i'm not on a train! i mean, as far as i know i'm not on a train. for all i know i could be an extraterrestrial's in-flight movie, in which case i had better not be an amazon studios project.* now more than ever, fuck those guys.

chouette (book). i wish i could remember where i first heard of this novel. knowing my interests, i probably just perked up when someone said it was the story of a woman who gave birth to an owl-baby? that both is and isn't literal; the narrator's daughter is and is not an owl (i think some review said she seemed most like an eastern screech-owl, but i read a lot about owls and could be remembering that from something else). the maternal urges and feelings she describes are frequently repulsive to me, and once i realized that and started sitting with my discomfort and thinking about how i tend to other [the verb] people who are really into their children, well. claire oshetsky's dust flap bio notes that chouette "draws on her own experiences of motherhood," and i know that she has a child, but it's, ah, safe to say this isn't autofiction. from here, it's a novel about what it is like to be the birthing parent of an uncommon child, and what it is like to disagree fundamentally and strenuously with one's coparent about how to approach an uncommon child, and reading it made me a more compassionate person. i've read a lot of strange books about mothers this year; i prefer this one to rachel yoder's nightbitch, which i also liked, and claire vaye watkins's i love you but i've chosen darkness, which was wild when it fictionalized watkins's experience as the daughter of an especially notorious member of the manson family and also weirdly annoying in its treatment of polyamorous people? i don't feel the need to sit with my annoyance in the same way i recognized and was ashamed of the way i think about parents; i support polyamorous people and wish them all the ease and happiness in the world, i just find the procedures of their love lives boring. i find the procedures of just about everyone's love lives boring! also "joyfriend" is the silliest word in town. chouette is worth reading.

the harbinger (film). i learned of the brooklyn horror film festival's existence just as it started this year and wish i could have seen more, but oh, am i thrilled i got to see this; it's a dream-logic tragedy about the pandemic in new york (and everywhere, really, but especially about new york; it was shot here in 2021, and it got the atmosphere of being here in 2020 just right with all kinds of little touches that were agonizing and therapeutic at the same time?) and mental illness is one of the best things i saw this year. i don't want to say too much about it, but i will say that it was a great relief to see several of the actors and writer/director andy mitton at the q&a afterward, for secret reasons.

katjes (plant-based gummi candy). the day i realized my childhood german friends didn't actually know what they were talking about when they contended that haribo goldbären were made with vegetarian gelatin (not a thing) wasn't one of the worst days of my life, but it wasn't a good one. katjes doesn't use palm oil, either! i spent a lot of time in grocery store candy aisles, for science, when we were in berlin this fall, and am here to say that their rainbow gummies are, like, several orders of magnitude better than veg-friendly haribo. (aside: haribo doesn't use palm oil, and almost all sugar used in the UK is vegan.) anyway, katjes seems to have scored some big stateside distribution deals, and their stuff turns up at duane reade and walgreens every now and again (and at economy candy). exciting and dangerous!

*i enjoyed sea of tranquility's handling of the simulation hypothesis, though i didn't enjoy it quite enough to include it in this CONSUMED, apparently. i really enjoyed how a slate writer interviewed emily st. john mandel last week per her twitter request so that she could say that she is not married, have it credibly reported, and then update her time-capsule wikipedia page accordingly. as it happens, earlier this year *i* helped someone update their wikipedia page because they needed information related to the dissolution of their marriage corrected! they have not written any science fiction, as far as i know.


Anonymous said...

_M_D_F_ said...

"The procedures"! :)

p.s. What do you think of Sofia Coppola? Recently rewatched Lost in Translation and then saw On the Rocks and found both highly enjoyable. Thought I disliked Somewhere, but maybe need to circle back... People hate Marie Antoinette?

p.p.s. Why does so much software still not recognize "rewatch" as a word?

lauren said...

MDF, people wax poetic about the social intricacies of ethical nonmonogamy and it's that tunnel scene in THE FUGITIVE where harrison ford's all I DID NOT KILL MY WIFE! and tommy lee jones is like I DON'T CARE!

i suspect i would rewatch LOST IN TRANSLATION and still think it's pretty great. i still haven't seen MARIE ANTOINETTE, which is weird, as i have wanted that not to be the case for a long time! i really, really hated BLING RING, but i think that might be my emma watson allergy flaring.

what did you think of THE WHALE?! i've been dying to talk to you about it, especially given how intense reactions have been; i do not recall a lot of this criticism back when we both saw the play, but that was several generations ago for body positivity and fat pride. what did you think of brendan fraser vs...well, we saw shuler hensley as charlie, but maybe you saw matthew arkin?

Anonymous said...

_M_D_F_ said...

Tom Alan Robbins was my Charlie—really wonderful*. Haven't seen the movie yet! Can it possibly be as enjoyable as a theatrical take? We loved The Whale before that nincompoop Aronofsky! I'll see it soon, but worried the deluxe treatment will undercut what made it—defects and all—so lovable.

* https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5701Zhte3-w