“The Big Sick”: romantic comedy about caregiving covers Muslim assimilation

The Big Sick”, directed by Michael Showalter, written by comedian Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, does, even as a romantic medical comedy (if there is such a thing) lay out the issue of assimilation for religious minorities, especially Muslims.

Kumali, playing himself as having come with his parents as a little boy from Pakistan, does comedy gigs at Chicago nightclubs, more or less on Rush Street. His more conservative but well assimilated Muslim parents urge him to go to law school and become respectable.

Kumali falls in love with a (Gentile) girl Emily (Zoe Kazan), and they start sleeping together.  One day Emily twists her ankle in a supermarket, and a few days later is in a medical coma with what looks like a life-threatening opportunistic pneumonia.  Kumali is the only one present until family arrives and pretends to be the husband.  The doctor asks if she has HIV, which could mean that Kumali has been exposed to AIDS himself. (Yes, heterosexuals can spread it.)

But it turns out that Emily has an unusual automimmune disorder, related to genetics (and probably an earlier infection like mono).  Eventually she pulls through, and the end of the film will deal with whether they still have a relationship.

The film presents a few social issue confrontations. Early in the film, when Emily shouts out at him, he scolds her for harassing a  comedian, which is considered rude behavior in comedy clubs.  (Ask Kate Clinton, whom I have watched on Netflix.)  Nevertheless, that helps start the relationship.

While Emily is in the hospital, a caricature of a while nationalist and “Trump supporter” harasses Kmali in the club as a recruiter for “ISIS”.  The boorish troll gets tossed by security, but not before he is told he is  “bad person”, part of Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables”.

Then there is the scene where Kumali is confronted by his parents.  Why doesn’t he think about his family instead of himself, they say.  Why is an arranged marriage to a Muslim girl not god enough for him?  Why won’t he grow his beard?  (He looks quite handsome and charismatic as he is, clean-shaven but with his hairy body;  most middle Eastern people are actually “white”, a fact that gets lost on a lot of people.)  Why won’t he kneel and pray five times a day facing Mecca?  Kumali does not such formality is necessary to have the personal faith.

I worked in I.T. or 30 years, and I always encountered software people from India and Pakistan. Until 9/11, nobody thought about religion in the office.  Everyone was assimilated. The parents are shown as well off, with beautiful Islamic interior decorations and art work in the house, and well assimilated into American capitalism and business.

At the end, Kumali moves to New York to start in a new club, and Emily has to make a choice.

Chicago picture (wiki).

There was a short film called “Murphy” about a boy, a dog and an animation in the pre-show (M2M).

Name: The Big Sick
Director, writer:  Michael Showalter, Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon
Released:  2017
Format:  1.85:1
When and how viewed:  Angelika Mosaic, 2017/9/10
Length:  120
Rating:  R
Companies:  Amazon Studios, Lionsgate, Apatow
Link:  official

(Posted: Monday, September 11, 2017m at 12:30 PM EDT)

“Kept Boy”: gay dramedy about a Hollywood sugar daddy breaks out into some bigger issues

Kept Boy” (2017), directed by George Bamber and written by David Ozanich, starts out as if it could be just a silly, facetious comedy about younger gay men living off of rich but aging sugar daddies in Tinseltown. Indeed, there are prior example-setters, like “The Houseboy” (2011) and “The Mudge Boy” (2007).  But the film, however compact at 89 minutes, gets into other areas, international and scope, and turns serious and pertinent as it progresses.

Dennis Racine, played by British actor Jon Paul Phillips, dropped out of college in LA a decade ago and essentially became a houseboy of now 50-something TV producer Farleigh Nock (German actor Thure Reifenstein).  Thure produces a reality TV show about fashion and interior decoration, and probably hasn’t taken Blogtyrant’s advice to heart on how he could increase his fan base and ratings by nice blogging.  Having undergone angioplasty, he denies his health problems. He faces being cut off by investors, who like Nate Berkus better.  (Nate’s show, which I liked, is no longer on, and Nate lost his male partner Fernando to the 2004 tsunami that hit Sri Lanka – a catastrophe depicted in the 2012 film “The Impossible”.)  Complicating the question as to whether Thure can “afford” Dennis any more is the fact that Dennis approaches his 30th birthday.  And another boyfriend Jasper (Greg Audino, who becomes the most likable character in the story) could take Dennis’s place.

Dennis may, in fact, be showing his age and preparing to go downhill fast.  He smokes electronic cigarettes, which probably have nicotine. His body is just too smooth, especially in the legs.

