Superior Home Entertainment Activities

 

INTRODUCTION

Superior home entertainment activities have become my favorite social distancing pastime during the COVID pandemic. In order for me to participate in this luxury of domestic and foreign films, series, and documentaries, I need the following:
1. entertainment equipment (a computer or smart TV)
2. streaming venue subscriptions
3. access to individual films and series

Details about equipment may be featured in a post at some future date. But this post focuses specifically on information about streaming venues. It highlights individual films, series, and actors, especially. Therefore, a group of our favorite entertainment selections happens to be the primary focus of this blog post.

ENTERTAINMENT EQUIPMENT

superior home entertainment
Samsung Neo QLED
In fact, I was reminded of this when I posted about home entertainment on my my Facebook page recently. I wrote, “What’s on my mind this morning? Did you know that my husband, Phillip Jacobs and I are huge film and TV drama series fans?” We even have a Facebook page devoted to this topic, Streaming Choices by Alison. Now we offer this blog post, too.

 

STREAMING VENUES

Our two primary venues are Netflix and Prime. Occasionally, we will watch something on Youtube or stumble upon another streaming venue.
superior home entertainment
The Netflix and Prime logos

OUR CURRENT FAVORITES LIST

As part of this new pastime, many of our choices are off the beaten path of mainstream entertainment. For this reason, they may not be foremost in your memory. Actually, some actors and selections may be unknown to regular movie goers. To me, this is what makes our topic fun, even unique. As a result, choices may expose readers to a whole new world of superior home entertainment options. Immediately below is a montage of non-clickable links.
superior home entertainment
This is a montage of unlinked images of our current selections of superior home entertainment choices. Clickable links are available from individual entries.

 

AND THE WINNERS ARE . . .

1. Best Romantic Film-Silver Linings Playbook
2. Best Cultural Series-UnOrthodox
3. Best Nouveau Noir Film-LA Confidential
4. Best Traditional Noir Film-Laura
5. Best Classic Comedy-My Man Godfrey
6. Best Classic Comedy-Sullivan’s Travels
7. Favorite Actor-Oscar Isaac
8. Favorite Actress-Rita Hayworth
9. Favorite Foreign Actor-Omar Sy
10. Best Foreign Mystery Romance Series-Black Money Love
11. Lifetime Achievement Award-James Gandolfini
There are clickable Youtube samples below. They include trailers and parts from each of our favorite selections.

 

FAVORITE CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE FILM

1. Best film Silver Linings Playbook with Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence

 

FAVORITE FOREIGN CULTURAL SERIES

2. UnOrthodox with Shira Haas, Best Foreign Actress

 

FAVORITE NOIR FILMS

3. Best film (nouveau noir) LA Confidential, Russell Crowe, Tim Basinger

 
4. Best Film (traditional noir) Laura with Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews

 

FAVORITE CLASSIC COMEDIES

5. Best Classic Comedy My Man Godfrey with William Powell, Carole Lombard


 

6. Best Classic Comedy Sullivan’s Travels with Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake



 

FAVORITE ACTORS

7. Favorite Actor Oscar Isaac



 

8. Favorite Actress Rita Hayworth (1918-87)


 

9. Favorite Foreign Actor Omar Sy



 

FAVORITE FOREIGN SERIES

10. Favorite Dizi (Turkish Drama) BLACK MONEY LOVE aka Kara Para Aşk and Best Actors

Engin Akyürek and Tuba Büyüküstün


 

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

11. Lifetime Acting Achievement Award James Gandolfini
Although best known by far for his award winning role in the Sopranos, Down the Shore, is a little known film that we found very appealing. The story itself will surprise you.


 

CONCLUSION

So, there you have it. Some of our favorites. Their inclusion has no rhyme or reason. In fact, we just love them. To illustrate their diversity, we have included American selections and International selections. Besides that, there are contemporary choices and classic choices. As you can see, our choices are from a broad range of options.

