I read two books during my blog silence, Neverwhere and A Tenured Professor. I was strolling through the library aisles, looking for more science fiction to read. I grabbed the Gaiman and Lethem's Fortress of Solitude (not yet read) with this intention, when the title of the Galbraith perked my curiosity. Coincidentally, I picked this book one day before he died. Neverwhere is a great exploration of culture and desire, with some good Beast-slaying thrown in. A Tenured Professor is beguiling in its quiet presentation of political bombshells. It subtlely skewers Ivy League academia, economics, high finance, the media, and (most subtlely of all) personal relationships. I need to think about it more before I can describe my interpretation, but I'd be happy to hear other opinions.
I re-watched Lola Rennt with my students last week, reminding myself what a fabulous film this is. The music is captivating, from the techno to the pseudo-Honegger synthed strings to Billy Holiday. The actors are great, and the cinematography is spectacular. The week before, we watched The Mission. I've realized that while I love the music Ennio Morricone composes, I feel that it sometimes misconnects with the film. The entirety of Mission to Mars is an example of this, but so are some parts of The Mission. When the natives first start to pursue the Portugese soldiers' canoes, Morricone provides some victorious music that seems completely out of place. It suggests that the natives are attacking for the pure pleasure of winning, rather than to save their lives and freedoms. I also think the "Ave Maria" sung by the Guarani is made overly nasal, suggesting a primitivism that is unjust.