Wednesday, August 08, 2007

What I'm Reading, Watching, Waiting For...

Highly anticipating: Focus Features is bringing Atonement, one of my favorite books, to the big screen. The movie, scheduled for limited release in December in the US, will feature Kera Knightly, John McAvoy, and Saoirse Ronan.

Watching the trailers made me tear up, which goes to show you just how much the core of the story moved me. Crossing my fingers that it will be worth the wait. I am certainly pleased with the cast and the director, although Saoirse Ronan is definitely not how I imagined Briony.

I am also now looking forward to seeing Stardust. Originally, I wasn't too eager to see this for a number of reasons:

  1. I wasn't impressed with the book. And as much as I admire and respect Neil Gaiman, his novels never did capture my imagination in the same way that his graphic novels do.
  2. I can't stand Claire Danes.
  3. The trailers made it look like a mashup between The Princess Bride, and Pirates of the Caribbean.

However I've decided to take a chance with this movie because it's been really well received by critics. Plus, I did enjoy Mirrormask, which I would highly recommend to anyone who hasn't already seen it.

Lastly there's The Darjeeling Limited. Wes Anderson, Adrian Brody, Owen Wilson; enough said.

Watching: Spaced---British comedy series co-created by the brilliant Simon Pegg (star and co-writer of Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz).

Reaction: It's certainly got its great moments, but it is a little dated and lacks the quality that I've grown accustomed to. (Will someone please, please, please bring back Arrested Development????) Still I love both the characters portrayed by Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, so its worth it.

Reading: The Unconsoled

Initial Reaction: I'm not sure I could recommend this book to a lot of people, especially those who are not familiar with Kazuo Ishiguro. Even the critics didn't really know what to make of this book. But it comes recommended from many sources I trust, and hopefully my patience will pay off.

Plot: A famous pianist comes to a town in an unnamed European city to give a performance. Immediately upon his arrival, the pianist begins to have successive Alice-in-Wonderland-like conversations with the locals. Every person he talks to ask something of him, be it advice, approval, or help. People and location becomes familiar and unfamiliar in surrealistic ways.

One thing of interest to note on the style. The narrator (pianist) becomes omniscient periodically, observing the thoughts of the person he is talking or knowing the conversation of two characters when he is not present. I have never seen this combination, and it gives the narrative another level of surrealism. More to come.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

WSJ takeover

"He is an, I wouldn't say interfering, I would say he's an interventionist proprietor when he wants to be, but I guess, you know, if you own the title, then I guess you're allowed to intervene."

That's really not comforting.

The Moving Dilenma

It's time to start up this blog again. I will be moving fairly soon, which brings up fond memories of last years move--- no not really, that's just me being sarcastic.

I hate moving. I hate having to do it so frequently and knowing each time that it won't be permanent. Still, I guess I can be thankful that this move will take us out of the city (relatively speaking) and into a nicer, quieter area, with trees, and a huge balcony. I have always had a penchant for balconies. I think if I had my dream apartment, it would be on the 30th floor of a huge high rise with a balcony overlooking the rest of the city. I know, the irony is that this fantasy is probably someone else's nightmare.

The move is also a good time to get rid of all the stuff that I have managed to accumulate and couldn't bear to get rid of in the last move. Mostly, I'm determined to get rid of all that clothing that I never wear and never will wear.

Then there are the books. I have already packed four suitcases full of books, and there are still two full bookcases to go. I think I need to put a portion in storage until I have more space. It's hard to know which books I will be parting with. Certainly not any of my anthologies or short story collections. Nor my favorites or anything in my TBR pile. And it's hard to pack up the classics because you never know which day you'll finally be in the mood to read Faulkner. I should pack up the heaviest books: art books, coffee books, and my collection of Folios. But the thought of Folios sitting in a box makes me cringe.

That's why I'm waiting until after the move to make the decision; to see what my new apartment will be able to hold before I have to make choices. I know not the wisest thing to do, but there you have it. Anything to delay the moment where I have to put some of my books in a box and send them to West Virginia.