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VOTE HERE for February 2008

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message 1: by Kimley (new)

Kimley | 201 comments Mod
First off, happy new year everyone! I'm looking forward to continuing our group and having many fun and interesting discussions in 2008!

The two posts below contain the list of books/films to vote from for February's reading/screening.

I've linked all the book titles to their page here on Goodreads and all the film titles to their page on IMDB so you can get further information about anything you are unfamiliar with.

Everyone should list their top three choices in order of preference and I will award 3 points to your first choice, two points to your second choice and one point to your third choice.

I'll keep voting open until January 10 and will then tally the votes and let you all know the chosen selection for February.

message 2: by Kimley (new)

Kimley | 201 comments Mod
Part 1/2

Book (Author)/Film (Director)

Death in Venice (Thomas Mann)/Death in Venice (Luchino Visconti)
Diary of a Chambermaid (Octave Mirbeau)/Diary of a Chambermaid (Luis Bunuel)
Belle de Jour (Joseph Kessel)/Belle de Jour (Luis Bunuel)
Contempt (Alberto Moravia)/Contempt (Jean-Luc Godard)
Ripley's Game (Patricia Highsmith)/The American Friend (Wim Wenders)
The Marquise of O (Heinrich von Kleist)/The Marquise of O (Eric Rohmer)
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (Laurence Sterne)/Tristram Shandy (Michael Winterbottom)
Shoot the Piano Player (David Goodis)/Shoot the Piano Player (Francois Truffaut)
Rashomon (Ryunosuke Akutagawa)/Rashomon (Akira Kurasowa)
Cabal (Clive Barker)/Nightbreed (Clive Barker)
No Country for Old Men (Cormac McCarthy)/No Country for Old Men (Coen Brothers)
Persepolis/Persepolis (Vincent Paronnaud & Marjane Satrapi)
The Golden Compass (Philip Pullman)/The Golden Compass (Chris Weitz)
The Human Stain (Philip Roth)/The Human Stain (Robert Benton)
The Shining (Stephen King)/The Shining (Stanley Kubrick)
Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov)/Lolita (Stanley Kubrick)
The Sheltering Sky (Paul Bowles)/The Sheltering Sky (Bernardo Bertolucci)
Being There (Jerzy Kosinsky)/Being There (Hal Ashby)
Tess of the D'Urbervilles (Thomas Hardy)/Tess (Roman Polanski)
Viceroy of Ouidah (Bruce Chatwin)/Cobra Verde (Werner Herzog)
The Talented Mr. Ripley (Patricia Highsmith)/Purple Noon (Rene Clement) & The Talented Mr. Ripley (Anthony Minghella)
The Thin Man (Dashiell Hammett)/The Thin Man (W.S. Van Dyke)
The Maltese Falcon (Dashiell Hammett)/The Maltese Falcon (John Huston)
The Big Sleep (Raymond Chandler)/The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks)

message 4: by Alison (last edited Jan 02, 2008 07:52AM) (new)

Alison 1. Oscar and Lucinda
2. Macbeth
3. Lolita

I changed mine a bit.

I just realized you could click on the title above and get a description (duh!) Thanks, Kimley. That's awesome.

message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim | 45 comments 1.No Country for Old Men

message 6: by Robert (new)

Robert | 111 comments So hard to decide. As much as I love "Contempt", it seems a bit odd to do two Moravias in a row. And I'm tempted to jump in for "Berlin Alexanderplatz", since I've never read it, and last saw the film more than 20 years ago.
(It's reviewed in the current NYR )
I haven't seen or read "Atonement" or "Oscar and Lucinda", so they're both tempting... Maybe I should wait until a few more people have made their selections.
(Right now I'm leaning heavily towards old-school art-house: Truffaut, Rohmer, Kurosawa...)

message 7: by brian (new)

brian   marshall's got the right idea:

1. The Leopard
2. Woman in the Dunes
3. Tess of the D'urbervilles

message 8: by Michael (new)

Michael | 13 comments In honor of the new Rambo remake coming out, I vote for:


no country for old dudes

message 9: by Kimley (last edited Jan 04, 2008 09:22PM) (new)

Kimley | 201 comments Mod
Um, Michael, is "no country for old dudes" the name of the new Rambo flick? And more seriously are you choosing No Country for Old Men as your first choice? No second and third choice?

I would happily reread and rewatch The Leopard, Woman in the Dunes (creepy good!), Tess of the D'urbervilles (though we'll have to keep an eye on Marshall if we start discussing Natassja Kinski) and Lolita which I've read and watched several times.

Frankly, Tracy, I'm tempted to vote for Lolita because you really MUST read it! And now!

But I think I'll pick some things I haven't read and/or seen yet and that happen to be on my short list anyway...

