Sunday, April 26, 2020

Why I Watch "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" Every Year on the Sunday After Easter

When I returned from a trip to Paris a few years back, I started a tradition of watching different versions of The Hunchback of Notre Dame every year on the Sunday after Easter, which is known as Thomas Sunday or in the West as the Octave of Easter. The reason I do this is because I love the story and because of the link with the name of the hunchback: Quasimodo.

The deformed Quasimodo is described by Victor Hugo as "hideous" and a "creation of the devil". He was born with a severe hunchback, and a giant wart that covers his left eye. He was born to a Gypsy tribe, but due to his monstrous appearance he was switched during infancy with a physically normal baby girl, Agnes. After being discovered, Quasimodo is exorcised by Agnes's mother (who believed that the Gypsies ate her child) and taken to Paris, where he is found abandoned in Notre Dame (on the foundlings' bed, where orphans and unwanted children are left to public charity) on Quasimodo Sunday, the First Sunday after Easter, by Claude Frollo, the Archdeacon of Notre Dame, who adopts the baby, names him after the day the baby was found, and brings him up to be the bell-ringer of the Cathedral.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Movie Recommendation For The Times We Live In

In December 2019 it was announced that a local movie theater was going to be screening a film from 1950 directed by the acclaimed Greek director Elia Kazan called Panic in the Streets. This was a Kazan film that I had never seen before, so I bought my ticket in advance for the one night only showing which was to take place on February 10th. This film was part of a monthly popular series at this theater called "Science on Screen", which I attend every month, where they invite a local specialist in a scientific field to give a scientific introduction to a film. For this film they invited a local microbiologist who is working on the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, so she was going to talk about this and the new approaches that are being developed to control bacterial infections.