If you have others favorites, please let me know in the comments area at the very bottom of this post. But remember this, please do not labor over your choices. In fact, you should be spontaneous. In other words, from the heart not the intellect. Mention just the ones you love.

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THE RIDGEWOOD EUROPEAN PORK STORE

ridgewood-european-pork-store
Butcher ‘rock star’ Jonel Picioane proudly poses in his Ridgewood European Pork Store for The Bushwick Daily. The is located in Ridgewood Queens since the 1930’s. This write up is for The Bushwick Daily.

INTRODUCTION

The Ridgewood European Pork Store transcends modern-day food. It is, in fact, an endangered species. It is located in what was originally an eastern European neighborhood. Amazingly, the store was born in the 1930s with very few changes in ownership and products.

ridgewpood-european-pork-store
The Ridgewood European Pork Store looking similar to the way it did when it first opened in the 1930s. Photo from Yelp.

ARTISAN FOOD

Technically homemade meat products like it had in 1930s US and Europe fill much of the store today. Artisan is the new name that has been given to this type of food. This term represents foods made in small batches, made often for freshness, and traditionally-prepared to taste as it originally did. Artisan is a new word for old-time goodness. Here is a definition for artisan food from Wikipedia
 

FOOD THAT TAKES US BACK IN TIME

There is an entire movement of Artisan Food. We crave food the way it used to taste, free of preservative for long shelf lives. We want it homemade with a focus on quality, not quantity, wrapped in butcher paper, not vacuum sealed plastic-wrapped. There was time when speed of preparation rather than taste was the priority. But things have changed. We want slow food. We want to go back in time.
 
 

FOOD TODAY WITH A TASTE FOR YESTERDAY

ridgewood-european-pork-store
Owner Jonel , the rockstar butcher, at work at his butcher shop. Photo from The Bushwick Daily.

CONCLUSIOIN

I haven’t had a chance to visit the European Pork Store yet. But it is on my list of things I want very much to do. Even though I am not much of a world traveler, I love to travel the world and its history within my own world.

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SEX AT THE CINEMA

 

INTRODUCTION


Cinema sex is at an all-time high. In fact, the US has established ratings to inform film viewers of the degree of sex to expect. This post will explore four degrees of cinema sex:
1. no sex or G-rated
2. some sexuality or GP-rated
3. a lot of sex or R-rated
4. almost explicit sex or between R-rated and X-rated

SEX AT THE CINEMA IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES

Turkey

Countries review sex at the cinema differently. For example, Turkey is technically tightening its guidelines. Only kissing on the cheek is considered proper for unmarried couples. Clearly, for anyone who is a fan of Turkish dizis, this guideline is not strictly enforced. In fact, it causes much controversy on and off screen.

cinema-sex
In Kara Para Ask, lead actors Omer and Elif do participate in some discrete but steamy sexual scenes.
Korea

I am a new viewer of Korean series. My introduction, 100 Days My Prince, is totally discreet. But I am not sure if this is because this is for G rated audiences or this is the nature of Korean cinema in general.

cinema-sex
Won Deck and Hong Sim must marry due to a decree from the crown prince.
Israel

In its beginning, this series depicts Ultra-Orthodox Judaism at its strictest. Streaming series overflow with fascinating sagas that are obscure to many Christian and even secular Jews. In this genre, there is no touching before marriages which are usually arranged. There are many rules and restrictions. For members of the various ultra-Orthodox groups, structure, security, and a strong sense of community are integral. For others, like Esty the heroine of Unorthodox this life is unbearable. For Etsy, this streaming sage dwells on transition from observance rather that observance to the laws. The trailer is shown below.

United States

In the US, R- rated TV and movies are so commonplace that they are barely more than scenery. This is the case in the prime example of a Netflix streaming series, @Spinning Out. A short video of the skating pair, Kat and Justin is shown below.

