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Michael Collins – The Movie

Michael Collins

Feature Photo Michael Collins – The Movie

A Film Review by sirpeterjames.com.

Neil Jordan directs this film, and it stars Liam Neeson as the man, Michael Collins, Aiden Quinn as Hary Boland, and Julia Roberts as the romantic figure in both the lives of Michael and Harry.

The filming of this movie in 1996 took place in County Dublin and the city of Dublin. Filming also took place in County Wicklow, and a reshoot was done in New York.

The movie takes you back to the critical Irish history period of 1916-1922.

The film received many awards and was the highest-grossing film in Ireland. (4000 Irish pounds in 2000.)

There were many positives from critics around the globe and a few negatives. One of these is that certain of the scenes and statements made by characters in the film were inaccurate in terms of historical records. Jordan responded that filming time was limited, and in any event, most audiences needed a general idea of what took place, not the minutiae of Irish culture and history.

As a newcomer to this beautiful country and someone who has breezed through books and old films and visited a few historic sites, my local knowledge is somewhat limited. Therefore, the movie provided a fair amount of enlightenment about the establishment of the present Republic of Ireland and how it came about.

The performers were superb, the special effects were terrific, and the film was excellent. I considered my investment of three dollars ninety-nine to be the top value for my money.

Movie time was an hour and 33 minutes but I would not stake my life on this guess, though.

The storyline begins with the Irish Republican Army (IRA) surrendering to the British Army at the Easter Rising in 1916. Several key figures, Michael (Mick) Collins, Harry Boland, Eamon De Valera, and others, were imprisoned.

In 1918 in the Irish General Election, the Sein Fein Party was victorious. De Valera was elected president, Michael Collins, Director of Intelligence for the emerging IRA. The party then declared Irish independence unilaterally, leading to the Irish war of independence.

We now see the IRA coming into its own as Michael Collins launched his guerrilla tactics.

These tactics take you through the movie and a sprint pace. I wouldn’t comment on how much of the activity is true-to-life and how much is pumped up movie drama. But I would say that the man’s character, Michael Collins, was that of a sharp-witted, fearless man who went out against one of the greatest empires in the world with small numbers of poorly armed fighters. They were hopelessly outnumbered by the well-trained, well-armed British.

Michael Collins saw the chink in the British armor was their intelligence network, which he systematically destroyed, causing the British to call a truce.

Irrespective of your political beliefs, you cannot but appreciate what one man’s dedication, audacity, and intelligence accomplished against a mighty empire that had ruled Ireland with an iron fist for over 700 years.

To look at the whole storyline, you need to see the movie. You will be on the edge of your seat, so brace yourself.

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Ireland-The Quiet Man Movie

the_quiet_man+poster-2

Feature Photo: The Quiet Man – Behind the Scenes Mostly Westerns

A Review by sirpeterjames.com.

Here’s a real oldie, shot in Ireland in 1952. The Quiet Man is based on a 1933 Saturday Evening Post short story by Irish novelist Maurice Walsh. The story was adapted for the movie by screenwriters Frank S Nugent and Richard Llewellyn. You may well ask, can there be an appeal for a 70-year-old movie in our day and age? My answer is emphatical, YES! Let me tell you why.

The Appeal.

Firstly it’s shot in Ireland – this means spectacular scenery. Green hills, quaint villages, streams, stoney roads, classic old choo-choo train, horse-driven carriages, and too many others to mention. John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara will be forever fresh and young, even 100 years from now. The storyline is oozing with romance and integrity that you and I can easily imagine for ourselves in today’s world. We have a break from the grim bloodied violence of today’s movies. The quality of both cinematography and sound are perfect. It only cost me 3.49 EUR, if I’d paid three times more it would have been well worth the money. At last, but far from the least of the film’s attributes; it is so humorous, you will be laughing most of the time.

The Story.

The story concerns a man, Sean Thornton (John Wayne), an Irish-born American, who comes to Ireland to seek the home of his birth in a village, White O’Morn, Innisfree, where he hopes to buy the small cottage which his parents owned. In the course of this pursuit, he encounters several obstacles.

The first is that of the altercation he has with Red Will Danaher (Victor McLaglen), who also wants to buy the cottage from a widow, Sarah Tillane (Mildred Natwick). Sean outbids Reds’ offer for the cottage and becomes its new owner.

