Derik Badman's Journal

2023-02-05 15:01

Enjoyed Balzac's A Harlot High and Low quite a bit. Was going to read each book (there are 4) of it separately with a break for another book in between but ended up reading books 2-4 all in a row. It works as an interesting sequel to Lost Illusions since Lucien Chardon (protagonist of the latter) is an important character in the former, but not the protagonist nor the primary narrative focalizer. It is much more about the criminal Jacques Collin (who goes by a few names) and his scheming. There is a lot about the police and judicial system of the time in Paris and scheming criminals and scheming special police. In my middle age I guess I'm picking up a taste for 19th century novels, between the Balzac and the Zola and the Dickens reading in the past year. I already have a copy of Zola's Nana to read and have been eying a reread of Dickens' Our Mutual Friend which I read years and years ago.

Gave up on more library books... gave up on quite a few movies. Have forgotten some of the movies I finished... Broken Lance was a not very good (but not bad) western that really underused Richard Widmark. The Tarnished Angels, Sirk movie I've been wanting to see for awhile, had a ton of beautiful shots in it, but was fairly lackluster as a script (very curious about the Faulkner story/novel it's based on). Another Carlos Saura film Cria Cuervos which again featured Geraldine Chaplin, who I just read is Charlie Chaplin's daughter. This again had elements of fantasy and doubling of characters. There's a great scene the protagonist (a young girl) and her sisters are playing dressup, she is the mother (long dead) and her older sister is the father (who dies at the start of the film), and they play out this scene that is clearly what they overheard their parents saying about the husband staying out late and such. It's a really powerful way to show both the parent's issues and how it effected the children. It reminded me of the scene in Sciamma's Petite Maman where the two girls play dress up but the that they are clearly working off of imagination and the influential of dramatic stories (probably tv/movies).

Started to plan for my next run at GMing our regular game (Ian is DMing now), so I sent this list of ideas: