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Serially entertaining

Actors and screen-writers are busier these days than they have been in some time. There are “streaming” shows, 100s of cable outlets producing both series and movies, and of course Hollywood and the Indie scene all requiring their talents and services.

We are the beneficiaries of all this production. We will be enlightened, entertained and excited by the films they produce.

What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than binge watching Divorce?

Gifted, the movie with Chris Evans and Mckenna Grace, and not so incidentally Octavia Spencer, Jenny Slate, Lindsay Duncan, and Elizabeth Marvel, is touching without being maudlin. It is generally intelligent, with a sterling performance by young Ms. Grace, and until we saw it last night on HBO, I had not heard much about it.

The assignment for Black History Month can include the excellent Get Out, Jordan Peele’s genius defies and reinvents the “horror” genre. It should also feature a viewing of Birth of a Nation, perhaps both in its regressive D.W. Griffith 1915 version and Nate Parker’s 2016 “remake.” The contrast between a paen to the Ku Klux Klan and to Nat Turner’s slave rebellion may prove edifying. Add Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave (although not our personal favorite) to your list of films for 2018. (In the New Yorker, Vinson Cunningham expresses a different view, especially of Parker’s film.)

Art is meant to engender controversy, stimulate and even incense and enrage. We should not be passively diverted in its presence. It is here to help us ponder life’s (and history’s) biggest issues.

Thanks to films and serial dramas we have a lot to consider and enjoy. And we are treated to some terrific performances in the bargain.

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Shine

via Daily Prompt: Shine with thanks to Ben Huberman, The Daily Post for the inspiration

NoLateSeatingThose who crave the spotlight most often become entertainers. Their talent demands it. It is their calling to shine.

We applaud them, and in so doing bask in the glow of their accomplishment. They are center stage with the footlights on them, but we are illuminated by their performance.

Their light shines on us as they render and interpret and presnet their truths. Greater  performers shine brightest, and we shine brighter too.

Posted in comedy, drama, romance, sci fi

Stay Awake while "One Thousand Blinks" experiments with "micro sleep"

How much more could you accomplish if you didn’t sleep?

A truly dedicated worker might be as productive as Morgan (Mark Cajigao) whose Sisyphesian task it is to translate a book on an unfamiliar subject in a language he does not know.

In “One Thousand Blinks,” at 59E59 Theaters through January 29th, an odd scientist named Dr. Luk (Rachel Cornish) imposes an experiment in “Micro Sleep” on an unwitting Morgan.

Mark Cajigao as Morgan and Rachel Cornish as Dr. Luk in “One Thousand Blinks” Photo © Sara Brown

Hired in a far away land to teach a class that is indefinitely postponed, Morgan is instead offered the opportunity to make a lot more money working non-stop in a tiny room. The money is tempting as is the idea of hard work. You see, Morgan feels like a slacker for having his girlfriend, Jenny (Estelle Bajou), support him.

Mark Cajigao as Morgan and Estelle Bajou as Jenny in “One Thousand Blinks” Photo © Sara Brown

Jenny has sleep issues of her own, it turns out, mostly in the form of nightmares that are exploited by her ex-boyfriend, Bram (Drew Hirshfield). Unlike Morgan, Bram is successful and accomplished.

“One Thousand Blinks” is an engaging and spooky undertaking. Playwright Nick Starr keeps the suspense and mystery without letting strangeness become the point.

Mark Cajigao is endearing as Morgan struggling to be diligent. Rachel Cornish is serenely funny as her robotic Dr. Luk calmly terrorizes the hapless Morgan. Drew Hirshfield’s Bram is smarmy and oily, and Estelle Bajou portrays Jenny as a fierce victim.

Estelle Bajou as Jenny and Drew Hirshfield as Bram in “One Thousand Blinks” Photo © Sara Brown

With a cast dedicated to making everything appear normal, “One Thousand Blinks” triumphs as a highly askew romantic comedy.

For a schedule and tickets for “One Thousand Blinks” by Nick Starr, directed by Melinda Sorci in theNest production at 59E59 Theaters, visit 59e59.org