My good friend LyleRichardson was not feeling well, and... we decided to take a rain check on our Boxing Day engagement.
So I went to see the new Tom Cruise movie Valkyrie about the miscarried assassination attempt against Adolf Hitler, on 20 July 1944. (My first partner Gary Murakami was born a year later on 20 July 1945, about two weeks before Hiroshima.)
The film is quite good, and fairly accurate from what I could tell. It was fascinating to see the reconstruction of the Berghof.
At the very end of the movie as they described the fates of various principals, I was startled to learn that the wife of Claus von Stauffenberg, Elisabeth Magdalena (Nina) Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg, survived the war and died on 2 April 2006... the same day as Dennis! She was 92, he, only 55.
Three years ago today-- Boxing Day, December 26, 2005-- Dennis and I went to another movie, Heath Ledger's Casanova, filmed just before or after Brokeback Mountain, and released about the same time. I thought that was to protect his image. We went to see it primarily because it was filmed in Venice. It was the last movie Dennis saw in a theatre and it was only a few weeks before we left for Carnevale in Venezia. Dennis unfortunately bit down on an uncracked popcorn kernel and broke a tooth.
After seeing Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker in his final film, the Batman movie The Dark Knight, I'm convinced that the role contributed to his early death. He got into the part so deeply that it affected him psychologically with terrible consequences. Because of that it's difficult for me to watch him in the film.
Bronze bust of Claus von Stauffenberg:wikimedia/wikipedia.org