Friday, August 20, 2010

Double Feature

Bong Joon-Ho’s latest film, Mother, begins with a lovely medium shot of the title character dancing a strange dance by herself in an empty field. Given what follows, I was grateful to him for allowing the character a reprieve right up front. The writer/director was also behind Memories of Murder and The Host, and all three films pull off a neat trick: the characters are a constant surprise but do not derail the story. See all three. They are among the best movies of the past decade.

I used to find the private lives and public misdeeds of artists fascinating. Then, I grew up. A lot of the writers, musicians and filmmakers whose work I admired were miserable jerks who ruined the lives of people around them. Who cares? I can still enjoy the work. The private lives and public misdeeds of people with genuine power, on the other hand, are far more pertinent to the quality of innumerable lives, and fairer game. To get to the point: Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer is fantastic, and if you stay away, the loss is yours.


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

McBain Successor Found!

No word yet on whether they'll only be available as e-books...

The author Richard Price (“Clockers,” “Lush Life”) has signed a deal with Henry Holt & Company for a new series of detective thrillers set in New York, according to the blog Galleycat at The first book in the series, as yet untitled, about a 40-year-old New York City police detective turned night-watch sergeant whose career was ruined after a controversial shooting, will be released in the fall of 2011 under Mr. Price’s pen name Jay Morris.