Let’s talk about movies: Gifted (2017) is a real gift for lovers of the good films

December 10, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

Rating: 8.5/10

Directed by: Marc Webb

Written by: Tom Flynn

Genre: Drama

MPAA PG-13 (Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.)

Starring: Mckenna Grace (as Mary Adler), Chris Evans (as Frank Adler), Lindsay Duncan (as Evelyn Adler) and Octavia Spencer (as Roberta Taylor)

Running Time: 101 minutes

After watching Gifted (2017), rather than details about the movie itself, what came to my mind was another thing: The force of habit since it seems that when it comes to movies these days, film critics and wider public have become so accustomed to idiotically “well-prepared films” that they have lost the capacity to differentiate between good and bad films. Gifted (2017) can teach them the difference: A beautiful melody, pleasing to the ear makes us start the movie with happiness and peace. An adorable and toothless seven-year-old child has a talk peppered with subtle jokes and sharp expressions with her uncle and guardian at the same time and things go so funny that we don’t really know if we are in front of a drama or one of those great comedies of Woody Allen like Annie Hall (1977). The rest is history: We know already that Gifted (2017) is like a piece of cake on our birthday.

This movie was made stitch by stitch: Good cast and scenes. Mckenna Grace (Mary Adler), Chris Evans and Lindsay Duncan (Evelyn Adler) performed quite well and Octavia Spencer (Roberta Taylor) will be soon among the current best few actresses who can be seen in Hollywood. When Chris Evans (Frank Adler) and Mckenna Grace were silhouetted (1) by the orange sunset (2) while Mary climbed about Frank’s body (3) and talked about the existence of God, Marck Webb gave a good lesson to young directors on how to use clichés in a creative way by merging them. Something similar happened at the beach, in harmony with the background music of Cat Stevens. Both scenes defined, in my opinion, the quality of the movie in terms of images.

The main dish of this film is, however, the plot. About prodigies, a lot of movies can be found, being the best example Beautiful Mind (2001). But Gifted (2017) does not spin around Mary’s difficulties in adjusting to society because of being gifted, but in the search of balance by her uncle Frank for her subsequent to what happened to his sister (Mary’s mother) and despite his disagreements with his mother (Lindsay Duncan as Evelyn Adler).

Good execution and balance lead to a good movie without the need to bulky budgets or the best actors. Gifted (2017) is a good example of it. Today, when predilection for explosions, missiles, absurd extraterrestrial beings, in short, arrant nonsense, prevails among most people who go to the cinema, those who have another perception of movies as art have in Gifted (2017) a gift.

This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion.

Copyright 2017 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

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From dream to freedom (last part)

December 9, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

(Taken from Real stories told as fiction)

Victor turned his gaze to the ceiling and noticed that all the five fans were hanging from it, right over the rotary table and the employees who were working in the middle of it. Either by a stroke of luck or by a trick of fate, it had turned out that the location of the fans coincided with the place of the lunch boxes he had already prepared and stored. Like before, he only had to double the number again. Then, he waited patiently until the boss were only several meters away from the center of the fans and then, as fast as he put the food inside the boxes every day (and he did it quickly), he began to throw the lunch boxes in the air hitting accurately either the low ceiling or the blades of the fans in their right or left side to his boss’s disgrace and luckily for the others. On that day, braised pork in a tangy tomato sauce and Neapolitan pasta were the main dish. The rest of the story is self-explanatory, I guess, since there was no part of the boss or his adorable suit without stain. The others, like children seeking refuge at the center of the circle, looked with astonishment how the lunch boxes turned into a rain of tomato sauce and pasta after hitting the blades.

Victor took out of his worn-out wallet a sum of money equal to the value of all that lunch boxes he had indirectly thrown at his boss and put it on the table. After that, he took a look at that factory and other workers, and later, he began to move slowly and serenely away that place with his hand into his pockets. Neither in the factory, city nor that country, he was never seen again.

Copyright 2017 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.


