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Courses, books & movies

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Wednesday, 30 Mar 2022, 11:35

My brain has been itching for something to do recently so I tried out one of the OU's free online courses, Living Without Oil.  I had started it when I was off after my op (which I had forgotten) but I finished it this week.  It was interesting, at some point in the future humanity may have to live without oil and as we have lived without it for many more years than we have had it, I don't really think it will be a problem. Humans have shown themselves to be incredibly creative when needed and are great problem solvers.  The thing is, we could easily cut back our consumption if the will or necessity was there.  All houses could be insulated to a much higher standard than they are at present and there is always the option of ground source heat.  Public transport could easily be improved too with trams and trains.  I'm not losing any sleep over it, we'll adapt when the time comes, I'm sure.

I've now moved on to a Philosophy course, Faking Nature.  I have too much on this year to commit to formal study but I think I may have to do something after the summer, my brain needs it.

I've still been reading a lot too.  2 outstanding reads are; The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and Educated by Tara Westover.  They are both on similar themes, growing up in highly unstable environments, I would recommend reading The Glass Castle first.  You can also watch the movie of it on Netflix, I haven't checked it out yet so I can't comment on what it's like.  

Talking about movies, I ventured out to see the new Mary Poppins this week.  It started off well enough and was in keeping with the original but then it just went on and on, about 25 minutes too long and there was a bit at the end which didn't make sense.  Spoiler Alert!  They were racing to turn back the hands on Big Ben and then Mary Poppins flew up with her umbrella and did it.  I thought, 'well, why didn't you just do that to start with?'  And it's not that I don't enjoy a long movie, I'm actually sitting here at the moment watching one of my all-time favourites, Close Encounters of the Third Kind (today on Channel 5).  I actually have a limited edition Directors cut of this on video so when it's good, the longer the better!  

I've also just finished Jordan B Peterson's 12 Rules for Life, An Antidote to Chaos.  I only recently got to know about Jordan Peterson (again when I was off after the op) by watching videos on Youtube.  I am most definitely a fan and he has transformed my thinking and consequently, my life.  He is every man I wish I'd ever known, I wish there were more like him.  The book was a much more intelligent and spiritual read than I expected and I think listening to him has rekindled the desire in me to get back to study.  I'm now re-reading CJ Jung's Memories, Dreams and Reflections since Jung gets quite a few mentions in it.

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Weddin

Netflix

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Wednesday, 18 Aug 2021, 19:27

The telly was so bad over Christmas with repeats of repeats of stuff that has been on for weeks already, so I succumbed and signed up to Netflix for the free one month trial.  This is the 3rd time I've had the one month trial but the first time I ever used it. 

I binged on Stranger Things, series 1 and 2, on recommendation from my son's girlfriend, and this was worth the monthly fee alone when I get around to paying for it.  Another recommendation was The Sinner which was enjoyable enough but the ending was a bit of a, not sure if it was a surprise or a let down, either way, it didn't end how I expected and with a few tweaks could have been better, more of the religiously demented mother would have been good and made the explanation more believable.  Anyway, it was worth a watch.

Then last night, I thought I would browse the classic movies and found a gem I had been looking at in HMV before Christmas and had put on my list to buy next time in Belfast, Cinema Paradiso (1988).

I had a vague recollection of watching this back in the day and have to say I thoroughly enjoyed watching it again.  It's the story of a young boy who loves movies and the film tracks the friendship between him and Alfredo, the projectionist, in the said Cinema Paradiso over the years.  It had some very beautiful moments and was a joy to watch and made me realise how over- stylised everything has become now in films.  I had the same thought when I watched Close Encounters again recently too.  Both films had good story lines and believable characters even though they are from very different genres but they were character driven not special effects driven, even though Close Encounters featured a lot of special effects.  A lesson for modern filmmakers maybe...

Cinema Paradiso is an Italian film and I remember back in the 80's, Channel 4 used to show foreign language films on a Thursday night and it was here that I watched one of the best films I've ever seen.  It was a Dutch film and the title, which I don't remember in Dutch but it translated in English as In For Treatment.  It was the story of a man who was diagnosed with cancer and it was about his life and treatment and it was the most moving film and I remember how I cried watching it.  The way it was done was so subtle and real, no over-emoting or contrived pathos, just the story of an ordinary man facing his own mortality.  I would love to see it again and I did try to find it online a few years ago but never managed to.  If anyone could ever get me a copy of this film or even let me know where I could get it, you would be a friend for life.

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