Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Random Recommendations

Well yes, I must admit I've been in a bit of a slump lately. I blame my sudden influx of hours at my second job, my aching feet and tiredness--but mostly I blame laziness. Anywho for today's non-review post I thought I'd give you all a few lovely recommendations. I don't know about you, but I sometimes find that when I do reviews and I recommend something, those recommendations get lost down the road AKA no one paid attention and you're still the only one raving about a film that you think is the best thing since dinosaur chicken nuggets. Maybe a person mindlessly added them to their already staggering Netflix queue and forgot about it, or maybe someone just plain didn't feel like seeing it. It's OK, I know we all have a seemingly endless list of movies to be watched and reviewed but I'm letting you know that since I'm usually right about these things, (just ask Dod March) you really ought to check out these things STAT!

Ever since my foray into blogging began in the summer, reading has taken a serious back seat in my life. And no I'm not getting less intelligent because I still do a NY Times crossword puzzle every night before bed... ahem anyways...yes the reveal button may be used occasionally but never mind, never mind. But lately when my friends ask me to recommend a book to them I always want to suggest a certain 2. The problem is the second I mention the words "kind of fantasy-ish and cannibalism" my normal friends get turned off immediately. So that's where my weird horror friends come in.

The first is a book called Stranger Things Happen by Kelly Link, a local author from North Hampton that I heard about while in college (thanks to Andre the teacher). This book is filled with some of the most incredible short stories I have ever read, the kind of writing that makes you want to put your favorite sentence into your facebook status- but thankfully you stop yourself before anything that embarrassing can happen. I will re-read a large portion of these stories just to get to those lines that are so amazing and so bone chilling in the most marvelous of ways. Nothing is really horror themed, but there are still these moments where you just shiver- and that to me is some powerful writing. In the first story, the narrator imagines he has been in a coffin the whole time and that if he listens close enough he can hear the dead people next to him scratching on the outside. Something about that has always stuck with me and I will never forget how powerful it is. Other great stories with these same bone chilling results are The Specialist's Hat, Louise's Ghost and The Girl Detective. So please give this book a read and talk about how much you love it.

My senior year creative writing class had us pick 2 books from a list of several well known authors- and a lesser known one- the professor's wife's. Of course, being the natural pessimist I am I figured he was only recommending it to us because she was his wife- ignore the fact that she too was a professor and was quite well known both in Western Massachusetts and in *gasp* Hollywood. Anyways I gave the book my attention and can't tell you how much I enjoyed it. Possibly even more than I enjoyed all the rest of the books (by people like Virginia Woolf and Gabriel Garcia Marquez). A Carnivore's Inquiry by Sabina Murray is part history lesson, part murder mystery and part awesome. It's not so gruesome as it is fascinating, a true study in the importance of forming a unity between reader and main character. How important that bond is, even when one discovers something awful, and how our loyalty still remains. Read it and you won't be disappointed I promise.


I try to recommend this to anyone who is looking for a good old fashioned disturbing movie where children are involved. It happens more than you would think, believe me. Baby Blues is about a mother suffering from postpartum depression, a subject often taboo in today's society. Well try making a movie about postpartum, where the mother's depression goes a little further than the typical Brooke Shields. Read my review for more info and watch it! It's startling, original and just down right terrifying. Also a must see for anyone that greatly enjoyed The Children.
While not a downright horror movie, I'm Not Scared is just insanely beautiful. I've never been more emotionally moved and disturbed by something in all my life. When you hear me talk about how I love things that are "terribly beautiful" this may be the ultimate poster child. The music, the scenery, the subject matter, and the cinematography are incredible. The last scene, and the very last image, made me cry for no inexplicable reason, other than the fact that it was so beautiful and awful at the same time. I challenge you to find a movie more moving and more under the radar than this.

TV Shows

If you have never seen an episode of Breaking Bad I'm going to smack you in the face and suggest that you fix that immediately. If you're looking for a new TV show to be addicted to then Breaking Bad is your man. Bryan Cranston has won two Emmy's for his portrayal of Walter White, chemistry teacher, cancer patient, turned crystal meth maker. All for the sake of getting money for his struggling family. I'm not lying when I say that each and every single episode could be considered a short film of brilliance. The things that happen in each hour...well I can't even explain to you how crazy they are. Plus it just may be the most well done TV I've seen in a long time. It's a show that I would never see myself getting into, yet after watching the first episode I was hooked right away. The 3rd season just began this past Sunday so I suggest you do some serious catching up pronto. I may have to buy the DVD's so I can force Emmy Doomas to watch them.


Anonymous said...

I love 'Breaking Bad'. I was thrilled that they were doing a marathon the other day, so that I could get all caught up before the new season, but was less than thrilled when I realized that the marathon just consisted of seeming random episodes from the first two seasons ("Season 1, Episode 3" followed by "Season 2, Episode 6", etc.) so I ended up having to skip it. Looks like I'm going to have to do some Netflixing so I can get caught up before Season 4.


Andre Dumas said...

Yikes I had no idea there was such a marathon on! Funnily enough after writing this post, I promptly bought the first season on half.com for 18 bucks! Beats the hell out of AMC 35 dollars. I can hardly wait!

Armando H. said...

Breaking Bad is a must see tv show, I fucking love that show to death.

Chris H said...

Stranger Things Happen is sitting on my shelf at home thanks to my girlfriend. Maybe I'll pick it up and read during an upcoming weekend.

I'm Not Scared is great! What a gorgeous and off-putting film. I actually just got the book at Brookline Booksmith and am looking forward to reading it.

I want to watch Baby Blues so bad! It had been on netflix instant for a while.

Unknown said...

I can go on record as saying that you, Andre, have given me some of the best recommendations ever. All those French extreme films? Golden! So you better believe I'll be considering everything in this article.

People of Earth, believe me when I say: Andre knows what she's talking about!

I'm Not Scared...if we'd watched that one together, we'd both be tearing up. Beautiful last scene that STILL gets me.