Tag Archives: The Tree of Life

Links I Like: Nov 26, 2011

I have been severely lacking in time to get my link love posts finished (or read other blogs, to be honest…sorry guys!). Some of these have been sitting in a draft post for weeks now, but the posts are good enough (and not time sensitive) that I still want to draw attention to them for anyone who hasn’t happened to read them yet.

Lucking Out and Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark by The Self-Styled Siren

There have been a whole lot of posts about Pauline Kael lately, thanks to the recent publication of a new collection of her writings, a new biography of her by Brian Kellow, and a new memoir by James Wolcott that includes many memories of her. This one from the Self-Styled Siren is one of the best, discussing both Kellow’s and Wolcott’s accounts as well as her own uneasy relationship with Kael’s criticism. And that’s a theme among most of the posts, as it is in my own life. I first became aware of Kael as a young film buff, probably thirteen or so, from 5001 Nights at the Movies, a collection of her New Yorker capsule reviews. I didn’t like her at all, finding her dismissive of things I loved for what I thought were all the wrong reasons. I didn’t read anything else of hers for years, until I forced myself to read some of her long-form essays and found someone impassioned about film but incredibly idiosyncratic about it. I still find her difficult much of the time, but she can also be really insightful. The Siren gets at all this and much more. See also articles from Jim Emerson, Dennis Cozzalio, and Glenn Kenny.

It Ain’t the Meat (It’s the Motion): Thoughts
on movie technique and movie criticism
by Jim Emerson at scanners::blog

I almost included this essay among the Kael essays linked as “also sees” above, but it really deserves its own place. It starts off dealing with a bunch of quotes either from or about Kael regarding the question of technique and style – Kael resolutely refused to discuss technique on any technical level, arguing that the general public didn’t give a damn and privileging emotional impact over technique. Emerson distinguishes between “technical” and “technique”, showing how an understanding and explication of technique doesn’t necessarily have to be presented technically to readers, but also wrestling with the core of Kael’s populist stance.

Not Appearing in This Film: The Silent Movie Career of Carole Lombard – Sort Of by The Mythical Monkey

A fun piece submitted for a Carole Lombard blogathon in October (yeah, told you some of these were rather old), this one looks back on a part of Carole Lombard’s career that I frankly didn’t know existed. If you’d asked me, I would’ve said Lombard started in film in the early ’30s (I think 1932’s Supernatural is the earliest Lombard film I could name), but I would have been wrong. She actually started in film as early as 1921, when she was twelve. But she’s either invisible in most of these films, the films are lost, or they’re exceedingly lackluster. Still, the Mythical Monkey seeks out what he can, and brings forth a fascinating picture of a beautiful girl who never quite found her niche until screwball comedy came along with 1934’s Twentieth Century.

In Profile: The Life and Films of Bong Joon-ho by Jordan Winter at Anomalous Material

So far in my admittedly limited experience, Korean cinema is pretty fantastic (I think I’ve seen eleven or twelve Korean films and basically loved them all), and Bong Joon-ho is right at the center of it right now. He’s got the crowd-pleasing, genre-bending The Host, and the critical darling Memories of Murder, and a whole lot else. Jordan Winter runs through his whole filmography, finding patterns and connections among the films as well as charting a trajectory for his career, which I certainly hope is only beginning.

Pioneers of Animation: Winsor McKay by Brandie at True Classics

Winsor McCay is justly credited as one of the creators of animation, being one of the first cartoonists to move his drawings to the screen and figure out how to make them move – not only that, he was one of the first to give his animated creations personality and interaction. Brandie has written a great rundown of his career, both as cartoonist and animator (because the two were inextricably connected), and of his importance to early cinema and to animation as we know it today.

Sometimes, You Have to Come Back to The Tree of Life by Greg Ferrara at CinemaStyles

I loved The Tree of Life the minute I saw it, but not everyone did, and I respect that. Greg didn’t love it the first time he saw it, but he went back and watched it again, and this piece is a result of that second viewing. And it’s wonderful. Not only because he now agrees with my love of the film, but because it’s such a lovely piece about how to watch any film, how to let it get hold of you, and because it’s hard to admit complete changes of mind. It’s less of an “aha, got it” moment here, and more that the film just didn’t let him go, and his way of expressing that is perfect.

