Out of print for more than 30 years, now available for the first time as an eBook, this is the controversial story of John Wooden's first 25 years and first 8 NCAA Championships as UCLA Head Basketball Coach. This is the only book that gives a true picture of the character of John Wooden and the influence of his assistant, Jerry Norman, whose contributions Wooden  ignored and tried to bury.

Compiled with more than 40 hours of interviews with Coach Wooden, learn about the man behind the coach. The players tell their their stories in their own words. This is the book that UCLA Athletic Director J.D. Morgan tried to ban.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information.


Of Gods & Men (0/10)

by Tony Medley

Run time 2 hours

Not for children.

In 1996 seven Cistercian monks were kidnapped in Algeria and executed. This film is based on their lives from 1993 to 1996 which consisted mostly of the seven of them singing songs and chants in a chapel. The movie is so long and so without pace that it seems as if we see each and every chant they made throughout those 3 years, unexpurgated. Not only that, but the lyrics of the songs and chants are shown in subtitles. These songs go on for several minutes each.

That pretty much tells you that this is a story that could have been told in 15 minutes but director Xavier Beauvois must have had a lot of film that he had to get rid of, so he stretched it out with the scenes of the monks singing. Either that or he thought he was filming a musical and intends to use this as an application to direct a remake of Singiní in the Rain.

When filming seven monks singing religious songs didnít get rid of all the film, he inserted thoughts of each of the monks thinking. What were they thinking about? There were Islamic terrorists who had slain a bunch of Croats in the area and because they thought the monks were in danger the army encouraged them to leave. That doesnít sound like a particularly difficult decision, but they ponder it throughout the entire film, at least when they werenít singing, and in the end they make the totally illogical decision to stay.

I was smarter than all of them. I saw what I was getting into after 15 minutes and decided that it was too much agony to sit there for two hours just to write a review. So I asked my friend if she wanted to leave. She said no. On the off chance she was saying that because she thought I didnít want to leave and was just being polite, I told her I did want to leave. She still wanted to stay.

When it was finally over (and I discovered to my joy that the 3rd millennium hadnít run its course while we were watching the film) and she deplored the film as much as I, I asked her why she insisted on staying. Her answer was that she wanted to see if there was a reason for the film to be made. I asked her if she had learned the reason and she replied that she had not.

My question is not so much the reason why the film was made, but how in the world did anybody get someone to finance something like this? In French.

January 20, 2011

 

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