1. Movies…Belle…The Bi-Racial English Aristocracy of 1779!
Belle is this month’s newest addition to the small art theater screen.
It is the great combination of history and historical fiction that so many theater goers enjoy. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Matthew Goode, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson, Elizabeth Murray, and Emily Watson star in the movie. Belle is a story of the illegitimate mixed race daughter of a British Royal Navy Officer. Dido Elizabeth Belle is raised, with much consequence, in high society by her uncle at her father’s request. The English class system of the 1700’s is rigidly structured, often cruel, and extremely perplexing. Every role, good and bad, in the story is a gem and seemed to be performed with a realistic understanding of caste system foibles and the time period’s settings.
Lord Mansfield raises Ms. Belle as an aristocrat and tries to protect her through much of the movie. At the same time, he is leading the fight in the British courts to abolish slavery in England and throughout the world.
Dido’s story is inspired by a painting completed in 1779.
The Johann Zoffany painting pictured Dido Elizabeth Belle and her cousin Lady Elizabeth Murray. The final painting is potrayed differently in the movie. The affectionate pose (notice the touching in the portrait) by the two young girls is great thinking ammunition for the casual observer of people, and a jumping off point for the classroom and everyday researcher. It is a very interesting time period in Britain and the United States.
“What is right can never be impossible” is the stirring refrain from the movie and drives much of the action and many of the social settings.
After seeing the movie you might try taking a painting and see if you can tell tell its story. It is a challenging task for any individual and a immensely creative assignment for any fourth grade through graduate school classroom. See what painting you can bring to life in a humorous or serious story. The paintings and essays will make a great mural.
2. Television…Tom Selleck…The Jessie Stone Series!
CBS’s three part made for television movies starring Tom Selleck are now on your re-listing and On Demand channels. Selleck plays an excommunicated big town (LA) cop working in a sleepy Massachusetts coastal town. Sheriff Stone is quite busy. The town has more killings, maimings, and beheadments than the Revolutionary and Civil War combined. The beheading comment was just to get you to tune into the series. There are eight in the Paradise, Massachusetts movie series, so far. Fans are hoping for more! 13 million viewers enjoyed the last show presented 2010. CBS is hemming and hawing at presenting something so successful again. They can’t spare the money? Or?
Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) wrote nine Jessie Stone books before his death. Split Image in 2010 was the last. Stone is 35 in the book series. Selleck plays him as a much older Sheriff. Parker loved Tom Selleck’s older portrayal of Stone and commented on it many times in his interviews.
Night Passage *
Stone Cold *
Death In Paradise *
Sea Change *
Thin Ice *
No Remorse *
Innocents Lost *
Benefit Of The Doubt *
Split Image (2010)…..not yet made for television.
The back and forth play between small town big crimes and big town big crimes in the sixteen hours of watching make Stone a hero at times and a lost sympathetic figure at others. Jessie Stone is haunted by: his ex-wife’s constant calls, a friend/ly psychiatrist (William Devane), a friend’s murder, new cases, and past cases he left behind in California.
Reggie, Stone’s dog, is his conscience and best friend. He relates better with the dog than with the people in town and those at work. The few friends he has are good ones. Not Reggie’s, Selleck’s. Kathy Baker plays another crime fighter and his sheriff’s office voice of reason. She is very likable in everything she does. Kohl Sudduth is the enigmatic and not very intuitive police officer that is always over his head. It is a great balance of three different personalities and Parker writes each one exceedingly well. Viola Davis was Baker in the first movie.
3. Music I…The Andrew Lloyd Webber Songfest
Try these musical suggestion as a follow-up to the recently aired The Country Music Awards (CMA’s) and Broadway’s Tony Awards.
The salute to Andrew Lloyd Webber by three Broadway greats is an awesome dreary Monday pick-me-up start for the week. Check out three women you should definitely adopt for your music library. A wealth of great musical offerings by the three stage stars can be found at your local music shop, the mall store, iTunes, or on the Internet.
Love Changes Everything from Aspect of Love
Unexpected Song from Song & Dance
I Don`t Know How To Love Him from Jesus Christ Superstar
4. Music II…The I Dreamed A Dream Competition
Last week’s musical challenge was to find the Top Ten All-Time Summer Hits. We failed miserably at that one. Train’s Fifty Ways To Say Goodbye and its 25 million views never even made the discussion.
This week’s gauntlet was thrown to salute Broadway and the Tony Awards by finding the definitive I Dreamed A Dream performance. Here are our top three rated singers. You will love their performances and vocal renderings.
A. Lea Salonga’s presentation is our favorite rendition of I Dreamed A Dream and On My Own. The You Tube presentation willbe your favorite of the week after your son or daughter’s birth.
B. Susan Boyle shocked the world with “the voice from out of nowhere”. She gave the song and story a great rebirth and brought the song to everyone in Kansas as well as London. Boyle’s concert presentation with Barbra Streisand and Stephen Sondheim is a keeper and a great hour listen. The duets of Send In The Clowns and Memory will join your favorite’s list.
If you are a Stephen Sondheim fan check out the BBC’s Proms 2010. It was a multi-musical star celebration for Sondheim’s 80th birthday. Catch Judi Dench’s Send In The Clowns. She performed it thirty years earlier in a Sondheim play. Dench is a special lady of screen and stage! James Bond would be proud!
You Tube has a 90-minute Sondheim Concert presented at Carnegie Hall in 1992. It is perfect if you could use some additional show music while ‘extended driving’ the nation’s turnpikes and super highways or completing some research at home.
C. Ann Hathaway was the surprise of all surprises as her emaciated body somehow rose from squalor to present her version of Dream in the recent cinematic version Les Miserables.
