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The Ballad of Narayama film posterOn Wednesday I made my first bento in almost two months… I had a movie date in Amsterdam with my friend Loes. We went to a special viewing of the classic 1983 Palm d’Or winner The Ballad of Narayama (Narayama bushikô), a film by Shohei Imamura. Last week was the Dutch première -yes, after 30 years!- and there are only a handful of screenings.

The film tells the story of Orin, a 69 year old woman in a rural hamlet of late-1900s Japan. It’s tradition, or rather law, that inhabitants reaching the age of 70 go to the top of the mountain (Narayama) to commit obasute: death by starvation, to limit the amount of mouths to feed. The eldest son is supposed to carry his mother on his back to her resting place. But Orin is still very strong and healthy…

The Ballad of Narayama is an unusual movie: at the same time pretty much “in your face” as well as burlesque — the latter possibly to soften the hardships of life that are shown. But it’s also something I’ve come across before in Japanese cinema. Isn’t the sometimes caricatural play not reminiscent of kyōgen theatre and kabuki? Anyway, I enjoyed myself regardless of the slow pace. The many images of nature are gorgeous and it’s interesting to witness how life in a poor Japanese country village may have been in another age. I was touched by the way Orin’s son was torn between his unwillingness to let his mom go, and not wanting to shame her by refusing to go along. His difficult journey into the mountains felt like a period of mourning and Orin’s first-born carrying her to her death mirrored the process of her giving birth to him. The cycle of life.

Title roll Ballad of NarayamaThe title of the film refers to a song about Orin’s life stage made up by her grandson in the beginning of the story (wintertime), recurring several times until The End, on the threshold of another winter.

Contemplating this I seem to have a theme going in my life at the moment. My current book is Wild by Cheryl Strayed, relating of her experiences hiking the Pacific Trail Crest (PCT) in her early twenties, a few years after her mother died. I’m totally absorbed in the story and can’t wait to read on.

But first it’s time to get back to the subject of this post. I was travelling to the cinema at dinner time so I’d eaten a hearty lunch earlier that day and made myself a simple dinner bento to have on the train.

Ballad of Narayama Bento (06-03-2013)

From top to bottom

  • Aubergine caviar with corn kernels, Italian crackers and walnut spread.
  • Lemon macadamia cupcake with lemon frosting (recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World), more crackers, dried apricot and baby fig.
  • Cucumber salad with mini plum tomatoes, olives, radishes, chives, a cheezy dressing (recipe from Bryanna Clarke) and hemp seeds sprinkled over.

It was GOOOOD! I hope to have more bentos and nights like this. :)

Submitted to What’s for Lunch Wednesday #145 and Beth Fish’s Weekend Cooking.

Autumn Bento (#119)

On Tuesday I took this wholesome fall bento to work (#119).

Autumn Bento (#119), 26-10-2010

Top tier
Eggplant-lentil salad on Romaine leaf, apple slices and sesame dressing for dip. Flower made of farmer’s cheese.

Lower tier
Celery stalk salad with walnuts & cheese on a bed of curly red leaf lettuce, garden cress, endive roll filled with couscous, goat’s cheese, pesto genovese and pine-nuts – and another ‘cheesy’ decoration.

About 8 ww propoints. All ingredients are organic except for the nuts & oil I used, most of the veggies are local too (cress homegrown).

If you’ve seen my menu plan for the week, you’ll notice this lunch consists of several leftovers: aubergine-lentil salad, Japanese sesame dressing and an endive roll. I had also kept a little aside of yesterday’s lunch: the celery salad. So you see? Making a bento doesn’t have to be time-consuming! Just think ahead and use what you’ve already made.

The kimono box containing this lunch is one of my favourite bentos. But one thing bugged me: it’s smaller than other boxes and I didn’t have a bag that fitted. Yes, past tense — because now I do :) And I made it myself! Cute, isn’t it?

Bento #119 snug in its new bag

Faithful readers might remember my previous bento post was about #116, the award-winning Tsukimono Bento. So what happened? Am I lousy at counting, or keeping track? (Computer says…) Nooo, I’m just way behind on (b)logging. And I bet you won’t mind if I just put numbers 117 and 118 up here too?!

Noriless Noriben (#118)

It will not come as a surprise to you that whenever I’m watching Japanese films, I’m on the lookout for bentos. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the marvelous lunches in Megane, a film about a stressed woman taking a holiday on a very relaxing Japanese island.

