Review: Kajsa Grytt – “Nio dagar, nio nätter”

Nio dagar, nio nätterNio dagar, nio nätter by Kajsa Grytt
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is in Swedish, but yes, I’m reviewing it in English.

It’s not very pretentious, which is one of its fortés, but it lacks in the dialogue, which feels strained and forced at best. The interchanging between the four characters is well executed, and I am a sucker for reading about characters roaming around Stockholm; it’s well done.

Just like Grytt, I have also worked in the Swedish Social Services – actually I’ve changed Grytt’s network password once, fancy that – and I recognise that “Alpen” and “Eken” are actually words from within the Social Services that refer to a registry system and a half-way house, respectively. Grytt has herself worked for a recovery facility in Västberga, Stockholm.

All in all: entertaining, real, yet the dialogue should have been more well-written, and I also think the book slacked some where pace in concerned almost half-way through the book.

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Movies I've watched recently:

  • Ken Park (2002) - IMDb 7/10

    2014-07-20 20:51
    * * * * * * *

    Due to all the controversy that surrounded this film - where I live, in Sweden, posters that advertised the film were actually removed from subway carts as one could see a boy going down on a woman - I have somehow let that silliness seep into my mind; while watching this quite beautiful, mobile still life, I wondered exactly what it was, that made people go insane from this film. I mean, the sexuality is just part of human life, right? The start of the film - no spoilers here - was much more disturbing. Having written that, I really liked this film. It's written by Harmony Korine, which does give some details away. Young persons are on display, seemingly directed by dictator parents, possible exception being Tate, a person who yells at his grandmother and isn't the most sociable character. Interesting throughout, it's a bite of life and a good watch.

    0.3
  • Inside the Smiths (Video 2007) - IMDb 1/10

    2014-07-20 18:41
    *

    This is an extremely piss-poor version of events from The Smiths. It starts of with some kind of vampirical person swooshing all over a cemetery while no music by The Smiths will play (over any of the documentary). Joyce and Rourke aren't even recollecting interesting anecdotes; would have loved to hear Joyce's words regarding the famed court travesty where he won millions of pounds from Morrissey/Marr, but none of that is shown. The most interesting stuff in the documentary is pictures of Marr and Morrissey, and I am not lying. Everything is so amateurishly made, and the documentary is just embarrassing in the extreme. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

    0.3
  • No Distance Left to Run (2010) - IMDb 7/10

    2014-07-19 18:41
    * * * * * * *

    Lovely filmed, a little warts 'n' all biography on the comeback of Blur, as Graham and Damon get together and start over again. Songs are meshed with old footage over a quite chronological timeframe. Recommended and lovely. "Tender" at Glastonbury is a high point.

    0.3
  • Tommy (2014) - IMDb 1/10

    2014-07-13 19:54
    *

    Started out interestingly, but the main character is so incredibly weak one may be deceived to think she's in a coma - but really (spoiler) she isn't. This is not a mystery movie either, where one is to guess how come this film got made in the first place; Ola Rapace is a fairly good actor, but I waited for someone to hand him some good lines. Or something good to do. And what about the kid? Not interesting, thank you. There's nothing really good about this film. Tommy's gone - and I can't wait to forget him.

    0.3
  • Wolf Creek 2 (2013) - IMDb 1/10

    2014-07-13 18:52
    *

    I really liked the first Wolf Creek film. This one, however, contains no mystery, no suspense, but only crap moments designed to show off dismemberments. Apparently, the director thinks it's funny to show kangaroos getting hit by vehicles. This is atrocious. Avoid, avoid, avoid.

    0.3

Sleep in a time of moisture

Donna dream

It’s hot. It’s almost damp. My upper body reacts as though I were a boy with asthma again; it’s not hard to breathe, but this time around it’s just weird, as though breathing is just slower than usual.

Waking up is hard too, almost puddling, wishing somebody would have outlined my body in chalk during the night, because that’s how this feels. Getting out from a (cold) shower makes me feel as though I’ve shed a layer of muck off me, but otherwise, it’s the same as ten minutes before I stepped into the shower. I will not say I miss the harsh weather than Sweden otherwise presents – frankly, I prefer this tropical humidity to the slight feeling of not knowing whether the thump you just heard indicated that your nostril hairs collectively fell from you, or whether it was from a leg of yours, atrophied off of you – no, not that. I shall keep my nose high enough to try and stay above the clouds. I am not writing metaphorically.

