Review for Blame it on Fidel

We have been on a kick for watching French movies – Blame it on Fidel; was the latest. It is told from the perspective of a 9-year old girl who questions everything. Its the 1970’s in France. She lives in a nice house with a nanny and garden which comes to an abrupt end when her uncle is killed by the Franco regime in Spain. Her father, overcome with guilt (he had fled Spain a few years ago), and mother who is a journalist, get involved in a movement to get Allende elected in Chile. And while her parents are getting more involved with the “communist” movement, her Nanny who has flown Castro’s Cuba is filling her head against communists. So the name: Blame it on Fidel.

The movie is the first one by Julie Gravas, daughter of the leftist Italian director Costa Gravas. I read in reviews later that there is an autobiographical thread in the movie (the questioning daughter and the father with leftist sympathies).

I enjoyed the movie – Anna, the main character is a precocious child who argues about everything with her parents (reminded me a bit of myself as a child a bit – I remember exasperated looks my father would give me). But its her process for coming to terms with what’s happening around her, for the leftist friends of her parents who hang around in the living room waiting for the election results in Chile, for the rallies she is taken to where they get tear gassed, for the women her mother is interviewing as she writes a book about abortion.

Four things…

Blame Joe Lamantia. Not quite sure why I am doing this or why anyone will want to read it, but heck this is the web – I can say what I want!

Four Jobs I’ve Had
1. Teaching Assistant
2. Researcher
3. Teacher
4. Entrepreneur
(never worked for the man!)

Four Movies I Can Watch Over And Over
1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2. Pyasa
3. Beautiful Girls
4. Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle

Four Books I recently enjoyed
1. Life of Pi

2. The Wisdom of Crowds
3. Interpreter of Maladies
4. The man who mistook his wife for a hat

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Tivo troubles: Why are the recommendations so bad?

As some of you know I am very interested in recommendation systems and algorithms. So when we finally got Tivo, I was excited for Tivo to change my world with its spot on recommendations. Well, thats not quite the way its worked out. Two months later – after constantly giving the thumbs up and down to programs/movies we like, Tivo still does not seem to have a clue about our preferences. Everytime I check, it has recorded some new program I dislike or would just never watch. Yesterday, it recorded Mash!. Earlier, it started recording kids’ shows for some reason. After a lot of frantic thumbs down, it stopped doing that. Once it went on a binge of recording the 6 O’ clock news from the major channels. I like news, but prefer radio or the internet. The only program I end up watching is “Sex and the city” reruns. I love that show (though Jon hates it!). It would be nice to have something to watch that we both like.

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