march 2021 finds is here. so let’s go!
1. i must’ve read sylvia plath’s only novel 20 years ago. the bell jar was published weeks before her suicide. an easy read, if you don’t empathize much. the main character, the author’s alter ego, goes from being a perky american girl to getting released from an asylum. of.
2. i loved tricky’s hell is round the corner. a well-written, very informative autobiography full of the povs of close friends, collaborators and family. you hear his voice loud and clear, and without pretense. you’ll love it if you are a fan. if you’re not, you should be.
click here to see what the guardian had to say about it.
3. the monocle book of japan was a very enjoyable mental trip even if it’s your first time or the 7th. beautiful imagery and a huge amount of various details, all very successful in making you book a flight.
4. i’ve been improving my portuguese by reading a 300-page cooking book published by lidl. it’s called receitas perfeitas para ser mais feliz. you do what you have to do!
5. on earth we’re briefly gorgeous by ocean vuong was a wordy book. most probably my first by a vietnamese author. it’s not bad, but it’s not good. but read it to see the world from a new angle.
6. i subscribed to british vogue for the first time. i thought i’d have access to the entire digital library. actually, access to each digital issue costs 3,49 pounds. at least i get access to the digital copy as soon as the magazine is published. in all, i have access to the 3 latest issues. however, i’m considering getting a digital only subscription next time.
7. i read monocle. my favourite article was the one about the repair businesses. cameras, silverware, art restoration, bikes, books, furniture, boats and lighting. i enjoyed this issue more than others for some reason. maybe it was because it helped me travel vicariously.
8. a long time ago, i fell in love with u2’s cover of night and day.
the original version is by cole porter.
but ella fitzgerald, sinatra and diana kralll have interesting versions, too.
9. i’ve been listening to albums from my past. u2’s achtung baby was one of them. it’s still very good.
10. this could be the trailer of the netflix series called song exploder. i skipped through a couple of episodes.
i loved the episode about hurt. i cried. because it’s been part of me since the beginning. i’m glad and surprised to have chosen reznor as a ghost back when i was too young to know anything.
11. jay-jay johanson’s latest album is the enjoyable rorschach test. if you like his soothing voice, you’ll like it.
12. one of the albums i’ve listened this month was brian eno’s film music: interior.
13. sevdaliza enlists the help of her female fans for the darkest hour video.
14. i’ve listened to maxinquaye and tricky’s other albums. very good.
as it happens, this was an almodovar month.
15. i started with mujeres al borde de un ataque de nervios. think madrid in 1988, a young banderas, a young rossy de palma, a young carmen maura. i couldn’t get over candela speaking in the andalusian dialect. my highlights are mambo taxi and the spiked gazpacho. i don’t remember laughing so much in a long time.
16. entre nieblas is a 1983 film. i couldn’t watch it to the end. there are junkies and junkie nuns. a pet tiger, too. don’t forget carmen maura and marisa paredes.
17. que he hecho yo para merecer esto? is a 1984 film. it stars carmen maura as a pill-popping mother. the main characters are poverty and addiction
18. tacones lejanos is a 1991 film. it stars victoria abril, marisa paredes miguel bose and even a very young javier bardem. victoria’s styling is 100% chanel and ultra earrings. the highlight is the hottest sex scene i’ve seen in a long time.
19. la flor de mi secreto premiered in 1995. the later in life he made a film, the better it is. marisa paredes as a broken-hearted romance novel writer. it featured joaquin cortez, flamenco and spoken andalusian. my highlight is rossy de palma fighting with the most underrated almodovar actress, the glorious julieta serrano.
20. la ley del deseo features carmen maura, antonio banderas and a passion crime.
21. volver premiered in 2006. featuring carmen maura and penelope cruz, it’s a beautifully conveyed story about family love.
22. carne tremula premiered in 1997. it’s one more proof that almodovar is the king of great pacing and delivery.
23. malcolm and marie reminded me of a music video. black and white, glamorous contemporary architecture backdrop, characters in black tie for most of the time even if they were home. you know those times when you loop in your mind a dialogue that has already happened? only your comebacks are witty and fast this time? well, imagine a whole film like that. a couple arguing in the most articulated, theatrical and wordy manner.
moreover, the film is written, produced and directed by a white guy. admittedly, co-produced by the two african-american actors. he directed some of the euphoria episodes, which also starred zendaya. other interesting details. zendaya is taller than her co-star so have fun noticing the unnatural positions in which they fight. the film was shot secretly. i’d say that’s code for illegally. they must have shot it during covid restrictions. normally, it’d be impossible, but, in this case, there are only 2 characters and one location.
24. capitulo perfeito is a short documentary about a portuguese surfing competition.
25. coming to america premiered in 1988. it was the first black fairytale. eddie and arsenio play several characters.
26. coming to america 2 premiered in 2021. 33 years later, it features several stars but salt n pepa stole the show.
i think being spoilt for choice makes it easier for me to give up on watching a film. i also couldn’t watch the following:
27. salma hayek and owen wilson in bliss.
28. the only boy alive in new york has a stellar cast but a weak story.
29. downsizing with matt damon. just weak.
30. i couldn’t watch john may: oh cook! either. this guy thinks he can cook and make jokes. well, he can’t.
31. vivienne westwood is married and works with a man 25 years her junior, andreas kronthaler. read here a joint interview with the couple.
32. i like this cool tokyo house by nendo.
33. how to be a full-time cat sitter.
34. interesting interview with elias from iceage.
35. how they make a diamond ring.
36. olympic skaters are superhuman!
37. my jaw was on the floor. i liked his diy tricks!
38. find out everything about tango chirimen. it’s a miraculous kimono fabric.
39. this series has some gems.
40. this is a wonderful declaration of love.
that was it, everybody. enjoy april!
photo and video credits: little aesthete, copyright holders