Tuesday, October 31, 2006

October 2006 Books and Movies

Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs and Classical Music
Blair Tindall

A really interesting mix of personal memoir and facts about the evolution of American classical music making and it's patrons over the past 30 years. Writen by Blair Tindall, an freelance oboist, it contains some shocking revalations about the industry. She definitely damaged her career early on by sleeping with most of her contemporaries. If you love classical music and like a good racy story read this! The statistics are a little dry at times, but they don't make up too much of the book.

The First Assistant: A Continuing Tale from Behind the Hollywood Curtain
Clare Naylor and Mimi Hare

The follow up to The Second Assistant was just as fun. The main character can be a tad annoying, but overall, I enjoyed it. All the major plotlines were resolved from the first book and there were a couple of surprises as well.

The Journals of Knud Rasmussen

Beautiful and poetic film about the Inuit just before Christian infiltration. Shot mainly in Iniktitut with some English and Danish it is sometimes hard to follow, but very magical. The nomadic shaman and his family seem out of this world and the cinematography is stunning. It has so many layers it will take many viewings to catch all the subtlties. Interestingly, the film is set in 1922, but you would never know it as the scene has a timeless quality, a circle complete.

Mine are Spectacular!
Lynn Schnurnberger and Janice Kaplan

This book was really fun. The characters are in their 40s, but the plotlines are still accessible. Of course, the NYC setting adds to the fun. Apparently there's a smash hit out there called The Botox Diaries by the same authors that preceeds this one. I've noticed a trend in double authors in a lot of the books I've read in this genre. I wonder why that is?

Three Black Skirts: All you need to survive
Anna Johnson

It took me a while to read this book. It falls into the self help category and covers a lot of things, from relationships, to physical and mental health, to decorating or your inner spirit. There's a lot of good advice in here, although towards the end the author gets a bit preachy. It's definitely worth a read if you feel that some or all aspects of your life have hit the rails.

The Second Assistant: A Tale from the Bottom of the Hollywood Ladder
Clare Naylor and Mimi Hare

This was really great. I'm so glad there is a sequel and I am able to read it right away. Hilarious day to day story of being an assistant to a Hollywood agent. There is a lot of name dropping as well as thinly veiled references to bad tempered, or nutty celebrities. The herione is plucky, in a klutzy, always doing the wrong thing kind of way, and the novel is quite fast paced. A great beach/subway read.

The Queen

Really interesting. About Queen Elizabeth II the week following Diana's sudden death in 1997. The actors playing the different famous roles (the Queen, Prince Charles, the Queen Mum, Tony Blair etc) were not camp and really did a wonderful job. I've always really liked Helen Mirren as well, and she was phenomenal as the Queen. The film used live footage of the U.K.'s outpouring of grief as well as numerous television and newspaper clippings of the real Diana. I still remember where I was (partying before the start of 4th year at McMaster) when the news broke. The film is a tad slow paced, but has some great moments.

No comments: