Lib gets a life!!

May 31, 2008

Cocoon… sans Rhésus, finalement.

Filed under: Musique — Lib @ 4:01 pm
Tags: , , ,

30 mai 2008, Magny-le-Hongre, File 7… la petite salle de concert du Val d’Europe, qui offre une programmation variée, intéressante et peu coûteuse… Hier soir, donc, Cocoon + Rhésus, avec les Dondog en première partie.

Déjà, pour bien commencer, Rhésus a été annulé. Petite annonce des organisateurs avant le concert… Rhésus a refusé de venir parce que programmé en dernier… et vous comprenez, les gens vont partir avant qu’on arrive, et y’aura personne… pas terrible, l’excuse. Mais bon, on est venus pour Cocoon, alors tant pis pour eux.

Je ne m’attarderai pas sur le première partie, parce que ça n’en vaut pas vraiment le coup… Un chanteur à la voix grave, mais sans réelle puissance, ce qui fait que dès que la musique est un peu fort, on ne l’entend plus… des chansons qui veulent être originales sans vraiment l’être… le pire. Pour le dire sans détours, c’était chiant. Chiant pendant trois quarts d’heure, c’est long.

Cocoon, ensuite. Un chanteur et guitariste, Mark Daumail, au grand sourire sincère, entouré de pandas en peluche accrochés au micro. Une chanteuse et pianiste, Morgane Imbeaud… que je n’ai pas vraiment vue parce qu’elle était assise et que je suis petite. Une excellente ambiance – ils plaisantent entre les morceaux, introduisent les chansons avec humour… peu de moyens, mais ça respire la simplicité bon enfant, l’envie de chanter et l’amour de la musique plus que le besoin d’impressionner. Une ambiance intimiste et chaleureuse – un éclairage de couleurs chaudes – qui donne l’impression que ce sont vos potes qui sont montés sur scène, et ce pour votre plus grand bonheur.

J’aime beaucoup leur musique. Des cordes – guitare et ukulélé, un piano, et deux voix qui se marient parfaitement (je suis très sensible à la voix de Mark – et pas qu’à sa voix, soit dit en passant…). De belles paroles – en anglais, même s’ils sont français. Des mélodies douces et charmantes, que l’on a tout de suite envie de fredonner.

Un petit aperçu :



Et celle qui passe à la radio  :

On My Way

Voilà… une agréable surprise, en compagnie de mon frère et mon meilleur ami. Un joli moment, plein de poésie et de mélodie. Je file m’acheter l’album dès que je peux.

Merci Cocoon !!


May 21, 2008

The Rough Guide tae Glasgow

Filed under: Voyages - Travels — Lib @ 4:50 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

As I stayed in Glasgow for two years, from September 2005 to June 2007, it would be nice to share a few travel tips – in case you want to go and discover the Friendly City. Believe me, it is much nicer than you might think it is. Lively, surprising, full of life, pulsing… A good destination for a quick getaway.

Getting there

Two airports, two railway stations and one bus station… quite easy to get to Glasgow. From Europe, you might want to check Ryanair’s flights. Not the best airline there is out there, but a top low-cost one. I once flew from Glasgow to London, return, for 2p. All taxes included. French people, you fly from Beauvais – shitty airport to get into / out of, by the way – into Prestwick, where a railway takes you right into Glasgow Central, the centre of the city. All for under 3 quid of you’re a Ryanair customer – keep your boarding card with you on the train. Good to know: there’s no ticket booth at the train station, so you’ll have to pay on the train. If you’re really lucky, you’ll:

– see all 4 seasons during one train trip (40 minutes). I once saw sunshine, rain and snow on one train trip back to Glasgow.

– share a ride with Celtic fans coming back from a footie game in Kilmarnock. The time it happened to me, they’d won – not that surprisingly. Booze, singing and banter, quite a sight. I got into a nice chat with one of them. And I didn’t pay the fare as we didn’t see the receiver. Gotta love it!!

Gettin’ yer bearings

There are several hostels in town. The closest to the station, and biggest, is Euro Hostel, on the Clyde banks, at the bottom of Renfrew Street. The one I stayed in when I first arrived was in the West End, in Hillhead Street. It was as all youth hostels should be: noisy, messy and cosmopolitan. In a nice area. about 60 quid a week. Self-catering, with a shared kitchen. Not stylish or classy, but you only go to hostels to sleep, right? Don’t forget your earplugs, don’t be too picky, and you’ll be fine.

