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Johnny Darkness "Johnny Darkness" (West Kelowna, BC)

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Interview - Bilingual
Interview - Bilingual
DVD ~ Steve Buscemi
Offered by Mikani Collectables
Price: CDN$ 4.79
17 used & new from CDN$ 1.21

5.0 out of 5 stars Mind Games, Sept. 23 2013
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This review is from: Interview - Bilingual (DVD)
Well, you have to see this. Buscemi is great in everything I've seen him in and Sienna Miller does a good job too. Two characters - a reporter, a little old but hopeful, and a star who is beautiful, seductive - and an interview. Soon enough, though, mind games start. Come-ons. Revelations. Who is telling the truth and who is being played? Both? A nice little psychological tennis match.

Before Sunrise (Sous-titres franais)
Before Sunrise (Sous-titres franais)
DVD ~ Ethan Hawke
Price: CDN$ 7.49
26 used & new from CDN$ 4.36

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring and banal, Sept. 23 2013
A waste of two talents. This is like watching 2 teenagers wandering around babbling banalities about love, life, etc. Unfortunately, these are two 20-somethings, and the poor young lady attends the Sorbonne but appears to have avoided reading any philosophy, theology, or literature. Even Vienna is poorly-served -- the setting could have been Seattle or Vancouver for all the coverage it received or for any purpose it served in the plot. I did think that the two actors at least caught well the shyness, uncomfortableness of meeting someone new and trying to be clever without being a fool. The one Parisian-born girl I ever met and spent time with was reading "Love's Body" and discussing philosophy and poetry - she was not even 18! But then, she would have seen 'Jesse James' for the shell he was and there would have been no movie.

Voices from the Asylum: Four French Women Writers, 1850-1920
Voices from the Asylum: Four French Women Writers, 1850-1920
by Susannah Wilson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 153.86
9 used & new from CDN$ 73.92

5.0 out of 5 stars Endemic sexism, Jan. 27 2013
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I bought this book for research on Camille Claudel's mistreatment. A general explanation is made of how the law, under which Camille, and many other women, were incarcerated in mental hospitals, functioned. Basically, any woman who struggled against bourgeois conventions - who was eccentric, artistic, promiscuous, pregnant etc - could be confined to a mental institution on the signature of one person. Consequently, many bright, artistic women were removed from society and their families 'spared embarrassment'. The experiences of four women are studied here, and stand as symbols of the misogyny that existed during those times. In Camille's case, her life was stolen -- on the orders of her brother and with his subsequent refusal to withdraw his condemnation, despite medical opinions she should be released, Camille died in custody (during WW2). While the French have claimed to be enlightened, this law and the concomitant treatment of women, belies this claim. (Women were also refused entry into art schools, and experienced great difficulty in exhibiting their works, being denied entry to the salons for exhibition. Camille had commissions withdrawn, works 'misplaced', funding withdrawn by official sources.) This work is a worthy addition to the study of the systemic mistreatment of women/artists. And, in the end, it is sad -- that lives were wasted, and great works of art denied.

CrazyOnDigital Slim Leather Case Cover For Amazon New Kindle 4 (Red)
CrazyOnDigital Slim Leather Case Cover For Amazon New Kindle 4 (Red)

5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible deal, Jan. 27 2013
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I took a chance on these covers, assuming that for the price they could be less than satisfactory; however, I was proved wrong. These are as good as covers I saw in stores for $25 or more. In fact, some I saw at that price were cheaply made, in comparison.

The Notebook / The Time Traveler's Wife (Double Feature)
The Notebook / The Time Traveler's Wife (Double Feature)
DVD ~ Rachel McAdams
Price: CDN$ 6.88
8 used & new from CDN$ 6.87

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars DVD defective twice, Sept. 13 2012
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I purchased this DVD, returned it, received a replacement which, also, would not play in either a DVD player or laptop. (And my 30 days had expired.) So,this is not a review of the content, just a warning of defective material.

Sisters Brothers /tpf
Sisters Brothers /tpf
by Patrick DeWitt
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 14.40
35 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars "Literature"?, Jan. 24 2012
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This review is from: Sisters Brothers /tpf (Paperback)
Do not let the descriptor "literature" scare you off or entice you - this is not a serious work of literature: it is not DeLillo or McCarthy or Barnes. Except for a few scenes I might place this in the "Juvenile" fiction category. Plot is rather simplistic - in fact, it feels more like an excerpt from a larger work; the plot is impelled by an unlikely chemical formula (I shan't say more so as not to ruin it if you intend to read it); the ending seems forced and almost maudlin; the plot contains a flaw (which I shall explain below so if you intend to read it and think I'll ruin it, leave after the warning) which renders some of the subsequent action much less likely. Character development is minimal, and many of the characters bear a close resemblance to certain types one saw in TV and 'B' movie westerns - in fact, as someone noted elsewhere, there is a cartoon-ish aspect to the novel. The language will probably remind you of Portis's «True Grit». Some of the scenes are digressions, in a way, thrown in for their humourous aspects (and much of the humour was wry and elicited a smile), or, perhaps, as indications of the nature of the characters, which is rather shallow. The fact this won the G-G Award says more about the judges than about the novel. So, why 3 stars instead of 1? Because, as an entertainment, and purely as an entertainment, this was a fun little read; it passed a few hours pleasantly - I gained no new insights into the human condition, felt no sympathy for any of the characters, - but there was no one around to play bridge with.
WARNING: I reveal a bit about the plot. At the creek, Warm and Morris are suffering from itching, blisters and inflamed legs from wading in the creek after the chemical formula has been added; however, there is no mention of their (right) hands and arms being so affected, but they did have to use some appendage for gathering the gold out of the water; and, their use of weapons subsequently, to fend off (even briefly) the Sisters Brothers and then to shoot at the sociopaths from down the creek would have been jeopardized by the injuries.... Sisters Brothers

