“Our Souls at Night”

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Souls_at_Night_(film)

We watched this movie yesterday. Peter and I, we both thought it was a good one.  I read the plot in Wikipedia and it says beautifully in a condensed way everything about the theme of the movie.  I copy here the plot the way I found it in Wikipedia:

“Louis Waters is a widower. One evening he is visited by Addie, a widow who lives next door. She invites him to sometimes sleep over – platonically – talking in bed to combat loneliness. They try it out, and like it. The community finds out, but assume it’s a sexual relationship. After Louis’ coffee shop friends make a joke, Louis walks out mad. Addie’s friend Ruth asks her a few questions. To stop the gossip, the two have Sunday lunch together at a restaurant.

Addie’s son Gene dumps his seven year old child Jamie with her. Louis helps her care for him, sets up his train set and gets Jamie a dog. The boy even sleeps with the elderly couple in a real family setting. After Gene learns of the relationship, he takes Jamie back even though his wife has left him. Louis and Addie go on a trip and get around to having sex.

Addie falls down and ends up in the hospital. Her son wants her to move in with him and Jamie. She decides that family must come first and the couple spend their last night together. Both she and Louis are back to sleeping alone. So Louis sends her the train set and a cell-phone. After getting into bed, she calls him and they start talking as old friends. And the movie ends.”

Cast

. . . . .

“The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 1, 2017.[6] It was released on September 29, 2017 on Netflix streaming. ”

Personally I do like movies that deal with relationships among people, be it romantic relationships or family relationships or important friendships. There is some of all of this in this slow moving movie.

I guess there are all sorts of ways to combat loneliness in old age. It seems to me we are bound to feel lonely without some significant personal contacts. 

 

How to keep Track of Time?

How to keep Track of Time? Yes, how do you do this? Eighty + years of impressions, incidents and experiences, having seen so many different places, having met so many different people. Does it all become a blur in the end?

For young people time often seems to drag on slowly, slowly. But ask any elderly person, the answer is, that time passes awfully quickly. What is a week? A week, well, a week just flies away. I try to recall what we did last week, two weeks ago, three weeks ago, four weeks ago. Four weeks ago? Is it four weeks ago that we stayed in Sydney for a few days for our daughter’s  wedding? Is it two weeks ago that we travelled to Benalla to stay there for a week with our son? What about doctor’s appointments? Did we have three different doctor’s appointments during the past week? Quite so. That is, I met another specialist for the first time last week, and Peter also met another specialist for the first time last week.  Peter also saw his GP, the one that he has been seeing for many years. He was the first one who explained to Peter that according to some test results a ‘tumor’ ought  to be investigated. Some 18 months later he looked at some other test results and concluded that there were some problems with his heart. And so it goes.

On one of Benalla’s Walking Tracks with son Martin

We left Benalla on Monday on the night train from Melbourne, arriving Tuesday morning back home. At 9 am on that day we left again for my doctor’s appointment in Wollongong, going to Wollongong by bus. We both felt rather tired after having spent a night sitting up on the train! Anyway, the following day, Wednesday, Peter saw his GP who is now in Corrimal (not in Dapto anymore). I went along with Peter. The visit at the Corrimal Medical Centre was over quickly. So well before lunchtime Peter drove us to the Leisure Coast fruit shop in Fairy Meadow where we did some serious shopping.

http://lcfruitanddeli.com.au/

Thursday would have been the day for my slow movement exercises here in Dapto. But I felt awfully tired and gave it a miss. I felt that it was really good for me not to have to do anything on that day! Peter however felt on that day well enough  to locally do a bit of shopping  to get the ingredients for a quark cheesecake. And in the afternoon he actually did bake this cake while I was resting in the bedroom. – This cake baking seems to have been a kind of relaxation for  him.

Friday morning Peter found the time to go through the whole house with the vacuum cleaner. Then he went off to Wollongong to see the surgeon who may do a heart bypass operation on him. It turned out,  before he is about to do this, Peter should go for some more scan tests!

I stayed home on Friday. After having done some wiping of the floors, I did get some lunch ready and I  also made preparations for my afternoon visitors. It was my turn to have the four ladies over for our Friday afternoon games of Scrabble and Rummy. Also on Friday, our daughter Monika dropped in at 5,30 after work. Talking to our daughter about a lot of things was a good finish of the day.

And yesterday, Saturday, was a very good day too: Our daughter Caroline and son-in-law Matthew came to visit!

