Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Recommended Reads: Geeks

Spirited Away: BFI Film Classics by Andrew Osmund
From the Anime News Network's article/press release:
In Spirited Away: BFI Film Classics, Osmund details the filmmaking process of Hayao Miyazaki on the 2002 work and how it relates to his previous films and the themes that he expounds. The British Film Institute book includes quotes from Miyazaki and his colleagues and over 60 color images. Osmund also wrote Satoshi Kon: The Illusionist, a book that profiles the acclaimed director of Perfect Blue, Paprika, and Paranoia Agent.

Bottomless Belly Button by Dash Shaw
From the NYMagazine author profile:
Bottomless Belly Button tells the story of a week in the life of the Loony family, whose parents, Maggie and David, are divorcing after 40 years...Shaw’s avoided the path that young writers so often follow, for better or for worse: He’s not really writing about himself. His parents are still married, and he seems to have been drawn to the story of a disintegrating family as a genre exercise. “It was interesting to me how there are differences in family relations”... Bottomless Belly Button, it seems, was created out of a desire to see what would happen if characters from a traditional family drama—“super-dysfunctional and super-dramatic”—were placed alongside characters from a more reserved family story: a narrative game, rather than a dead-serious uncovering of emotional trauma.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
From the NYTimes book review:
Díaz shows impressive high-low dexterity, flashing his geek credentials, his street wisdom and his literary learning with equal panache. A short epigraph from the Fantastic Four is balanced by a longer one from Derek Walcott; allusions to Dune, The Matrix and (especially) The Lord of the Rings rub up against references to Melville and García Márquez. Oscar’s nickname is a Spanglish pronunciation of Oscar Wilde, whom he is said to resemble when dressed up in his Doctor Who costume for Halloween.