“The tale of Despereaux”

Kids movie. A mouse saves the day in a kingdom where soup was popular. A rat deviates the course of things and humans, rats and mice end up being unhappy. Of course it takes a David to put things right and show his world that you should never underestimates someone smaller than you.

My girls ( aged now 6 and soon 5) loved it. It had enough action and events to keep me awake. As it wasn’t a Disney movie the graphics were refreshing and quite elegant. The story is good enough.

For small children though.

“Yes man” with Jim Carrey

I never was a fan of Jim Carrey at his beginnings. Ace Ventura was boring me to death. But when Carrey started playing things such as ” Truman show” or “The number 23”, I became interested. Because the guy has talent- a lot of it- if given the chance. “Yes man” was a film I really was longing to go and see for the plot and for the main actor.

Amazingly I was happy throughout the movie. Carrey’s performance was great and believable. Getting older suits him wonderfully. The guy is becoming seriously sexy. George Clooney- you’re not my type. The plot was good. A guy who’s trying to stay on the safe side ( aka turning into a zombie) ends up in a seminar where he’s being questioned about his beliefs and challenged to seize opportunities. Being on the superstitious side, he follows the plan- with hilarious consequences. But there is something more skin deep than that. The opportunities – although a bit stretched on the reality side- prove that every challenge can be worth taking in life.  Carrey discovers that life is worth living and good things ensue.

That is truly an optmistic movie. It doesn’t make you feel stupid and it shows that you can have a life outside the box. The money issue that we are spammed with at the moment is put back in its right perspective.

Carrey, you made my day. All my family liked it. I will buy the dvd and plague friends and family to go and see it.

It is not a masterpiece. But it is the very best movie  have seen this year.

The learning mature student experience

…is tough, guys. I have to structure my reports. My tutor has explained to me that my style is conversational- which is lovely but doesn’t appear professional. I get the point and I’m working on it. But it is doing my head in sometimes.

My main problem to be honest is that the matter ( introduction to business studies) doesn’t interest me that much. Learning how a business functions and is structured could always be useful I guess, but subjects such as HRM ( Human resource management) sort of anaesthetises my brain. Don’t get me wrong- I dig the concepts. Job design, development and training methods, Theory X and Theory Y…I get the points. But when I have to draw a report about this kind of subjects I go brain dead ( The anaesthetic didn’t work too well I’m afraid).

So I am suddenly struggling with words. What is important here? What isn’t?

My favourite subject – which is economics- doesn’t give me this type of problems whatsoever. I enjoy the whole proccess- reading, learning, doing exercises, reflecting, even applying on a daily basis. Ok let’s be honest again- I bloody love the subject. And tryin go from the theory to reality just makes do leaps and bonds. It’s fascinating to see how economics apply to about anything. But businesses…forget it.

My fellow students seem as passionate as I am. I’ve been trying to organize a reunion to explore ideas and exchange knowledge but to no avail. On 27 people two seemed vaguely interested. None have asked me for a date. I gave up.

What I found though curious is how much people keep using their own experience at every level on any subject. Whatever we study the same topic comes back to haunt the forum: it’s me time and what I’ve been through- good or bad. I try to relate and occasionally post my own two pence of experience in the workfield- but what I see really is that ” the big picture” is almost always lost. Amazon, Tesco and other big companies play the role of the baddies. Their policies are close to slavery procedures. People talk about their rights a lot. one of them talk about their duties, and even less what the economical requirements of our time do to the business world in general. I may be out of subject here, but I am amazed to see that no one put themselves in a big company shoes. HRM is the holy Grail of working pleasure. Really? Does this reflect reality? Or does it only for a small part of the world population?

But this kind of blindness or blissful ignorance is socially acceptable it seems. I was talking to a banker last week- in Switzerland- and I was underlining that the world population that lives in famine has now reached the billion. That’s not exactly good news, is it, to know that one sixth of the population of earth is dying of hunger? Is anybody thinking about a war here? I was told that this was not new. After all, inequalities had always and will always exist. Let’s move on to another subject.