The second hurdle, in the course of this saga, Sean meets Mary Kate (Maureen O’Hara)– who just happens to be Red’s sister. It’s love at first sight for both of them. But certainly not for Red. He hates Sean with a vengeance. Irish tradition however requires that before Sean and Mary Kate are allowed to be married, red must give his consent.

However, Sean makes friends with a rather influential character, Michaleen Flynn (Barry Fitzgerald) who is in collusion with the local village priest, Father Lonergan, (Ward Bond.) Between these two they think up several interesting ways to hook Red into giving his consent to the marriage.

The Marriage.

The marriage is no bed of roses, in fact, for Sean, no bed at all! It creates another traditional hurdle for Sean who is completely puzzled by the behavior of his Irish neighbors. In short Mary Kate wants Sean to collect a 300-pound dowry to be given her by her brother, which is rightfully hers. Once again, by tradition Sean is to ask his antagonist, Red for the dowry. This is the last straw for him and he flatly refuses. In reaction to this Mary Kate calls Sean a coward. What she does not know is, Sean was a champion heavyweight boxer in America. And because of his massive strength, he tragically killed a man with a single punch in the ring. He is not afraid of Red by any means, only fearful of killing him.

The Fight.

You’re itching to know what happens next, aren’t you? I’m sorry, but you have to see the movie to find out. What I will reassure you of, is this, it will be the best few bucks you’ll ever spend. Okay, I’ll give you a hint. Red and Sean end up having a classic fight. Fought along the Irish version of ‘Queensbury Rules,’ and a ring extending through the village and a river. In this Ireland, you will love and laugh every minute.

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Ryan’s Daughter-A Movie About Ireland.

Ryans daughter

Featured Image by Tommy Kwaky Upsplash.com

Review By sirpeterjames.com

Here is an oldie, filmed in 1970 in breathtaking locations by masters of cinematography.

The location was largely Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. But the beach scenes were filmed on Long Beach, south of Noordhoek, Cape Town, South Africa.

The movie won two Oscars and six other awards and was a box office hit, grossing $31m. ($230m in today’s money value.)

David Lean (Doctor Zhivago, Lawrence of Arabia, Bridge over The River Kwai.) directed the movie. Starring Robert Mitchum (Charles Shaunessy) and Sarah Miles (Rosie Ryan.)

The timeline was 1917-1918 Ireland.

The storyline principally takes place in both Rosie and Charles’s lives’; it also includes Rosie’s lover, Major Randolph Doryan, a shell-shocked British army officer. Rosie’s father, Tom Ryan, the village publican, and a fiery Catholic Priest, Father Hugh Collins. These individuals are part of a community of people in a tiny village. It was at the birth of the IRA and the War of Independence in Ireland.

The plot embraces Charles, a schoolteacher who was in a state of prolonged grieving at the loss of a wife he dearly loved. Charles seeks solace in the simple life of living in a cottage attached to the schoolroom. He is a man who loves and cares for his scholars and their growth. Charles has lost any ability to deal with romantic love.

Rosie is an attractive young woman, whom it appeared, was accustomed to having her way. She was the daughter of Tom, a successful publican, and his somewhat dubious activities with the British officers, based in the village. Like Charles, her father was also a grieving widower. Unlike Charles, though, he sought solace in taking a commanding role among the community, which included a support role to the IRA effort and was an agent for the British soldiers in the village. In today’s terms, he might be referred to as a ‘double agent’ operating for and against Ireland.

Rosie, who, on account of her beauty, youth, and privileged upbringing, was not popular with the local ladies of the village. They saw Rosie more in the light of an advantaged competitor than a community member.

Rosie pursued Charles with the typical juxtaposed style of a little girl seeking protection and a mature woman wanting to realize her passion. Her marriage to a secular celibate, Charles, bitterly disappointed Rosie. She was expecting a fiery romantic engagement with her man. Charles, a genuine man, who awoke to the fact that he was never the man for Rosie, took the blame for entering into a marriage devoid of romantic passion on his part.

Enter Major Randolph, a young man, the epitome of quiet strength and hidden fiery passion. Yet, Randolph suffers a lame leg and, equally, a damaged mind, suffering from what might be referred to today as ‘post-traumatic stress’ or ‘shell shock’ as it was known then. The two find solace and excitement in their closet of passionate sexual encounters. Through masterful film-play, these scenes vividly display themselves.