The movie takes an interesting plot turn at midpoint (again, interesting from Hauge’s theories on how all good screenplays are structured) as the characters visit the coastal resort city of Cartagena, Colombia.  They run into a closeted gay drug lord who creates some complications in protecting his own empire. If you look at a map, you see that Cartagena is not too far from Venezuela, and is facing bigtime refugee and asylum issues, brought on by Communism.  Maybe another movie?  A friend of mine visited Cartagena last year, before his very recent passing as I learned about from Facebook. I’m also reminded of the 2001 film “Collateral Damage” whose release was held up by 9/11.

The DVD will be available August 8, 2017 from Breaking Glass Pictures (theatrical was TLA).  Expect more than just the usual happy ending;  tragedy happens.  There’s a lot more material under the covers that one could explore. I can remember once being counseled (at the Ninth Street Center in the 1970s) that I ought to be open to being sponged off of.

Picture: Mine, manga doll in a bar last night

Name:  “Kept Boy”
Director, writer:  George Bamber, David Ozanich
Released:  2017
Format:  1.78:1
When and how viewed:  2017/2/23, complimentary private Vimeo screener
Length:  89
Rating:  NA (probably R, a few explicit gay scenes)
Companies:  Breaking Glass Pictures, TLA Releasing
Link:  announcement

(Posted: Sunday, July 23, 2017 at 6:30 PM EDT)

“The Matchbreaker”: the comic antithesis of the next best thing to unrealistic romantic fantasy

If you’re 74 years old, it’s generally not too appropriate to expect an intimate relationship with a 21 year old, however legal.  My own mother used to say (back in 2000, when I was 57) that even 30 was too young for me, even for “friendship”.  So what’s the next best thing?  To play match maker, as “Uncle Bill”, on Facebook and Twitter.  Yes, I’ve done that.  I know of much younger men who should meet each other.   Sorry, I don’t use Snapchat, although there is a lot of snappy smartphone chat in this film.

This is, “The Matchbreaker”, directed by Caleb Vetter. Wesley Elder (sounds LDS-like) plays the energetic, articulate, socially charismatic Ethan Cooper (Wesley also helped write the script and story). He’s skinny, cis-male, and hairy chested.  I could say that this comedy is “Milo” for straight people. He gets fired by giving too much away to customers as a computer tech in a store that looks like Best Buy (I think of the Nerd Herd in the store Buy More in the old NBC series “Chuck” where Zachary Levi plays a spy disguised as a repair techie).

So Ethan goes into business for himself, somewhat by accident, as a matchbreaker.  Parents hire him to break up relationships of their teen kids (first daughters and then sons too) by double-dating them and causing his clients to make faux pas.  Like in one case, a gawky male (Olan Rogers) isn’t able to jump off a river boat to save a girl who jumped in.  It’s all sexist and chauvinistic.  Ethan has a best friend and roomie played by Osric Chau as part of a tag team.

The film doesn’t have the outrageous social setups that made sitcoms in the 1950s funny, but that may be what it needed, rather than playing itself as a Shakespeare-inspired comedy.  Eventually, he’ll be exposed in a comic near-finale (rather like “All’s Well that Ends Well”) and face the idea he could lose his own girl friend (Christina Grimmie), an only half-willing accomplice.

The film is shot in “KCMO” – Kansas City, Missouri, with many spectacular shots of downtown, all the way out to the famous shopping malls (the Country Club Plaza, south of downtown, near most of the bars), with some scenes on the Kansas site, and some scenes in Leavenworth, KS.  I was last in the area in the summer of 2006 but I know the area well because I earned my MA in Mathematics in 1968 at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.  Army service followed.  I would have liked to have a scene a Royals Kauffman Stadium (been there once).

Downtown KCMO wiki

Kaufman Stadium wiki

Leavenworth wiki

Picture: Kansas City Star plant, downtown KCMO, my trip, 2006.

Name: The Matchbreaker
Director, writer:  Caleb Vetter, Wesley Elder
Released:  2016
Format:  2.35:1
When and how viewed:  Netflix Instant, 2017/7/19
Length: 94
Rating:  NA
Companies:  Stadium Films
Link:  official

(Posted on Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 5:30 PM EDT)

“Moscow Never Sleeps”: a great opportunity to “see” Moscow

Moscow Never Sleeps” is a new film by Irish director Johnny O’Reilly, who says he spent a dozen years living in Moscow as Putin gradually consolidated power. He thinks the city is fascinating, and it is still rarely visited by Americans because of fear of hostility and maybe arrest.

