Cars and French Cinema 10:07 p.m. 2003-10-03

Current Listening: Redwall by Brian Jacques
Current Reading: Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews
Crazy Loco by David Rice
Recipe of the Day: More Burrito Fillings
Daily Quote:
Arnie Cunningham: Whoa, whoa. You better watch what you say about my car. She's real sensitive. -Christine
Jim Douglas: You don't understand what happens, do you? They make ten thousand cars, they make them exactly the same way, and one or two of 'em turn out to be something special. Nobody knows why. -The Love Bug
Caractacus Pott: You'll find a slight squeeze on the hooter an excellent safety precaution, Miss Scrumptious. -Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

1. What vehicle do you drive?

I have a red 2002 Toyota Echo.

2. How long have you had it?

Let's see... I think I got it last March, after "totalling" my 1994 Ford Escort. It didn't take much to total it - it was old.

3. What is the coolest feature on your vehicle?

I think that it has more headroom than you might think. At least that's what I hear - I am short! Also, it gets very good gas mileage - around 35 - 37 miles per gallon.

4. What is the most annoying thing about your vehicle?

Not anything really. But, if my dog had a say-so, she would probably say that the back seat is a little narrow. If I brake too sharply, she pitches into the front seat!

5. If money were no object, what vehicle would you be driving right now?

Probably one of those cute little BMW convertibles - like James Bond's car. I used to really want a Mazda Miata. Actually, when I was looking last March, I wanted a Honda CR-V like my mother's, but they were too expensive.

I went to see a great movie tonight. I was originally going to see Lost in Translation with Bill Murray or that school of rock and roll movie with Jack Black. Instead, I went to see The Girl from Paris. It's a French film originally called "Une Hirondelle a Fait le Printemps", from an old French saying. It is explained in the review below:

This warm and ultimately touching French drama features an unusual relationship at its center as it examines the gulf between city and countryside. Sandrine (Seigner) leaves her computer job in Paris to train as a farmer, ultimately buying a remote goat farm from the crusty old widower Adrien (Serrault), who stays on as a tenant for a year. He mistrusts her completely; how can a single young woman run a farm? Her money-spinning innovations don't impress him either, but then he begins to notice that she has a real heart for the place--and a tenacious, earthy toughness he underestimated. But his pride still won't let him open up to her.

The film's original title (which translates as One Swallow Makes Spring) is a play on the saying, "One swallow does not a summer make." And against all appearances, this is not a fish-out-of-water tale; Sandrine is more than up to the challenge. The slow thawing of her friendship with Adrien is what makes this film worth watching--a gentle journey of discovery, both of themselves and of those around them. This requires excellent acting from the fine Seigner and the veteran Serrault, who work together wonderfully and very subtly. And they're surrounded by a lovely visual setting, captured with fairy-tale touches in both summer and winter, tinged with extremely gritty reality. The contrasts between the country and city are a bit more obvious and heavy-handed. But it's in the characters that the film works beautifully, right up to the clever and tender final sequence.

Check it out!

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