Archive for October, 2012

The name of Francis Ford Coppola is always sufficient to make me want to see the movie. Having directed back in the 70s what are considered to be some of the best films in the history of cinema, Coppola seems to make esoteric choices in the last few years, exploring cinema and geographical territories (Argentina, Romania) a little aside from the main Hollywood track, enrolling international casts (and of course, almost no actor would lose an opportunity to work with him).  Tetro seems to be his best film in the last decade, an American family saga set in South America, a drama that touches the artistic milieu and brings up hidden and murky family ties.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0964185/

 

On the way Coppola does not miss the opportunity to make music, ballet, opera in film. All the characters in the family are in the shade of an oppressive and egocentric father, obsessed with his career of world famous conductor (Klaus Maria Brandauer of whom I never have enough). The elder son (excellent acting from Vincent Gallo) is a playwright and lights director who has his own reasons to stop his artistic career, the younger character (Alden Ehrenreich reminding young Leonardo Di Caprio) starts as a steward apprentice to end as a stage director. Maribel Verdu as the elder brother’s girlfriend completes a triangle of fine acting.

 

(video source TetroFilm)

 

All the action turns around family ties and secrets, around art as a goal in life and as an excuse for bad behavior. I am often complaining about the length of the American films (and not only American) and I will do it again, and again not because of the number of minutes by itself, but because the ten extra-minutes at the end turn the strong family drama into melodrama, and this seemed to me unnecessary.

 

(video source TetroFilm)

 

Here is Coppola speaking about the cinematography signed by the young Romanian cinematographer Mihai Malaimare jr. The black and white colors used for most of the film with the colored flashbacks give a stylish and expressive touch to the viewing experience. Much of the charm and pleasure viewers have from watching this film derives from the camera work.

Below are a few pictures taken this morning during a short tour in Tel Aviv and Yaffo.

 

 

Beit Tamar is the name of the building that stands at the intersection of the streets Chelouche and Shabazi in the Neve Tzedek area of Tel Aviv – restored by somebody who liked a good laugh.

 

 

My profession almost never leaves me, so I learned a new meaning of the acronym WWW ….

 

 

… as well as a new place where open source is being largely used.

 

 

Good news! The rock of Andromeda is in our hands!

 

 

Yes, there is a lighthouse in Yaffo.

 

 

There is also a church at the end of the tunnel …

 

 

… and there is a new and beautiful fountain also (or at least I do not remember having seen it before).

 

Volumasul ‘Istoria universala a infamiei’ are vreo 130 de pagini a caror lectura nu ia mult mai mult decat o ora – dar fiecare minut din acest prea scurt interval este un minut de delectare, care reprezinta si o introducere in scrisul si scrierile lui Jose Luis Borges, prima sa culegere de proza, colectie de fapt a unor episoade publicate in foileton intre 1932 si 1934 si adunate intre copertile unui volum in 1935. Doua decenii mai tarziu, cand Borges capatase deja reputatia unuia dintre cei mai importanti scriitori ai secolului, el va revizui volumul si va adauga inca trei episoade in selectia finala de povestiri. In romaneste traducerea (excelenta) pe care am citit-o apartine Irinei Dogaru si Cristinei Haulica, si a aparut intr-o a doua editie in colectia Top 10+ a Editurii Polirom, 2012.

 

sursa http://www.dol.ro/carti/beletristica/romane-diverse/istoria-universala-a-infamiei---jorge-luis-borges-ypo10601.html

 

Titlul cartii este putin inselator si intentionat senzationalist. El cuprinde deja in el unul dintre efectele umoristice pe care Borges le va folosi in cursul carierei sale scriitoricesti si acum intelegem si sursa – jurnalistica de foileton pe care tanarul scriitor o practica in acea perioada. Departe de a fi universala si eliminand orice pretentie la ordine cronologica, geografica sau de vreun alt fel, este vorba despre o colectie de biografii ale unor personaje istorice a caror trasatura comuna este intr-adevar infamia de caracter, spiritul criminal si destinele de cele mai multe ori tragice, descrise cu uneltele ziaristului sau scriitorului de popularizare istorica cu usoara tenta senzationalista. Pe rand sunt adusi sub ochii cititorului Morell speculantul de sclavi din mlastinile Louisianei, Tom Castro impostorul ce isi revendica mostenirea unei bogate aristocrate londoneze ce isi pierduse fiul, vaduva Ching comandanta a piratilor din marile Chinei, Monk Eastman conducator de banda new-yorkeza, Billy the Kid, maestrul de ceremonii si mincionosul pervers Kosuke no Suke ce cade victima propriei sale cupiditati si profetul mincinos Hakim nascut in deserturile Arabiei inceputurilor de Islam.

