Monday, February 12, 2007

Everyone Has a Purpose in Life.
Perhaps yours is watching television.

Banff Film Festival and Julia’s Empanadas
On Friday night, I had two tickets to the Banff film festival. After the festival up in Banff, the best films tour around the world during the winter and spring months. Wildly popular with the outdoor set, even in DC these films sell out. The DC tour was 4 days last week, the first three days showing diverse films each night—the last night being favorites of the previous nights’ selections. We missed the first film (seven minute short) but the next one, Asiemut was probably my favorite film of the night.
Asiemut was a documentary filmed by two twenty-something French citizens bicycling from Mongolia to the tip of India. The trip was extremely tough, as they had no additional support. They faced mysterious illnesses, intense dust storms, heat, humidity, elevation, cops, not enough food but they made it. By the first ten minutes, you the audience (well at least I did) felt like a cheer squad to the two protagonists. When they made it to the end of their trip, 6 months later, you felt (I felt) like getting up with pom-poms.
Mountains without Barriers, a short film about individuals with disabilities and the new technology aiding them in the outdoors was fascinating, and definitely optimistic. Watching two blind persons and an amputee climb a technical cliff in Italy? Very cool.
The other one that I’m still thinking about was “Didier vs. the Cobra.” The cobra is an extremely difficult crack climbing route in Canada. The friend that went with me thinks that trad (traditional climbing) is nuts…personally, I think sport climbing and trad climbing are totally cool, but free soloing climbers? Crazy.
After Banff was over at the National Geographic building we headed over to Julia’s Empanadas just off Dupont Circle for a quick, late dinner. Julia’s empanada’s sells six kinds of empanadas for $3.19 a piece. Julia is from Chile, so her Chilean empanada? Authentic. Her Salteña empanada is traditional also. As far as the other types of empanadas, I couldn't say. I only get Chilean or Saltena.

Ugly Betty
Right after Christmas, Kelli mentioned she watched a few episodes of Ugly Betty. Then a few days later she said she watched the whole season up to date in one day. I finally got around to watching an episode, and this weekend almost got myself up to date from the first of January (I haven’t watched last weeks episode yet).
So, its over the top..its a teleserie (funny thing, I was corrected by a non-spanish speaker because I used this word instead of telenovela--they both mean the same). The villains are campy, the recent plot twists? Right out of a telenovela, but the show has soul, and is oddly appealing.

30 Rock
After finally catching up this weekend, I am convinced that Tina Fey consciously took elements from the Mary Tyler Moore show. Gruff, crazy boss? Check. Single woman who has no luck dating who is one of the few sane individuals on the show? Check. Wry, gruff, bald co-worker/confidante? Check. Ted Baxter? Not one but two characters could be called “Ted Baxters.”
She didn’t steal whole episodes from MTM, but I’m positive this is the “classic” sitcom format she borrowed from. The show though is hilarious. Alec Baldwin’s character, Jack? Pure comic gold. Seriously, when he’s stressing about what to get his girlfriend, Condaleeza Rice, a present or when he thinks Putin is getting too fresh with Condi? I’m giggling still thinking about it. Tina’s character—Liz Lemon? Great comedian and simultaneously a straight “man” to all the crazies. The two Ted Baxters? Well, lets just say that one of them reminds myself and a friend a lot of another friend. Enough so, that’s all I feel like I can say. The humor is sharp, the lines are witty, the comedic insights into day to day life? Increasingly brilliant.


Lucy Stern said...

I don't like network television, but I do like the history channel, modern marvels, HGTV, and other on cable. Bonnie is a Grey's Anatomy fan....

Mike said...

I like TV way too much.
Ugly Betty is over the top, but it is also adorable. I really like 30 Rock. I still think that Alec Baldwin's best line so far has been "What am I, a farmer?" Of course, I loved that entire episode. It was watched a number of times here at Camp Anderson with many who weren't fans of the show being converted because of it. It is not uncommon to hear "I am a stabbing robot" or "Where your feet blue man?"

aisy said...

at first i didn't think i liked 30 rock but then it got more and more funny.

banff... makes me miss home. *sigh

stacer said...

I did the same thing with Ugly Betty. A friend recommended it for so long that I went online during the Christmas break and watched the entire season to date in a week. Now I have to keep up with it to find out what's next. It's great.

Shannon said...

You're not talking about Banff, Alberta Canada, are you?

Kipluck said...

I have only seen ONE 30 Rock all the way through but laughed a LOT. It was when Tina Fey goes out with "the hair" and they find out they are cousins. And I TOTALLY see the Mary Tyler Moore thing. If my schedule was more regular I think I WOULD be hooked.