Thursday, March 31, 2011

Kids Books & French Gangster Films

Last night I read Lea the story "The Giant and the Mite" from The Little Bookroom. The other two characters besides the giant and the mite are the Angel in the Sky and the Angel Below the Earth. These two angels aren't pitted against each other in the same-as-it-ever-was good vs. evil trope. Instead, they work together to keep everything that exists between them, i.e. the earth and all its goings-on, on an even keel. It was the first time I'veever run across that idea, and I think it's a keeper.

In other reading-to-the-kids-news, we finished The Horse and His Boy and, as I said I would, I poked around to see if they had picked up on the racism. And the answer is...no. I'm all baffled and shit.

Anyways, now we're reading The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers. It is an enormous, 700-page, insane novel. I'm in a constant state of hysterics while I read, and the girls are always saying, "Calm down, Mom."

Bluebear's first life takes place shortly after he's born and, for reasons unknown, floating naked and alone in a walnut shell. He is rescued from the maelstrom by Minipirates. Bluebear explains:
"Minipirates, as their name implies, were pretty small...The little creatures sailed the seas in tiny ships, ever on the lookout for something small enough to capture. This happened very seldom—never, in fact. Truth to tell, the Minipirates had never managed to capture a single prize, not even a rowing boat, in the whole history of navigation. Sometimes, usually in desperation, they attacked bigger ships...but their efforts passed unnoticed as a rule. The tiny buccaneers hurled their grappling hooks at the big vessels and were towed along until they gave up."
Minipirates: I want one. I need one.

In addition to lots of reading with the girls (I think I'm cramming in as much as possible because I'm afraid that very soon my 11-year-olds will want nothing to do with me and my novels about blue bears and their various lives), I've been mildly obsessed with the stories of French criminals as told via French films. I started with Mesrine: Killer Instinct, which stars the ubiquitous Vincent Cassel in a kinda campy turn as the real-life nutball gangster and France's "Public Enemy #1," Jacques Mesrine:


I don't know if it truly lives up to its billing as "The French Scarface," but I'll watch Part 2 anyways.

And a few weeks ago we watched A Prophet, which I cannot recommend highly enough. Just watch it, learn enough about the Corsican mafia to make you believe that you could totally take them on, and then join my club that I just made up. It's called The I Will Watch Any Film That Stars Tahar Rahim Club:


In unrelated news: allergy season. Boo.

1 comment:

Carl 2.0 said...

Interesting that both previews use very similar fonts and graphic design.