February 3rd, 2008

Chris Keeley

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)

4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (2007)

Director: Cristian Mungiu
Cast: Anamaria Marinca, Vlad Ivanov, Laura Vasiliu, Alexandru Potoceanu
Rating: NR (Adult Situations/Adult Language/Sexual Situations)



Review Summary

In “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” a ferocious, unsentimental, often brilliantly directed film about a young woman who helps a friend secure an abortion, the camera doesn’t follow the action, it expresses consciousness itself. This consciousness — alert to the world and insistently alive — is embodied by a young university student who, one wintry day in the late 1980s, helps her roommate with an abortion in Ceausescu’s Romania when such procedures were illegal, not uncommon and too often fatal. It’s a pitiless, violent story that in its telling becomes a haunting and haunted intellectual and aesthetic achievement. “4 Months” deserves to be seen by the largest audience possible, partly because it offers a welcome alternative to the coy, trivializing attitude toward abortion now in vogue in American fiction films, but largely because it marks the emergence of an important new talent in the Romanian writer and director Cristian Mungiu. — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
Chris Keeley

During the final days of communism in Romania, two college roommates Otilia (Anamaria Marinca) and G


During the final days of communism in Romania, two college roommates Otilia (Anamaria Marinca) and Gabita (Laura Vasiliu) are busy preparing for a night away. But rather than planning for a holiday, they are making arrangements for Gabita’s illegal abortion and unwittingly, both find themselves burrowing deep down a rabbit hole of unexpected revelations. Transpiring over the course of a single day, Mungiu’s film is a masterwork of modern filmmaking, by parts poignant and shocking. Nominated for 4 European Film Awards including Best Picture and one of the standout hits of the Telluride, Toronto and New York Film Festivals, 4 MONTHS, 3 WEEKS AND 2 DAYS is a modern classic that will stay with you long after you’ve left the theater.

Trailer (1:47)
Rating: NR
In Theatres: January 25th, 2008

Cristian Mungiu (dir.)
Anamaria Marinca
Laura Vasiliu
Vlad Ivanov
Alex Potocean

Chris Keeley

An advocacy group for recovering addicts, Faces and Voices of Recovery, began a letter-writing campa

People call it exploitative; I’m confused by that,” said Dr. Pinsky. The celebrities on the show “know exactly what they’re getting into and have allowed to resolve the problem, to help others,” he added.

PRIME-TIME HEALING Rehabilitation is out in the open for Dr. Drew Pinsky and Jeff Conaway.

February 3, 2008

Detox for the Camera. Doctor’s Order!

ON the first episode of the VH1 reality series “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew,” Jeff Conaway arrives for in-patient treatment at the Pasadena Recovery Center in California slumped over in the passenger seat of a car, caressing an open bottle of Dom Pérignon. The actor, who starred in the television show “Taxi” and the movie “Grease,” describes himself as “loaded,” for which he blames people who, the night before, accused him of being an addict.

“How dare they,” Dr. Drew Pinsky says in a deadpan bit of gallows humor meant to lighten the mood.

An easy rapport with television cameras and celebrity also-rans is not part of the job description for the typical doctor. But with his soap-opera looks and cool-dad aura, Dr. Pinsky, 49, has been famous in his own right for 25 years, all while navigating a precarious balance of professionalism and salaciousness.

“I have a pretty keen ethical compass,” Dr. Pinsky said by telephone from Pasadena, Calif., where he has a general medicine practice and is the medical director of the department of chemical cependency services at Las Encinas Hospital. “That’s why I can walk this line.”

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Chris Keeley

TruthDig: Milton Viorst on Israel’s Tragic Predicament

Milton Viorst, the author of this article, has covered the Israel-Palestine issue for 40 years and has published six books and numerous articles on the subject. He was a member of a Council for the National Interest Foundation team that visited Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon in October-November 2007 to assess the situation on the ground just prior to the Annapolis conference. The books he reviews in this article are again proof--if any is  needed--that the best writing about Israeli is often by Israeli writers, who have the advantage of living there. Mr. Viorst has authorized me to circulate this article, with due credit to the Truthdig website.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Robert Keeley
Date: Feb 2, 2008 6:30 PM
Subject: TruthDig: Milton Viorst on Israel's Tragic Predicament


I read this on Truthdig and thought you would find it interesting.