Charles receives the first inkling of his wife’s infidelity through an innocent discovery of footprints in the sand along the beach. A day outing on the beach with his young scholars brings suspicion into his mind. The seed germinates as discovery reveals her play, and in the final resolution, Charles accepts that Rosie has found romance for which she has been seeking!

To give powerful meaning to the expression, a change of subject,’ the stage shifts to the Eastern shoreline of Kerry and a raging storm. The IRA are waiting for a shipment of arms and explosives coming from Germany and all the Dingle villagers. The ship crashes into the rocks and sinks. The villagers, women, men, and children risk their lives to recover guns, explosives, and other armaments, load them onto a truck waiting to drive into the hinterland, and hide the cache.

What happens to the shipment of armaments?

What happens to Rosie when the community blames her for being an informer?

What happens to Major Randolph?

What happens to Charles?

Well, well, well.

 When you watch the movie, you will ‘surely’ find out.

In conclusion, there is always the human temptation to judge the characters on their behavior.

Let’s take a look at this aspect.

Firstly, my personal view is: Never judge any other human, ever. The judgment of humans is the work of human judges and God alone.

Rosie was not a ‘bad’ woman. Could she just have been a young woman whose choices were unwise?

Charles yielded to Rosie’s approaches because of his compassion for her. Was he unwise in doing so?

No one can assess Major Randolph’s war experience unless they were in his shoes. However, allowing his passion for ruling his better judgment, caused a shocking reaction among the community. What bears consideration is, would the relationship between Rosie and Charles have brought about a better understanding between them, because of this affair? “You will hear the words of Father Collins to Charles as they board the bus, ‘His doubt that Rosie and Charles should end their marriage.’

Tom Ryan was an informer to the British soldiers and then watched his daughter brutalized for his silence. Did his wisdom suggest that after her horrific experience, she and Charles would have a better relationship, and life for all would return to normal after?

By today’s standards, the movie might be considered as ‘slow,’ but be patient – it’s so worth hanging in there. The characters are fascinating; the scenery is magnificent.

Ireland has suffered much from being tormented by those who subjected them to slavery, brutality, and poverty. Her people rose to their liberty, and today they enjoy the reputation of a special kind of people who have traveled to all points of the globe to establish their brand of Ireland, Irishness, and especially Guinness!

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Funny You Are

Funny

Feature Photo by Tengyart Upsplash.com

I love you for all that you are, all that you have been, all that you’re yet to be.

Ernest Hemingway

“This too will pass, and the best is yet to come.” If you whine in her company, she’ll tell you this and then make you repeat it. Remind you often, so it’s etched into your brain. Don’t forget, if you want to be in her company, or else!

Loving her new life, not wanting to get out of bed too early; although she does make a dutiful, and very important move to look after Alice in the chalice (serious consequences if she doesn’t) and certainly not until she’s had her morning cuppa. Her first enjoyment of the new day.  Lifting her lips from the cup she croons, “tasty cup of tea. Did you make it?” I look around to see if there is anyone else in the coop but us two. She’s kidding and I’m doing a follow-up.

Believe me, she’s like that. If it isn’t funny, this lady will make it funny. People always laugh in her company; Aaah she’s a true Brit, master of the understatement.

A joy to live with and we’ll see many sunrises and sunsets together as we walk through the vale on the road to the mountaintop. I could not imagine a more beautiful soul to share that experience when we gaze out to forever.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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Brave You Are

Brave

You are so brave and quiet I forget you are suffering.

Ernest Hemingway

Feature Image Photo by Josh Hemsley Upsplash.com

Five am cold, dark, and rainy outside. Thursday is the three-week chemo treatment day, and we prepare for the drive to the hospital. Two sleepyheads are fumbling around in the room, a queue for the loo, trouble for those that linger. Make the bed, lay out clothes, queue for a shower—a bowl of cereal for breakfast, dress and ready to roll. Week eighteen, last of the chemo’s, it’s been a rough ride.

Next is the blocker treatment, probably for life. How will the after-treatment effects of this be?

You suffered like no human should be asked to suffer, left wondering if it was all worth the pain, loss of taste, hair shaved off, ulcerated mouth, to name a few.

