Let´s talk about movies: Green Book (2018) is pure art to be admired

April 17, 2019

By Eddy Montilla

Rating: 8.3/10

Directed by: Peter Farrelly

Written by: Nick Vallelonga, Peter Farrelly and Brian Currie

Genre: Drama, comedy

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

Starring: Viggo Mortensen (as Tony Lip), Mahershala Ali (as Dr. Donald Shirley) and Linda Cardellini (as Dolores)

Running Time: 130 minutes

“A friendship like that between a black man and a white man in the midst of the crisis for racial prejudice in the United States was highly unlikely”, “The information related to Donald Shirley being isolated from both, the black community and his own family is inaccurate”. I have heard these and other unfavorable criticisms about Green Book (2018), but after watching the film, my answer to them is very simple, but irrefutable: you can cover with shadows a small well-lit area, but not the Sun. Green Book (2018) is more than a story between a black classical piano prodigy (Mahershala Ali as Dr. Donald Shirley) and an Italian-American driver (Viggo Mortensen as Tony Lip) and their friendship, it is about a man’s commitment to fighting racism with the keys of his piano and another man who adhered to his cause when he witnessed his suffering. This film brings an almost perfect combination between the dramatic quality of some scenes and humor, something that was decorated with some strokes of action.

We know well Peter Farrelly and his brother for his comedies Dumb and Dumber (1994), There is something about Mary (1998) and others, but what he brought to us this time is something completely different, something that borders on greatness because with Green Book (2018), you will laugh and laugh again by only listening to Tony’s tone, not to mention his witticisms, especially when he’s writing his letters to his wife Dolores (Linda Cardellini). With Green Book, you will also have a lump in your throat after seeing the way he lived despite his talent and money, seeing the times he was brutally beaten and the makeup he used to hide his bruises.

I know that any good director or writer can get to this point. What really makes this film exceptional is the little details behind those general scenes usually made for the general public (the marked contrast between Shirley’s refined style of living and Tony’s earthy language and rough modals), details only reserved for good observers. Do not let pass, for instance, the moment when the car in which they were travelling stopped near a farm. Observe how those people working there looked at Doctor Donald Shirley and his sumptuous attire, the way the stood because scenes like that one turn Green Book into a pearl.

One of the most beautiful part of this movie is the surprising concatenation of events, something that can be savored completely when Donald Shirley and Tony were talking about the classic glass of whisky over the piano of a black pianist at first and what you will find out almost at the end of the film. Things like this one prove that Green Book’s success as the best movie at the 91st Academy Awards was not haphazard, but it was a work that displays expertise, like a beautiful elderly lady in needlework. Green Book is, in short, a crocheted film.

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

Copyright 2019 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

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Mexico: Should King Felipe of Spain and Pope Francis apologize for abuse during the Spanish conquest? No

April 15, 2019

By Eddy Montilla

When we see Latin-American presidents’ stance on political or historical issues, it is not difficult to know why that region has lived between shadows and penumbras for centuries with only few sun’s rays. The most recent example came when Mexican President Manuel López Obrador sent a letter to King Felipe VI of Spain and Pope Francis asking them to apologize for abuse during the Spanish conquest. With the benefit of the doubt at his favor, his action might indicate the presence of good intentions, but the way he tried to carry it out shows a lack of historical awareness and, above all, a lack of political tact.

Any student who has had a good history teacher knows that past events cannot be judged with our contemporary eyes since we are talking about different historical contexts and society’s levels of development. Atrocities and other actions done in the past are considered as barbarian acts today because we have grown enough as society to understand and reflect about it. Our society needed time to reach maturity on technology and social issues and that’s why we did not begin with a plane from the first moment, but with the invention of the wheel. Just 150 years ago or less, in many Western societies, a man had a wife and another woman, that is, two women living in different houses, whose children knew each other and got along well while their mothers never talked each other, perhaps, until his death. If we are talking about something that happened just 150 years ago, how does President Obrador pretend to judge in the way he did something that happened more than half a millennium ago?

Neither the King Felipe VI nor Pope Francis can be forced to say sorry for something that they did not witness or did not order to be done. Besides, President Obrador, the act of forgiveness should not be imposed, but it should willingly come from the heart of those who viciously have done wrong things. In any case, if the expression “We are sorry” should be said to some country in the American continent, those words should be for The Dominican Republic rather than Mexico since in South America and Central America there are, somehow, native people to this day while in the Dominican Republic all native people died and were killed when Christopher Columbus went to that Caribbean island.

