Tag Archive | The Band’s Visit

“The Bridge Over The River Kwai” In The 1950s Oscar Winning Movie (Film) Is Being Rebuilt In Kitulgala, Sri Lanka.

Indiana_Jones_and_the_Temple_of_Doom_PosterB

Filmed in Sri Lanka though supposed to be set in India.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>>
“The Sessions”
>>
Disney ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’
>> ‘Hyde Park On Hudson’
>> “Frozen” 
>> ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’
>> ‘The Other Son’ etc 

>> Junaid Khan concussion
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‘Guard of Honor’ for Mahela Jayawardene

>> Angelo Matthews Thanks God for Test Victory

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++++ Search ‘Sri Lanka’, ‘cricket’, ‘prayer’ & ‘Buddhism’  for MANY other related posts >>>>


On Friday night, at the scintillating “North Shore Acappella” concert, one of the other volunteers, always up on world news, whispered in my year, over the signing, something about The Bridge Over The River Kwai. I couldn’t hear all of what he had to say because we were standing quite close to the stage and the group was in full swing. I didn’t get to see him afterwards. But, I made a mental note to Google ‘News’ to see what had transpired BECAUSE I have been multiple times to BOTH locations — the movie set remains in Kitulgala, Sri Lanka (née Ceylon) and the ‘modern’ metal bridge, downstream where the real one used to be, near Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

All Sri Lankans of my vintage have a vested interest in “The Bridge Over The River Kwai“. It was one of two iconic movies shot in Sri Lanka, the other having been “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom“. The ‘Indiana Jones” movies is set in India and was supposed to be shot in India. But they ran into ‘issues’ and moved the filming to Kandy, Sri Lanka. All the brown folks masquerading as Indians are Sri Lankans and Spielberg, to save money, didn’t even bother to make them learn ‘Indian‘ (e.g., Hindi or Urdu). Instead they speak Sinhalese. For those of us who understand Sinhalese it is hilarious.

Anyway, the “The Bridge” is a legend though the whole thing is ‘factional’ — loosely based on real events, but it is NOT 100%. Plus, there never was a river named ‘Kawi’!


kwaifactsppt

Click to ENLARGE. I made this up — quickly.

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The story is in “today’s” U.K. ‘Daily Mail’. Click to access. As ever great coverage with LOTS of detail and pictures. Must read.

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From Google Maps with my annotations. NOT even close. Sri Lanka, i.e., Ceylon, was nowhere even CLOSE to the Burma railway. So this was all poetic license. Plus in 1957 Ceylon was still, just 9 years after Independence, still quite “British”. Click to ENLARGE. Go to Google Maps for original.

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from Google Earth. The Kelani River at Kithulgala — 5 minutes walk from the Rest House. The rocks and some concrete is all that is there. The concrete is from the movie. The rocks predate the movie. In my days in Ceylon, i.e., pre-1968, you would find Sinhalese women washing clothes on the rocks and people bathing in the river. ‘Kitulgala’ = ‘Kithul’ is a type of palm tree from which we get many uses while ‘gala’ means ROCK which is appropriate given the rocks intruding into the river in this area.


When I lived in Ceylon, i.e., before August 27, 1967, I used to go to the Kithulgala Rest House, as with all of the other, British-legacy, 30 or 40 Rest Houses in Ceylon, on a fairly regular basis. At least twice a year. I don’t recall ever spending the night there. We would typically stop there for lunch on the way to delightful Nuwara Eliya (the climatically COOL hill capitol of those days) or Hatton (prime tea estate country). I would order my de rigeur Rest House meal, Fish & Chips (British style) with tomato sauce (if they had it), and then head down to the river.

I spent the summers of 1973 & 1974 in Bangkok, Thailand while I was finishing my first degree at SwanseaKanchanaburi, those days, was a nice 90 minute drive from Bangkok. I remember going there at least twice, but it might have been more. There is a relatively famous Buddhist temple complex close by. I walked across the metal bridge each time. I had a picture of the metal plaque that is there commemorating the real bridge.

So I just want to document this because I feel an attachment to both places.


Sucking_leech

A leech.

Wow. The exterior, and by that I mean the main yellow building, hasn’t changed much. There used to be a dining room that KIND of overlooked the river over the vegetation. You couldn’t see the ‘remains’ of the bridge from the Rest House. You had to walk down, always checking your crotch for leeches! Leeches were a big problem in areas such as that and they made a beeline to your crotch. That is where they could do most damage. So if you were a local that is where you started checking. On the leg was piece of cake.

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The modern Rest House at Kitulgala. Considerably modernized and restored from the one that I used to visit in 1960s and 1950s. Click to ENLARGE.


