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Category — Movies + Netflix

The Public Library – Better than Sliced Bread

As I’ve noted elsewhere, I love books. I have lots of books. Last year I nursed a fantasy that I would be able to give away most of my books but I wasn’t able to follow through on that goal. I have been able to use the library to avoid buying as many new books as I used to buy. This year I’ve bought a few comic/graphic novel books and a cook book or two. That’s pretty good. I feel like I’ve built a dam and it’s holding.

I’ve also been intent on dumping cable. For the ten years I was in California, I didn’t have cable. I signed up here and I was able to see everything I hadn’t seen in about 7-9 months. After that, it was the constant irritation of turning on the TV and seeing infomercials on more channels than original programming. Most of the original programming was Law and Order of various flavors. Why pay for a slime ball company like Comcast or any of the others to pipe an endless stream of screaming infomercials into your home? I cut cable to absolute minimum. I’ve bought an antenna to cut them off completely but I haven’t had time to risk my life installing it.

The other thing I did was join Netflix. Netflix is wonderful. I can watch anything at any time and it’s all stuff that I want to watch. Why doesn’t everyone dump cable and sign with Netflix? It’s pure joy.

Finally, I also pick up media from the library and that’s sort of the point to this rant. Our library has a great collection of DVDs and VHS but they charged for them. The fee was $2 which made them more expensive than Netflix. I picked up a VHS tape at the library today and they’ve stopped charging for the older VHS movies. That’s so fantastic. I know several struggling families that can’t afford even basic 15 channel cable that rely upon the library for most of their entertainment. It’s great to live in a city with a library like ours.

If you haven’t visited your library recently, try visiting on-line. You may find a whole world of free just down the street.

September 13, 2008   No Comments

Die Große Stille

From Netflix this week was Die Große Stille or Into Great Silence. It’s a documentary movie about the heartbreakingly beautiful Grande Chartreuse Monastery of the Carthusian Order. This is my favorite monkish order. It’s a one of a kind inside look on the lives of the monks and it won many awards. At the end of the movie, the director comments before the credits about gaining access to the monastery to make the movie. He wrote the order and asked permission. They wrote back and said it was too soon. They said, maybe in 10 years. He heard back from them 16 years after his original request. This saint recommends this film. It’s very interesting. Here’s a clip showing an interview with a very old blind monk:

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Here’s the U.S. trailer for the movie:

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As you might expect, the comments you find about this movie are droolingly praise-full. A few years back I visited a forum for lay people interested in this order of monkishness. And, yes, it was a looney bin. One person in the forum had actually lived in a Carthusian monastery with the intention of becoming a member of the order. He left and is leading a life in the world. His first hand description of life inside the slammer is a little different from the portrait in this movie. To get the full flavor of Carthusian monastic life, you would need smell-O-vision. Personal hygiene was not practiced by many of the monks at the monastery where he lived. So, watch this movie but, as you watch, imagine the smells.

June 29, 2008   No Comments