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Cindy Bruchman

Films. Culture. History. Photography. Writing. Let's talk.

Five Shots: Perkinsville Road, AZ

At approximately 5,000 ft., if you drive the dirt road called Perkinsville Road from Jerome, Arizona, and aim north, it follows the mountain ridge providing breathless views of Sycamore Canyon Wilderness with the San Francisco Peaks, Flagstaff, in the distance.

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1. Fifty Miles to Flagstaff
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2. A Road Less Traveled
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3. Red Rocks before the Peaks
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4. San Francisco Peaks
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5. Volcanic Mounds NW of Flagstaff

I had to throw in a grass picture taken down by the Verde River by Tuzigoot. Spring has sprung!

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6. Grass! 

Check out more information about Perkinsville Road HERE.

Which picture do you like best?

Are You Not Entertained?

Here begins a new monthly series of the music, books, and films I’ve watched.

The Best I’ve Heard 

During my life, I have wished several times for Chrissie Hynde‘s voice from The Pretenders. She sounds just as good as she did 30 years ago. Have you seen this London concert? Guitarist James Walbourne is impressive!

I developed a finer appreciation for Willie Nelson‘s songwriting legacy after watching The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for music on a Sunday evening.

WILLIE NELSON GERSHWIN AWARD

What I’ve Read 

I Am Malala:  How the Taliban invaded Pakistan in 2007, and her subsequent shot in the head because she dared to go to school. My students will be reading this soon. Will they appreciate their free education afterwards? We shall see.

SiddharthaThis 1922 slender novel is a jewel. Under the Mango tree by the river, Siddhartha returns to a state of innocence and achieves enlightenment. Hermann Hesse shares the wisdom that speaks to Buddhists, Christians, and non-conformists alike.

BrooklynI didn’t like the prose much and thought it a boring read. Many movie buffs loved the film. This could be one of those rare times when the film is better than the book.

Some of the Movies I’ve Seen 

The Missing (2003) 3/5. If Ron had left out the witch Indian, I would have found it believable.

Thirteen Days (2000) 3/5.  Let’s hope Kevin Costner never attempts a Boston accent again.

The Intern (2015) 2/5. Weak Script. DeNiro is charming, and Anne is pretty and annoying.

The Fog of War (2003) 5/5. An outstanding documentary. A retrospective account from a key player of the events from the 20th century. The Philip Glass score is a bonus.

Until They Sail (1957). 3.5/5. A smoldering love exists between Simmons and Newman? Didn’t work so well for me.

 The Sting (1973) 4.5/5. Paul Newman’s Gondorff hustling Lonnegan in the train car is one fantastic scene.

Let’s talk. 

February’s Lucky 13 Film Club

Only ten days away from February’s topic highlighting three, British period comedies set in the 1930s with strong female protagonists.

Join me and my guest contributor, RUTH  at Flixchatter, as we explore comedic style, costumes, and the relationships within the British class structure.

I revisited Being Julia last night and was impressed by actress Annette Bening’s Oscar nominated performance. It’s smart and entertaining comedy about a stage actress who can’t stop performing after the curtain has set.

All you have to do is pledge to revisit or watch with fresh eyes one or more of the featured films and come back on the 13th of February to share your thoughts. 

See you soon!

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Five Shots: Hazy Shade of Winter

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A winter storm is coming to North Central Arizona, tomorrow in fact. You can see the haze in the air and the sunshine is veiled in gray. Jim, Bear, and I took advantage of 62 degree temps and went hiking out to Sycamore Canyon Wilderness, and we found this gorge.

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Opaque Skies Foreshadow the Snow Storm
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Verde River Through the Gorge

 

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Space to Stretch

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Black and White

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A Wash

Hiking with a breeze and surrounded by space. Is there anything better?  

Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr

 

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Continuing my winter festival celebrating an actor I know too little about…

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison(1957) is a fine, fluffy tale starring Deborah Kerr as Sister Angela, the pretty nun engaged to Christ and stranded alone on a South Pacific island during World War Two. With her expressive face and good sport attitude, she and U.S. Marine Corporal Allison, played by Robert Mitchum are a perfect pair. Directed by John Huston, interior and exterior shots are interesting to watch, such as when the Japanese take over the island, and Mr. Allison is hiding on top of a storage cabinet in the shadows. The camera angles are from Mr. Allison’s point of view and the audience hides along with him looking down waiting for a chance to escape. Externally, the air raid was well done. You can find more details and trivia about the film at TCM site found HERE

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Sister Angela and Mr. Allison find a commonality by recognizing that their vocations are bound by rituals and devotion. Nuns seem to be a thing of the past, and I admire the strength of conviction of Sister Angela as she struggles with her feelings for Mr. Allison and her duty to Christ. Robert Mitchum is charming as the matter-of-fact Marine who succumbs to infatuation. He’s an orphaned boy in a man’s body, lonely and craving for someone to love. Their friendship and classy ending had me smiling for hours. John Huston captures the gorgeous coast line and island fauna of Tobago and Trinidad. Who cares that Mr. Allison had been drifting at sea for who-knows-how-long and arrives at the island with a perfect haircut that never grows throughout the film? The chemistry between Mitchum and Kerr created a feel-good classic for which Kerr was nominated for Best Actress and Huston for Best Adapted Screenplay from another medium. 4/5

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1920s Australian shepherding family, Ida and Paddy Carmody in The Sundowners (1960). A strength of the film is the director Fred Zinnemann‘s capturing of movement, be it the nomadic family, the husbandry of sheep herding, horse racing, or the Australian countryside. It is a beautiful film. Once again, Deborah Kerr is nominated for a Best Actress award. 3.5/5

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Mitchum and Kerr starred in three films together. Which one is your favorite? I have not seen The Grass is Greener (1960). Do you recommend it? Did you see their last television film from the 1980s, Reunion at Fairborough?

Robert Mitchum, Boston Criminal

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The Friends of Eddie Coyle(1973) in all its bleakness showcases Robert Mitchum as a petty Boston criminal who sells firearms to the mob and becomes a pawn as an informer for the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) official, Dave Foley (Richard Jordan). Mitchum is believable as the tired crook surrounded by winter’s dead trees, gray buildings, and slimy characters. Actor Peter Boyle gives the performance of his career as the hit man assigned to bump off Eddie Coyle. Suspense builds at the Boston Bruins hockey arena; the live footage of Bobby Orr and the violence on the ice reflects the cold game unfolding in the stands.

This 1970s crime drama is nothing like Scorsese’s crime drama, The Departed.  There’s no zippy music in the background. No violet shirts or leopard robes worn by an eccentric boss. You’ll visit no classy neighborhoods or experience melodrama in The Friends of Eddie Coyle. This is a gritty world of hit-men, suppliers, and fickle officers of the law. In this dog-eat-dog world, train stations and bowling alley parking lots are the arenas where victims are as valued as a mucus stained handkerchief. 4/5.

Do you prefer the realism here or Scorsese’s colorful, pretty world in The Departed? 

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