I can’t. I won’t. I shan’t!
But I must.
After devoting countless of hours and lack of sleep toward attempting to chew my way through Anne Rice’s latest vampire installment “The Prince Lestat” I threw in the towel. Or to be perfectly honest I closed the book right before the long fought-for conclusion and threw it across the room.
I threw a book! An Anne Rice book! I collect Anne Rice books! I’m the person that dragged her poor sister through all the New Orleans back-alleys and side-streets to track down every film location for Interview With The Vampire! And now I have a sizeable dent in my bedroom wall that will have to be explained to my landlord. Sigh.
I have been moping and sulking about all day in a malaise of crushed hopes. Overtly dramatic much? Most certainly. But I am allowed and it will all make sense in a moment. Anne Rice’s host of vampires and I go waaay back. It all started with Pay-Per-View on a Sunday. I was nine, Brad Pitt was a stunning long-haired brunette with fangs…it was the typical young girl falls in love at first sight with a much older man who happens to be a vampire story. Only this vampire didn’t sparkle. He brooded. For two long glorious hours and I was hooked. Thus began my life-long affair with The Vampire Chronicles, Anne Rice’s cult classic series about the Graceful Undead who rocked the 80′s and early 90′s before fading into the background like the final depressing chords of a Cure ballad.
So far, my favourite movie from 2015 is the Mali film Timbuktu. A big splash at the Cannes and Toronto festivals last year, the film considers Timbuktu’s (a city in Northern Mali) 2012 / 2013 occupation by Islamist extremists.
For a film that focuses on armed conflict and oppression, the tone is (until well …it isn’t) generally gentle and relaxed. This is hang-out film: we spend time with a Tuareg cattle herder and his family. We jam quietly (music is outlawed so participation needs to be clandestine and in the dead of night) with Bambara speaking musicians. In a peaceful, tranquil mosque, we sympathize with an Imam as he attempts to persuade the occupiers to rule with sensitivity and reason.
Anyone with an even superficial knowledge of history knows that the First Man on the Moon was Neil Armstrong. For those who know no more than his name, this 60-minute documentary from the PBS show Nova will certainly give you some insights into the background of the man. However, those familiar with the space race and the flight of Apollo 11, hoping for further revelations, will be sorely disappointed. The summary on the cover of the DVD describes it as “groundbreaking” and “an intimate portrait”. Unfortunately it is hardly that. They do interview Armstrong’s family, friends, and crew mates, but what those people have to say amounts to little more than a few charming anecdotes.
The ultimate irony of this documentary is the picture they have chosen for the cover of the DVD. Again those who know the story of Apollo 11 will realize that the astronaut saluting the American flag in this picture is not of the first man on the moon, but the second, Buzz Aldrin. In fact, the most iconic picture from that moonwalk is not of Armstrong, but of Aldrin. Armstrong appears as only a tiny, distorted reflection in the gold face plate of Aldrin’s helmet.