Linda Stirling Unmasked: The Black Whip

: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.



Beeuty In Trouble Jan Hrebjk

English subtitles

Jan Hrebejk_

“A smart situation comedy that contrasts old and new Czecho-no-Slovakias... The title comes from a Robert Graves poem and the soundtrack from Once’s busker-songwriter Glen Hansard.”_— Harlan Jacobson. The story line is a woman marcela *anna geislerova)who is –forced to chose between two men, one whom she loves with her intellect, the other , her husband–who dominates and fulfils her sexual strivings.

Czech Republic | 2006_110 minutes_
English subtitles
Director: Jan Hrebejk_
Producer: Ondrej Trojan_is
Screenplay: Petr Jarchovsky_
Photography: Jan Malír

Anna Geislerová

Roman Luknár
Jarda (Marcela's Husband)

Jana Brejchová
Marcela's Mother

Jirí Schmitzer
Uncle Richie

Josef Abrhám
Evzen Benes (knight in shining armor)

Beauty in Trouble is such a delightful film with characters vividly drawn who come from a world very similar in class as the people found in a Coen brother films. ie. (Fargo 1996)

The characters who represent the old republic speak crudely but honestly and their love is often expressed in terms with little endearment.

But they are funny, pathetic, and yet…. .this film is about character, ethics, the true and honest way people can and should act towards one another. What is paramount is not sex, as stated in the promotional material. It is love and the conflict between the passion that the body craves and the love that is not passionate but full, rich and nurturing for the mind and soul. It is the conflict delineated in William Somerset Maugham Of Human Bondage, where for those who read the book or saw the movie, Mildred, the waitress with whom the intellectual author is obsessed, is the essence of love and hate while intellectual women are simply there for stimulation of the mind. Nothing passionate about that!

Beautyin Trouble has clear readable subtitles with only one blatant error “there “ was put on the screen when it should have read “they’re”.
But I could read it all, plenty of time afforded the slow reader and the film’s shots were effected without undo prolongation of a facial image.. I never got tired of looking at one actor or another and there were bodies to be seen, all the way from head to foot, not truncated at the shoulders or waist.

It was great dialogue and enjoyable images of an old lady and a sleazy older man and even the “knight in shinning armor “ who comes to save the day, is over drawn to the point of almost ridiculous but stops right at the moment when he is believable and enviable for his solid integrity, a quality so rarely put on the screen for us to imitate and absorb as a goal of our own.
The music is all the rave. If you see the vilm for nothing more than the music, you will not be disappointed.

Do see, women in trouble. Not for the sex particularly but for the plot, the resolution of conflicts we have all experienced in one form or another.

Linda Z

Beauty in Trouble: a second assessment

Films are immediate emotional experiences and often, only in hindsight, does the plot slowly deteriorate into something other than the fulfilling experience of the moment.

That is what happened with this 2006 film. Beauty in Trouble. While I watched the fairy tale of the poor financially devastated mother of two prepubescent children struggle when the flood forced her to return to her maternal home where her mother and step father lived in a somewhat less than tranquil abode, I was emotionally drawn into the seemingly fairy tale plot of a wealthy man who entered the sceen, superfluity of money in hand and a determination to help remedy the wrongs she has to endure.

But all is not right in this story line.

Does this wealthy much older man "buy" the woman and her children?

There is reference to an abortion but who was the father of the almost terminated birth is not explicitly stated.

There is reference to sexual assault by the step father that seems to slide into and out of the film without any real emotional impact: a shower scene with the naked step father and the young girl trapped in the room where he lets go of his protective towel.

What is paramount (emotionally accented) is the garbage that the step father throws onto the bed while the children sleep or the cookies the children ate that he claimed were for him only. But cookies and garbage do not hold the intellectual place in our lives that the sexual molestation of children rightly earns.

I still hold the opinion that the Beauty in Trouble is worth viewing, if only to see how emotions of the moment can triumph over intellegent understanding.

Linda Z

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