Monday, October 4, 2010

Let The Right One In

This movie was recommend to me by a person who is a bit of a horror and genre movie guru. I saw it on his recommendation and was a bit disappointed. It was so good but it just missed something for me. I read the book last week and found everything in it that was missing in the movie. I found answers and back story.

I always find it interesting in book to movie interpretations that sometimes they get it so right eg Virgin Suicides and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. And then like with this one they miss by a hairs breath. Or when they change the book to make a good movie eg Children of Men, and I can see why they changed that one where they did, and both of them still come out great.

Or how big Stephen King books often lose something in the translation from book to movie but his novellas make sublime films.

I think the success of a book to movie conversion comes when the people involved love the source material. If love is used and change is made to make it a good movie the changes made compliment the original.

If you can get hold of Let The Right One In it is a great read. I hate the new vegetarian Vampires that are been spewed out at the moment. So if you like your Vampires old school this is for you.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Last Resort or what was ment to be a review on that book but turned into a ramble through my ideas of Africa based on books and movies.

My obsession with Africa started with the movie Out of Africa.

I saw it at the old Dawn Theater at Chermside.

With its marble stairs and the old milk bar. We sat in the vinyl seats with the brass stud tacks in them. The seats where all so old that they had a permanent sag in the seat.
I was always happier in those chairs then in the canvas ones at the front of the cinema. As a small child I could not reach the floor and I could never sit right in them.

I saw Out of Africa there when I was 8 years old. Since then I have dreamed of my own farm in Africa. But sometimes I have thought that it goes deeper then that. And have decided that if the scientist are right and we all come from Africa, then something in me has always yearned for our collective home. Why else would I pine for a place I have never been?

I remember that I felt encompassed by the vastness of the scenes in the film and over joyed at the vistas I saw about me. The flying scenes in that film are still some of my favourite film moments. I was still 8 years from my first real flight at that time, but in my mind that was the first time I flew.

Much of the movie went over my young head at that time. All I really understood was that She (Tania or Karen or Isak Dinesen or Baroness Karen Von Blixen-Finecke) lost her farm, lost the beautiful Berkeley Cole and then the dashing Denys Finch Hatton.

Showing my early good taste I was madly in love with Berkeley Cole and not Denys. I was not surprised to find out later that DFH was a bounding cad and asked Tania and Beryl Markham on the flight that he died in. Neither went and so we have a rich font of information about European women in Africa at that time. He had Tania on one side of the mountain and Beryl on the other side.

After the movie Out of Africa it was The Gods Must be Crazy (Don't pretend that you haven't seen it!)

Everything and anything on the slave trade, Barbary Pirates Doctor Livingstone, Arabic Africa, the Boer Wars Breaker Morant Nelson Mandela and and and, you get the idea and yes I was "that" kid.

Don't get my started on Jane Goodyear and Born Free.

So by a long and winding path I get to The Last Resort by Douglas Rogers

In truth it was the beautiful frog on the front cover that first caught my eye. So a frog got me in, the blurb tickled me and the book delighted me. Considering it is about surviving in modern Zimbabwe delighted seems a rather flippant word.

But truly the people in this book are delightful. If you, like me, love people who do the forks to those that oppress them, you will like this book. If you love people who can live with grace, style, bravado or just plain old fashioned cussedness in times of trouble you will like this book.

I now follow Douglas Rogers on Facebook, to keep up to date with what is happening to his family and friends in Zimbabwe. And one day when I do get home to Africa I hope to spend sometime at The Last Resort with his wonderful Mum and Dad.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A place I go

A place in cyberspace where I go when I am blue.
I go just to see the beauty.
And because it always puts a smile on my face.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


This is a tiny book that had a big impact on me. My very dear friend in England Catherin gave me a copy one day and said you have to read this. I did and I loved it.

It is not a big book, but it has big ideas. It is really just a wisp of a thing, but like a wisp of smoke, or a wisp of light it can change how you see an event or how your day goes. Despite it's big ideas it is as gentle on the readers hart as a of a wisp of smoke.

A young boy, during a time of change in his life comes across a secret and a new friend. And that is all you really need to know. Read with an open mind and open your hart to Skellig.

Different Types of Legend

When I saw the movie I am Legend I really liked it. I love movies and books about the last person on earth or the last of a kind or the end of the world. It all seems so fantastical that it is like a dark fairy tale to me.

So finally I got around to reading the book and if you want a happy ending do not read this book. It is a great ending but it is not an ending you will like if you go in for the happy Hollywood ending.

This Richard Matheson book was published in 1954. When you read it you will be impressed with his idea of the future. It is set in the 1970s and it has the whole Cold War feel that the 70s had. SiFi writers are clever buggers. I am never not amazed with what they write and how so much of it comes true. Well elements of it come true.

I think that the movie was a good interpretation of the original work, despite the happy ending, I know the Will Smith character died, but the others got to safety. I am now looking forward to seeing Omega man as well to complete my
I am Legend journey.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Man loves his Hometown

Just finished The Given Day by Dennis Lehane

The man loves his home town. Every one of his books has an extra character, Boston. Every time I read one of his books or see a film version of his books, I want to see Boston, I want to walk the wet gray streets, and feel the pulse that is in all of his work, but then I wonder would I have had to live there my whole life to feel it as he does.

I love my home town, I would never live anywhere else, but can I feel and write it as he does? There are a handful of writers who can do this, let you in to the world they know, the streets they walk, the smell, the grit. I love his work.

I found the story engrossing as well, I am fascinated by history, race relations, the union movement and the red menace. All of this is covered in the book and a lot more. Family, family we are born into, and the family we create. I liked this book so much that I was having trouble finishing it. I was so worried that bad things would happen to the people in it that I at times could not keep reading because I could not face them been hurt!

And can this guy be more diverse? He jumps all over when it comes to subject matter, but he always jumps in Boston.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Layer Cake or more like an Onion cos it makes your eyes water.

Disgrace by J.M.Coetzee can be read in many ways. It could just be a book about an ageing man learning to let go of his youth, it can be about a whole Country falling apart, it can be about human bondage and it can be about race relations. While it can be any or all of those things the one that it definitely is, is well written.

I seem totally unable to write about this book. So all I will say is, it is beautifully written, it will reflect any number of scenarios back at you and will open your eyes to a world you want to think does not exist. It could be Australia, and if we don't look at ourselves and how we live with others here, it could be our future.

P.S I would like to know how my South African Friends feel about this book.