1-Diary of a Chambermaid
2-Belle de Jour
3-Viceroy of Ouidah (Natassja Kinski's crazy dad Klaus is in this one)

And I was very tempted to choose Berlin Alexanderplatz. It seems that several of us want to read it but figure nobody else will vote for it. Hmmm, sounds dangerously like our real elections. Actually my main concern is being able to get it done in one month. What do you all think? And Brian, I already know you can read and watch the whole thing in two, three days tops. I'm just jealous is all I'm saying.

message 10: by Tosh (new)

Tosh | 68 comments 1) Contempt
2) Death In Venice
3) Lolita

I've read all three and seen the films millions of times. But I think that they will be interesting to comment on via this group. "Lolita" has so many things going for it - I love the film so much as well (Kubrick). I can't believe Brian hasn't seen or he refuses to see Lolita.

message 11: by Kimley (new)

Kimley | 201 comments Mod
Yeah, Marshall, if you don't like what we're reading next month, blame it on Berlin Alexanderplatz!

Nice picks Tosh. I would happily reread/rewatch all of those. Actually I'd happily read/watch everything that everyone has voted for. We have a damn fine list if I do say so myself.

Geez, I forgot about Brian's fear that watching Lolita may taint his love of the book. Brian, it's Kubrick in his golden era! And Nabokov wrote the screenplay. And James Mason is just so very very.

message 12: by Tosh (new)

Tosh | 68 comments The whole cast in Lolita is perfect! I just scanned (sort of read) an interesting article on Berlin Alexanderplatz in the new issue of New York Review of Books. The author of the article Ian Burma is a mega-fan of the film as well as the novel. But according to him the translation is impossible to do - due to the fact that the language (in German) of the book is very slang of that period. And I got the impression that he doesn't like the current translation. And I gather it's the language of the book that makes it such a classic for people like Burma and Fassbinder of course. I should bite my lip and just buy the DVD boxset. I mean... It even has an old film version of the novel as well as an extra.

message 13: by Kimley (new)

Kimley | 201 comments Mod
Yeah, there isn't a false note in Kubrick's Lolita. It's perfect!

As for Herzog and Krazy Klaus, I'm with you on this Manny. I've been slowly working my way through their films. I recently watched Aguirre which was just incredible, lush, creepy, crazy, insane, beautiful. The initial scene of them walking on those narrow jungle mountain paths is just stunning. A must see!

Marshall, Aguirre is not an adaptation. Herzog wrote it himself but I believe he said it is based very loosely on the journals of a missionary.

I've got Fitzcarraldo at home right now and will hopefully get to it this weekend. I don't know if it's an adaptation but I'll let you know when I find out. The great thing about the Herzog DVDs is that Herzog does commentary and the commentaries are just fantastic. He talks about all the crazy stuff that goes on and the insanity of Klaus. I can't wait to watch My Best Fiend but I'm waiting until I finish working my way through the films. Good good stuff!

message 14: by Jim (new)

Jim | 45 comments i recently saw Grizzly Man and I tell you I don't want to hear the final tape of the deaths of the man and his woman companion.
Saw Herzogs early movies and didn't get them totally but enjoyed them.
In any event, thanks to all of you for sharing your knowledge and experience concerning books and movies

My only concern is are you getting out enough among normal mortals like me and Allison?

In any event hope 08 is all you want and more, especially for those of you who deserve it and you know whether you do or not.

message 15: by Kimley (new)

Kimley | 201 comments Mod
Just a quick reminder to everyone that Thursday (1/10) is the last day to vote.

For those of you new to the group, everyone is welcome and encouraged to vote. Don't be shy :)

message 16: by Robert (new)

Robert | 111 comments Okay, time to bite the bullet and make a choice:

1) Woman in the Dunes
2) The Marquise of O
3) The Leopard

Disclosure: I've seen all three films, read two out of the three books, but they were all many years ago.

message 17: by Scoobs (new)

Scoobs | 5 comments hmmm...
I want to read Death in Venice but it doesnt have many votes.
One vote for Contempt fo sho.
I just watched Being There and must read the book, but yeah, just saw the movie, I'll do that one on my time i guess.
Berlin Alex... gets a vote. I love loooooong movies.
I don't think I can wait to watch Atonement, so I'll read that later on as well.
The Leopard and The Woman in the Dunes seem interesting and others are voting that way soo I guess my picks are:

1. Berlin Alexanderplantz
2. Contempt
3. The Woman in the Dunes

message 18: by Kimley (new)

Kimley | 201 comments Mod
Nice picks Scoobs! I especially enjoyed your psychological analysis of the voting process.

