Sunday, January 31, 2016

Don De Lillo, Haruki Murakami and Mary Lawson

Just completed De Lillo's Falling Man. I've been reading this author for years, along with Murakami whose Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage I finished two weeks ago. Both of these authors write in a very similar way about their countries, America and Japan respectively. Their characters are always somewhat psychotic or at least thoroughly alienated and reading these men is like wandering through a strange dream landscape that is mildly disturbing while utterly compelling. One can only wonder what kind of conversations they have. Would love to know. And now for something completely different we have Mary Lawson, a newish Canadian author I've just discovered to my absolute DELIGHT. She started writing in her 50s and doesn't belt them out like the aforementioned men so her enthralled fans just have to wait. Write faster, woman! Only joking. Unbeknownst till too late, I started with the third of her Crow Lake 'trilogy' The Road Ends, But really the books stand alone even though characters wander through the three stories, rather like Kieslowski's Three Colours film trilogy. But oh how I love her writing and her characters and her stories! I was already homesick for Canada with the new Prime Minister Trudeau but Lawson's descriptions of winters in small town Canada made me yearn to return.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Angelina Jolie's By the Sea

I took two nights to watch this, not because I found it difficult or boring but because I wanted to savour it. Very like reading a novel. It's slow and subtle, elegant and beautifully shot. Hemingway would have liked it, I think, the spare dialogue and the intensity of the characters. More European than American, it's the kind of film Charlotte Rampling usually stars in. The American critics have savaged it en masse. They like to run in packs, like ravening wolves, but are rarely right when it comes to something beyond conventional fashion, something different. Something extraordinary. I predict By the Sea will be reassessed in years to come