Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cinematical Vampire Wednesday

Hello, readers. This morning saw me having some fried plantains and poached eggs. I've never had poached eggs before. Which is why I decided to make them. You boil some water, some vinegar, do a little swirly action with a spoon, and then whoosh go the eggs and you wait--make some mint tea perhaps--and then reverse whoosh, out they come and they're creamy and good. At least, that was my experience.

Afterwards, I wrote.

And then, many hours later, I discovered this bit about Chan-Wook Park's new film, Thirst. Chan Woo-Park is the guy who made those funny revenge films (Oldboy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) where, among other things, people had sex with their sisters. This new film is about a priest who becomes a vampire, and, I'm guessing, probably experiences various crisises (what is the plural of crisis...?) of faith, love, and desire. It's going to be awesome.

In other vampire news, CHUD is running a contest around the release of the live-action, Blood: The Last Vampire, an adaptation of the samely titled anime movie.

And also, look, True Blood premiered, and, apparently, something interesting happened to Anna Paquin's clothes. Good heavens. Breasts. Occasionally, the desire to say, "Silly, Americans," comes over me, but then I remember I'm not British.

Happy Wednesday, readers.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Remembering to Remember

Hello, readers.

This morning, I spent a great deal of time thinking about people I should thank. I was working on the acknowledgment section of my thesis. There were the obvious folk: my teachers, my friends, my family, the universe. And then there were the people I couldn't understand how I could possibly thank, figuring that anything I wrote would never be enough. I thanked them anyway. A few people I never met made the list, too: authors, fictional characters, tv shows, etc. It seemed silly to discriminate on the basis of reality.

Speaking of lists and memory, Kevin Brockmeier, who once upon a time I interviewed, has listed his fifty favorite stories on the new Oxford American website. He also contributed the Pinnacle Mountain State Park to the Oxford American list of the South's cheap thrills. Here's what he has to say about that.

"Best of all, if you get lost on the way down, you can wander through the trees without any sign of other human beings, and you can imagine that by some strange power you have been transported to an earlier and better time, a time when there was still the chance that you could be happy..."

Side-note, check out The View from the Seventh Layer, which recently came out in paperback and was seen by me yesterday while taking one last Sunday stroll around the Square.

See, Kevin. You're not the only one that can be wistful.

Happy Monday, readers.


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Displaced Werewolves And Other Goodbyes

Hello, readers.

It has been awhile. But I am back, for now. Soon I will be gone and roaming around the country in search of nothing much in particular besides old and new friends and an exceptionally comfortable pair of socks. Maybe more than one. Most of mine have begun to have holes at the toes.

It is an odd thing to leave a place. Especially a place that has people in it you like. Many of which do not like to say goodbye and so we'll find other ways, I'm sure. Shadow puppets, maybe. Or rock messages which can only be read from a rising helicopter. But seriously. What makes a werewolf cajun? Is it the accent?

There is a movie here in Oxford. It is called, Night of the Loup Garou. A friend described it as such, "A cajun werewolf is displaced by Katrina and winds up in Lafayette County Mississippi." Another friend said, "The only thing I didn't like about it is that it's not a feminist reclamation of horror. There's no Jamie Lee Curtis. Just hordes of blonde sorority girls who exist in order to glitter and die."

It's a local production, filled with Oxford familiars. You can see the trailer here. It will be seen this week by me and I will come back here and let you know if the werewolf has a cajun accent.

Wild man beheads a lot of people and steals baby picture courtesy of Lucas Cranach the Elder, Germany, circa 1510.

Happy Saturday, readers.


Friday, June 5, 2009

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Literary Wednesday

It's Wednesday. There was a great deal of rain. I finished The Gone-Away World. It was, as I suspected, a kind of sad book, but it surprised me with the happiness and strength which it found in loss. It's quite a wonderful book. You should read it. There are ninjas, after all. And mimes.

J.D. Salinger is suing people again. Apparently, he does this a lot.

Hannah Tinti, redoubtable editor and adventuresome writer, won an award for her work as the editor-in-chief of One Story. Ms. Tinti's introducer described her as the "Princess Leia of American short fiction." I didn't understand this. But then I went here and read this--"Nash credited her with saving the short story from the Death Star of indifference. Tinti, complete with braids in her hair, accepted the accolade"--and so decided that it was all a joke of some kind. On who, or about what, I'm not entirely sure. You probably had to be there. Note: The picture comes from another event, one in which Ms. Tinti did not have braids in her hair.

If you've not read the new volume of Conjuctions, Betwixt the Between: Impossible Realism--featuring the work of Joyce Carol Oates, China Mieville, and Jedediah Berry, among others--then you are like me. Which also means that you very much want to read it and will be visiting bookstores in search of it, and if that fails, then you will possibly try to bookmooch it. If that doesn't work, you'll wait for it come out on Netflix.

And now, for me, it is back to the rain. And possibly a movie which maybe I will blog about on a future day to be called Cinematical Friday, or maybe Celluloid Tuesday. The options are limitless.

Happy Wednesday, readers.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cats. Women. Sandwiches.

Once upon a time, I visited the house of the guy who writes that blog. We watched a double feature of Cat People, Curse of the Cat People, and After Hours. We ate chicken salad and pimento cheese sandwiches--by which I mean sandwiches made with either chicken salad or pimento cheese, not sandwiches made with both simultaneously. That would be dangerous. It was quite a lot of fun and I learned many things, including:

1) Cats are evil
2) Sometimes women are cats.
3) Sometimes women are evil, but generally they mean well. Or at least have a good excuse.
4) Linda Fiorentino makes for an alluring sculptor of paper mache. She wasn't a cat. Sometimes she was naked.

That is all.

Except that, yes, I understand three movies technically makes more of a triple feature than a double feature, but I'll refer you to Douglas Adam's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy--which featured five books--and let you draw your own conclusions about arithmetic.

Mythical Monday

Hello, readers.

There are two new book type releases worth getting excited about--one of which is imminently obtainable, the other less so, unless you happen to speak Japanese.

The former would be China Mieville's The City and the City, which as you may guess, tells the tale of two cities. But, as you may not guess, it tells the tale of two cities which happen to exist in the same place, at the same time. Imagine the Starbucks density. Seriously though, this reminds me of that Hardy Boys super mystery, Time Bomb, in which someone figured out a way to send objects through time so that they materialized in the same space-time location as another object. Seeing as how this would seem untenable to the universe--the universe is, after all, a very reasonable person--something cataclysmic, very much like a giant explosion, would inevitably happen.

This is not what happens in China Mieville's book. According to this review, it sounds much more like an Ian Rankin plotted Borges mystery. It sounds wonderful in other words.

The less imminently obtainable one, would be the new novel, 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami. The Guaradian has a write-up, here. There seems to be some debate as to whether Murakami named 1Q84 in reference to Orwell's 1984 ("the letter Q, when pronounced in English, is a homonym for the number nine in Japanese, pronounced 'kyuu'"), or "in tribute to The True Story of Ah Q, a novella by the Chinese writer Lu Xun, whose work is said to have influenced Murakami." The debate feels rather superfluous to me. For one, it's quite possible Murakami named the book in reference to both, and, for two, it's not clear to me why Murakami would pay tribute to a book by taking one letter of it's title--albeit a name--and sticking that letter within the exact configuration of another well-known book's title. Unless, of course, he meant to reference that book, as well.

But these things are mysterious, I guess. Not as mysterious as giant time traveling robots, though. Few things are.

Happy Monday which may or may not exist, readers.