Great Britain

As Kat and Justin skate a very fine line to ice skating victories in Spinning Out, the cast of @Bridgerton, the latest steamy drama filmed in Britain walks a shockingly fine line between R-rated and X-rated.

cinema-sex
Out in ‘The Season’, Lord Simon Hastings and Daphne Bridgerton make an impressive couple to all in attendance.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, I wish to pose these questions to my readers. Do you agree with the ratings I have given each series? Are you comfortable with the amount of sex or sexual suggestiveness in each series? If not what would you like to see done differently?

SOURCES & RESOURCES

BRIDGERTON ‘Bridgerton’ fans are criticizing showrunners for including a controversial rape scene and failing to address the lack of consent

UNORTHODOX I left the Satmar Hasidic community. ‘Unorthodox’ is a grossly inaccurate depiction of that world.

SPINNING OUT Spinning Out Season 2 Cancelled ? | Release Date

100 DAYS MY PRINCE Everything You Need to Know About the Cast of ‘100 Days My Prince’

BLACK MONEY LOVE Review ~ Black Money Love (Kara Para Ask)

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A Holiday Homework Assignment Is Reminiscent of Our Favorite Family Tradition, Part One

 

THE HOLIDAY HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT

Thanks to a holiday homework assignment my great-nephew Westley got, our family has revived its memories of our favorite family traditions, decades of Thanksgiving dinners together.

HOW IT HAPPENEND

Westley, my brother’s grandson was given an assignment for his grandpa to write about his favorite childhood holiday. No hands down, it was Thanksgiving. We had the best Thanksgiving dinners ever.

hholiday-homework-assognment
Norman Rockwell Freedom From Want Traditional American Happy Family Thanksgiving Christmas Dinner Turkey Holiday
WHO CAME

Family and friends attended from across the country. This included California, Kansas, New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York. There were brothers and sisters. Step-brothers and sisters. Aunts and Uncles, cousins, and close family friends. That alone could total between twenty to thirty folks. of course, there were both adults and children of all ages.

THE RITUALS

First ritual:

Some of the family arrived Wednesday evening. Since the kitchen was off-limits, dinner was always at our favorite local Italian restaurant, La Serenata. This worked out perfectly because their food was great. So we stuffer ourselves. As a result, we wouldn’t need to eat again until Thanksgiving dinner. The smells throughout the house were irresistible. Because we were so full from dinner, we were able to refrain from tasting anything that night.

Second ritual:

The cooking of the turkeys was an all-night affair. This was because they were so large and because they had to be basted constantly to insure the perfect browning of the skin. I mention turkeys because there were always two turkeys. The only way to ensure there would be enough and to accommodate two types of stuffing was to have two turkeys. One turkey had sausage stuffing. The other had chestnuts.

holiday-homework-assignment
We required two turkekys to accomodate all the guests and two types of stuffing, chestnut and sausage for taste preferences. Photo from Classy Cooking.
Third ritual:

Two tables had to be set up to accommodate everyone so One was for the adults. Another for children. In order to fit both, the former was in the dining room and the latter was in the living room.

Fourth ritual:

The adult table decor was like something out of a magazine. Every piece of fine china, glass, silver, and table linens came out for use at this yearly event. There were gold-leafed trimmed china and glassware from my grandmother’s marriage; engraved silverware from my mother’s marriage; gold woven table linen with matching napkins coordinated with my grandmother’s dishes. In addition to all of this was a set of two-tiered centerpiece plates. One had a female figure at the top. The other was male.

holiday-homework-assignment
Antique Meissen two-tiered cake or dessert plates

SOURCES AND RESOURCES

The Norman Rockwell Museum
Roast Turkey Recipe from Classy Cooking
Antique German Meissen two tiered plate

This blog post continues with Part Two of ‘A Holiday Homework Assignment Is Reminiscent of Our Favorite Family Tradition’.

