A night to reflect

There are stories that captivate the world until they dwell more in the ground of legend than in the reality´s. The best example without any doubt is the story of the RMS Titanic, the legendary British transatlantic sunk in 1912 after colliding with an unexpected iceberg on its maiden voyage. About it have been made some films, and a huge amount of books. The one written by Walter Lord is considered the best one about the tragedy: ‘A night to remember’, in Spain it is called ‘La última noche del Titanic’, was published in 1955 and it was sold in large numbers; suddenly the public recovered the interest in a story which was already considered almost fictitious; in fact, three years after its publication, in 1958, it was branded a new film about the Titanic with the same title and starring by Kenneth Moore. The script by Eric Ambler was based in the book by Lord.

Walter Lord, graduate in History from Princeton and in Law from Yale, was an anonymous historian who had already written some other books before, and who wrote some others later, but  none had the success of this one. ‘A night to remember’ rescued from oblivion many aspects of the sinking which could lost forever, and this is which makes it a mandatory source for anyone who wants to know more about the last night of the RMS Titanic.

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Woodrow Wilson: the idealistic President

Among the fourty-four presidents in the History of the United States, we can establish a classification which divided them into three groups: bad Presidents, good Presidents and those who manage to enter in the pantheon of the true American heroes. In the first group we found incompetents as George Bush Jr, liars without scruples as Richard Nixon, or imperialists who believed in the superiority of a supposed American race as William H. Taft. A good example of who could be considered a good President is Bill Clinton, for example. Today we are going to speak briefly about the 28th US President, Woodrow Wilson, who, for many people is one of that handful of Presidents who became an authentic reference to follow for his successors. So, there is a huge quantity of biographical material about him, such as that one we can find in the always meticulous biography of the website of the White House (in spite of being more a meticulous hagiography than a true biography, this website offers an eloquent understanding of the idealization that surrounds the historic figure of Wilson). About the life of Woodrow Wilson before he became President, the best source is, undoubtedly, the book ‘Woodrow Wilson: Princeton to the Presidency’ by W. Barksdale Maynard, which is about one of the most frequently unknown parts of the biography of a relevant person.

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Orson Welles: a true misunderstood genius

It´s really fascinating the infinite variety of people who have gone through the History of the Seventh Art, especially if we consider the young which it is (the cinematographer was invented in 1895, and the first sound film dates from 1927!) Indeed, any kind of viewer (including the most ignorants) has at least a film that sparks his/her passions (joy excitement and enthusiasm for life, melancholy, tenderness, even fear…), or a star (nowadays everyone is acclaimed as a ‘star’) to admire and, why not, emulate, frequently without perceiving it. Marilyn and her sensual innocence, Hitchcock and his beloved (and phlegmatic) arrogance, Marcello Mastroianni and his Latin chivalry, Bette Davis and the sincerity fall-who-fall, Laurence Olivier and how to have a colossal ego without(?) being hateful…. all of them admired, envied and loved by millions of people from all over the world over many years of talent and magic: the magic of the cinema. The one of whom I have decided to write about is difficult to classify; however, nobody could deny that he is one of the greatest talents ever seen in the big screen: mr. Orson Welles. It is not easy to admire an egocentric man, not to mention if in addition he is also conceited, and if he have a volcanic and changing character, but, the talent shown in so many films makes impossible not to be thankful to and love him. If you want to know more details of the character, life and work of Orson Welles, you should consult a really good blog about him:  the biography by the blog Exordio, which has an appropiate one about him, in spite of being a blog focused in the Second World War; however, the best online source about the life of Welles is his biography by the American National Biography blog: their biographies of any relevant American historic character are undoubtedly the best ones on the Internet. But I cannot speak about the biography of Orson Welles without mentioning the very precise and complete one by Barbara Leaming, which also has details of the genius revealed by the own Welles, making it to be by far the best work published to date on it.

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