Selma

I went out to the office and watched two episodes of “Edward the King.” Hearing about the death of Rod Taylor, I tried to watch “The Time Machine,” but the picture skipped, but I stopped. On Twitter, I saw Robert Hilburn’s reply to my message about Blu-ray discs and DVDs. I bought a ticket for the A’s FanFest and noticed that the ticket said it would be in the Coliseum instead of the Oracle Arena. I waited around a while to see if a student would come to see me. I gave up and went out to buy a sandwich, and then I took the bus over to the Grand Lake Theater. The 4:00 showing of “Selma” attracted a good number of people. I’ve never been to the South, so I wondered what it was really like. The scene with the death of the four girls was filmed in an annoying slow motion that brought to mind Brian De Palma and “Blow Out.” I didn’t know many people in the cast, outside of Oprah Winfrey, Tom Wilkinson, and Tim Roth. The impression Oprah gave me was that she’d aged and gained weight. Tom Wilkinson was Lyndon B. Johnson, but not a convincing one in my eyes. The portrayal was controversial, showing Johnson dragging his feet with inaction on voting rights. I thought that the film did drag along with a lot of talking. I didn’t find the conversion about racism and organizing too interesting. I would say that David Oyelowo was not the most charismatic Martin Luther King. I imagined that it was difficult to cast the part because King was a rare person in American history. You can’t find too many people who are good public speakers. The movie picked up with the first attempt at the march. It was quite chilling because of certain parallels with recent history. The story had another start and stop with the second attempt at the march. Things don’t get fully explained. I got rather restless and impatient with all of this business with the march to Montgomery. Would praying on the bridge make any difference? I wondered what kind of person Mahalia Jackson was. I also wondered whether they used those clear plastic bags as trash bags back then. What kind of a marriage did Coretta and Martin Luther King really have? It seemed like there was quite a bit of trouble. I found it disappointing that King smoked. Did King fear that he and the marchers would get threatened and beaten beyond the bridge? I was imagining a scene that came out of “Easy Rider.” Tim Roth was in “Reservoir Dogs,” and he was George Wallace here. He was a loathsome character in the movie. I couldn’t see how he would run for president and have any expectation of winning. If any of those crackers are still around today, I’d like to know how they feel about their attitude, and being left behind by history. One of the things I liked was seeing the old footage that showed some real people who were there, like Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Harry Belafonte. The audience gave a good response to the movie at the end, making the name as if they were at the opera. It was a good movie overall, but not without flaws. I think it’s hard to make political issues interesting for the movie screen. Verbal debates don’t always come across well. I generally don’t think that symbolic actions are meaningful. I had a lot of questions about what kind of a person Martin Luther King was. I can’t agree with the director’s contention that every interpretation of history is valid. What would this movie have been like if Steven Spielberg had directed it? Maybe he would have done a better job than he did with “The Color Purple.” I feel uneasy about young people going to this movie and thinking they’re seeing what really happened. The events are now fifty years in the past and getting more distant with each passing year. I recommend that people see this movie, even though I wouldn’t rate it as highly as many people out there. As I left the theatre, a woman handed me a flyer about participating in a march at Selma. I don’t know about other people, but I can’t drop everything to go to Alabama. The movie ended at about 6:15, and I got on a bus back towards home, although I stopped at Trader Joe’s for groceries. After I returned home, I saw a Barney Miller episode about a batch of strange brownies. They didn’t show the cops busting the woman who baked them. I watched the Partridge Family episode “This is My Song,” which began with Laurie and Danny absorbed in watching the movie “Moulin Rouge,” while Reuben slept. Laurie seemed to really sing a bit of music from the movie, and there were references to “Born Free,” “Oklahoma,” and Lennon and McCartney. I also watched the NUMB3RS episode “Nine Wives.” A model for cattle in-breeding was supposed to be useful in breaking the case. I guess that Larry was off in space while all this was going on. Charlie and Amita missed a conference at Stanford because of this case. I brought out the Blu-ray disc of “The Birds” to take a look at Rod Taylor. I couldn’t help looking at the crackers in the general store. I felt that I missed Suzanne Pleshette. When I awoke this morning, I saw the news about the terrorists in France meeting their end, although that woman was still on the run. It looked like Vinita Nair was displeased with reporting the Bill Cosby news reports. I annoyingly have to go out to work this morning, but I’ll be able to return before the start of the Seahawks game. Some of the people who died on January 10 include Buffalo Bill (1917), Sinclair Lewis (1951), Gabriela Mistral (1957), Dashiell Hammett (1961), Coco Chanel (1971), Howlin’ Wolf (1976), Richard Boone (1981), and Paul Lynde (1982). Today is a birthday for Pat Benatar (62), George Foreman (66), Donald Fagen (67), and Rod Stewart (70). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment, Elvis Presley in 1956 began a recording session that produced “Heartbreak Hotel.” In 1976, C.W. McCall had the Number One hit, “Convoy.” In 1989, Michael Jackson’s “Moonwalker” video was released. In 2000, Melissa Etheridge revealed that David Crosby was the father of her children.

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