Angel's Herald: March 2008

Movie Year: Cholera, Starbucks, Hachiko, Waris

Posted by: Angelicum on Thursday, March 27, 2008
2008 is movie year for me, it started with my fingers crossed on who will lead the award season (it all went perfectly for me), considering the magnificent movies of 2007 in which are fortunately shown in the Philippines on the latter part of the year (Le Vie en Rose) up until February (There Will Be Blood, Sweeney Todd). Some if I'm not mistaken were not even shown locally (Elizabeth: The Golden Age), in which instances I have to thank my friends abroad for providing me the DVD, and in desperate cases I have to forcefully thank uTorrent.

Love in the Time of Cholera

Actually, I was quite disappointed as I type this entry, I felt so late, 'uncool,' and betrayed no one ever mentioned me that one of my favorite love story was adapted on screen, "Love in the Time of Cholera" written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, my ultimate favorite (his "One Hundred Years of Solitude" is for me the best book of all time).

Adding insult to injury, Javier Bardem, my Oscar bet for Supporting Actor (for 'No Country for Old Men,' he won) played Florentino Ariza. Even more, it was directed by Mike Newell (Monalisa Smile, Goblet of Fire), another favorite. Here's an IMDB Plot Synopsis:

A chronicle which takes in the fifty-year period straddling the 19th and 20th centuries. We are privy to the feelings of the central character, Fiorentino Ariza. He cannot help staring at the lovely but shy Fermina Daza The film is framed by the accidental death from a fall out of a mango tree by the 80-year-old Dr. Juvenal Urbino (Benjamin Bratt), married for a half century to the 72-year-old Fermina Daza Visited on the day of the funeral by Florentino Ariza she is enraged at the gall of a man who professes his lifetime love for her, at which point director Newell flashes back to the early courtship and proceeds through some fifty-two years of their lives.

Cholera was shown in the US November 2007, I hope it will be released here soon. Not a fat chance though.

Other movies I'm excited to watch this year are very close to my heart, either way back in time or just recently.

How Starbucks Saved My Life

Last year I was given a book by a friend as a birthday gift and read it overnight. "How Starbucks Saved My Life" by Michael Gates Gill, an autobiography written so simply and realistic you can see yourself on it at some point.

Hachiko: A Dog's Story

Speaking of sorts close to my heart, dogs. Last month, I blogged about our dear 'Chow' having to cross the rainbow bridge due to old age.

Growing up in company of dogs, tens/hundreds of them, its been in our nature to treat them as people. When we were choosing back then on what breed to take as a pet, Akita Inu is one of the many breeds we lay down as an option. We ended up with Chow, a Chow Chow (siyempre lol). But further years found ourselves in company of many other breeds, I myself gained invaluable insights and knowledge on raising dogs. I was particularly humbled by Hachikō's Story (Dog Fancy Magazine 1998), the dog who waited for his master Ueno's return on a train station in Tokyo for ten years, not knowing Ueno died since.

In 1924, Hachikō was brought to Tokyo by his owner, Hidesamurō Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo. During his owner's life, Hachikō saw him off from the front door and greeted him at the end of the day at the nearby Shibuya Station. Even after Ueno's death in May 1925, Hachikō returned every day to the station to wait for him, and did so for the next 10 years. Hachikō became a national sensation. His faithfulness to his master's memory impressed the people of Japan as a spirit of family loyalty all should strive to achieve. Teachers and parents used Hachikō's vigil as an example for children to follow. -Wikipedia

So it is my utmost joy hearing that his story will be adapted for screenplay. I am hoping though that the film won't be too 'Americanzed', Professor Ueno will be portrayed by Richard Gere (err). Production began September 2007, financed by Inferno Entertainment. "Gere will play a college professor who takes in a dog he finds abandoned. Both man and hound find their lives changed forever as they form an unbreakable bond."

Desert Flower: The Extraordinary Journey Of A Desert Nomad

I've read about Waris Dirie years ago and I'm quite convinced that it is her who brought up the issue of Female Genital Mutilation in an international level. It takes some guts and courage to expose and oppose thousand-years of tradition and cultural belief, and her tell-all biography gave that magnificent impact to the developing world in which international organizations like the UN started to do something.

I bought the paperback version of the book after reading the summarized article on Reader's Digest, at the back is a quote from Elton John saying "Waris's story is one of remarkable courage. From the deserts of Somalia to the world of high fashion, she battles against oppression and emerges a real champion. She is the most beautiful inspiration to anyone." Later on I discovered that Elton John bought the movie rights for her story.

I need accurate showing dates pronto!

Good Morning America: Papaya Dance

Posted by: Angelicum on Monday, March 24, 2008
Please explain to me why Good Morning America's hosts were doing Edu Manzano's Papaya Dance?!


Magic: 7 Potter Books, 8 Movies

Posted by: Angelicum on Friday, March 14, 2008
This is cool news!

Warner Bros. officially announced this morning that the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movie will be released in two parts and will be directed by David Yates.