And when I checked the Camera Japan festival schedule this month, I almost passed out when my eye fell on a movie called Noriben – the Recipe of Fortune (Nonchan Noriben)… A whole feature film about bento!

Komaki has a seemingly impossible task ahead. She has just separated from her husband, moved back to her parents’ house and she wants to rebuild a meaningful life. For a 31 year-old mother, this is easier said than done. She has to deal with the expectations of her mother, an ex-husband who hunts her down and her lack of education. There seems to be one opportunity that can save her: Japanense bento, or lunchboxes. Follow Komaki through this struggle and let her teach you how to make a perfectly balanced lunch from rice and leftovers, looking like the Italian national flag!

You can view a trailer of Nonchan Noriben at the official website.

This typical (?) Japanese comedy was fun to watch. It inspired me, but unfortunately I didn’t really get any new ideas out of it. The few animations of bento composition went way too quick for me! LOL. Thankfully Maki, the Big Onigiri, takes us through them step-by-step on JustBento.

Of course I couldn’t go to a movie like this without bringing a bento of my own! Especially since we were meeting up with MaaikeB & family, who’d probably expect me to ;) Here’s my four o’clock bento for five.

Noriless Noriben (#118), 16-10-2010

Round bento box

  • usagi ringo (apple bunnies)
  • mini cream cheeses: herbs, walnut & pepper
  • fresh walnuts
  • curly red leaf lettuce

Oblong bento (from top to bottom)

  • green tea mochi, baby figgs & cranberries
  • kisir (Turkish bulghur salad; a favourite) with cilantro & caper on a bed of lettuce
  • tzatziki & cucumber

On the side

  • Japanese ‘WANT’ rice crackers (up front)
  • SkyFlakes toast & spring onion rice cracker toast

When you click on the picture you’ll jump to Flickr where you can view bento#118 together with Maaike’s GORGEOUS bento box filled with her DELICIOUS home-made carrot cake. *craves*

The five of us had a great day out, also watching a documentary about foreigners (Western people) in Tokyo, They Call Us Aliens, and wrapping it up with a Japanese teppanyaki dinner.

Amelisweerd Hike Bento (#117)

The last bento I want to share came along on a walk in Amelisweerd woods at the end of September. I hadn’t gone on a hike for a long time — let alone solo — so it felt really good to finally do so again. And of course I had to treat myself to a nice, simple bento :)

Amelisweerd Hike Bento (#117), 29-09-2010

Top tier

  • salad of lettuce, tomato, fresh basil and crumbled feta cheese.

Lower tier

  • ‘apple of my eye’
  • dried apricots
  • pesto dressing for salad
  • sweet ‘n spicy nuts

On the side (in the SnackTaxi bag)

  • ‘orange sammies'; sandwiches with orange coloured spreads: organic cheese with pumpkin & pumpkin seeds and Tartex veggie spread.

Submitting this post to Midnight Maniac’s Meatless Mondays {no.4} & Shannon’s What’s for Lunch Wednesday (week 22).

Meatless Monday button Bento Lunch

Dancing Concessions Monday Movie Meme logo
For today’s Monday Movie Meme The Bumbles asked us to name our favourite prison films. Listing Shawshank Redemption is not allowed! LOL

* Following links is at your own risk — beware of spoilers in plot descriptions! *

Still from Shutter Island One of the first films I thought of is Martin Scorsese’s recent feature Shutter Island. Sort of an oldfashioned B-movie that is real fun to watch! With ‘future hero‘ Leonardo DiCaprio playing an US Marshall called in to solve the mysterious disappearance of a psychic resident out of Shutter Island prison — yes, which is of course set on an isle :) Bringing to mind that other famous escape from a prison island: Escape from Alcatraz, with Mr Clint Eastwood. I was 9 at the time and don’t remember much, so I can’t put it in my top-3 ;) Hey, I was 3 years old when Papillon came out, so I dare not even mention that classic! LOL
Still from A Prophet Another movie I saw this year was the impressive Un Prophète (A Prophet) which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film. I would not dare use the word ‘fun’ in this case, because it was quite a depressing experience. If you’re one of those optimists thinking goal will help criminals to get back on the right track, you need to go see this picture and wake up.

