There are advantages and disadvantages to being a relatively new country with a very long history. This is Lithuania. The records go back nearly 1000 years and even the castle in my backyard was first recorded in 1361, but for all intents and purposes, the country came into being in the modern age 22 years ago, when the Russians were finally driven out and Lithuanians could, at long last, rule themselves again.
So how do you celebrate your new/old independence? You have a holiday! Or several holidays. But today is a pretty cool one. July 6th is the supposed coronation day of Mindaugas, the one and only king of Lithuania! It was 760 years ago today that he was crowned and so today, since 1992, has been Lithuanian Statehood Day, a federal holiday!
This is the second time I’ve seen this film and interestingly, the same problems I had with it the first time, I still have in the same way. So at least it’s consistent.
There’s an interesting thing about seeing a caper film a second time. Well, any film with a “twist” or two in it, I suppose, but caper films are known for being heavily reliant on specific plot details not being revealed until late in the game, Particularly this one, which involves magic tricks. See, watching it for the first time (and yes, I went my second time with a friend who hadn’t seen it before) you’re not expecting the surprise ending and when it comes, it hits you full in the gut. But that second (and subsequent) viewings, when you’re ready for the punch, you can usually see it coming a mile away and sometimes, that telegraphy can completely ruin the film. The Sixth Sense is like that. In recent days, due to his involvement with the Will/Jaden Smith vehicle After Earth, director M. Night Shyamalan has come to be revealed for the charlatan he is and Sixth Sense proves it. Watching that film once you know the ending is an exercise in tedium. The only reason it garnered the praise it did at the time was people weren’t expecting that hit and when it came, it sent them reeling. Continue reading