Sound and Vision: Charlie Chaplin and the Sound of Silence by Carly at the Kitty Packard Pictorial

Charlie Chaplin is well known for continuing to make silent films (well, two of them, at any rate) well into the sound era. But it’s maybe not quite as well known how important sound and music were to him, even in the silent era. He played and wrote music himself, and was one of the earliest people to provide theatres with fully-written score to be played alongside his silents. I knew he wrote scores for some of his films, but I had no idea how deep his appreciation and use of music went until reading this excellently researched and presented article.

Happy Birthday, Louise Brooks by The Mythical Monkey

I try not to include multiple articles from the same source, but this post has been so long in the making that people are oustripping my ability to do that without skipping over great posts. So I had to let a couple of people in here twice. I know virtually nothing about Louise Brooks other than that her hairstyle started a bob craze and that she was in two highly regarded G.W. Pabst films, Pandora’s Box and The Diary of a Lost Girl. Reading this article was a treat, but a sobering one, as Brooks’ life and career seemed constantly undermined by mismanagement and her own poor decisions, despite her obvious talent and appeal. By the end, I really wanted to order a do-over for her – and recommitted myself to seeing whatever films of hers I can find.

Diabolique by Chris at Silent Volume

Chris has been eschewing his usual silent cinema posting diet due to a Clouzot retrospective going on in Toronto, and all his reviews from that are worth reading, but I really liked this one because it both reminded me that I need to rewatch Diabolique and gave me a lot of things to think about that I hadn’t thought of before for when I do, especially in relation to its use of genre. Like, it’s usually billed as a thriller or sometimes a film noir, but I hadn’t really considered how close to horror territory it comes – I’m definitely going to look for way that it genre-bends next time I watch it.

The Great Citizen Kane Debate at True Classics

You can’t run around in film buff circles for five minutes before finding out that Citizen Kane is considered the finest film of all time by many, many people. You can’t run around in such circles for more than ten minutes before finding out that many other people think Citizen Kane is hopelessly overrated. The girls at True Classics take this debate to blogathon form, asking people to write pieces either for or against Kane as the greatest film of all time. I’ve seen the film five or six times and still don’t know which side I come down on, so I didn’t write anything for it, but the bloggers who did participate have some really good perspectives, definitely proving the debate is far from settled.

Czech New Wave series at Bonjour Tristesse

Bonjour Tristesse does a good many marathons to catch up on specific genres of film, and does a WAY better job than I do of actually following through on these marathons. Right now, the Czech New Wave is under scrutiny, at the rate of a few films per week. I’ve seen a few of these films myself, and it’s definitely a movement I like and want to see more of – I’m watching the progress here closely to help guide my own eventual viewing.

Godard Series: Pierrot le fou, etc. at Andy Buckle’s Film Emporium

Meanwhile, Andy Buckle has chosen Jean-Luc Godard, a filmmaker very close to my own heart, as his director of the month, and is going through at least all his major 1960s films. I’m not sure how far he intends to go, and really, there’s no reason I chose to link the Pierrot le fou review as opposed to any of the others, except that Pierrot le fou is one of my favorite Godard films and I think Andy wrote about it very well. Check his “Classic Throwback” category for more reviews – he’s going pretty much in chronological order.

Best Films of 2011: So Far

The first half of 2011 is now behind us, and you know what that means…half-year lists! So here are my picks for the best films of the first half of 2011. Criteria – it had to be released in the US from January 1 through June 30, which means late 2010 releases that went wide in 2011 are not eligible, nor are festival releases I saw in 2011 that have not yet been released in theatres (i.e., most of that stuff at the LA Film Fest). Why do half-year lists? Well, firstly, because lists are fun. But also because film releases are usually stacked toward the end of the year, which means films released in the first half of the year, even really good ones, often get lost in the year-end shuffle. I didn’t limit it to a certain number of entries, just picked my top tier of favorites to write about, and then my second tier to list without writing about.


