Let’s talk about movies: With The death of Stalin (2018) you will die laughing

December 12, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

Rating: 7.4/10

Directed by: Armando Iannucci

Written by: Fabien Nury, Armando Iannucci, David Schneider, Ian Martin, Thierry Robin

Genre: Drama, comedy

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

Starring: Adrian McLoughlin (as Josef Stalin), Steve Buscemi (as Nikita Khrushchev), Simon Russell Beale (as Lavrentiy Beria), Jeffrey Tambor (as Georgy Malenkov), Paddy Considine (as Comrade Andryev)…

Running Time: 107 minutes

These days when modern comedies try to make people laugh based on foul language and outrageous behaviour, The Death of Stalin (2018) comes to remember you the beauty of the fine humor, the different subtle hues that good comedies are made of, and above all, to make you laugh for a while. The Gold Rush (1925), The Great Dictator (1940), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) or Woody Allen with his Hannie Hall (1977) and Manhattan (1979) are among the movies that quickly come to your mind to create some parallelism after watching The Death of Stalin since in this movie, humor comes from subtle things: A simple gesture, a facial expression suggesting something or a simple phrase, in appearance, but with infinite jest and a great deal of ingenuity that will make the audience burst out laughing.

The Death of Stalin (2017) is a scathing political satire about the last days of the Soviet dictator and the struggle for power that his death brought among his close aids. Pay attention to the face of the people around Stalin, the reaction of some of them after knowing that their names were included in the famous Stalin’s list, which was tantamount to saying that they were going to be killed sooner than later. Observe the way they played with Stalin’s coffin or the way they arrived at his place and tried to persuade his daughter. If you don’t laugh after that, you are not human. I tip my hat to the director Armando Iannucci for creating a very simple movie, but filled with a lot of fun.

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

Copyright 2018 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.


A good laugh: A clever escape

December 4, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

Explanatory Note: The following joke is a made-up story by the author with the sole purpose of providing fun for the readers. Therefore, it does not have the slightest intention of making fun of any person who could suffer from mental illness or making fun of any person for his or her religious convictions.

“Hey, Frank, wake up. Everybody is sleeping and the doctor left his car keys on the table. This is our chance to escape from this place”, a madman said to his friend.

“But, how about the engine? They will hear the sound and we will be in trouble.

“Don’t worry about it”, the madman says with a broad smile, “I took it out already and now it’s very quiet!”

Copyright 2018 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

Thought of the day: To give up

November 23, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

It only takes a second to give up. The problem is that the feeling coming after that actions is frequently our everlasting regret.

Copyright 2018 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

Our “brilliant modern scientists” and procrastination

November 17, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

Scientists’ contribution to social and technological development is undeniable and so is the terrible headache that they frequently give us with their constant “discoveries” based on assumptions or questionable results, considering the methods and samples used for this purpose, especially these days, when people tend to publish first and research deeply later. In the sphere of journalism and science, this problem has become a deplorable situation.

According to a study published in a psychological science journal, procrastination, that is, the act of delaying something that you should do, usually because you do not want to do it, has its origin in the brain. Some scientists said that the reasons for procrastination might be associated with people’s tonsils. Those who have large tonsils tend to put things off more than other people do. But, to come to that conclusion, how many people did they observe?

Only 264.

I really miss those days when articles published in a scientific journal were the result of years of hard work and laboratory experiments that brought irrefutable theories or evidence. Today, what it really prevails is the information of a bunch of pseudoscientists, I mean, wage earners who research for money and, therefore, they are forced to publish “desirable answers” as soon as possible. Just to cite an example, browse through the numerous articles that are published on the Internet almost every month about the possible positive effects of wine on human health and you will see how opinions change from one website to another as quickly as a chameleon changes its colour. At the end, we do not really know what to believe.

I am not a scientist and do not write to disprove theories either, but I think that certain forms of behavior can be explained better from a sociological and psychological point of view rather than an anatomical one. Based on those ideas, the cause of procrastination, in my opinion, is more linked to the word need than the word tonsils.