Regasim in carte germenii tehnicilor narative pe care Borges le va aduce la perfectiune in volumele ce vor urma – enumerarea savanta, sursele ezoterice in care realul si magicul, autenticul si falsul cu luciu de autentic se amesteca pana la imposibilitatea de a fi discernate unele de altele. In niciun moment nu este cautata profunzimea psihologica, portretele au claritatea imaginilor fotografiate din ziarele vechi. Iata de pilda portretul lui Billy the Kid:  ‘Pe la 1859 omul care, intru teroare si glorie, avea sa fie Billy the Kid s-a nascut intr-o cloaca subterana din New York. Se spune ca l-a zamislit un pintec irlandez obosit, insa a crescut printre negri. In acest haos de duhoare de transpiratie si de par cret, s-a bucurat de avantajul pe care ti-l dau pistruii si parul roscat. Nu-si ascundea orgoliul de a fi alb; mai putem spune despre el ca era sfirijit, salbatic si josnic. La virsta de doisprezece ani a facut parte din sleahta Swamp Angels (Ingerii din Mlastina), zeitati care actionau in locuri fetide. In noptile care miroseau a ceata arsa ieseau din acel labirint pestilential, urmareau cite-un marinar neamt, il culcau la pamint dintr-o singura lovitura de sticla, il lasau in pielea goala si se-ntorceau la mizeria dinainte. Tartorul lor era un negru cu par carunt, Gas Houser Jonas, care-si dobindise faima de otravitor de cai.” (pag. 64)

 

source http://blueeyedennis-siempre.blogspot.co.il/2012/02/jorge-luis-borges-on-learning.html

 

Premizele povestii profetului minicinos Hakin din Merv sunt puse in felul urmator: ‘Daca nu ma insel, izvoarele originale de informare asupra lui Al Moqanna, Profetul Invaluit (sau mai exact, Mascat) din Korasan se reduc la patru: a) excerpte din Istoria califilor conservate de Baladhuri, b) Calauza uriasului sau Cartea lamuririi si a indreptarii, apartinand cronicarului oficial al Abbasizilor, Ibn abi Tair Tarfur, c) codicele arab intitulat Anihilarea rozei, unde sunt combatute ingrozitoarele erezii ale Rozei intunecate sau Rozei ascunse, care constituie cartea canonica a Profetului, d) citeva monede fara efigie dezgropate de inginerul Andrusov cu ocazia unor lucrari efectuate la Calea Ferata Transcaspica. Aceste monede au fost depuse la Cabinetul Numismatic din Teheran si contin distihuri persane ce rezuma sau corecteaza anumite pasaje didn Anihilare. Roza originala s-a pierdut, de vreme ce manuscrisul gasit in 1899 si publicat nu fara usuratate de Morgenlandisches Archiv a fost declarat apcrif de catre Horn, iar apoi de catre Sir Percy Sykes. Faima occidentala a Profetului se datoreaza unui gures poem de Moore, impanat de efuziuni nostalgice si de suspine de conspirator irlandez.’ (pag. 83-84).

In continuarea aceleiasi biografii apare o cosmologie imaginara a carei materie sunt cuvintele, una dintre primele daca nu prima in opera lui Borges: ‘La inceputurile cosmogoniei lui Hakim se afla un Dumnezeu spectral. Aceasta divinitate este, in chip maret, lipsita de origine, de nume si de chip. Este un Dumnezeu imuabil, dar imaginea lui a proiectat noua umbre care, coborind din inaltimea lor la fapta, au inzestrat si prezidat intiiul cer. Din aceasta prima coroana demiurgica s-a infiripat o a doua, tot cu ingeri, cirmuitori si tronuri, iar acestia au zidit mai jos alt cer, care este duplicatul simetric al celui dintii. Acest al doilea conclav s-a vazut reprodus intr-un al treilea si acesta in altul inferior, si asa pina la al nous sute si nouazeci si noualea. Stapinaul cerului ultim este cel care cirmuieste – umbra a umbrelor altor umbre -, iar farima lui de divinitate tinde catre zero.’(pag. 90)

