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Preshow Entertainment: An episode of MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS.

I suppose everyone knows Python and how funny they are, so there's really no great point in dwelling on that. That said, this was a very strange episode. In fact, instead of many skits, it was one long one. I can't recall if they've done that again (it was a very early one).

The Random Movie was MANON OF THE SPRING. This is one of the reasons I love RMC so much. This movie is a sequel to JEAN DE FLORETTE. Actually, I think when it was originally released in France, it was one 3.5 hour movie, but Orion didn't think stupid Americans would sit through it, so they released them as 2 movies. I'm sure they were right. Stupid Americans.

Anyway, I had seen JEAN DE FLORETTE in 1987, when it was released on video. But for some reason, I never got to see MANON. I've had it in my collection for 14 years. If not for RMC, I don't know if I would have ever thought, "Hey! Let's watch that MANON OF THE SPRING thing today!" Of course, that makes me...you guessed it...a stupid American.

Anyway, in the sequel, we find young Manon grown up (now 18), and living in the woods as a shepherd, after the greedy mean guys helped destroy her dad (Gerard Depardieu) in the first movie (he's not in MANON). What happens next is a Shakespearian tale of greed, comeuppance, and redemption. I highly recommend you all being smart Americans and watching both of these movies back to back.

Certainly you know Emmanuelle Beart (Manon) as the angel in that famous Phoebe Cates starrer DATE WITH AN ANGEL. According to IMDB, she was also in MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE. Oh, and lots of Frog stuff.

I've seen a bunch of movies in theaters recently, and all but 2 (NO MAN'S LAND, AMELIE) sucked. Some were pointless (MULHOLLAND DRIVE) others
mildly entertaining, but no heart (GOSFORD PARK, ROYAL TENENBAUMS, BLACK HAWK DOWN). Some passable by default (HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE, VANILLA SKY, OCEAN'S 11). And some simply unbearable (LANTANA, THE BUSINESS OF STRANGERS, LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RINGS, THE SHIPPING NEWS, ALI). So on a personal note, it was very refreshing to see MANON OF THE SPRING. It reminds me that amid crap, there is good.

And the spring once again is running.

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