Tag Archives: Faber and Faber

MARK MORRIS :  OUT LOUD A MEMOIR

From the very first page Morris’ warm , flamboyant voice captivates us in this intimate , extremely revealing book .Out loud and proud. You feel as if he is talking to you as a close friend.The book itself is of medium size and fairly thick , delightfully illustrated , with a great index at the back. It is written by Morris in collaboration with novelist/singer-songwriter Wesley Stace with great panache and frankness.

Dance lovers might be aware of Joan Acoclla’s 1993 biography
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OUT LOUD takes you on a roller coaster ride through Morris’s personal life interwoven with the history of his company, the Mark Morris Dance Group .It also considers the history of modern dance and how this is linked to music through the ages.( Look at the range of composers Morris has worked with – everyone from Bach, Brahms ,Handel, Purcell, and Poulenc , Stravinsky, Vivaldi,– as well as Gershwin , Lou Harrison, Indian classical music , the Louvin Brothers, and Thai pop artists. Morris insists on live music and is extremely attentive to the score.) Mark Morris Dance Group is one of America’s major modern-dance companies, and Morris has long been regarded as both naughty and delightful as well as discerning . He has a great eye for the significant detail. Continue reading MARK MORRIS :  OUT LOUD A MEMOIR

Milan Kundera’s New Novel, The Festival of Insignificance

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Inset pic- The cover to Milan Kundera’s new book. Featured pic- A picture of the author

As titles go, Milan Kundera’s latest novel, THE FESTIVAL OF INSIGNIFICANCE is right up there with his earlier tomes, The Unbearable Lightness of Being and The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.

It is quite literally a book about navel gazing. Alain, one of the quartet of central characters, and possibly the “author” of the story, ruminates on the eroticism of the belly-button and ponders whether seductive power no longer resides in thighs, buttocks or breasts, but in that small round hole located in the centre of the body. Continue reading Milan Kundera’s New Novel, The Festival of Insignificance

Hector And The Pursuit Of Happiness

Book Pic

In the fabulous book WHAT I LIKE ABOUT MOVIES, published by Faber & Faber, editor David Jenkins writes “Simon Pegg is the very definition of the kind of bloke you’d want to go down to the pub with.”

In his latest film, HECTOR AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS, the Peggster reteams with his World’s End co-star, Rosamund Pike and instead of doing a pub crawl, embarks on a continent hop, in pursuit of contentment.

Pegg plays Hector, a London psychiatrist who has become increasingly tired of his humdrum life. He tells his girlfriend, Clara, played by Pike, that he feels like a fraud: he hasn’t really tasted life, and yet he’s offering advice to patients who are just not getting any happier. So Hector decides to break out of his deluded and routine driven life. He embarks on a global quest in hopes of uncovering the elusive secret formula for true happiness.          Continue reading Hector And The Pursuit Of Happiness

What I Love About Movies

Tarantino by I love Dust
Tarantino by I Love Dust

Fifty film luminaries are asked the question, “What do you love about the movies?” in the handsome and must have (if you love movies) tome, WHAT I LOVE ABOUT MOVIES (Faber and Faber).

From fifty famed film professionals we get a vast and varied response, although some of their thoughts are shared and the response is shadowed by the experience of the film and the venue or platform in which it is experienced.

A film is a film is a film, but how you see it can make a large difference. Before our new digital age where you can watch product on any device, it was either the cinema or television. And don’t forget the drive-in, where some films actually do play better, more favourably.

First of the rank of respondents is Francis Ford Coppola, the godhead of 70s cinema, who reckons movies are the most diverse and complete art form, that uses everything – music, emotion, images, writing and structure. “A divine collection of all human inspiration and art forms.”

And Francis speculates what kind of movies people from the past, like Goethe, would make.

Francis’ ex son in law, Spike Jonze, director of Her and Being John Malkovich among others, talks about “making something that I can just fall into. You’re just consumed with it.”

He cites the work of Michel Gondry as fitting that category.

Gondry likes the fact that you can watch a movie and then talk about a movie,– a collective dream state and perhaps a shared chair in the collective psychoanalyst’s office.

Alexander Payne, the film maker who has given us Nebraska, Sideways, About Shmidt, and other deadpan delights, declares that we are so lucky to have lived in an era where cinema exists.