O’Reilly’s film is in Robert Altman style, presenting intersecting stories of the everyday lives of a few characters.  American films like this might include “Short Cuts” (1993), or Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Magnolia” (1999), although this film is shorter at 100 minutes.

It starts in an operating room where an old sot Valeriey (Yuriy Sotyanov) refuses coronary bypass surgery and insists on going back to his pub crawls despite having only a few weeks to live this way. There is an oligarchy businessman Anton (Aleksey Serebryakov) who seeks the freedom of part-time life in New York, doing his deals from afar where Putin can’t get to him. But most of the rest of the stories involve mundane things.  A son puts his mom into assisted living, where she has to deal with loss of privacy and dignity, and wonders why mom didn’t help grandma more.  The mom returns home for a visit (unusual in real life).  A young woman reenters the lives of rivals and seeks personal revenge.  This film has parallel two drink poisoning scenes.

The people are not all that likable, and are not doing particularly well in Russia’s grubby, hierarchal economy based on right-sizing. But the film gives us a wealth of long shots of Moscow, including drone aerials (this was a trick, to get past authorities), with views of long ring expressways.  There are long cityscapes of ornate low-rise apartments, giving way to highrises, with islands of skyscrapers in the distance.  The effect is that of a city on another planet, an alien world. The events in the story center around Moscow City Day, which is the first Saturday in September. It’s still warm (24 C) but won’t be for long.  The film indeed provides a practical way to see Moscow without the risk and expense of going there.

I do recall films like “Gorky Park” (where some of this new film was shot) and “Moscow on the Hudson” from the 80s.

Wikipedia link for Evolution Tower.

Director QA

1  (my question about the 2013 anti-gay propaganda law)

2

Facts:

Name: Moscow Never Sleeps
Director, writer:  Johnny O’Reilly
Released:  2017
Format:  2.35:1   in Russian, with subtitles
When and how viewed:  Landmark E Street, Washington, 2017/7/1, sold out
Length:  100
Rating:  NA (R)
Companies:  Snapshot films
Link:  official site

(Posted: Sunday, July 2, 2017 at 3 PM EDT)

“Being Charlie”: stereotyped rooting interest in another good kid with a fatal flaw

Being Charlie” is another manufactured comedy, by Rob Reiner, for the independent and DVD market, that tries to get a rooting interest for a recovering adolescent drug user.

Indeed, Charlie Mills (Nick Robinson) seems like a “good kid” and is likable enough.  We learn that his rich parents in LA had him kidnapped and sent to drug rehab in Utah about a year before.  When he returns home on his 18th birthday, his parents intervene and right back he goes.

But pretty soon we learn that dad (Cary Elwes) is running for governor of California (is he a Republican?).  In Charlie’s second stint, he deals with the idea of good-behavior passes, and being allowed out on his own.  No doubt, he soon discovers romance (heterosexual, although he admits do doing gay sex for drugs in the past) with the staff.  That generates a kind of plot.

Charlie’s redemption comes from his talent for spontaneity, and stand-up comedy, even if vulgar (no more so than Donald Trump’s). Staff member Travis (Common) helps him see that.  When with a male friend near the end of the film, he almost has a chance to play hero when the friend has an overdose, just as Charlie seems to have finally beaten his own addictions.

The whole idea of intervention and therapy brings back my bad old days, of my own college expulsion (William and Mary) as a freshman in 1961, and “therapy” at NIH in the fall of 1962.  In those days, society put homosexuality in the same category of vice as drug use. But of course, as an only child, my real problem was that I wouldn’t be providing my parents a lineage.

There’s a line in the film where Charlie is told (by Travis) “you have to have the serenity to accept the things we can’t change”.  An odd choice of a noun.

On my very first day as a substitute teacher in 2004, I was assigned a special education class, and the assignment for the day was to watch a 1968 Anchor Bay film “Charly“, by Ralph Nelson, about an intellectually challenged person (Cliff Robertson) made into a genius by an experiment, which eventually goes wrong.  I found the idea of showing it to this class rather troubling.