But I don’t take it as lightly as that. Add the statistics. Population without food on the increase. Fertilizers prices rising. Small farmers ( 80% of the farming world) not planting as much food as they used to. More people without their basic needs being fulfill. What is going to happen?

It is a far far away problem. It almost seems that it is actually taking place on the moon- or even further. Right now what our Wester world is concern about is that instead of buying 10 gifts for each kids in a household, their parents will only buy one or two. Aw, how sweet. That hurts indeed.

We live now in a world where it is time to set our priorities right. Governements are bailing out companies that creating their own misery, rewarding them for their greediness and stupidity. The ones who didn’t commit those offences are being punished by watching dishonest/ unproductive concurrents getting their beggars money when themselves have to just keep going in the current environment- with no support whatsoever. People who can’t repay their loans are encouraged to take another one. If they can’t pay the first one, how can any governement imagine they could pay the last one? Money is being thrown out of the windows- but the results seem only to be delayed. How many individuals debts could have been erased if that money had simply ben given to them? The last time I heard a number, I was told that half of the world individual debts could have been erased. I don’t know how to check these numbers at the moment- but even if it were a quarter only, wouldn’t it have been a better solution?

I’m afraid I’m getting carried away again. That’s why I went back to University- to learn to structure my thoughts, to expand my knowledge and ultimately, hopefully, to do something about this chaotic mess. What I’ve learned so far is that I still have a lot to learn a lot to explore and that overcoming smaller minds issues will be challenging.

Merry Xmas to you all.

Back to life, back to reality….

I was away. In a sense. It dawned on me, a few months ago, that I love my job. I am becoming more and more consistent and my knowledge now is giving me this ” intuition” feeling that keeps me away from bad trades. Now let’s get this straight before I go any further: intuition here is of course sarcastic. It is based on the amount of experience I have been accumulating through the years. I now know how to read my charts like an open book- and when I don’t, I simply stay out. Yes, it is that simple.

And it has become rather boring. There is so much money you can make when you respect your plan and I can’t take more than 3 trades a day on average as I have a tendency to damage my eyes if I stay behind a computer for too long. But the truth is that I love to learn. I love the challenge. And staying behind my computer watching the mini-sized Dow was not enough anymore.

I wanted to do commodities. And maybe have a look at my old Nemesis- the FX market ( to be clear, I have never traded it much. But I still don’t get it). So I started studying the intermarket relationship. And then it hit me. It hit me hard because I was trying hard to figure out how all this work out and the more I studied, the less it made sense. Take gold for example. I saw some people swear that Gold would reach $2000 an ounce by mid 2009. Other say thatGold will go down the drain in a deflationary move like the rest of all commodities. I’ve heard of margin calls, deleveraging, governement selling and hedge funds panicking; I’ve listened to investors swear that they want to protect their assets and buy more; I’ve read articles about the fact that gold will explode once the selling by the biggies is done and overdone and the people’s action will actually sink in. But what I’ve learned most of all is that nobody knows what is happening. On a daily basis you have your reading. But in 3 months time, better ,in one or two years, what I see is guessing.

So I decided that there was a lot I didn’t know. In order to have a clue, I needed some fondations. Reading books as they come my way was not enough anymore. I wanted a structure. Something solid, to which I could go back and build my own vision. I didn’t want other people ‘s opinion, I wanted mine- not as a reaction to something I learn or I hear, based on some knowledge.

I went back to University. I registered for business studies before realising that I could make it simpler and go to Economics. Now the Uk system is a tad strange. If you want to register with the best Universities you have to go through a process of interviews, exams and a few other requirements and from my first contacts, it turned out that I was too old, not sponsored by any big companies or name and in short not interesting enough. Oh oh. On one phone call basis I was not straight away turned down but warned to look elsewhere. Although I am usually a fighter I decided that the wiser route was to prove myself and show that I was committed. So I registered with the very open minded Open University. And I enrolled straight away for two level one courses. I was told it was easy. Well…It was half true. One course is easy, one is not.

