Monday, December 10, 2007

A Book, A CD, and A Movie

... except that it's been awhile so I'm hooking you up with 2 of each; but they're pairs. First the CD's...
we're going to head over to the motherland to get two funky jazzy soul type joints coming from Ethiopia and the Congo. Mulu Astatke presents his entry in the Ethiopiques CD series. It sounds like a cantina band coming from under a purple tent in the middle of the desert. Kind of like the Star Wars cantina band but funkier.
Hugh Masekela represents the Congo to the fullest on the aptly titled, "Hugh Masekela presents". Afrobeaty, reggaey, souly, goody.
Keeping with the overseas vibe, our book selections come from two ladies- one from Canada the other from the England. I don't mean to get all Hemingway American man-only aggro, but let's just say I've been a bit soured from Maya Angelou type dames and their coterie of menstrating multi-colored weeping indian buffalo birds. But these chicks really knocked it out of the park. In the Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood brings together 3 different stories- science fiction, noir, and a Sophia from Golden Girls old lady. Seemingly without regard for plot cohesion, the story also starts from the end. It all comes together and the reader has the choice to be judgmental or unassuming of the choices the old bird makes. Either way we get some insightful observations from Atwood.
Zadie Smith, in I believe her debut novel, describes 3 families from different countries at different times and how they all came to be friends. It's actually refreshing how self-absorbed the characters are that they don't pick up on the racial discrimination they get thrown at them. A great ending that abruptly stops in the right place.
...and the movies which on first glance don't seem to have anything to do with each other: a western and Broadway musical, and really don't have anything to do with each other, but are good movies I saw two days in a row: The Producers and 3:10 to Yuma.
3:10 to Yuma builds tension the whole movie. Good character development, the characters are multi-faceted. The ending was a little too unrealistic with morality being flipped around quickly. Maybe it and No Country for Old Men, a stylish Western, but with an ending maybe too realistic (no actual story) should have split the difference.
The Producers is a big-time show movie. Made by Mel Brooks who's going to be really big someday, I tell 'ya. It's got all his signature I just read a book on how-to make a comedy predictable jokes delivered through clenched teeth. He even works in some only-for the Jews jokes with actors looking slightly off camera as if to see who in the film crew got the joke. Big time show business. I think my grandma would like this movie.



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