Archives for the month of: December, 2010


Some final bits about 2010.


I read, with some sadness, that the last Kodachrome processing unit shut down yesterday in Parsons Kansas. It was the end of a 75-year old era. 

2010 also saw the passing of some wonderful film legends. The Turner Classic Movie channel does a great job in remembering those who have died in 2010. Have a look yourself. 

Finally, I hope that 2011 brings happiness and good fortune to all.




Some final bits about 2010.


I read, with some sadness, that the last Kodachrome processing unit shut down yesterday in Parsons Kansas. It was the end of a 75-year old era. 

2010 also saw the passing of some wonderful film legends. The Turner Classic Movie channel does a great job in remembering those who have died in 2010. Have a look yourself. 

Finally, I hope that 2011 brings happiness and good fortune to all.


The gift I do not want for Christmas!

A lot of movies are released during the holidays to take advantage of Christmas vacation. If you see one movie this season, I recommend Mother, a film from South Korea. It’s a crime/mystery movie about a mother trying to prove the innocence of her mentally handicapped son who is accused of murder. It’s available on DVD and also on Netflix through video streaming/download. It’s a terribly sad film, but it keeps you guessing to the very last frame.


Many people are put off with subtitled movies, and it does detract from watching; however, it’s worth watching this very original and surprising film in spite of the subtitles. Watch it and tell me what you think.

A lot of movies are released during the holidays to take advantage of Christmas vacation. If you see one movie this season, I recommend Mother, a film from South Korea. It’s a crime/mystery movie about a mother trying to prove the innocence of her mentally handicapped son who is accused of murder. It’s available on DVD and also on Netflix through video streaming/download. It’s a terribly sad film, but it keeps you guessing to the very last frame.


Many people are put off with subtitled movies, and it does detract from watching; however, it’s worth watching this very original and surprising film in spite of the subtitles. Watch it and tell me what you think.

Movies shown on airline flights are generally garbage. However, on my recent trip to Australia, I was treated to some very good films and some predictably bad ones. Here’s the low down.


Cairo Time: Nothing much happens, but from the very first frame, I was hooked. This is a beautiful film about a woman who goes to Cairo to visit her diplomat husband. It’s a story about the complexities of love and middle eastern politics, where nothing is black and white. It stars the wonderful Patricia Clarkson and Alexander Siddig. I have yet to see Patricia Clarkson in a bad movie. She knows how to select her films. Beware: There’s no nudity, violence, adult language, dazzling special effects or big stars. It reminds me of the film classic, Brief Encounter

Animal Kingdom: This Australian movie is completely different from Cairo Time, and I enjoyed it in a different way. This is a hard edged and gritty story about a family of low level criminals. There’s lots of violence and adult language, but the performances are stellar and the storyline fascinating. 

Eat, Pray, Love: Julia Roberts is having a mid-life crisis and goes on an around the world journey to find herself and happiness. Guess what? By the end of the movie, she does. Everyone feels good. This cliche filled and predictable movie is a STINKER!! If you have insomnia, this movie will cure you. 


The Switch: I should have known better. Any movie with Jennifer Anniston is guaranteed to be a crap. Who enjoys this kind of drivel?

Movies shown on airline flights are generally garbage. However, on my recent trip to Australia, I was treated to some very good films and some predictably bad ones. Here’s the low down.


Cairo Time: Nothing much happens, but from the very first frame, I was hooked. This is a beautiful film about a woman who goes to Cairo to visit her diplomat husband. It’s a story about the complexities of love and middle eastern politics, where nothing is black and white. It stars the wonderful Patricia Clarkson and Alexander Siddig. I have yet to see Patricia Clarkson in a bad movie. She knows how to select her films. Beware: There’s no nudity, violence, adult language, dazzling special effects or big stars. It reminds me of the film classic, Brief Encounter

Animal Kingdom: This Australian movie is completely different from Cairo Time, and I enjoyed it in a different way. This is a hard edged and gritty story about a family of low level criminals. There’s lots of violence and adult language, but the performances are stellar and the storyline fascinating. 

Eat, Pray, Love: Julia Roberts is having a mid-life crisis and goes on an around the world journey to find herself and happiness. Guess what? By the end of the movie, she does. Everyone feels good. This cliche filled and predictable movie is a STINKER!! If you have insomnia, this movie will cure you. 


The Switch: I should have known better. Any movie with Jennifer Anniston is guaranteed to be a crap. Who enjoys this kind of drivel?

Keli Lane

Australians seem to specialize in cases involving mothers who kill their children. Remember the sensational 1980s murder trial involving Lindy Chamberlain (“the dingo got my baby” case). The case riveted Australia, and was later made into, A Cry in the Darka film that allowed Meryl Streep to show off her Australian accent. 

While I was in Australia, the biggest news event (other than Oprah’s visit) was the Keli Lane murder trial that ended last week. Ms. Lane was convicted of murdering her baby, Tegan Lane, two days after giving birth to her in 1996. The fact that Ms. Lane hid five pregnancies in all — two aborted, two that proceeded with the babies adopted out, and the baby Tegan — prompted a public outcry. How could a mother do this? Why didn’t she use contraception, have another abortion or give the baby up for adoption? More importantly, where were the authorities that allowed such a thing to happen?