Although Kelly Reichardt’s two previous films Old Joy and Wendy & Lucy are highly acclaimed, I have so far failed to catch up with either. When I heard she was doing a slow burn western with Michelle Williams (and an unrecognizable Bruce Greenwood), I vowed I wouldn’t let it pass me by, and I’m glad I didn’t. I won’t say I loved the film, because it’s frankly a tough film to love. Slow burn doesn’t quite cover it; the film is mostly the agonizingly slow progress a small group of Oregon Trail pioneers makes across a near-wasteland, their trust in their guide Meek dwindling with every hard-won step. It’s not easy to watch, but it wasn’t easy to live, either, and the film captures that with a visceral intensity that belies its slow pace. Williams’ strong central performance grounds the film further, while an existential streak pulls the other direction, giving the film a metaphorical level and heightening the hell that surrounds our struggling pioneers.

#5 – RANGO

Apparently it takes a live-action director like Gore Verbinski (even sharper than he was in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie dipping his toes in the animation waters to get an amazing pop-culture pastiche like Rango – with somewhat abrasive and unusual character designs, a dryly witty script, and references to a boatload of movies from Chinatown to Apocalypse Now, there’s not much I didn’t like about Rango, which serves as an antidote to the cutesy, kidsy animated features that make up the majority of the landscape these days. Films that draw this much on cinematic history walk a fine line, as the references can easily come off unearned, but here, the very narrative of the identity-challenged gecko who takes on the persona of Rango, gunslinger extraordinaire, almost make it inevitable that he will build that persona out of iconic stories, and it all works perfectly. Crucially, it works whether you get the references or not, because it’s a well-written and well-made story on its own – realizing where the tropes and images come from is just icing on an already delicious cake.


My reaction on hearing that this film was in production was a) “another version of Jane Eyre” and b) “but wait, it’s directed by Sin Nombre director Cary Fukunaga and stars Michael Fassbender? Okay then.” And turns out the second reaction is more accurate, since this version of Jane Eyre betters all the other ones I’ve seen, really highlighting the gothic novel aspects while never losing sight of Jane, brought to life with a strong but subtle portrayal by Mia Wasikowski. This Jane is attractive, but not beautiful; she’s quiet, but not weak; and she’s both restrained and passionate as necessary. Fassbender brings a menace and a sadness to Rochester. This is also one of the first versions I’ve seen of the story that has a really strong sense of place, of being on the wild moors of northern England. For some reason most adaptations of Jane Eyre treat it as if it’s a Victorian novel, full of social niceties and straight-laced propriety, but this is a romantic gothic novel, with weirdness and madness all around the edges. This is the first time I’ve seen that in a film version, and it was breathtaking.

#3 – HANNA

When I heard Joe Wright was doing Hanna, I was a bit skeptical – I mean, his previous two films were both sumptuous period piece literary adaptations (Pride and Prejudice and Atonement). How would he handle an action film about a teenaged assassin? Answer: mighty well indeed. Hanna is a genre mashup of the best kind, mixing well-played long-take action with Run Lola Run style techno and James Bond espionage plots with the slow burn quality of more serious spy drama, with a thoughtful bit of coming of age drama as well. Saoirse Ronan is fantastic as the title character, and you’ll love to hate Cate Blanchett as her ice-cold nemesis.


Technically a 2010 release in France, but it didn’t release at all in the US until 2011 (except festivals), so I’m counting it here. Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami’s first film outside his home country, set in the Europe of the arthouse cinema. Part philosophical treatise on the value of copies vs originals, as argued by art critic William Shimell and reader Juliette Binoche in the first half of the film, and half exploration of a marriage between the two which may or not be real – that is, it may be an original, or it may be a copy. In doing so, Kiarostami manages to comment on cinema, art, and life itself. It’s a very cerebral film, and one that took me some amount of time to warm to after seeing it, but it’s only been growing in my estimation since.


Terrence Malick’s newest film has been at the top of my most anticipated list, and while it’s gathered some mixed and even polarizing reactions from critics, it didn’t disappoint me a bit. He mixes the micro (one family in 1950s Texas, especially one specific summer from the point of view of the oldest son at age twelve) and the macro (the creation, evolution, and destruction of the entire universe), a concept that’s ambitious at the least, and for me at least, it ended up being an emotionally gripping and beautiful experience. Though it has a narrative in it, surrounding the twelve-year-old’s uneasy relationship with his dad, it really works on an associative, poetic level – pulling associations from the audience to make its illusive statements rather than laying it all out itself. But it’s clear that Malick has put his heart and soul into this film, and I was more than happy to go on the journey with him. Easily the best of the year so far for me.

