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The Golden Archer Review

Write to the Golden Archer Review

This is Feb.15/22 Issue
Contents :

The Year of the Rabbit

Meet Joe Black

Quotes on Death

Chicken Writer

Latest Personal News

Golden Archer Translations

More Articles

My resume


Web Design


Last Week's Issue

Previous Issues



The year of the Rabbit will start on Feb. 16, 1999.

On the same day, another great   portion of humanity will have the joy to celebrate Mardi Gras.

Chinese New Year is celebrated on the first day of the first Lunar month of the year. The party goes on for the first three weeks of the new moon.

Like in other cultures, New Year symbolizes the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring. All debts are paid, new clothes are bought, everything is cleaned. A new cycle begins.

All the Chinese people get a year older on Chinese New Year, it is everybody's birthday.

For many weeks before New Year, special food is prepared, homes are decorated with red and orange ornaments, scrolls are hung with good wishes : Good Health, Happiness, Happy New Year, Long life!

Family and friends come to visit on the New Year. Good Luck dragons  are parading all over, enter homes and businesses and fireworks light up the sky.

The legends says that Buddha invited all the animals to come and celebrate with him. Only 12 animals came and Lord Buddha named each year after the 12 animals in the order they presented themselves towards him, the Rat was the first etc...

If you were born in 1963, like Brad Pitt (see on the right) or me, then the year of the Rabbit is your year. The same applies if you were born in 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1975, 1987, just like : Albert Einstein, Orson Welles, Marie Curie,  Neil Sedaka and Francis Ford Coppola.

What are the Rabbits' characteristics?

rabbit.gif (3648 bytes)

Rabbits are affectionate, obliging, pleasant and appearance conscious, with a love of fine things.

They have a tendency to be too sentimental and will strive to avoid changes. They are ill at ease during arguments, preferring a quiet, peaceful life-- probably because they are guilty of crying too easily. That is their sentimental and compassionate side showing.

Rabbits are usually charismatic people, often witty, intelligent speaker who enjoy nothing more than a good discussion. That is not to say they are argumentative-- actually a Rabbit can be relied upon to preserve peace, even letting insults pass by rather than facing further confrontation.

Appearances being important for them, Rabbits will strive to own better things in life. Their love of security makes their home an important base, filled with beautiful things, for the Rabbit is also known for his artistic good taste.

Those who employ Rabbits should feel fortunate- Rabbits are methodical and conscientious and make excellent communicators. Rabbits are born under the signs of virtue and prudence, making them loyal, honest employees, respected by all for their integrity.

Unfortunately, this has a downside. If the Rabbit finds himself in a position of power, he demands these traits from his subordinates, and can become authoritarian.

Rabbits enjoy the company of a significant other, but they are not the most faithful marriage partner, they are best suited with the Goat, Pig, Snake and Ox.

Rabbits should avoid the Rat and Rooster as these signs are too confrontational for the peace-seeking Rabbit.

On the third day of the Lunar Year, the Chinese celebrate the "Lantern Festival". It is to show respect to the stars. Lanterns are hung in the doorways of shops and homes to bring good luck. 


The general outlook is not that the person has died but that the person has lived.

William Buchanan, on writing obituaries

I don’t believe in dying. It’s been done. I’m working on a new exit. Besides, I can’t die now — I’m booked.

George Burns


Martin Brest's 

Meet Joe Black

joe_black2.jpg (10164 bytes)

Sooner or later, you will...

Look who's coming to dinner?

What a long movie.... is about all you will hear if you listen to people whispering when leaving the theater.

It took nearly 3 hours (2 hours and 58 seconds, to be precise) for Anthony Hopkins to finally meet who is behind Joe Black.

If some movies are intense because of their fascinating dialogues, this one will strike mostly by its silences. The artistic expected effects seemed to have been shadowed by a strict direction, and you spend long moments wondering what they are trying to show you.

The Story : Death takes on holiday

Death is here, and death gets a name for himself: Joe Black. He also gets a pretty face: Brad Pitt’s.