The easy one is all about money. It’s about income, taxes, insurance and the Uk system of finance. I love it. That’s probably why I find it easy. The other course is an introduction to business studies. It is a nightmare. It has more concepts per page than I have socks and knickers in my drawers. Most of them seem so complicated that I even dream about them. I have to reread every sentence three times before I even figure out what it meant. And I feel constantly stupid and slow because I have no idea about this stuff. It is not that i don’t understand it- it is that the way it is said and explained look so complicated. It looks to me as if someone tried hard to look clever and made it as complicated as they could. Then you read something like ” Outliers: The story of Success ” by Malcom Gladwell and you find half of one book explained and you go : ” Aaaahhh…why couldn’t they tell it like that?”.

But guess what, I’m not quitter. Although the matter doesn’t interest me one bit, I hold on. It looks like a real challenge. I have to be concise, to study hard and to respond to other people’s views. So I do it.

University is a whole new world. You find people who are keen on studying and people who make excuses for their lack of organisation. One thing you learn in trading is that ‘if you fail to plan, you plan to fail’. At University is becomes even truer. I end up spending most of my weekends studying and it took me two weeks to do my first 2 assignments as unfortunately it turned out that my two course each gave me an assignment for the same date. Anyway I did them the best I could- rewrote them about a dozen times and ended up praying that I had understood what I had been supposed to do. But I handed them one day early as I thought that what I wanted most now was some feedback- that would allow me to do better next time. I hope.

So now I’m working part time, studying the other part time and doing what i used to do anyway. It is extremely tiring but I am happy anyway. It is one of the first time I’m doing something entirely for myself. My family seems to accept this with a generosity without limits. The house looks alright although now they all have to participate and do tasks for me. Nobody’s complaining so far. I’m truly amazed- and blessed.

So here you go. I struggle of course- nothing’s ever easy. Otherwise everybody would do it. And the trade offs are to been seen. But I trust that I made the right choice and I’m looking forward to the future. I probably need the courage as this is just the beginning. I have my doubts about my abilities but the truth is- if I don’t try, I’ll never know. The sky’s the limit, the world is my oyster…All that sort of things.

So far I love it.

I’ve been around a little and this is what I saw

I went from the Uk to Tuscany riding across France and Switzerland and one thing that I’ve come to realise- with horror- is how much people in general have no idea and no clue about what is going on in the economic world. Of course I herad it all and the explanations were varied. Most blame the US and their credit crunch- but when asked what they think the cause of the credit crunch is, you have a blur momentum. Some tell me that it is because banks lended money to people who couldn’t repay the loans. Some blame the traders who suddenly shorted the markets. Some said that banks had been to greedy. But the truth is that a big majority is reading, watching or listening to the media and not many of them knows right from wrong. Now I see on Yahoo that traders blame Greenspan as when he was at the head of the Fed he kept the interests low. But then you have also people like Clinton ( Bill, not the female of the species) who wanted to make housing more affordable to the mass. Seen now it looks like a greedy and stupid bet- how could workers who couldn’t repay a mortgage get access to one? Was it only a move to boost the economy as when you buy a house, you usually undertake some works on it such as painting, re roofing, adding bathrooms and washing machines and curtains and all these things are being sold by shops that employ people who then get more work because you have more spenders improving their homes so suddenly you expand your business because everything looks so good and in order to do so – you foresee a better future but you don’t want to save and wait as somebody else might have taken your spot by then- so you borrow some money too and hire some people to create your new business place and then hired some more people to work for and with you…Do you get it? Now you do. Was it greedy? Was it then common sense? But what happened then?

