Monday, November 23, 2009

On this bright Austin afternoon, I have endless deadlines and overwhelming work. The right thing to do would to be to get to them. But frankly, I would rather not. Instead, I give you my two critical engagements of the week.

Such a beautiful movie. Cinematographically and in terms of narrative, one of the gentlest films I have seen in recent times. This despite the harsh, barren Armenian landscape it chronicles. Prose will only take away; go see it.

Jhumpa Lahiri's work is so interesting despite being fairly unilinear in tone, mood and intent. At the heart of it is an almost unshakeable commitment to structure (reminds me faintly of Murakami). Her characters are so intent on being complicated. And yet, they are so quiet. Not quiet in an eerie, suburban America, "Im going to slash somebody" way, but just quiet within the norms of daily life. Even their passion is quiet. It feels like Lahiri is always going to figure things out for them, which is why I am rarely excited by their turmoil. If anything, they all make me faintly depressed. The depression is soothing however. A certain kind of reassuring melancholia.

Read/ See/ Feel anything interesting lately?