Sandy from You’ve GOTTA read this! threw in American History X and I’ve been thinking about whether to add it to my list too. I love that picture and believe everybody should go see it; it’s SO good. (Who doesn’t love Edward Norton anyway? And why doesn’t he play in more movies? *mope* ;) Still, I don’t really remember it as a prison film, so I’m excluding it with a heavy heart ;)

Birdy (still from the movie) If I was allowed to recommend only 1, my absolute favourite film would be the cult classic Birdy by Alan Parker (music by Peter Gabriel). Matthew Modine and Nicholas Cage — God, they’re young! — prove to be high class actors in this mesmerizing movie. Yes, I know we all have doubts about Cage sometimes, but think back to his part in Birdy and you can rest assured ;)

Now of course I’m cheating a little because Birdy is not really locked up in jail but in a mental hospital… Still, he’s in detention and when I think back to it, it really feels like prison. As it did to Birdy!

Under Lock and Key ~ Peter Gabriel (2:25)

Did I miss anything YOU would put in your top list of prison movies?

Did you know that the daughter of Leo Tolstoy was the mother of John Lennon??

At least today she was ;) Mr Gnoe took me to two biopics in a row: The Last Station, with Helen Mirren as the wife of the famous author Tolsoy, and Nowhere Boy, about the young years of Beatle boy John Lennon.

In these movies Anne-Marie Duff plays the role of both Tolstoy’s daughter and Lennon’s biological mother Julia. We never even noticed… So she did a really good job :)

In real life she’s married to James McAvoy btw, also playing in The Last Station (as Tolstoy’s secretary Valentin Bulgakov).

Mirren is grand as Sofya Tolstoy. The film moved me to tears, even though I don’t know, nor care a lot about Russian writers & Tolstoyanism. Shame on me ;) It’s really worth seeing; getting 4 out of 5 stars from me!

Nowhere Boy was fun, but not really special: only 3 stars. It does a good job in throwing his holiness Lennon of his pedestal ;) And a tricky thing: we heard Colin Firth in the trailer, but he’s nowhere to be found in Nowhere Boy… The real Nowhere Man? ;)

BTT logoThis week’s Booking Through Thursday is about Olympic reading.

You may have noticed–the Winter Olympics are going on. Is that affecting your reading time? Have you read any Olympics-themed books? What do you think about the Olympics in general? Here’s your chance to discuss!

The Winter Olympics do not interest me AT ALL. I’m actually waiting for them to end so that my usual (radio) programs will be back on. Alas, there’s not much to gain since I do not spend much time in front of the telly at ‘normal’ times, so I do not read more these days either.

BUT. The question triggered me to write about a recent Olympic movie I saw this month on the International Film Festival Rotterdam: Atletu. It’s a biopic (directed by Davey Frankel and – leading actor – Rasselas Lakew) of the first African to receive Olympic gold, the Ethiopian Abebe Bikila, who won the 1960 summer marathon in Rome. It was a great boost of confidence for the people of Ethiopia and the African continent. The amazing thing was that he ran the 42+ kilometers on bare feet! Not because he wasn’t used to shoes (that’s a typical western thought ;) but because the pair sponsor Adidas provided didn’t really fit. So he preferred to discard them.

Abebe Bikila barefoot running Olympic marathon in Rome, 1960

Abebe won again in the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, even though he had had an operation for acute appendicitis just a few weeks before. Not only did he establish a new world record, he was also the fist athlete to win the Olympic marathon twice!
A car accident prevented him from winning a third time… But even as a paraplegic he continued to have an interesting sports life.

The life of Abebe Bikila is quite remarkable, so I wonder why there hasn’t been made a film about him before. And what a pity that Atletu isn’t as good a movie as it could be. I found it a bit boring at times: too much recounting of facts, too many flashbacks for my taste. His accident was tragic of course, although from the movie I got the idea he wouldn’t have wanted you to pity him — and that at the same time that he was quite bitter about it. That clashes with one of his famous quotes:

Men of success meet with tragedy. It was the will of God that I won the Olympics, and it was the will of God that I met with my accident. I accepted those victories as I accept this tragedy. I have to accept both circumstances as facts of life and live happily.

Scene from the film Atletu (Ethiopia, 2009)

Of course it is always fascinating to see documentary footage in a feature film. But there’s the risk of competing with the newly shot material. A nice touch was to have the adult Abebe travel to the place of his youth, so that we got to see the beautiful landscapes of the area where he had trained to become a long distance runner (great shots). And yes, Rasselas Lakew played Bikila very well. Really, this could have been an amazing film. Unfortunately it just doesn’t have ‘it‘. Still, it was one of the favourites of the festival audience. So never mind me ;)

A fun fact for film buffs: the well-received movie Marathon Man honours Abebe Bikila with a scene in which Thomas ‘Babe’ Levy (Dustin Hoffman) escapes his torturers, barefoot outrunning a car.

