Walking Home From Work…

Walking home from work this morning, I felt like I was on the set of a 1930s style movie set.  I know the scenery isn’t from the 30s, but it was the feeling.  I’ve seen Singing in the Rain numerous times, and this morning brought it to mind.

The streets were empty – it was 4:45 am on a Saturday after all.  There was a light rain falling – not enough to make me get a ride home, and I only live 300 steps away from the motel room where I’m staying.  Early birds were chirping, unseen, in the bushes and trees.  I kept expecting either a man in a suit to start singing or a masked axe weilding psycho to show up. 🙂

Yeah, I know, I’m weird.  I’ve seen a wide variety of movies in my 48 years of life, and some of them tend to mix in my imagination. What can I say – it’s a gift. 🙂

I’ll leave you with that little bit of weirdness and get on with the rest of what I need to do before bed.

See you on the flipside and don’t forger your towel and your sonic screwdriver!!

As Promised – Kafka Mini Reviews

Just finished reading the last short story in the collection, and I am ready to write the mini reviews I promised you ages ago. 🙂

The last story I reviewed was The Stoker so I begin this with In The Penal Colony.

This short story, In The Penal Colony, was written in 1914 and published in 1919.  It is described as a parable.  I agree with this.  It’s describes a torture device that is actually put to use.  The description of that scene is pretty graphic and if you don’t like blood, you won’t want to read it.  It’s not scary, not by a long shot, just puts too much emphasis(in my opinion) on the bloody nature of the device.  It’s also one of his longer stories.

A Country Doctor is next.  It was written in 1916 and published in 1919.  This story must have been one of his “dream logic” stories because it was quite confusing.  Either that or the doctor, while freezing to death waiting for a horse to take him on a house call, loses his mind; said mind going on one last house call that made very little sense.  Read it if you like, but I saw nothing to recommend it except Kafka’s emotive writing.  His use of words to convey surrealism on the verge of horror is fantastic.

An Old Leaf was published in 1919 with no mention of what year it was written – most likely 1916 along with A Country Doctor.  Not sure what this story was trying to say but at least it wasn’t that long.

A Hunger Artist, written in 1921 and published in 1924.  This short story is about an actual hunger artist who can’t seem to come to terms with how society viewed his idea of “art”.  People used to flock around people who were actual hunger artists but only because of the morbidity and oddity of these “performers”.  I found it interesting from a historic perspective.  I wouldn’t have considered these performances as being art.

Josephine, the Singer, or The Mouse People was also written in 1921 and published in 1924.  It’s a longer story, but it also deals with an artist who can’t come to grips with the way her society actually views her “art”.  I found this story to be boring.  I won’t lie since that would be a disservice to you, the readers of this review.  Read it for yourselves as you may get more out of it than I did.

The last story in the collection is actually part of a larger novel.  Before the Law, written in 1914 and published in 1919, is part of his completed novel The Trial which was published posthumously in 1925.  Before the Law is very short and doesn’t make any sense at all to me.  It might to you.  Personally, I think I’d rather read The Trial as context might help it make sense to me.

And thus ends my mini reviews of the remaining short stories of Franz Kafka.  As always,  I urge you readers to read this body of work for yourselves because only then can you truly know how you feel about them – know completely what you have brought away from reading them.  I am no expert on anything and thus, you have no need to take my word for anything in regards to this body of work or any other.  Don’t take my word, or anyone else’s for that matter – find out for yourself!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Riggs – Hollow City

“The second novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children” – as written  on the cover of the novel.  Written by Ransom Riggs and published by Quirk Books.  Copyright 2014 .  The copy I have is a paperback of trade size and 396 pages of story followed by Acknowledgements(I don’t read those usually) and a section called A Conversation with Ransom Riggs.  The book is rounded out by an excerpt from the third novel in the series.

The first novel of this series was made into a movie, and it was almost as peculiar as the book. I’d like to see this one also made into a movie, but I haven’t seen anything to suggest it will.  A great many people don’t enjoy the peculiar.  It makes them uncomfortable.  I don’t mind as long as the peculiarity is done correctly and not used to simply make a joke.  Those types of jokes are horrible to me – my first thought was obscene but upon reflection, I think that word is a bit harsh.

The book itself was wonderful, well written and quite moving at times.  The author portrays the reality of war while throwing in the oddness of the children as a way of throwing you off the harshness of the reality.  Children do die, people and animals do die in this book but not for nothing.  The story moves on, motivates our cast of children, and we go on with them.

