My Next Project

I’ve got one of these white MacBooks and would love to update it as shown in this video. It would be convenient to have an extra laptop.

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Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that overall, I had a good week. I got some writing done, but not as much as I’d like. I did write an email to a family connection asking for some feedback on this play I’m working on entitled Dora McDonald: On Trial. It’s about the wife of the Clark Street Gambling King, Mike McDonald. Dora had a long affair with her neighbor Webster Guerin and poor Webster winds up dead. Who did it? Will the murderer get off scot-free?

I loved the Japanese classic, Samurai Rebellion and liked the biopic of Freddie Mercury Bohemian Rhapsody. I admit the more I watch old movies the more I prefer them. I didn’t bother watching the Oscars, which tend to drag. Instead I watched Victoria and the end of Bohemian Rhapsody.

I went to the dentist and was stunned that my exam and cleaning ran me $300! I hadn’t been there in a year. (Shame on me, I know.) I remember the visit costing about $120. I feel like my price was upped because I hadn’t been for a while. I really like my dentist and if I was gainfully employed, I’d have gone when I should have.

I had a one-on-one meeting with my new boss. These are a month event and we had a good talk. She’s lovely and fun to work with. What a difference that makes!

Saturday I went to a free play reading at the Newberry Library. The script of Back of the Yards was a tad outdated, but the acting was solid.

I’m reading a book called Partisan Journalism. I’m beginning chapter three. The book describes the relationship between reporting, editorializing and our political parties going back to the 18th century. While it’s a bit academic, it’s a significant work. You can probably get it from the library.

Lastly, I’d say in an effort to see less of that rainbow beach ball whenever I use my computer, I went to a fairly good session on Mac Maintenance. I’ll share some tips with you soon. My laptop does run faster, I have to tweak my desktop.

I hope you’ve had a good weekend and that your week’s starting off well.

 

Bohemian Rhapsody

I knew all the Queen hits, but didn’t know much about the band’s history or Freddie Mercury’s life. I just watched Bohemian Rhapsody this weekend figuring it would be more entertaining than a marathon awards show, since those usually drag on and on.

The film acquainted me with the general background of the band. I found it interesting that one musician was an astro-physicist, another studied dentistry and another studied electrical engineering. Of course, the big star was Freddie Mercury, who was a performer par excellence.

Born Farrokh Balsara, Freddie Mercury is the center of this film. The film goes through the band’s history which was inseparable from Mercury’s life. In many ways as unique on the surface Mercury seemed, the events and relationships he experienced follow that of many stars – parents who don’t understand, dissatisfaction with the ordinary life of study, followed by work and conventional family, joining a band, fighting for success, disagreements once success is attained, destructive excess and rebellion with the corporate types running things, Yet, while this was nothing new to anyone growing up in the era, who know this music scene and the biographies of its brightest stars, the film does entertain. Queen’s music still has wide appeal.

The film’s strength is its music and visuals. There’s a lot of color and glitz which fit Mercury. Actor Rami Malek won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance and he did succeed in bringing Mercury back to life.

Yet this is not a film that would get a screenwriting award. I felt the story sped through the drama that shaped the band and Mercury. It’s as if it was written based on a checklist: quickly show conflict with stern father who doesn’t understand music, show meeting his wife and jump to their marriage. Check off requisite arguments between the band members and with the music business guy. I hoped for more depth and a closer look into Freddie.

Essentially, Freddie’s life was a sad one. Like many in his position, he trusted the snake, who is certain to appear once you’re successful and throwing big parties. He didn’t appreciate the people he could count on. Nothing was enough. Early on Freddie’s father tells him that he can’t get anywhere pretending you’re someone that you’re not. On the one hand, Freddie’s right to reject the message as his father’s ideas about getting a steady job, etc. aren’t what he was born to do. However, the tragedy of Mercury’s life was that he didn’t understand the wisdom in his father’s statement. Mercury perfected his role as performer, but his other facets were neglected and undeveloped. It’s a pity he didn’t grow as a mature friend, colleague, or intimate partner. He didn’t develop Farrokh Balsara; like Elvis and so many others, his life was tragic because he focused so much on his persona and not on his inner life or soul.

In short the movie was worth watching, but I’d love it if it were shorter and focused on particular areas of Mercury’s life rather than everything. The Steve Jobs film by Aaron Sorkin is a better example of how a biopic can show a person’s life concisely.