Where tae gae? What tae dae?

This is not meant to be exhaustive – so I’m going to be very partial here!!

The city centre: bustling, busy, noisy, all that it should be! Shopping paradise – but what do you expect, it’s the UK we’re talking about!! After London, Glasgow is the first city as far as shopping’s concerned. And it’s very healthy shopping, as the streets are quite hilly!

If you want to do things right, you’ve got to do the big three: Argyle Street, Buchanan Street, Sauchiehall Street. At the end of it, you’ll be tired and your wallet will be empty. If you want to do things my way, you’ll go to:

– Borders Bookstore. My headquarters. With a Starbucks inside, where you can take books to read without buying them. A paradise for skint bookworms like me.

– Lush, in front of Borders. The best cosmetic shop ever. There’s another one in Sauchiehall Street, if you really can’t get enough of it.

– if you’re in the money (and if you’re a girl), Coast does the most gorgeous evening dresses. Ideal if you’ve got a wedding to go to.

– Buchanan Galleries. If you like shopping centres. Don’t miss Millies Cookies, ground floor: best cookies ever – well, after Ben’s Cookies (Oxford and London), that is!

– Papyrus, if you need to buy funky wee mindings. They do Edward Monkton stuff (mugs, cards, keyrings, coasters…), they’re hilarious.

– James Weaver Pringles, or whatever the name is, for hardcore tourists. All Scottish gifts here.

– Primark. The temple of cheap clothes. They’ll be a massive queue at the tills, mind you.

– FOPP: the same, but for books, CDs and DVDs. Much soulful than Virgin or HMV.

– Marks & Spencer, of course. For bureau de change and British atmosphere. Get shortbreads for your friends. Free toilets too…

Etc… anyway, wherever you go, don’t forget to flash your student card, if relevant, you’ll get interesting discounts!!

But shopping is not all there is to life… Culture matters too!

– the GoMA, right behing Borders. A museum of modern art, and a library. And free clean toilets, too, always good to know.

– the Lighthouse, near Glasgow Central, a museum dedicated to Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Beautiful view of the city roofs from the top. Really worth it.

– a bit outside the city centre, on Castle Street, you’ve got St Mungo’s Cathedral.

– the Tron Theatre, near High Street: I once saw there a great production of The Tempest. And while we’re at it, the Citizens Theatre, in the Gorbals, is great too. Both quite cheap. I love them. If you’re more of a musicals fan, I’d advise you to check the King’s Theatre programs. Good stuff there – I saw My Fair Lady, Cats, Guys And Dolls, Chicago…

With all that, you’ll need a place to grab a bite, won’t you? Starbucks, Costa Coffee or Caffè Nero at each corner, if you feel like coffee. For a meal: Café Gandolfi in Merchant City (where you get all the designer shops) does excellent traditional Scottish food. And then, there’s food from all around the world. On Royal Exchange Square, Di Maggio’s does great pizzas. Tapas at La Tasca. And pubs and bars all over the place… I’d recommend Adrian’s Bar, really nice bar to chill out – you can even take drinks outside, weather permitting. And Waxy O’Connor’s. It’s like Hogwarts in there. Or Peter Pan’s tree house. Be careful, you might get lost!

The West End: the studenty bit. Less mainstream, funkier than the city centre. The hub of this area is Byres Road, where you can find shops, restaurants and food. Don’t miss the small alleys off Byres Roas, they have great second-hand shops and restaurants. There’s also an indie cinema, the Grosvenor. A bit like the GFT, on Rose Street in the city centre.

The main attraction, though, is the University. This old Gothic building is typical of British universities. The view from it is lovely, and the cloisters are really worth it – nice photoshoots there! You can get your Glasgow Uni hoodie from the gift shop. And just outside the Uni, there is the Charles Rennie Mackintosh museum – another one.

And if it’s a sunny day, grab a sandwich in M&S Simply Food, and go eat it in the Botanic Gardens. Lovely greenhouses and flowers.

Ootside Glesga

What’s great about Glasgow is that it is easy to get out of the city. A few of my favourite days out:

Loch Lomond: get the bus or the train to Balloch – careful, the roads mights be packed on a sunny day – and go to the shores of Loch Lomond. It’s just outside the city, and it’s like leaving a world to go into another. Luss is the best site to go.

