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.

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