Ultimul sfert al volumui aduce o brusca schimbare de tonalitate cu povestirea la persoana intai intitulata ‘Omul de la coltul strazii rosietice’ un fel de balada a mortii unui raufacator de proportii mult mai putin malefice decat ceilalti eroi ai Istoriei infamiei. Finalul este o colectie de pilde, presupus doar adunate si traduse de autor, dar ca intotdeauna la Borges amestecul de documentar si fictiune este la fel de greu de separat ca si amestecul de realitate si fantastic. Si de fapt nici nu are vreo importanta.

 

I am spending a short vacation traveling all over Israel with old friends from Bucharest. It’s their first visit in Israel, but for me it’s maybe the 20th time I have the joy to be guide to family and friends coming to Israel, to share with them some of the beauties, history, real life here.

I do not have too much time today (I am busy as I am on vacation!) but I would like to share a few snapshots taken in Tzfat (Safed), one of our stops today.

 

 

Safed has a long and troubled history. While a Jewish presence was almost permanent for the last two thousands years, the political and military control over the city changed hands many time in this interval. The last change was in 1948 when the Jewish forces won after fierce fights the battle over the city. In the years that followed the former Mosque Market became the artists district of the city, with many remarkable artists settling here, opening ateliers and galleries.

 

 

This is how the closed Galleries Alley looks today.

 

 

 

From the galleries alley one can access the Yosef Caro synagogue. The original synagogue was built in the 16th century by the famous rabbi who authored Sulkhan Arukh - the book of interpretations of the Halacha written for the Jewish communities in the aftermath of the expulsion from Spain. Destroyed twice by the earthquakes in 1759 and 1837, it is now a beautiful example of the Sephardic style synagogues.

Gustav Klimt was a fascinating character. At a time when all modern art was going through one of the greatest transformations in history Klimt was slightly dislocated, or better said located at the wrong place. The elegant city of Vienna was living its last decades as the capital of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and as much as it has been a center of music and refinement for the previous 150 years, it never was the home of great creation in plastic arts. The revolution was taking place in Paris, with strong resonance in the Netherlands, in Germany and even in Scandinavia. Vienna was adopting a more refined and processed version of the revolution and the art created here was still more targeting to please rather than scandalize les bourgeois.

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0417871/

 

It is not very clear to me what director Raul Ruiz intended to show in this film. It does not seem to be about the artist Klimt, as we get very little feeling about what his art was about, where it came from, how it related to his character or with his environment. We are not even very clear about the character Klimt – we see him involved with a lot of women, trying to be a charmer just to fall under the charms (and mirror games) of the wrong woman (or maybe more than one). We get a mosaic image of the Vienna and Paris before the war, seen from the perspective of the dying Klimt and of his friend Schiele (Nikolai Kimski is excellent) – but overall the exercise seems to be pretentious and empty of content.

 

(video source AntoinedeLuna)

 

Or maybe it was about giving John Malkovich the opportunity to make another great role. He did not need it, and actually for the first time I felt the great actor to be a little bit tired. It was more 20 years after playing another big Austrian artist, and the reason was not only the age.

Twenty years ago Liliana and me visited Paris for the first time in our lives. It was a memorable trip from many respects, and one of the major highlights of that first encounter with the magic city was the exhibition Munch et la France at Musee d’Orsay, one of the most comprehensive exhibitions of Munch’s art ever, focused on the personal relation and artistic synchronicity between Munch and the major artistic movements of his time which were mostly coming from or inspired by Paris.

 

(video source The Munch Museum)

 

Without the need to compare with that exclusive show, the currently open ‘Encounters in Edvard Munch’s Space’ exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art contains a remarkable set of prints which echo many of the major paintings and themes created by Munch during his life. The show is also enriched with works by three Israeli artists (Orit Hofshi, Michal Heiman, Shai Zurim) in dialog with Munch, as well as a few films made by Munch in the late 20s in Germany, while he was experimenting with a camera.

 

source http://fillingspaces.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/edvard-munchs-vampire/

 

Vampire from 1895 focuses on the relation between the two characters hinted by shapes and the striking color of red on the (mostly) black and (some) white surface of the rest of the print.

 

source http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=75905

 

Jealousy dated 1896 is one in a series which combine the psychology and the social commentary which reminds us that Munch and Ibsen belong to the same space and times.

 

source http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/edvard-munch/the-sick-child-ii-1896

 

The malady and death of his sister was an event that influenced strongly Munch emotionally and inspired him into creating a long series of work dealing with loss, absence, death – here is The Sick Child from 1896.

 

source http://twi-ny.com/twiny.04.12.06.html

 

Anxiety (also from 1896) is poignant with the direct and blank stares, reflecting the deepness of the feelings of angst of the humans.

 

source http://www.culch.ie/2009/09/21/edvard-munch-prints-exhibition/

 

There is nothing that needs to be said about this print version of one of the most famous works in the history of art.

 

source http://theibtaurisblog.com/2012/08/06/the-graphic-works-and-prints-of-edvard-munch/

 

Dated 1930 Self-Portrait with a Wine Bottle seems like a glaze back to a life of creation and artistic success built on some of the most troubled feelings, events, relations that the human soul can encounter. It is also a good closing for the exhibition and my short review.

 

The Tel Aviv Museum of Art hosts during these months one of the most interesting exhibition of classical masters paintings that I have seen lately. All His Sons: The Bruegel Dynasty gathers works of Pieter Bruegel the Elder, of his sons Jan Bruegel the Elder and Pieter Bruegel the Younger, and of several of his grand-sons and grand-grand-sons created during a century spreading from the last decades of the 16th century and most of the 17th century. The show is put together with Villa Olmo in Como, Italy and is based on paintings from museums in Viena and Tel Aviv as well as from private collections.

 

source http://www.artcyclopedia.com/artists/bruegel_the_elder_pieter.html

 

Before entering the first of the three halls of the exhibition I recommend studying the genealogy of the artists in the family displayed at the entry. The founder of the dynasty was Pieter Bruegel the Elder whose famous The Babel Tower is reproduced above is present with only a few paintings in the exhibition, and a few more works from his studio or worked in cooperation with other artists. It looks like cooperative work was quite popular in the Low Countries of these times, with different painters taking responsibility of various areas of the painting according to their specific skills and interests.

 

source http://www.livinghistory.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=20809

 

The Peasant Bruegel as he was sometimes called, Pieter Bruegel the Elder specialized in genre paintings that represented the life, habits, daily dealings of commoners of his time – here is one of the best known works in this area – Children’s Games

 

source http://www.midnighteast.com/mag/?p=21967

 

Pieter Breughel the Younger was the inheritor of the style and many of the themes of his father – up to copying works of his father. This is the case of the wonderful The Birdtrap, 1605, whose lovely composition and frozen palette was originally designed by The Elder.

 

source http://www.midnighteast.com/mag/?p=21967

 

Also inspired by a work of his father Pieter Breughel the Younger’s The Outdoor Wedding Dance ca. 1610, is a more free treatment of the same theme, with a diversity of colorful characters that prove that the son was a fine master on his own, deserving all the respect.

 

http://www.midnighteast.com/mag/?p=21967

 

The flowers composition is another genre which was approached by the descendents of Bruegel. Jan Brueghel the Elder and Jan Brueghel the Younger joined forces to create Still Life of Tulips and Roses in a Glass Vase Resting on a Table, dated 1620-21. Jan Brueghel the Elder collaborated also with other painters contributing with his floral compositions – among the artists he worked with the best known was Rubens.

 

source http://www.midnighteast.com/mag/?p=21967

 

Here is another collaboration of his in a different genre – the mythical allegories – Jan Brueghel the Younger and Hendrick van Balen, The Allegory of the Four Elements, ca. 1630-35

 

source http://www.midnighteast.com/mag/?p=21967

 

The latest section in the exhibition show the development of new genres. As the Netherlands became one of the world’s maritime powers illustrations of animals, plants, insects from all over the world became a popular genre. One of the remarkable exponents of the genre was Jan van Kessel the Elder, a grand-grandson of Pieter Bruegel the Elder whose A study of Butterflies and other Insects, 1671 is present in the exhibition.