Arran: ask a ticket to Brodick at Glasgow Central, and get the train to Ardrossan, then the ferry to Brodick. A beautiful island where they have a lot of flowers, soaps, and sheep. A gorgeous day out.

Edinburgh: train from Queen Street or bus from Buchanan Bus station (cheap deals on Citylink). But Edinburgh deserves its own posts. That’ll come later…

May 19, 2008

The Nanny Diaries

Filed under: Cinéma — Lib @ 2:27 am
Tags: , ,

Une bonne surprise, finalement !

Le pitch : une jeune fille, Annie (Scarlett Johansson), tout juste licenciée d’anthropologie, décide de devenir nounou à plein temps. Ses raisons pour ce choix de carrière… inattendu ? Elle se sent perdue, pas encore prête à affronter le monde du travail. Elle se retrouve dans une famille fortunée et dysfonctionnelle de Manhattan, où il lui faut apprivoiser un gamin dont on attend trop, une mère exigeante et un père absent.

Je m’attendais à une comédie de mauvais goût où les enfants impossibles se jouent d’une nounou dépassée par les événements, jusqu’au jour où elle découvre un moyen de s’attirer les sympathies des petits monstres, qui à leur tour font fondre les parents, et toute la famille part au parc en chantant pour faire voler des cerfs-volants. Sans le charme de Julie Andrews. La référence marypoppinesque est bien là. Mais dans l’esprit d’Annie seulement, qui déchante vite. Le film n’évite pas les clichés, mais il ne les fige pas non plus.

Le personnage d’Annie, interprété par Scarlett Johansson, m’a beaucoup touchée. Peut-être me suis-je particulièrement identifiée à elle. Comme elle, je suis diplômée – pas d’anthropologie, certes, mais quand même. Comme elle, je suis baby-sitter – pas à plein temps, mais croyez-moi, ils sont diaboliques ! Comme elle, je me sens un peu perdue, à cheval entre le monde de la fac et celui du travail, pas trop sûre de savoir où je veux aller. La remise en question d’Annie, celle qui la mène à se faire embaucher comme nounou, n’est sûrement qu’une ficelle narrative pour la mettre dans la situation voulue. N’empêche, je la comprends, même si sa mère à elle n’y parvient pas. Prendre du recul par rapport à sa situation présente peut faire du bien. Et Annie s’en tire bien. La réaction de Grayer, le petit garçon qu’elle garde, est un peu exagérée au début – le petit monstre dont je vous parlais, qui bourre la jeune fille de coups de pied dans les tibias avant de l’enfermer sur le palier. Il finit par l’adorer, sa “nanny”. Mais comment le lui reprocher ? Avec ses grands yeux bleus, ses tenues de jeune fille qui n’a pas encore fini de grandir et ses sourires charmeurs, Scarlett Johansson est adorable. Et crédible.

Le personnage de Mrs X, la maman de Grayer, interprété par Laura Linney, prête à la réflexion, lui aussi. Mrs X est une maman qui n’a eu un enfant que parce que c’est ce qui se fait. Elle souhaite la meilleure éducation pour son fils, mais sans que ça soit elle qui la lui donne. Elle se venge sur la nounou de ses problèmes de couple. Le trait est forcé, bien sûr, jusqu’à frôler le ridicule, parfois. Et la prise de conscience n’a lieu qu’une fois la nounou virée – et donc libre de dire à la yuppie mummy ses quatre vérités. Mari largué, attention reconcentrée sur Grayer, la maman s’amende. On s’y attendait un peu. Mais Laura Linney sait lui donner une touchante vulnérabilité, qui fait qu’à la fin, finalement, on ne la déteste plus. Enfin, plus autant.

Un petit film sans prétention, de dimanche après-midi pluvieux ou de vendredi soir en famille. A voir, si l’occasion s’en présente, ne serait-ce parce que Scarlett Johansson y est lumineuse, et authentique. On y retrouve un peu la jeune fille de The Horse Whisperer – l’actrice a abandonné, le temps d’un films, le maquillage et les tenues glamour, les cheveux blond platine et les lèvres rouge sang. Une charmante Mary Poppins des temps modernes, qui grandit en aidant un petit bonhomme à grandir. A feel-good movie, certes un peu cheesy, mais parfois, ça fait du bien.