“The Sessions” About A Polio Sufferer’s, viz. Mark O’Brien’s, Hands-On Experience With A Sex Therapist Is Poignant, Funny & Profound.

sessionsflyerAnura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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by
Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>>
Disney ‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’
>>July 26, 2014.
>>
‘Hyde Park On Hudson’
>>June 24, 2014.
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>> ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’
>>
Apr. 3, 2013.
>> ‘The Other Son’ etc — Sep. 10, 2013.

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Thesessionspics1

Click for more from ‘imdb.com’.


sessionscathpriest1

Brilliant portrayal of a too-good-to-be-true Catholic priest. If 40% of Catholic priests were as humane as this portrayal the Catholic church would be in much better shape. I just loved this depiction because I do know some very decent Catholic priests — even though, as most of you know, I am not Catholic.


We watched this great movie this past week. I had recorded it, on DirecTV, as is my wont. I think it was part of a free, preview movie weekend — I think it was CineMax. At any given time we have in excess of 100 HD movies on our DVR! 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this movie. The title was intriguing. It blew us away. WOW. WOW. WOW.

Yes, it was funny and had some GREAT lines — my favorite, given my known distaste for most thing German was: “Why go to Germany? It’s the only place in the world where humor is forbidden”. But it made you think. It had a subtext to do with God and religion. I loved this line, though, I, of course, know better: “I believe in a God with a sense of humor. I would find it absolutely intolerable not to be to able blame someone for all this.”

If you haven’t seen it watch it. I assume it is readily available and I see that you can even download it from imdb.com, albeit for a fee.

It was sexy too — which I did not expect. According to imdb they goofed on the bras. That alone should make you smile.

The only thing I did not care for much was an unnecessary and uncalled for subtext to do with ‘conversion’. Came across as propaganda. C’est la vie. Made the Catholic church look good — which, these days, takes some doing.


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Here is the 1990 Mark O’Brien article upon which this movie is based. I thought some of you might be interested.


What Is A ‘Reasonable Time’ Between A Death And The Funeral?

jfkfuneralAnura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> PLEASE donate your body to science — Oct. 12, 2013.


As some of you may have worked out from my posts, especially this one about donating your body to science, I, strange at the best of times, am incredibly strange when it comes to death and funerals. I really don’t care what others do, and I haven’t been to a funeral is over 20 years. All I care about is that I will NOT be having a funeral. I want my body to be picked up and taken away, with zero fuss, ASAP. Just one phone call. So I tend to look at funerals with somewhat of a detached manner. Recently I heard about a funeral that was being held, in this country, 11 days after the person died. That got me thinking. That, to me, seemed like a long time.

I know that there are certain religions that expect prompt burial — and I think one of them basically states that the body needs to be disposed by the first sundown. So, in that context, 11 days seems rather long.

As a papal historian, I am, of course, very familiar with the notion of novendiales [also novemdiales], the nine consecutive days of mourning following the death of a pope — though this typically starts, at least in ‘modern’ times, after the funeral of the pope. I chronicled the novendiales for John Paul II (#265), following his death in 2005, in my bookThe Next Pope 2011‘.

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Click to ENLARGE. Page 314 from my ‘The Next Pope 2011’.

But, the pope’s funeral per se was held on April 8, 2005, six days after his death on on April 2.

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Nelson Mandeala.

I then checked the most recent VIP — and all I could think was Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. Died December 5, 2013 and the final State Funeral was on December 15, 2013 — though for reasons yet to be explained nobody got to see any ‘close up’ images of his final, resting body. So those 10 days was a good reference point.

JFK — 3 days! Wow. Three days. I double checked this because it seemed so fast.

Ronald Reagan a total of six days up to his burial at his Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA.

Gerald Ford, the last U.S. President to have died, four days — and one of those was January 1, 2007.

Richard Nixon five days.

Then, given that I do consider myself a denizen of the world, I checked some other world leaders.

Indira Gandhi four days.

Jawaharlal Nehru (who I had the honor of meeting and shaking hands with when he visited Ceylon in 1962) one day; died 14:00 on May 27, 1964, cremated May 28. Wow. But, I gather that was per religious requirements.

But, to be fair, given my nationalistic bias, the first dates that I checked were for, of course, dear Winston Churchill. I do remember, as a child in Ceylon, seeing a film, c. 1965, which I think had a title along the lines of “A Journey’s End” about his funeral. I have done a post about his funeral. Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, KG, OM, CH, TD, DL, FRS, RA, the largest (known) State Funeral for the time, five days.

So in the overall scheme of things eleven days does seem atypical and unnecessary.

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Winston Churchill.