 

 

 

Aveam 15 ani in aprilie 1968 cand comunicatul Plenarei CC al PCR anunta rezultatele si recomandarile comisiei care anchetase cazul Patrascanu. Pot spune ca imaginea lui Lucretiu Patrascanu, a comunistului cu fata umana, mai liberal si mai independent fata de dogma decat ceilalti parteneri ai sai la aducerea la putere a regimului comunist m-a urmarit pentru o vreme. Abia acum, dupa citirea cartii Laviniei Betea – Lucretiu Patrascanu, Moartea unui lider comunist (editura Curtea Veche, Bucuresti, 2011) realizez ca am fost in oarecare masura si eu o victima a manipularii propagandistice care in anul 1968 il pozitiona pe Nicolae Ceausescu ca pe un ‘reformator’ si opozant al Moscoveri alaturi de de Dubcek, si pe Lucretiu Patrascanu ca pe un precedesor si mentor al sau.

Cartea Laviniei Betea descrie ancheta, procesul si executia lui Lucretiu Patrascanu, care au avut loc intre 1948 si 1954. A fost cea mai lunga ancheta politica din istoria miscarilor comuniste din orice tara a lumii, si nu au lipsit concurentii. Descrierea acestor proceduri de teroare politieneasca si judiciara este prefatata de prezentarea lui Lucretiu Patrascanu – revolutionar de profesie si unul dintre oamenii cu aport real si hotaritor la scoaterea Romaniei din razboiul anti-sovietic si la instaurarea dictaturii comuniste in Romania. Dupa proces si executie este urmarita soarta celorlalti condamnati in proces, anchetele de partid din anii 1965-1968 si reabilitarea lui Patrascanu, pana la aservirea personalitatii sale scopurilor lui Ceausescu si ale acolitilor sai. Scrisa fluent si excelent documentata, cartea se citeste ca un roman politist si lectura este pasionanta desi deznodamantul este cunoscut. Daca lipseste ceva din carte sunt personajele pozitive – toti conducatorii comunisti ai Romaniei sunt descrisi ca venali, lipsiti de scrupule, urmandu-si propriile interese politice si personale si deloc interesati de soarta Romaniei si a romanilor si de urmarile actelor lor politice. In fine, cartea descrie caderea personala a lui Patrascanu de pe cele mai inalte piscuri ale politicii romanesti pana la statutul de detinut, judecat de insusi sistemul de justitie stramba pe care el il construise ca ministru de resort si executat cu un glonte in ceafa de catre calaii numiti de proprii sai tovarasi de lupta. In paralel insa are loc o cadere mai profunda, mai tragica, mai semnificativa in dimensiuni – cea a intregii Romanii in noaptea dictaturii comuniste.

 

sursa http://www.curteaveche.ro

 

Nascut intr-o familie de intelectuali, licentiat in drept, Lucretiu Patrascanu si-a practicat foarte putin meseria si a ales foarte de tanar profesia de revolutionar, dupa modelul conceput de Lenin, manat in special fiind de spiritul de aventura si de ambitia de a parveni si de a-si demonstra superioritatea intelectuala.  Este unul dintre putinii lideri comunisti romani de origine, si cel cu cea mai inalta formatie intelectuala din esaloanele de conducere ale partidului comunist inainte de 1944. Una dintre revelatiile cartii pentru mine a fost informatia ca viitorul pastor si concurent la titlul de ‘cel mai mare roman’ Richard Wurmbrandt a fost si el comunist ilegalist. Iata opinia sa despre Patrascanu: ‘Vedeai in el mereu atitudinea intelectualului lezat de faptul ca nu i se acorda de catre <inculti> cinstea si locul de conducere cuvenit’ (pag. 33). Orgoliul se pare ca a fost una dintre trasaturile de caracter care l-au pierdut in final pe Patrascanu, combinat cu o paradoxala combinatie intre complexul de inferioritate pentru balastul (in viziunea comunista) ‘originii nesanatoase’ si complexul superioritatii sale intelectuale.In niciun moment insa el nu este un opozant al Moscovei, asa cum nu au fost nici altii in ciuda miturilor inventate mai tarziu in perioada Ceausescu. Toti au fost executanti fideli ai liniei Cominternului, care in ciuda oscilatiilor sale cum ar fi cele determinate de alianta lui Stalin cu Germania nazista din perioada 1939-1941, a avut drept constanta opinia ca Romania Mare constituia un conglomerat imperialist, din care mai devreme sau mai tarziu trebuiau retrocedate bucati de teritorii vecinilor, si in special Basarabia Uniunii Sovietice. Belu Zilber, prietenul si mai tarziu unul dintre martorii principali si totodata acuzat in proces scria asa: ‘Unguri si bulgari care doreau despartirea de Romania, muncitori care se vedeau stapani pe uzine, evrei ingroziti de antisemitism, someri fara profesiune definita sau profesionisti mediocri, politicieni nerealizati sau nerealizabili in alte partide, casnice urate sau bovarizate, copii satui de scoala; din aceasta lume se recrutau inainte de razboi activistii de partid’. (pag. 41)