This is not a happy story though there are parts that are relatively sweet and lovely.  Some scenes touch on the idyllic.  Still, this is not a happy story nor is it meant to be.  It’s a story of a group of special people trying to survive while another group of people attempt to either imprison them or destroy them.  This is a story of survival and at times, it gets a bit grim.  Still, it has its merits, and I think it’s a very good read.

I would suggest reading it, especially if you have seen the movie or read the first book – or both.  It has a nice twist in it as well as some new peculiar children you didn’t meet in the first novel.  I’m looking forward to reading the third book – our young hero, Jacob, is becoming quite an interesting fellow.

Well my friends, I’ll see you on the flipside and don’t forget to bring your towel and sonic screwdriver – things might get a bit….peculiar.

Wristcutters: A Love Story(2007)

Before I begin, let me just say that this movie review in no way advocates suicide, or self murder as it used to be called and should still be imho.  If you are feeling suicidal, please, get help!!  I know how hard it is to reach out and ask for the help you need, I tried to murder myself three times; the last time would’ve killed me if I hadn’t been found in time.  It was then, in a hospital bed with an IV in my arm and tears running down my face from all the pain, inside and out, that I finally asked for help.  I don’t want you to even get that close.  Talk to someone, anyone!

If need be, call the Suicide Hotline:1-800-273-8255

You are not alone, I promise.

Now, to the review:

I was sitting here, bored to tears, and I hopped on Hulu just to see what movie might catch my eye.  I scrolled through a bunch before I saw the grouping called Cult Classics.  It looked interesting so, I started looking for movies I knew.  I ended up seeing this really odd movie title: Wristcutters: A Love Story.  Wait, this was a Cult Classic??  Why hadn’t I heard of it before if it was good enough to be called that?  Surely, one of my friends has seen it before.  I’m going to ask Joshua today; he seems to be up on all the odd and rarely seen movies.

So, this movie is a dark comedy like Pulp Fiction or Juno – fair warning.  It’s also pretty weird – just like Pulp Fiction.  It stars Patrick Fugit as Zia, our erstwhile hero.  He is known for his roles in Gone Girl and Almost Famous.  I haven’t seen either one.  There is Shannyn Sossamon as Mikal, our leading lady.  She is known for her roles in Wayward Pines and A Knight’s Tale. I’ve watched bits of the first and all of the second.  Then, to round out our trio of leading actors/actresses is Shea Whigham as Eugene.  He is known for his roles in Take Shelter and Non-Stop. I’ve not seen either one of those before.

The movie is produced by No Matters Pictures, Crispy Films and Adam Sherman Inc.  The soundtrack mostly features songs performed by Gogol Bordello(never heard of them) including the song the actors sing or listen to so much it became annoying: Roof n Underground.  The rest of the songs were fairly weird too if you paid attention to them.

Now, the movie begins with our young lad, Zia, offing himself (their words, not mine).  His only reaction as he lay on the bathroom floor bleeding out is not that he was dieing, it was that he’d left dust bunnies behind the bathroom door after meticulously cleaning his efficiency apartment.  Cue the weirdness.

Zia narrates some of the movie by the way.  He ends up in a city just like the one he left, living a life just like he’d led before – only they’re worse.  Not one person every smiles, not because they’re happy anyway.  Not one person is happy.  This place is like limbo for all the people who have committed suicide.

Zia meets Eugene in a dive bar, and after sharing how they killed themselves – Eugene’s death is NOT something anyone should do – they become friends.  They go on a journey looking for Zia’s  ex girlfriend, Desiree, when he finds out she also committed suicide.  He had been in a relationship with her before he killed himself.

Anyway, they’re go off looking for Desiree in the countryside because Zia is sure she’s not in the city they were in.  Along the way, they pick up Mikal who is hitchhiking.  She tells them she’s not a suicide and she’s looking for the People In Charge(PIC) because she’d been sent there by mistake.  She didn’t off herself, she OD’ed.  Cue more weirdness .

Along the way to finding both Desiree and the People In Charge,  Zia finds himself in love with Mikal – she reminds him of the nice things of life that he was now missing.

I won’t ruin the movie for you.  It’s not all doom and gloom.  It’s more like watching a train wreck and not being able to pull your eyes away from the horror and mayhem you believe you’re about to see.  Relax, it’s not all that bad.

I’d rate this movie a 3 out of 5 simply because the only thing I really liked about it was the acting.  This is definitely a character driven movie.  Enjoy, or not.  Drop me a line either way if you do watch it and want to share your feelings about it.

Time to fly so see you all on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!