In one of my classes, I had a student who reminded me of the main character in “Margaret,” who questioned the value of learning geometry.  My response would have been similar to what Matt Damon said to her.  I saw that the Giants were ahead by three runs going into the ninth inning, but by the time I bought a California burrito from La Burrita and arrived home, they had given up the winning run to the Cubs, and their season was over.  I had been watching “Carlos” for the past two days, and I had the third episode left to watch.  It was about the terrorist Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, also known as Carlos the Jackal.  This was the uncut version that ran five and a half hours, and it was somewhat too long, but generally pretty fascinating and involving.  I liked the action and could have done without some of the politics.  Leftists inevitably become boring when allowed to drone on for too long.  Like many stories, this one is better in the beginning.  The older and fatter he gets, the more it feels this all is going to an end.  The man comes to suffer pain in his testicles, which seems meaningful in a symbolic way.  Guns are the precious commodity in the beginning.  There were many times when this story felt similar to “The Godfather.”  Édgar Ramírez played the title character, and he didn’t remind me of Marlon Brando, but he had charisma.  My favorite part was the beginning of the second episode, which showed Carlos and his band invading an OPEC meeting and taking hostages.  It felt like a combination of “Heat” and “Dog Day Afternoon.”  You can help thinking about the terrorism that has occurred since 2001 as you watch this film.  This film follows Carlos from 1973 for twenty-one years, making you wonder how he could run loose for so long.  Some of his group do go to jail.  One of the incidents was a little bit like Sonny Corleone at the toll gate.  How is it that some of these women love Carlos?  They are really warped.  The world changes, as signified by the destruction of the Berlin Wall.  Carlos is one person, and over the long run he can’t change the world too much, and time changes him.  His belly gets larger, and his testicles get worse.  The French got hold of Carlos in August 1994, and he went on trial in December 1997.  Roger Ebert’s review of the movie mentions the prevalence of smoking in the film.  I didn’t take much notice of it, however.  The film’s director was Olivier Assayas, who worked previously on “Summer Hours,” which was another movie I liked.  Assayas has said that his influences are Robert Bresson and Guy Debord.  Assayas in 61 and a mature adult, a quality I sometimes appreciate when I see movie by younger directors.  I read reviews saying that the long version of “Carlos” was riveting for its entire length.  I don’t think that world politics could ever keep me enthralled for five hours.  People who argue politics don’t know when to stop.  I imagine that the long cut is better than any of the shorter cuts.  The OPEC incident is a movie in itself.  “Carlos” was better than just about anything I’ve seen in the theatres this year so far.  When I was done, I watched the sports highlights and decided that I had had enough for the day.  I saw a little bit of Roger Moore on The Dick Cavett Show.  He mentioned something about Guy Hamilton.  Some of the people who died on October 12 include Gene Vincent (1971), Johnny Olson (1985), Jay Ward (1989), John Denver (1997), Wilt Chamberlain (1999), Willie Shoemaker (2003), and Joan Leslie (2015).  Today is a birthday for Hugh Jackman (48).

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