Pasionanta a fost pentru mine lectura capitolelor care descriu pregatirea loviturii de stat de la 23 august, si etapele preluarii treptate a puterii de catre comunisti. Cat de deformata a fost maniera in care am invatat noi aceasta istorie! Ceea ce insa a fost corect inregistrat si in finalul perioadei comuniste a fost rolul important jucat de Lucretiu Patrascanu in acea pregatirea loviturii de palat, dar tot aici se afla si sursele conflictului sau cu restul conducerii de partid, caci o mare parte din tratativele cu alte forte participante la actul de la 23 august si cu reprezentantii aliatilor le face din proprie initiativa. Contributia sa la rasturnarea dictaturii antonesciene este insemnata, dar aceste contacte, si apoi intrarea sa in guvernele de dupa 1944 alaturi de reprezentantii partidelor istorice vor fi folosite mai tarziu ca dovezi in sprijunul unor vinovatii inventate de spionaj si incercare de lovitura de stat anticomunista si rasturnare a cursului istoriei. Un singur episod al perioadei post-belice are o semnificatie reala, cel al discursului de la Cluj din timpul campaniei electorale din 1946, cand Patrascanu afirma ca vine in fata alegatorilor ca roman si apoi in calitate de comunist. Aceste vorbe poate sincere in patriotismul lor erau rostite in febra campaniei electorale, in contextul in care reintregirea completa a Ardealului cu Romania era inca pe masa tratativelor si ele vor fi folosite ca acuzatii de ‘deviatii nationaliste’ in proces, dar si ca motiv de glorificare pentru istoriografia national-comunista din perioada Ceausescu.

Intre 1945 si 1947 Lucretiu Patrascanu a fost una dintre personalitatile comuniste cele mai vizibile. Ministru, reprezentant al Romaniei la Conferinta de Pace de la Paris, autor al catorva carti de istorie recenta a Romaniei, a devenit repede si profesor universitar, functie la care probabil nu ar fi ajuns fara sa fie propulsat politic (era intelectual, dar inca relativ tanar si putin cunoscut in cercurile elitei romanesti). Caderea sa in dizgratie pare a se fi datorat unui concurs de imprejurari in care Patrascanu nu a apreciat just rapiditatea procesului de cadere in dictatura a Romaniei si a optat pentru metode mai blande de tranzitie, si nu a jucat bine cartea aliantelor la nivelul conducerii partidului in care se aflau oamenii de nivel jos pe care ii dispretuia. In acelasi timp nu evita oportunitatea parvenirii asa cum o fac si ceilalti nou imbogatiti: ‘… contrar cutumelor revolutionarilor de profesie Lucretiu Patrascanu devine un om bogat si decide sa dezvolte proprietatea particulara, construindu-si o vila la Snagov.’ (pag. 87)

 

sursa http://jurnalul.ro/ne-am-nascut-in-locul-potrivit/morala-unui-pretins-plagiat-547296.htm

 