People procrastinate because they do not feel a pressing need that forces them to change their behaviour. That spoiled and pampered boy who live with their parents does not care about the search for employment because every night, when he gets home after having fun with his friends, he knows that dinner will be waiting for him on the table, as a result of his parents’ hard work. Under these favorable circumstances, there is no rush or urgent need, and then, procrastination emerges and reigns. If from today he were alone, without his parents’ protection, without food and shelter, I am sure that he would not wait until tomorrow to look for a job and the word procrastination would not exist in his vocabulary. Ants are not hard workers because they love their job, but because of harsh winters that force them to earnestly work to forage for food and store it during the summer and autumn in order to survive during the cold days that will definitely come. Procrastination linked to tonsils? I am sorry, that’s not for me.

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

Copyright 2018 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

Photo: By courtesy of Joi Ito under the criteria of Creative Commons (Flickr, 11-17-2018).

Argentina: Why are economic crises so repetitive in that country?

November 6, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

A girl, who works at a bakery in Buenos Aires, uses a whiteboard to change the price of all pieces of bread she sells per day because prices change so frequently every week that this method has turned out to be cheaper than price tags. That can explain for itself the most recent economic crisis in Argentina and its inflation level. We are talking about merciless inflation in that nation, only behind countries like South Sudan or Venezuela. Under this unwanted situation, Argentine president, Mauricio Macri, might be wanting to see presidential elections coming in his country faster than ever.

Argentina has been battered so many times by economic problems that rather than several crises, it would be better to call it a prolonged economic crisis with some time to breathe. If you look back the country’s economic history, acute financial distress seems to be always on the top: economic crisis in the late ‘80s, in the nineties, el corralito (economic measures that froze bank accounts and forbade withdrawals from U.S. dollar-denominated accounts (2001-2002) and the present economic woes that is dwindling people’s confidence. Based on those facts, instead of looking for reasons that explain the ongoing crisis, something that will probably be repeated again and again in the future, it is more advisable to try to find the origin of all those economic problems that have plagued this South American country for years. The answer spins around three focal points: The absence of monetary identity, the absence of a sustainable economic model and indebtedness.

Argentinean peso and dollar coexist in that nation, especially in the real state area. When economic woes are looming and there is a mood of growing pessimism among people, they tend to seek shelter in the American currency. To look for the coexistence of these two currencies simultaneously is tantamount to say your prayers and minutes later, to have fun with your neighbour’s wife, that is, to try to live with God and the devil together since the reality of the dollar in that nation doesn’t fit the reality of the country.

Argentina is a huge country, rich in natural resources and with a strong export-oriented agricultural sector. Nevertheless, the country has not reached optimal development due to a lack of innovative technological applications. More than 50% of the country’s export is based agricultural or handmade products, which means a simple export model, subject to “the vagaries” of the economic market.

With a rope around its neck, the country resorts to a new loan with the International Monetary Fund, the biggest one in IMF’s history, 50,000 million dollars. The Government shows the action as absolutely necessary, but in fact, this is like the same movie every Friday night: We don’t want to see it anymore since we all know that the IMF does not borrow money to lose.

Argentina draws two parallel lines: Enormous economic potential and 32% of its population living in poverty. If people in Argentina say goodbye to the American dollar and learn to handle their problems with their own money, avoiding loans, keeping inflation in check and improving the country’s economic model with technology, Argentina could be one the strongest economies in the world. People there know the path already. It’s now a matter of determination to walk on it.

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

Copyright 2018 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

Photo: By courtesy of Juanedc under the criteria of Creative Commons (Flickr, 11-6-2018).

Thought of the day: The end

September 30, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

Never be sad because something came to an end. The end does not exist, it has never existed: It is only the last link of a new beginning.

Copyright 2018 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.

A good laugh: The poetic drunk

September 30, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

Reformed drunk

A man is knocking at the door. When the door opens, he says: “My beloved wife. I’m poetic tonight. Come to my arms and kiss me while the moon shines.”

“Mr. Drew, I think you are dead drunk. First, you don’t live here, but three blocks away and second, your wife is only 28 and I am 69.”

“Vodka, vodka!,” Mr. Drew says, “what a shame! Don’t you know that stale bread and caviar are not the same!!”

Copyright 2018 littlethings4all.wordpress.com. All rights are reserved.