“It’s a way of conquering death. You can capture somebody alive and refer to them for the rest of time….and then there’s the unconscious aspect to it; we love movies because of their relationship to dreams.”

William Friedkin, director of the classics The French Connection and The Exorcist, talks about the one ton pencil, which is, “a vast crew of people to whom you must communicate and express your ideas and the images in your mind and the way they move and combine.”

WHAT I LOVE ABOUT MOVIES is dedicated to Philip Seymour Hoffman, who contributed to the book shortly before his untimely and tragic death, and makes a case for the difference between theatre and cinema, two forms in which he was so gifted in.

From Almodovar to Wasikowska, Aronofsky to Walter Murch, WHAT I LOVE ABOUT MOVIES is an engrossing, entertaining and enlightening book about this great art form of the past century.

Not only is it packed with insights from its esteemed subjects but has intriguing comments on the subjects by the contributors of Little White Lies magazine.

No book on movies would be complete without a pictorial aspect and WHAT I LOVE ABOUT MOVIES comes with a portrait of each subject, each and every one worth the purchase price of this exquisite and indispensable book for anyone who has ever pondered the question, what I love about movies?

Worth buying multiple copies – one for your library and others for the perfect film buff gift.

For more about WHAT I LOVE ABOUT MOVIES, visit http://www.littlewhitelies.co.uk/the-magazine

A PERFECT POETRY DIARY

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A diary extract. Featured image- the great British poet T.S.Eliot

Diaries in the digital age seem a quaint remnant from a bygone era.
For cold, hard appointment keeping, your tablet or phone is perfectly adequate.

But for concise elegance in date data, THE FABER & FABER POETRY DIARY 2015 is an appointment application par excellence.
Stationery meets the literary in this handsomely bound volume that will adorn any desk or handbag.

Here beside each page of weekly assignations, seven days to the page, sits one page of peerless poetry.

Continue reading A PERFECT POETRY DIARY

THE LAST WORD

English playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker and novelist Hanif Kureishi
English playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker and novelist Hanif Kureishi

Enjoying deserved success at the box office at the moment with LE WEEKEND , the screenwriter Hanif Kureishi also has a splendid new novel out called THE LAST WORD published by Faber & Faber.

Mamoon Azam is an amazing writer who has an amazing career. Lifetime Achievement Awards are piling up and so a prudent publisher despatches a young writer, Harry, to write the definitive biography of the great scribe.

The commission is in collusion with the wordsmith’s spouse to bolster his book sales and subsequently his dwindling bank balance.

Mamoon’s Mrs., Liana, was proving to be extravagant, expensive and explosive “it was as if Gandhi had married Shirley Bassey.”

Continue reading THE LAST WORD

HERE AND NOW- Letters 2008-2011- Paul Auster and J.M.Coetzee

Paul Auster abd J.M. Coetzee
Paul Auster and J.M. Coetzee

Can one eavesdrop on written correspondence? If the author’s voice is strong and distinctive, of course one can. The very letters on the page are signs, images of sounds.

Such are the letters collected in HERE & NOW a joint publishing venture between Faber & Faber and Harvill Secker presenting correspondence between Paul Auster and J.M. Coetzee from July 2008 and August 2011.

Enthusiasm for Freud, Kafka and Beckett energize their cross countries conversation as well as meditations on art, sport, film, travel, the Global Financial Crisis, sleep, food, and, of course, writing.

Coetzee on critics – “Quite aside from the question of animus on the critic’s part, there may be errors of fact in the review, or elementary misreading. He (the critic) becomes like the child lobbing pebbles at the gorilla in the zoo, knowing he is protected by the bars”.

On biographical reductionism- “treating fiction as a form of self disguise practiced by writers; the task of the critic is to strip away the disguise and reveal the ‘truth’ behind it.”

Yes, these letters make up a mutual admiration society, but they are never fawning or sycophantic, just honest, open connexions by a pair of erudite minds.

Both men, with their impressive body of works, are now of an age, and sage in their pondering of their advancing years.

“How does one escape the risible fate of turning into Gramps, the old codger, who, when he embarks on one his “back in my time” discourses, makes the children roll their eyes I  silent despair” ruminates Coetzee. Well it helps that is a discourse and not a rant and that is why these two elders of our age are worth reading and listening to.

These letters are remarkable – great hatchet blows of thought, an implacable narrative speed, and a pulverising sense of prose.