Ha. I couldn’t seem to get myself to write a post about our visit to the IFFR. Now (at least) I’m down 1 of 5 movie ‘reviews’! I plan to finish the rest before my ‘Day at the Oscars’ on March 6th… It might not be a marathon, but it certainly seems an endurance race to me!

You would think that during these cold days we’d like to watch some sunny movies… But not The Bumbles. This week’s Monday Movie Meme is all about winter!

Of course everybody thinks of the fun Coen Brothers film Fargo first. Me too. But two other movies sprung to mind even before that!

Image from Cold Fever Cold Fever, by the Icelandic director Fridrik Thor Fridrikson. I absolutely loved this movie about a successful Japanese businessman whose plan for a 2-week winter holiday in Hawaii (to play golf) changes when his grandfather reminds him that he should go to Iceland for the 7 year anniversary of his parents’ death.
Image from Wintersleepers Winterschläfer (Wintersleepers) by the German director Tom Tykwer. A movie about an unfortunate accident in an Alpine resort that had me contemplate the concept of ‘guilt’ for a long time after…

Both these films are gems to look back on in my personal movie history and I’d love to see them again. Ha! The dvd of Cold Fever should arrive any day now!

Image from Frozen River But there’s also a more recent movie I would like to mention: last year’s Oscar nominated film Frozen River, by Courtney Hunt. It’s a story about two working-class women who smuggle illegal immigrants in the trunk of a car from Canada to the United States in order to make ends meet. A hard life that seemed quite realistic to me — what would I do?

I get a warm feeling thinking about these great movies. Let’s cuddle up with a cup of hot chocolate, right now! ;)

It’s really weird: looking back on 2009 I seem to have only seen movies from the past decade… (2000-2009). Not consciously though!

Usually I’m quite conscientious in keeping track of what I’ve seen, but this time I noticed some titles were missing… I hope I recovered them all by thinking hard about it! That’s why I’m late posting my list ;)

I’ve chosen two pictures as best movies of 2009; a feature film and a ‘documation’, or ‘animentary’.

Starting with the motion picture: my favourite film of 2009 was Andrea Arnold’s Fish Tank. Man, it was GOOD. We had a lot to talk about afterwards, but unfortunately I didn’t write it down so I forgot most of it :\ I guess I’m getting old! LOL

Fish Tank is a movie about Mia, a difficult adolescent in a working class environment. She’s got a pretty tough life, but she’s tough herself and strives to get the future she wants. It is not always an easy movie to watch (shouting and strong language being the least of it). But it is so much less depressing than a Ken Loach movie, the master of Social Realism! I found the story realistic, but hopeful and energizing. Inexperienced leading actress Katie Jarvis really is amazing as the angry teenager. It is said she was plucked off the street by director Arnold while she was having an argument with her boyfriend, LOL.

Really, if you get the chance: GO SEE FISH TANK! Meanwhile, I’m very much looking forward to Andrea Arnold’s adaptation of Wuthering Heights

But I said I have two favs for 2009. If you would put a gun to my head and force me to choose just one, I think it would be the other: Waltz With Bashir. I wrote a review on Graasland, in Dutch. It’s an animated documentary, hence my labels documation and animentary — I haven’t decided yet on the best term. What would you call it?

Waltz with Bashir depicts its Israeli director Ari Folman in search of his lost memories from the 1982 Lebanon War. All interviews were filmed in the ordinary way, and animated afterwards. That gives the images a certain atmosphere. Now that I’ve told you that, look for example at the house and garden of Ari’s friend in Holland. Thanks to the method used, the interviewees are relatively anonymous. But you do hear their actual voices.

I was really impressed by Waltz with Bashir. The story is interesting and humane. I didn’t know much about the Lebanon war and I usually don’t watch animation — so I didn’t expect to like it much. What a surprise that it turned out to be so good! I actually believe I understand a little better what it means to be (and have been) young in Israel and its surrounding countries. But not only that: the strong imagery of the film also makes it just very attractive to look at. And the soundtrack is great too! As I wrote in my Hello Japan! post about Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, it is one of my two most popular music discoveries of 2009 as well :)

Waltz with Bashir is the first animated film ever to have been nominated for an Academy Award in the category Best Foreign Language Film.