Everyone else, tomorrow is the last day to vote. C'mon, you know you want to!

message 19: by Kimley (new)

Kimley | 201 comments Mod
Robert, I forgot to ask - I'm curious which book you haven't read yet?

message 20: by Robert (new)

Robert | 111 comments I've never read "Woman in the Dunes", saw the film about 10 years ago. For reasons I can't quite justify or explain I had put up resistance to the film for many years and was very surprised by it...
I've read a good number of the books on the list, but many of them are titles that I am often on the verge of re-reading anyway..So when it comes down to making a vote, it's tough to choose between things that I should finally get around to reading and the ones that I already know deserve a second read...

message 21: by Melanie (new)

Melanie Edens | 1 comments 1. Atonement
2. The Sheltering Sky
3. No Country for Old men


message 22: by rinabeana (new)

rinabeana | 7 comments 1. No Country for Old Men
2. Dracula
3. The Maltese Falcon

message 23: by Kimley (new)

Kimley | 201 comments Mod
Robert, I read and then rented Woman in the Dunes about 5-6 years ago and was blown away by both equally. I think Tosh mentioned that Abe was involved in the making of the film.

And I know what you mean about being torn between reading new books or revisiting favorites. Plus, this site just makes it so much more fun to discuss books that I read long ago and didn't really chat with anyone about before.

Melanie and rinabeana, welcome to the group and thanks for voting! I just read No Country for Old Men recently and really enjoyed it. So now I still need to see the film which I'm looking forward to.

message 24: by rinabeana (new)

rinabeana | 7 comments Thanks, Kimley! I'm already in two book clubs, but I like the idea of this group and I shouldn't have any trouble reading another book a month. There are very few on the nominations list that I've read (I just finished Dracula and intend to watch the Coppola film, which is why I voted for them), and I love exposure to books I might not otherwise read. Hooray!

message 25: by Kimley (new)

Kimley | 201 comments Mod
Just a quick reminder that today (1/10) is the last day to vote. I'll announce February's selection tomorrow.

message 26: by Alyssa (new)

Alyssa | 5 comments I was so intrigued by all the selections for February that I just had to join. I know I'm cutting it close but hopefully I'm still in time.
My votes are:

1. Oscar and Lucinda
2. Tess of the D'Urbervilles
3. The Woman in the Dunes

message 27: by Kimley (new)

Kimley | 201 comments Mod
Welcome to the group Alyssa! And yes, you are most certainly in time.

For anyone else who still wants to vote, you still have the rest of the day so plenty of time left.

message 28: by Jim (new)

Jim | 45 comments I let Allison talk me into a group that is supposed to be reading Atonement.
I read 100 pages yesterday.
It's pretty and probably should be in the chick lit arena.
I am rescinding my vote for Atonement and am voting for Berlin Alexanderplatz in its place.

I hope that's ok but since I'm not aware of any rule against changing a vote before the deadline, I would hope it's permissable.

Have gotten more and more into Proust and the Squid about the science and history of reading.
Just finished part where Socrates was anti-alphabet because he couldn't carry on the Socratic method with a written word.
Unfortunately this book requires concentrated reading and it's hard to knock out 100 pages very fast. However it has about 100 pages of foot notes and isn't as long as it looks.

message 29: by brian (new)

brian   wait a minute, jim. wait a minute. Atonement is 'pretty' and should be in the 'chick lit' arena?

huh? i'll let those that will take offense to the chick lit category deal with that, but lemme say this:

McEwan is a badass. a serious badass. Atonement is a huge departure for this writer of the macabre, and there may be plenty of reason to criticize it (i loved it, but for a cogent reasoned criticism check out charles lambert's goodreads review), but c'mon... chick lit? really? how much chick lit has exploding heads and exposed brains and lives destroyed by the word 'cunt' and limbs flying as marching refugees are bombed out? no way. and pretty? mcewan's faux-jamesian prose might annoy some, but pretty? c'mon... don't dismiss it so easily.

that said: Berlin Alexanderplatz is a great alternate. the movie is FUCKING BRILLIANT and i'm dying to check the book -- kimley, i really think we're gonna have to do this one soon. with the group or without. fassbinder is god. a disgusting sweaty drug-addicted god.

message 30: by Kimley (new)

Kimley | 201 comments Mod
Brian, I'm with you on the Berlin Alexanderplatz. Maybe we should just set up a separate thread for it and all agree to start in February and let it continue on as long as needed. I don't think it's likely to get voted for a monthly read but I think there is a small yet numerous enough amount of people here who want to read/view it.

People, whaddya say?

As for Atonement, I know nothing about McEwan except the bits I've read here and there (mostly from Brian) and I find the marketing for the film to be pretty stupid (cliche war romance) and very chick flick. But I'm assuming that's some marketing "wizard" dumbing down what is a piece of serious literature. Brian, have you seen the film? Is it up to snuff or did they indeed chick flick the adaptation?

message 31: by Alison (last edited Jan 10, 2008 06:02PM) (new)

Alison Hmmmmm....wasn't looking forward to seeing Atonement much anyway. It doesn't seem like a novel that could be filmed much relies on detailed descriptions and the written word. I've wondered why they wanted to film it. It's not a particularly interesting story, but was executed beautifully. The most significant thing to me was what it says about writers and readers, what are the limits of a writer, and what does the reader want...a good story, or the truth? And that's all so intangible. How do you film that?

