Met Free Streaming – Week 3

We begin this week with one of the most gripping operas in the entire repertoire. Completed in 1956, it is a fictionalized version of the true story of the Martyrs of Compiègne who were guillotined for refusing to renounce their calling in 1794 during the closing days of the Reign of Terror. Isabel Leonard stars as the fearful young noblewoman, Blanche de la Force who joins the Carmelites to escape the horrors of the French Revolution and instead finds herself engulfed by them.

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Movies for Shut-ins Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell

Richard Jewell was a real-life bona fide hero. While working as a security guard he discovers a pipe bomb left in a knapsack larded with explosives and very hard masonry nails under a bench at the 1968 Atlanta Olympics. Calling in the cops and bringing in a U.S. Air Force bomb squad makes him a hero by even the most ordinary of measures. Only one or two people die in the subsequent explosion, depending on whose numbers you believe. But many more are injured, people whose lives might be lost but for Jewell’s presence of mind. Richard Jewell clears the periphery near the bomb including a tower housing journalists and camera crew despite the protests of the occupants.

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Movies For Shut-ins Paddy Chayefsky’s The Americanization of Emily

On June 4, 1944, the largest amphibious assault in history was launched. Allied forces landed on five beaches of Normandy. They were from the U.S., Britain, Canada, Poland, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, and Norway. It began with a 1200 plane assault. Then 160,000 troops landed from 5000 naval vessels. By August 1944, 2 million allied troops were in France. Playwright Paddy Chayefsky was one of them.

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Movies for Shut-ins Paddy Chayefsky’s Network

Howard Beale (Peter Finch) is a veteran news anchor on the evening news for UBS, the Union Broadcasting System, rated a pathetic fourth of four networks. His ratings have gone into the dumper along with UBS’s profit. He is fired for committing TV’s cardinal sin, low ratings. The news is given to him by the head of network news and longtime friend Max Schumacher (William Holden). Both are the face of TV from a prior day. Both are fossils. Beale snaps on that evening’s news broadcast. He announces on his show that next Tuesday he will commit suicide on live television. He is fired effective immediately. He pleads for one more show for old times’ sake so he can retire with dignity. His request is granted, but he uses his last hurrah to make things worse.

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The Met’s Wagner Week – Continued – March 28 and 29

Arguably this is Wagner’s cheeriest opera – if not his shortest! – and this particular production is a musical and visual delight, full of tuneful songs and lighthearted hijinks. Designed by Otto Schenk with charming traditional sets, it is primarily the touching story of Hans Sachs, a cobbler-poet in 16th century Nürnberg with a heart of gold. Hans is a widower, a dedicated member of the guild of mastersingers and the community’s most trusted inhabitant.

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