library trove

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1.

My long wait to get season 2 of Portlandia from the library (at least six months) finally came to an end. All of those months I felt like one of those people in line for pancakes during the Brunch Village episode, which was my favorite. I particularly enjoyed the Tim Robbins weird backstreet pirate character. And Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols getting some song lyrics into the dialog. For me, the *idea* behind the sketches in this show are often better than the actual presentation, so I find myself only laughing in retrospect. This episode seemed to get around that problem.

2.

In a completely different direction, I also received Stanley Kubrick’s 1957 Paths of Glory. Kirk Douglas is great, though I wish his character had a flaw or two to round him out. The story is full of misery and injustice. For that reason, I can’t say I really enjoyed it. I cringed at the end when orders came to “return to the front.” A famous scene involves a captured German woman being hauled in front of a group of French soldiers in a bar room. The men are all screaming and it seems like they are right on the edge of perpetrating horrible violence. That’s when the innkeeper tells her to sing, and in a rather corny turn of events, the soldiers gradually begin singing along and some of them are weeping. I read that in real life, as opposed to movie life,  the woman who played this role became Kubrick’s wife. He met her while casting for the film.

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