Friday, September 10, 2010

Media consumption

As I mentioned some time ago, I have decided to limit my book purchasing to one paperback per week. This leaves me no choice but to fire up my crappy television set on two or even three evenings.

This was the case on Wednesday. I hit the 'on' button which took me to the default ZDF channel. (I know, at my age I am firmly within the demographic for this broadcaster, but the fact is that since I started watching German television forty years ago ZDF has always been my starting point for any channel surfing...)

I missed only the opening titles of the night's movie. I saw a lead actor who seemed vaguely recognizable. (The list of motion pictures I have not seen over the past decades is a long one, and so I  can even fail to identify even major stars.)

And then the setting resonated... I remain a sucker for anything set in the south of France, and in this case it looked like the Luberon. Okay, I'll stay tuned!

It was an enjoyable ninety minutes of rom-com froth. My thought was that it was the work of someone who had enjoyed French Kiss and was desirous of enjoying the pleasures of a six week movie shoot in paradise! 

It was only when I opened up my computer yesterday morning that I was able to find out that the film I had enjoyed... in the way that one enjoys a fluffy but frivolous dessert... was titled A Good Year. The guy in the photo is Russel Crowe, whose name I knew, if not any of his previous work.

The big surprise was that the film was directed by Ridley Scott and... less surprising in retrospect... that the script was adapted from one of Peter Mayle's novels.

So I guess I was right. Two old media gits get to indulge themselves in sunny climes (it was the Luberon!) and drink lots of lovely plonk! Nice work if you can get it.

Anyway... it was all a nice change of pace after I had finished the second volume of Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy.

I think Larsson's notion of self indulgence must have been totally different from that of Scott or Mayle. His anger in the second book was even more central to the narrative than in the first of the series. Lisbeth Salander's gender-agnostic sexuality was a thread I appreciated and, yes, the reveal that the villainous Zala was the girl's father came as a real surprise.

I look forward to starting on the final book tonight. And when that's finished... another portion of sunny froth à la Peter Mayle, please!


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