1. Michel Gondry
2. Gael Garcia Bernal
3. Oops, already more than two. Well, combine the first two together and you’ve got “The Science of Sleep” which is even crazier than Michel Gondry’s best-known film, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” For one thing, this one happens in three languages, English, French, and Spanish. Bernal, my future husband (he may not be aware of this) is a cute, unshaven kid returning from Mexico to Paris after the death of his father. He moves into the apartment his mother owns and promptly begins an obsessive-creative-dramatic-sweet-maybe-friendship-maybe-more relationship with the girl across the hall. She makes animals out of felt. He designs a calendar called “Disasterology.” They’re perfect for each other, two adorable oddballs, but he can’t always distinguish between his dreams and reality – and after a while, in this film, neither can we….
4. (which is really 3). English books – have I mentioned how nice it is to be back in the land of affordable reading material and plenty of it? Right now I’m fascinated by New York City history, so I picked up The Big Oyster, by Mark Kurlansky, a history of NY through the oyster, for which our fair shores used to be famous. It’s really well-written and I find myself fascinated by the stars of the book, the bivalves. Also, did you know that not that long ago, enormous midden piles of oyster shells left by the Lenni Lenape still existed in places in Brooklyn and Manhattan?
Before that, I read The Map that Changed the World, by Simon Winchester. It’s an interesting story about the man who created the world’s first geological map. Unfortunately, like many of Winchester’s topics, it seems a bit thin for a whole book, so I found sections a little slow or repetitive. Fortunately, Winchester makes up for this by including myriad fascinating footnotes. You can just imagine his editor saying, “Simon, this is really cool but you’re totally off-topic,” and the guy begging to be allowed to keep it in a footnote. Anyway, the book makes you realize how many things we totally take for granted now that were not known or accepted just two hundred years ago – and how important geology was for future scientists, including Darwin.
And before that, I read the Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster. I liked this best of anything I’ve read by Auster, I guess because I came to feel fondly about the characters. I should say something more articulate but honestly, it was just a good, solid novel set in a neighborhood that I kind of know.
I’ll finish The Big Oyster this week – any suggestions? I’m open to anything, great novels or interesting non-fiction.
Oh, and if you have Gael Garcia Bernal’s number… well, I’m here. 😉