In making the announcement, Warner Bros. Pictures president Jeff Robinov stated:

It has been an honor for our studio to be entrusted with bringing J.K. Rowling’s extraordinary book series to the screen, and we have always felt a great responsibility to be true to her vision. In concluding the film franchise, we recognized that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is packed with vital plot points that complete the story arcs of all of its beloved characters. That said, we feel that the best way to do the book, and its many fans, justice is to expand the screen adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and release the film in two parts. We could not imagine the final chapter of the film franchise being in better hands than those of David Yates.

Part one of the movie will open in November 2010, with part two to be released in quick succession during the summer of 2011.

Years ago, we briefly - and seriously - considered doing Goblet of Fire as two films. So this concept is not altogether new. As for Deathly Hallows, I intuited - almost from the first moments I began reading it and certainly once I’d finished - that to realize the story in a single film was going to be a tall order. Others in 'the group' felt similarly. So the idea of two films began to get kicked around as early as late summer of 2007. We didn’t take it lightly. But ultimately everyone felt that despite the challenges it would present, it was the most sound creative decision. I’m sure some will think we’re crazy. My wife looked at me cross-eyed when I first mentioned it. But I’m really excited about it because it should allow us to stretch a bit with the characters and give them the proper send-off. The story is highly emotional and those moments deserve time to breathe. And, personally, I feel we owe it to Jo - in order to preserve the integrity of the work — and the fans - for their loyalty all these years - to give them the best and most complete experience possible. I’d love to do it in three parts!

Hotness right?! We've been dreaming for two split films since Goblet of Fire, campaigned for it and threatened boycott but to no avail. And now the eighth book will fulfill that dream. Cool!


I Hated Her Since

Posted by: Angelicum on Saturday, March 08, 2008
For so many reasons unknown even to myself, I hated Celine Lopez since my birth date. Now I think I have confirmed my extra powers of sensing bad energies.


This is recently the biggest bomb to hit the town. WOW.

Waris Dirie, Found

Posted by: Angelicum
I wasn't even aware that Waris Dirie went missing three days ago, we were just discussing about her that day on a contact's Multiply post regarding Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) to coincide with the International Women's Month.

Missing model, rights campaigner found

BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) -- Waris Dirie, the Somali-born supermodel and former James Bond girl who launched a worldwide campaign against female genital mutilation, was found by police Friday in central Brussels three days after she disappeared, the prosecutor's office said.

She was found hours after police announced they were launching a nationwide search for her. She had last been seen getting into a cab after a mix-up over a hotel in the early hours of Wednesday.

Prosecutor's spokeswoman Estelle Arpigny said Dirie was being questioned by police about the disappearance and appeared to be in good health. She declined to give further details, saying it was unclear what had happened since Dirie vanished after leaving a Brussels nightclub.

Dirie, 43, gained international fame as a model in Chanel ads and acting in the 1987 James Bond movie "The Living Daylights" before launching her campaign against female genital mutilation in 1996.

She shocked the world with a best selling book "Desert Flower" that described how her genitals were sliced off with a dirty razor blade without anesthesia, and then stitched together.

Belgian media reports said she was found by police Friday afternoon walking the Brussels' Grand Place square. The prosecutor's office is scheduled to hold a news conference Saturday morning on the case.

A a U.N. goodwill ambassador, Dirie was due to speak on genital mutilation in Brussels at two conferences on women's rights organized by the European Union, including one Thursday attended by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Concern over her disappearance was heightened because of the discovery last week in Paris of the body of another African-born former model who had campaigned against female genital mutilation. Guinean-born Katoucha Niane was discovered floating in the River Seine. The French police said an autopsy showed no signs of foul play, raising the possibility that she may have fallen accidentally into the river. However, Katoucha's family filed a legal complaint Friday saying they suspected homicide.

Dirie's manager, Walter Lutschinger, said the 43-year-old former model had been involved in an altercation early Wednesday after a taxi driver took her to the wrong branch of the Sofitel hotel chain. The police were called and drove Dirie around Brussels looking for the correct hotel because she had apparently forgotten where she was staying. At one hotel, while staff and police were checking for her name on a computer, police said Dirie stepped out saying she planned to buy cigarettes from an all-night kiosk, but instead climbed into a Citroen Picasso taxi and drove away.

"She left with no credit card. She left with no cell phone, no passport. She has no papers on her, probably no money," Lutschinger said before she was found. He did not return calls to his cell phone following Dirie's discovery.

An Austrian citizen, Dirie was attacked in her Vienna apartment in 2004 by a Portuguese handyman who had stalked her. She received minor injuries and the man, Paulo Augusto, was given a 5-month suspended sentence by an Austrian court. Lutschinger said Dirie had planned to criticize European politicians at the Brussels' conferences for not doing enough to stamp out female genital mutilation in Europe.

"We can give no more excuses for this," Dirie told AP Television News in an interview last year. "This is a pure crime against a child. And we are doing it ... not God or nature."

Dirie was due to travel Friday to the Netherlands to receive an award for her campaigning.

I first read about Waris' story in Reader's Digest (Canada), 1999. Very rarely will you read an auto-biography so much full of impact, perhaps why Elton John bought the movie rights for her story after reading it (but when will it be adapted on screen?).

Having worked with the UN Gender Mainstreaming Committee and other NGOs, I wish for this month to be a sensible time to spread awareness on gender equality. Let's show our legislators and politicians that we know what their promises are in 2000 when the Millennium Declaration was signed.