Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Il Film nella Città

The Salvadoran and I had the pleasure of seeing a great Italian movie at a
field trip in our Beginning Italian class ITAL1A. The story revolves around a poor Sicilian boy who, after the death of his parents, made a choice to make sacrifices to take care of his little sister and a grandmother. The movie is set in a small coastal town in Italy's southern island of Sicily. The movie has a melodramic tone and, in a lot of ways, unlikely to happen in real life. This reminds me of another good Italian movie entitled 'Ciao, Profesorre'.

Before the feature presentation, the director, Gian Paolo Cugno, spoke briefly to the audience with the help of an interpreter. Che bello! He spoke really fast or at least it seemed that way to my untrained ears. His sentences sounded like a big long Italian word. It was so elegant, it flowed smoothly. Without the interpreter's translation, only the last part of his speech registered perfectly in my brain where he is encouraging anyone who has questions to talk to him after the movie. The Salvadoran kept insisting that he understood 70% of the entire talk.

Coming from almost a similar town as the main character in the movie, I was moved. I also have a soft spot for Foreign movies. The outing was great too since we have not been out a lot these days. We’ve been watching more home movies lately so we could enjoy the house (read as: we’re trying to cut down on entertainment expenses because of the astronomical mortgage!).

The movie was sponsored by the San Francisco Film Society’s New Italian Cinema at the Embarcadero Center. Almost half of the class was there.

The Salvadoran and I typically ask each other the ‘top five’ of this or that. Since 2006 is almost o-v-e-r and I probably won’t see another movie because I will spend most of December outside the States, here’s my list of personal favorites that I’ve seen on the big screen.

  • The Last King of Scotland. I only agreed to see this movie because it was playing at the Century theatres inside the new mall (Bloomies). I heard the place is great – great, comfortable faux leather seats, more leg room, better view, better sound, better popcorn and we get $2 off because we are registered 'students' (at the city college). I was in for a surprise because the movie is very good. The movie is about Idi Amin. I am not at all knowledgeable on African history so I could not attest on how historically accurate the movie is. The entire cast gave a great performance. I hope this movie gets nominated for something.

  • Little Miss Sunshine. This is probably this year’s funniest movie even though I think this is more a dramatic movie than comedy. That’s the good thing about this movie. It wasn’t trying too hard to make people laugh or be sentimental. I remember laughing so hard for a good 15 minutes or so. Great acting too.

  • The Devil Wears Prada. This is in the league of the first ‘Legally Blonde’, at least for me. And that says it all.

  • Superman Returns. I was debating between this and Mission Impossible 3. No, the decision wasn’t based on how good looking the main actors are. You should have seen Tom Cruise in his priestly outfit (just kidding!). I'd have to go with Superman. Afterall, this is ‘the Superman’ movie and I thought it was a good one.

  • Pride and Prejudice. Just like with science fiction, I am a sucker for love stories especially when it is set in an earlier era.

I haven’t seen ‘Click’ yet. I heard a lot of good feedback from my friends about it. I also enjoyed several home movie titles but that is another list (allconsuming.net).


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Pink Martini in the City

I've only seen them perform on T.V. during their telethon on PBS (Public Brodcasting Service) even though I've been a fan since their first album came out. I missed them earlier this year when they performed with the San Francisco Symphony. The tickets went like that, fast! So when the tickets for their November 15 concert went on sale 6 months ago, I was online and ready. Who knows? I was probably the first who bought the tickets. I wasn't going to miss them again.

So just imagine when I made it to The Warfield Memorial with the Salvadoran. I was absolutely looking forward to this. It was a sold out show. Since they are not mainstream , I never thought they will be able to fill the auditorium. I even ran into someone who also works for the card company. And then I got it. Hello? This is San Francisco. They love non-mainstream here! I wonder if the group Everything But The Girl appeals to anyone here? I wonder if anyone in the crowd has heard the music of 2raumwohnung?

Listening to them is like getting a crash course in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French, Japanese, Arabic, Croatian and of course English. If this city speaks more than 10 languages, this band sings in all 10 of them. The band has a lot of sense of humor too so the Salvadoran and I totally enjoyed the show.

Before the concert ended, they played their classical rendition of a Filipino national song Ang Bayan Ko. As in '...ibon mang may layang lumipad...' Ang Bayan Ko. It was near perfection! I was in awe at the same time surprised that I am hearing this being played by a West coast band! During the thunderous applause I suddenly got quiet. I felt a rush of emotion - angry for my country's current state, sad for its people, hopeful for its future.

I felt homesick. I wasn't going to cry. No, not in there. :)

(The third picture is my failed attempt to capture a Pink Martini moment using my camera phone at the Warfield Memorial in San Francisco. So you see, I will never become a believer of camera phones.)


E x c e s s . . .

I saw this video from You Tube. It is from the SF concert on 11/15 and I thought I'd attach it here. Someone from the main floor, which is standing only, obviously took this clip.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Fall Garage Sale in the City

For those of you who are local, i.e. if you live in San Francisco or in the Bay Area, I am having another garage sale. All items are in great condition and the price so affordable.
If you have any questions or if you are interested in any of the items, please send an email to GlenParkGarageSale@yahoo.com.
View more items on sale in http://photos.yahoo.com/glenparkgaragesale.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Yo estaba en el tren esta mañana y estaba pensando que hoy va a ser un día normal. Como siempre. Un día que no lleno de acontecimientos, sin movedad. Como los otros días.

Cuando me senté, ví una persona que tenía un ‘afro’. Ella estaba de pie y estaba a mi izquierda. Me parece que ella se vestió de etiqueta pero yo no estaba seguro si el cabello es verdadero. Lo que es fuera de lo común. Es demasiado... grande. Es muy tupido.

Me hice el desimulado y pretendi no verla.
La miré de reojo de qualquier manera. A veces, me quería reir muchas veces pero no podía.

Y entonces, recuerdé que hoy es el último día de octubre. Por eso, hoy es ‘halloween’. Me falté observar que hay una gitana de mi atras y una banana cerca de mi lado.

Después de me di cuenta esto, sonreí. Sonreí mas.

Me encanta hoy. Me encanta ésta ciudad! Me encantan los ciudadanos!

(La foto fue tomada algunos años pasados en el calle de Castro durante Halloween. Somos no fuimos por alla éste año porque tuvimos una examen en nuestra clase de italiano. Desafortunadamente, la fiesta se convertió violente y diez personas hicieron daño)