I’m swimming in the fast lane now. I’m not nearly as young or fit or slim as the others there but I don’t care. Let’s meet again when you’re my age and working my desk job. Ha!
Now, I saw Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy twice over the week end and I’m really struggling with the plot. Still, it’s a beautiful movie and I definitely should have stolen it much earlier, instead of waiting six months – six months – to get the English rental dvd legally. At the beginning I just couldn’t believe how beautiful it was, Old Europe, Cold War, perfect photography, inferences, tiny details, Gary Oldman swimming in a lake. Colin Firth felt overwhelming. That was probably because it’s been a long way since Another Country and it’s good to meet again in a spy story involving Soviet Russia and British boys from posh boarding schools. Cumberbatch smiles a lot. Sad smiles, warm smiles, crooked smiles. He hits Tarr. He glances. He glares. He steals something (don’t ask me what exactly). He wears a vest like anything. He cries. Alfredson, are you sure it is legal to direct Cumberbatch like that, if I may ask? At some point I even started to feel some affection for Smiley so I though oh why am I feeling some affection for Smiley, and of course it was because Guillam was feeling it. Damn, Alfredson, you always catch me off guard, like with that creepy vampire movie of yours. And while Guillam was hitting Tarr it occurred to me that Cumberbatch would make a perfect Arkady Renko, except we already have the perfect Arkady Renko, we’ve had him all along, if only someone could ring William Hurt and ask him if he would fancy starring in Red Square, just for the sake of an example. But then my mind short-circuited and my train of thought backfired and suddenly I was thinking of the Kiss of the Spider Woman. You remember the Kiss of the Spider Woman, don’t you. Right. Anyway, I’m not very familiar with Le Carre’s novels, as you may have noticed I’m more into Cruz Smith’s work, but I do know that Peter Guillam is not gay in the novels, while Bill and Tim may be bisexual. I don’t mind the change much. Considering the ending maybe a more complicated involvement between Bill and Tim might have possibly resulted in a more tragic effect, still Alfredson managed to film a heartbreaking scene of Guillam and his unnamed boyfriend. Rumors have it that a very sweet additional scene existed in the screenplay but was deleted or never filmed, which is widely considered a pity across the Cumberbatch fandom.
Unable to extricate myself from the plot of TTSS, I decided to add more drama, so I started reading Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro on Saturday morning. I had deliberately avoided reading it to that point, feared it actually, as sf estrangement tends to work as a magnifying lens for me. But all the breathing stuff has been going on so well recently (I’m even swimming in the fast lane you see) that I’m feeling pretty invulnerable, and I also wanted to test my emotional response after a month and a half without Singulair and its tricky neurological side effects. I already knew everything there’s to know about the plot. The novel has been out seven years now, there’s the movie, and I just don’t care about spoilers anyway (as long as I can understand them). Now I believe maybe I should have read it before. Then I would been able to connect better with the characters in the central part, when they’re eighteen or so, instead of feeling constantly drawn to the final part like I do now. Maybe it would have been less painful, I don’t know. It’s a sharp novel, of course you get hurt. It’s meant to show you how you work as a human being. I remember while I was reading The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things years ago, I thought this is how you become a very damaged adult, by being treated like scum, precisely. Never Let me Go is about how you become a functioning member of society, precisely, basically by accepting everything that is presented to you as normal, questioning it only at the surface. And you really can’t fight back, and even when you do fight back you’re alone and not really able to function, no matter how hard you try to find a set of laws, an ethical frame of reference (either personal or codified), a guru, a bunch of fellow rebels, you may even find all of this in your life and you’ll still hurt and feel helpless most of the time
At the wildlife shelter some cages are shaded. They’re the ones where the recovering animals are, those that will return to the wild eventually. You’re not allowed to show them your human form. If you need to care for them, like feeding or vet care, you need to blindfold them, or to disguise yourself as an animal, otherwise they’ll be so scared of you and they will scramble away even on broken legs and wound themselves more if they are preys, otherwise they will attack you, if they are predators. Then there are the cages where the domesticated animals are. They used to be wild, but then they lost a limb, or the fear of humans, or they were born among humans (smugglers, usually) and got imprinted wrongly and now they can never be wild, there’s not choice but to keep them at the shelter for all their life. Their cages are not shaded. They’re domesticated, they’re genuinely happy to see you.
A fox wagging its tail at you, it is such a disturbing thing to see, it’s so very wrong and sad, it makes you question all the poetry in the Little Prince.