I have been back in Cambridge for about a week, following a wonderful time in Montreal, with BK family and a very old friend Eric. Eric is one of the special people I feel very fortunate to have in my life!
Weather was -20, snow, but beautiful sunshine! I decided to walk to the park and sit in the sun until my nose started to feel frozen. Eric is a journalist with the CBC, so when the Quebec Mosque attack happened, he was very involved, but we had time for a lot of discussion about the world and where we fit, or not. We watched a movie, and a special jazz group at a club, (Montalvo Flamenco Jazz Quartette) that Eric has produced a TV spot for his show on French Canadian television.
This is the first year I have seen all the nominees for best picture for the Academy Awards, my comments are as follows;
Arrival – good story, inspiring!
Fences – brilliant, Denzel Washington gets my vote for best actor (powerhouse) I saw it twice!
Lion – shows India in a true, honest way, with the dirt and dust and beauty!
Hell and High Water – lovely, independent film, like watching the old cowboy movie, High Noon!!
Hacksaw Ridge – difficult to watch a movie Mel Gibson made, but well done and very, very gory!
Hidden Figures – happy piece of history, lovely story, important for young women to see!
Manchester by the Sea– powerful and touching piece of moviemaking!
La La Land– I am afraid I don’t get why it got so many nominations. I was very bored, if it wins I will question the awards decisions (well, it just won best picture at the British Film Awards).
Moonlight – very powerful and strong movie! Brad Pitt is one of the Executive Producers (he has been involved in some very special projects and this is certainly one of them).
My vote would be Fences or Lion!
One movie I thought would be in the list was Silence, a Martin Scorsese movie; nearly 3 hours long, extremely intense and powerful movie. The day I saw the movie, I was supposed to meet friends at pub. I called and said I wanted to go home, climb into bed and pull the covers over my head, which is what I did. I had the impression title meant it left the audience in silence.
Back in Cambridge, I had a chat with college medical personnel, one of the students had died, apparently 5 or 6 die every year. The term is just 8 weeks long at a time, but is so very intense, the pressure in school, and, family and community expectations back home can be very difficult to live with. I am told there isn’t any/enough time for fun or forming bonds with other students! Just work, and more work. It is very important that they have staff etc to talk to. Every college has a Porters Lodge, these are the people that control the entrances to the colleges! I feel these Porters have very extremely important roles to play. They can be friends, mentors and counselors. I have even seen a Porter bring out a tool box and fix a student’s bike, dressed in their suit and tie of course!!