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HOLIDAY SHOPPING FRENZY

 
The holiday shopping frenzy has taken on a new start. Each year the beginning becomes earlier in the season. In fact, this year one could not distinguish the Halloween decorations from the Thanksgiving decor. In addition to that, the spirit of Christmas had started to sneak in too. I really began to wonder,’ what is going on’?

holiday shopping frenzy
On a recent Saturday afternoon, in mid November there is not a single parking shop available in the Rockville Centre, Long Island HomeGoods parking lot.
On Your Mark, Get Set, Shop

The outcry of ‘On Your Mark, Get Set, Shop’ signaled the beginning of the earliest holiday shopping frenzy on record. Usually ‘Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving is the start. That day has also crept up in the seasonal calendar. To the dismay of many employees, stores open right after Thanksgiving dinner or before daylight on Black Friday. I attributed this shift to nothing but mere consumerism. But this year is different.

There are several reasons for this change. Consumerism may be part of it. But something else plays a major part in this holiday shopping frenzy, FEAR. What exactly is the cause? Several come to mind. We are in the midst of a pandemic. Even though everyone hoped it would have subsided by now, it is only getting worse. So how does this affect holiday shopping? People are afraid that stores will run out of items. In addition, there is a fear that stores will have to close down again. Lastly, there is mistrust that things ordered online will not arrive in time.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Stop

This holiday season is going to look very different. Most likely, social distancing and sequestering are going to intensify. For safety’s sake, gatherings will be limited to immediate family. Maybe we need to rethink what this time of year is meant to be about. Thanks for Thanksgiving. Gratitude for Hannukah, the festival of lights, Christmas blessings, Kwanza cheer.

holiday-shopping frenzy
A sampling of the 2020 holiday postage stamps from the USPS

Instead of worrying about getting the last parking spot in your favorite store or mall, this may be the year to stop and think. Let’s think about the true meaning of these holidays. They all fall around a pivotal point in the year. Even before these fairly modern holidays, Mother Nature determined their meaning. The shortest day of the year, the longest night of the year was followed by the beginning of renewal, hope, and light. May the coming year bring all of those to all of us. Amen.

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CRAZY 2020

 

HOW IT BECAME CRAZY

Crazy 2020 is not what this year was supposed to be about. But between the COVD-19 pandemic and the yet to be conceded presidential election, things are not back to normal by a long shot. The pandemic has gotten worse rather than better. The financial stimulus that was ‘promised’ to Americans in need is still elusive. In addition, the most preposterous circumstance is that the current President refuses to concede. He lost both the popular and electoral votes. But he insists that he won.

Crazy-2020
Brian Stauffer’s “Under Control”
RETURN TO BALANCE NEEDED

Despite all of this, we need to find balance and consistency. Towards that end, I hope to become more regular in contributing new posts to my blog. So in the hope of establishing a new normal, I offer my apologies for my long absence during Crazy 2020.

crazy-2020
During the Vice Presidential debate a fly landed on VP Pence’s head and remained there for the duration. The fly became a symbol for the ‘V’ in vote.
A RACE OF MIXED EMOTIONS
The presidential race was emotional, even explosive at time. But some folks make it very clear what they felt needed to happen as illustrated by this priceless cartoon.

craxy-2020
From ‘The Outsider’ the rapper 50 cent had his say

ELECTION RESULTS FAVOR #46 BUT NO CONCESSION FROM #45

Crazy-2020
According to the Financial Times, Trump refuses to concede
His concession is not necessary to acknowledge the #BidenHarris2020 win. But historically it has always been a matter of diplomacy the the loser concedes. But then #45 has always played his own game rather than follow the rules. Does this latest tactic come as a surprise to anyone? I think not. Perhaps he will spend the lame duck administration on the golf course denying the true course of history.

WELCOME TO THE #46 TEAM

Despite the continue temper tantrums of POTUS #45, I look forward with delight to the next administration. It promises to be an Executive Team with strong leadership and the best minds that the US has to offer our country and the world.

crazy-2020
Biden Victory Prompts Celebrations in Hillsborough County

SOURCES AND RESOURCES

The New Yorker Magazine-Covers
Fly on Pence’s head
Trump still refuses to concede losing US election
50 Cent Shares Bizarre Cartoon of Lady Liberty Slingshotting Trump: ‘He Going To Jail’
The Financial Stimulus Program
Biden Victory Prompts Celebrations in Hillsborough County

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The Kordugum aka Intersection Hero

 

INTRODUCTION

Child actor, Ali Kaan Karasu emerges as the Intersection boy hero from the Karasu clan, an Istanbul, Turkish mafia family. Initially, Kaan’s father Ali Nejat Karasu appears to be headed to earn this honor. But Ali Nejat eventually fails to become the movie’s hero. The reasons appear as this story continues.

