Why tell one story ...
Friday, April 29, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I saw this Sofia Coppola film a few days ago and am still digesting it, in a way. It's a minimalist study of a film actor (played with subtleness by Stephen Dorff) and the daughter (Elle Fanning) that comes to live with him for a few weeks at the Chateau Marmont. It's sort of a slice of a slice of life film in which nothing much happens, except that emotionally the actor, named Johnny Marko, seems to come alive in the presence of his daughter. It's the type of movie that lulls you along, and I wished it had more of an impact at the end of the film (there seemed to be quite a lot of symbolism/significance attached to Johnny's Italian sports car and it didn't really work for me) but ultimately I found it touching and, most importantly, artful. The dialogue does not particularly matter in this movie but the images, most of which are beautiful, do. Here are some of them:
Monday, April 25, 2011
by Troy Jollimore
At my father’s request I went into the city
to ask for the Senator’s daughter’s hand.
But she said she would not have me, or any man.
It was, I thought, a great pity:
she was not only wealthy, but very pretty.
So I told her that I would stand
on the spot of earth where I’d been rejected
and each night she would hear my demand
until she recanted, and accepted.
For three nights I shivered as the constellations
wheeled about my head, and I repeated my offer.
Finally, on the third night, her father
put his arm around me and brought me to the kitchen.
We drank scotch. He told me she would not change her decision.
He gave me his second daughter as consolation.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
I love this production still from the film below.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Decent, if not spectacular, JDM standalone. The protagonist, Hugh MacReedy, returns to a small town to help his ex-girlfriend's younger brother, accused of a terrible crime. There are some great fight sequences in this novel, as Hugh squares off against corrupt police officers, and the local teenage toughs. The weakest element of this book is the love story--she never really comes to life.
A slightly condensed version of this novel appeared in Cosmopolitan Magazine. Those were the good old days. Can you imagine Cosmopolitan containing an entire novel now?
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Woman Police Officer in Elevator
by James Lasdun
Not that I’d ever noticed
Either a taste or a distaste
For that supposedly arousing
Rebus of pain and desire, the uniformed woman,
Whether as Dietrich in epaulettes,
Or armored like Penthesileia, or in thigh boots
And cocked hat, straddling the Atlantic,
Fishing for campesinos
With live torpedoes,
But when the rattling, john-sized
Tenement elevator paused
Mid-fall to blink a female housing cop
Into its humid cranium, I felt her presence
Spooling through me like a Mobius strip,
Splicing her spilling curls, nightstick, the gun at her hip,
Chrome shield, the breast it emblazoned,
Seamlessly into the same
Restless continuum …
I caught – was it possible? –
The scent of some sweet-tinctured oil;
Troubling, alluring; and looked away
The glanced back obliquely: had I imagined it,
The sudden scimitar-glint of danger,
Or had some forbidden impulse – longing, lust, anger –
Tumid inside me like a hidden
In a schoolkid’s lunch pack,
Triggered the blue-lashed, tiny
Metal detector of her eye?
I backed against my corner, watching
The numerals slowly swallow their green gulp of light;
Interminable! And as we fell,
Our little locked cube of stale air seemed to bristle
With a strange menace … I thought of harms;
My own and not my own,
Contemplated or done;
Coercions, seductions, lies,
Ready to confess them all, and more,
As if in her firm indifference she’d regressed me
Inward down some atavistic line
To the original essence, the masculine
Criminal salt; a frieze of victims
Paneled in my own skull
Like a lit cathedral hell …
A shudder, and then stillness;
Avoidance of each other’s eyes
As in some bedroom fiasco’s wake,
The air too brimful with disclosure, till the door
Opened and we parted, the clamped rift
Between us widening like a continental drift
Of the sexes; she to the butcher, the breaker,
The ripper, the rapist,
I to my therapist.