Kareem's Weekend Boost (Jan. 28-30)
What to Watch, Read, or Listen to This Weekend
It’s the weekend already? Some surprisingly harsh weather has the Northeast preparing for blizzards. Fortunately, this week I have some suggestions to help you enjoy your time at home, including a bonus suggestion.
As always, I welcome comments from my paid subscribers.
Vision Quest (1985)
I wasn’t able to get to the movies this week, so instead I’m suggesting one of my favorite sports movies. The poster and the trailer make this seem like it’s a teen romance, but that’s only one aspect of the movie. The real heart of this coming-of-age story is the struggle of high school wrestler Louden Swain (Matthew Modine) who risks his only chance for a college scholarship to drop in weight class to wrestle the undefeated state champion.
This film articulates the soul of sports, not just in what it means to the athletes, but also what it means to the fans. It also addresses some of the hypocrisies of high school sports from coaches who proclaim fairness, unless you don’t want to be what they want you to do, to the concept of teamwork that values winning over individual striving.
Here’s the trailer, but it doesn’t do the film justice because it tries to promote it as a John Hughs-like teen romp. While the film is funny and romantic, it’s much more realistic and rewarding.
I’ve included this scene from the film because it includes one of my favorite and most memorable speeches about the impact of sports on society. The context is Louden, who’s just had his heart broken by his girlfriend, goes to visit his co-worker, a middle-aged fry cook, to tell him he’s decided not to wrestle the champ. Watch it and weep.
You can rent Vision Quest for $2.98 here.
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Staying in Touch by Sinne Eeg & Thomas Fonnesbaek
This Danish couple gives us some of the purist jazz vocals and double bass playing around. Equally impressive is the range in these eleven selections that include songs from Irving Berlin, Thelonious Monk, Joni Mitchell, and The Beatles. There’s a feeling of the wisdom and passion of Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone in her voice.
What I like about this video is her introduction of the song in a thick Danish accent that suddenly evaporates the moment she begins to sing.
Get album here.