Ok, so not to jinx anything, but I think healthiness might be returning to my household now. Nobody move! I don’t want this house of cards to fall.
So many consumables! Lightning round, ready? GO
Beautiful Thing, by Sonia Faleiro
Nonfiction by a journalist, Faleiro, who befriends Leela, a smart nineteen year old who dances in a bar in a rundown section of Mumbai. In Leela’s world of small-time gangsters, unscrupulous business owners, drunken customers, sex workers and fellow bar dancers, Leela holds a certain status as a top bar dancer after running away from her home of poverty and abuse at the age of 14. The author does a good job of showing the ways that Leela finds some agency within a life of vicitimization. I’m going to tell you right now, the back stories and childhoods of Leela and her coworkers will make you sad and sick right to the bottom of your stomach.
So Much Pretty, by Cara Hoffman
Two young women go missing from a rural community in upstate New York, and the crimes go unsolved as the residents and police assume that a drifter must have done it. Stacey, a journalist who has moved there from the city, tries to uncover the truth, which proves to be a difficult task since she is deemed an outsider by the entire community. Meanwhile, Alice is a 15-year-old genius who is being raised by her idealistic parents who have escaped city life in search of a better way to live. Much more than a crime novel, this is a commentary on insulated rural life, the acceptance of violence against women, and the capacity for people to deny the truth in order to protect the status quo.
The Sigh, by Marjane Satrapi
I wonder how hard it is when someone has so much well-deserved acclaim for something that they created to go on to create other stuff. Hell if I would know anything about that. Fans of Persepolis who are looking for something similar might not be happy with this one. This is a short fairytale style story of a girl who meets a spirit called The Sigh, and what transpires from this meeting. Totally old-fashioned yarn.
The Mighty Miss Malone, by Christopher Paul Curtis
Great middle grade book about Deza and her family, who live in Gary, Indiana during the Great Depression, and their subsequent migration north to Flint, Michigan (holla!). I loved how this story was true to the historical time yet didn’t feel dated somehow, and how Deza’s family goes through so much while remaining loving and committed to each other, yet do not escape their cirumstances unscathed. Good stuff.
Movies and teevees!
En El Cama
Chilean arty film where a couple has a one night stand. The whole thing takes place in their hotel room. There’s sexy business, and talking. Also sexy business. Then talking.
Wendy and Lucy
Michelle Williams plays a young transient woman who lives in her car with her dog. She’s right on the edge of being able to survive, and when one thing takes a turn for the worse in her life, everything unravels quickly.
Long Way Down
TV documentary series that chronicles Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman as they go on a motorcycle road trip that starts in the UK and ends in Capetown. Could Ewan McGregor be any more charming, I ask you? No. No he can’t.
Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Three stories about love and relationships, starring Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni being all gorgeous and stuff. I am sort of mesmerized by Loren, although her characters are totally unbearable to me in a way.
I’m sort of cheating since I only half-watched this one. It didn’t hold my attention so I did crosswords through most of it. It’s greek gods and stuff. You know how it went.
The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls
Did you know that there is a country duo called the Topp Twins consisting of lesbian twins who dress up and do old school comedy novelty songs along with political folk songs along with regular country songs (with yodeling), who have been wowing audiences in New Zealand for the past 30 years? I did not. Now I do. I want to hang out with these ladies.
I know I am late to the Louie party so I have nothing new to say on the subject. That Hot Chocolate song that he uses as the theme song is the ear-wormiest song EVER, though, is it not?
Documentary that tells the stories of various people in various non-Western countries (Egypt, Honduras, Pakistan, Vietnam, and Namibia) who are persecuted as they struggle to live their lives as gay women and men. I appreciated the overall picture that the movie paints, but I wanted more depth with each of the people interviewed. It seemed like such a broad swath of stories to try and tell.
Benedict Cumberbundy and Tim Canterbury are back to solve crimes in Season 2! As we sat watching this via Masterpiece Mystery, me working on a cross-stitch project, and Nordic Boy hacking up a lung and hobbling to the bathroom, he looked at me and said: “look at us and then mark your calendar: today is the day we officially became old people.”
Documentary about a family circus (an actual one, not the Bil Keane kind) that has been in operation since the 1800s in Mexico. The Ponce family drives their circus caravan all around the rural areas of the country, the entire family pitching in to put on the show, which has been passed down parent to child for generations.
Girl with a Dragon Tattoo (American version)
The brutality towards women made me want to throw up, it was seriously so hard to watch, and now that I did, I want to unsee it. I did think Lisbeth was a freaking badass which I appreciated, but still. I wish I hadn’t seen that.
That is it, people! Time to rock into the weekend!