Gone to the ‘Dogs’

I think that I’ve mentioned here and in a few other “spaces” that I’ve been following closely the BBC show “Skins”. The other night, I went to see Danny Boyle’s latest movie, “Slumdog Millionaire”. Danny Boyle was the director of “Trainspotting” and “28 Days Later”, and has a knack for the hard part of storytelling; making it all hit home. Slumdog is a dynamite film, and I feel that I did a disservice to myself in not seeing it the day it was released. It has all the classic elements of a fairytale plot, including lost love, the underdog, rags to riches, lucid moral dilemmas, and good-guys-versus-bad-guys. The veil of the fairytale is not lily-white, however. The attention to detail in the story, the endless squalor, fleeting moments of elation, the brutal situations we are faces with along the journey make the whole story pop and crackle with reality. I haven’t seen a film in years that had its hand on my pulse like this, giving equal treatment to a whole range of emotion and thought. Dev Patel (who plays the part of Anwar in Skins) takes the lead in Slumdog, a story of a kid who made his own way from a blighted area of Mumbai, and in a plucky turn has ended up as a contestant in the Indian version of ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’. As the quiz show breaks for the night, he is arrested under suspicion of cheating because he was doing “too well” on the quiz. I will stop here so that I don’t drop any spoilers.
You should not miss this movie. I found it showing at a theater locally that is known to show mainly “art house” and foreign films. It will definitely go on the want list when it’s out on DVD…. I’ll also be looking for the soundtrack by AR Rahman, and featuring a couple of tracks by M.I.A.

Hallowe’en Treats

I am making a list of things in preparation for next year, and definitely want to keep the torch burning for healthy and organic treats for the random visitors at the door, both cute and ghastly….
But I’d also like to get more into baubles for their treat bag that are more activity-oriented, like maybe some tops or spatial reasoning puzzles… possibly something like these groovy “rainbow vision” glasses. It would be cool at some point to invest in certificates for the kids to get something like a Serving of Ben & Jerry’s (their site is done up pretty cool for the holiday, BTW) or maybe a kid’s meal at Moe’s (the mini-moo is a favorite with my two munchkins)

Once all the kids finally come down from their enriched sugar high and go to bed, you get to choose some samples from their loot bags. Maybe even do some light divination, or just watch some classic movie, like Young Frankenstein if you like comedies (it’s a gold mine of one-liners), or the more serious Dracula (the one Bela Lugosi was born to play), or I’m sure that a local station wherever you are will be airing the original H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds on the radio.

Speaking of Dracula, I caught the end of a show the other night on the History Channel called Bloodlines: The Dracula Family Tree that was really interesting, having to do with a lineage of a family who have all spent a lot of time researching Vlad the Impaler, and examined some peculiar relics from his time, including Dracula’s Castle in Romania. It doesn’t look like it will air again any time soon. I’ll have to set up the ol’ DVR to catch it in its entirety.

We went out of town instead of having a Hallowe’en Party this year, but I found This Page that has a list of 101 tips for trick-or-treat parties, many of which I hadn’t seen before elsewhere. Good stuff for next year.

You could also try to find a small amount of Absinthe depending on local laws in your area. The stuff had been banned in the US and other countries for a couple of generations, but now that it is no longer deemed “addictive and possibly poisonous”, It’s starting to show back up, and is getting a lot of attention… That is, until It becomes entirely illegal to drink any alcohol at all again, of course. I mean, those efforts worked out so well before and all…

In any case, I hope that everyone has a great, fun, safe, hallowe’en, doesn’t ingest enough sugary goo to cause stomach upset, and entertain both yourselves and others with a little holiday dress-up time….