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Showing posts from February, 2013

Circe by Madeline Miller (♦♦♦♦)

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Granddaughter of Oceanus, daughter of Titan Helios and sea nymph Perseid, Circe was different from the start. While her siblings discovered their unique gifts very early on and gained their independence—either by claiming their inheritance, like Perses and Aëstes, or by marriage to a wealthy demigod, like Pasiphäe—, Circe remained among her family in the halls of the gods. Her love for young fisherman Glaucus changed everything. Circe used a potion to transform Glaucus into a worthy suitor. Glaucus, seeing his station changed, fell in love with one Circe’s cousins, a sea nymph named Scylla. Out of jealousy, Circe put a potion on Scylla’s bath and, unintendedly, transformed her into a monster. Circe’s confession forced Helios to go to see Zeus, for witchcraft is something that gods fear can tip the balance of power. Zeus declared an eternal banishment for Circe from the halls of the gods to the island of Aiaia.

Exile was not easy but, as Circe learned, it had its advantages; being away f…

The Secret Servant by Daniel Silva (♦♦♦♦)

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A famed scholar and Office asset named Solomon Rosner is assassinated in Amsterdam. Gabriel and Eli Lavon are sent there to purge the files of the deceased of possible connections to the Office. The late professor Rosner had been in contact with a well informed source who contacts Gabriel in the middle of the night in one of Amsterdam’s dark alleys. The source, an Egyptian Muslim named Ibrahim Fawaz, points to a terrorist cell whose target may be in London.
Gabriel contacts Graham Seymour of MI5 to relay what he has learned from Fawaz but Graham doesn’t heed the warning and the daughter of the American ambassador to Britain is kidnapped in a savage attack in London’s Hyde Park. Gabriel is too late to stop the kidnapping. A few days later the kidnappers demand the release of a captive Sheikh in American custody, which the president refuses. Running out of time and options, Gabriel enrolls Fawaz in a quest to stop the kidnappers from killing the American woman and when that fails too, he…

Hitchcock (♦♦♦♦)

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Movie director Alfred Hitchcock was in serious need of a creative challenge after making his movie North by Northwest. The reading of an obscure book titled Psycho-- based on a man with cross-dressing tendencies and serious mommy issues who kills his own mother-- triggers his creative genius…Only the movie studio executives aren’t so keen to the project. Hitchcock comes up with the idea of financing his own movie by mortgaging his house.
Upon wrapping the film and in the cutting process, it is the ideas of his wife Alma y his cutting assistant who incorporate jarring music to the infamous shower scene in which the leading lady gets stabbed to death, that make one of the most memorable scenes in the history of cinema being the success it became.
 Brilliantly acted by Anthony Hopkins in the role of Alfred Hitchcock and Helen Mirren as Alma Hitchcock, Hitchcock the movie is darkly funny, absorbing and a very intimate portrayal about the creative process involved in making movie history. Le…

Anna Karenina, 2012 (♦♦♦)

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Princess Kitty’s hopes of getting married to dashing Count Alexei Vronsky, are dashed when he meets Anna Karenina quite by chance in a train bound to Moscow from St. Petersburg. Anna is traveling to fix her brother’s marriage which has been damaged by his frequent indiscretions. When Count Vronsky encounters Anna a few too many times, a maddening attraction flourishes between the two that threatens their standing in society and ends up tragically as she leaves her husband and is ostracized by members of her social circle.
This 2012 adapted version of Anna Karenina, the novel penned by Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy, is the first one I have ever seen. I haven’t read the source material either so I have only the movie to rely upon. This film version is directed by Joe Wright and starred by Keira Knightley in the role of Anna, Jude Law as Karenin—Anna’s husband--, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Count Vronsky. Also Matthew Macfadyen co-stars as Oblonsky, Anna’s brother.
I must say that though I …