says who, madam?

On Saturday of this past weekend, we went to see a taping of Maggie’s favorite radio show, “Says You.” The NPR quiz show features extremely witty people playing word games, guessing word definitions, and other bits of verbal jousting. After a listening to a show, Maggie frequently says that this is what the Algonquin Round Table must have been like. We saw two one-hour shows taped at a fairly packed Town Hall. It’s fun watching entertaining people with quick minds. And in person we get to see the wacky shenanigans that are edited out of the broadcast version.
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Then on Sunday, Scot spent a few of his many SIFF vouchers and we went to the movie, “Madam de…” (1953), aka “The Earrings of Madam de…”, by the famous French director, Max Ophuls. It was a fin de siècle* story about a woman who sells a pair of diamond earrings that her husband gave her. This sale, as well as her affair with a diplomat, result in a series of events that seem like romantic comedy at first but turn tragic before the end. The earrings end up changing hands numerous times and finally come to rest in a Catholic shrine.

*In the course of researching this movie, I learned the phrase “fin de siècle” (end of the century, or turn of the century). My knowledge of French has now moved beyond “oui.” Listening to the soundtrack I also recognized the phrase, “Qu’est-ce que c’est?” (What is it?). Thanks to the Talking Heads song, “Psycho Killer,” of course. This is the sad state of my cultural background. I didn’t read Voltaire, but I saw “Stop Making Sense.”