Night Moves (Arthur Penn – 1975) B+

It’s a convoluted plot and Gene Hackman, in the role of  private detective Harry Moseby, cannot make heads or tails of it. Neither can we most of the time. That’s the point. He is in over his head, thinks he knows what is going on, but really does not. The film feels like it starts in the middle as Moseby takes on a case to locate the missing seventeen year old daughter of an actress who is past her prime. At the same time he finds out his wife is cheating on him. His confrontation of her and then her lover does not quiet go as we would expect. He does not have that under control either. The film is set in Florida and LA, in and around Hollywood sets. It’s about smuggling and murder and the detective who is trying to make his way from one end to the other.




Roger Ebert: 1942 – 2013

Whether I agreed with him or not about whatever movie he was reviewing I owe most of what I know about film and the way to watch movies and how to appreciate them to the great Mr. Ebert. I felt it would be a big miss not to mention on my little corner of the web the passing of this “movie critic” who is one of the few celebrities that I oddly enough feel was sort of a friend. I read his articles regularly and even more so since he started his hugely popular blog, Roger Ebert’s Journal, a few years back. The writing on that blog -about film and other topics- is personal, sharp and prompted the most intelligent comment discussions on the web. It’s I suppose appropriate for me to be halfway through reading his personal memoir right now “Life Itself” just as he leaves it. Roger will be greatly missed and his passing, for me, is really an end of an era and will leave a vacuum on the web and print. Thank you Mr. Ebert for the many years of wonderful writing and for introducing me to and teaching me to appreciate the likes of Werner Herzog, Ingmar Bergman, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Krzysztof Kieslowski and many others. I could write more, but really, and oddly enough, The Onion News had one of the most poignant and touching words about Mr. Ebert in their post “Roger Ebert Hails Human Existence as ‘a Triumph‘”

so I’ll leave you with that:

“CHICAGO—Calling the overall human experience “poignant,” “thought-provoking,” and a “complete tour de force,” film critic Roger Ebert praised existence Thursday as “an audacious and thrilling triumph.” “While not without its flaws, life, from birth to death, is a masterwork, and an uplifting journey that both touches the heart and challenges the mind,” said Ebert, adding that while the totality of all humankind is sometimes “a mess in places,” it strives to be a magnum opus and, according to Ebert, largely succeeds at this goal. “At times brutally sad, yet surprisingly funny, and always completely honest, I wholeheartedly recommend existence. If you haven’t experienced it yet, then what are you waiting for? It is not to be missed.” Ebert later said that while human existence’s running time was “a little on the long side,” it could have gone on much, much longer and he would have been perfectly happy.”

The Globe and Mail Article and Other Updates

It’s been fairly silent around here for more than a month. We were on family vacation all of June in Lebanon and Rome. It was fun and we ate some great food, but it is good to be back. After catching up on work and other routine activities I am finally back into doing some cooking and hopefully some blogging here. I started off by cooking up a modest 4th of July barbecue feast, brewing two batches of beer this past weekend and putting up a big chunk of beef eye of round in Modernist Cuisine’s bresaola cure. Not a bad start and hopefully some pictures of the finished plated bresaola (and possibly salami) will appear here in the near future.
For some other good news, it was great to see Oven-Dried Tomatoes written up in the Globe and Mail alongside some other excellent food bloggers like Martin Lindsay from Alineaphile! I do this blog as a journal of sorts for myself, but it is neat to be “noticed” sometimes .

Meyer Lemon Bees

All I can think of when I see the Meyer lemon tree in my backyard buzzing with bees is “Man, do I wish I can taste some of whatever honey these little bugs are going to be making”. I love how prolific this tree is and use its fruit whenever I can, but my favorite time is now. Even if I do live in Houston, Texas where seasons mean little, the flowers and bees in our Meyer lemon tree seem to declare that spring is here.

It’s not just about spring though, it’s about nostalgia. The crazy amazing aroma that fills the air from those flowers takes me straight back to Lebanon, its citrus groves and my grandmother making orange flower water. Watching those bees do their work with my 4-year old is really a pleasure. Incidentally Barbara Massaad has a recent post about making orange flower water in Lebanon, it’s a very good read.