Honorable Mentions

Links I Like: June 29, 2011

I had meant to do this feature every week or so, but with film festivals and other commitments, I haven’t had very much time to read other sites or gather good links. That being the case, some of these are several weeks old and you may have already read them. But in case you haven’t, I still think they’re worth taking a look at.

The Cultural Vegetables Debate – Dan Kois, A.O. Scott, Manohla Dargis, Jim Emerson, Glenn Kenny, AND MORE

It all started with this article in the New York Times Magazine, when Dan Kois admitted that he has a tough time watching certain critically-acclaimed movies (especially slow-moving ones like Solaris or Meek’s Cutoff) and terming them “cultural vegetables.” Fellow NYT critics A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis responded with “In Defense of the Slow and Boring”, arguing that slow and boring isn’t necessarily bad, and what’s more, often mainstream films like The Hangover Part II are far more boring than arthouse slow cinema like Meek’s Cutoff. Soon, other critics and bloggers put in their two cents as well, including Glenn Kenny, Jim Emerson, Richard Brody, Matt Singer, Bilge Elibri, Vadim Rizov, etc. Andrew O’Hehir’s article in Salon may summarize things the best. Then Kois, Scott, and Dargis all got together for a follow-up article. And now Glenn Kenny is tired of the whole thing. In a way, it’s gotten blown out of proportion from Kois’s original personal and sincere article, but the various points brought up by various authors are all very interesting and enlightening, to one degree or another, in a culture where both critics and laypeople can feel marginalized by the other.

Comment on “No Comment” – Ignatiy Vishnevetsky at Mubi

The last frame of Jean-Luc Godard’s lastest film is the text “No Comment,” which many have interpreted as Godard’s sort-of playful, sort-of standoffish way of deflecting criticism, a way of tossing a bunch of seemingly nonsensical images up on screen for 90 minutes and then refusing to respond to questions or criticisms of them. Vishnevetsky argues that instead, Godard is declining authorial control, inviting the audience to participate in making meaning of his film. In short, it’s not a dismissal, but a deferral, and rather than being standoffish and closed, the ending slide is open and welcoming. This fits with how I see Godard’s early films, as well as his tendency to make films about the death of cinema as well as the death of language.

10 Best Michelle Williams Performances – Kevyn Knox at Anomalous Material

I see I’m not alone in my belief that Michelle Williams is possibly the best Hollywood actress of our generation, and Kevyn Knox has gathered together a slew of performances that prove it. I’m ashamed to admit that I have only seen a handful of these – looks like I’ve got a lot more Williams to discover, which is a wonderful thing.

Academics vs. Critics: Never the Twain Shall Meet? – David Bordwell in Film Comment

Bordwell outlines the somewhat tense relationship between what he terms “cinephile critics” and academics – the difference between someone like Andrew Sarris, who popularized the auteur theory in the United States and had a deep understanding of film history and art that showed through his weekly reviews and columns at the Village Voice (and later the New York Observer), and someone like Christian Metz, who used linguistic theory to probe how audiences process visual narratives. It’s a line that I’ve struggled to understand myself, as I have just enough academic in me to want to sometimes use esoteric theory or historical minutiae when thinking about film, but I also identify strongly with the Sarris-style cinephile critic. Bordwell actually argues that the twain can and should meet, noting the different purposes each type of criticism is for and how the two can be complementary.

Blu-ray Consumer Guide, June 2011 – Glenn Kenny at Some Came Running

Kenny runs through an amazingly long list of Blu-ray releases, with a paragraph on each talking a little bit about the film and whether it’s worthwhile, but mostly about this particular blu-ray release and what it does or does not bring to the table. It’s a daunting post even to read; I pale at the amount of work (both writing and viewing all the discs) that must’ve gone into it, but the recommendations or warnings are very welcome. Discs discussed include: A.I., All the President’s Men, early Antonioni, The Black Pirate, Blow Out, The Comancheros, Diabolique, Great Dictator, Kes, Lolita, Once Upon a Time in the West, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Flower, Senso, Some Like It Hot, El Topo, Topsy Turvy, and a lot more. A lot of Criterions, but that’s fine with me!

