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A M O V I E R E V I E W Tales of Two Women: Brooklyn and the Piano a p r i l 2 0 1 6 A L I V E E A S T B A Y 39 T R I V I A L MATTERS B E N F E R N A N D E Z CAROLYN HASTINGS As spring splashes its way in, we are encouraged that Baseball is back. How do we exist the rest of the year when there is almost always a Major League game being played in the area? It is well nigh impossible to go to the park every day, but the magic of TV and radio brings it all home to us. What else is there to say? Play ball! 1. Where did the SF Giants play their home games their first two seasons in San Francisco 1958 and 1959? 2. Who played Dizzy Dean in the movie biopic "Pride of St. Louis?" 3. What Broadway musical hit was based on Douglas Wollop's book "The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant?" 4. Sam Malone, the owner of Cheers of TV fame, had been a relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. What was his nickname as a pitcher? 5. Who threw a perfect game for the Oakland A's in 1968? 6. Who wrote the book "Moneyball?" March Answers 1. First base 2. Hattie McDaniel 1939 “Gone with the Wind” 3. Nat King Cole 4. Ralph Ellison 5. Marian Anderson 6. Denzel Washington “Glory” and “Training Day” March Winner: Hanna Ma of Danville WIN $25 ON BEN! The first person to email or mail (no calls please), the correct answers to all of the above questions will win a $25 gift certificate, compliments of Ben! Entries must be received by April 20, 2015. In the event of a tie, the winner will be drawn at random. Please email your answers to info@aliveeastbay.com, or mail to ALIVE, 3200 A Danville Blvd., Ste. 204, Alamo, CA 94507. Prizes are limited to only one winner per household per quarter (every three months). Employees and family members of employees of ALIVE are not eligible. Have you ever watched a film that just stayed with you? One you can’t even decide whether you liked or not? A film so raw it’s makes you—I’m not quite sure of the word I want to use—uneasy? I was browsing through some movies looking for something interesting and I stumbled on a movie that had been recommended to me several years ago. I was actually looking for a “girl” movie to follow my war movie last month. Having no preconceived idea what The Piano was about, I paid my rental fee and dived right in. All I can say is WOW! Firstly, let me make a point: it is a real R. This is due to sexually explicit content. Do not pick this for “family night.” The Piano is a 1993 New Zealand drama about a mute piano player and her daughter. Set during the mid-19th century in a rainy, muddy frontier backwater town on the west coast of New Zealand, it revolves around the piano player’s passion for playing the piano and her efforts to regain her piano after it is sold. The Piano was written and directed by Jane Campion, and stars Holly Hunter, Harvey Keitel, Sam Neill, and Anna Paquin in her first acting roll. The film’s score, by Michael Nyman, is one of the 100 top rated soundtracks in history and Holly Hunter actually performed her own pieces for the film and taught sign language to the cast as well. I’ll come back to The Piano. After a little time had passed and deciding not to review The Piano, I watched Brooklyn which is a current hit. While contemplating the two movies, I was struck with the similarities. I was also amazed at how different two movies could be, east and west, north and south. Brooklyn is a beautifully sweet movie. It’s about a pious female Irish Catholic immigrant who comes to New York City in the 1950s and finds true romance, but must decide whether to return there when a tragedy forces her to return to Ireland for a month to comfort her distraught mother after the death of her only sister. She has to choose between two totally different lives, one where everything is familiar the other where nothing is familiar. Saoirse Ronan, playing Eilis, is the sweet innocent personified. After the initial pain of home-sickness she meets Tony (Emory Cohen), a handsome young Italian plumber who “likes Irish girls.” They fall in love. Brooklyn is a glimpse of post war America; the beauty, optimism and open arms. It must have felt like a level playing field for new beginnings. So, here you have it. The Piano is a little mind bending, exotic and hypnotic. Brooklyn is as sweet and simple, almost as peaceful, as The Piano is agitating. While both are about women moving to a different life in a different world the films are dramatically different. Brooklyn was either nominated or won many awards including Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay. The Piano had five Academy nominations, winning Best Actress for Holly Hunter, Best Supporting Actress for Anna Paquin (2nd youngest at 11 years old) and Best Original Screenplay for Jane Campion. This month you get two to choose from, depending on your taste in films. I will await your comments at chastings@rockcliff.com.


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