Milton Viorst on Israel's Tragic Predicament

Can decent Israelis, caught between complacency and conscience, save their beleaguered country from the corruptions of power, religious fanaticism and crippling hubris?


Copyright © 2008 Truthdig, L.L.C. All rights reserved.
Chris Keeley

TruthDig: Milton Viorst on Israel’s Tragic Predicament

 In opening his stunning memoir, “Dark Hope: Working for Peace in Israel and Palestine,” David Shulman declares: “I am an Israeli. I live in Jerusalem. I have a story, not yet finished, to tell.” It is a very sad story, of a society gone astray with power, and of decent Israelis in despair over the failure of their efforts to save it from itself. The story, as Shulman says, is not yet over, but he asks whether its end is not already determined. Is tragedy inevitable?  Can Israel right its course to achieve its once glowing promise as a refuge and as a nation?

Shulman’s memoir is not unique in raising these questions. Two recent books share his foreboding: “Lords of the Land: The War Over Israel’s Settlements in the Occupied Territories, 1967-2007,” a careful work of scholarship by Idith Zertal and Akiva Eldar, and “Toward an Open Tomb: The Crisis of Israeli Society,” a stinging essay by Michel Warschawski. Shulman and Zertal are college professors, Eldar is a journalist, Warschawski is a peace activist. All are Israeli Jews. Whatever the stylistic differences of their books, they are equally unforgiving of Israel for placing its future in stark jeopardy.

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Chris Keeley

William Pfaff, "What Really Threatens Europe"--1/31/08

the United States is today so widely perceived as a society in decline, failing to deal realistically with industrial, economic, and national and international political realities.

What Really Threatens Europe?

William Pfaff

Paris, January 31, 2008 – The European political debate as much as the American is preoccupied by issues of security, yet there are few who will explain why Europe is supposed to be insecure, and what exactly is the threat.

For Americans it seems simple – terrorism, the Islamic threat, the Pakistani bomb and who controls it, the Iranian nuclear bomb, ethnic battles in Africa, resurgent Russia, the ambitions of a new China, North Korea's intransigence.

Is western Europe really threatened by all of this? How much of this is real and how much provocation or paranoid fantasy? The United States has a permanent need for insecurity and novel threats because since the early cold war the American economy has become geared to the manufacture of security goods to meet seemingly inexhaustible national insecurities.

The manufacture of advanced technology civilian goods was at the same time moving from the United States to the Far East, in the case of electronics, and from the U.S. to Europe in the case of cars, trains, integrated transport systems, and urban and international infrastructure. This is one of the reasons the United States is today so widely perceived as a society in decline, failing to deal realistically with industrial, economic, and national and international political realities.

An example is the recent announcement by the U.S. air force that it needs a new heavy bomber suitable for international nuclear warfare. Why there should be such a need, and for use against what enemy, has not been explained, but by now this generally is the case. For a long time the American Congress has taken for granted the cyclical reiteration of demands for new and hyper-advanced weaponry irrelevant to generally recognized threats. This seems essential to the country's economy and psychological security.
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Chris Keeley

Team Obama refers to the Clinton campaign as “Jaws” because “just when things are quiet, they keep t

February 3, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist
There Will Be Blood


Suddenly, everyone was in the mood for love. Would the scream team turn into the dream team?

After Thursday’s Democratic debate, CNN’s Carol Costello said there were “heart palpitations” and “ripples of joy” in the glittery Kodak Theater audience at the idea of a Hillary-Obama or Obama-Hillary ticket, after he was gallant with her and she laughed gaily with him.

How could Hollywood not fall in love with Hollywood’s favorite plot? After lots of sparking and sparring, the couple falls into each other’s arms in the last scene.

The would-be matchmakers didn’t seem to know that in Hollywood, couples who have chemistry on screen often don’t like each other off screen, and ones who are involved off screen often don’t have any chemistry on screen.

And so it is with Barack and Hillary. Thursday night was not the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Just a beautiful, dare we say, fairy tale.

Hillary is done with playing a supporting role to a political natural. And why would Obama want to follow in the frustrated footsteps of Al Gore, who became Bill Clinton’s vice president only to find that the job was already taken by Hillary? Think about being third banana to Billary? There won’t be any Dick Cheney-style coup in Hillary’s White House.

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