Spain exploited its colonies during a period of time when the barbarity of such attacks was considered to be normal (France, Italy, Portugal and the United Kingdom did the same almost to the same extent), but Spain has also helped for decades Latin American countries and today, hundreds of thousands of people from that region live in Spain from where they provide economic support for their families. I am not defending Spain or what that country did in the past. I am just trying to be fair.

If in Mexico, the president Obrador and others insist on demanding apologies, all Mexican presidents that Mexico has had in the last decades (including President Obrador) should be on the front line to be the first ones to say “I´m deeply sorry”, considering the outbreak of violence and those thousands of Mexicans who have been killed at the hands of Mexican drug cartels: They had done nothing to solve that problem. Trying to escape from poverty, nobody can put exact figures on how many Mexicans have left their bones in the desert in their attempt to cross the border and go to the United States, looking for a better a life.

Finally, President Obrador does not seem to understand that politics and religion have traditionally walked along hand in hand. In a country well known for being fervently catholic, it is not wise to write a polemic letter against the Pope. It would be better for him if he did not touch that key (to go against the Pope), otherwise, his days as president could be a real nightmare.

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

Copyright 2019 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

Photo: By courtesy of Bradley Web under the criteria of Creative Commons (Flickr, 4-16-2019).


FRANCE: Macron’s mistakes and his last chance

April 3, 2019

By Eddy Montilla

When Emmanuel Macron became the 25th president of France in 2017, rather than fresh air, a lot people in that country began to breathe rays of hope because the two former presidents, François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy were known for their women episodes better than for their accolades as head of state, an area in which they both waltzed very well with mediocrity. In political and private matters, Macron did not seem to belong to that group, first, because not a lot of men marry their former high school teacher, a lady who is 24 years older than him, and second, thanks to his academic background and skyrocketing political career: At 39, he became the youngest President in French history and the youngest French head of state since Napoleon. Yes, Macron’s choice as president was for many a good reason to celebrate with a good bottle of chateau or bourdeaux as he represented for them the exit from the country’s economic stagnation. Nevertheless, two years later, France is still inside the same dark tunnel and its president has lost his glamour because of his recent mistakes.

After the “yellow vest” movement emerged violently in France in November 2018, claiming for a better life, but also destroying private properties and wreaking havoc in different cities in protest against the rise of fuel and food prices and the government’s tax reforms, president Macron made the terrible mistake of retreating first on fuel tax hikes to quell French protest and announcing later palliative measures. In politics, a president should never be swayed by political pressures because once you show your weak side, your opponent will keep hitting that part until seeing you falling apart. The right thing for him was his second idea (palliative measures) instead of retreating his austerity economic plan. Now, he will never be able to come up with new plans or reforms without facing in the streets the “yellow vest” protesters.

Lucky for the French president, any violent leaderless group can find supporters for some period of time, but sooner or later, it will begin to weaken or to die. The number of “yellow vest” protesters has recently been dwindling and, according to some opinion polls, it seems that people in France are giving their president a second chance. Compared to many other French politicians, president Macron is still young and somehow inexperienced on how to handle political things under pressure. However, from now on, he should move his pieces on the political chessboard firmly because I do not think that he will be lucky enough to receive a second chance.

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

Copyright 2019 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

Photo: By courtesy of LEWEB under the criteria of Creative Commons (Flickr, 4-4-2019).


Let´s talk about movies: The Favourite (2018) is not one of my favourites

April 2, 2019

By Eddy Montilla

Rating: 6.5/10

Directed by: Yorgos Lanthimos

Written by: Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara

Genre: Drama

MPAA: R (Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.)

Starring: Olivia Colman (as the queen Anne), Emma Stone (as Abigail Masham) and Rachel Weisz (as Lady Sarah)

Running Time: 120 minutes

Despite its 10 Oscar nominations, The Favourite (2018) is some kind of unrequited love, something like “the way it could have gone, but it didn’t”. This anecdote will give you a clear perspective on what I’m trying to say. When I was a university student, during a writing class, a girl read proudly her job to the class, paragraphs filled with a lot of statistical data on worldwide infant mortality. My professor took the paper, went to the blackboard and divided the number of children who died per year into 12, then into 30, then into 24, and finally, into 60 until getting the exact figure about how many children were dying per minute in the world at that time. Then, N. G. said to us: “If you lose the essence of a statement, you lose everything. This is the essence and all you could add later should spin around this point.”