I recall that day at the hospital, some months ago when you were told by the medical professional that you had second-stage cancer in your breast, lymph glands (and later lungs too.) A mastectomy was almost inevitable. Even with her reassuring words, full recovery was possible with modern and progressive technology; did you, just for a second, wonder how long you had left on this earth?

But you responded with a strong voice, brave and determined, even though inside you were suffering. It was me who was shattered to a place of tears – my only relief.

Blocker treatment, three done, with each three weeks more to come, no end in sight. Complications set in from the womb; is it spreading? No, we state with strong affirmation! Yet you take it in your stride; medical professionals are amazed at your resilience. How you still have such a fantastic sense of humor, laughing often.

Even after all the treatment, you are as brave as ever, but I know you suffer silently; forgive me for the times I forget this…

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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Writing Love-Bite

You can write any time people will leave you alone and not interrupt you. Or rather you can if you will be ruthless enough about it. But the best writing is certainly when you are in love.

Ernest Hemingway

I can vouch for Ernest Hemingway’s statement.

I know well what it’s like to be left alone so you can write and not be interrupted. As a result, I assume that probably most writers feel the same way.

What I don’t know is why others would feel this way. From my point of view, I struggle to focus, and if I’m interrupted, I lose concentration. As a result, I become diverted from my inspirational path. The better news is that I recover most times quickly and can continue writing.

Writing
Love Writing

As it happened, my writing experience began late in my life. After meeting someone and falling in love, we moved in together and became partners. Partners, not only in the sense of cohabitation but also in having a coach. Someone who not only motivated but encouraged me to write. We would discuss every piece of writing I completed, followed by many suggestions and ideas.

In my case, there are many solutions to people’s interruption. One of these is finding a place where no people can interrupt you. Slipping down to our local library is one of the solutions. However, for me, ruthlessness is not an option; the reason for this would be my life philosophy. It is not possible for my partner to ever interrupt me.

Now, after more than 600 articles posted and 20,000 hits on my website, I can agree with Ernest Hemingway:

“But the best writing is certainly when you are in love.”

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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The Ferry Ride

Ferry

Feature Photo Google Image

The Ferry Ride.

Two Strangers, who had met only hours before, travel on a ferry—Russia 1885.

“Sergey,” Kristina whispered as the two of us stood under the solitary streetlight in the heavily falling rain. Why are you whispering? I thought. It was half eleven, and we were alone; who are we disturbing? I turned to face Kristina and, in doing so, stepped on a twig; ‘Whoosh, as the twig snapped, a great owl alighted from its post on top of the streetlight and fled to a safer perch. Kristina screamed and clutched onto me. Her warm, sweet breath caressing my face, her grip on my arm set my pulse beating. “Oh, I got such a fright,” she exclaimed. “What was that?” “It was an owl, sitting on top of the lamp. I saw it when we arrived.” I explained.

“I was going to ask you if the ferry will be in time to get us across the river. I shouldn’t like to arrive late for mass.” She stated appealingly. In response, I looked over the landing ramp across the inky black river. The moon was dancing among the clouds, shedding stages of its beams on the river, revealing white top waves whipped up by the wind. “I see a little lantern swaying above the river; that would be the ferry making its way across,” I responded slowly. “What’s that squeaking sound I can hear, Sergey? Her voice was shaky as she looked around nervously. “That’s the pulley cable swaying against the  anchor beam.”

“What? Could you explain that in laywoman’s terms, please?” There was a twist of humor in Kristina’s voice. “Of course, forgive me. Do you see that cable attached to the pole up there?” “Yesss, I think so.” “that cable goes over the river, and it is attached to a similar beam on the far bank. There is a three-wheel slide suspended on the cable. Linked to these is a rope dropping down onto the ferry. The ferryman pulls this rope, and the ferry board moves forward.

Despite the feel of cold rain on our faces and wind whistling in our ears, it seemed Kristina was gaining some zeal. “What is a ferry board?” “It’s the part that floats on the water, like a raft. “We are going to travel on a raft?” Kristina was shocked. “It’s alright, Kristina; It does have rails on the sides and a bench to sit on.” “Oh, if only I had known, I wouldn’t have asked you to take me to this Christmas Mass.

