Tuesday, April 22, 2014

On a Night Train

I mean, literally. Leaving on a night train to Halifax tomorrow with the lovely Josie, for a 72 hours flash trip. In case you were wondering what it all meant, that not posting thing since yesterday, that's it. Two years of labour and stress have earned me a one week vacation I've already spent the half of visiting family, so the other half belongs entirely to me and the significant other.

I know there is a (very) small core of readers who really care about this blog, so I apologize for the prolonged radio silence. I should resume my reviewing duties with a pile of interesting new books and movies to discuss on April 28th. In the meantime, I've got some books to read, stories to write and rest to take and it's not going to take itself.

See you then.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Book Review : Richard Stark - The Mourner (1963)

Order THE MOURNER here

(also reviewed)
Order THE HUNTER here
Order THE OUTFIT here

Reading a book series is like being in a long term relationship where each novel accounts for one year. There is a honeymoon phase in the beginning, where both parties involved think about nothing but to jump each others bones at the first occasion. Then, there is a period of disillusion where you get to understand the others' character better and learn to deal with their flaws. But where to go from there, to avoid falling in a stale and lifeless relationship? Richard Stark's THE MOURNER was published right after THE OUTFIT, a novel that contained little surprise, but closed the first Parker storyline in satisfying fashion. THE MOURNER is trying new things, going in a completely different direction while staying true to its trademark protagonist, like a passionate lover trying to find the second life of his couple. That reckless creativity made THE MOURNER my favourite Parker novel so far, after THE HUNTER.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Movie Review : Shame (2011)

College is where the wheels of education come off and the things you learn really start shaping you as a human being. It's also where you are the most vulnerable to your professors' tastes. I remember the first time I was subjected to a Tsai Ming-Liang movie, it was like watching reruns of an 80's daytime soap I didn't know, in a language I didn't understand. I understood what he was trying to do, show the reality of his characters without any sugar coating whatsoever, but his execution was contemplative to a point of being painful. Steve McQueen's SHAME shares a lot with Tsai Ming-Liang filmmaking philosophy, yet a strong screenplay, fascinating themes and a sense of purpose supercharge this movie and turn it into a clever and magnetic piece of cinema.