Tuesday, March 02, 2010

More Quick Hits by Duke Altum

Who?? Yeah that's right people, I still pay attention to this blog... I just can't keep pace with my writing fiend brother, who despite an insane schedule and many commitments both professional and domestic, somehow manages to crank out solid stories, essays and web posts... I don't know how the man does it but I'm glad he does, since it's helping to keep the content - well, if not exactly 'fresh' here, at least still edible!!

Anyway, here are some quick thoughts/links/musings I thought I'd share with y'all...
  • Excellent - and surprising, considering the source?!? - Op-Ed on the great work that Christians have been doing around the world to help those in need... hats off to World Vision for leading by example and living out their Gospel calling in the world! (link here)
  • For all you movie fanatics like me - especially those who appreciate films that raise important questions and challenge us to question and attempt to understand our common condition - the excellent blog Arts & Faith has posted their list of the 100 most important films of all time... it is a great list! Reminds me of how much work I have left to do in my film watching... check out the list here!
  • Book/Film Mashup - My thanks to my bro and fellow blogger Mutt for giving me as a gift recently the novella by Rudyard Kipling, The Man Who Would Be King. It's a strange and funny satire of British imperialism, with two ex-officers of the British Army deciding to travel from India into the mountains of Afghanistan, where a remote tribe dwells that they feel they can take advantage of, and in effect become "kings"... what made it an interesting (if not somewhat unsettling) read in this day we're living in is the thought of Afghanistan as the "graveyard of empires," and the futility/absurdity of thinking one can just come in an understand/take over a culture that has been there for some time... anyway, one of my favorite filmmakers John Huston made a film version back in 1975, so I decided to queue that up via NetFlix and take a shot at it... it's not a perfect film by any stretch, but it features two of the most charismatic British actors of their time hamming it up in fine form - Michael Caine and Sean Connery. Any chance to see these two working together on the same screen, especially playing against type in comedic roles, I'd say is worth it... it's a fun, if not completely satisfying, movie. Convincingly shot in North Africa by the capable Huston, who was always up for adapting great books into films (this one, Under the Volcano, The Red Badge of Courage, The Maltese Falcon, Wise Blood... and let's not forget James Joyce's famous story "The Dead," his last film!).
  • Is this quite possibly the greatest action sequence ever filmed?? Many seem to think so... I don't know about that, but it sure is funny as hell to watch!! Here's to Bollywood!?!
  • Fascinating article on a subject I don't think I've ever heard discussed before, by anybody... if you're into world literature and, more specifically, the great fantasy tradition inspired by the likes of Tolkien and Lewis, and carried on by Le Guin and Rowling... then you'll certainly find this to be of some interest. The title alone is intriguing and provocative: "Why There is No Jewish Narnia"... why don't more Jews write fantasy literature?? Some of this guy's answers are surprising... and thought-provoking.

That's all for now... yes these are pretty random postings but some of the links anyway I felt were worth sharing. Hope you enjoy!!

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