I jammed as many movies as possible into my Memorial Day weekend. I've found I can just about manage three a day without going completely batty. I revisited some old friends- Ozu's Good Morning and Fellini's Juliet of the Spirits among them- and had some amazing (or at least eye-opening) new experiences, including Ronald Neame's smashingly good The Horse's Mouth, with Alec Guiness, and Seijun Suzuki's eye- and brain-popping Tokyo Drifter. I'm trying to actually watch everything I purchase, which is an almost embarrassingly enjoyable goal.

I also finished Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood's latest. Atwood is a great author, and even though this book seems almost intentionally a minor work, it's still excellent. For such a funny, involving book, though, it was really depressing. Its very basic premise is that soon, corporations will take over the world. This seems entirely plausible, as does Atwood's horrific depictions of said world's ruthless class hierarchy (thanks to a shrunk-to-nothing government ) and apocalyptic end. It stands with 1984 and her own classic The Handmaid's Tale (and head and shoulders above Aldous Huxley's conceptually muddled, badly written, moralistic Brave New World). Next up: Ian McEwan's Atonement for fiction, and for non-fiction, Susan Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others.

"It skinned my eyes for me, and I became a different man." - Gulley Jimson (Alec Guinness) in The Horse's Mouth

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