Friday, May 28, 2004

Magnificent Obsessions

In an unscheduled intermission from the regularly programmed meditations on films, writing, and writing on films, you’ll just have to tide yourselves over with this.

There’s a red triangle flashing neon in my mind, screaming “KEEP IN LOW GEAR”, but the beast is too hard to get a handle on, and is skidding out of control. I’ve got an inbox groaning under the weight of unanswered e-mails, film reviews pending, friends and family being neglected, the elusive next job still to be found, and a day job that I despise with a virulent intensity, especially as it keeps sapping my ability to do anything else meaningful. Thank fuck we have a 3-day weekend around the corner.

The only thing keeping me going in my snatched moments shuttling between obligations are books. There are a handful of books jostling for space amongst back issues of Empire and Time magazine in my ever-trusty bag, and they all aid in letting me hold onto the slender hair that is my lifeline between this existence and a full-on, Michael Douglas in Falling Down spaz-attack.

On the go at the moment, in no particular order:

Ed McBain’s Sadie When She Died. Slowly filling the gaps in my collection of 87th Precinct novels, and this one’s a corker. Words that crackle and pop across the page, sending you hurtling towards the end, when you just know that the trusty bulls of the 87 will prevail. Class.

Volume 7 of Tokyopop’s manga adaptation of one of my enduring fixations, Battle Royale. Eviscerations, big doe-eyes, high-tech weaponry, and the obligatory panty shots.

Ryan Gilbey’s It Don’t Worry Me. Admittedly, we don’t really need yet another book singing the praises of the 1970s American movie-brats (Lucas, Spielberg, Coppola, Scorsese et al), but this is a passionate and intensely personal look at a decade of great movies, and a nice counter-point to the scurrilous rumour-mongering of Peter Biskind’s Easy Riders, Raging Bulls.

Lee Server’s biography of the heavy-lidded hipster, Robert Mitchum, Baby, I Don’t Care. Wading through this one very slowly, but it’s worth it, covering his womanising, dope-smoking, ill-advised foray into music, and, of course, his movies.

Right, someone’s on the verge of cracking a whip again. I’m gone.

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