Posts Tagged ‘Green Book’

Green Book movieMy wife and I went to see the movie Green Book at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany last week and we really enjoyed it. At some level, Ken Levine is right when he says it’s, at least in part, a “buddy road picture. Good performances, and scenes that hit all the desired emotions.”

If you just watch the film without context, you can appreciate the acting of Mahershala Ali as Dr. Don Shirley, an African-American classical pianist, Viggo Mortensen as Louie “Lip” Vallelonga, an Italian-American bouncer and Dr. Shirley’s driver in the Deep South in 1962; and Linda Cardellini as Dolores, Louie’s wife staying home waiting for her husband’s letters.

I’ll even defend one strain of criticism, that it seemed that the Italian guy knew more about fried chicken than the black guy. In a speech, “Don Shirley” describes the false narrative of the cliches of what being black in America is “supposed” to be, and I know from personal experience how dead-on he is.

More problematic, though, is information in this article, “How ‘Green Book’ And The Hollywood Machine Swallowed Donald Shirley Whole.” Most movies about real people and events from the escape scene at the end of Argo to the doubt of RBG in the upcoming film On Account of Sex.

But Edwin Shirley III was shocked by the “portrayal of his uncle as a Black man who is estranged from his family, estranged from the Black community and seemingly embarrassed by Blackness.

“Dr. Shirley’s last living brother, Dr. Maurice Shirley, 82, was ‘furious’ when he heard of the depiction of his brother… calling it ‘a symphony of lies.’ As one example, Maurice mentions the moment in the film where Ali’s character says he has a brother but didn’t know his whereabouts, as they hadn’t been in contact for some time. ‘At that point…, he had three living brothers with whom he was always in contact.”

A related article asks: When will Hollywood stop centering white people in Black stories? Certainly, it’s somewhat true here, in no small part because the story was written by Nick Vallelonga, Louie’s son. I didn’t find it a fatal flaw, because I thought Louie learned a lot from Don as well, but others disagree.

The one thing that actually DID bug me was that the title item, The Negro Motorist Green Book, was not described well enough for me. I mean I knew about it; heck, I WROTE about it in 2012. I’m recommending the movie Green Book, irrespective of the legitimacy of the controversy because it was entertaining. And maybe Americans now know more about Dr. Don Shirley and about a lifesaving publication in its history.

The office move is mostly complete, but the inner offices are chaos. The recovery goes well, so now I’m trying to catch up on everything that got put on hold.

How Propaganda Works.

The Rise and Impact of Digital Amnesia.

Re: Hassan v. City of New York lawsuit against the NYPD over its surveillance program targeting Muslims. Plus the dreadful Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Greenland Is Melting Away.

MIT Technology Review: Why Self-Driving Cars Must Be Programmed to Kill.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci

There are No Innocent Black People.

Buck Rogers and the Copyright Trolls. Read the rest of this entry »

When I was growing up, as often as not, we got our gas from the Esso station. Esso (“S-O”) “is derived from the initials of the pre-1911 Standard Oil.” I didn’t remember this, but I read that it became the focus of so “much litigation and regulatory restriction in the United States [that in] 1972, it was largely replaced in the U.S. by the Exxon brand… while Esso remained widely used elsewhere.” Ironic, since the Exxon brand name has been forever tainted by the Exxon Valdez oil spill, not to mention purposefully manufacturing uncertainty on climate change.

Whereas Esso had quite a positive image, at least with many people of my father’s generation. For there was a time in the United States Read the rest of this entry »

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