* * *

Please pardon the lack of particulars on the Latino film festival: over so soon. The entry I might most have wanted to talk about (despite drawbacks in its presentation: the video projection and the inadvertent repeat of an entire five-minute sequence) was El Aura by the late Fabián Bielinsky, but this, a noir-ish whirlpool around an epileptic taxidermist, seems a fair bet to have a commercial release later on. Daniel Burman's Family Law, apart from the Jewishness of its protagonist, did not suggest to me a "Latin American Woody Allen" as advertised, but was singularly sweet and touching. Marcelo Pavan's La Punta del Diablo had terrific landscapes and weather. These three, coincidentally or not, are all Argentinian. How did you do?

* * *

I appreciate the online commenters who plugged a gap left by my tenth-grade World History teacher and put me wise that "Come back with your shield," as heard in 300, was in fact a common saying in old Sparta, where a shield was valued dearly. Evidently they really did mean that if you lose it, you shouldn't bother coming back at all. Let that be a lesson to me. Just don't ask me in addition to accept the movie as history. Or as cinema.

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