Blue Jasmine

I finally got a chance to see the new Woody Allen film, “Blue Jasmine.” It had been out for weeks but only just now coming to a movie near me in Louisville, Kentucky. A distinct disadvantage to living in the provinces, as I do, is that you don’t get to see the movies you want to see when you want to see them. Tsk, tsk, now I am beginning to sound like the narcissistic, burned out New York socialite with a severe case of entitlement, who has been brought low by circumstance played so brilliantly in the film by Cate Blanchett.
Woody channels his inner Tennessee Williams here in this tale of two cities (San Francisco and New York”) shot in glorious Super 35 MM by Javier Aguirresarobe. Jasmine is emotionally fragile when she lands on her sister’s door step in San Francisco. She has lost her fortune and her sister’s fortune in New York and has come west to start a new life. He sister, Ginger, played by Sally Hawkins is a cashier at a local grocery store involved with a Stanley Kowalski type of character played pitch perfect by Bobby Cannvale, who she at one point describes as a grease monkey. They clearly have the hots for one another. Chili, (where have I heard that name before?) clearly resents the intrusion Jasmine presents when she moves in with Ginger. Jasmine has had a nervous breakdown and copes by swilling copious amounts of Xanax and vodka.
Woody is operating in peak form here in one of his best films in years: writing, acting directing cinematography, music, and food. They are all here in abundance. Casting choices were unusual and brilliant. I see Oscar nods for Cate’s brilliant performance as Jasmine. Sally Hawkins was terrific as Ginger, Bobby Cannvale was convincing as the brutal, animalistic, Chili. Louis C K. nailed his Mitch like character, and Alec Baldwin was Alec Baldwin, but thoroughly entertaining.
All in all worth the price of admission and definitely one of the best movies of the year. I was glad to see Cate Blanchett win a Golden Globe for best actress in dramatic motion picture. Woody Allen who wrote and directed the film was also recognized by the Foreign Press at the Golden Globes Awards with the Cecil B. DE Mille Lifetime Achievement Award. Whatever you think about him personally he is a brilliant film maker and quite possibly a genius who has been making movies roughly a movie per year since 1965.




A Bridge Too Far


Last night, Governor Chris Christo appeared on Billo Riley’s television show, Fear Factory, on The Fox Force Five Network. What follows is a partial transcript of the interview:

Billo Riley: Governor Christo, you have been described as a prince of a man and that there is no way that you would have done anything so sinister as to order the lane closings on the George Washington Bridge. Can you tell us what your view on life is in general and on politics in particular?

Chris Christo: Sure, Billo. That’s a great question. Thanks for asking. My view is this: A man who tries to be good all the time is bound to come to ruination among so many men who are not good. Therefore, a prince, such as myself, if he wants to keep his authority, must learn how to be not so good.

Billo Riley: And Governor, if I may be so bold to ask, if the situation requires gentle persuasion, what say you?

Chris Christo: Well, Billo, besides what I just said, it should be kept in mind that the temperature of a crowd is mutable. While it might be easy to persuade them of something, it might be difficult maintain their belief. Therefore, when the time comes when the public no longer believes of their own accord, they may have be compelled to believe by force.

Billo Riley: How would you go about this so called gentle persuasion?

Chris Christo: Well, you see, Billo, people are so simpleminded, and answer so completely to their immediate needs, when the need to deceive arises I never fail at finding willing dupes. Everyone sees what you appear to be, few really know what you are.

Billo Riley: Were you absolutely truthful in your recent press conference?

Chris Christo: Well, to tell the truth, Billo, sometimes words must serve to veil the facts. But this should only happen in such a way that no one becomes aware of it. If they do, I always have plenty of excuses at hand to be produce immediately.

Billo Riley: But in that case, how can we trust anything that you say?

Chris Christo: Well, Billo, the crowd always is taken by appearances. The public in general judge more from appearances than from reality. All men have eyes, but few have the gift of sight.

Billo Riley: I noticed you got rid of your deputy chief of staff and several other high ranking associates rather quickly. Would you care to comment on that?

Chris Christo: Sure. Any cruelty that has to be executed should be done so at once, so that the less it is tasted, the less it offends. Benefits, on the other hand must be given out a little at a time, so they will be appreciated more. We cannot flinch at the betrayal of one’s friends, and showing no loyalty, mercy, or moral obligation. These are the means that lead to power.

Billo Riley: Tell me Governor, is it better to be loved or feared?

Chris Christo: It is best to be both feared and loved. However, if one cannot have both, it is better to be feared than loved.

Billo Riley: Any other comments on human nature?

Chris Christo: Yeah, I’ll take a crack at it. I would say it is true in general of people that they are ungrateful, disloyal, insincere and deceitful, timid of danger and quick to line their pockets. Love is a bond of obligation that these miserable creatures break whenever it suits them to do so, but fear holds them in their place by the dread of punishment.

Billo Riley: Any final thoughts or words of advice?

Chris Christo: Yep! Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

Billo Riley: Ok, Governor. Thanks!

Chris Christo: Thank you, Billo!

Sources: All of Governor Chris Christo’s answers were from “The Prince,” by Machiavelli.