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Month: June 2018

Movie Bars: I Had To Go See About a Girl

Movie Bars: I Had To Go See About a Girl

In 1994 Ben Affleck and Matt Damon finished writing a screenplay for a thriller that centered around the idea of a young “Southie” from Boston who is being recruited by the government because of his genius intelligence. After Miramax bought the rights to the film, president Rob Reiner encouraged Damon and Affleck to drop the thriller idea and focus instead on the relationship between the young man and his therapist, with an additional romantic twist thrown in. This became the film that we all know as Good Will Hunting that was nominated for nine Oscars and won two: Best Supporting Actor for Williams and Best Original Screenplay for Affleck and Damon. I can still remember watching the two of them up on stage at the Academy Awards that year. There are a number of bar scenes in the movie, the most analyzed being the one that occurs in the Bow and Arrow where Will puts a pompous Harvard student in his place and captures the heart of Skylar (Minnie Driver) in the process. This scene is certainly critical to the film because it reveals the extent of Will’s genius to the audience, while simultaneously establishing the instant attraction between him and Skylar. At the advice of my son Connor, who helps me so much in working through my ideas for these movie posts, I chose to look instead at the more understated bar scene that occurs between Will’s therapist, Sean Maguire, and his mentor, Gerard Lambeau, played by Robin Williams and Stellan Skarsgård, respectively.

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Friday Musings: Finding Cadence

Friday Musings: Finding Cadence

When I was in high school I became obsessed with the idea of finding cadence in writing and speech. Just when you think you’ve heard it all from me, right? I know. And exactly what is cadence? Well, according to dictionary.com, it’s the rhythmic flow of a sequence of sounds or words. For me, it’s a kind of harmony that I hear in the pattern of words, even when they are written, that feels very soothing to me. It’s almost as if the language falls away, even though it may be very beautiful, and my mind is

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Music and Cocktails: A Totally Amazing Mind

Music and Cocktails: A Totally Amazing Mind

We all have songs that play in our minds like some sort of a soundtrack for our lives. We’ve included them on so many of our playlists that people actually begin to roll their eyes when they hear them. “This one again?” they ask, but we don’t care, we keep playing it for them anyway. I’d venture a guess that if you ask any one of my kids about some of the top songs on my life’s soundtrack, they’d tell you “Dreams” by The Cranberries was one of them for sure. Originally released in 1992, and then re-

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Movie Bars: Au Revoir, Shosanna

Movie Bars: Au Revoir, Shosanna

Quentin Tarantino is known for placing pivotal scenes in his movies that create a great deal of tension both on the screen and in the audience, before they ultimately escalate to the point of shocking violence. In his 2009 film, Inglourious Basterds, there are several scenes that fall into this category. The movie opens with Mélanie Laurent’s character, Shosanna, narrowly escaping a French farmhouse after her whole family has been slaughtered right in front of her eyes, and it ends with a spectacularly

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Friday Musings: Dioramas

Friday Musings: Dioramas

I have a very vivid memory of spending a day with my mom at the Museum of Natural History in Philadelphia when I was somewhere around ten years old. It was summer and very warm, and we had taken the PATCO train into the city. I’m sure it was my first time ever riding it, and it may very well have been hers too. I remember the feel of the museum so well. It was cool and dark, and it had a particular smell that was a combination of pine, lemon, wood, and old things. The dioramas fascinated me. I

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