Now, before I close with my complete list of all 35 films and 13 tv-series I watched in 2009: what is your favourite movie of 2009???

Movies watched in 2009

Mourning Forest ( Mogari no Mori ) Naomi Kawase ( 2007 )
Slumdog Millionaire Danny Boyle ( 2008 )
The Wrestler Darren Aronofsky ( 2008 )
Changeling Clint Eastwood ( 2008 )
Waltz with Bashir ( Vals Im Bashir ) Ari Folman ( 2008 )
Frost / Nixon Ron Howard ( 2008 )
Contractpensions, Djangan Loepah! Hetty Naaijkens-Retel Helmich ( 2008 )
Man on Wire James Marsh ( 2008 )
The Reader Stephen Daldry ( 2008 )
Tokyo Sonata Kiyoshi Kurosawa ( 2008 )
Brideshead Revisited Julian Jarrold ( 2008 )
Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk Greg MacGillivray ( 2008 )
Milk Gus van Sant ( 2008 )
Chérie Stephen Frears ( 2009 )
Adaptation. Spike Jonze ( 2002 )
Departures ( Okuribito ) Yôjirô Takita ( 2008 )
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure Sean MacLeod Phillips ( 2007 )
La tourneuse de pages Denis Dercourt ( 2006 )
Megane Naoko Ogigami ( 2007 )
Dark Water ( Honogurai mizu no soko kara ) Hideo Nakata ( 2002 )
30 Days of Night David Slade ( 2007 )
Boy A John Crowley ( 2007 )
Frozen River Courtney Hunt ( 2008 )
Fish Tank Andrea Arnold ( 2009 )
Grizzly Man Werner Herzog ( 2005 )
The Number 23 Joel Schumacher ( 2007 )
Revolutionary Road Sam Mendes ( 2008 )
Incendiary Sharon Maguire ( 2008 )
Surveillance Jennifer Chambers Lynch ( 2008 )
Bug William Friedkin ( 2006 )
Survivor Marjolein Duermeijer ( 2009 )
Inglourious Basterds Quentin Tarantino ( 2009 )
Snatch Guy Ritchie ( 2000 )
La Siciliana Ribelle Marco Amenta ( 2009 )
Flags of Our Fathers Clint Eastwood ( 2006 )

Television series

It’s impossible to say which one I liked best. In 2009 I saw Six Feet Under, Dexter and Ashes to Ashes, all series to die for!

The Last Enemy
Criminal Justice
6 Feet Under
(all series)
Spooks (several series)
Burn Notice
Ashes to Ashes II
Tess
Sense & Sensibility
X-Files
Dexter I
Dexter II

24 day 7
Sopranos (several series)

Note: television series are NOT included in the diagrams.

I always enjoy reading Sandy’s Monday Movie Memes on You’ve GOTTA read this! Last week I came close to joining in the fun (on a Sports topic, no less :-o) and today I really couldn’t resist. We’re talking MONSTER MOVIES! Or is it movie monsters? ;)

Well, meet some of my memorable favourites. Monsters, I mean.

The Plant in The Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
Cute sapling turns into a man-eating monster demanding to be fed. Hold on to your critters and loved ones!

Louis de Pointe du Lac & vampire Lestat in Interview with the Vampire (1994)
One evil spirit to feel sorry for and another to avoid no matter what. The first time I noticed Brad Pitt is actually good at acting ;) And Tom Cruise only needed to dye his hair to look crrrrrreepy ;)

King Kong in King Kong (1933, 1976, 2005)
Gotta love ‘m, don’t you? Just one big scared animal. Not scary. Okay, he made a bit of a mess, but don’t we all sometimes?

Edward Scissorhands in Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Could Johnny Depp ever look frightening? Noooooooooo. Beware of those claws though!

Gollum in The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)
Okay, he doesn’t really count — I only saw a short piece of one of the movies of The Fellowship of the Ring. But I saw HIM and I loved Gollum in Tolkien’s book trilogy — he is uncanny and oh so sad.

De Plaaggeest (The Bully) in Bassie & Adriaan (1978)
As a child I was really scared of a prankster looking like a joker in a well-known television series about a clown and an acrobat, Bassie & Adriaan. And I mean HORRIFIED. It was just an obviously dressed up guy but hey, I couldn’t sleep!

The Monday Movie Meme is hosted by The Bumbles.