The youtube trailer for Kordugum aka Intersection

 

Intersection-boy-hero
Aybbats Kartal Ozson plays Ali Kaan Karasu, Intersection boy hero. Photo source unknown.
ALI KAAN KARASU, OUR BOY HERO

Cherubic Kaan wins over everyone’s heart. In addition, he is an extraordinarily perceptive boy. He never ceases to amaze us with his uncanny insights and honesty.

Orphaned by the untimely death of his mother, Kaan needs to find his father. He goes to live with his maternal grandfather until Alli Nejat proves his paternity. He also admits to a brief affair with Kaan’s mother that resulted in a pregnancy.

But Ali Nejat also claims that the mother was well paid to either have an abortion or to live comfortably but alone raising Kaan. Actually, Ali Nejat assumes she got an abortion. Therefore he thought the case was closed. But the company CFO never paid the mother. He stole the money and kept it for himself.

 

Intersection-boy-hero
Ibrahim Celikkol plays Ali Nejat Karasu. Picture from a YouTube interview.
ALI NEJAT KARASU, KAAN’S FATHER

Handsome and self-assured, Ali Nejat seems to have everything going for him. Initially, he is a logical choice as the story’s hero. He is the successful heir to his father’s shipbuilding empire. He is hardworking, a loyal son, a devoted brother, a gentleman, and very successful. But as the story progresses several things come to the forefront. His potential heroic status diminishes until it ends. These impediments include:

1. attempting to realize his financially risky dream of adding Turkish car design and production to the Karasu shipbuilding empire
2. prematurely accepting the legal role of a full-time single parent to Kaan
3. returning to former teenage girlfriend Eylul instead of moving forward with fiance Naz

 

KAAN’S RISE AS THE INTERSECTION BOY HERO ALONG WITH DADDY’S DEMISE

At first, Ali Nejat is intrigued and even proud to have an offspring. Unfortunately for Kaan, the novelty wears off and he becomes more like a pedigree pup than a well-supervised child. As a result, Ali Nejat constantly seeks babysitters for Kaan. In other cases, Kaan is simply left at the manor, the family home where a staff member feeds and casually looks after him.

When Ali Nejat is falsely accused of murder, it is Kaan at approximately age 7 who finds an honest lawyer to get him off. His father is too naive and blinded by family loyalty to see the con his family is playing.

Lastly, the novelty of parenthood and being a mature adult wear off. Ali Nejat chooses to rekindle his romance with former teenage lover Eylul. This is instead of going forward to marry Naz. Naz was the story’s heroine, as well as the woman Kaan had already adopted as his new mother.

Intersection-boy-hero
Ali Nejat with his teen age lover. She returns to his life which raises doubts in his adult decision to marry his fiance Naz. Photo from IMDDb.

CONCLUSION

Time and again, the child fills the shoes of an adult. His father, who is supposed to be the adult reverts to teenage immaturity and irresponsibility. Although it is awe-inspiring to experience how special Kaan is, Ali Nejat is a huge disappointment. In addition, the series itself leaves us hanging in mid-air on a rooftop heliport in Istanbul without any real conclusion. The only thing that is conclusive is who the hero of this series is. Without a doubt, it is Ali Kaan Karasu.