Caderea lui Lucretiu Patrascanu se petrece la inceputul anului 1948, incepe prin ne-alegerea sa in Comitetul Central al rebotezatului Partid Muncitoresc Roman, apoi inceperea anchetei, domiciliul fortat, arestarea. Au urmat sase ani de anchete in care in afara de Lucretiu Patrascanu au mai fost implicati zeci de alti acuzati si sute de anchetatori si martori. Inceputul anchetei coincide cu anchetele si procesele similare ce au loc in alte tari cazute sub dominatia sovietica, si o parte din anchete sunt coordonate sau conduse din umbra de consilieri sovietici, dar ultimele etape ale anchetei si procesul insusi au loc dupa moartea lui Stalin, exact in perioada in care incepe sa se simta in Uniunea Sovietica si in alte tari o usoare boare de dezghet politic si de de-stalinizare. Ancheta de la Bucuresti capatase o dinamica a sa, fusesera implicate si transferate responsabilitati de la aparatul de partid la serviciile secrete si apoi la Ministerul de Interne, Securitate si Procuratura. Invinuirile si acuzatiile in marea lor majoritate erau pure inventii iar dovezile erau declaratii smulse cu forta celor care fusesera apropiati politici, prieteni sau membri ai familiei. Pana si in conducerea partidului avusesera loc schimbari radicale la varf, cazusera unul dupa celalalt Ana Pauker, Teohari Georgescu, Vasile Luca – pentru ca in final Gheorge Gheorghiu-Dej sa ramana singurul conducator al partidului din echipa initiala si cel cu puterea de a decide soarta procesului. Decizia a fost validata formal si la Moscova, dar din punct de vedere juridic a fost vorba despre un simulacru care putea avea un singur deznodamant – cel decis de la inceput de cei care doreau inlaturarea pana la lichidarea fizica a periculosului rival din trecut. Lavinia Betea mentioneaza atitudinea demna a lui Patrascanu in timpul procesului si refuzul de a colabora cu simulacrul de justitie la care era supus. Ea mentioneaza in acelasi timp ca nici Patrascanu si nici sotia lui nu au fost supusi torturilor sau altor presiuni fizice excesive, spre deosebire de majoritatea celorlalti acuzati.

Patrascanu si inca unul dintre acuzati au fost condamnati la moarte si executati la scurt timp dupa proces, in 1954. Pentru ceilalalti acuzati au urmat ani grei de temnita, unii fiind eliberati doar la amnistia din 1964, domiciliu fortat, privare de drepturi politice. La scurta vreme dupa venirea la putere in 1965 a lui Nicolae Ceausescu, cazul Patrascanu este redeschis, dar de aceasta data cei anchetati devin anchetatorii. Lavinia Betea face insa clar in capitolul dedicat anchetei care a culminat cu plenara din aprilie 1968 ca nu a fost vorba despre un proces de cautare pana la capat a adevarului, de pedepsire a tuturor celor vinovati si de reabilitare si despagubire a tuturor inocentilor ale caror vieti au fost distruse de aceasta inscenare politica. Ancheta din anii 60 servea interesele noii conduceri cautand sa stabileasca in principal vinovatia lui Gheorghiu Dej si a lui Alexandru Draghici pentru a inlesni inlaturarea ultimilor opozanti interni ai lui Ceausescu din conducerea partidului, in timp ce responsabilitatea altora (cum erau Emil Bodnaras sau Miron Constantinescu) aliati ai lui Ceausescu, a fost trecuta sub tacere. Nici ramura operativa a justitiei si Securitatii nu a fost cercetata prea in amanunt, nimeni nu a fost judecat si pedepsit pentru particparea la o inscenare juridica si o crima politica de asemenea proportii. Coordonatorul anchetei si a depozitiilor folosite la proces si-a trait o viata linistita si mai mult decat onorabila ca profesor universitar la Cluj. Manipularea continua si pe plan propagandistic, din spion si dusman al poporului Patrascanu devine spre sfarsitul anilor 60 un reper de probitate comunista si de verticalitate nationala: ‘Focalizarea pe Patrascanu se face insa in scopul investirii sale cu calitatile propagandistice potrivite etapei comunismului national. Astfel, Patrascanu devine “patriotul luminat”, “comunistul roman” ale carui actiuni sunt restranse in perimetrul confuz al luptei pentru independenta tarii si in slujba clasei muncitoare.; (pag. 434-435)

In cateva randuri Lavinia Betea lasa sa se inteleaga ca cercetarea, documentarea si scrierea acestei carti pasionante nu a fost usoara. S-au deschis in fata ei arhivele la Bucuresti ale anchetei si procesului, dar alte surse de informare cum ar fi arhivele PCUS de la Moscova care ar fi putut lamuri rolul jucat de Kremlin si raporturile adevarate dintre conducatorii sovietici si cei romani din acea perioada au ramas inaccesibile.