Well, nobody wanted to see the train even slow down. Greenspan kept the interests low so more people could afford what they wanted. But people wanted then more – it’s called human nature by the way- and instead of buying primary goods ( necessities if you prefer) such as a house or a car to go to work only, they started thinking that borrowing was so cheap and saving so useless ( not worth saving when interests are so low…) that they added to their burden holidays, boobs jobs and wedding bills. In the Uk I wouldn’t be surprised if booze was added as the alcohol consumption went through the roof- probably in order to forget that at the end of the month not so much was left on your bank account. Anyway the spiral went faster and before you know it, all sorts of weird ideas came up. Banks invented new ways of spreading the loans and sell them, disguise them and resell them to all sorts of companies. Bankers and traders and CEOs got all sorts of bonuses at the end of the year for no good reasons at all. Landlords grew out of every corner of the Uk as they started seing the light- aka, your home can become your retirement pension. Some noticing that they might end up with some cash but no roof above their heads decided to buy two houses – or more- and get the mortgage repaid by the rent of people who couldn’t or wouldn’t afford getting a loan. Between the big bonus and the low rates suddenly everybody and their cousins wanted a home, a secondary one and if possible another one for good measure – and the kids or whatever. Prices went up drastically but the complaints were silenced as all could see their investments grow almost by the hour. If you didn’t possess your house you were a loser.

Governements in all that were quite encouraging. You could hear Gordon Brown while he was a chancellor boasting about his great results. All that had to be done was keep the interest low, loosen up some regulations within the financial sector and borrow yourself up to your eyeballs and possibly beyond creating new jobs in the public sector, paid by ever increasing taxes, in order to get the economy expanding a little faster.

Of course this game is as old as the world. Some call it the pyramid, but it is better known by the airplane game name. The airplane game kept crawling back for a few decades until it was officially declared unlawful and illegal. the concept was simple: you took one head. He had to find 8 people ( for example- as sometimes it was 5, 6, 9, 17…It depended on the sums involved and the places) who would give him something like 100£ each. He would made himself 800£ just in a few phone calls. All these 8 people had to do was the same; they had to find each 8 guys or gals who would give them 100£. These guys would have to do the same. So the airplane would fill up quite quickly- until it would be so heavy that it would actually crashed. Because sooner or later, some of the guys wouldn’t find 8 people to participate or who wouldn’t have participated already. Sometimes a twist was added; at each new participant, a % would be passed on to the one who was in the position in front of you, forcing you to find new people in order to get a bigger %. I heard about that game for the first time when I was 13. I declined to get on board and I got a few angry friends. But that plane crashed soon enough and all the ones after this one, only faster. Nowadays you still see messages passing telling you to pass it on to a certain number of people you know otherwise you break the chain and you go to hell/ get some unlucky events happening to you/ will break someone’s heart. In case you don’t know, these are also illegal. But I disgress. My point is- knowing that even on a small scale the airplane game is bound to crash, how could well educated people and less well educated governments do the same at such higher scale?

So on my way to Tuscany ( which is in Italy…just saying that for the ones who believe that Zapatero is the same as Zapata), I stopped in France and Switzerland. And I discovered that the blame is well spread, but despite this, nobody’s too sure of what is happening. I’m going to be frank here, I’m no genius and I don’t know either ( it’s a trader’s rule. If you don’t know, you don’t have any preconceived idea, so you don’t have a set mind to ignore warning signals and get it awfully wrong. It has become second nature, I know now that I know nothing). But the degree of denial was staggering.