Name: “Being Charlie”
Director, writer:  Rob Reiner
Released:  2016
Format:  1.85:1
When and how viewed:  Netflix DVD, 2017/7/1
Length:  98
Rating:  R
Companies:  Castle Rock, Warner Independent, Paladin, Anchor Bay
Link:  DVD

(Posted: Saturday, July 1, 2017 at 2:30 PM EDT)

“Baby Driver”: Ansel Elgort plays the good kid caught in a life with the mob

Edgar Wright, the young British curator of the Three Flavours Cornetto film trilogy (remember the 2013 pub crawl to “The World’s End”), has put himself into the action black comedy about exploitation of youth, “Baby Driver”.

Ansel Elgort plays Baby, the good kid chased into a life with the mob after a family tragedy, who puts his teenage reflexes into driving fast cars into chases and escapes.  Even carjacks an old lady but gives her the purse back, and shoots out of a situation at the end only when he has to.

Yes, a 22-year-old has better reflexes when driving than a 73-year-old.  Maybe not the best judgment on risk. But Baby has no choice but to take risks to protect others, like a real man.

Kevin Spacey plays the boss Doc, looking more decrepit and withered than ever.  After Baby is willing go to back to delivering Pizzas while taking care of a crippled and deaf stepfather, Doc threatens Baby back into the life of crime.

Baby will rescue a waitress girl friend and turn himself in when he has to, and it’s not too much of a spoiler to admit he will be a model prisoner for five years.

The film presents plans of some pretty brutal stuff, including very personalized hostage taking in a post office heist (remember the bank robbery in “Heat”), which I would not survive if it happened to me.  The film makes pretty effective use of the Atlanta backdrop.  I wonder if I-85 is back open.

As I walked into the AMC Shirlington last night, my smartphone beeped that Nationals player Trea Turner had a fractured wrist, on a day the Nats bullpen had blown a lead.  I thought, Ansel Elgort certainly is built like a baseball player, especially a pitcher.  How many young actors are capable of playing professional sports? And, no, I can’t wake up tomorrow morning in his 23-year-old body.  That violates the laws of physics.  Thou shalt not covet.

I think I vaguely remember seeing the 1956 classic film “Baby Doll” on television in the 1990s, Elia Kazan’s tale of a virgin in the south fought over by two men,, with Carroll Baker.

Name:  “Baby Driver”
Director, writer:  Edgar Wright
Released:  2017
Format:  2.35:1
When and how viewed:  AMC Shirlington, 2017/6/29, fair crowd, late
Length:  113
Rating:  R
Companies:  Sony Tri-Star
Link:  official

(Posted: Friday, June 30, 2017 at 4 PM EDT)

“Beatriz at Dinner”: a vicious moral satire, and a caricature of The Donald, maybe; and some alternate reality in the end

Beatriz at Dinner”, directed by Miguel Arteta and written by Mike White, may come across as a satire about a Donald Trump kind of person, and a very personal political and social conflict that develops with a person who indirectly works for him.

Beatriz (Salma Hayak) lives humbly with a lot of animals (“my pet goat”), works as a new age practitioner on nursing homes, and as a domestic in a real estate broker’s (David Warhofsky) home on the California coast. When her car breaks down as she is leaving, the family invites her to stay for dinner while waiting for the tow truck.

But when the “green boss” (that’s by childhood term) Doug Strutt, played by a creepy John Lithgow, arrives for dinner, the comedy becomes dire quickly. Strutt brags about his hunting exploits, where he killed a rhinoceros (remember Cecil the Lion).  Beatriz becomes unhinged, and goes to another room and looks up Strutt’s “online reputation” on the Internet, and finds loads of articles of how he has exploited workers all over the world.  When she comes back, she confronts him further, causing the party to break up.

The other guests release lanterns (like they do in Spain at the end of “The Way”) and the tow truck finally comes, but after a conversation where Strutts disavows liberal-do-goodism and climate change because the world will end in a few decades anyway (like FitzGerald’s Rubyiat).

The film then presents (by my count) three alternative endings.  With a couple of them, Strutts would not get a funeral in my world, because his end was for a political crime.  The we do see Beatriz’s own view of the afterlife.

I like the tagline, “She’s invited, but she’s not welcome”.

This movie is indeed a vicious moral and political satire, putting Jonathan Swift to shame.

Name: Beatriz at Dinner
Director, writer:  Miguel Arteta and Mike White
Released:  2017
Format:  1.85 :1
When and how viewed:  Shirlington AMC, 2017/6/24, small auditorium, full audience
Length:  87
Rating:  R
Companies:  Roadside Attractions, FilmNation
Link:  RA

(Posted: Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 10 PM EDT)

“The Book of Henry”: the legacy of a gifted child who was grown at 12

The Book of Henry”, directed by Colin Trevorrow and written by Gregg Hurwitz, is layered, in the sense that the plot is partially driven by the contents of a handwritten notebook authored by the charismatic Henry (think “Nocturnal Animals”) and it is also Biblical, in that the 12 year old Henry (Jaeden Lieberher) is almost like a Christ figure (think Danny in “Judas Kiss”) who really could save us, so his book is like a Gospel.

