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  • Glenn Sonnenberg

Musings from the Bunker 4/16/21

Good morning! DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES ON ANTHROPOLOGY From Bob Badal: “If you are interested in evolution, take a look at Richard Dawkins' book, The Ancestor's Tale. Combining traditional fossil analysis with newer DNA analysis techniques, Dawkins attempts to work backward in time to determine the primary points/branches in evolutionary history that ultimately led to modern humans. You might also like Kermit Pattison's Fossil Men, an interesting take on how various "teams" compete to find human fossils. But most interesting is the book's conclusion that the accepted wisdom we were taught in high school biology may be wrong: i.e., humans are not an evolutionary modification of a common ape ancestor, but rather modern apes are an evolutionary modification of a common human-like ancestor. Try grasping that concept after a few glasses of wine!” MOVIES SET IN AMSTERDAM We’ve covered movies set in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Paris. But how about Amsterdam? Amsterdam, you say? Yes. Underappreciated but one of the great cities in Europe. No better bikeable city in the world.

  • The Fault of Our Stars. Cancer patients fall in love. Funny, witty, sad, coming of age.

  • Diamonds are Forever. Sean Connery in his penultimate “final” spin as James Bond. Connnery, in my opinion, remains the best of the Bonds (although Daniel Craig gives him a run for his money).

  • Ocean’s Twelve. George Clooney! Yes, I think he’s great. Not the strongest of the Ocean movies, but worth it. As a series of three movies, they are fun, meta-humor with great set pieces.

  • Girl with the Pearl Earring. Mostly in Delft, but let’s not be picky. I liked it; I didn’t love it.

  • The Diary of Anne Frank. A good rendition of the heart-wrenching definitive depiction of innocent youth caught up in the sickness of Nazi persecution. From the play; not the book.

  • Soldier of Orange. Rutger Hauer in a Paul Verhoeven movie. How could it not be great? Not your typical Verhoeven. Great nuanced war movie.

  • The Discovery of Heaven. Haven’t seen it but love the summary about the lord giving up on the human race and trying to mop up. Some good reviews but Variety says it’s “a risible apocalyptic saga with terrific production values but zero sense of wonder.” Still, it’s on my list to see.

  • Van der Valk. Hard hitting detective drama series.

I got the idea for creating this list from an article appearing in the Wall Street Journal about books, movies, food and drink of Amsterdam:


Debbee Klein suggests two additional classics, with which I have no dispute:

  • Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

  • The Graduate

Then there are Diane Cairn’s iconic movies (after concurring that Lawrence of Arabia was an all-time favorite. She points out that each had topical timelessness amd both made the cover of Time Magazine, evidencing their cultural impact:

  • Thelma and Louise

  • Fatal Attraction

CHILDHOOD CRUSHES Not everything written here is either deep or mature. When I wrote about my Scripter co-founder, Marjorie Lord Volk (Danny Thomas’s wife on Make Room for Daddy), I shared that she was one of my first crushes, followed by Ginger and Mary Ann. Peter Bain responds: “Now, as to genuinely important matters - Barbara Eden for sure. But I find your reference to both Ginger and Mary Ann intriguing, and likely reflective of your unique capacity as a youth for sophisticated thinking. In my experience, I found most young men viewed Ginger and Mary Ann as a kind of binary proposition. Not unlike Beatles or Stones. I congratulate you on your breadth of vision.” Have a great day, Glenn

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