May 15, 2008

Life On Mars

Filed under: Télévision — Lib @ 11:18 pm
Tags: , ,

My name is Sam Tyler. I had an accident, and I woke up in 1973. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? Whatever’s happened, it’s like I’ve landed on a different planet. Now, maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home.

Life On Mars, 2 series, 8 episodes of 52 minutes each. By the way, small digression for those who don’t know the difference between series and season: a series is more of a British concept. They usually have 6 (Spooks), 8 (Life On Mars, Ashes To Ashes) or 13 episodes (Doctor Who, Torchwood). Season is an American term, because most American series have about 24 episodes and follow the seasons – when it’s actually Christmas, it’s also Christmas in House MD.

Anyway, this is not the point. The point is, do you know this fantastic British series, produced by the BBC, which is Life On Mars (LoM from now on, shorter)? If not, you should check it out first thing in the morning. Right now, even, if you’ve got a bit of time to spare. Much more important than clicking the refresh button on your Facebook page again. Once you’ll see the first episode, you’ll be hooked.

Sam Tyler is a cop, he lives in 2006 and he’s a bit uptight, to say the least. One day, he gets hit by a speeding car. When he wakes up, David Bowie’s song is playing on a tape in his car where there used to be an iPod, and he realises that he’s landed in 1973. When he read the script, John Simm wondered how they’d pull this off. They did. Brilliantly.

First, there is the clash between two eras: Britain – Manchester, to be more accurate – before and after Maggie. 1973 is full of shit, whereas 2006 is bleach clean. In 1973, cops hit before they ask. In 2006, they record interrogations to prove they didn’t hurt the suspect. No wonder Sam is longing to go home.

Then, there is the clash between two characters, two visions of the world. There is Sam, discreet, meticulous (to the point of annoying sometimes…), always careful… He thinks before he acts, Sam. And he acts by the book. Evidence comes first. His world is turned upside down when he wakes up in 1973, but he is not willing to change, to adapt. Such an experience would be hard for anyone, but it is maybe harder on Sam, because he is so self-righteous that he finds it difficult to admit that there could be other truths than the one he believes in. This adventure is sent as a trial to him, so he can put himself to the test. Each series is a revealing experience. In the first one, Sam is confronted to the events that tore his own family apart – he then thinks that he’s been sent back to 1973 to fix things. This is his first trial. In the second series, it’s himself that is put to the test, in shape of a dilemma: which will he choose, 1973 or 2006?

Sam’s character could be boring, annoying even, if there weren’t for these sparks of intuitive genius he has. He is a brainy character, but going through what he had to experience does teach him that gut-feeling is a good thing – even though it sometimes gets him to end up in his boss’s car boot. In these moments, he brilliantly uses his rational mind to serve his gut-feeling, and even his DCI has to admit it – Sam Tyler is a good cop, even though he is a right pain in the arse.

DCI Gene Hunt. Sam’s antithesis. He is all what Sam Tyler isn’t. Big as life, racist, homophobic, politically incorrect. Don’t think before you strike. Suspects will spill the beans way quicker if you hit their heads on the floor and kick them in the nuts. Gene Hunt is from another world, a world where John Wayne is king of the jungle and where the lawman is always right. DCI Hunt would rather be a marshall in Texas than a British cop in Manchester. But he is not a heartless brute only. He loves his city, and he has to keep Manchester’s streets tidy – even though he has to crash a few skulls on the way. He keeps calling his DI’s, morons and slapheads, but if one of them is hurt on duty, he’d move earth and sky to punish the offender. Gene Hunt drinks too much, but he always knows when to say when. He is outrageous, but deep inside, humanity tells him right from wrong.

This confrontation between two radically opposed visions of life is built on great situations and fantastic scripts. LoM could be another cop series, but this 21st century DI lost in a seventies’ police station, where his colleagues are barely aware of forensics and where crimes even have changed faces, gives each episodes a new twist to it. Constantly, Sam is made aware that he has to solve cases with basic means. That’s how he realises that technology isn’t it all – he has to use his intuition too.

