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 stories in their own words.

Click the book to read the first chapter and for ordering information. Also available on Kindle.


Mood Indigo (0/10)

by Tony Medley

Runtime 94 minutes.

OK for children.

When movies get really bad, I can usually rely on a French movie to remind me that it is still possible to make a film based on character and ideas. Alas, Mood Indigo is not one of those French movies.

This is a phantasmagorically bilious movie. There is more reality in a Donald Duck cartoon than there is in this film directed by Michel Gondry based on a 1947 novel by Boris Vian, recently voted number ten on Le Mondeís list of the 100 Books of the Century. Vian was a quintessentially avant-garde Frenchie, a friend of existentialists Simone de Beauvoir, Jean-Paul Sartre (who is referenced in the film as philosopher ďJean-Sol PartreĒ), and Albert Camus (although Camus generally denied he was an existentialist), and his odd books, like this one, reflect that. Just as an example of the morality of these people, Beauvoir was in a life-long relationship with Sartre, but she liked women. Several accusations against her by the parents of underage girls she seduced caused her to have her license to teach in France permanently suspended. After that, she and Sartre developed a method they called ďtrioĒ in which Beauvoir would have her way with a young woman and then pass her along to Sartre.

Back to Gondryís film of Vianís book. It takes surrealism to the nth degree as virtually everything defies not only logic but physics. There is one dance in which the characters are dancing in positions not possible unless one suspends the law of gravity. It is truly ugly.

Although it is supposed to be a love story between Colin (Romain Duris) and Chloť (Audrey Tatou), their world, the devices in it, and the physics under which they live are so preposterous itís difficult to develop any empathy. Colinís apartment responds to his emotions, shrinking, expanding, and changing light as his emotions change.

The key plot device is that after they fall in love and marry, Chloť falls ill with the diagnosis that there is a water lily growing in her lung. The doctor (played by director Gondry) says that the only way to cure it is to place a never-ending supply of flowers on her chest so their perfume can kill the lily.

Colin is running out of money trying to cure her, and the only job he can get is to take off all his clothes and lie on a pile of dirt which in some incomprehensible manner is the way to build a funny-looking gun. Thereís a scene with many naked men lying on piles of dirt for 24 hours at a time. Colin is told that they canít use women for the job because their chests arenít flat enough, or something like that.

There are scenes and incidents like this throughout the movie. If this is the kind of bizarre nonsense that appeals to you (as it apparently has appealed to lots of Frenchies and Le Monde), be my guest. As for me, this is one of the longest 94-minute films Iíve ever had to endure. In French, color, and black & white.

July 8, 2014

 

top