Derik Badman's Journal

2020-12-04 08:25

I was watching Joanna Hogg's Archipelago, but I think I will not be completing it. People say Rohmer movies are slow, or Ozu movies are slow, but this one was something else. Not slow like in "slow cinema" but slow like it wasn't doing much of anything either narratively or visually. Rohmer's movies don't tend to have a lot of action to them, but there is some central conflict (often internal to the protagonist) at play, a character you can sympathize with, but Archipelago felt aimless and it's characters too buried. A family (mom, grown daughter, grown son) are on vacation with a hired cook. The father is not there, though they talk to him on the phone as if they are expecting him (and wondering why he hasn't shown up). The mother seems sad. The son is headed off to Africa to do some kind of AIDS-based work. The daughter just seems critical of everything (and clearly unhappy about something). But over an hour in and nothing has really gelled into a conflict or drama or plot or anything. And it is just not a visually engaging enough movie to make we want to keep watching it just for to look at it.

Also I think I'm giving up on Collins' The Woman in White. The melodrama and long-winded prose style is just draining on me. Finding the whole mechanism of the plot really frustrating, and Wikipedia solved my desire to find out what happens (I'm rather disappointed to learn how silly the primary mystery seems to be).

I've still got Josep Pla's The Gray Notebook in progress, as it has no continuing story (beyond his life), I don't feel the need to just keep reading it straight through, but I am enjoying dipping in and reading a few days of entries at a time, as it evokes like in his Catalan town at the early part of the 20th century (pre Civil War there).

A few books picked up from the library yesterday to dig into.