Sun, Oct 22, 2000

: Dutch: Heerenveen at Feyenoord

Feyenoord got things off to a roaring start with several excellent chances in the first few minutes that culminated in a terrific curving strike from seventeen-year-old Brazilian phenom Leonardo. Heerenveen had only a few chances the entire match, and none of them really threatened, while Feyenoord continued to dominate with near misses and blocked shots. In the second half they scored again, with most of the work being done by Leonardo, but the scrapes being picked up by a teammate, who put the ball in the net. Final: 2-0 Feyenoord.

Topic: [/soccer]

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: In the Company of Men

Author: Neil LaButte

Director: Neil LaButte

Incredible, powerful, disturbing film. This is an unadulterated look at evil, up close, and it’s designed to make you squirm. The plot is simple: a couple MBA-types, on a six-week business trip, pledge to take revenge on women as payment for all their own messed up relationships. They decide they’ll find a shy, lonely, unnoticeable woman, and each romance her for the next six weeks, and then, when she thinks she’s falling in love one or both of them, they’ll dump her like yesterday’s fish and laugh in her face. Bizarre concept, yes, but brilliantly executed. Author LaButte goes the extra mile to make us really realize what slimeballs these two guys are: the woman they toy with is deaf. Because she can’t speak clearly, one guy calls her “retard mouth” behind her back. That’s the kind of stuff you face in this movie. Tough, yes, but powerful and profound.

What’s deeply ironic to me is that if Neil hadn’t made the woman deaf, if she’d been a regular woman, perhaps not very attractive but not handicapped, would we have felt such a degree of disgust for these men? Is our outrage so intense because the woman is disabled, and thus a more sympathetic victim, or are we outraged out of principle? In other words, do we care about the person inside, regardless of the shell (flawed or intact)? If we saw this happening, like we do all the time around us (i.e. we know our co-worker’s cheating on his wife but we shrug it off), would we be as upset? Food for thought, lots of food for thought. Definitely one of the best films I’ve ever seen. Even more amazing, LaButte made this for $25,000, I have no idea how: it looks like a million dollar movie. Acting, sound, photography — everything is top notch. Impressive.

Topic: [/movie]

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: EPL: Leicster City at Liverpool

Great battle between the fourth and fifth placed teams. Gobs of terrific “sure” goals impossibly blocked by Leicster. It looked like it was heading for a nil-nil draw, but then former Leicster strike Emil Heskey beat Leicster keeper Tim Flowers to the ball, literally kicking it out from under the keeper to score. Leicster hardly had a shot on goal the whole game, and that’s how it finished, 1-0 Liverpool.

Topic: [/soccer]

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: Picnic at Hanging Rock

Director: Peter Weir

Unusual Australian film based on the true story of a group of schoolgirls in 1900 who go on a picnic and several of them mysteriously vanish. Searchers and bloodhounds find no trace of the girls. Were they murdered? Did all of them fall down a hole at the same time (if only one or two fell down, surely the others would have gone for help)? Very strange. Languidly paced, with haunting pan flute music by Zamfir, the film builds a lot of suspense and is quite fascinating, but goes nowhere. In the end, the girls are never found, and to this day no one knows what happened. I hate mysteries like that. No wonder I prefer fiction — it’s much less messy than real life.

Topic: [/movie]

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: Argentine Soccer: Velez Sarsfield at Boca Juniors

With Boca well ahead in the standings, this game just meant further distancing from their opponents. Boca started off brilliantly as usual, bouncing the ball off the inside of the near post in the fifth minute, freezing the “world’s greatest goalkeeper” Chilavert as he thought the shot was going wide. Chilavert almost brought Velez back a few minutes later on a wonderful free kick (he’s one of the few goalkeepers in the world who’s an offensive threat). Velez had a goal called back for offside in the 21st minute, and hit the post a few minutes after that. But after all that offense, Velez had nothing to show for it at the end of the half. Starting the second half, just seconds in, Riquelme gave the ball a clever, soft touch, completely beating Velez’s defense, and rolling the ball into the back of the net. If that wasn’t enough to destroy Velez, Riquelme did it again eight minutes later, putting a slider under Chilavert. But seconds after that, Velez countered with Husain’s great finish. With one goal, Velez worked hard and had some chances, but couldn’t score. Then, in a bizarre twist, the two teams best players crashed into each other in an accidental clash, and the idiot referee handed out red cards to both Palermo and Chilavert! I always say, as a referee, if you aren’t sure what happened, the best thing to do is nothing. In this case the referee assumed something untoward had happened (clearly not, as seen on the replays) and ruined what had been a terrific game to that point. Lame. Give the ref a red card! Final: 3-1 Boca Juniors.

Topic: [/soccer]

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