Rankings of life expectancy based on death. What a mistake!

December 3, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

We always put the idea of living forever before any other wish. Since it is an impossible human situation, we are content with merely increasing the number of years. It is no coincidence that different international organizations like OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), for example, brings regularly their classic life expectancy rankings using its antithesis, death, as a parameter to calculate people’s longevity. This way of calculation looks perfectly normal, but normal things are not always synonymous with correct and logical. It is life itself what should be taken into consideration, that is, these people’s physical and mental health conditions.

It is not hard to imagine all those people in charge of making those rankings receiving data from different countries and working from the comfort of their desks. Later, they will tell us that Japan leads the world in that field. But, have they ever seen how and where many of those old people who keep Japan in first place are living? Probably not.

To see old Japanese people in a nursing home or hospital is undoubtedly a depressing experience: Bedridden old people who need to be attached to a machine, unable to move or speak and groaning with pain. Since they have lost their motor ability, they are being fed with Racol, for instance, a liquid for tube or oral feeding consisting of semi-digested protein, lipid, carbohydrate, electrolyte, trace elements, and vitamins through a feeding tube, which will let them live in that condition for more than a decade. In the beginning, close relatives will go to visit those sick people every week for an hour. Once they get tired, every three or six months, some of them only once a year or when they get a euphemistic phone call from hospital requiring their presence as soon as possible. The employee in charge to prepare the corpse will move lightly the lips of the deceased pretending that he or she died peacefully. In the crematorium, someone will talk about the “long life” his relative had.

In mathematical terms, his idea might be right, but it has no place in real life since those people are biologically alive and functionally dead. The question then is why does this happen? Reasons have little to do with religion, for example, if we take into consideration that Japanese people usually dedicate on average 20 seconds or so per year to pray on New Year’s Day. Their practical approach leads them to think that what truly matters for them is to cling to life and keep those sick people breathing. Besides, business plays an important role in this situation because each of these people’s breath moves millions of yen every day.

Although to a lesser extent, a lot of long-lived people’s situation in Japan could be similar to other people’s in most developed countries, which means that regarding those world rankings of life expectancy, we need a new approach that takes account of the true nature of the situation and its reality. we hope it will not be the age the person had when died what decides at the end of the day life expectancy, but other factors too, such as up to what age that person could play a productive role and, in the worst case, until what point of his or her life we could have some kind of communication with that person. Otherwise, I think that many people prefer to live only the happy 70 years of a Latin-American rather than the 80 years and something of someone in any rich country of OECD, considering that he or she could spend the extra years that the health insurance and social welfare can provide looking at the white ceiling of a room in a hospital or nursery home or looking through the window the street that someday will take him or her to a cemetery.

This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion.

Copyright 2017 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.


From dream to freedom (penultimate part)

December 2, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

(Taken from Real stories told as fiction)

Evening had fallen, but not the temperature, hence Victor´s sweat. The heat was so unbearable that workers don´t even feel up to saying a single word that could help break the monotony of their job. They just kept working, numbered and perfectly and slowly lined up as white domino pieces, but sweating as wild black horses galloping without any reason. Five fans moved trying to keep up appearances of job security to no avail since the faces and sweat of the workers brought the appalling condition and terrible humidity of that workplace to light.

I used to sing a song that taught me the value of friendship. The chorus said that when a friend is gone, there remains a gap that cannot be filled with the arrival of another friend. Today, I would give even “half of kingdom of paper and dreams” to meet the singer-songwriter and ask him: What if instead of one friend, all of them have gone away? Every day, I go straight to my room after work, almost always at the beginning of a new day and never get a phone call. I turn on my old computer looking of a single message and only find nothing. Over time, I have gotten used to waiting 365 days to be congratulated, words of congratulations that at my age are just a mere reminder of how old I am, similar to the few ones who sent them to me on that day. Nevertheless, I find myself a little bit less forgetful since I do not repeat the same phrases every year as if the copy and paste function of a computer were used.