Water splashing against its side, the ferry loomed onto the ramp from the dark river, the little lantern swaying in the wind. Kristina didn’t need to comment on the elderly, wheezing, and bent over Ferry-man. Terror flashing on her face said it all.

His breath gathered, the Ferry-Man began, with well-spaced strides, pulling the rope. On shaky legs, trying to accustom myself to the rocking of the ferry, I offered to assist the man. His words were lost as he grunted into the howling wind and spray. I sat down, and Kristina gripped my arm. “I’m afraid.” she was shouting above the wind; I looked into her face, my eyes burning from the rain. “Oh Sergey, I’m going to be sick, hand over her mouth and leaning over the rail, a foul-smelling fountain spewed from her mouth. She clung to the rails while I held her around the waist. She continued retching for a few minutes with nothing emitting from her mouth. Face as white as a sheet, she looked at me: “Sergey, I need some water; all I can taste is bile.” “Kristina, we’ll dock in a few minutes. I’ll find water for you.”

Strains of an organ filled the night as gratefully I found a handpump. “Come, Kristina, drink,” she eagerly slurped the water from her hands. “Thank you, Sergeys. I feel better now.” As we entered the church, a warm, strong waft of teak wood and incense blew into my nostrils, a pleasant change from the bitter cold rainy night outside.

Settling into a tight space in the pew, a sudden boom from the organ and the choir with high-pitched voices jarred us as they began, “Asperges me Domine…” “What language is that, Kristina?” I leaned toward her. “It’s a Gregorian chant in Latin. A psalm of King David, “Cleanse me o’ Lord…” “Oh, interesting.” Once the service ended, people began celebrating and thoroughly enjoying their Christmas feast.

At the insistence of the Ferry-Man, we returned to the ferry. Clouds had cleared, the wind dropped, and a full moon proudly shone down on us from a cobalt sky. Kristina’s hand slid into mine as we sat, our bodies touching. Overwhelmed by a deep longing in me, I turned and kissed Kristina on her cheek. Her eyes glistening with tears as she whispered, “Thank you for coming with me, Sergey.” Edging slowly towards each other, we kissed on the lips. Deep and long.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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Famous Author Quotes-Dr Maya Angelou On Love

Faithhopelove

Feature Chris Liu Upsplash.com

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” Dr. Maya Angelou

I have understood that love in its purest forms will always accomplish its ends. It was quite startling for me, however, to realize that the word ‘love’, mostly associated with romance and that, as such, would be a weak and even vulnerable state. The one who is in love with another, whether it is reciprocated or not, opens themselves to being hurt. As such, I could not see this condition as a state of strength. Yet, if we consider the love of a mother for her child, now we have a vision of one would fight to the end to protect. I have seen similar situations, where the love of a fellow human leads to the same state of strength. It is when I think of these two examples that I am able to see that this type of love is selfless and therefore very powerful.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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Famous Author Quotes-Danielle Steel On True Love.

True Love

Feature Photo by Gabby Orcutt Upsplash.com

“Lust is temporary, romance can be nice, but love is the most important thing of all. Because without love, lust and romance will always be short-lived.”

― Danielle Steel

As a youth, romance was a key issue in my life. Some years later I began to realize the truth of my romancing. It was simply a way of satiating the lust within me. So tight was the grip of lust that I found I became narcissistic and in some cases codependent on the various partners in my affairs. It took me far too many years to wake up to what true love was really all about. I came to learn that true love was about respect and trust; putting your loved one before yourself always.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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Famous Author Quotes-Paulo Coelho on Never Imprison Love.

Love

― Paulo Coelho

“Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused.”

― Paulo Coelho

www,goodreads.com.

Paulo’s words are wise indeed and from these, we should all take care regarding this precious word, love.

I cannot remember ever trying to tame or understand the various experiences of love in my life, but there is every chance that I did. It’s possible, I might have tried to control and imprison love, although I cannot consciously recall doing this. Thinking about it, I can distinctively recall the feeling of romantic love. The love of my various family members along with the love of my fellow humans, these I recall quite clearly. Yet, love has been a mystery to me. A mystery that has to some extent become a little more clear in discovering that love comes in many differing forms.

The very best description I have ever read was from a passage of ancient wise words, and it goes like this: “Love is patient and is kind; love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud, doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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