5. Music III…I’m Yours…Jason Mraz
Jason Mraz and his Taylor guitar is the present day rival to Bruno Mars and his piano. Mraz performs best with the Raining Jane all-girl band. I’m Yours (500 million hits) is recommended by everyone for a ‘discover Mraz’ first listen. Hello, You Beautiful Thing is far behind in plays and purchases, but it is our recommendation to introduce Jason Mraz to any audience. If you haven’t discovered him yet in your dial searching, he is everywhere. His concerts in Korean malls are worth watching…with or without a translator. He has two while performing.
Jason Mraz newest album with Raining Jane is called Yes/Love Someone!
6. Education And Baseball…Ryan Howard…Local Hero Supreme!
Ryan Howard is a World Series hero, National League Most Valuable Player, and Philadelphia hometown hero. He has donated over 1.2 million dollars to 37 Philadelphia schools to upgrade their athletic equipment and athletic facilities.
He now has a new philanthropy project. Howard and his wife are now donating Ryan Howard Classrooms to schools throughout Philadelphia. The Ryan Howard Classroom is a well thought-out design to improve education in Philadelphia. The sport design used for the classroom contains computer laboratories, presentation stations, libraries, and classroom equipment. The baseball theme shines through the donation.
Thanks Mr. And Mrs. Howard…If every professional sport person donated one classroom like this throughout the country, the impact on education and learning would be enormous.
7. Children’s Literature…Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard!
The search for early childhood education summer reading selections has a great assist this year. Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard has collected the website links of many of the best writers for young children.
Click on the link above. Go to your favorite author’s name on the list and you will be treated to talks by the given author, new book releases, and classic videos introducing the author’s newest works. Many of the authors have activities to support their stories. Some like Jan Brett give you a wealth of games and puzzles, illustrations, cartoon graphics, and drawings to support summer book related projects.
Your favorite author is in a battle with other authors to make his or her site the most interactive in the world of children’s books. Every day new presentation vehicles and interactive discoveries to display the latest ideas to enhance reading for all ages.
8. Brain Games For June…Creative Writing…Three Ideas!
Many people find it is easy to come up with a single idea on a subject. Finding more than one idea stretches your brain power! Can you problem solve three ideas on a given topic? Test your thinking power as you give your three best thoughts about each of the following ideas. This activity and its three pack will give you ideas for writing or organizing any project.
Idea: The safest way to enter and leave another dimension?
Idea: How would you increase the healing power of a medicine?
Idea: What are the ways we could use to close a port hole to another dimension?
Idea: How would you create bigger roles for minorities in books?
Idea: Where would you improve the telephone, television, or computer?
Idea: Recall three strange things that have happened to you in the past?
Idea: Where would you place yourself in a well-known movie?
Idea: How would you mastermind staying the same age as you are now?
Idea: Explain why only you can see and hear a ghost?
Illustrate your three best ideas on a large piece of paper? Create a mural with your friends?
Last week’s answers are listed at the end of today’s column.
9. Answers To Last Week’s Challenge
Brain Games…Words With Doubles, Words Without Doubles!
Each issue of Let’s Talk introduces some thinking exercise for all thinking levels. Our games and puzzles are designed to stimulate both sides of your brain. Your first have to solve our problems using one side of your brain. Second, using the other side of your brain, you have to analyze the problem and create an exercise similar or quite different from the one you just completed in our design layout.
The two clues below will first identify a word that has double letters and then secondly reveal a new word when the double letters are removed. The first clue given identifies the starting word while the second clue gives a new word sans the doubles. Sometimes you will solve the clues forward sometimes in reverse order.
Solve all the clues below and you get to play doubles with Andre Agassi and Maria Sharapova at the U.S. Open on Labor Day Weekend.
Clue 1/Clue 2 First Answer…Same Letters Without The Doubles
1. Father/24 Hours…Daddy/Day
2. Castle Royalty (M)/Castle Royalty (F)…Princess/Prince
3. Masked Hero/City Animal Habitat…Zorro/Zoo
4. Flower Part/Flower Event…Blossom/Bloom
5. Fights During Wars/Hay Choice…Battle/Bay
6. Beautiful/Hunted Animals…Pretty/Prey
7. Calm/Cat Sound…Mellow/Meow
8. A Fruit/Alternative For Beer…Apple/Ale
9. Braves Home Run Hitter/Guidry Of The Yankees…Aaron/Ron
10. Ping Pong Equipment/Sickly…Paddle/Pale
11. To Happen/Belonging To Us…Occur/Our
12. Happy/A _____ To Behold…Jolly/Joy
13. A Mountain’s Top/Formal Dress For A Man…Summit/Suit
14. A Group Of Geese/A Strong Wind…Gaggle/Gale
15. To Tell On/A Tall Story…Tattle/Tale
11. Our June Contributor’s Callout For Creative Ideas Continues!
Join our yearlong, 20th Anniversary celebration of writing and creative discussion by contributing a story suggestion, book review, movie write-up, art piece, award notice, photography portfolio, game grabber, business join-up, multimedia purchase, travel tidbit, or theater ‘can’t miss’ for our Let’s Talk column.
Your ideas and suggestions should be sent to Tom Palumbo at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send a photo or two with your two-paragraph contribution. We’d love to display your art and photography on Let’s Talk over our discussions. Thank you for adding your work and expertise to this column! Your varied ideas, experiences, products, and insights will surely bring a larger audience to the column and make the column’s content more interesting and far reaching. We subscribe to the concept of reflected glory! Ask your friends to drop their email in the follow box in the bottom right hand corner of the opening page.