Tales from Outer Suburbia, by Shaun Tan
I just re-read this. Do you have those artists where you just look at their work and think GODDAMMIT YOU ARE SO GOOD. Like, it almost makes you a little bit sick they are so good? Shaun Tan is one of those for me.
A martial artist, a theif, a terrorist, and an ex-“reformed” gay man. I know the whole point of this was to explore the documentary subjects’ lives within the framework of the Euripidean “tragedy of the extremist.” I found the stories about extreme control totally engrossing. But I am going to be honest, I just couldn’t go with the puppetry interludes. Yes, there were puppetry interludes. It was all very arty I am sure. I just fast forwarded through those parts, because I am lowbrow.
So incredibly sad. I know it was supposed to be, ultimately, uplifting. But I was sad the whole time.
It Might Get Loud
There was a time in my life that I hung out with professional musicians, almost exclusive to everyone else. This film makes me think of my old friends and how they were obsessed with what they were doing. It made me miss them, but also totally not miss them, because they were sort of exhausting. It was really great to watch, but I was also glad when it was over and I could turn it off. But that’s just my baggage, y’all.
Out Stealing Horses, by Per Petterson
I know that the first thing anyone does when talking about art that comes out of Scandinavia that is sort of bleak is to compare it to Ingmar Bergman. It gets me that people see Bergman in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, for example. I think that it’s sort of a stretch, but then, what do I know, I’m the girl who doesn’t get the Euripides thing either. But that said, Out Stealing Horses did have a Bergman thing going on. Really. I know I just said not to do that, but I am doing it anyway. It’s Bergman meets Dick Proenneke. And how can you go wrong with that?
The Slap, by Christos Tsiolkas
Long-listed for the Booker Prize, this is one of those “where we are now” society books. A bunch of characters deal with family issues, the state of marriage, fidelity, parenting, feminism, masculinity, motherhood, multiculturalism, etc, etc, etc. The book held my interest and I found lots of food for thought in it. However, if this is where we are now? We’re royally fucked. Every character in here is batshit insane.
Song I rocked out to this week? Kim and Jessie by M83
Did I just say “food for thought”? Yikes.