SOURCES AND RESOURCES

1. Kördügüm (TV Series 2016– ) – IMDb

2. Turkish Dramas Appreciation Group (English Speaking)

3. Turkish Dramas Spoiler Group (English Speaking)

Turkish Dizis (English)

TRT World-Watch

IMDB Intersection – Yahoo Search

Turkish series & movies with Eng Subtitle

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Bittersweet Love Stories with Turkish Actor, Engin Akyurek and His Leading Ladies

 

INTRODUCTION

Bittersweet love stories best describe much of the romantic love/hate relationships between Turkish actor, Engin Akyurek, and his leading ladies. Although these underlying themes are typical, they are expresses in sophisticated, literary, profound, and confounding ways as any romantically based compelling novel might be.
 

BITTER

bittersweet love story
Devastated Elif runs away after Omer stands her up at their wedding. Photo from the Facebook page, Black Money Love Bittersweet Updates

For example, there are Shakespearean themes, class friction, cultural mores, and deeply emotional issues. As a result, Omer gilts his fiance Elif at the altar. Although he loves her deeply, he has decided that it would be better to hurt her once with a lie than for her to have to face him daily reminded that his brother had killed her father.
 

NOT YET BITTERSWEET

The growing relationship between Omer and Elif is at times very frustrating. It grows from an embryonic seed to full flower, blossoming with painful thorns. There are continual conflicts, misunderstandings, and then bursts of passionate forgiveness. As a result, emotions run cold as ice then hot as fire. This conclusively leads to viewer tension in one’s belly to tingling through one’s entire body. This seems to be the pattern in some of Engin Akyurek bittersweet love stories. Indeed, it is part of what makes them so bittersweet yet so irresistible.

bittersweet love stories
Engin Akyurek as Kerim in Fatmagul from YouTube

 

BITTERSWEET

The bittersweet is a reprieve from the bitter. Typical of this phase is the tension that builds up between Omer and Elif that leads to the relief of a romantic embrace. In addition, this is the kind of dramatic transition for Fatmagul and Kerin in FATMAGÜL’ÜN SUÇU NE?
BÖLÜM

bittersweet love stories
Omer in a heated discussion with Elif from the Facebook page, Engin Akyurek Appreciation page

 

SWEET

In spite of those less than sweet times, we suffer through the bitter moments and even the bittersweet moments for those increasing sequences of unabashed visceral ‘oh so sweet’ passion. Using romantic creativity, an ardent Engin fan strung together a precious necklace of passion gems created by Omer and Elif romance in BLACK MONEY LOVE. This video is posted on YouTube courtesy of Sefirin Kizi.

A succession of romantic moments between Omer and Elif without stopping to take a breath. From YouTube.

 

CONCLUSION

BEYOND BITTERSWEET

Not all of Engin Akyurek’s acting roles have fallen into the bitter to sweet tastes. For example, in Olene Kadar, Engin starts with a promising future as a brilliant young medical student. Through a succession of tragic mishaps, including 11 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, an untrusting lost love, a child born out of wedlock found too late to bond with him, our hero ultimately dies an untimely death.

This is not your typical Engin heroic role. So when someone has the ability to capture the hearts of fans as well as his leading ladies chooses to cast aside his prizewinning charm, to play a dark role instead, he has the mark of a truly gifted and courageous actor. He exhibits extraordinary talent.

Although I prefer to be entertained by bittersweet love stories than one that ends in darkness, it is a privilege to view my favorite Turkish actor display such range and acting ability. From darkness comes new light. One can only wait with bated breath for what is in store for all of us Engin admirers in the future.

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Bad-Boy Movie Heroes

INTRODUCTION

Bad-boy movie heroes have been a major attraction for celluloid audiences in the US and abroad for about 100 years. In fact, I was reminded of some of my historical favorites by my latest, Turkish actor Engin Akyurek. I have chosen four other bad-boys for this writing. In addition to my total list of these five are the reasons I have given them the name, bad-boy movie heroes. As a matter of fact, I suspect that this may be the ‘Hollywood’ formula that works as well today in 2020, as it did when it was invented. The bad-boys included here range from films made in 1944 to 2015.

bad-boy movie hero
Engin Akyurek from the Facebook Fan Club Group
THE BAD-BOY PERSONALITY FORMULA

