This year I’m doing the reverse: I’ll start from a literary source – a poem, a novel, or an essay – and will create a dialogue with a song and a film. With added bonus tracks. Remember, it’s a ‘dialogue,’ an exchange in which the ‘title track’ is not necessarily a mirror for similarities but rather an inspiration for thematic variations and motivations. I have relied on irony in one stance.
Whilst last year the subjects were varied, from zombies to witches and cemeteries, this time the topic is one: death. In seven forms. Like a reversed creation.
For the geek-at-heart: Sylvia Plath reads “Lady Lazarus.”
For the geek-at-heart: Richard Burton reads “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.”
For those with a metal heart: Iron Maiden’s version!
For the geek-at-heart: Italian songwriter Fabrizio De André took inspiration from the Spoon River Anthology for his 1971 concept album Non al denaro non all’amore né al cielo (Not to Money, Not to Love, Nor to Heaven). When poetry gives birth to even higher poetry. My favorite poetical rewrite: “Un medico” (based on #49, Dr. Siegfried Iseman).
4. Death by wife – Virginie Despentes, Baise-moi (1999), with Nick Cave’s Henry Lee (1995) and Luchino Visconti’s Ossessione (1942). I know that the two characters in Baise-moi are not ‘wives’ but there’s not another book quite like it. Powerfully disturbing. With an eponymous film adapted from it.
For the geek-at-heart: The science of deadly mates – female spiders.
For the revengeful heart: Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill – Vol.1 (2003).
For the geek-at-heart: Science says you really can be bored to death.
For those with a bored heart: The National, “Fake Empire” (from the album Boxer, 2007).
6. Nomadic death – William Faulkner, As I lay dying (1930), with The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005) by Tommy Lee Jones and Verdi’s Requiem-Dies Irae (1874) – because when bodies can’t find a (peaceful) burial you need to sing them a requiem. Click here for a guided reading of Faulkner’s novel and here for a review of Jones’ film.
For the geek-at-heart: William Faulkner reads from “As I lay dying.”
For those with an LGBTQ heart: Elena Stancanelli, Benzina (1998), adapted for the screen by Monica Stambrini (2001). Two lesbian teenagers on the run with the dead body of one’s mother in the trunk. Unfortunately, the book has no English translation (the film, instead, was released in the USA as Gasoline). You can read about the film here.
For the geek-at-heart: listen to Richard Dawkins.
For the apocalyptic heart: “Chosen,” final episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
HAVE A DEADLY FUN HALLOWEEN!