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I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they’re right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.

Marilyn Monroe

On Pluto

On Pluto: Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s
Greg O’Brien

I’m not sure I’ve ever read a memoir before (as I tend not to read non-fiction), but this one sounded particularly interesting. A first-hand glimpse into the mind on Alzheimer’s? What an intriguing (and terrifying) idea.

I was not disappointed; On Pluto was a fascinating read. Uncomfortable, heartbreaking, disjointed, this book reads the way I could only imagine a mind impacted by Alzheimer’s might think. If you are looking for a simple, straightforward, linear walk through someone’s life, this is not the book for you. O’Brien takes his readers on a journey through his life, bouncing back and forth between moments from his youth, to highlights from his adult life, to the slow decay of his recognition of people and places and the frustration and rage that accompanies it. Remarkably self-aware, O’Brien walks his readers through the parallels between his experiences and those of his mother, who shared his condition.

This book is a… challenging read, but well worth it.

12 Monkeys

Have you seen 12 Monkeys?

If you haven’t, you need to stop what you’re doing and go watch it. Right now.

In an exemplary vision of the ever-popular dystopian, post-apocalyptic future, Terry Gilliam brings together Bruce Willis, Madeleine Stowe, and Brad Pitt in a world brilliantly reminiscent of Brazil yet not nearly so uncomfortable. The story weaves carefully through various times and places, planting hints and clues along the way in some of the best subtle foreshadowing I’ve experienced. Willis is sympathetic and heart wrenching. Stowe is delightfully skeptical. Pitt is nearly unrecognizable in his madness.
It’s a powerful experience.

Now, this film was released when I was a mere 10 years old, so you may be wondering how it came to be a favorite. It’s a simple answer really – I inherited my father’s love of Bruce Willis in my youth – the good (Die Hard), the bad (The Last Boy Scout), the amazing (The 5th Element), the downright campy (Death Becomes Her). I can thank my father for all of these, and 12 Monkeys among them.

You may also be wondering why I’m choosing to talk your ear off about this particular piece of cinematic wonder on this seemingly random summer day. This too is a simple answer – in recent years, independent theaters have taken to showing older films on the big screen to a notably positive response (mine included). Showing tonight, courtesy of the Denver Film Society, is this gem, and I couldn’t be more excited.

Later this summer, DFS is teaming up with the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for their annual Science Fiction Film Series.

Who’s excited?

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I can’t remember where I heard this, but someone once said that defending a position by citing free speech is sort of the ultimate concession; you’re saying that the most compelling thing you can say for your position is that it’s not literally illegal to express.

Randall Munroe