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2 posts from May 2011


I'm pretty sure Terrence Malick mows our yard


Our lawn guy, who I think is Terrence Malick, must have stepped away for a minute.   (Courtesy:  blingcheese.com)

Malpic250Oh he's a crafty one, that seriously reclusive Texas-based filmmaker Terrence Malick.

Malick's "The Tree of Life" took the Palme d'Or, a fancy way to say Best Picture, at the Cannes Film Festival in the South of France on Sunday (May 22).

The anti-prolific filmmaker didn't show himself along the sun-baked Croisette in Cannes to bask in the glory of a controversial press screening (a mixture of boos and praise), the gala screening or even Sunday night's awards ceremony.

I think I know the reason for that.  It wasn't near-terminal shyness at all.

I'm pretty sure that's because Malick was cutting and edging our lawn in Plano, TX early Saturday afternoon.  Did a fine job, too, and walked away with 30 bucks (including tip) for his hard work.

Malick hides his true identity well, that sly dog.

Terrence -- an overly formal name for a guy trailing along after a power mower -- calls himself Manuel in his landscaping persona.  I suppose that's an effort by the former Rhodes scholar to, you know, blend in.

He calls me Mr. Larry, and even blurs his true identity by wearing a floppy hat, which is eerily similar, plus or minus a sweat stain or two, to the one seen in Malick's rare photo shown here. 

Manuel -- or is it Terry? -- tries to further conceal his ID by speaking in broken-English via a thick Spanish accent.  I tell you, Malick could act in one of his movies.  His Spanish accent is that "bueno."

That means "good," for those of you who are single-lingual.

It took me a while, but I'm onto Terrence/Manuel now.

I mean, the guy has only cranked out five feature films in almost 40 years.  That gives the Harvard grad plenty of time to grow his landscaping business between gigs.

If you ask me, when Malick turned down the opportunity to direct "The Elephant Man" in 1980 it was because he had some serious mowing and edging to do.

Then there are the blatent landscaping hints in some of his movie titles:  Come one, "The Tree of Life"?

And isn't "The Thin Red Line" (1998), a World War II flick set in the jungles of Guadalcanal, just a metaphor for that thin ditch the edger channels between the sidewalk and the lawn?

I'm on to you, Mr. Terry.  Just know that your secret is safe with me.  In fact, I feel a little like a movie mogul, since we invest $30 in your cinematic projects every couple of weeks. 

I hate to bring this up, Terry, but we have yet to see any return on our investment, cinematically speaking.

Also, if you're not too busy hiding from the paparazzi after your big win at Cannes this week, the magnolia tree of life over by our squirrel feeder in the back yard could use a little trimming.

(Terrence Malick, or Manuel photo from some time in the past courtesy:  Hollywood.com.)


Springing a wiki leak: The Royal Wedding timeline

A man's home is his castle.  In Great Britain, thanks to the Royals, that can literally be the case.

Smooch348r If you ask me, every bride and groom should launch a happy marriage in a 13th century tomb (Westminster Abbey), share a ceremonial first wedded kiss in front of thousands of adoring subjects and ... wait for it ... squint skyward for not one, but two flyovers to celebrate the very special day.

I've got to admit that beats a wedding in someone's back yard converted into a wedding gazebo, a wedding singer so bad I still can't get the sight of my soon-to-be step-son grimacing and one of my best friends poking fingers into his ears in a vain attempt to shield himself from the off-key warbling.

But enough about my wedding.  Let's get on to the new Royal Coupling.

That would be last Friday's blissful union of the UK's Prince William and Kate Middleton, a so-called commoner.

Or, perhaps it's more appropriate to call it the blissful reunion of Willy and Kate since the couple have allegedly been, shall we say, royally shacking up since eight months before the engagement was even announced.

Word is that the Archbishop of York, no less, "gave his backing" to the shacking.

Party on, Brits. 

At first, I was among those who questioned why all the U.S. news agencies went gaga -- not Lady Gaga, just gaga -- over Friday's nuptial festivities.  Some network anchors and reporters (mostly women, I'm relieved to report) even purchased and sported brightly colored hats they can never even think of using for anything else for the occasion.

Gradually, I came around to the notion of embracing, out of curiosity, mind you, something I couldn't escape anyway.

If you question this theory, may I remind you that all of this country's big-time network TV anchor throats (announcers) were caught way away from their posts and red-faced when a marauding tornado the size of Kirstie Alley when she's off her diet did its best to wipe Alabama off the map hours before  a British bride and groom (who chooses not to sport a wedding band) vowed up.

At least Wiki leaks is on top of things.  Here, then, is the just-exposed royal timeline of last Friday's day of days:

8 a.m.:  Prince William (the balding one) is given the new title of the Duke of Cambridge by his grandmother, the queen, to mark his marriage to Kate Middleton.

10:13:  Prince William, wearing a red tunic of an Irish Guards officer, leaves Clarence House in a chauffeur-driven Bentley with his bother, Prince Harry.  Harry sports a Blues and Royals officer's uniform after deciding at the last minute against the Nazi uniform he wore to a Halloween party a couple of years back.

10:18:  The princes arrive at Westminster Abbey to rapturous applause and cheers from fans.  Only a few yell out, "Yo, Harry, where's the Nazi uniform?"

10:47:  The queen and Duke of Edinburgh arrive at Westminster Abbey in a Rolls-Royce limousine.  The Queen Mum's dressed in a primrose dress with matching hat and coat.  The Duke doses off in a military uniform.

11:00:  The bride arrives right on time.  She's wearing a gown with lace applique floral detail designed by Sarah Burton from the House of Ross Dress for Less.

11:20:  There's a fancy wedding ... yada, yada, yada.

12:28 p.m.:  The newlyweds arrive at Buckingham Palace where William is overheard telling Harry, "I've got to visit the other royal throne, if you know what I mean, Bro."

1:27:  William and Kate kiss for the first time as hubby and The Missus on the balcony of Buckingham Palace as hundreds of thousands cheer down below (outside the royal gates, of course).  NBC, which had been counting down the seconds as if the royal smooch were the launching of the space shuttle, is busy gabbing about something else and misses the money shot.  (Somewhere back in Plano, TX, USA a lone writer marks this glaring NBC flub as the high point of his day.  "Yes!")

1:35:  Royal lunch is served.  Beans and bangers (weenies).  Again.

2:17:  The queen excuses herself to catch the afternoon soaps on the telly.  Alone for the first moment as husband and wife, Prince Willy suggests to Kate that it's time for a little graby-graby to celebrate the royal union.  One of the servants Kate and William said they'd do without thought she heard this from behind a door:  "Forget it, bub.  I'm not about to ruin my wedding day with heathen relations, royal or not."

2:18:  Royal sulking.

3:12:  A deep sigh is heard though the keyhole of William and Kate's chambers, then the sound of a TV remote clicking into action.

3:13 to 5:45: The newly crowned Duke of Cambridge spends the late afternoon alone watching a cricket match between Kent and Middlesex.  If you'll forgive a royal pun, Middlesex doesn't score either.

(First kiss photo courtesy:  http://www.mirror.co.uk/)