For Whom the Bell Tolls: II

As per the new and improved death rule, I aquired yet another week off my column. Sorry to all you folks out there who actually read what I have to say. I would first like to comment that I have been absent from the forums as of late due to personal issues as well as the issue of being home and confronted with 845 channels of digital cable to amuse myself with. I am sure none of you have been the wiser of my absence, as I have been relatively unaware of the comotion that has consumed BP during my haitus. It is here and here only that I will make my only comment on the issues: I have no stance, I will say nothing against anyone and wish to remain uninvolved in any and all drama that may ensue. I, along with most of you BPites I am sure, come here for release; therefore I don’t wish to involve myself in petty drama. I am perfectly content to remain unaware of the chaos that has risen in my absence. That being said, on to more important business: my reveiw column will, as of today, be instituting a star rating as per my personal opinion, based on a five star format. Feel free to disagree or elect me your preistess of cultural knowledge and official representative of good taste in the culture of American dissent; your choice.

Literature Review:Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed, Patricia Cornwell. Stunning novel, intersting theory on the identity of Jack the Ripper, perhaps one of the most mysterious and intrueging killers of all time. Cornwell deduces that Jack is late 19th century artist Walter Sickert. Her method of research, although a bit flimsy, seeks to prove Sickert the infamous serial killer through matched DNA, fingerprinting and watermarks, as well as the comparison of probable personalities and the stricking similarity of Sickerts portraits and Ripper homicide scenes. She uses a switch method of story telling, conjecture and detective work to weave the tale of Walter Sickert as the Ripper and paint a rather horrid picture of a gothic, drippy and soot covered industrial London. A great read for even the most novice of Ripper enthusiasts. I have recently encountered some rather harsh criticism of her theory on a Ripper theory website, and unfortunately have to concure with the critics analysis of her somewhat poor detective work. She seems desperate to convince both the reader and herself that the man she has so enthusiastically (and prematurely) accused is indeed the Ripper. Her evidence lacks convicition but has some credability as a theory (although about as much as the Royal Conspiracy Theory championed in Allen Moore’s novel and subsequent adapted screenplay, From Hell). However, her abrasive style and refusal to back down make for excellent story telling and a very interesting read. Star Rating: 3 of 5

Movie Review: The Barbarian Invasions. This flick tells the story of a French Canadian man dying of cancer in a hospital in Quebec. His loyal but disaproving son comes to his rescue from London with his new wife and gathers a group of his father’s old friends who proceed to take over his room at the hospital. The movie becomes a tale of old revelries and the misadventures of a group of verbose, intellectual bohemians and thier effects on a dying man. The cancer seems to spread through the group and reunites, disjoints and affects each person in a profuond and distinctly personal way. The movie moves from a somewhat satirical memoir to a shocking comment on individuality, disease and culture with a tumultous turning point: a jarring and random clilp of plane two exploding into Tower 1. From here on out the movie, while keeping its lighthearted and adventerous undertones, plays the characters off one another and culmintates in the will of a dying man to impart some sort of life lesson to his distant son and sort out his misgivings with a group of rambunctous friends. Excellent movie, one of the best I have seen in a while. It is an independant film in French, but well worth the labors of subtitle reading. It is playing at the Lincoln Plaza theatre in New York (it premiered at the film festival a couple of months ago) and should be making its way inwards from the west and east coats to independant theatres elsewhere. If it happens to come by your area it is well worth a drive to see. Star Rating: 4.5 of 5

Well my lovlies, it is time for me to be on my merry way. I hope you found me useful or at the least entertaining. I will make my best effort to come back to you next week with something other than a reveiw. As a side note to anyone who has cared enough about this article to read this far, if anyone (on staff or not) has any movies, books, cd’s, exhibits, etc. that they think deserve a reveiw I would appreciate any and all suggestions!