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posted: 12/19/2013 6:00 AM

Dann & Raymond salute great canines

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  • Benji, the lovable star of "Benji the Hunted," will be featured at a special Dann & Raymond's Movie Club, all about great dog movies, at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library on Jan. 9.

      Benji, the lovable star of "Benji the Hunted," will be featured at a special Dann & Raymond's Movie Club, all about great dog movies, at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library on Jan. 9.

  • Video: "Saving Mr. Banks" trailer

 
 

Movie club returns!

Join me and film historian Raymond Benson as Dann & Raymond's Movie Club rings in the new year at both the Schaumburg and Arlington Heights libraries next month. On Jan. 2, we'll present "Cool Hand Paul: The Films of Paul Newman" at the Schaumburg library, 130 S. Roselle Road. stdl.org. On Jan. 9, we'll present "Paws-ing to Salute the Great Canine Stars," a tribute to dogs in the movies, at the Arlington Heights library, 500 N. Dunton. ahml.info. Programs begin at 7:30 p.m. Free admission!

'Supercali' -- what?

Dear Mr. Gire: First, the most deliciously wicked Christmastime movie features no Santa at all, good or bad. It is Clint Eastwood's production of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."

Second, Disney's word coiners (in "Saving Mr. Banks") cheated. Their supposedly longest word, "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," is not one word. It is two. The syllables "istic" form a suffix. Suffixes come at the ends of words.

It is possible to decipher "supercalifragilistic." If you are supercalifragilistic, you tend to believe (istic) very strongly (super) that beauty (cali) is fragile (fragil). And you are right.

Their fragility makes glass flowers more beautiful than plastic flowers, and live flowers, cut, in a vase, opening and closing at morning and night, as if they do not know they are doomed to die soon, are most beautiful of all. Imagine an ice sculpture duplicated in transparent plastic. Imagine unbreakable balloons. Would they be beautiful?

The first syllable of "expialidocious" is, properly, the prefix ex. Prefixes begin words. The suffix "ocious" properly ends the word "expialidocious," but I've yet to figure out what that word means. -- Norma Hass, Sleepy Hollow

Dear Norma:First, "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" is indeed a deliciously wicked Christmastime movie. But as you point out, Santa doesn't appear in it and therefore could not be included in my Santa Claus movies.

Second, I might be able to help decipher the mysterious "expialidocious" part of that word.

If "ous" means "characterized by," and "ex" means "formerly," and "lido" refers to a fancy beach resort, and "pia" is short for actress Pia Zadora, then the whole word "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" really means, "You strongly believe that beauty is fragile like Pia's former vacation paradise."

See? Easy. -- Dann

• Daily Herald Film Critic Dann Gire's column runs Fridays in Time out!

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