Monday, February 26, 2007

Tentaciones Suizas

Martes 20 de Febrero, 2006
4:10 PM, Mi futura compañía
"Tu situación legal está casi finalizada. Tenemos dos opciones para tu fecha de entrada: Mediados de marzo o principios de abril. Tú decides."

4:19 PM, Mi futura compañía
"Sobre las fechas del proceso de transferencia de visa. Necesitas esperarte de 2 a 3 semanas para que tu petición sea aceptada. Después de eso, puedes dar tu aviso de dos semanas cuando lo desees."

Lunes 26 de Febrero, 2006
4:09 PM, Mi actual compañía
"Sé que no te estoy dando suficiente tiempo para decidirte, pero tenemos un proyecto de 6 semanas en Suiza y queremos saber si te interesa. Necesitarías irte en alrededor de 2 semanas. Avísanos mañana. Tú serías el líder del proyecto."

4:16 PM, Mi futura compañía
"Acabamos de enviar todos los documentos para la transferencia de tu visa. No puedes salir del país durante las siguientes dos semanas. Después de ese momento, puedes dar tu aviso de vacancia cuando desees."

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

El Caribe, Parte 3

Planeado o no, acabo de regresar de mi tercer crucero al Caribe. ¿Lo disfruté más que los dos anteriores? En verdad que sí. En esta ocasión me sirvió para relajarme y olvidarme del trabajo y de uno que otro de mis dramas.

Ya sé que he andado desconectado del mundo, pero he tenido razones. No ha sido en vano. Próximamente... más detalles.

Winter 2006-2007, Part 2

The Oscar nominations have been released and to quote Salma Hayek, "There's so many Mexicans!" Meanwhile, this moviegoer still doesn't understand why everybody loves The Queen, but he is very happy that Little Miss Sunshine and Mexico are in the running for Best Picture and Best Foreign Film respectively. To continue the format of last month, I will make a few comments on four worthwhile films: Pan's Labyrinth, Notes on a Scandal, Children of Men, and Dreamgirls.
Since I heard that "El Laberinto del Fauno" was the official selection of Mexico for the Oscars, I was very intrigued and wanted to watch my country's choice – most years, these film are extraordinary. But this time, Guillermo del Toro completely exceeded my expectations. I did not just watch an out of the ordinary movie; I was witness to a truly timeless and powerful story. Pan's Labyrinth is a fantasy film set at the final days of the Spanish Civil War. This tale starts when ten-years old Ofelia travels with her pregnant mother to rural Spain to live with her new step-father, a brutish army Captain. While stopping on the way to their new home, Ofelia sees a flying insect that will later help her discover an old labyrinth that can take her to a different world. The film focuses on things that are purely human in nature, managing to combine cruelty and brutality; innocence and hope, yet in the framework of fantasy. Pan's Labyrinth is without a doubt a spectacular, beautiful and brilliant film to be remembered for years.
Based on the novel What Was She Thinking: Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller, Richard Eyre (Iris, 2001) conveys a captivating film that elicits equal parts fascination and disquiet. This powerful drama is about the lonely and strict high school teacher Barbara (Judi Dench), who is infatuated with the new arrival: feisty art teacher Sheba (Cate Blanchet). This queer story slowly evolves from curious to perplexing when the relationship between these two ladies crosses borders of politesse into a vicious cycle of desires and recriminations. Nonetheless, from my point of view, even with the spectacular performance of these two actresses and the meticulous screenplay, the movie failed to capture me as the best movies can. It is a very good option if you are up for a unique film that portrays a harmless yet wicked villain steeped in our modern times. You can catch this film at AMC Loews Shirlington and E Street Cinema.

Lately I've been seeing a lot of dramatic films, and Children of Men ranks in the top 5 of my list. Directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Y tu mamá también, 2001) and based on the novel of the same title written by P.D. James, Children of Men is set in a world where humans have become infertile and unable to reproduce. The story begins in 2027 on the day that the youngest human being on the planet, an 18-years-old boy called Baby Diego, has been murdered by an angry autograph seeker. The movie is so well directed, written, filmed and produced that it seems so real -- but it is somehow difficult to digest as a viewer. Maybe that was just me. I'm still thinking about it. It is a haunting story that will keep you talking and thinking about it for days – you can catch this movie at AMC Tysons Corner 16.

The buzz about Dreamgirls started awhile back, and for all the right reasons. Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Kinsey) was directing the film and a superb cast was working on it, including Jamie Foxx, Beyonce, Anika Noni Rose, and the American Idol finalist Jennifer Hudson. Let's be honest -- replacing Jennifer Holiday (from the original Broadway production of this work) in a starring role in a film version of the musical drama was no easy feat. Hudson passed the test with flying colors. Her voice is simply spectacular! And although not all the scenes were as attractively filmed as I would have wished, the film still sings forth with enough art here and there to mollify this complaining moviegoer. This movie is based on the 1981 Broadway musical by Michael Bennet, Dreamgirls, about the rising of a black young female singing trio called "The Dreams". If you enjoy watching talented people sing and dance, this film was made for you. This month you can probably catch this flick everywhere!