I can't promise that I could read BA, but I would definetely like to watch it.

As far as chic lit goes, I'm not an expert...someone encouraged me into their copy of "Confessions of a Shopoholic" which I can guarantee I'll never get to, but I have to assume that Atonement doesn't quite fit into that genre. Don't those books tend to be about urban women on the move, and their significant others, etc? But it does appear that they marketed the film toward "girlfriend's day out" type groups, and so forth. Who knows. Hollywood.

message 32: by Nikki (new)

Nikki | 8 comments 1. The Marquise of O
2. The Leopard
3. Berlin Alexanderplatz

I've wanted to read the Marquise of O for a couple of years.
I like to watch Alain Delon act aristocratic in an eyepatch.
And I love Fassbinder (although I probably won't re-read the novel).

message 33: by Robert (new)

Robert | 111 comments Well, I'd be willing to read Berlin Alexanderplatz on the side too and I'm eager to see the film again. For that matter - for future votes - one of these days I'm going to get around to reading "Effi Briest". It's one of my favorite Fassbinder films (not easy to pin down when you're dealing with someone so prolific) and I was very surprised when a young Austrian woman told me that the book was considered something of a juvenile work.

message 34: by brian (last edited Jan 11, 2008 12:47AM) (new)

brian   really manny... the bucket list? you must be standing up for it on any grounds. please. yes, you like to play the contrarian, but let this one rest. have mercy.

and sorry marshall. i can't argue with you re: Atonement. didn't see the movie, but i truly cannot imagine that the film could in any way capture what the novel did... and i loved loved the novel. mcewan spent many years writing demented creepy psychosexual freakouts and it was quite a shock to see a jane austen-type novel from him... but of course mcewan took it to a place austen never dreamed. i suggest you read the novel. basing your idea of mcewan on a film is tantamount to basing your idea of dostoyevksy on the william shatner version of Brothers Karamazov. crap, my friend. unadulterated crap.

message 35: by Jason (new)

Jason | 6 comments A quick note of agreement with Brian on McEwan, generally, and Atonement, specifically--a great writer, and the shift to the Austenian kept his trademark ability to convey an unnerving sense of tension (often psychosexual). It was a great read. (My favorite McEwan is probably The Innocent, but The Child in Time and Enduring Love are both grand.) I can't imagine adapting to film, especially since (reviews indicate) it's an attempt to be 'faithful'. (Enduring Love was a lousy adaptation, but a good effort; The Comfort of Strangers is really a great adaptation, but I actually saw it before reading the novel... but it was adapted by Pinter and directed by Schrader, so--the deck was stacked.)

I'm almost in agreement with Manny about The Bucket List. I completely buy his criticism of Atonement; I hate the middlebrow shilling for Significance and awards. That said, I'd rather see crap like Alien v. Predator -- real solid crap, not equally middlebrow emotion-pandering like Bucket List.

message 36: by Kimley (new)

Kimley | 201 comments Mod
Interrupting for just a moment to let you all know that for February we will be watching "Alain Delon act aristocratic in an eyepatch" (loved that Nikki!). Of course I could watch Alain Delon in anything...

The Leopard was the winner by one point with Woman in the Dunes coming in second place.

If a few more of you are in agreement, then maybe we can start Berlin Alexanderplatz on the side?

And Robert, yeah, I'll add Effi Briest to next month's list!

message 37: by Arctic (new)

Arctic Excellent choice. Thanks for the links in the first posts, Kimley, especially to imdb.

I wouldn't call Atonement chick-lit either. More than a third of the book takes place from a soldier's perspective in the midst of a retreat during WWII for one thing. Not many chick-lit books delve so deeply into the horrors of war.

message 38: by Robert (new)

Robert | 111 comments Another great choice - though we really are in danger of becoming "The Italian Literature and Visconti Movie Club"...

message 39: by brian (new)

brian   "It is a bit of a problem, the title "Atheist"--No one really wants to be defined by what they do not believe in. We haven't yet settled on a name, but you wouldn't expect a Baptist minister to go around calling himself an a-Darwinist. But it is crucial that people who do not have a sky god and don't have a set of supernatural beliefs assert their belief in moral values and in love and in the transcendence that they might experience in landscape or art or music or sculpture or whatever. Since they do not believe in an afterlife, it makes them give more valence to life itself. The little spark that we do have becomes all the more valuable when you can't be trading off any moments for eternity," - Ian McEwen, in TNR.

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