“Miss Bimbo” is an online site popular with little girls in England, France, and Japan that bills itself as the “first virtual fashion game.” It encourages them to “Become the most famous and beautiful bimbo in the world.” They can accomplish this by having their personal “bimbo” diet (until recent protests, this included the “purchase” of diet pills) and get cosmetic surgery or a wealthy boyfriend. This game makes Barbie and the Bratz look like Hillary Clinton. Parents should exercise caution to make sure that Webkins-savvy children do not wander over into this site.
Many thanks to the Jezebel site for bringing this to my attention.
Two of the best performances of the year so far were given by Victor Rasuk in “Stop Loss” and Melonie Diaz in “Be Kind Rewind.” Both got their start in a little-seen independent film called a “minor miracle” by Salon movie critic Stephanie Zacharek, “Raising Victor Vargas.” The young actors share their names with their characters, and the film has an intimate, improvised, documentary feel as it explores their struggles to find themselves and make connections. Watch for another supremely natural performance from first-timer Altagracia Guzman as the grandmother. Winner of Independent Spirit awards for direction and first screenplay, this is a quiet gem of a movie. I am delighted to see Rasuk and Diaz continuing to grow as performers and look forward to seeing what they do next.
Chicagoans are furious about the plans of new Chicago Tribune owner Sam Zell to sell the naming rights to Chicago’s hallowed ground, Wrigley Field. The Chicago Sun-Times had a video competition for those who wanted to object, and the winner was…an intern at the Chicago Tribune!
The Sun-Times announced that they’d been punk’d, but responded cheerfully with a headline expressing their delight in learning that the Tribune had a sense of humor. The Tribune’s triumph was bittersweet (not the comment about vacating the building that has been their home going back almost to the days of Jean Baptiste Pointe du Sable (okay, since 1925). The video is adorable.
‘Beaufort,” the first Israeli movie nominated for the best foreign film Oscar in 24 years, is a meditation on the tragic ironies that soldiers face while ending an 18-year occupation of a medieval fortress in Lebanon. Despite their valor, the soldiers’ mission increasingly seems like an exercise in futility. They might as well be waiting for Godot.
Even though the Israelis are leaving, Hezbollah forces are becoming more aggressive and trying to make the evacuation look like a retreat. Meanwhile, far away, generals and politicians issue orders that seem clueless or callous or both, when they even remember Beaufort at all.
Built during the Crusades of the 12th century, Beaufort (“Beautiful Fort”) has been fought over off and on ever since. We are told in opening text that raising the Israeli flag over Beaufort in 1982 had enormous political and cultural symbolism. But 18 years later, as the movie begins, it is not at all clear what leaving the fortress will symbolize. Are the Israelis leaving in triumph, having accomplished their goals? Or is it surrender? The soldiers are trying simultaneously to protect themselves, fight the enemy and leave with dignity, with some sense that the time they spent and the lives they lost meant something and made a difference.
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