Holiday viewing/reading so far

So, Mr. Tremblay, what have you done with your first half of xmas vacation? Besides just about finish your collab novel (more on that later)?

I’ve sat on my butt quite a bit, actually!

Movies:

the new: Black Swan:

Finally, a horror movie about ballet! Very good, not quite great. Natalie Portman is certainly great in what becomes dual roles that mirror the story of Swan Lake. I would’ve liked more story-within-a-story, actually. I would’ve liked less cheap jump scares and more of the lingering camera on the gruesome bits. Not that I enjoy gruesome bits, but it was the scratches, the clipping and breaking of nails and what was going on in the story at those times that was the most effective (horror-wise).

the old: Quatermass and the Pit

An old Hammer flick, and the third movie featuring professor know-it-all Quatermass. The Brits are digging/expanding their subway system, find misshapen skulls, and eventually an unexploded bomb (from WWII)…oh wait, it’s a space ship that’s 5 million years old. This movie freaked me out as a kid, and despite the laughable effects, I thought the story held up quite well. Seeing it now, I’m convinced that John Carpenter had seen this film. Bits of the alien autopsy scene are in The Thing. And you can see bits of The Prince of Darkness in there too. And Lifeforce (not Carpenter, but an 80s space vampire movie with lots of naked people and the dude who played Charlie Manson in Helter Skelter. Love that guy).

Books:

Who Was Changed and Who Was Dead, by Barbara Comyns

Loved this book. The Dorothy Project re-issued this 1950s British novel about a rural town that gets flooded and then overrun by a strange illness that drives its victims stark raving mad before they die. Weirdness and family dysfunction abounds in this amazingly well-written whimsical penny dreadful.

Husker Du: The Story of the Noise-Pop Pioneers Who Launched Modern Rock, by Andrew Earles

I’m a big Husker Du/Bob Mould fan, so  yeah, I couldn’t wait to read this book. I was mostly satisfied. One major disgruntlement for me was that of the three band members, Bob Mould was the only one who declined to participate in interviews. That sucks for Earles, but man, to me, that’s kind of a gaping hole, given how much ink Grant Hart gets. And that’s the husker du story in a nutshell, sort of. Are you for Mould or Hart?  Seems to me the story was most certainly slanted toward Hart’s POV.

The detailed discography and history of indie labels is amazingly well done. Earles’s ranting against music journalism is not. But hey, I’m happy he got the book published. More of you kids out there need to read and know about Husker Du.

 

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