Hello Japan! is swinging into 2010. January’s topic is ‘Music to my ears’. I found it really hard to decide what musical subject to concentrate on, so I am presenting a 5 part series of ‘Music Lessons’ on Fridays. Welcome to #2! And enjoy your weekend :)

After last week’s New Year’s post I’d like to stay just a little longer within the Holiday theme and talk about the extremely melancholic song Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, composed by Ryuichi Sakamoto. Here’s the short version, called Father Christmas.

Quite a contrast to the ‘happy’ popgroup Pizzicato Five that I presented you with on January 1st, eh?

Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence is the theme song from the 1983 cult movie Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence, for which the great musician Ryuichi Sakomoto composed the complete score. Nagisa Oshima’s film might be best known for its starring actor, pop star David Bowie playing a Japanese prisoner of war on Java in World War II. Ryuichi Sakamoto is Bowie’s opponent as a young camp commandant.

I was hugely impressed when I saw Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence as a teenager. It’s a dramatic history of the Second World War, parts of which still get denied in Japan today. It is amazingly well performed and directed (as far as I can remember). A very powerful movie that should be compulsory for anyone interested in history and Japan. There, I’ve said it.

Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence album coverOf course that my father lived in Japanese internment in Indonesia as a child might have a lot to do with it. His aversion of all things Japanese never left him and I don’t think he would have appreciated my current interest in this country and its culture if he had been alive today.

But I’m getting sidetracked. The vocal version of Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence has lyrics by David Sylvian and is called Forbidden Colours. This song has helped spread the movie’s fame as well. And as I’m sitting in the confessional already, I might as well tell you Forbidden Colours was one of the tracks on the goodbye tape of my first boyfriend when he left for the US… Need I say more?

The title of the song is derived from Yukio Mishima’s novel Forbidden Colors. Both film and book explore homosexual themes, but that’s the end of their relation; the movie was based on some memoirs by Laurens van der Post.

Because of his soundtracks (and his influence in developing the technopop style in Japan), kyoju Ryuichi Sakamoto is internationally probably the best known Japanese musician.

For those of you who don’t know yet: I’m a real fan of movie soundtracks. I guess it’s because film music is supposed to be evocative and plays at people’s emotions. I’m a sucker for that ;) Of course it might help that I LOVE movies too!

Both favs of newly discovered music in 2009 were film scores: Nick Cave’s soundtrack of — the best movie of 2008 — The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, and Max Richter’s music for one of two best movies of 2009, Waltz with Bashir. Both pretty melancholic as well — and that tells you something more about me, doesn’t it? ;)

Book Bloggers Holiday Swap buttonHow exciting, I’m going to be a secret Santa! I’ve dropped my name in Santa’s bag for the Book Bloggers Holiday Swap. Want to join as well? Be quick: subscription ends November 12th!

Good thing the holiday swap perked me up because my attempt at the Bookcrossing Spooky Booky 24 hour readathon was an absolute #FAIL. I knew I was on a tight schedule last week, but I had hoped to at least beat last month’s result of 15 hours and 8 minutes. Well… I didn’t even come close! [starts whispering] I scrambled together a meagre total of 7 hours, 10 minutes :-o

So the ‘spooky’ book I’m reading is still the same as last Sunday: In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. It’s pretty grim! It shows the real thing to fear are our fellow humans; not those Halloween ghosts, vampires or zombies. Capote absolutely has me by the throat!

A more relaxing bookish event that took place at my home yesterday was that some Boekgrrls came over to watch Revolutionary Road, the movie adaptation of Richard Yates’ novel. The overall opinion? Director Sam Mendes did a great job (even though the book is still way better). I’m just not sure whether I would have liked the film as much had I not read the book beforehand.

April & Frank Wheeler

Another minor detail: I kept seeing Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet instead of Frank and April Wheeler… But still, I’m glad to have seen it: I enjoyed it much, much more than, in example, the adaptations of Atonement and Enduring Love (other books I really like). Although ‘enjoy’ might not be the right word for a story like Revolutionary Road…

Well, I’ve only got another 100 pages left of In Cold Blood, so coming week I hope to start in The Old Capital, by Yasunari Kawabata for my Japanese Literature Book Group. I’m embarrassed to say I had never heard of this Nobel Prize winner before, but since I know we’re going to read his book I have heard other novelists mention him as an example for their own writings. So, I’ll talk to you next week in The Sunday Salon!

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

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