Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mussolini's Brain and a review for "Vincere"

I recently had a chance to see the new Italian film, Vincere (watch the trailer here). It is a fascinating film, but for some reason, it has not gotten much publicity. While the movie does not touch upon science & religion, the theme of politics & religion is certainly prominent.

Well, if you are interested in the film (or have already seen it), you can listen to the review posted below (about 12 minutes long). Perhaps more accurately, this is a conversation about the film between Kevin Anderson and I (this beats out typing a post :) ). Kevin is a lecturer in anthropology and film studies at UMass-Amherst and knows a lot about films. You can also check out our earlier written review of the film, Moon, starring Sam Rockwell. It is quite possible that you will be inflicted upon with more podcast reviews of recent films...

Here is the review of Vincere:
video

Just a day after watching Vincere, I ran into a CNN/Time slide-show about Top 10 Stolen Body Parts (yes, CNN is willing to do anything to catch attention). However, Galileo's fingers are not included in the top 10!!! But the list does include this amusing bit about Mussolini's brain:
In 1966, twenty-one years after Benito Mussolini was executed, America gave
part of the former Italian dictator's brain back to his widow. In Rachele Mussolini's memoir, she writes that, to her horror, she discovered Americans had "taken away half of his brain," explaining that the Americans must have "wanted to know what makes a dictator." It turns out the U.S. government had requested a sample of Il Duce's brain ostensibly to study it, but also as a macabre trophy. Forty-three years later, Mussolini's granddaughter Alessandro tipped off police that someone was selling glass vials alleged to hold the remaining brains and blood of Mussolini on eBay for 15,000 Euros. eBay promptly removed the listing.
Please note that he did have a very big head. See the top 10 stolen body parts here.

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