Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cinema/Literary Notes

The 2000 Israeli cops and robbers flick "The Investigation Must Go On" is the enraging story of a psychopathic Tel Aviv police lieutenant whose efforts to wring a confession out of a happy-go-lucky night club singer for a crime he didn't commit destroys the lives of a number of innocent people. A very popular film at festivals around the world and in Israel itself, it contains some odd vignettes. At one point, Micha, the deranged cop, is attempting to get in the apartment of the arrested Shalom Shalom to interrogate his wife. He tries to bribe her with the gift of a copy of New York novelist Paul Auster's book, "The Music of Chance", which had been made into a film in 1993. Amazingly, she says, perhaps truthfully, that she's already read the book and refuses to admit him. One can only wonder why this reference made it into the show.

W.G. Sebald died in a car crash in England at age 57 in 2001. In that same year his last novel, "Austerlitz" was published. Born in Bavaria, he spent most of his adult life in Britain as a lecturer at the now infamous University of East Anglia and as a writer. "Austerlitz" is a recounting of the title character's experiences through the words of the narrator. The first paragraph is 117 pages long. This book, like others by Sebald, is a curious amalgam of perhaps factual history, architecture, nature study, art and eccentric personal observations, with Europe and the British Isles as the focus. Black and white photos scattered through the text illustrate the author's assertions. An unusual and captivating read. Other novels he wrote were, "Vertigo", "The Emigrants" and "The Rings of Saturn".

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