Ever wonder what a music video might look like if John Waters and David Lynch co-directed it? And what if the music they fixed in visual narrative were a brilliant 11-1/2 minute instrumental that evokes the likes of Stereolab, Tom Waits, and My Bloody Valentine? If you have any interest in seeing what the confluence of ideas and sounds swirling outta the minds and speakers of these folks and bands might look like, look no further than the title track on Cate Le Bon’s fourth album, Crab Day (April 2016). Shot in Berlin and directed by the intriguing English-born / Berlin-based artist and filmmaker, Phil Collins (no, not Sussudio!), this video is at once absurd and mesmerizing, compelling and awkward. I wish it were longer. This is 11-1/2 minutes of Dadaist joy! The rest of album is pretty great, too.
Director Ang Lee (of Brokeback Mountain; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Hulk, and several others) has made a film adaptation of Yann Martel‘s extremely innovative book, Life of Pi (2001), for which Martel won the prestigious Man Booker Prize in 2002.
The storyline isn’t easy to sum up, and I’m short on time. So, here’s a blurb from the Wikipedia précis:
Life of Pi is a fantasy adventure novel by Yann Martel published in 2001. The protagonist, Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, an Indian boy from Pondicherry, explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck, while stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger.
It’s a truly remarkable book, one of the most creative pieces of fiction I’ve read in the young 21st century. It couldn’t have been an easy story to put to film. The trailer is, well, interesting. On the face of it, there appear to be far more streaks of sparkling fantasy than I’d care to see, especially given my recollection of Martel’s entirely dusty and down-to-earth portrayals of Pondicherry and the open waters. But maybe my memory isn’t serving me well right now. It has been a while since I looked at the book. Whatever the case may be, I’m excited this story is being brought to an even wider audience than it had in the past ten+ years in print. And I’ll no doubt try to catch Lee’s film adaptation this winter.