Monday, May 20, 2013

5 Books That Changed My Life

Today, Paulo Coelho, one of my all time favorite writers, asked his readers to name the five books that changed their lives. So, how could I not have complied with his request? :)
Here are my FOUR books that really changed life as I see it, and it is only four because I always leave room for more surprising books that may come along...

Do you have any books that changed your life? :)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Isabelle Huppert - Woman of Many Faces

My passion for French movies is still growing and I have recently discovered a wonderful actress, Isabelle Huppert, who turned 60 but looks a lot younger than that, whose career began in the '70s and who has been nominated (and also won a few prizes for Best Actress) at international film festivals.You can find more info here. 
 Here are my impressions on the three movies she plays in:
"Gabrielle" is the story of a married woman who realizes she does not love her husband anymore and she actually dares to tell him that face to face. The whole movie is centered around the discussion between Gabrielle and her husband who cannot understand her reasons and lack of love. Huppert manages to embody the cold woman perfectly well but what I did not enjoy was the unrealistic ending, or maybe realistic for the 1920s.
"The Piano Teacher" is a masterpiece, just like Elfriede Jelinek's book. Huppert plays the part of the masochistic piano teacher Erika Kohut who feels attracted to one of her students, played by talented Benoit Magimel. The relation between them becomes quite complex and ends tragically. The movie is extremely tense and it shows, one more time, that Isabelle Huppert is an incredible actress.
"My Worst Nightmare" presents the story of a broke guy who is about to lose his child and the relationship/ affair he develops with a married, cold woman, Agathe, played by Huppert. It is one of those cases in which the two characters should never have met, but they did and we realize in the end the reason. Despite Huppert's performance, the ending did not seem plausible at all because the characters seem too different to be together for a long period of time... but then, I am not a director :)

My next stop: Isabelle Huppert in "Madame Bovary", directed by Claude Chabrol, one of Huppert's favorite directors. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Audition - Six Word Sum Up

 Japanese literature is great, but Ryu Murakami's books are fantastic, as in mind altering and I can't really name another author who kept me at the edge of every page with every single book I read. "Audition" is tagged as a horror story, but you only discover this in the last twenty pages or so, the tension and the mystery surrounding the female character building up till the moment when you realize that nothing is what it seems, including beautiful young ex-ballerinas...

Lying makes you discover troubled women.

"What husband has never speculated how free he might feel if his wife were suddenly out of the picture? And how many count the days till she takes the kids off for a week with her folks? Let these men actually lose their wives, however, and few can even summon the will or energy to run wild; it’s only then that they recognise the support system they’ve been taking for granted. When Aoyama lost Ryoko he became mired in feelings of utter powerlessness."

"Silhouetted against the off-white walls, she walked to the chair, bowed with modest grace and sat down. That was all, but Aoyama had a very distinct sensation that something extraordinary was happening all around him. It was like being the millionth visitor to an amusement park, suddenly bathed in spotlights and a rain of balloons and surrounded with microphones and flashing cameras. As if Luck, normally dispersed in billions of tiny, freefloating, gemlike particles, had suddenly coalesced in a single beatific vision – a vision that changed everything, for ever. He was aware of an indescribable, fizzy sort of feeling in the pit of his stomach, and of the voice of Reason in his own head chanting the refrain:This can’t be right, it doesn’t make sense, things like this aren’t supposed to happen. But the voice grew weaker as the fizziness seeped into his bloodstream and spread through his system."

The Guardian offers a great review here and you can also watch the trailer for the movie based on the same book, that is if creepy movies do not scare you :)  

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Giveaway Winner

There were 12 entries in the giveaway, my first giveaway, and the winner is lucky Rikki, the one who hosted this giveaway and whose idea we embraced. Congrats, Rikki! :) The book will be on its way soon.