Is it only two more weeks to Easter Sunday? So it is, and I am looking forward to some family visits at Easter time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diane Keaton Movie: Hampstead

Peter and I saw today this Diane Keaton movie about Hampstead. Peter had first to go to the Private Wollongong Hospital for an appointment with his podiatrist who is fitting him some insoles. These insoles might help him with his walking. The podiatrist spent with Peter a bit over an hour. It was already 11,45 when we left the hospital. This left us less than half an hour to make it to the GALA in Warrawong to see the movie. But we were lucky. We still made it on time. This movie was well worth seeing. I am glad we did make it.

 

http://villagecinemas.com.au/movies/hampstead

 

 

“Starring Diane Keaton and Brendan Gleeson, Hampstead is a heartwarming romantic comedy set around the beautiful Hampstead Heath in London, a quiet piece of countryside in a vast metropolis. Living in a lovely old apartment on the edge of the Heath, American widow Emily Walters (Keaton) feels like she is drifting aimlessly through life. Then she meets Donald (Gleeson), who has lived harmoniously on the Heath for 17 years in a ramshackle hut. When property developers attempt to destroy his home, Emily steps up to defend Donald in the escalating battle and soon finds that, despite his gruff exterior, there is something special about this gentle and unconventional man.”

Human Flow review – Ai Weiwei’s urgent look at the scale of the refugee crisis

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/aug/31/human-flow-review-ai-weiwei-refugee-crisis

Gorgeous shots in Greece, Calais and elsewhere, many filmed from drones, create a visual tone poem that proves both epic and highly human

“The international co-productions of the mid-20th century often boasted myriad shooting locations in far-flung places. Who would have guessed the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei would pick up where moguls such as Sam Spiegel left off.

Ai’s new film, Human Flow, while certainly epic in scope, is not exactly meant as entertainment. This is an urgent, deep soak in the current refugee crisis. There has been no dearth of documentaries about this topic, but this one comes closest to understanding the totality of the issue. . . . .”

I copied the above from The Guardian

 

My father, a stranger from North Korea

 

http://www.dw.com/en/my-father-a-stranger-from-north-korea/a-18542325

“Loved, Engaged, Lost” – A documentary that tells the love story between women from former East Germany and North Korean men sent to the former Communist nation for studying. A relationship with painful consequences.

Film Verliebt Verlobt Verloren Die Familie

The eyes of the protagonists in Sung-Hyung Cho’s “Loved, Engaged, Lost” reveal that their roots do not lie in the former German Democratic Republic, at least not entirely. They grew up with their mothers in the ex-Communist nation, but their fathers come from North Korea.

The men were sent to East Germany by the North Korean government during the 1950s – some of them during the Korean War – to attend university and later use their knowledge to re-build their war-torn nation.

During their stay, however, some of the men entered relationships with East German women. But the children born out of these relations did not see their fathers for long, as the men were ordered to return to their homeland in the 1960s, resulting in a break-up of the families.

A documentary film made by Sung-Hyung Cho, which premiered in Germany on June 25, tells the stories of these families and takes a look at their lives. Although there is no precise figure on the number of families affected, the director is aware of 18 such cases. In a DW interview, Sung-Hyung Cho talks about the idea behind the film and her experiences in making it.

Film Verliebt Verlobt Verloren Sung-Hyung ChoSung-Hyung: ‘It wasn’t easy at first to win over the support of the protagonists’

DW: What was the idea behind the film?

Sung-Hyung Cho: The story of Renate Hong was very popular in South Korea. In 2006, her story became the talk of the town after a South Korean historian – who had conducted some research in Jena about the relationship between North Korea and East Germany – met Renate Hong by chance.

She narrated her story, and he propagated it on the Internet. The response was overwhelming. The Koreans were blown away by the sad but beautiful love story.

Most Koreans, myself included, know the story. Moreover, I was greatly interested in knowing and better understanding former East Germany. I also wanted to know more about North Korea, even if only indirectly.

How did you manage to find the films’ protagonists?

DW RECOMMENDS

North Korea says it has been hit by its worst drought in a century, resulting in extensive damage to agriculture. DW speaks to German food aid agency Welthungerhilfe about the situation on the ground. (17.06.2015)

It wasn’t easy at first to win over the support of the protagonists, especially given that this is both a painful subject and an unsolved issue for most of them. It was especially hard for them to reminisce about their past relationships.

