Best Picture: “The Great Ziegfeld” of 1936



Rating: 10/10

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“The Great Ziegfeld” was magical and dedicated. Like the title implies, the film follows the life of Florenz Ziegfeld, Jr., the very man who started the famous Ziegfeld Follies.

The film provides what it promises. In the beginning, we are shown a young Ziegfeld who exploits the strong man Sandow. We are told about his weaknesses with money and women; his tendency to lose money quicker than he can find it. And he openly admits he loves women; they’re gorgeous and treasured by him. (Not portrayed like dolls, as they were in “The Broadway Melody.”) Of course, history takes it course with this man, and he finds the appropriate personality to exploit, and his Follies are born. It’s fantastic and honest.

William Powell is so playful with his fellow actors; his performance is sincere. And while you follow him through his personal history, you never bore of Ziegfeld’s scheming and dreaming. Anna Held was marvelous as his first wife, and you truly feel for her when the women of the Follies come into her life. As a bonus, I was introduced to Fanny Brice in this film; I enjoyed the stark contrast she brought to the film when compared to the frilly beauties of the Follies.

Whoever took the time to cast, to organize, to direct, and to film this movie was a genius. Not only was the plot practical and enjoyable and true to the title, but the film was like stepping into a time machine and traveling back to classical theatre. Every performance had purpose and beauty; it was obviously choreographed and directed by dedicated artists. That deserves respect and admiration. (The only downside to this film: the three hours it takes to watch.)

Honestly, if you enjoy Lady Gaga, watch “The Great Ziegfeld.” If you love the idea of Vaudeville, watch this. If you love pretty artists, watch this. If you enjoy “The Greatest Showman,” this film is surely a precursor to its wonder. If you’re a true artist, I challenge you to take the time to watch this film; it will not disappoint.


Time Capsule: “Sleep Typing”

“Live in each moment.”

Hello, world!

Do you ever look back on your life and realize that truly you can only get a small glimpse of who you were, that somehow along the way you have become the summation of multiple people, various chapters blending and blurring?

I do.

Then again, somehow along the way, we maintain a central core, a solid medium to which we always return – constancy despite consistency.


Back in the Summer of 2010, I took a trip to Hawaii with my family. We stayed there for eleven days. And, yes, I recorded each and every individual day in blog form. I also took photos. And I took several videos with my Flipshare video camera, eventually compiling them into a single document to gift to my siblings.

Church Photo
Summer 2009 (Little Isaac wasn’t born yet.)

Funny enough, like most things in my life, the files were destroyed before I could burn them to a disk.

Why were they destroyed?

While I was in college, I broke my laptop screen (for the third time) and took my Mac to a store for reparation. When I had the screen replaced, I did not back any of my files up, despite the guy in the blue polo having asked me to do so. Thus, the tangible memories were deleted.

The potential lesson to be learned: Live in each moment, but make sure to mark the good ones – and sometimes even the bad ones.


Fortunately, I did keep the stories. And for the next few blog entries, I will be recalling the days when I went to Hawaii.

[Until then, a quick summary of the Time Capsule: Justin of 2010 loved Doctor Who, Glee, traveling libraries, Pokemon, and staying up late to write.]

Please enjoy this quote from Doctor Who, an alien who sums up the coming-off and putting-on of masks and centrality of character:

“Come on, then. Take mine. Take my memories. But I hope you’ve got a big appetite because I’ve lived a long life and I’ve seen a few things. I walked away from the Last Great Time War. I marked the passing of the Time Lords. I saw the birth of the universe and I watched as time ran out, moment by moment, until nothing remained. No time. No space. Just me. I walked in universes where the laws of physics were devised by the mind of a madman. I’ve watched universes freeze and creations burn. I have seen things you wouldn’t believe. I have lost things you will never understand. And I know things, secrets that must never be told and knowledge that must never be spoken. Knowledge that will make parasite gods blaze. So come on then! Take it! Take it all, baby! Have it! You have it all!”


free verse

Reflecting, pondering,

And I look back and see a farm,

Vegetation, growth, green life –



Brotherhood –

Camaraderie in the most unlikely

Of forms, but brothers



Change – immense edification.

Hanging on a cliff

And then pushed out of the nest –

It was a spring board

For what? Lord only knows.


Hopes dashed,

Dreams crushed,

But that’s all carnal.

The truth is: Someone is

Serving up something unforeseen.


And it’s greater

Than I dare to imagine!


Thanks for reading. If you want to catch a glimpse of my life, check out this new video of my twenty-forth birthday!