The Page Turner by French Director Dercourt

In Uncategorized on February 14, 2010 at 7:20 am


Revenge is a dish best served cold, the old proverb says and it is, indeed, icy in Dercourt’s tale “The Page Turner”. This is the best lover’s revenge film I have seen in a long time. http://movies.nytimes.com/2007/03/23/movies/23page.html

In the vein of Alexander Dumas’ “The Count of Monte Cristo” “The Page Turner” is psychological as well as sensual. The juice flows between the two costars, Catherine Frot and Deborah Francois, followed by betrayal and destruction, set in the world of classical music.

Both Frot and Francois were nominated for Cesars, the French version of the Oscars. The two women are so hot together and play off of each other so well that the director Dercourt says in each frame they are, “like a cage in which two wild animals engage in extraordinary combat.”


Christmas in Volant.. and the wood just kept coming

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2009 at 7:16 am

Christmas was important to dad even though we never saw him. We heard him. Mom and I would be dressing the ham and hear the comforting sound of his axe hit the wood, whack… whack…. wack… then a groan as he lifted the pile and his ski boots padding through the snow toward the house. He’d stop at the door to throw them in and then he was gone. But he died in 1970 and we all missed him, and still do.

My brother would take his place. Fred, and his wife would come in around 1pm and Fred would take off his boots at the front door and carry them in, kiss mom in the kitchen, then put them on again and go out the back door to chop wood for the fireplace. The girls were inside with the pig. The man outback cutting wood. That was before she married Stan.

Stan changed everything and nothing. He was quiet too, assuming his place out back at the wood pile….whack…whack …whack…then the back door would open and the freshly cut wood suddenly appeared. My brother had two children by then and his youngest, Heather, would cling to mom’s legs as she moved from the sink to the stove and back to the sink. When the top half of mother’s body seemed to disappear into the refrigerator, Heather would cry out in delight. “Peek a boo!”

But last Christmas, before mom sold the house, it was different. It was me. Just me. On the phone long distance listening to her words drift in and out of the tiny holes in the ear piece of the mobi, from Volant, PA to Takasaki Japan and back again.

She was nervous about my brother coming through in the snow. They had to drive all the way from Pittsburgh. There was a blizzard warning. The tv screen showed a red tape warning sign at the bottom and beeped loudly in between the verbal warning not to go out in the weather. The nurse had called me before mother got on, explaining the weather situation and mother’s agitation.

“They’ll be coming soon, mother” I assured her. It was already 1:30pm in EST in the U.S. He was only 30 minutes late.
I sat on the futon on the tatami mat floor, with my husband still laying down. It was 2:30 am on the 26th. I turned on the night light, keeping the phone cradled to my neck. It was hard to hear her. She was talking to the nurse in the background. I waited for her to return on the other end. I looked at my husband who was sitting up now, looking at his watch, making a face. ($3.40 a minute in dead silence.) I shrugged. Then her voice came back on strong and clear, almost excited.
“I hear Richard out back.” she giggled.
“Richard?” I asked.
“Your father’s getting the wood ready.”
I sighed.
Father had been dead since 1970.
My brother’s voice came on the phone. I felt relieved. I spoke to my sister-in –law and nieces and nephew. It was Christmas again. And like all the years before, the wood just kept coming.

Mexican Women In Between: The drug Wars and the murders in Juarez

In Uncategorized on December 14, 2009 at 3:50 am

Mexican women are in between the drug wars and the American corporations in Juarez. The women working in these corporations live in abysmal conditions–their homes are small, dirty and located outside of the city, where there are no roads or streetlights; while the corporations are housed in large, white beautiful buildings surrounded by gates with locks. The difference is striking as are the lives of the men who are the management of companies, such as, Maytag, Nike, Nokia and others, and the women and girls who work 12 hour a day shifts.

Who are these women?

How do they live? Since Calderon came into power and drug cartel violence has escalated, the women live in terror. Since Jan of 2009, 4,000 people have been killed in violence in Cuidad, Juarez in Mexico because of the drug violence. On Sept. 13th of this year an armed gunman rushed into a drug clinic and had all the patients line up then he killed them.

In December, at an inter-American Tribunal, it was found that Mexican government violated human rights because they failed to investigate three murders of young women that occured in 2003. However, the three murders that Mexico must pay 200,000 each for are just the tip of the iceberg of all the murders of women in Juarez that have not been investigated. As of this date, hundreds of women have been murdered in Ciudad, Juarez with no real interest or investigation by the government. There have been over 350 women and girls whose bodies were mutilated and dumped.

“It represents hope for thousands of people, of mothers, of desperate family members with nowhere to turn for help, no one to bring them justice,” said Irma Guadalupe Casas, director of Casa Amiga, a Ciudad group inthe city of Juarez that works with the families of the deceased.

At a demonstration in Ciudad Juarez, a member of the activist group Women in Black holds a cross that says, “Not even one more.” Hundreds of women and girls have been killed in the border city since 1993; most of the slayings have not been solved. (Associated Press / November 23, 2009) from the Los Angeles Times.