Pulse
Pulse
by Julian Barnes
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 18.77
9 used & new from CDN$ 10.19

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gems and coal, Aug. 8 2011
This review is from: Pulse (Hardcover)
There is no need to argue over whether Barnes is an excellent writer - I remember reading him the first time -- "Flaubert's Parrot" -- and loving it; what a discovery. Subsequent works, such as "Arthur & George" have also been compelling reads. But, I guess, we all have bad days, or make poor decisions; I would have been embarrassed to publish a few of the stories in this book, particularly the series of dinner party stories that reminded me of how deadly dinner parties can be and why we sometimes need to make new friends. But, then, there are such gems in this book that affirm Barnes' talents. I guess it is fair that the book was discounted by 37%, because you're getting the coal for free.

Nox
Nox
by Anne Carson
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 26.33
30 used & new from CDN$ 26.33

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An eccentric contemplation as an elegy, Feb. 16 2011
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This review is from: Nox (Hardcover)
First, I'll start with the physical "book".
It is a box that looks like a handsome book. When it opens, you have two half-boxes with three sides, joined by the cover, which lies flat. The elegy itself is an accordion of pages - with a thick card cover front and back - that lifts from the box; the pages unfold. Me? - I would buy it just for that.
Then, the elegy.
Carson, a Classics professor (PhD), shows her erudition, but softly, in this work. Parts of the elegy form around a Latin quotation, which is then explained/translated on pages interspersed amongst photographs, collages, cutups, quotations [in English] from Greek and Latin writers, artefacts, memoir, poetic perceptions... indeed, an eccentric elegy. If you enjoy wandering the corridors of an intelligent, sensitive, poetic mind, you will love this book. When the whole collage comes together into a vision, we can appreciate the sense of loss, not only of her brother's life, but of life as we live it negligently - and, as I perceived it, perhaps with my own view whispering in the darkness, the sense of loss and sadness that pervades the life of any person who contemplates the existential circumstances in which all find ourselves, in this short life in this immense universe. I'd buy it just for that, too. Nox

Exploring Kyoto: On Foot in the Ancient Capital
Exploring Kyoto: On Foot in the Ancient Capital
by Judith Clancy
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.29
34 used & new from CDN$ 7.52

5.0 out of 5 stars Kyoto is marvellous, Dec 4 2010
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I recently used this book as a guide for about 2/3 of my destinations during a 3 week trip to Kyoto - the choice of temples, gardens and historical sites is excellent. (I also recommend just wandering about, using a Kyoto City map with temples and World Heritage Sites marked.) The sites/sights chosen are varied, including the different types of gardens -- stroll, Chinese-style lakeview, dry landscape, zen rock etc -- Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines, a castle, some World Heritage Sites (there are so many!) and are well-described; those that require a bit of physical fitness (the 88 Shrine walk, upper Daigo, Fushimi Inari etc) are duly noted (if you are reasonably fit, nothing is onerous; the 'mountains' are only about a 600 - 1000' climb.) Entry prices were accurate.
If you simply chose destinations from this book for your trip, you would have an incredible experience.
(NB This book does not deal with where to stay or to eat - it is truly a guide to exploration.)
The only weakness I found were in a few of the maps; they could have been more specific in some cases, such as having more street names or the names of bus stops - once we alighted at the wrong bus stop (only to find that we were near the gates of a temple-garden complex not mentioned in this book, which turned out to be a great find); another time I had a little apprehension of finding the route quickly from the bus terminus using the map, but found it much easier upon arrival; another time we had to use the street map to find our way accurately, and another I just had to use my sense of direction and some reasoning - so, I just suggest having a good street map and not being afraid of making a mistake: stop and ask someone -- the people are polite and helpful and will point you in the right direction hearing just the name of your destination. Despite this small shortcoming, I was very pleased with how this book helped focus our trip.
Exploring Kyoto: On Foot in the Ancient Capital

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (Sous-titres franais)
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (Sous-titres franais)
DVD ~ Aidan Quinn
Price: CDN$ 9.82
7 used & new from CDN$ 9.51

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fictionalized Account of the road to Wounded Knee, Oct. 25 2010
This is a very entertaining movie, well-written, -acted and -filmed (in Alberta, Canada). However, if one reads a biography of Dr Charles Eastman (Ohiyesa), the Santee Sioux physician and activist, who is the central character of this movie, one will note large discrepancies between the life depicted and the life, apparently, lived. As with any docu-drama, conversations are presented which one would immediately ask, "Who recorded those?" "Who was privy to that intimacy?" Ohiyesa's role as a well-meaning but manipulated (by Senator Dawes) 'traitor', is definitely overplayed; his meeting with his future wife, Elaine Goodale, takes place in the wrong setting; his, and his wife's, journey, as witnesses, to Wounded Knee the day after the massacre is omitted. Wayne Sarf, himself an author-historian, stated that the book is "mendacious" (quoted in "Lakota Noon" by Gregory F. Michino).
However, if this DVD and book whet your interest in the Sioux Wars, the mistreatment of the American Indians, the Battle of the Little Bighorn, or Sand Creek or Wounded Knee, and other, massacres, then you may go on to read other works that are more historically truthful, as the aforementioned "Lakota Noon" or works by Sarf or Hardoff or others. Also, works by Ohiyesa-Eastman are available.
So, for historical truth, 1-star.
As a work of entertainment, based on actual events, a docu-drama with a message and a conscience, 5-stars.
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
Lakota Noon: The Indian Narrative of Custer's Defeat
Encyclopedia of Indian Wars: Western Battles and Skirmishes, 1850-1890

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