And the dialogues are brilliant. To be honest, I find it really difficult to like something if the dialogues are not great – my literary education that kicks in, probably. I have no problems here. The dialogues are sharp and witty, hilarious sometimes, always spot on. Gene Hunt gets some of the best lines in the history of BBC shows. I’d like to share a few examples with you:

Gene and Sam, the eternal misundertanding:

Gene Hunt: Right, we pulled a bird in, Dora Keanes. She was the last person to see the victim alive.
Sam Tyler: Is she a suspect?
Gene Hunt: Nope, just a pain in the arse.
Sam Tyler: Okay, alright, brief me in full. What do I need to know?
Gene Hunt: [Slightly nonplussed] She’s a pain in the arse.
(Episode 1)
Gene Hunt: You think you know everything, don’t you?
Sam Tyler: I know the stench of rotten apples.
Gene Hunt: Yeah? And I know your slag is lying through her teeth and do you wanna know why?
Sam Tyler: Yeah, why?
Gene Hunt: Steven Warren is a bum bandit. Do you understand? A poof! A fairy! A queer! A queen! Fudge packer! Uphill Gardener! Fruit picking sodomite!
Sam Tyler: He’s gay?
Gene Hunt: As a bloody Christmas Tree! Mind you, he is a little touchy on the subject, being a twisted Catholic with an elderly mother and all, so I wouldn’t go mentioning it to him… You challenged his authority so he stitched you up like a kipper. Pretty girl appealed to your vanity as the only decent sheriff in Dodge City. Slipped you a Mickey, tied you up and bounced on your ding-a-ling.
Sam Tyler: Why?
Gene Hunt: I suspect the answer will lie in the post. Photos, you idiot.
(Episode 2)

Spoilers, now.

During both series, the big question is, which one is it? Is Sam mad, in a coma, or back in time? Actually, the answer is not that hard to fathom: from the beginning of series 1, a lot of clues point in the same direction. In 2006, Sam is lying in a hospital bed, in deep coma, constantly oscillating between life and death.

The las episode is, in a way, Sam’s epiphany. In order to go back to 2006, he has to betray his team, his new friends. Not that much of a dilemma, it seems, as that team of his is, after all, a creation of his mind. Or is it? The show never gives a definite answer.

And there is more. Back in 1973, Sam has changed. He’s found out more about himself. And he’s realised that he likes this new him more than the old one – and so do we, actually. He comes back for Annie, of course, because he’s promised that he’d see to her. But not only. He owes it to himself, too, to the new him that he has become.

LoM is a great show. It is original, well-written, full of endearing characters. Honestly, I’d like to find something wrong about it, because it would give more credit to this review. But I can’t. I’ve loved it from Episode 1 to the Finale. I watch it quite often, and I never get tired of it. Once again, the BBC’s pulled a brilliant series out of their sleeves. They even made a spin-off out of it, Ashes To Ashes. But more on that later.


Filed under: Télévision — Lib @ 2:02 am

So, I love series. Maybe because some of them are actually better than what you can see on the big screen. Sometimes. And also because our British and American friends are so good at making them…

I intend to review each one of the series I love – one at a time, of course. So here is what you can look forward to on this blog:

British series:

  • Doctor Who
  • Life On Mars
  • Ashes To Ashes
  • Torchwood
  • The Vicar of Dibley
  • Spooks – I still have to watch it, though.

American series:

  • House MD
  • How I Met Your Mother
  • Sex And The City
  • Californication
  • Six Feet Under
  • Veronica Mars

That’s it for now folks, because it’s late and I should be into bed now… And I want a wee read before I actually tuck in.
Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!


May 14, 2008

Millénium – Stieg Larsson

Filed under: Littérature — Lib @ 3:46 pm
Tags: ,

Publiée en Suède en 2004, cette trilogie policière n’a paru en France, chez Actes Sud, qu’en 2007. Le roman policier suédois a déjà fait ses preuves – Mankell en est la preuve. Larsson – décédé en 2004, mille fois hélas – nous plonge dans un univers noir et glacé avec un talent qui confirme ce que je pensais depuis quelques temps déjà : le roman policier est ce qui, aujourd’hui, se fait de mieux en matière de littérature contemporaine. En effet, au-delà d’Ikéa, d’Ericsson et des compétitions de patinage artistique à Göteborg, que savais-je de la Suède ? Pas grand chose. Non seulement Larsson m’a-t-il divertie, il m’a aussi plongée dans un univers, une culture que je ne connaissais pas. Le roman policier, ou l’introduction la plus complète, actuellement, aux réalités d’autres mondes ?

