Derik Badman's Journal

2022-05-20 09:21

After a very long time, I finally watched Claire Denis' Beau Travail the other day. A visually beautiful film, plotwise it felt a little, meh, to me. Ostensible a play on Billy Budd (not a Melville I've read), it seemed more focused on the visuals of the landscape and in particular the dance-like choreography of French foreign legion soldiers doing a variety of training activities and exercises. This focus on movement seems even more prominent by the surprising dancing at the end.

Been reading Little, Big this week, which I haven't reread in... who knows how long. Many years I'm sure. It is one of those books that seems suffused with nostalgia both in the text and for me personally. As best I recall, I ended up reading just because it looked interesting when I stumbled upon it shelf reading the fiction section when I worked at the public library in town. It was a rare mass market fantasy paperback actually shelved amongst the hardcovers, whereas most of the genre paperbacks were just in various spinner racks and forward facing racks. That alone marked it out as somehow more literary or important. This personal nostalgia is only exacerbated by the books internal nostalgia that is almost essential to the plot as well as the style.