Starting Over

Friday, January 05, 2007

Brad Gooch - Zombie00

I discovered Brad Gooch via the Dennis Cooper blog - and was recommended to read one of his novels. I found Zombie00 on abebooks and am very pleased I did.
Zombie00 is a surprising book - and by that I mean its not what I expected from an ex-model who has also written gay self-help books (or at least one) - so that was all my initial prejudices shattered.
As opposed to Scott Heim's zombies out to seek revenge Gooch's zombie is an altogether different character. His young character is fascinated by a visit to the Sacred Voodoo Chamber at the Scranton Art Museum or perhaps this visit merely represents and names a state of desire for worship and obedience. Zombie00 takes this character on a journey from Pennsylvania to New York, to Haiti and back to New York as he adopts a series of zombie masters. It's a fable of a kind, but one that takes in bodybuilders, S/M, and abuse (although consensual abuse if there is such a thing). Gooch portrays in crisp and matter of fact writing the compeling desire for an all absorbing relationship, and in particular 'Zombie's desire for a master to serve, obey and take care of him.
Despite a weak ending this was a fascinating and vivid read - and I'm looking forward to reading more of Mr Gooch.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Pan's Labyrinth

Guillermo Del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth is one of my favoutrite movies of 2006. It is a grown up fairy tale, not afraid to look deeply into the darkside, that truly succeeds in using all the wonders of filmmaking to create a compelling drama.
Set in the immediate aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, Ofelia and her heavily pregnant mother are escorted to a rural militray outpost where Ofelia's stepfather commands with a cruel and harsh fist. Ofelia's mother urges her to forget the world of fairytales - real life she suggests is more urgent and demanding. Yet a dragonfly, a faun (the Pan of the title), a labyrinth and monsters emerge and both parallel and reflect the monstrous reality that surrounds Ofelia as a community attempts to resist Franco's rule. Elements of fairy tales, horror stories and tales of war combine in an engaging and strikingly visual film.