Will iconic images recorded in the grooves of an ancient vase unite the Holy Land or rip it further apart?

THE VASE

A novel by Mark M. DeRobertis

Muhsin Muhabi is a Palestinian potter, descended from a long line of potters. His business is run from the same shop owned by his ancestors since the day his forebears moved to Nazareth. The region's conflict saw the death of his oldest son, and rogue terrorists are in the process of recruiting his youngest in their plot to assassinate the Pope and Israeli prime minister.

Professor Hiram Weiss is an art historian at Nazareth’s Bethel University. He is also a Shin Bet operative on special assignment. With the help of fellow agent, Captain Benny Mathias, he plans to destroy the gang responsible for the death of his wife and only child. He puts a bomb in the ancient vase he takes on loan from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.

Mary Levin, the charming assistant to the director of Shin Bet, has lost a husband and most of her extended family to recurring wars and never-ending terrorism. She dedicates her life to the preservation of Israel, but to whom will she dedicate her heart - the brilliant professor from Bethel University - or the gallant captain who now leads Kidon?

Harvey Holmes, the Sherlock of Haunted Houses, is a Hollywood TV host whose reality show just flopped. When a Lebanese restaurant owner requests his ghost-hunting services, he believes the opportunity will resurrect his career. All he has to do is exorcise the ghosts that are haunting the restaurant. It happens to be located right across the street from Muhsin’s Pottery Shop.



Saturday, June 3, 2017

Amanda Hale - Great Actress - Wow


I had watched The White Queen, which depicted the civil war era in England known as the Wars of the Roses. You'll note that war is plural, because it seemed to be a war after another war and then another until finally the two houses of Tudor and York united in a marriage. And then the wars continued. And so it goes. Or so it went.
 
But whatever...it makes for some fascinating storytelling, and the two STARZ TV series, The White Queen and The White Princess are very well done in the telling of that (or those) stories. Which brings me to the point of this blog post. Amanda Hale. I had never heard of her. But in the first series, The White Queen, Amanda Hale portrays the mother of Henry VII, also known as Henry Tudor, the son of the brother of King Henry VI, and therefore one of the heirs to the throne of England.
 
Well, Henry VII did become king of England. He was betrothed to Elizabeth, the oldest daughter of King Edward IV, and thus the Tudor and York houses united, which was supposed to unite all of England and stop the civil wars. Which it didn't.


Amanda Hale as Margaret Beaufort
in The White Queen


But Amanda Hale's performance as Margaret Beaufort, Henry VII's mother was superb. I had never seen an actress perform with such intensity. Every scene in which Amanda Hale performed was an incredible example of acting at its best. As a viewer you could feel the emotion, the sheer intensity that Hale exuded in every moment she was on screen. Even in this photo from the series you can feel the intensity Hale is exuding. And as a viewer of TV shows and movies, I've never felt that kind of emotion from an actor before.






Jack Palance in Attack!
Well, one time I did. There was an old black and white movie called Attack! and it starred Jack Palance. In that movie, Jack Palance also portrayed intensity so well, the viewer could feel it in every scene the man was in. It was incredible. I mean sheer intensity. It may be difficult for anyone reading this to understand what the heck I'm talking about. But if you've seen The White Queen, perhaps you do. Just think about those scenes in which Amanda Hale performed. And if you can find it, watch the 1956 movie Attack! with Jack Palance as Lieutenant Joe Costa. That is intensity.



Michelle Fairley as Margaret Beaufort
in The White Princess

I am disappointed that the continuation of this story in the next series The White Princess, they changed all the actors and actresses. Now the actress playing Margaret Beaufort is Michelle Fairley. She's a name actress, meaning she's got a resume behind her. Fans will remember her as Caitlyn Stark from the Game of Thrones show on HBO. She was right for THAT part. But following Amanda Hale's performance, she doesn't cut it as Margaret Beaufort. Amanda Hale's performance FAR outshines Michelle Fairley's performance.

To put it simply, Michelle Fairley exudes ZERO intensity. Not an ounce of it. Why did they not cast Amanda Hale again? Well, they changed everyone. Which is too bad. Particularly because of the magnificent performance of Hale if for no other reason.




To anyone reading this. If you want to see intensity exuding from every pore of an actor/actress, watch The White Queen, and pay particular attention to every scene Amanda Hale is in. Or watch Attack! and pay attention to Jack Palance's performance. That's intensity.

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