Kiss Me Deadly: The Thriller of Tomorrow – J. Hoberman at Criterion Current

Kiss Me Deadly just came out on Criterion DVD and Blu-ray, and J. Hoberman looks at the film in its historical context – especially the way it uses and modifies Mickey Spillane’s basically amoral “hero” Mike Hammer as a comment on modern society, and the relationship the film and its director Robert Aldrich had with the McCarthyism running rampant at the time of its release. The film is a great one on a straight crime noir level; I’m looking forward to rewatching with more of a historical context in mind.

“It’s Just a Bit of Fun”: Why Defensive Fans Are Bad News for Movies – Helen O’Hara at Empire Online

Whenver a Hollywood blockbuster comes out and film critics lambast it, there’s always a chorus of “but it’s just supposed to be fun, stop bashing it” from commenters and fans of Hollywood blockbusters. The latest round is in relation to Transformers: The Dark of the Moon, and Empire Online put up this piece in response to the comments they’ve been receiving on their review of the film. O’Hara makes a lot of great points, and so do several of the commenters on this post, about critics responding to blockbusters, and how it’s okay to want more from blockbusters – not necessarily that they be Citizen Kane, that would be silly, but that they aspire to the greatness of blockbusters like Back to the Future or The Terminator, which had good scripts, storytelling, and acting, and were also a whole lot of fun. As O’Hara puts it, why wouldn’t you want “a film that has giant robots but is also a good film?” (her emphasis) Amen.

Initial Reaction: The Tree of Life – Kevin J. Olsen at Hugo Stiglitz Makes Movies

Although Kevin put up a full review a few days after this initial post, I love this stream-of-consciousness approach to Tree of Life. The film itself follows an associative logic rather than a linear narrative logic, and as Kevin points out, it’s difficult to talk about such an unconventional film in a conventional writing style. I think this bulleted list of things the film made him think about and associations it drove him to make is possibly the best way to talk about Tree of Life.

Misreading the Tomatometer – Jim Emerson at scanners::blog

It’s something I’ve said time and time again, but Emerson explains quite well how the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer works – that 75% Fresh means 75% of critics gave it a positive review (that is, somewhere between 5 and 10 on a ten point ranking scale), not that all critics gave it a 7.5 out of 10. You could theoretically have a movie that’s 100% Fresh because every critic gave it a 6 out of 10 – that’s an extreme and unlikely example, but the system is highly imprecise. He also goes into the difficulties of assigning a positive/negative score to mixed reviews that don’t use a star or numeral ranking system. There are good ways to use Rotten Tomatoes (like as a portal to actually read a bunch of reviews), and the Tomatometer score isn’t always a bad indicator of general critical climate, but it needs to be understood properly to be very useful.

Links I Like: June 6, 2011

I‘m starting to get back in the swing of reading other blogs again (I know, I’m a bad blog citizen), and wanted to start sharing some of my favorite things I’m reading – mostly film blogs, naturally, but if I find something in other areas that I think is particularly noteworthy I’ll probably give it a shout-out, too. Like this week, there’s one on gaming that I thought was pretty good. I’m gonna try to get some variety in there, but don’t be surprised if you see some of the same people popping up over and over. What can I say, some people just give good blog. So anyway, go check out these posts and bloggers and leave them some comment love if you like what you see!

Note: Photos and videos I particularly like may show up in my Tumblr rather than here, or at least earlier than here. The newest Tumblr entry is always showing at the bottom of my home page, but the rest is always there, waiting.

A prayer beneath the Tree of Life – Roger Ebert

A post on Roger Ebert’s personal blog rather than a review, this reverie on Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life points out the film’s prayer-like attributes and discusses the very personal ways the film touched Ebert, and explores how well the film evokes one’s own memories. I don’t even have memories of growing up in the 1950s, and yet Malick’s film allows me the same “memories,” or similar ones – not as real as Ebert’s, of course, but nonetheless true. This is the power of Malick’s film.

Review: The Tree of Life – Jake at Not Just Movies

A more indepth look at The Tree of Life, and a review that said most of what I think without me having to formulate words (which I’m not sure I can do yet). I find most intriguing the effect that the film is having on non-religious people (which both Ebert and Jake are), because it’s not very different from the effect it had on me, in terms of being able to evoke a deep spirituality and even religiosity without actually having any dogmatic particulars at all. Jake compares it to a wordless piece of music, like Bach’s Mass in B minor, a comparison which makes an awful lot of sense.