Death comes to Earth because William Parrish attracted him. W.P. is a media tycoon who managed to follow a strong ethical path while keeping up an exciting life. His family life is also admirable. His beloved wife died and the man is worshipped by his two daughters (Allison and Susan).

Death has a growing curiosity for human way of life. He feels lonely and when he comes to claim W.P. 's soul,  decides to postpone W.P. departure for as long as he could be entertained. Death takes a holiday.

As we go along

The most remarkable scene is surely the one that takes place within the first 15 minutes. A formidable stunt catching everyone’s heart. Brad Pitt, who just happened to have met Susan Parrish in a coffee-shop,  is hit by a truck, then a car. The shock is unexpected, rapid and leaves you with a question: What happened?

Apart from the violence of this scene, do not expect to be shaken in any way or at any time during this long movie. The pace is slowing down dramatically, and many scenes will call on you for reading what is not said, understanding looks, glances etc… You might even regret you are not reading the book, it is sometimes so demanding. But the conversations are not gratuitous, everything seems to have been measured and you find yourself taken aback every time, for having judge too fast a line as just being a space-filling ornament .

The plot is rather interesting: the alleged take over of Parrish Media group by a less scrupulous businessman and the complicity of the old man's right hand -- son-in-law-to-be-- in the scam.  William Parrish is a talented person, an intriguing mix of success, respect and emotion. He steals away the movie with the convey of his questioning: did he live his life at the fullest? Should he have reasons to be scared for what is coming next, for what he leaves behind.

One can also be amused by to see Death trying to "blend in", to adjust to all the new things he encounters: doors, beds, food, people, feelings.

There are also a few nice scenes in the hospital with an island old lady (Lois Kelly-Miller) who recognizes Death. Their dialogue exchange is poignant, their complicity, carried by the Creole language they use, is moving.

"We're lonely here mostly too. If we are lucky, we get to take some nice pictures with us when we go" she says.

"You get some nice pictures to take, Sister?"

"Oh, yeah!"


Brad Pitt : Joe Black, Death
Anthony Hopkins : William Parrish
Claire Forlani : Susan Parrish
Marcia Gay Harden : Allison Parrish
Jeffrey Tambor : Allison's husband, Quincy
Jake Weber : Drew, the right hand man

My Critics

Brad Pitt is always a nice view, I am sure many people agree with me. I wonder why so many critics are complaining about the special shades on his best profile or the love scene and try to evaluate how convincing he was. Well, I think the love scene should have been wiped out. In this already very long movie, it really drags on and gets you bored. I am female too but no, I did not faint watching Brad being undressed! Did you? 

As for Joe Black's performance, I have noticed a very unequal acting. Sometimes terribly odd, at other times, exactly "in". But this also goes with the character of Death being personified, a little childish, stubborn, but powerful and "deadly".

Anthony Hopkins is just as we expected him. Full of passions and emotions, which he conveys out to us with shine. His character is strong and easy to relate to: a man contemplating his past.

Claire Forlani comes out as a nice and friendly doctor, since she does not get a lot of space anyway. Besides, she is given an easy task, falling in love with Death with Brad Pitt's face and body, but she’s trying her best to convince us it is more than just the looks.

As a conclusion I would like to remind you that the movie is a remake of a 1934 Mitchell
Leisen's film "Death Takes a Holiday".

Claire Avril


Quotes on Death

"He's a wonderful 
actor, very easy to work with. But he's deceptively strong. 
He seems very 
laid-back and cool. 
But he doesn't take crap from anyone."

Anthony Hopkins on Brad Pitt, to The 
Westchester Journal News

Know your lines and don’t bump into the furniture.

Spencer Tracy



Joe Black

"Ambrose Chapel,"with Liam Neeson and Martin

"Fight Club,"
with Ed Norton,
Helena B.Carter

How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?

— One hundred. One to change the bulb, and ninety-nine to say, "I could’ve done that."