A. They don’t follow the rules.

B. They are handsome, sexy, and magnetic.

C. Their behavior tends to range from rage to romance.

D. For the most part, the women they attract are ‘nice-girls’

E. These bad-boy movie heroes almost always get the ‘nice-girl’

F. In spite of their unorthodox procedures, they often become heroes.

 
 

THE BAD-BOYS
bad-boy movie heroes
Bad-boy movie heroes, images from Google. Left to right, Dana Andrews, William Holden, Paul Newman, Bradley Cooper, Engin Akyurek

Fashions may have changed. Hairstyles may have altered as well. But one thing remains the same. That is the bad-boy movie heroes formula. Each of the following trailers illustrates the constants that make each bad-boy a movie hero.

THE MOVIES AND THEIR BAD-BOY HEROES

1.The trailer for ‘Laura’ with Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney 1944

 
2.The trailer for ‘Picnic’ with William Holden and Kim Novak 1955

 
3.The trailer for ‘The Long, Hot Summer’ with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward 1958

 
4.The trailer for ‘Silver Lining Playbook’ with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence 2012

 
5.The trailer for Kara Para Ask aka BLACK MONEY Love 2014-2015 with Engin Akyuerk and Tuba Buyukustun

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The Existential Angst of Being An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish Artist

INTRODUCTION

The existential angst of being an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish artist is one of the main themes throughout this Israeli TV drama series, Shtisel streaming on US Netflix.

The Vimeo trailer is shown below.

PROTAGONIST

Actor Michael Aloni plays the conflicted ultra-orthodox artist, Akiva Shtisel (Kive). His portrayal is captivating although the real-life person his character is based on, Zalmen Glauber is much less dramatic.
See SOURCES & RESOURCES for details about Zalmen Glauber.

existential angst
Actor Michael Aloni plays Akive, the Ultra-Orthodox artist, the protagonist in the Israeli TV series, Shtisel
CONFLICT

Akiva Shtisel attempts to follow the letter of the law of ultra-orthodox Judaism. But the conflict stems from his love of painting and his love of his faith. Although he knows in his soul that this talent is a gift from God and no conflict for him personally, it is disparaging for his father and those he loves. As a result, the series follows his trials and tribulations to unite his desire to marry as an observant Jew and his passion to express his artistic soul.

Cousins, Kive and Libbi in a more serious moment from Shtisel
COUSINS

In his desire to wed, with two previously failed engagements, Akiva has become known as the family screw-up. In spite of this, his latest potential wife, his first cousin Libbi loves him and wants to marry him. Accordingly, her father agrees to the marriage under two conditions. Akiva must abandon his art. In addition, he insists that Akiva take on a real job, managing a shady travel agency the uncle has opened. Thus, the series goes on to include efforts to follow the uncle’s demands as well as the shortcomings of it.

RESOLUTION
There seem to be additional episodes if not years to this story of Ultra-Orthodox Judaism and Akiva’s existential angst as an artist. Netflix has not made all of them available yet. It is an inevitable quality of TV series drama that necessitates more emotional roller coasters. But this season ends on a note of hope. Therefore I anticipate a positive conclusion hopefully without too many bumpy rides along the way.

Shown below is one of the lighter sides of Shtistel’s Kive and Libbi on YouTube, a ‘surprise date’ to the ice skating rink.

SOURCES & RESOURCES

Details from IMDb
Michael Aloni (Akiva Shtisel) on Instagram
11 Things You Need to Know ABout Michael Aloni
‘Shtisel’ Star Michael Aloni On How He Prepared To Play A Charedi On TV
Google Search for Akiva Shtisel, actor Michael Aloni
The Real Life Akiva Shtisel
How Shtisel star, Michael Aloni Prepared to Play Shtisel
Netflix’s ‘Shtisel’ Is Binge-Worthy TV on a Strict Form of Judaism
A Date to the Skating rink from https://www.ekollel.com/shidduch/

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