Opening Shots: The New World – David Nicol at scanners::blog

From the most recent Malick to the first Malick I personally saw. Jim Emerson has started up (or revived, to be more accurate) a series on his always-excellent scanners::blog analyzing opening scenes of movies, and invited others to submit their own analyses. This one from Dr. David Nicol gets a surprising amount of depth out of the very simple water-reflection shot that opens The New World.

Jean-Luc Godard’s Film Socialisme Seeks to End Language – Landon Palmer at Film School Rejects

With Godard’s latest opus coming out in theatres this month, we’re getting another rash of reviews, both positive and negative. Landon Palmer hits the nail on the head, I think, and in an eminently readable way.

George Stevens’ Giant, in One Scene – The Self-Styled Siren

The Siren provides a close reading on the diner fight scene Giant, which she convincingly argues incapsulates the whole of the film in its treatment of anti-Mexican bigotry and of main character Bick Benedict’s changing attitude toward it that comes to head in this scene. It’s been a long time since I saw Giant, and I wasn’t a huge fan, but this piece definitely makes me want to go give it another look. She also includes the YouTube clip of the scene.

Thumbnail Reviews: Douglas Fairbanks in 1916 – The Mythical Monkey Writes About the Movies

The Mythical Monkey has been going through the 1910s, providing tons of invaluable and well-presented information about the first decade of feature-length filmmaking. This post has short reviews of almost all of the dozen movies Douglas Fairbanks was in during 1916. I consider it a remarkable achievement to even see all these films (it’s also somewhat remarkable that only one is lost), and I’ve definitely added a couple to my list to check out if Cinefamily ever plays them.

Alignment, Allegiance, and Murder – David Bordwell

Bordwell takes a bit of time to introduce concepts of narrative point of view and character identification, which he recasts (following Murray Smith) as alignment and allegiance, then does a close reading with an abundance of screencaps of a scene from Fritz Lang’s House by the River, showing how the audience’s alignment and allegiance are subtly shifted from one character to another throughout the course of one scene, merely by how Lang sets up the shots and blocking. A great example of formalist criticism, showing how important composition is, even though we rarely realize it consciously while watching films.

The Forgotten: Negative Space/Capability/Attitude – David Cairns at Mubi

David watches Von Morgens Bis Mitternacht (From Morn to Midnight), a 1920 German Expressionist film that, judging by the screencaps, is pretty much the most extreme German Expressionist film I’ve ever seen. He also watched it without subtitles, yielding musings on “negative capability,” or the ability to enjoy things without fully understanding them. For that thought and for the glorious screencaps, I share this post.

What Adults Want From Games – Matthew Keast at GamesRadar

As the average age of gamers is now solidly in the mid-30s, I kind of wonder why so many games still seem steeped in immaturity and adolescent fantasies, and so does Matthew Keast. Well, he’s got a bunch of things that he’d like to see more of (or less of) as an adult gamer, and I agree with almost all of them, from better age controls for online play to more games based on story and character instead of violence and titillation. Several commenters on his piece pointed out that they are under 18 (thus not adult according to his criteria for the post) and agree with him, suggesting that the kinds of experiences he’s calling for are desired by even more of the population. Game developers, please listen!

Bedrich Smetana’s Ma Vlast: Moldau (Vltava)

I‘ve been listening to this piece of music over and over for the last two days, and I finally had to share it. I’ve heard of Bedřich Smetana and Má Vlast before (I likely listened to it all the way through before I went to Prague, as Smetana is one of the foremost Czech composers of all time), but the immediate cause of my current infatution is Terrence Malick’s use of themes from this particular movement in his recent film The Tree of Life. It makes up the majority of the music in the trailer, and is featured prominently in the film as well, alongside Alexandre Desplat’s original score and various other classical pieces. It’s pretty brilliant.

And here’s the Tree of Life trailer if you haven’t seen it yet. The film, which just won Cannes’ prestigious Palme d’or award for best film, is in limited release in NY and LA, and should be expanding soon. It’s a heady and transcendent experience, and a welcome change from the usual summer blockbuster fare, so I highly recommend you check it out if you get the opportunity. In the meantime, I’m going to listen to Smetana some more.