In further news I'm going to Mexico City for ten days, where I'll do some readings--that's in February. My host, a Mexican graphic novelist and short story writer, promises me a tour of all the weird stuff in the city. I figure that should cover quite a lot.
I've been watching the BBC series Jekyll on DVD. For those who haven't seen it, it's a contemporary take on Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I didn't buy the explanation of how it came to pass that Hyde was alive today and the ending was weak, but all that pales beside the performance of James Nesbitt as Jekyll/Hyde...especially as Hyde. Nesbitt's Hyde is not a grotesque, as he is usually depicted, but if anything is better looking than his alter-ego, wittier, taller, faster stronger smarter, and more compelling, IMO, than any previous Hyde. It lacks the psychological resonance of previous films, but Nesbitt makes it a sprightier entertainment and the writing is good, particularly in the first three episodes, nonlinear, with lots of flashbacks and flash forwards.
I'm a big fan of legal thrillers--I like even lame ones--so I'm happily anticipating Michael Clayton, with George Clooney and Tilda Swinton. Swinton is a terrific actress, and this is, I believe, her first role as a villain. A screener just in to my mailbox is 30 Days of Night, a vampire movie starring (shudder) Josh Hartnett as the sherriff of Barrow, Alaska. It's based on a graphic novel (what isn't these days?), but it sounds a lot like Frostbite, a recent Swedish movie that took a blackly comic view of vampires loose in a community in Lapland in the dark of winter. In 30 Days they appear to have dropped the comedy and pumped up the violence (though Frostbite is pretty gory), and the vampires seem like more brutish versions of those in Katherine Bigelow's Near Dark. I watched a few minutes of it last night and it might be cool. I'm going to wait and watch it at a theater, however. The cinematograpjy looked very good and might be the only thing to recommend it. Frostbite, however, is a funny movie, if you can take the gore.