Star Dreams: Exploring the Mystery of Crop Circles

Crop circle

Huge, sweeping patterns of intricate, geometric shapes appear in fields of standing wheat and barley over night. No tracks appear leading to the shapes. The crop circles are perfectly formed - with mathematical precision and utilizing ancient symbols - they have created a following of “croppies” all over the world. Star Dreams investigates the phenomenon, interviewing true believers (in the other-worldly artists) and researchers, and providing dozens of aerial shots of the most breath-taking circles. Though you may argue about how they get here, there is no doubt they are mysterious and beautiful. Hundreds of circles appear in England every summer and you can track each one as it is reported. For more on crop circles try Secrets in the Fields: The Science and Mysticism of Crop Circles.

Would you like some pie to go with that movie?

Watching The Waitress made me want to eat pie. (Even more so than hearing Andie MacDowell sing about pie in Michael. And almost as much as the Double R Diner scenes in Twin Peaks.) The waitress is Jenna, played by Keri Russell. She's adorable, young, newly pregnant, and has a not-so-great husband who keeps her on a short leash. She's also really good at "inventing" pies and knocking peoples' socks off with them at the local diner. She dreams big and wants to enter a pie contest, but of course her husband puts a stop to that. Feeling stifled, alone and downright sad she falls head over heels for her doctor. As she tries to figure out what to do with her love affair, her mean husband and her unwanted pregnancy, she relies on her fellow waitress friends and the surprise "friendship" of a cranky diner customer to keep her afloat. Ultimately, when a new little life is born, Jenna is finally able to be born herself and live the life she always knew she wanted but could never have. So, be warned- this charming and sassy film may have you itching for a slice of marshmallow mermaid pie.

The Darjeeling Ltd.

About three minutes into The Darjeeling Limited, we watch a close up of a businessman running to the titular train pulling out of the station. All of a sudden, Adrien Brody’s character pops into frame and overtakes the man to the crunching opening chords of The Kinks’This Time Tomorrow,” and is able to throw himself aboard while the businessman falls into the distance, all in slow motion no less, and I knew I was going to love this movie already.

No one makes a film quite like Wes Anderson does. Bottle Rocket showed promise, Rushmore fulfilled said promise, and his unique filmmaking style culminated in The Royal Tenenbaums. And even though I actually liked The Life Aquatic (so much so that its cool reception actually surprised me,) I will admit it didn’t offer anything particularly new, and when a director releases a movie only every three years or so, especially a director so unconventional, one so-so movie will raise the questions, “Does he still have it in him, or is he just rehashing a formula?” making this next movie much more important.

The Cheese Nun

A Benedictine nun from The Abbey of Regina Laudis, Sister Noella, The Cheese Nun, is an expert on cheese. A real expert -- she got her PhD in cheese chemistry. For field work, she travelled all through the various cheese-making regions of France, investigating and tasting the special "terroir" of cheese. This is the story of how she discovered that the diverse fungi from each locale account for the tastes and unique culture of cheeses. Perhaps you would try making some of your own. A cave makes it especially tasty, but is not required! Try Cheesemaking Made Easy or, for those who want to simply appreciate what they are tasting, Cheese: A Connoisseur'sGuide. For a quick start making mozzarella here is a recipe from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company.

Girls Read!

Girl Scout LogoGirl Scout Logo

The film The Diary of Anne Frank will be showing at the Michigan Theater April 26th at noon. This is in collaboration with the Girl Scouts of Huron Valley Council. This is the last in their series called "Girls Read! A Celebration of Literacy and Film". A discussion will follow the film. All girls are welcome to attend, and you get free popcorn and a soft drink with your ticket!

Bette's 100th Birthday

"Until you're known in my profession as a monster, you're not a star," said the inimitable Ms. Davis, who would have been 100 Saturday, April 5. After an auspicious start as a cockney tart in Of Human Bondage and a three-film partnership with the great women's director William Wyler (Jezebel, which she donned with Academy award-winning panache after being passed over for the role of Scarlett O'Hara, The Letter, and The Little Foxes), Davis, who was nominated for 10 Oscars over the course of her career, proved she could take on the Good, the Bad and the Ugly with equal passion. Watch her play all three as aging actress Margot Channing, her best role, in the wonderful All About Eve.

Just in time for baseball season...

...a bunch of great baseball movies: Major League is #10 on Baseball Almanac's Top Ten List. Other favorites are Bang the Drum Slowly, Eight Men Out, Field of Dreams, and The Natural. Bull Durham tops this and many other lists. ESPN.com's "Page 2" Readers wax nostalgic as they recall their top 10 best moments in baseball movies. For a wider selection, try the top 100 baseball movies according to the Boston Men's Baseball League.

Here are some HOT DVDs to to melt all that snow!

The hottest selling DVDs at Amazon.com are also on AADL’s hot list! We’ve got the latest DVD releases, so put your name on the list to be sure you get a copy. Can’t wait? Take home a Zoom Lends copy today. There’s something for everybody! Including: I am Legend, Enchanted, No Country for Old Men, Atonement, American Gangster, Across the Universe, August Rush, and Bee Movie.

Author Arthur C. Clarke dies

Arthur ClarkeArthur Clarke

Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke died yesterday at the age of 90 in Sri Lanka. In addition to his script for the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, for which he and director Stanley Kubrick shared an Academy Award nomination (it was based on Clarke’s 1951 short story, "The Sentinel”), Clarke was the prolific author of several novels, short stories, and non-fiction works. He's also widely credited with introducing the idea of the communications satellite.

Read more at CNN.

The enchanting Northfork on DVD

It’s 1955 in Northfork, Minnesota and the town will soon be flooded by a local dam. A group of men in black have the task of evacuating the town, and in doing so they encounter some rather interesting inhabitants of some of the houses. One of which is the young and ill Irwin who was abandoned by his parents and left to die in the home of Father Harlan. His journey to death is quite an extraordinary one, as he is convinced that he is an angel with scars to prove it and he tries to convince a quirky band of angels that he is one of them. At times reality blurs with dreams in this original, striking and magical masterpiece directed my Mark Polish (who also directed Twin Falls Idaho). The film features James Woods, Nick Nolte, Daryl Hannah, Anthony Edwards, and Kyle MacLachlan.

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