Io sono Li

I went out to see “Arrival” again before I had to go to my class.  The second lecture was somewhat better than the first.  I was relieved that the first week of classes was over for me.  I went over to the record store before it closed, and I bought a used copy of the Blu-ray edition of “The Last Waltz.”  I bought a slice of pizza, and then I went home to watch the special program about Mary Tyler Moore on CBS.  Gayle King got Oprah Winfrey to talk for a long time about herself.  I then watched the DVD of “Shun Li and the Poet.”  It showed a Chinese woman working off a debt working as a bartender.  She is in Italy, in a town called Chioggia, and the bar is the hangout of fishermen, including an old man named Bepi, known as The Poet.  The two become friends, but rumors threaten Shun Li’s situation.  It was one of those stories that was quiet and gentle, possibly a bit too much.  Some of the locals have strange ideas about the Chinese, and Shun Li couldn’t blend in with the crowd.  There was not the quality of the Cheers cast in this movie.  Bepi could have been played by Phillipe Noiret if the story had been set in France.  The small town atmosphere wasn’t quite like “Ryan’s Daughter” or “The Family Way,” but I don’t think I’d like to live in such a place.  This story actually made me think about what America under Trump is going to be like.  There was a reference to Obama in the dialogue.  This was a pretty good little movie.  It wasn’t a love story like “Harold and Maude,” even though it was somewhat out of the ordinary.  It was an old man and a young woman.  The ending was sad, and the last images reminded me of the ending of “Captain Fantastic.”  I think that the people who saw this movie probably wanted it to end differently.  Zhao Tao was Shun Li, and Rade Sherbedgia was Bepi.  The director was Andrea Segre.  A woman at the library recommended this movie to me.  I thought that her standards were not the same as mine, although I did like the movie on the whole.  I tried to think of the last Italian movie that I really liked.  There is something to be said for the showmanship of directors like Fellini and even Pasolini.  I fell asleep and awoke to see Family Feud on the TV.  I groaned at some of the bad answers the contestants gave.  They presented Richard Dawson with all sorts of gifts that would have cluttered his home if he kept them.  The news about the wall Donald Trump wants to build reminded me of last weekend’s episode of “The Quest,” which had Don Meredith and his Texas Rangers storming across the border into Mexico to get to a bad guy.  Some of the people who died on January 28 include William Butler Yeats (1939), John Banner (1973), Jerry Siegel (1996), and Astrid Lindgren (2002).  Today is a birthday for Sarah McLachlan (49) and Alan Alda (81).

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