Three Monkeys Online

A Curious, Alternative Magazine

Holiday Consumption

Film: An Inconvenient Truth: Al Gore presents a compelling case, delivering another nail in the coffin of the argument that climate change is a debatable/distant threat. (And mid-way through a spookily mild winter who can be confident that our weather is not seriously screwed up?). However, I did have a bit of an issue with all that footage of Gore pensively looking out the portholes of airliners.

Film: Intermission: Caught this on RTE. Entertaining, even if it ploughs familiar ground by being set in the world of “colourful” working-class Dublin. Also provides much-needed evidence (after the debacle that was Miami Vice) that Colin Farrell can act.

Book: House of Meetings, by Martin Amis. Acceptable, if not really deserving of a berth in many critics’ best-of-2006 lists. Amis’s zealous research into life as it was experienced in the USSR’s GULAG is assuredly woven into the narrative, but an insuperable problem is posed by the relationship between the two incarcerated brothers, the nameless memoirist and his brother, Lev. Given Amis’s ludic style, the exchanges between the two sound less like the exhausted encounters of two zeks and more like the callous chatter of the two siblings from one of Amis’s earlier novels, Success–which was entertaining precisely because of its unburdened levity.

Book: The Moviegoer, by Walker Percy. Along with Richard Yates’s Revolutionary Road, Percy’s 1961 novel has been hailed as a rediscovered masterpiece. Not entirely sure if such veneration is merited (to me, the narrator Binx Bolling seems more a (slightly smug) connoisseur of angst than a victim of it), but it does contain passages that seem to capture a scene or fleeting mood quite perfectly. For example, this simple line, in context, makes you feel as if though you’re loitering on a New Orleans street corner at dusk, sometime around the middle of the 20th century:

“The street lights make golden spaces inside the wet leaves of the live oaks.”

And, as others have noted, the influence on Richard Ford’s Frank Bascombe trilogy is evident.