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Three Old Movies I Want to Remember

Because I tend to forget, I post what I want to remember – a handy reference to stimulate my foggy synapses.  From friends who know my penchant for beautiful scenery, period costuming, and thoughtful themes, three movies distracted me from books recently.  I would watch them again – and am noting them here so I can remember.  Have you watched any of them?

Songcatcher – When Dr. Lily McTeer is denied tenure (probably because she is a woman) at an elite East Coast university in the early 1900s, she quits.  Joining her sister at a remote mountain school, she discovers the local culture and the troubadour music that has been passed down through generations.  Determined to preserve the music, she begins to record and write the music into a songbook, but the forces of evil – a mining company – threaten.  Beautiful music, beautiful scenery, and beautiful Aidan Quinn.

Summer Hours – a.k.a. L’heurre d’ete – English subtitles do not distract from this closely woven examination of generations and inheritance. When Helene dies and leaves the house in the French countryside full of valuable art to her three children, they must decide whether to preserve the house, sell, or donate to the Musée d’Orsay.  Memories, secrets, and some sibling rivalry cloud the decision, and offer a perspective on accumulating “stuff.”  Beautiful scenery and Juliette Binoche as a blond.

Cousin Bette -BBC drama based on the novel by Honoré de Balzac.   If you are missing Downton Abbey, this mini-series of “lust, greed, and revenge in  nineteenth century Paris” will sustain you until the new Abbey appears again in January.  Very young Helen Mirren – though not Bette – steals the show.

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