I love my cat. She’s cuddly and quite sane during this warmth, readily perched above the flat-screen TV which means two things: a) she craves even more heat than she’s getting and b) she’s more insane than I thought she were. Worse yet, one of her three reasons to leave the TV is to perch on top of my chest, which means two things: a) that she is more insane than I thought she were and b) kitty’s soon soaring through the air. Still, at times, I let her sit on my chest, frankly because it won’t do much more harm. And yes, she’s that cute.

Person vs cat

Once you’re up late at night, unable to sleep yet 50% awake, you notice things differently (as if you did not know this).

Mouthy drunks roam the streets, warbling and wobbling to the sounds they make for themselves as screamy toddlers sleep as though they should during the day. The lady in the building across mine who always sits in her double-glazed balcony isn’t there now, and her apartment is dark; I guess this makes me fill in for her duties as I gaze to see if any neighbours are following me at this moment; not surprisingly, they aren’t. And why should they?

Instead, I enjoy hearing the tapping sound that my fingers make on our flat keyboard. No clicking sound, just tap-tap-tap-tap. And I think of the song I listened to on the way home (apart from The New Pornographers’ “War On The East Coast“, which I still cannot get out of my head), which is “Arabesque 3” by Harold Budd, off his great album named “Avalon Sutra“:

Arabesque 3 by Harold Budd on Grooveshark

It’s…old people’s music, but good stuff. It’s not disappointing – which means it’s not like Ice Cube’s new single – it’s just good. That theme goes throughout the album, which is not as much jazz as it is…Twin Peaks.

I sift through Twin Peaks gifs. There’s a tumblr for that, probably among many more, where I’ve just seen a few gifs of Leland turning into Bob. At first I didn’t flinch but then my heightened self – I won’t say more awake self – made me realise what the hell I was doing and I had to close the page. And then I started going through them again, only zoomed out, so that Bob wouldn’t look as scary. The moral of this story is: if what’s scaring you is smaller than it usually is, it’s not as scary. I’ll probably not read this again. I hope you aren’t, at least through your heightened self, whatever I meant by that.

I’m gonna go try and get some sleep now. I know friends in the USA are just getting off work. My Australian friends are just waking up. I just hope I’ll go to sleep now, regardless of what I will dream of.

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Review: John Waters – “Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America”

Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across AmericaCarsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America by John Waters
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I didn’t get the fact that the first two parts of this book were complete fiction until after a few rides into the first part; that’s all what Waters wanted his trip to be, the second part is what Waters imagined how the trip would be if it were as horrible as possible, and the third part is – according to Waters – the trip as it really happened.

Yes, the third part is the most interesting. Like Chuck Palahniuk, Waters managed to gross me out in his first part (not at the start) and the second part just bored me, but the third part, where his escaped his storytelling and actually started telling the story as it happened, is far and beyond the most interesting part to me, where boredom and other persons’ stories are included.

So, why is Waters going on a hitchhike and writing a book about it?

What am I trying to prove here? I mean, I’m not bored. An ex-convict woman I recently met claimed her criminal past was not a result of a bad childhood but just because she “wanted an adventure.” I do, too. Kicks. But hasn’t writing and directing fifteen movies and penning six books made me feel complete? My career dreams already came true years ago and what I do now is all gravy. Shouldn’t I be retiring rather than sticking out my thumb? Retiring to what, though? Insanity?

[...]

Will I be safe? I know serial killers routinely pick up hitchhikers and murder them, but aren’t the victims, unfortunately, usually young female hookers? Yeah, yeah, I know about Herb Baumeister, “the I-70 Strangler,” who choked at least sixteen gay men to death, but he picked them up in gay bars, not on exit ramps of truck stops. Yet I must admit even truckers I know are fairly nuts.

Well, he wasn’t murdered by a serial killer. Hope I didn’t spoil anything for you by writing this. On the other hand, he writes a lot about how twittered-of his adventure on the road was.

The book would have been more interesting if Waters hadn’t had access to his credit cards or his smartphone.

All in all: I wish only the non-fiction part would have been in here; that’s at the end of the book. Otherwise, it’s a semi-interesting read. Waters is eccentric in a good way, and that’s interesting to read, but his free-wheelin’ fictional stories are better left to films, if you ask me.

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My saved links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Bagarmossen, political graffiti

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I wish more thought would have been put into this before it was done, but still, it’s interesting, and it raises a lot of questions that some of the graffiti can’t answer.

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