Monday, January 29, 2007

A book and two movies

I love finding a "thumping good read" by accident while wandering in the library stacks (or the bookstore). That's how I found The Murdered House. The book was originally published in 1984 in France. I'd never heard of either the book or the author Pierre Magnan, who has written a number of books. The story was mesmerizing in part due to the unraveling of the mystery of an old murder committed in 1896, to which we do not find the solution till the very end. In part due to the description of the landscape and weather. The novel takes place in 1914 after the war. The author is a master at using landscape and weather to create tension and forward thrust. I finished it in two days and regretted coming to the last page.

My guy and I saw Pan's Labyrinth recently, a marvelous movie, at times brutal, at times full of fantasy and myth. The setting is Spain when Franco was in power, the brutality stemming from Franco's soldiers. The mythic segments counterpoint the "reality" of war well. We are taken into the myths via the character of a little girl who loves to read. Two interesting parallel stories, well blended. As a friend pointed out, the movie is worth seeing for the mandrake root alone!

I then saw Notes on a Scandal with Judi Dench and Cate Blanchett. Well filmed and well acted. The story a bit on the surface, IE: we don't explore why a teacher would have an affair with a 15 year old student. But intriguing never-the-less. I was totally gripped by the movie from beginning to end. It is narrated by the Judi Dench character who writes about her life in her journal, sometimes in terms she wouldn't use in actual encounters. This reminds me of my own journals in which I say all manner of outrageous things. It is just one aspect of my person and not necessarily the truth or a lie, just rantings and so forth. In Judi's case, it gets her in trouble.

Well, guess I had a fun weekend!!!!!

1 comment:

Mary said...

We just saw "Notes on a Scandal" too. What a great film and what a great showcase for two very fine actresses.