A friend of mine had to renew her mortgage loan this year. She called me and asked for advice, although she proffess that traders are similar to vultures and bring only doom upon the world. I think she once called us/ them ” useless bugs”. Anyway, she wanted to know if I had any advice. I said I had none, but…Well if it were me, I wouldn’t keep a variable rate in the UK as everything was definitely going down the drain ( we were at the beginning of 2008), including housing market, employment,with high energy prices and galoping inflation. The situation did look dire- and I said so. I expected to see the whole world dragged into it by the summer. She asked a few questions, thanked me and that was it. When I saw her five days ago, she told me she had opted for the variable rate as in switzerland it was still at 3.5% when the fixed one was at 5.5%. She thought it was madness and was proud of her skills. I didn’t say anything as- as you know by now- I don’t know anything anyway. i just wondered how high does her bank expect the rates to go up even they have already hitched the fixed rate 2% higher than the current one. In my view, this is extremely worrying. But maybe she did the right thing and maybe central banks are going to save the fiancial sector. Who knows? I just know that banks have been so far working for themselves, not for their clients, and as I had explained to this friend in particular, they are not a charity. she was pointing it out that the banks’ best interest resided in the fact that without loans, they wouldn’t make money. So they had to lend money to people in order for them to keep the business going and the whole wheel ( see above) to turn. That’s when I answered that banks are not charities. Some people – a lot of them now actually- can and have defaulted. Banks are losing money. They are going to try and recoup these losses- one by getting rid of the worst loans and repossessing, two by hiking their rates higher and keeping only the customers who are able to pay back. They will have to compensate their losses. Something most clients don’t get.

But these misunderstanding can go deeper. Lots of Swiss people have lost their savings in the current crisis. Their bank placed all they had in what they wanted and asked to be ” a safe investment” that turned out to be derivatives from Lehman brothers. Such investments it seems had been made as late as April 2008. The banks in question affirm that by then , they had no clue that Lehman was in trouble. I say…Excuse me? I knew in december 2007 that the trend was down and had a chat with my own banker by then. If a newbie like me with no knowledge in economics is able to tell, how come profsessionals alledgedly were unaware? One could think that they knew and simply palmed it off onto their customers. And as far as I’m concerned, derivatives have never seen as a risk avoidance technique by the fiancial world itself, so if I were one of those clients, I’d kick a hell of a lot of a fuss.

In Italy the ostrich method is on full display too. Everybody complains, nobody does anything about it. I heard a banker from my Unicredit office tell over the phone to a customer: ” Where did you hear that? On tv? Well you know with the credit crunch in the US you know with these stupid Americans who borrowed more than they should have and their banks that have given them money they couldn’t get back, well, it has scared a bit the rest of the world, but don’t you worry, here everything is fine, we keep doing business as usual and you should go out a bit more and not worry, and if you do, call me back but within office hours only, and you’ll see I’ll be telling you again how fine we are. Okay…?And your mama, she’s alright?Great, take care now, ciao”. Unicredit is having an extraordinary reunion this Sunday to discuss and set up a re capitalization among a few other problems. According to Berlusconi, nothing to worry about. If they do it now it is to avoid problems later- it is just routine. Who’s buying that when at the very same time European leaders are meeting up to discuss how they are going to bailout their financial sectors and rebuilt a drowning economy? But as my Italian lawyer put it, deficits and debts are not registered on the companies documentations and reports otherwise shareholders would soon get rid of their stocks and the company would probably have to be declared bankrupt within a week. Interesting twist.

My Swiss banker was wondering why gold was still so low and why credit card companies were still alive. According to him, that was the next step ( one I had told him about in August 2007 but I guess he didn’t hear me) and he was sure that the problem was quite well advanced and worrying that it even might be worse than predicted. I passed on the rumour that in the US credit card use might get suspended pretty soon, which obviously made him even more nervous. ” But the media are not talking about it” he said. ” Maybe they have been asked to keep schtum, I replied. After all, if they dish the dirt and we have another panic, what do you think would then happen? “. ” gold help us!” was his answer. ” Well, let’s be charitable here. Maybe they remain silent simply in order not give the idea to the ones who haven’t had it yet [ to pay their bills and debts with their credit card when they can’t reimbursed the money]”. I could feel him freak out over the phone. As for gold, hedge funds and big funds are trying to pay their margin calls, so how do you expect to raise the cash quickly? The momentaneous lift of the dollar is not helping either, but when you can’t buy shares because it is too dangerous, you don’t know where to invest because the whole world is slowly falling apart, what remains the safest bet? No, putting cash in your mattress is not safe anymore nowadays, not when you have inflation running that high- your money gets devaluated in no time ( just have a look at Zimbabwe if you don’t get it). Plus at the fast pace the Feds are printing their money at the moment, it is going to be hard to keep up!. So yes, gold is what everybody knows, since the end of time. I’m not saying you are going to make tons of money with it, I’m just saying that it will cover your ass.

