( Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you )
( Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get you )
( La Banda Nostra/ Our Gang )
As I'm coming to the end of Season One, I'm also developing an appreciation for the dialogue's idiosyncratic mix of Victorian elocution and frontier twang. The language is generally profane, unfailingly pithy (as when Cochran swears "Well, if this is His [i.e., God's] will, He's a son of a bitch!") and even occasionally veers toward genuine eloquence (as when Sol ventures that "People have made good lives out of borrowed ones, before").
Also, I can't help noticing by how much Deadwood's resource-extraction/prostitution-based economy resembles Bill Speidel's accounts of early Seattle ...
I recently re-read the Alan Moore book, and I was impressed by how well it held up--apart from some retrospective anachronisms and a bit of naiveté about the era of Reagan and Thatcher:
Regarding the film itself, I've been intrigued by the previews and screen captures I've seen, to date. The imagery, and the plot details that I've been able to suss out, seem right on target. (Interestingly, the Village Voice reviewer is aware of the Alan Moore novel, but describes plot elements that perfectly mirror the book as if they were inventions of the filmmakers ...)
Of course, the subject matter--authoritarianism, terrorism--is bound to be even more controversial now than it was in the '80s. So this ends up being a particularly problematic story to tell, today. But that doesn't rule out the attempt, in my opinion: everything depends upon how it's handled.
Also, I'm a thoroughgoing history geek, and I'm impressed that the film apparently goes to the trouble of explaining Guy Fawkes and the Gunpowder Plot to the non-Britons in the audience--again, as the Voice reviewer points out, looking backward to look forward. I'll be even more impressed if they manage not to mangle the historical elements.
On the other hand, Alan Moore has dissociated himself with the project. I don't follow celebrity (even comic book geek celebrity) gossip well enough to know why.
In any case, I'm just too overwhelmingly curious not to go ...
This turned out to be a remarkably good idea: people read things like Stanislaw Lem's "A Good Shellacking" (from his collection, Cyberiad), Salman Rushdie's "The Mail Coach" (from his Haroun and the Sea of Stories), Ethan Cohen's (of Cohen Brothers filmmaking fame) "I Killed Phil Shapiro" (from his Gates of Eden), a chapter from Nicholson Baker's XXX-rated The Fermata, O. Henry's The Count and the Wedding Guest (you can read the entire story at that link--worth the chuckle), and the first chapter of Daniel Pinkwater's Uncle Boris in the Yukon and Other Shaggy Dog Stories--generally to peals of laughter.
All of which reminds me that I don't have enough short fiction, or enough humor, on my bookshelf.
On Sunday, I had the pleasure of seeing a whole bunch of people I just never get enough of: First off, sarrabellum and sleepwhenimdead whisked me off to the East Side for their son Haven's birthday fete. At some unnamed East Side mall (I'm still completely lost over there; I never get out of the city ...), we met up with ketina and ronelyn , pinky_ki , and ladyavalon42 and differedrom (and the latter couple's brood of excitable young'uns) to see the new Harry Potter movie.
( The Party )
Alas, I had to duck out of the party early in order to meet another group of friends, these from last year's Spanish class, for dinner at Cedar's and a Flamenco show at the U, that evening. ( La cena y el flamenco )
Afterward, I took a walk through Cal Anderson Park (what we in the neighborhood like to call "Teletubbyland"), where I watched some guys (mostly bike messengers, it turned out) play bike polo--which, frankly, I'd never even heard of, before--on the soccer field, under a bright full moon. Meanwhile, I listened to a couple of fellow spectators arguing (hopelessly, pointlessly) about whether there's a God or not ...
So, in what might have been described as an excess of joi de vivre, I shed my sling, put on some cool clothes and went with my coworker Ajitha & her partner Diwakr to (belatedly) ring in the Hindu Near Year, last night. It was like Brimful of Asha on the 45 (with live percussion!) till the wee hours.
Amazingly, I appear to have damaged myself in no important way--especially considering that I dislocated my shoulder for the first time a dozen years ago while ... dancing. But last night's calesthenics were, ah, less vigorous than that at infamous incident.
