School is over and the Summer has just begun. I know what you want: to see a good movie. Maybe the next Superhero film. (It will be the 38thyou’ve seen in the past year, right?) No? How about a movie coming out in August: “A. X. L.” It’s the story about a robotic dog. No? Then, here are 3 other suggestions. Two documentary films I have seen and a documentary on HBO scheduled for July 16th.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? It is the story about Mr. (Fred) Rogers. (see above) I wrote an article about him on June 7 for this blog. Start there and add this.
Years ago, a friend of mine saw Mr. Rogers speak in Pittsburgh at some event. He found out Mr Rogers wrote all the scripts for his show, and all the songs, and did all the puppets, but he didn’t act. He was just himself. He hated television, but saw its potential to teach children. He changed how it was done and, thereby, all the children who saw it. This film explains how and why he did it. It is a wonderful film about a fine man who was an exceptional teacher. He is dearly missed.
RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg). (see above) This film tells you about her life and judicial decisions (eg, as a lawyer she presented 6 “gender discrimination” cases to the Supreme Court, and won 5). She was married for 56 years. She has 2 children and her husband died in 2010 (cancer). In 1960, she was rejected for a Supreme Court clerkship position because of her gender. In 1993, she became a justice of the Supreme Court. In 2015, Time magazine said she was one of 100 most influential people in the world. Colon cancer and pancreatic cancer have attacked her –and lost. Former friend and legal foe, Antonin Scalia, said of her: “she has become the leading and very successful litigator on behalf of women’s rights –the Thurgood Marshall of that cause, so to speak.” She is 5’1” tall and has become a folk hero. Her “fiery dissents” in court resulted in her being called “the Notorious RBG.” She gives Notorious R.B.G. t-shirts as gifts. This film tells how she did all that in only 85 years. It is an exceptional film.
Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind. (see above) (On HBO, July 16, 2010) When I think of Robin Williams, these words come to mind: non-stop energy and boundless creativity. How can he be contained in one documentary? This is part of him = His classmates at Juilliard: Mandy Patinkin, William Hurt, Christopher Reeve. Awards: 2 Emmys, 7 Golden Globes, 2 Screen Actors Guild, 4 Grammys, an Oscar. Addictions: Drugs, Alcohol, Bicycling. His kindness: He paid many of Reeve’s medical bills and helped support Reeve’s family. Who most influenced him (in his opinion): Jonathan Winters and Richard Pryor. My favorite films of his: “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Dead Poets Society,” “Aladdin,” “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “The Birdcage,” “Good Will Hunting.” 50 times on David Letterman show; Letterman’s first thought after seeing him perform: “Holy crap, there goes my chance in show business.” Other quotes about him: Terry Gilliam: “He has the most unique mind on the planet.” Zelda Williams (daughter): “The world is forever a little darker, less colorful and less full of laughter.” Billy Crystal: “The brightest star in our comedy galaxy.”
This Summer is bringing you reminders of three exceptional human beings who made the world better than they found it. Enjoy them, not only fictional super heroes. Just a suggestion.