I just finished reading The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides (1993). It tells the story of the five Lisbon sisters who commit suicide. The book is set in the ’70s – Sofia Coppola captured the imagery of the period well with her movie version of the novel, but she gave the characters a certain ethereal dreaminess rather than the biting wit and realism that Jeffrey gives them in the book.
The story is told by the girls’ neighbours – teenage boys obsessed with the girls, which gives the reader a sense of being an observer in their lives. It’s a technique that detaches the reader from the girls and instead of feeling what the girls had been feeling, you’re left in the same position as the obsessed teenage boys – struggling to find an explanation for the acts.
The book is beautifully written – rather than being Gothic and romantic, the language speaks of the decay of the girls’ lives – the girls are described with all their flaws – chubby, stick legs, double-chinned, but still objects of obsession.
Why would teenage girls want to commit suicide? As the first sister to suicide, Cecilia, says when asked the same question, “You’ve obviously never been a 13-year-old girl”.
Candice and I ditched dance class and watched the new Jim Carrey movie. It was advertised as a thriller – but, disappointingly, thrilling, it ain’t!
The basic premise is that Walter Sparrow (Jim Carrey) is a dog catcher who stumbles upon a book called “The Number 23”, which is about the strange phenomena and paranoia surrounding the number 23. The book has many strange events and co-incidences mirroring Walter’s life, such as the letters in his name adding up to 23. Ooooh, spooky!
Once Walter starts reading the book, strange things begin to happen – like dreaming of killing his wife – but Walter is obsessed and can’t stop. Finding the number 23 in everything around you isn’t hard if you’re looking for it, so I wasn’t that impressed by all the 23s in Walter’s life. They even managed to sully my favourite colour by announcing that somehow pink = 23 as well. Whatever!
When one of the characters says “2 divided by 3 is .666 – the devil’s number” it made me role my eyes. It’s actually .6 repeated, but let’s not let facts get in the way of telling a really bad story.
The film’s redeeming features include the style (very film noir), the awesome cakes that Walter’s wife makes (like one made into a dalmatian puppy) and Jim Carrey’s hair. Very mid-life rock star. Very hip for a dog catcher.
I hadn’t read anything about Sunshine before going in for a wet ANZAC Day session, so I had no idea what I was getting into.
Sunshine was written by Alex Garland (The Beach) and directed by Danny Boyle (28 Days Later… and Trainspotting) – and stars Rose Byrne, Cillian Murphy and Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger and Memoirs of a Geisha).
The basic storyline is that 50 years in the future, the sun is dying and humankind’s last hope is to send a team of astronauts aboard the Icarus 2 to the sun carrying a huge bomb to re-ignite the sun. The fact that the first group sent on the mission (Icarus 1) never came home should have been a huge warning sign that the plan was not magnificent.
The movie reminded me of Alien – minus the aliens. Sometimes human behaviour can be scarier than the supernatural.
I saw the newest dancing movie today with Lach, Lynette, Dan, Sue and Mylinda. The only preview was for The Simpson’s Movie – I guess advertisers are yet to harness the power of dance audiences. Yay!
The storyline was pretty formulaic (bad boy joins new school, falls for cute girl, gets kicked out of school then reinstated and happy ending ensues), but the dancing was awesome. As noted by Dan, several of the crumpers from Rize feature in the opening scene – even though the movie is technically meant to be about a style of dance battling called “stepping” there was definitely some crumping and hip-hop featuring strongly.
I learned some new moves today – the python hiss, the wolves under-the-chin arm-rest and the elbow slide (pictured), which seems to be like spirit fingers in that it has the power to win all competitions when pulled off at the pertinent moment. Must remember this move for my next urban dance match.
We followed the film with a dance class of our own – it didn’t quite match the testosterone level of the movie (semi-naked raging black men – bring it on!) but it made me feel better about the friand I ate for lunch.
Small country towns are always full of weirdos. If you find yourself in said situation, be mindful of the following:
The escaped swan will get the bad guy in the end if you don’t get him first.
Model villages with church spires are a lawsuit waiting to happen – but are also useful for impaling bad guys on.
The supermarket can be a war zone. Deal with employees throwing knives at you by creating a battering ram out of trolleys.
Putting on aviator sunglasses will lower your voice, change its tonal qualities and make you sound all bad-ass – save this for the worst case scenarios as once you lay the smack down on their country hick-asses, grannys with machine guns will come out of the woodwork.
If someone is stabbed in the throat with their own garden shears, it’s most likely NOT an accident.
There is always time to go to the pub for a pint or local store for a Cornetto, even if you’re an on-duty police officer. In fact, it’s probably a good idea as there’s nothing else to do other than sit at home and water your peace lily.
Men in black robes meeting in the moonlight will always be up to no good. Beware of their scythes – they’re extra pointy.
Also: snaps to Shelley for complaining about the lack of air-con and getting us free movie tix.
I love books, so yes, a lot of posts will be about the awesome books I consume on a weekly basis.
This one is a great book by Kim Edwards. In 1964, a doctor gives away one of his twin children at birth when he realises the baby has Down’s syndrome. Telling his wife the baby died in childbirth, the doctor’s split-second decision is one he’ll regret every day and one that will ruin his marriage and relationship with his family.
The book follows the split lives of the family who take care of the baby and the doctor’s family who can’t break down the wall that divides them following the loss of the baby.
Heart-breaking, riveting, sensitive and delicately written. It kept me enthralled enough that I didn’t notice the hourly commute to work. Now that’s saying something.
I saw this movie over the weekend. If you think your life sucks you should check out this film about kids in the US who are lucky to survive each day in the school yard. It’s schmaltzy, but the kids diary entries are heart-wrenching. It certainly made me stop whining about my own useless crap for at least an hour (though it helped that I was throwing back some awesome Chinese takeout at the same time). Check it out: