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Wandafuru Raifu

This earlier film “Wandafuru Raifu” ( “After Life”, 1998 ) by Hirokazu Kore-eda is so far – apart from the masterwork of ‘Maborosi’ – one of the most intriguing movies I have seen by this director. A small mid-20th century social-service-style office is a waystation for the souls of the recently deceased, where they are […]

UK travel 4

We came with great expectations to Dublin, which none of us had ever visited before. The experience was certainly a very mixed bag. The city has been developed greatly, whole areas have been rebuilt and it was interesting to see the glaring contrast between the past and the present. But there were also many areas […]

A barber

Claude Lanzmann has died at the age of 92. I will always remember seeing his epic, 9 1/2 hour film “Shoah” about the Holocaust in a little, long gone cinema in New York, opposite Juilliard in 1985. http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/6498# He had interviewed survivors of the Holocaust, and there was one episode in the middle of this […]

1948/49

Still traveling, but I managed to get my paws on another volume of Alice Schmidt’s diaries, this time its the start of her notations from 1948/49 onwards. Of course this is primarily of interest to Arno Schmidt enthusiasts, but these chronicles contain many highly interesting observations in regard to postwar Germany, the poverty and struggle […]

UK travel 3

Glasgow is one of the UK’s most interesting cities, it used to be the second most important place within the days of the British Empire and one of the richest cities in the world. One can still see all the grandeur of its imposing architecture. Of course history changed the city profoundly, and it had […]

BWV 1064 Two versions

Though I greatly appreciate original instruments and period performances, particularly the ones coming every Friday from www.allofbach.com , the very latest posting of Bach’s Concerto for three pianos BWV 1064 is a disappointing affair and shows limitations especially in the first movement. There is no clarity in the different voicings of the three harpsichords, also […]

UK travel 2

Still in Cumbria, wandering around the beautiful countryside. It is truly amazing what kind of different noises one can hear: instead of near absent cars there are huge arguments and constant discussions going on in those surrounding fields: cows and particularly sheep seem to have a lot to talk about and I have never realised […]

UK travel 1

This year’s focus is on the UK and it started with a visit to Manchester, followed by a short stay in Harrogate en route to the tiny village of Crosby Ravensworth in Cumbria. Glasgow will be next, then a short visit to Dublin. Manchester has always been very interesting to me: one is still confronted […]

The Services

The comical genius of Peter Kay is nowhere more prevalent than in this relatively unknown episode of “That Peter Kay thing” titled ” The Services”. The often utterly shabby and depressing state of some of the UK’s motorway service stations gets a comical workover here by Peter Kay, who plays 5 different roles here. British […]

Nachsommer

I have been an ardent reader and admirer of Austrian writer Adalbert Stifter for most of my life. Thomas Mann summarised Stifter’s qualities in one remark: “Behind the quiet, inward exactitude of his descriptions of Nature in particular there is at work a predilection for the excessive, the elemental and the catastrophic, the pathological.” And […]