But, man, am I sore! Good thing I got to sleep, today ...
I know a lot of people on my flist got into Firefly a long time ago, and have been eagerly anticipating the premiere of Serenity for eons. My situation is a little different: I actually saw the entire Firefly series (thanks, verbicide!) and the movie during the past three weeks.
(Granted, the competition is not stellar, here, as the best directors to have attempted an adaptation--Orson Welles and Terry Gilliam--failed to even complete their projects. And Man of La Mancha was pretty lame, if you ask me ...)
( Read more... )
If you're in Seattle, Book-It's Don Quixote is playing through October 16th. A bargain at the low, low price of $10!
OK, I get it: the "wagon train to the stars" aspect was perhaps a mite overdone (I'm thinking especially of the 19th-century American frontier slang, the retro guns, the ... horses), but I liked the storytelling style, the dialogue, the visuals, the characters (I think--depends on what they do with them, beyond episode 3 ...). Also, I really love the "You can't take the sky from me" theme (yes, wailing fiddles and Waylon Jennings-style vocals and all).
So, it turns out that these discs are really, really hard to come by, at the moment. Anyone have a copy of disc two that I can borrow, before I shell out the money to see Serenity? :)
Last Thursday, I went to listen to Salman Rushdie read from his newest novel, Shalimar the Clown. I've been reading Rushdie since college, and I've thought very highly of previous efforts such as Midnight's Children, The Jaguar Smile, The Satanic Verses, and The Moor's Last Sigh; I've been less impressed with a few books, such as Shame and Fury.
To judge by the passages we heard, Shalimar the Clown is in many ways quite typical of Rushdie's writing: a tragic story wrapped in gallows humor; varied, lively settings--in this case ranging from German-occupied France in the 1940s to Kashmir in the 1960s to contemporary Los Angeles; and the prose is standard Rushdie, as well--breathless, colloquial, digressive.
Shalimar does sound like a particularly promising Rushdie novel, though, if for no other reason because the author seems so invested in the subject matter: the story is rooted in the struggle over Kashmir and in "the psychology of fanaticism"--subjects which Rushdie, as he ruefully noted, "knows something about": his family is of Kashmiri extraction and he has very strong feelings about what's happened to the place in the half-century since partition; and, of course, there was that fatwa calling for Rushdie's assassination (the fatwa was later rescinded--hence Rushdie's current freedom to fly around the world flogging new books). I'll let you know what else I think about the novel after I've finished reading it ...
(Next post: I hike Mt Rainier!)
FYI, for those of you living in the Seattle area: The Big Picture will be putting on benefit showings of the '80s New Orleans crime drama The Big Easy, this coming week; all ticket and bar receipts will go to the American Red Cross for Hurricane Katrina relief. The Seattle theater will show it at 8:30 on Wednesday September 7 and the Redmond theater will show it on Thursday the 8th at 8:30.
I think I had a few too many ambitions for this weekend--I spent too much time running around, not enough enjoying any one of the things that I set out to do:
On Saturday, I did manage to put in an all-too-brief appearance at sarrabellum 's birthday celebration, where of course I got to see sleepwhenimdead , Haven, and a whole lot of mutual friends and acquaintances who, always last to learn, I discovered were on LJ--like ketina, ronelyn, differedfrom, ladyavalon42, pinky_ki, and spoomeister. OK, OK, I knew about the latter two, already--but it was amusing to find myself at a party full of people I already knew to one degree or another and only then discover that most of them were on here, too. Still sorry I missed out on the cake.
Today's featured Wikipedia article is on Spring-Heeled Jack, a Victorian urban legend bearing a suspicious resemblance to several 20th-century comic book characters (black cape, metal claws, pointy ears, glowing eyes, leaping from rooftop to rooftop, a big letter on his chest, etc.). Jack sounds for all the world like a circus acrobat gone bad, doesn't he?
The story would have the makings of an excellent Tim Burton picture ... that is, if Burton hadn't already visited so many similar images and notions in films like Batman, Edward Scissorhands, and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow ...