November 19th, 2005

Swan rampant

Manohla Dargis loves Ralph Fiennes

I haven't seen the latest Harry Potter film yet (maybe tomorrow), but I thought there might be some slight interest among the members of my flist in seeing what New York Times film critic Manola Dargis had to say about Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort.  The quote that follows comes from the review in Thursday's paper.

After talking about the returning cast and the new additions (Miranda Richardson as Rita Skeeter, Brendan Gleeson as Mad-Eye Moody), Dargis goes on to say:

As good as these actors are, nothing prepares you for the malevolent force that is Lord Voldemort and the brilliance of the actor playing him, Ralph Fiennes.  Dressed in a flowing black robe that seems to float off his body rather than hang, Mr. Fiennes moves with lissome grace, his smooth white head bobbing like a cork on a sea, his fluttery hands and feet as pale and bright as beacons.  For years, the movies have tried to transform this delicate beauty into a heartthrob, but as "Schindler's List" proved, Mr. Fiennes is an actor for whom a walk on the darker side is not just a pleasure, but liberation.  His Voldemort may be the greatest screen performance ever delivered without the benefit of a nose; certainly it's a performance of sublime villainy.

Not a bad thing to add to the scrapbook, is it?


  • Current Mood
    pleased pleased
Nebula 2

The other thing about bird flu

I've pretty much been tuning out all the panicked talk about the bird-flu virus and the pandemic that's supposedly soon to be unleashed upon the world.  The doomsayers always conveniently forget to mention that to date there's no evidence that the virus has mutated into a form that can be transmitted directly from human to human; the confirmed cases and fatalities worldwide (so far as I know) have all been shown to be individuals who had contact with ... you guessed it ... birds.  And when President Bush announced that he was going to ask Congress for $7 billion in emergency funding to prepare for the crisis, and that Tamiflu stores were going to be stockpiled, well, cynical me just thought how happy he must have been to find something to get people's minds off Iraq.

So, much to my surprise, I found myself reading an Op-Ed piece in Wednesday's New York Times.  It was written by Oliver Sacks, a neurologist and the author of Awakenings, about encephalitis lethargica patients, and Joel A. Vilensky, a professor of anatomy and cell biology at the Indiana University School of Medicine.  And it scared me more than any of the bird flu talk has.  You'll find the article behind the cut.


Collapse )