29 June 2008

Bet you can't list just one

Had to jump in on Ken Armstrong's Movie Meme (I love lists almost as much as I love movies). The difficulty is in choosing only one for each category as my film addiction started at age four. My choices are among the first that came to mind, not necessarily the best for a particular category. I've stolen the last two questions from Jim Murdoch's post.

1) List one movie that made you laugh: Clerks

2) List one movie that made you cry:

Everything makes me cry. I cry when I listen to music, when I read books, when I peel onions. I am always getting handed a hanky (and sometimes they are clean). The one that made me cry most recently was Big Fish.

3) Name one movie you loved when you were a child:

Alice in Wonderland was the first film I saw in a theatre and it made a tremendous impression even though it took many more watchings to absorb all the subtext.

4) List one movie you've seen more than once:

I saw Georgy Girl 37 times the year I lived in New York (1966-7). It may have been because they served free coffee and donuts in the lobby. A girl has to eat.

5) One movie you loved, but were (in some company) embarrassed to admit it: Love Actually

This film could slot into a number of these categories. I expect to watch it a few more times.

6) One movie you hated: Caddyshack

This seems to be a 'guy' movie – all my peers at the time just loved it, but I thought it was stupid.

7) List one movie that scared you: The Ox-Bow Incident with Henry Fonda

I was reading the book for school so thought I would watch the film when it came on in the late hours. I was alone in the house and was afraid to go to sleep afterwards.

8) List one movie that bored you: Waterworld

Most of the earth's surface is covered in water. I get that. I don't need to have so many panoramic water views to drive the point home.

9) List one movie that made you happy: Truly, Madly, Deeply

10) List one movie that made you miserable: Dogville

But it was an excellent film. I will watch it again someday.

11) List one movie you thought would be great, but it so wasn’t:
Blue Velvet

12) List one movie you weren't brave enough to see: American Pie


13) List one movie character you've fallen in love with:

Dr. Robert Campbell (Sean Connery) in Medicine Man.

14) Name one pointless remake: The Longest Yard

Why would anyone want to mess with the perfection of the original prison football classic?

15) Name your favourite movie of all time:

Giuseppe Tornatore's Un pure formalité starring Gérard Depardieu and Roman Polanski. I saw the French version with English subtitles and the translation captured all the poetry of the original. Brilliant script, Ennio Morricone score, striking visuals and sound effects - a perfect experience.

Gratuitously Irrelevant Eye Candy:

04 June 2008

Holiday Reading

"Leave the worthy stuff at home and fill your case with the books you have been looking forward to all year," says Mariella Frostrup in this Telegraph article:

The knowledge: how to pick your holiday reading

It is a quick read, so I won't rehash it here, but in keeping with Mariella's advice I decided to give you a few of my own suggestions for takealong tomes. I have added an Amazon search box in the right column for your convenience in locating your own copies, should you find my suggestions inspiring.

Short Story Collections

When you are on a busy holiday, sometimes the shorts are just the thing. No time to invest in heavy character studies or complicated plotlines, but still want that literary fix, then go with single author collections or an anthology if a more varied selection appeals. These are some I recommend or want to read:

The Cusp of Something by Jai Clare
Apologies Forthcoming by Xujun Eberlein
The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
Indiahoma: Stories of Blues and Blessings by A. Ray Norsworthy
Bonfire, an International Conflagration by various authors

Guilty Pleasures
It's your holiday, read what makes you happy. Crime Fiction, Sci-Fi, Historical Novels, Romance. (Did I say Romance? Not for me, but knock yourself out.)
Exit Music by Ian Rankin
Bones to Ashes by Kathy Reichs
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
The Spa Decameron by Fay Weldon
Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

A Gratifying Reading Experience
When I am travelling, I like to connect with something I can get my teeth into, but that also allows for some level of detachment of my higher brain function. This isn't the time for study or obsession with literary merit. Books like Atonement by Ian McEwan or The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka are for reading at home when there are no other distractions. When I am on holiday, I look for something to get lost in, something to exhilerate me, something to make me sit up and take notice:
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
A Scanner Darkly by Philip K. Dick
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Living with the Truth by Jim Murdoch
Gut Symmetries by Jeanette Winterson

A Little Bit of Madness
OK, I admit I like my books a little weird, hang the reality. I have no problem at all suspending disbelief if I am having a good time. These are some of my faves:
The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins
Vaudeville! by Gaetan Soucy and Sheila Fischman (tr)
Boating for Beginners by Jeanette Winterson

Enjoy your holidays, enjoy reading, enjoy life!