Lauren Bacall, Of The Sultry Voice, And Her 1970s Tampons TV Commercials — Per Deanna.

mrs-olsenAnura Guruge, June 8, 2013.
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by Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
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The Fan Lauren BacallSince I had seen the news before I went to bed (around 2 a.m. this morning), and given that Deanna is an avid fan of movie stars and likes to be on top of any news, I told Deanna the news as soon as she woke up this morning. She started laughing which was slightly unexpected. She went onto explain that she could never think of Lauren Bacall without remembering her beloved (lobsterman) father’s reaction to her tampon commercials in the 1970s — when Deanna was between 10 and 12.

I wasn’t in the U.S. at the time so I have no clue about these commercials.

It appears that Deanna’s father had quite the sense of humor and that Lauren Bacall’s tampon commercial used to ‘get to him’. Per Deanna, each time it aired, he would growl: ‘sounds like she has one stuck down her throat’!

You have to admit that that is funny. So, while lying in bed, listening to CNBC, sipping my coffee (kindly brought up by Deanna), and using my ‘large’ 10.2″ Le Pan Android tablet I tried to find the commercial because I knew YOU would like to see it — and hopefully visualize this lobsterman, from Cushing, Maine, in his late 40s, with black glasses, growling ‘sounds like she has one stuck down her throat’ and Deanna never failing to crack up laughing. I couldn’t find it though I kind of worked out that she was plugging Playtex. Deanna was going to have a look too — when she has some time. Busy today. Having folks around for dinner.

Yes, I checked YouTube, of course. Yes, of course, I can see all the coffee commercials — but zilch for tampons. Shame. This is when I realize that we, or at least I have, become so accustomed to thinking that the Web is infinite and infallible — though I know better. I just hope, if not expect, that you can find most things of ‘recent’ import on the Web.

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Click to access YouTube video.


“Hyde Park On Hudson” — A Delightful, Poignant, Historically Accurate & Educational Movie.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’
>>
Apr. 3, 2013.
>> ‘The Other Son’ etc — Sep. 10, 2013.

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Click to access 'IMDB.com' description ...

Click to access ‘IMDB.com’ description …


Picture from the "Hot Dog" picnic. From the National Archives ... which actually has a blog with a post on the 'Hot Dogs'. Click to access.

Picture from the “Hot Dog” picnic. From the National Archives … which actually has a blog with a post on the ‘Hot Dogs’. Click to access.


I have been meaning to catch this movie for ‘months’ and we finally got, thanks to the HBO weekend, to DVR it and watch it over the weekend. We both liked it. It will be hard NOT to like this movie. Very well done. I did not know any of this about FDR and it was quite an eye opener. Most of what I know of him one way or another is related to the close relationship he had with Churchill during WW II.

I was not aware of the Hot Dog menu and picnic. In this movie they seems to have gone out of their way to make them look more phallic than they need to be. But, it is a movie and they have to make a point.

Quite a guy FDR. It portrays him very warmly and he comes across as very avuncular. The emerging relationship between him and the King is fascinating and very poignant. Very good. A definite must watch. Up there with “King’s Speech” — which I rented and watched the day it was released on DVD.

I will now never be able to eat another hot dog, and I eat a few A DAY, without thinking of the King, FDR, Eleanor, Daisy and the extravagantly curved hot dogs depicted in the movie.


Some Compelling, Very Evocative Movies From Israel — We Are Hooked. “The Other Son”, “The Band’s Visit”, “Footnote” etc.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related Posts:
>> ‘The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel’
>>
Apr. 3, 2013.

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othersonsmovieLast night we started watching “The Other Son” a movie set in Israel — with subtitles (though some of the dialog is in French). I knew it would be good. It was, though I am not sure whether they are overplaying the supposed emotions.

What is germane here is that of late I keep an eye out for movies made in or set in Israel because we have seen some dynamite movies ‘from Israel’.

Over the years I had seen a few; all good. But over the last year we saw three in a row that were beyond memorable: “The Band’s Visit”, “Footnote” and “The Little Traitor”.

There is something about “The Band’s Visit“. You don’t think it will amount to much and it is deliberately set at a slow pace — but it is mesmerizing. Amazing how they achieve that.

bandmovieLoved “The Little Traitor” with its British connection and it was a revelation to me since (like many Brits of my age, I am sure) this is an aspect of our GLORIOUS and PROUD history that we don’t know enough about.

As a writer and researcher I found “Footnote” to be very compelling. Beautifully done.

So if you get movie channels, Showtime in particular, that shows Israeli make a point of recording them. We have yet to be disappointed.

footnotemovie

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Click on images to access imdb.com descriptions for each movie (or films as we call them).


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