Unfortunately, Henry has an unusual, opportunistic brain tumor.  It starts with headaches, and a seizure, and he dies in his mother’s arms, looking at the sky. It’s a horrific tragedy. It is sudden, like Lee Atwater’s in 1989. Why would this happen.  Was he born with HIV?  His single mom (Naomi Watts) also has a younger son Peter (Jacob Tremblay, from “Room”) whom we also hope will grow up to be a genius.

Henry and Peter have built a tree house with all kinds of perpetual motion gadgets. Mom likes to play video games on TV, but the movie has the look of the early 90s (in upstate New York).  Mom (Susan) works in a diner as a waitress even though it’s not clear  she has to. (The source of the money is not quite clear.)  She often covers for goofball comedian Sheila (Sarah Silverman).

There are twelve year old’s who understand the adult world.  I’ve met a few in my life, as a substitute teacher, and at local churches.  It’s gratifying to see the same 12 year old a decade ago at 22 today out of college.  (Maybe the Washington Nationals could use him as a closer, but I’ll stop there.)  But Henry won’t go to M.I.T., Stanford, or UNC.  His days are numbered, and he knows it, and he has to take care of his family.

Henry talks fast, often in rich metaphors (“our legacy is not how many commas we have after our name”).

Henry has Jesus’s moral sense.  Before his illness, he gets after his mom not intervening in an abusive situation in a supermarket.  He says that if everybody minded just their own business, people who can’t take care of themselves would be left to die.  Remember the parable of the Rich Young Ruler, who has too much to lose?

Henry, playing “Rear Window”, has spotted the possible abuse of a female classmate by her stepfather, a politically powerful police chief, through the window, in the next door house.  He wants mom to intervene but he figures out that politically Child Protective Services won’t help.  So his authored book provides the blueprint for what mom must do to stop the stepdad once Henry is gone.

Susan (the mom) puts her comic plan into action to trap the police chief while Sheila leads a talent show at the school.  At the end, she burns the Book and the 80s-style minitapes.  But the DVD for this movie will need to include a PDF of the Book, with all of Henry’s Da Vinci-like drawings.  The Book itself needs ti be published.

The style of the movie is almost that of comedy, despite its tragic middle. The look of it reminds me of “Moonrise Kingdom”.

There is a NatGeo film “The Gospel of Judas” (2006).

Name: “The Book of Henry”
Director, writer:  Colin Trevorrow, Gregg Hurwitz
Released:  2017
Format: 2.00:1
When and how viewed:  Cinema Arts, Fairfax, 2017/6/20
Length:  106
Rating:  PG-13
Companies:  Sidney Kimmel, Focus Features
Link:  official

(Posted on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 11 PM EDT)

“Sundown”: the kind of spring-break comedy I get emails about (asking me if I want to write another one)

Sundown” (directed Fernando Lebrija) is another stereotyped teen spring break comedy, the kind that I get emails about asking if I a screenplay to submit in this genre. It offers the novelty of a setting in the Mexican coastal resort of Puerto Vallarta, for rich people.

Logan (a handsome Devon Werkheiser) and his best friend Blake (Sean Marquette) will be the tag team. Blake seems like a younger Seth Rogen, as if the producers wanted another comedy that would see if they could anger North Korea into another hack (which apparently just happened).

Logan’s dad (John Michael Higgins), having raised him in some LA Valley suburb, often pesters Logan during Logan’s home disco mixing sessions, as Logan seems to aspire to be a disco electronics music composer. That’s not bad. Dad wants Logan to take care of the house while parents go away, and gives him grandfather’s metal Rolex watch, worth thousands.

One cardinal rule, it seems to me, is that you don’t give a teen boy a metal band wrist watch before he gets through puberty, should his wrists become hairy and the watch grabby. In these days of DuoSkin maybe that won’t matter.

