which has created the problem in the first place.

Categories: Environment

Joseph Stiglitz on bailouts and much more

September 14, 2009 Leave a comment