Brother Sun, Sister Moon

I went out to buy some groceries, and then I took the buses out to Jack London Square to see “Ghost in the Shell.”  I didn’t enjoy it much more this second time around, and the strange people came out for the bargain showing.  I hurried back on the bus and browsed through the record store.  I bought a few DVDs from the bargain bin and a CD of Herb Alpert.  Back at home, I watched Franco Zeffirelli’s “Brother Sun, Sister Moon.”  It presented St. Francis of Assisi as a sort of flower child, rejecting material values and causing everyone around him to think that he is crazy.  There are scenes of real beauty, with the fields of flowers, and I thought that Judi Bowker as Clare was engaging.  The songs by Donovan made me think back to Cat Stevens, which made me think about “Harold and Maude” as I watched this film.  Zeffirelli stated that he asked The Beatles to appear in this movie.  That would have strengthened the youth culture connection and made the movie better than “Godspell,” but I didn’t think they would have fit too well with a religious story, especially after John’s infamous comments about Jesus.  Francis is not an interesting character here.  What he has going for him is his youth and his spirit.  I’m not sure that he has much else in the way of thought or anything meaningful to say.  Alec Guinness appears at the end of the film as Pope Innocent.  I couldn’t help thinking that in a few years he would tell Luke to use the Force.  The Pope kisses Francis’ foot, the sight making me wince because Francis’ foot was dirty.  I wanted to like this movie more than I did.  Francis should have been made of something more substantial.  Graham Faulkner would appear in “Priest of Love,” while Judi Bowker would be in “Clash of the Titans.”  Franco Zeffirelli went on to direct “The Champ” and “Endless Love.”  I thought that “Romeo and Juliet” was one of his best films.  Watching “Brother Sun, Sister Moon” on television was better than seeing it in a theatre with a scratchy, dirty print.  Roger Ebert have the movie two stars in his original review.  I would rate it slightly higher.  It didn’t inspire me, but I thought it had good qualities to it.  I think, though, that I would honestly prefer seeing something like “King of Hearts.”  I listened to Robert Hilburn’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Times radio program on KCSN.  He mentioned that it was a pledge week.  He played songs by Neil Young and Bob Dylan, as well as Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Lucinda Williams, Elton John, and Tom Waits.  I saw part of a Columbo episode with Patrick McGoohan and Leslie Nielsen.  Some of the people who died on April 10 include Michael Curtiz (1962), Stuart Sutcliffe (1962), Linda Darnell (1965), Evelyn Waugh (1966), Marjorie Main (1975), Nino Rota (1979), Natalie Schafer (1991), Larry Linville (2000), and Little Eva (2003).  Today is a birthday for Daisy Ridley (25) and John Madden (81).

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