Logan and Blake sneak out by airliner (no electronics ban yet) to Puerto Vallarta for heterosexual circuit parties. That’s not before they get some weed from Eugene (Reid Ewing, who gets more of a part in the closing credits). Once there, the taxi driver (quite reckless on a two-lane road) almost takes the watch for barter. Logan gets involved with a call girl Gaby (Camilla Belle), and wakes up from the drugs to find the watch gone. I know the feeling. That’s not until a scene where she vomits into his mouth trying to kiss him.

The rest of the comedy is about getting the watch back, sort of (the viewer’s hook for the screenwriter), and dealing with the Mexican mafia, which is hardly of MS-13 caliber, but it does play to the hustling mentality of the poor when dealing with guest rich white people. Logan will wind up rescuing Gaby from a pimp (remember “Hustle and Flow”: indeed, it’s hard our here for a pimp). Then Logan has to return and make up with his dad.

The film has been criticized for the casting of Gaby, as if an affront to Mexico. The film seems especially deadpan given the current political debates over immigration and asylum.

Logan and Blake endure a lot, including some drag paintball makeup on their bodies, maybe simulating the DuoSkin.

In the film’s “middle”, there is a rather offensive cock fight, which Logan has to get himself out of.  It seems rather cruel to animals. But a backstory chapter in my novel draft “Tribunal and Rapture” (later morphed into “Angel’s Brother”) depicts a cock fight in Florida in giving the background of one of the characters (a “retired” FBI agent). It was good for me to be reminded of that scene.

Somehow this film reminds me of the little 2001 comedy “The Mexican” with Brad Pitt about a cursed gun. It has no connection to “Hurry Sundown” (1967), a film, which because of reference to the draft, I probably need to see.

Wikipedia picture of Puerto Vallarta beach (not as pretty as San Sebastian, Spain, for my money.)

Name:  “Sundown”
Director, writer:  Fernando Lebrija
Released:  2016
Format:  2.35:1
When and how viewed:  Amazon Instant $3.99 (also on Netflix Instant)
Length:  104
Rating:  R
Companies:  Lionsgate, Pantelion, Netflix
Link:  Indiewire

(Posted: Friday, May 19, at 12:30 AM EDT)

“The Circle”: satire as a super Facebook wants to rule the world and turn it into one group mind

The Circle” is actually a sphere that looks like a marble, and is a micro camera, something like Google glasses.  In this satire, directed by James Ponsoldt and based on the novel by Dave Eggers, the plan is to get everyone the planet to wear one and be continuously logged on to this new super reinvention of Facebook.  The color is red, rather than blue, so it is less inviting to color-blind people, for starters.

Emma Watson plays Mae, a bill collector (it seems like everybody works in collections these days as movies begin) who gets invited to join this new Silicon Valley company. She already has a good life kayaking and with a humble blue-collar boyfriend Mercer (Ellar Coltrane, whose recreation of his Mason persona from Boyhood is a little forced).  But her dad has multiple sclerosis and Mae (unlike me) has gone to the effort to get her parents to have some competence with tech.

Pretty soon she buys into the sinister aims of the company guru  Bailey (Tom Hanks) and COO (Patton Oswalt) to rule the world. Beyond super Amway attitudes, they goad all their employees into sharing everything all the time.  They want use The Circle to register voters and run elections, and to make every email everyone has ever sent transparent to the whole world.  I kept wondering how long before the 2016 election was this written, as the references to Hillary Clinton’s email scandal are pretty transparent.

They have a slogan, secrets are lies, and want to destroy all privacy completely.  In fact, they see all of humanity as one group mind, so you wonder if the film is a metaphor for distributed consciousness, dolphin style.

But you can also take the film as asking, whether all human activity ought to become eventually public and knowable by others, who may want to “connect the dots” the way I do.

Mercer wants to stay out of this, but is dragged in with tragic results.  Maybe he needs resurrection.

There is an odd scene early in the film were Mae is given a medical physical, and told to drink a prep (rather like for a catscan) containing nanobots, which communicate to her Fitbit watch (they also put electrodes on her upper chest. I wondered if employees were Holter monitors all the time.)

Jack Andraka wants to do a lot with nanobots, as these two stories show (Huffington and Telegraph).

There was sci-fi movie with the title Circle reviewed here June 6.

Fact table”

Name:  “The Circle”
Director, writer:  James Ponsoldt, Dave Eggers
Released:  2017
Format:  2.35:1
When and how viewed:  2017/4/29 Angelika Mosaic fair crowd
Length:  110
Rating:  PG-13
Companies:  STX Entertainment, Europa (some financing from
Link:  official

(Posted: Saturday, April 29 at 11:30 PM EDT)