Zatoichi (previously) is the story of a blind Japanese masseur; drifter (he also sometimes thinks of himself as a gangster, in a self-effacing way); uncanny gambler; and, master swordsman. The series is some 25 films long (not including the TV series), not including the 2003 American release with Takeshi Kitano playing the lead role, instead of Shintaro Katsu. [more inside] posted by Vibrissae at 10:38 PM PST - 17 comments
This past August a murder charge was dismissed against Nga Truong, a young mother who had confessed to Worcester, MA Police interrogators in 2008 that she had smothered and killed her 13 month-old baby, Khyle. A judge later concluded that confession was coerced -- extracted in part by police "deception," "trickery and implied promises" -- and the case was dropped. (pdf). Her case raises questions: What coercive power do detectives have who are driven to extract confessions? Under what circumstances might someone admit to a crime they have not committed? WBUR (Boston's NPR station) investigated Truong's case and has an extensive report, Anatomy of a Bad Confession: Part One and Two[more inside] posted by zarq at 8:25 PM PST - 28 comments
Until the End of the Worldwas conceived over most of the ’80s, filmed on four continents (including video smuggled out of China), and foresaw a future abetted by such diversions as mobile viewing devices, proto-GPS and a highly sought-after contraption that records images for the blind. Starring William Hurt, Sam Neill, Solveig Dommartin, Jeanne Moreau and Max von Sydow among an international ensemble of actors, the film also skyrocketed to a $23 million budget and found its distributors — including Warner Bros. in the United States — requiring cuts that reduced it to barely a quarter of Wenders’s original vision. Later locked in at just under five hours, it’s the type of material that today would be a shoo-in for a cable miniseries that could probably win Emmys for everyone involved. Twenty years on, however, it’s relatively lost to the mainstream, with Wenders’s directors cut as yet unreleased outside two territories in Europe. posted by Trurl at 7:27 PM PST - 50 comments
A sub-directorate of the Bureau of Special Christmas Operations (BOSCO), Santa's Little Secret Service is an Elvish security agency with the primary mission of ensuring the safety of Santa, Mrs. Claus and other high-value Christmas persons. The Service is separated into divisions focusing on personal protection, diplomatic protection, intelligence, and Christmas certainty operations.
King James Bible readings by top UK actors - free podcasts London's National Theatre recently staged a series of live readings to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible and the glorious language that book contains. The actors taking part included Lindsay Duncan (Genesis), Patricia Routledge (Psalms), Maureen Lipman (Isaiah), Mark Gatiss (Luke) and Simon Russell Beale (Revelation). There's 12 readings in all, each of about 80 minutes, and the National has three available as free podcasts already, with the rest to follow soon. As a bonus, it's also offering Melvyn Bragg's talk on how the King James version was constructed and the main sources it drew on. I saw Bragg delivering this talk at the Cheltenham Literary Festival earlier this year, and it's well worth hearing. posted by Paul Slade at 8:48 AM PST - 8 comments
"So, if the probability of finding an egg with two yolks is 1/1000 - then to find the likelihood of discovering four in a row you simply multiply the probabilities together four times. One thousand to the power of four brings us to the grand total of one trillion...