I haven't done any reviews of things I've read/watched in an extremely long time. I think since I was pregnant, which is pretty much two years ago? Where does the time GO, man? And women? Jeepers. Okay, first of all Brent and I rented The Road tonight (we also rented G-Force, a movie about four Guinea Pigs and a Mole who save the world from total destruction and enslavement, but I won't be doing a review on that one!!! Family Pizza Movie night, folks. Gotta love it!). Brent read The Road when he was at Polizei training, and I read it when we were in Hawaii two years ago. It was mind blowing good, very sparse prose that reminded me of Hemingway, and bleak settings that reminded me of MacDonald's 'Lillith', and apocalyptic plot that was a mixture of Atwood and Lord of the Flies.
And sadder than shit. I cried as much in this book as I did in Schindler's List. It was very good. I'm pretty sure most of you will be fairly familiar with the idea behind The Road because it's now a movie, as aforementioned. Tonight we watched it and both cried buckets; it's one you only want to watch if you have a steel bunker set up around your mental health, because it's so dark. But if you happen to be in a strong emotional space, it is a movie that is very engaging and worthwhile, and as art is invaluable in its expression and philosophical struggles. The film is beautiful to watch. Definitely don't watch it in the first few months after you give birth, though. It's far too dark to watch during a time when one's emotional and spiritual self yawns so wide open.
It's like any epic film dealing with humanity at its most visceral: hard to watch, but necessary to engage with.
Another film I saw recently was 'Precious.
Wow. Another must see film, so good. It was so, so good. This was also pretty dark, but with way more light in it than The Road. It's ultimately a triumph over darkness and abuse and profound poverty of spirit (and money), and shocking in its depravity at times. I fell in love with the main character about five minutes into the movie, though she had little to redeem herself at first. There was just some spark in her that pulled me in. MUST see.
I also finished another book last night called 'Bright Shiny Morning,' which is by the same author who wrote 'A Million Little Pieces,' a fantastic book that melts two incompatible genres by being semi autobiographical, and semi fictitious. He got some bad press for the melding of the two, but I never understood what the big fracking deal was: all non fiction fabricates some, and all fiction accurately portrays real life situations some...Why did anyone care? Oprah loved the book, but she sure cared that he mixed some fiction into his nonfiction, I tell you. Anyways, that book is amazing also, but yesterday's book 'Bright Shiny Morning' is, interestingly, ALSO a melding of the same two genres, but declares itself fiction. So I guess everyone will be more comfortable with it now. It's a book 'about' Los Angeles, but about the heart and soul of any urban setting: its inhabitants. It mixes lists and lists of facts about the history and present of different L.A. characteristics, like the origins and history of each freeway, gang activity, artistic regions of the city, natural disasters on record since the early 1800s, beaches, boulevards, suburbs, aqueduct and water purchasing, etc, etc, etc, with what seems like hundreds of deeply engaging characters and their stories. It is one of those complex books that weaves together many storylines and you could easily get lost as it jumps between them, but each subplot and character is so engaging that it draws you in anyways, and jogs your memory of who is who. The descriptions are so colourful. I loved this book so much I could hardly put it down to do my homework. Five thumbs up!