Showing posts from July, 2014

Snapshots - #42: Thor: Ragnarok, Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, LBJ

Thor: Ragnarok (2017), (♦♦♦♦½): Thor has saved earth twice by now and has, for the last two years, wandered the universe searching for infinity stones. He hasn't found any. He has, however, become prisoner of an enemy of Asgard, Surtur, who tells Thor that his visions of Asgard engulfed in flames is a premonition of Ragnarok—the destruction of Asgard, which is already in motion. Thor frees himself and arrives at home to find Loki sitting on the throne, passing as Odin, and neglecting his duties to protect the Nine Realms. With Odin's exile, Asgard's enemies have been reassembling, but Odin's death may just free Hela, a goddess against whom neither Thor nor Loki are enough.
It was in Thor: The Dark World where Loki, an antagonist, first threatened to steal the show. He became the villain that Marvel fandom loves to hate. While Loki is at his most charming in this film, the director, with the help of a sparkling screenplay, has very much exploited the great chemistry of t…

The Heist by Daniel Silva (♦♦♦♦)

Gabriel Allon is once again in Venice living a quiet life with Chiara, who is expecting twins. He is a year away from taking control of the Office as director. Gabriel fills his days by restoring a Veronese altarpiece in the Church of San Sebastiano, but once again trouble comes calling when Julian Isherwood is sent by a friend with all expenses paid to Lake Como to the house of a British expatriate turned art smuggler, only to find the man tortured and dead. In exchange for not implicating Julian in a scandal, General Ferrari of the Italian Carabinieri Art Squad (introduced in The Fallen Angel) blackmails Gabriel into searching for a missing Caravaggio stolen in 1969.
And so starts the adventure of a lifetime when Gabriel, following the trail of the deceased, discovers several important things: 1) the man was a former British spy gone rogue, 2) there was a cache of famous paintings in his house at the time of his death, 3) the man was brokering a deal with an anonymous, powerful clien…

Hunting Eichmann by Neal Bascomb (♦♦♦♦♦)

How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi

On May 11, 1960, a core of eight agents of the combined Israeli security agencies Shin Bet and Mossad, kidnapped Adolf Eichmann on his way home from work on Garibaldi Street, a neighborhood in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Ten days later, the prisoner was smuggled out of the country as a crew member of the first El Al flight to ever visit Argentina. The ultimate goal was to prosecute Eichmann in an Israeli court for his war crimes against the Jewish people.
But Eichmann's evasion of justice was fifteen years in the making. In 1945, when it became clear that Germany had lost the war, Eichmann first went to Austria, later returning to Germany where he was taken prisoner twice by the Allies. He managed to escape both times from POW camps because up to that point his role in the extermination of millions of Jews wasn't well known. His role in the Holocaust became public during …

La Ciudad de las Bestias (City of the Beasts) by Isabel Allende (♦♦♦♦)

The Cold family is having problems due to the grave illness affecting the mother/wife. Alexander, the fifteen-year-old son, must travel to New York City to live with his paternal grandmother while his mother endures chemotherapy treatments. Kate, Alexander’s grandmother, and Alexander embark on a trip to the Amazon jungle courtesy of International Geographic, to discover and document the existence of a giant creature known as The Beast.
During the trip Alexander finds a friend in Nadia, the guide’s daughter, and together they unleash the power of magic and their own to help an endangered tribe; also they are forced to grow up by overcoming the trials they encounter along the way.
La Ciudad de las Bestias (City of the Beasts) by Isabel Allende is a passionate narrative for young adults in which reality and fiction, myth and fantasy coexist. The intricate and little known Amazonian jungle and the legendary city of El Dorado are the lush scenarios in which this magnificent and mysterious s…

La Ciudad de las Bestias por Isabel Allende (♦♦♦♦)

La familia Cold está en problemas debido a la grave enfermedad que aqueja a la madre y esposa. Alexander, el hijo mayor de quince años, debe viajar a Nueva York para irse a vivir con su abuela paterna mientras dura el tratamiento de quimioterapia de su madre. Kate, la abuela, y Alexander se embarcan en un viaje fascinante a la selva amazónica cortesía de la revista International Geographic para descubrir y documentar la existencia de una criatura gigante conocida como La Bestia.
Durante la travesía Alexander encuentra una amiga en Nadia, la hija del guía, y juntos descubren el poder de la magia para ayudar a una tribu de la zona, y son obligados a madurar a través de las pruebas que deben superar en su camino.
La Ciudad de las Bestias es un alucinante relato de aventuras para jóvenes donde se confunden la realidad y la ficción, mito y fantasía. La intrincada y poco conocida selva amazónica, los seres que la habitan, así como la legendaria ciudad El Dorado son los suntuosos escenarios de…

Rimas por Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (♦♦♦♦♦)

Esta colección de poesía fue mi primera lectura en ese género, cuando yo tenía once años. Mis posteriores incursiones en la poesía fueron fuertemente influenciadas, en los comienzos, por Bécquer, y aún hoy permanece como uno de mis poetas favoritos junto a Pablo Neruda y Jorge Luis Borges.
Me gustó mucho la Rima X, incorrectamente nombrada IX en esta edición. Es acerca de las extrañas vibraciones en el aire cuando Cupido anda cerca. La Rima XII es mi favorita de todas. Se trata de una joven que tiene los ojos verdes y le gustaría que fuesen de otro color. El poeta trata de convencerla de lo lindos que son, mencionando todos los ejemplos que hay en la naturaleza del color verde. Desafortunadamente, esta rima está incompleta en esta colección.
Porque son, niña, tus ojos
verdes como el mar, te quejas;
verdes los tienen las náyades,
verdes los tuvo Minerva,
y verdes son las pupilas
de las huríes del Profeta.

El verde es gala y ornato
del bosque en la primavera;
entre sus siete colores