During the 17-week trial, the prosecution argued that Ms. Lane, a former champion water polo player, killed her baby because she did not want the child to get in the way of her Olympic aspirations and active social life. Ms. Lane was a water polo star and was looking for a place on the 2000 Water Polo team. The first thing you learn about Australians is that they’re sports fanatics and idolize their sport stars: rugby, soccer, cricket, tennis, golf, surfing, sailing, track and field, and of course swimming.  

Lawyers for Lane said Ms. Lane kept the births secret because of her “shame, embarrassment and humiliation” about her sexual encounters that led to the conceptions and her failure to use adequate contraception. She feared she would lose her friends and family if they found out about her secret pregnancies. Moreover, knowledge of her pregnancies, abortions and adoptions would damage her “star” appeal and potential for endorsements. The defense argued that Ms. Lane may not have had maternal instincts, but she didn’t kill her baby, and she shouldn’t be convicted for not doing what society deems appropriate. In addition, the defense argued that the baby’s body was never found and it was reasonable to assume that Tegan was alive. 


Ms. Lane’s secrets were unraveled in 1999 when a social worker learned of Tegan’s birth while working on the adoption of Ms. Lane’s subsequent child. The social worker became suspicious when he discovered a hospital record indicating that Ms. Lane had given birth to a child in 1996. He tried to investigate the child’s life but discovered there was no birth certificate, medical records, nor any other documents to indicate the existence of the child. When he asked Lane about the child, she denied its existence. He ultimately went to the police and reported the child missing.

The police interviewed Lane in 2001, and she told them the baby had been given to the natural father (Mr. Morris or Mr. Norris), a man she said she had a brief and secret affair. She changed her story a number of times during the investigation, but this was the story she used at trial. The prosecution claimed that the named father, Andrew Morris or Andrew Norris, was a fictitious person. In fact, the police spent tens of thousands of hours attempting to trace the whereabouts of Tegan, Mr. Morris or Mr. Norris, but to no avail.

Dominique Cottrez

Was Ms. Lane crazy or just bad? Clearly, Ms. Lane suffers from a mental disorder. Was this disorder exacerbated by a need for fame or fueled by a society that places a high premium on sports?


Mothers who kill their babies are not that uncommon. A few years back, there was the case of Dominique Cottrez, a woman who killed 8 of her children in a span of 17 years. What’s amazing is that Ms. Cottrez was able to keep their births a secret, even from her husband. Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. 

Keli Lane

Australians seem to specialize in cases involving mothers who kill their children. Remember the sensational 1980s murder trial involving Lindy Chamberlain (“the dingo got my baby” case). The case riveted Australia, and was later made into, A Cry in the Darka film that allowed Meryl Streep to show off her Australian accent. 

While I was in Australia, the biggest news event (other than Oprah’s visit) was the Keli Lane murder trial that ended last week. Ms. Lane was convicted of murdering her baby, Tegan Lane, two days after giving birth to her in 1996. The fact that Ms. Lane hid five pregnancies in all — two aborted, two that proceeded with the babies adopted out, and the baby Tegan — prompted a public outcry. How could a mother do this? Why didn’t she use contraception, have another abortion or give the baby up for adoption? More importantly, where were the authorities that allowed such a thing to happen?

During the 17-week trial, the prosecution argued that Ms. Lane, a former champion water polo player, killed her baby because she did not want the child to get in the way of her Olympic aspirations and active social life. Ms. Lane was a water polo star and was looking for a place on the 2000 Water Polo team. The first thing you learn about Australians is that they’re sports fanatics and idolize their sport stars: rugby, soccer, cricket, tennis, golf, surfing, sailing, track and field, and of course swimming.  

Lawyers for Lane said Ms. Lane kept the births secret because of her “shame, embarrassment and humiliation” about her sexual encounters that led to the conceptions and her failure to use adequate contraception. She feared she would lose her friends and family if they found out about her secret pregnancies. Moreover, knowledge of her pregnancies, abortions and adoptions would damage her “star” appeal and potential for endorsements. The defense argued that Ms. Lane may not have had maternal instincts, but she didn’t kill her baby, and she shouldn’t be convicted for not doing what society deems appropriate. In addition, the defense argued that the baby’s body was never found and it was reasonable to assume that Tegan was alive. 


Ms. Lane’s secrets were unraveled in 1999 when a social worker learned of Tegan’s birth while working on the adoption of Ms. Lane’s subsequent child. The social worker became suspicious when he discovered a hospital record indicating that Ms. Lane had given birth to a child in 1996. He tried to investigate the child’s life but discovered there was no birth certificate, medical records, nor any other documents to indicate the existence of the child. When he asked Lane about the child, she denied its existence. He ultimately went to the police and reported the child missing.

The police interviewed Lane in 2001, and she told them the baby had been given to the natural father (Mr. Morris or Mr. Norris), a man she said she had a brief and secret affair. She changed her story a number of times during the investigation, but this was the story she used at trial. The prosecution claimed that the named father, Andrew Morris or Andrew Norris, was a fictitious person. In fact, the police spent tens of thousands of hours attempting to trace the whereabouts of Tegan, Mr. Morris or Mr. Norris, but to no avail.

Dominique Cottrez

Was Ms. Lane crazy or just bad? Clearly, Ms. Lane suffers from a mental disorder. Was this disorder exacerbated by a need for fame or fueled by a society that places a high premium on sports?


Mothers who kill their babies are not that uncommon. A few years back, there was the case of Dominique Cottrez, a woman who killed 8 of her children in a span of 17 years. What’s amazing is that Ms. Cottrez was able to keep their births a secret, even from her husband. Truth is sometimes stranger than fiction.