Monday, June 23, 2014
The Returned (They Came Back) * * *
They Returned is the 2003 French movie that inspired the better 2012 French TV
series "The Returned". The point of both shows is that society must cope
with a large number of dead people coming back to life. The movie version
is slower and the ending lacks any clear resolution, but I still found it
entertaining. The ending is way too understated but it also sort of
They Returned might try the patience of some who would prefer a more
The movie is less about the resurrected dead than it is about how the living
react to their presence. If there is any point to the film at all, and it is
not clear that the movie has a point, it is about how society integrates a large
number of immigrants or refugees who are dramatically different than the rest
of the population. (This has been a problem for Europe in general.) In this
movie the dead seem like mere echoes of their former selves who are less
capable of original thought. For this reason they are difficult to integrate
into society and can only work menial jobs.
But the dead in this movie have their own agenda. They aren't very
interested in the living. They secretly collude among themselves and make
plans. This leads to violent conflict between the living and the dead.
In a couple of scenes we see reflections of female beauty in a mirror and in
a window. In the first scene the reflection is covered by fog and in the
second scene we briefly see reflections of breasts. This seems like some
sort of symbolism because the dead are like poor reflections of their former
Sunday, June 15, 2014
'This is my 3,000th column. I've learned a tremendous amount in writing about investing and the economy. Here are a few of the big lessons….'
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Sunday, June 1, 2014
Fwd: Skype translation
'Skype hopes to make its international connections easier — though perhaps still a little awkward — with a new feature that automatically translates conversations almost in real time.
Parent company Microsoft unveiled the new technology at the Code technology conference on Tuesday, where Skype vice president Gurdeep Pall made small talk in English with a German-speaking Skype manager in Europe.
After saying a sentence in English, an automated voice translated his words into German. (You can watch the video here.)'