I am going to go back to the UK next week. Looking forward to it, markets are extraordinary volatile at the moment and as an intraday trader, I like it. No swing trading as nobody really knows where we are heading. I have no clue either, I just see that even with a bailout on the cards we still have a housing market that keeps falling and a big bunch of people who are getting laid off, so I’m not sure the problem is being properly addressed. I see though that the system that has put up in this crap is being supported at the cost of the taxpayers ( say thank you taxpayers, now you have to pay your credit twice and as for me, who never ever made a loan in my life because I was told as a child that it would only bring you misery, I will have to pay for you too, so thank you twice), so I’m not sure that our dear leaders have a good grasp of the situation. What good is it to cure the symptoms when you don’t even look at the cause? May I suggest that instead of having a bunch of political leaders, some bankers and Feds and senators – the whole band of funny bunnies who created this mess in the first place- debating together, you get the same bunch, add a few normal people ( such as me) and to make good measure a good dozen of kids and you get them to explain to us what they intend to do in great details until we get it and WE AGREE? Because at the end of the day, it is us, the normal people, and them, our kids, who are going to pay ultimately the price of this. And if I pay, I’d like as well have my say.

After all, you know, if Palin can do it, why can’t I? I can give you the list of newspapers and magazines I read evry day, every week and every month, and I don’t have an ocean between my country and Russia, but I’ve had a passport since I was born and I made good use of it. Better still, I know that …I don’t anything. And I will do whatever it takes for the good not only of the Americans but also of the rest of the world.

The last of the idealists has gone

Time has gone by so quickly that I didn’t realised that Randy Pausch had left us. He did actually in July- so quite some time has passed. But I just wanted to remind that this guy was trying to make a – small- difference and for the effort I believe he deserved respect. He was an idealist to the end. When asked what last message he would give to his readers he said: ” In lieu of flowers, use the money to increase your life insurance if you have kids”. He might have had in mind his own but that was still a selfless remark.

I am sorry he’s gone. We need more people like him. I am truly sorry for his family.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randy_Pausch

“Tropic Thunder” with Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black and Steve Coogan

So this is the very controversial Ben Stiller new movie – and first, if I’m not mistaken, as a director. Controversial- no wonder. And if it doesn’t go down with Hollywood and American people, I can only say that I’m not surprised- although I’m so glad that a bunch of actors have taken the risk to show that they know how bad some of their maneurisms and politics are.

The story is simple; you take a bunch of high profile actors, you sent them to Vietnam to shoot a historic and expensive war movie and when things go pear shape, you send them in the middle of nowhere and try to get the best out of them. Does it work? Hell yeah.

It’s gory, it’s violent , Hollywood actors and all the different methods they might use are put on top of the cake and to end it beautifully you know that the guys who had the guts to do this movie know that we know- America may not be so great after all.

It is a great movie. Not politically correct whatsoever- which is so refreshing. The actors- all of them- are such a caricature that you can only smile. The topic is the most controversial anyway in the States ( although I suspect that economy will be next pretty soon).

Support Ben Stiller and his cast of actors. They took a great risk in this business- to show the naked emperor. The cameo appearances are stunning.

Not for kids under 15. Not for people who want lovely fairy tales.

