Table of contents

The Grand Budapest Hotel

A look at the world when it was brilliant Some notes on the death of Old Europe

This was a kingdom of glory. It was splendid. Beauty mattered; manners mattered more than mores – neither matters much these days. People who think skyscrapers beautiful could not look back to the happy age before the […]


The makings of a spy, part three

Bond is no ghost. He is dead, or he is not. This is a necessary part of his education, it would seem, the last part: Understanding tragedy without becoming a tragic hero. The setting of this last story perhaps is everything all by itself. It suggests that […]

Clash of the Titans

Some notes on laws & heroes

This is a movie about how the beautiful gods of Olympus convinced the hero Perseus to save them from the ugly gods of the underworld. The beautiful gods are an image of the laws. Thus the aloof young man Perseus, whose pride is humiliated because he is fatherless, […]

Schindler’s list 1

Some notes on prudence

Oskar Schindler could not have been both a good man & a good citizen, Spielberg suggests. He finally chose to be a good man who started by acting for his own advantage. He understood his good differently than did the Nazi regime. Apparently, he judged independently even of the political […]

Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, part 1

The downfall

Harry Potter is coming to the end of his journey. The many, his admirers are enjoying the spectacle. The numbers & enthusiasm suggest this incredibly long story has proven very popular, first in print, now on screen. In the beginning, we saw Harry Potter, neither handsome nor strong, a democrat. He is […]