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Marsha on the Move: November 2020

Screenshot from Father of the Bride: Part Three (ish) via YouTube

Father of the Bride: Part 3 (ish)
How wonderful it is to visit “old friends” who make you laugh by the antics of their personalities, beloved “schticks” and timeless talent. For those of us who love the movie Father of the Bride and its sequel, this new Netflix special – Father of the Bride: Part Three (ish) shows the Banks family 25 years after the sequel. In it, they are Zooming…a wedding, of course. Diane Keaton, Steve Martin and Martin Short still make me laugh just by seeing their faces and hearing their voices.  Some other well-known talent make appearances as well. It is wonderful to see artistic creativity happening in new ways…and in this case, for a great cause. The reunion special raised money for World Central Kitchen, an organization that has delivered over 20 million meals to those in need during the pandemic.

The Social Dilemma (Netflix)

 I must admit that being on social media far too often myself, I was somewhat hesitant to look myself in the mirror and recognize the inherent problems of this “addiction.” I mostly enjoy lighthearted stories, pictures from friends, funny videos, and some updates and events from organizations. In fact, I mostly stay away from the extreme politics and other posts that I recognize as borderline (and sometimes not so) offensive and dangerous. But honestly, that is just a small part of the eye-opening and terrifying discoveries of this film. The narrators, all who were part of the development of social media, unveil the deliberate and manipulative ways in which people are programmed to receive information. It also looks at the implications of how that affects society and our future history, including young people – not only behaviorally, but in the way that they (and we) are programmed to see the world. This changed how I view my Facebook (and other social) interactions. With that said, I posted this review on Facebook, knowing that there is artificial intelligence analyzing that action, and will probably receive related information that is designed to influence my thinking. But now my eyes are open!

The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix)

This spellbinding miniseries follows the story of a young orphaned girl, Beth, and her growth into the world’s best chess player. The terrific character development shows struggle, frustration, family discord, challenging friendships, and drug and alcohol abuse. With all odds against this girl/woman, she has the enormous fortitude, drive and spirit to overcome and win. Many tender relationships are touched upon here…with her teacher and chess mentor, adoptive mother, and the friends who rally around her even when she pushes them away. The triumphs are felt by the viewer because we grow to really care about Beth. This also provides an interesting history in the competition between the Soviets (and their culture that was defined by chess) and the U.S. Two caveats here: I wish I knew about chess so that I could really follow better…and I so wish this was a true story! 

Coastal Elites (HBO)

This show is for those of us who are struggling through this time… and only if you think along the same personal political lines as I do (that’s as political as I get here…) – or especially if you are a New Yorker, Jewish, Female, Gay, Black, Democrat. If you are struggling with the losses we have all experienced during this pandemic and are terrified for the future of our country. The “comedic” performances here, by great actors of our time, put into words the anger, angst, frustration and fear that so many of us are experiencing every day but couldn’t really put into words ourselves, and certainly not with humor. I have always been such a fan of Bette Midler, but everyone else performing in this brilliantly written piece by Paul Rudner is also great. Of course, some may not identify with this, so this one may not be your cup of tea and you may want to sit this one out. 

My Octopus Teacher (Netflix)

This breathtaking documentary shows the incredible discovery of life of under the sea and a remarkable relationship developing between a man and an octopus. He finds her, sees her colors, beauty, intelligence and playfulness. They develop a trusting, seemingly loving, friendship. With her, he sees the dangers that she faces, the grace that she has, and ultimately witnesses the cycle of life and death. Through this, the man, who was himself lost, finds meaning. His ability to relate to humans grows, and ultimately he builds a new and meaningful relationship with his son, who also finds joy in nature. The octopus was a teacher in his life and, from that, we can think about who or what may be the octopus in our own lives. I have to give special recognition not only to the visual delights of this film, but also to the original music, which provides auditory delight as well.

Dr. Marsha Gordon is President/CEO of The Business Council of Westchester. When she is not advocating for business, building the economy or creating job opportunities, you can find her at the movie theatre enjoying many different film genres.  Most of the time, her husband Eli is with her… except if it is football season or if it is a very slow, sappy movie.

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