Last night Matt and I went downtown to see the new James Bond movie, which (surprise) was sold out everywhere. There were only a few hundred thousand people down on Michigan Ave. for the annual Festival of Lights, and after enjoying a parade in some light drizzle, what folks really wanted was some Bond. That was more than okay. We decided to see Little Children instead; I had wanted to see it anyway, since I live and die for Kate Winslet, and I'm very glad I did, because it was by far the best film I've seen all year. The film takes an unvarnished look at its characters, variously trapped in their suburban, post-joy lives, as they try to find little routes of escape. The many strands of the story at first don't seem to mesh - adultery, a child molester on the streets - until the end, which is extraordinary. The narration also seems out of place at first, but it gradually builds a connection with you in that it at once makes fun of the characters, and endears you to them. Go see it, if you can find it. It's excellent.
Maud Newton posts about The Book of Y and now I'm dying to check it out. Like the film last night, when you find a stimulating work of art, you're energized to write and dreadful of your talent at the same time. My work all seems awful, unrefined and middling and yet you can't help but keep slogging through. The author, Scarlett Thomas, has a website with some fun notes on beginning writers and beginning novels.