Cazul lui Lucretiu Patrascanu ramane emblematic pentru istoria comunismului romanesc si a Romaniei in secolul 20. El ne arata cine au fost oamenii care au pus mana pe putere in Romania si au instaurat dictatura comunista in conditiile create de ocupatia sovietica de dupa razboi si cum a fost aservita justitia scopurilor politice ale conducatorilor. La fel de pasionanta este reflectarea personalitatii lui Lucretiu Patrascanu in media timpului si in lucrarile istoricilor. Istoria istoriei este o parte importanta din istorie. Si in fine este vorba despre o drama personala, cea a revolutionarului de profesie care este invins in razboaiele politice de la varful nomenclaturii si devine victima a sistemului pe care el insusi l-a creat. Scrie ‘criticul D.I. Suchianu, aflat si el in inchisoare in 1951: “Dintre cei nu stiu cate zeci de mii de detinuti ai Securitatii si SSI-ului, nici unul nu-si merita soarta mai just decat dansul. a vrit comunism? Poftim comunism! Sa stie si el ce e aia!”

Was there a real Fiddler on the Roof? This question is being asked by viewers enjoying the well-known musical or the movie inspired by it, or admiring Chagall’s paintings. The historical figure behind the character actually existed, he was was a famous klezmer in shtetls of Russia in the second half of the 19th century and the source of inspiration for a now almost forgotten novel by Shalom Alechem. His name was Stempenyu. The novel tells about the life and adventures of a man whose two passions – for music and for women – marked his whole path in life. It was brought to stage on Broadway in the 1920s and is now being revived on the stage of the Cameri Theater, in an adaptation by Edna Maze (Mazya – I am not sure about the English transcription of her name).

 

source https://www.cameri.co.il/index.php?page_id=2407

 

I did not read the book, but from what I read around the adaptation is pretty free, the authors having preserved most of the characters but focused on the first part of the story and changed the perspective on some regards. The Jewish world and Alechem’s characters come to life naturally and we recognize the prototypes and they all look immediately familiar, they are our family, our grand-grand-parents – the musicians and their nomad life, the book-keeping wife and the scrutinizing mother-in-law, the absent husband focused on his Torah studies neglecting his beautiful wife who strives foe another life, the student attracted by the modern life and socialist ideas and the hopeless orphan girl never daring to put in words her love for him. All become real on stage in a minimal setting, without too much story building, we there is no need – we have already read and heard this story many times.

 

(video source cameritv)

 

The directing idea is to use no live music in a story which is all around and among music (there is a very well played musical score but it’s a recording). Instead of singing the actors at some points dance or use pantomime, and this combination works very well, creating living pictures of life and characters which express their feelings and reactions not only in text but also or mainly in movement. Above all Yehezkiel Lazarov is excellent in the main role, combining his exceptional skills in both acting and dance. Stempenyu is the closest thing we can get to Yidish theater on the Hebrew stage in Israel today, it is realized in a modern and attractive way and is a performance I do recommend.

 

The Adjustment Bureau starts like an election year movie. As we are in 2012 this may be the right time for such films, but it quickly quits that path to go into a direction that I personally find even more interesting and attractive that the life and career of a politician who may be ruined because of intrigues or just because he will follow his own personal instincts and chose love even at the risk of his career. We get these all in the film but also much more, as we can expect from a film based on a short story by Philip K. Dick

 

source http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1385826/

 

The world, we learn pretty soon is not completely run according to hazard. Actually there is a plan, a well organized plan and a quite big bureaucratic system with a well-established hierarchy which makes sure everything happens according to the plan and in extreme situations takes measures to adjust the disturbances.  One of these happens to our heroes – the candidate senator played by Matt Damon meets accidentally and falls for the beautiful and talented ballerina played by Emily Blunt and they do not forget and search each other despite being separated for years and insist on getting together despite the plans of the great institution that was targeting the hero to become a future president, but a bachelor one for some reasons. In the antic tragedy the name of the institution was Destiny, Christianity and other religions call Him God, in this film his name is Chairman, and his clerks have all very handy tablets which can be of help to a lot of things including shortcuts by secret backdoors in traffic-jammed Manhattan (sure, I want one, Apple, please!).

 

(video source movieclips)

 

One does not feel at all that this is a first long feature film for director George Nolfi. However at some point I regretted this not being his second or third film – he has talent in telling a story, skills in directing the actors, if he only had dared going deeper in the direction of the dilemma and confrontation between fate and good will – we would have maybe received an even better movie. But even so The Adjustment Bureay is smart and sensible and better than the average.