“Hellboy 2”

Ok,this is a boy thing. While waiting for the movie to start I saw two middle aged women come into the movie theatre and sit down two rows away from us. I said to my husband – who had been dying to see Hellboy for months and had asked me to join him which I did for the love of him-: ” I bet you that these two are in to watch ” Mamma mia!”. Mamma mia! was being played on the next screen. I was called sexist and warned that I was prejudiced. I didn’t think so. I just believe that no woman in her right mind would go and see it if she over 33. Sure enough when the title was displayed the two ladies go out as fast as they could…

Ok I am over 33 and I stayed. FOR THE LOVE OF A MAN. I have to make this clear. And it wasn’t too bad if you’re a comic fan ( which I’ve stopped being about 20 years ago). But after seing Hulk, Iron man, Batman and a few other in the course of the last 6 months I guess my interest has vaguely faded. Hellboy was what you expect: rough but tender, funny and sweet, stubborn but not immune to learn lessons. I could see the guys in the room rejoiced when he whimpered :” I am ready to dye for her but she asks me to do the dishes!”. My husband pointed it out as soon as we were in the street. He is a highly intelligent man but that what comics do to you : they paint everything in black and white and make you belive that that’s how the world should be. I answered that I was ready to die for him too. Did it mean that nobody should do the dishes and let it pile up until one of us die? Another thing- you die once, but the dishes has to be done everyday. How do you deal with this? What if my husband doesn’t die for me and I let him get away with no dishes done? What if I die for him and he has never done the dishes?. By then I think he had gotten my point. Just don’t rub me the wrong way- or the next step will be to forbid you to go and see comics movies.

So all in all it was another modern fairy tale, with a philosophical ending. Everybody’s agree to it although I trust most of us are not really concerned. MS Blair was at best sulking. Ron Perlman did his best to show emotions. Thank goodness there was some humour in it.

My verdict: good for the male side of the family- but be ready to defy their own prejudice. Maybe go with them – just to be on the safe side and know what the enemy is doing…..Lo

“In Bruges” with Colin Farell and Brendan Gleeson

I do not like Farell one bit and his puppy expressions are leaving me cold. But the story of this movie seemed interesting and I was ready to give it a go. So you have two killers sent to Bruges after a job went tragically wrong. ( How can a killer’s work go tragically wrong? Go and see it). Gleeson plays the guys who knows right from wrong and has some life experience behind him. Farell plays Father McGuire ( Watch “Father Ted” if you don’t know what I am talking about). They wait all day in Bruges for a call that should give them another go. Both have very different expectations from this journey- and from each other. And Bruges is not all that it seems.

With an unexpected tenderness this film takes you behind curtains. It wasn’t without reminding me of “Gun shy” with Sandra Bullock and Liam Neeson, although the latest was much more Hollywood like. You end up liking the main protagonists although my opinion of Farell remains low. It is a great movie.

Not for kids under 15 I’d say – it’s an 18 on the box. Gleeson is superb. Ralph Fiennes plays the psychopaths better and better each day. I guess that Farell is himself?

“Heavens knows Mr Allison” with Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum

John Huston very obviously saw himself as a guys’guy. His movie display an array of tough guys who are not stupid enough to hide their feelings and it worked like a beauty. I had been waiting to see this film for about a decade- knowing that Deborah Kerr will never do any movies again forces me to delay my pleasures in order to look forward to the years to come. Anyway. I was a bit careful about this one as she played – again- a nun. Looked like there was a trend back then in the 50’s with Audrey Hepburn, Deborah Kerr and a few others doind it. usually at the end they get the guys. So the twist here was interesting- she gets the guys, yes, and he doesn’t die or get punished for it, but….You wanna know, you watch it.

It takes place during the second world war. Kerr plays a nun left stranded on an atoll in the middle of the Pacific. Mitchum is the G.I. who survives a bombing and reachs the atoll on a raft. To make things harder our two main characters have to survive avoiding the Japanese who soon invade the place. So you have suspense, war, comedy, tragedy and an improbable love story. It is Hollywood- it ends well and very morally. Mitchum plays the G.I who is a tad simple and Kerr the one without life experience but a higher education and loads of compassion. Two extremes left on an island.

Huston liked his actors and it shows. Leave this movie on the shelf if you’re not a fan of the 50’s topics. Otherwise it is an honest little film and you can measure the progress we’ve made in half a century on moral grounds and life experience. But we wouldn’t probably know how to survive on an atoll nowadays- not without internet anyway.