Without in any way underrating the quality of the film, it does not take more than ten minutes to see why The Favourite (2018) cannot be part of those movies that have become a classic through the years since the plot is all about the fierce rivalry between Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) and Abigail Masham (Emma Stone) over the seizure of power and the search of Queen Anne’s favouritism. Abigail came later to the world of power, but learned faster than Lady Sarah (observe the different scenes when both ladies are shooting at birds). With her cunning plans, she was gradually taking all the power for herself and putting Lady Sarah behind until she was finally consigned to oblivion even though that required to satisfy the lesbian desire of Her Majesty.

Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara wrote an original script and they undoubtedly did a good job. The wardrobe in the movie and its atmosphere were great too, and without being affected by the fact of finding this film praiseworthy, the truth is that The Favourite (2018) is far from being one of my favourites, a movie that I want to see again and again because “I dread to think” how great this film could have been if they had been able to find the real essence of that moment in history that they were writing about: the way the queen of Great Britain and Ireland (Anne), who was also the last Stuart monarch, managed to rule despite her intellectual limitations and chronic ill health. And the most important idea: how many women do you know who have been pregnant 18 times in less than 17 years (between 1683 and 1700) and despite that, they have not had a single child who could survive beyond his or her childhood? To be honest, I only know the queen Anne’s case. That should have been the real plot of that movie. They were just sitting on a gold mine and only stood up to go straight past.

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

Copyright 2019 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.


Five steps to avoid procrastination and do things you do not want to do, but have to

February 22, 2019

By Eddy Montilla.

“I don’t want to do that, definitely!” is something that we hear or say very often. She doesn’t want to do the dishes, he doesn’t want to study, the children don’t want to go to school and you don’t want to go to work. These different examples have, however, something in common: You have to do your respective tasks even though you do not want to. This makes you feel terrible and leads you to procrastination and failure too. Let’s see how we can cope with it.

Step 1: Think about the end rather than the beginning

A pile or dirty dishes in the sink or hundreds of documents to read are not a pleasant call to action. From the sofa, the kitchen looks further, so does the power button of your computer. Things look gloomier because we cannot see beyond the problem that we have in front of us. Instead of tormenting yourself by thinking on things that you do not want to do, think about how happy you will be once the task comes to an end. “I don’t want to do it” discourages, but I’ll finish it soon!” makes you work with enthusiasm.

To read this topic completely and more interesting topics that will help you to solve your problems in life, it is available in Amazon the electronic book STEP BY STEP: Simple solutions to everyday problems. For further information, clic on STEP BY STEP: Simple solutions to everyday problems.

Copyright 2019 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.


Four steps to overcome the death of a loved one

February 20, 2019

By Eddy Montilla.

JESUS

Death is the most baffling thing in life despite people’s attempt to conceal it with humorous eulogies as you can see in USA when a famous person dies or with long ritualistic ceremonies as it happens in Japan, for example. The truth is that, after all those things, what is left is the grief of losing a loved one. Let’s see how we can make those moments less painful.

Step 1: Don’t think about his (her) absence, but his (her) presence

When someone dies, your heart and mind go to the fact that you will never see that person again, which increases your sorrow. This thought is logical and understandable, but death is something that goes beyond our logic and that makes it necessary to adopt a different approach. Instead of thinking that he or she will never be at your side, think about the beautiful years you spent together. The idea of being present in your mind reduces the feeling of sadness for being absent.

To read this topic completely and more interesting topics that will help you to solve your problems in life, it is available in Amazon the electronic book STEP BY STEP: Simple solutions to everyday problems. For further information, clic on STEP BY STEP: Simple solutions to everyday problems.

Copyright 2019 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.


Talk to me, tell me something

February 19, 2019

By Eddy Montilla

To read this and other astonishing stories that will keep you fascinated, it is available in Amazon the book Real stories told as fiction. For further information, go to the section Real stories told as fiction.

Copyrights 2019 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.