As a result, many didn’t want to be reminded of it, let lone talk about it. In addition, they were cautious and distrustful of the media.

However, the fact that I’ve been regularly attending the meetings of these German-Korean families helped me in terms of slowly earning their trust. A couple of years later, they probably asked themselves when this Korean woman would finally shoot the film about them.

Do you know of stories in which children got to meet their fathers and their love for each other stood the test of time?

The Hong family eventually managed to track down the father. Renate and her sons ultimately traveled to North Korea for what turned out to be a very emotional, touching but also peculiar reunion following so many years of separation.

In your view, how do these children, who are now grown-ups, feel about their North Korean fathers?

Just like anywhere else, this depends on the child. What they all have in common is a longing to get to meet their respective fathers or at least learn something about their lives. They are very curious, asking themselves who the man is, what he has achieved and whether he is even alive. But tracking these men down is often extremely difficult.

How do the women mostly remember their former partners?

In different ways. Some decided at some point to distance themselves emotionally and go about their lives as if their partner had died. Others, however, tried to keep the memory alive and to simply come to terms with the situation. And then there are others who decided to actively track them down.

Film Verliebt Verlobt Verloren Das WiedersehenThe story of Renate Hong was very popular in South Korea

To which extent does the children’s Korean background play a role in their daily lives?

Those are their roots. And even though some of these parents remain unknown to them, these roots remain and simply do not disappear. It sometimes plays a bigger role and sometimes a lesser one. But the father’s influence is always reflected in the children’s physical appearance.

Have you yourself tried to track down and contact one of the fathers?

This was mainly done by the children. There are even German-Korean associations to assist in this regard.

Is there a single story that has touched you in a special way?

Each story is extremely touching in its own way, so I can’t just pick one. The story of the Hong family was the first one I ever heard, but then came so many others and each one of them was moving and touching.

Born in South Korea, Sung Hyung Cho is a Germany-based editor and director, known for Full Metal Village (2006), Endstation der Sehnsüchte (2009) and 11 Freundinnen (2013).

Going non-traditional

This is about the movie “My Happy Family”.

NEW DIRECTORS/NEW FILMS 2017 – NANA EKVTIMISHVILI, SIMON GROSS: MY HAPPY FAMILY/CHEMI BEDNIERI OJAKNI (2017)

Peter and I watch quite regularly ‘Der Tag’, that is a program on the Deutsche Welle (DW). Today film director Simon Groß was interviewed on that program. Simon pointed out that he made the above movie together with his wife and that to have a close working relationship with your wife may cause some problems.

In the  movie,. the middle aged school-teacher,  who  lives with her husband in an extended very large family, decides she has to move out and live on her own because ‘she cannot breathe”.

This movie is set in Georgia, ” where the language has a special lilt, and where any festive gathering means people will sing, in a rich, resonant chorus. . . .”

Here is a bit more of what it says in one of the reviews to the movie:

“Manana and Soso live with her family, which she’s sick of (and we can see why). They consist of her querulous and bossy mother (Berta Khapava), her brother, her grandfather, her husband, son Lasha (Giorgi Tabidze) and daughter Nino (Tsisia Qumsashvili) and daughter’s husband, augmented on occasion by aunts, uncles and other relatives, as needed. The big squabbles concern Manana’s decision to move into a cheap apartment on her own, leaving her husband and all the rest, but the squabbles themselves show us why Manana would want to take this liberating step. It’s not that she can’t get along with her husband. She can’t breathe.

Her departure is against the wishes of everyone over 25. But it’s a foregone conclusion we’re aware of from the first scene, when she views a sunny if shabby flat in an unfashionable but quiet neighborhood. The price is right, and the decision is made. The objections confirm its validity. But will Manana stay with this decision? Will the tomatoes she plants on the balcony bear fruit? Stay tuned – though the film ends with a question mark, as it should. The conflicts here depicted between traditional and nuclear families, couples and independence, aren’t easily resolved. . . . .”

http://www.chrisknipp.com/writing/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3592

I am intrigued by the questions that come up because of the movie’s ending. Who knows the answers to all these questions:

Is it better to live in a traditional or in a nuclear family?

Is it better if couples live together or is there some benefit to a couple’s relationship if they each have their own place?

What makes for happy families?

 

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0344144/

 

 

Screenshot 2017-07-15 12.40.13

http://www.simongross.de/