‘The People on Privilege Hill,’ by Jane Gardam

Fiction, 2007 Short story collection, in which a number of situations, often domestic and reflective in nature, are played out with well sketched, believable characters. There’s quite a variety in this collection, and while the stories often drift into the realms of the daft and the surreal, there is, nonetheless, a good deal of feeling and emotion within the pages. Some tricks, some ideas and … Continue reading ‘The People on Privilege Hill,’ by Jane Gardam

"Blades of Glory", directed by Gordon and Speck

Movie, 2007 Daft film, which packs laughs throughout, in following arch rival skaters, also find a loophole and join forces to perform after receiving lifelong bans for a podium punch up. There’s little fresh or innovative in this film, but it’s solid entertainment, with some odd dance moves and action centered on the ice rink. A perfect film for leaving your brain somewhere else and … Continue reading "Blades of Glory", directed by Gordon and Speck

"The Vegetarian", by Han Kang

Novel, 2007 Engrossing three part novel, charting the course of a psychologically disturbed, largely unloved woman, through the eyes of her husband, brother in law, then sister. This seems to be a book about power and personal suffering and the sublimation and determination of the individual. While some of the scenes are incredibly difficult to read, this is a truly powerful book which is gripping … Continue reading "The Vegetarian", by Han Kang

"Rocket Science", directed Jeffrey Blitz

Movie, 2007 American coming-of-age indie, in which a teenager with a stutter is drawn to the star performer and thus debating society in high school, while struggling with his physical affliction, an amusing home life and coming to terms with maturity. An enjoyable film overall. If the pupils in the debating societies seem irritating, that’s doubtless the intention. Some well observed, slightly edgy comedy here … Continue reading "Rocket Science", directed Jeffrey Blitz

"Into the Wild", directed Penn

Movie, 2007 Story of society drop out who graduates form college, then bums across the USA before ending up leading a mouth to hand existence in an old school bus in Alaska. A mixture of uplifting frontier anti-establishment action and some more toe-curing material every now and again, of the primacy and spirituality of the individual. Overall, pretty good, although could perhaps have benefited from … Continue reading "Into the Wild", directed Penn

"30 Days of Night", directed David Slade

Movie, 2007 Edgy vampire horror set in Arctic Alaska, in which a Neil Tennant lookalike leads a gang of vampires against a small town’s dogs, its police station and then anything else living. There are some decent concepts within this set up, but the film never fully makes the leap from a series of set pieces in which evil usually triumphs over good and various … Continue reading "30 Days of Night", directed David Slade