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Book Review - Sunrise with Seamonsters
by Paul Theroux

From literary criticism to a perspective on John McEnroe, Sunrise with Seamonsters has an eclectic collection of Paul Theroux' writings spanning twenty years. Mr. Theroux writes about Richard Nixon's memoirs and of a meeting with the man. There is a fawning piece on V. S. Pritchett and an admiring essay on V. S. Naipaul. I have yet to read In Sir Vidya's Shadow, but considering the sour relationship the two men have had, I expect to like it.

The essays in this collection are chronologically arranged but there is no single theme. Mr. Theroux expounds on travel, politics, writers he likes, The Orient Express and the function of patronage in an artist's development. As a fan, I found some of the essays revealing about Mr. Theroux philosophy towards travel and writing. The Cerebral Snapshot is a persuasive argument against carrying a camera while traveling. The author's experiences as a teacher in Malawi, Uganda and finally in Singapore provide vivid context to his subsequent writings. An enjoyable work. Recommended.

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Diary of a Lost Girl at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival

I just saw Diary of a Lost Girl at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival. The screening was accompanied by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra. The movie is considered a classic of the silent era. I enjoyed it immensely. The theme seems a little hackneyed, but then this is the original that was eventually made trite by over use. At times, the movie reminded me of the Indian classic, Pakeezah.

Metropolis at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival

I caught the full version of Metropolis at the Castro Theater yesterday. The screening had a live score by the Alloy Orchestra and was preceded by a conversation with Paula-Félix Didier and Fernando Peña, the film archivists affiliated with the Museo del Cine in Buenos Aires who made the remarkable discovery. We stood in line for two hours to get the rush tickets without any real indication as to whether we'd get admission. Was it worth it? Absolutely! It turned out to be one of my best cinematic experiences ever.

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