Above the Fray
Friday night’s movie fix courtesy of Netflix by mail was a winner, although I’m not sure I have it all sorted out. Last Night in Soho (2021) is the story of a young country girl who is accepted by a London fashion school. She moves into an apartment and begins experiencing dreams that soon become troubling, as she experiences the sordid life of a young prostitute during the swinging ‘60’s. Since her mom had mental issues and committed suicide, it seems she is headed for a similar fate. I will not be a spoiler and say more. The performances are first rate and include the work of three Brit icons: Rita Tushingham, Terence Stamp and Diana Rigg in her final role, a fitting finale to a great career. New Zealand’s Thomasin McKensie, who appeared in JoJo Rabbitt (2019), and Miami’s Anya Taylor-Joy, 32 credits, are terrific as the intertwined young women. Also outstanding is Matt Smith as the pimp. He is in the midst of an awesome run, having played Dr. Who in 54 episodes of the beloved series, and garnering an Emmy nomination for his work in 20 episodes of The Crown. The UK’s Edgar Wright directed. Among the 26 titles under his name at IMDb is the highly entertaining Baby Driver (2017), which he also wrote. He collaborated with Krysty Wilson-Cairns on the …Soho screenplay. She received an Oscar nomination, shared with Sam Mendes, for her work on 1917 (2019). 108,000+ users at IMDb have rated …Soho, forging to a consensus of 7.1 on a scale of ten. Released during the pandemic, it tanked at the box office, returning $22+ million on a budget of $43 million, a big gap to close in DVD sales and rentals and streaming, which I’d bet are crisp. Running time is just short of two hours. There is profanity and violence. The cinematography by Chung-hoon Chung is dazzling, lush with colors. Here are McKensie and Taylor-Joy in character:
On June 16th NFL Hall of Famer Hugh McIlhenny, 93, passed away. I did not learn of it until a FB friend posted the info days later. I’d neglected to pay tribute the past few days — my bad. Born in L.A., he was a track as well as gridiron sensation in high school. After a year at Compton J.C., undefeated in 1948 and winner of the Junior Rose Bowl, he enrolled at the University of Washington, where he was All-American his senior season and set 16 school records. Drafted in the first round of the 1952 draft by the 49ers, ninth pick overall, he was Rookie of the Year. He was one of the greats of the 1950’s, equally adept at rushing. receiving and returning kicks, five times All-Pro, playing in six Pro Bowls. He was with San Francisco until 1960, then spent two years with the Vikings, one with the Giants, and one with the Lions. He played in the 1963 NFL Championship, which Big Blue lost to the Bears, 10–14. When he retired, he was one of three players to have eclipsed 11,000 all-purpose yards. He was dubbed “The King” by Niners QB Frankie Albert. He did color commentary on 49ers’ radio broadcasts from ‘66-’72. Awesome, sir.
Yesterday, in a quip, I wondered if Amazon warehouse robots would vote to unionize. Maybe that isn’t so farfetched. Headline from nypost.com: “Suspended Google engineer claims ‘sentient’ AI bot has hired a lawyer.” And then there’s this headline from foxnews.com: “Bowling alley deploys robot to serve customers.”
Sad commentary on the human race: It is estimated that there have been 63 million abortions performed in the USA since Roe v Wade, this despite the availability — even in schools — and effectiveness of birth control methods.
The floating book shop was much more active than usual on this gorgeous day. A parking spot near a tree took a lot of the sting out of the heat. It’s amazing how much more taxing an extras ten degrees makes the setting up and tearing down. I was whipped when done. My thanks to all those who bought, donated and swapped wares. The best part of the session was the appearance of an elderly woman I hadn’t seen since pre-pandemic. She survived despite underlying conditions.
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