Víctor closed his eyes trying to imagine what the last chapter of his life would be like in that place, but this time, he kept moving his hands. Few seconds later, he was forced to open them, not because of his boss’s customary yells, but when he heard the sobs of an old man leaving by the factory back gate. After that, he did not want to think anymore. I’d rather say: He could not think anymore because if a woman’s tears usually touch good people, an old man’s sobs are weights that oppress the soul. The rest of the workers remained in silent to a point that only the sound of the plastic containers could be heard. They continued their job, afraid of suffering the same fate as the old man. Only Victor gazed intently into his boss’s face that had shaped a grotesque and ludicrous landscape with its sign of fury and sarcasm at the same time.

When the boss felt the weight of someone’s eyes and had the feeling of being observed, he began to look for that man. The eyes of both gazed at one another. It was then that he went over to Victor enraged as an enclosed bull. This time, Victor was no longer fearing and quaking. He was waiting serenely for his boss with his hands into his pockets. And do not forget this: When a desperate person walks serenely or fear turns into calm, something big is going to happen and on that day, it really did. (TO BE CONTINUED…)

Copyright 2017 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.


Tell me the answer: Where is Devil’s wisdom?

November 29, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

To try to deceive us by making wrong and bad actions look like good, beneficial and, above all, desirable, so that we rush to carry out them.

Copyright 2017 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.


SPAIN: Carles Puigdemont threw stones and hid his hands

November 19, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

During its long history, Spain has seen almost everything: From great artists and writers to a dictator masquerading as a nationalist and friend. What that beautiful country had never imagined was its own democracy teetering on the brink of disaster because of a volatile and unstable politician: Carles Puigdemont.

Since Catalonia began to flirt with the idea of independence, its president, Carles Puigdemont, played the old children’s game where a child threatened several times to hit another child from behind, but didn’t do it until he could catch him off guard and felt safe enough to run away without being caught. The problem here is that a declaration of independence is not a game and it has significant impact on the economic and social life of those who are in Spain and even in Europe.

Curves created by Puigdemont’s indecisive actions with each step he took never allow birth and develop the linear growth that the Catalans needed if they really wanted to make real the full promise coming from their independence ideas. For example, at first, Puigdemont and his group threatened to declare independence unilaterally, but it went no further than these words which, though forceful, are nevertheless only words. Later, when they finally decided to declare it as their last shot, they were unable to sustain it and while the naive and partisans remained in the front line on the battlefield in Catalonia, to defend their failed independence attempt under the risk of ending up in jail as it exactly happened, Puigdemont and his circle left the country when they realized that the President of the Government, Mariano Rajoy, did not look like a dove holding an olive branch with the application of Article 155. The fainthearted are never judged harshly, but mercifully since they behave according to their own weakness, but how should those who roared like a lion and when the moment of truth arrived threateningly, turned out to act like puppies with their tail between their legs be judged?

Participating in the coming elections after having declared Catalonia’s independence is somehow a way to admit that their declaration was only a fairy tales with a sad-and-sorry ending. If political wisdom and sense prevail, the Catalans should not talk about independence again for a long time or perhaps, never again. Those who wove dreams of Catalonia’s independence can prepare the stories they will tell their children or grandchildren about how close they were to become a country and how their political leaders acted. Today, based on what it considers to be Spain´s best interests, this matter should be closed and those who created the political chaos will sooner or later sink into oblivion, except for Carles Puigdemont, of course, whose name will always be remembered in Spain’s history, not as other like Cervantes, Goya or Gaudí, but as the man who threw the stone and hid his hand.

This article was originally published in the digital newspaper World And Opinion.

Copyright 2017 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

Photo: By courtesy of Convergencia Democratic under the criteria of Creative Commons (Flickr).


Tell me the answer: Why is life divided into 24-hour chapters?

November 14, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

To forget all mistakes we made yesterday and start a new day with optimism and from zero.

Copyright 2017 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.