I will remember 2016 as a year in which I have seen more films than any other year. I haven’t blogged about them because they were bad. Many times I walked out. I have seen French, Spanish, Polish, Canadian, German and Belgian films and all of them were unmemorable with the exception of One Breath, a film made in Germany that had a rich story-line depicting the unknown limits a mother will endure for her child.
Last week I saw Manchester by the Sea that was loaded with emotional agony and a cathartic score. It features superb acting by Casey Affleck. I wouldn’t be surprised if he takes the Oscar for best actor.
The main character is a janitor by day and by night spends his free time fighting in bars and ignoring potential women. The passing of his brother breaks him from the cycle, bringing him home to the town of the title, where he’s burdened with unexpected guardianship of his teenage nephew. The flashbacks trickle in, suggesting he escaped a past which nearly destroyed him; and returning to the epicenter of his trauma has fatal potential.
Tonight I was invited to the screening of “Stronger” a film that follows a man who loses his legs in the Boston Marathon bombing and must adjust to his new life. When it’s cold outside, I am not in the mood for tragedy- I’m more in the mood for love.
There’s nothing like music for lifting the spirits. Yesterday I joined Pasadena Pro Musica for caroling at one of Pasadena’s most unique buildings, the Castle Green. In the past, I’ve blogged about what a marvelous building it is. At one point I considered living there. The ground floor is a setting for events and film crews use parts of the hotel for filming. Today the crowds, constant hustle and bustle would not bring me peace.
Built in 1898 as the Hotel Green, the seven story Moorish Colonial and Spanish style building. It opened in 1899 as the second of three buildings in the Hotel Green complex, and was a lavish resort for easterners and others escaping winter rigors. Its stylistic elements produced Pasadena’s most stunningly original building. With domes, arches, pillars, balconies, and verandahs the building of structural steel with brick walls and concrete floors, made it Pasadena’s first fireproof building.
It has been converted into private residences (condominiums) and over the years has been home to many artists, designers, musicians and collectors.
The holiday tour was four hours long and we sang in different parts of the hotel for the guests. Later I got to partake in my own self guided tour, since many residences were open with owners in attendance- sort of like an open house. Best of all was the Penthouse with views from every direction. Although authorized, I was not inclined nor felt I should photograph someone’s home and private space. But I did photograph Father Christmas. Later, I roamed the 118 year old halls, since the elevator was broken and strolled the grounds. What a delight. I should have worn a long velvet dress!
What has 2016 or your holiday season been like, thus far?