Tome 1 – Les Hommes qui n’aimaient pas les femmes

It’s all in the title, isn’t it ? Le roman est émaillé de statistiques assez effrayantes sur la condition féminine des Suédoises. En effet, au pays des étagères Billy, les hommes n’aiment pas les femmes…

Tout commence à la Agatha Christie : une île perdue au milieu de nulle part, un meurtre irrésolu depuis cinquante ans. Les coupables présumés ? Ceux qui étaient sur l’île au moment de la disparition de la jeune victime. Un petit air de Dix Petits Nègres mâtiné du Crime de l’Orient-Express, non ? Un journaliste désoeuvré parce que victime d’un scandale financier est chargé, par l’oncle de la jeune victime, d’élucider le mystère. Rien de bien original, me direz-vous. J’irai même jusqu’à dire que l’intrigue est légèrement prévisible.

Mais le génie de Millénium 1 n’est pas dans la situation narrative, mais dans les personnages et leur psychologie. Larsson s’y entend à créer des personnalités qui sont plus que des créatures de papier. Erika Berger, rédactrice de la revue Millénium qui prête son nom à la trilogie. Henrik Vanger, le patriarche hanté par la disparition de sa nièce, Harriet, cinquante ans plus tôt. Et surtout : Mikael Blomberg, le journaliste détective. Lisbeth Salander, la crack en informatique, asociale soupçonnée de psychopathie. Petite, maigre et brune… loin du cliché de la Suédoise grande et blonde. Deux personnages dignes de figurer au Panthéon des créations littéraires.

Car au fond, l’intrigue, brillamment menée, n’est que prétexte au développement des relations entre ces êtres humains, et en particulier de celle entre Mikael et Lisbeth. Entre indifférence et attirance, ils s’opposent et se complètent, se séduisent et se repoussent, et c’est à la lumière de ces rapports que le lecteur, peu à peu, apprend à les comprendre. Rassurez-vous cependant, toutes les réponses ne sont pas données dans le premier tome. Jamais, même… Le décès prématuré de l’auteur donnant à jamais un petit goût d’inachevé à la trilogie.

D’excellents personnages, donc. Une intrigue rondement menée. Un décor propice au frisson. Et un roman résolument contemporain, qui utilise à merveille les recettes ancestrales du polar pour les renouveler et donner à son roman un goût de XXIe siècle, gorgé de piratage informatique, de scandales politiques et financiers – et d’amours libertines. Une alchimie au parfum doux-amer, à la fois nostalgique et novatrice, qui fait de Millénium un de ces livres que l’on ne peut lâcher, une fois commencés.

Tome 2 – La Fille qui rêvait d’un bidon d’essence et d’une allumette

Un livre au titre curieux, roublard comme pas deux : en effet, une fois entamé le second volume de la trilogie Millénium, assurez-vous d’avoir le troisième à portée de main – nul repos entre les deux ouvrages, qui forment un diptyque (je ne sais jamais où mettre le i et le y…) à l’intérieur même de la trilogie. Les hommes n’aiment toujours pas les femmes, et le complot se mesure à plus grande échelle. La victime est ici Salander. Les bourreaux de plus en plus nombreux, de plus en plus haut placé. L’intrigue se complexifie, se ramifie, se développe. Les personnalités de chaque personnage en font autant.

Aidée par une jeune thésarde, Mia, et par Dag, journaliste, la rédaction de Millénium s’apprête à révéler un scandale fumant autour d’un réseau de prostitution. Mais Dag et Mia sont assassinés. Lisbeth Salander est accusée. D’autres révélations sont mises au jour. Le scandale dépasse les milieux glauques du proxénétisme et fait apparaître un homme au passé mystérieux, Zala – et dont les agissements présents ne sont pas plus clairs… Difficile de résumer une intrigue qui tient à la fois du roman policier, de l’analyse psychologique, du roman d’aventure, du reportage documentaire…

Larsson prouve ici qu’il est apte à maintenir une dizaine de fers au feu, à jongler avec tant de boules qu’il fait tourner la tête de son lecteur – tout en ne perdant jamais de vue son but initial. Le lecteur est emmené dans des méandres dont il ne soupçonnait pas l’existence, mais retombe toujours sur ses pieds, abasourdi par de nouveaux rebondissements menés d’une main de maître.

Tome 3 – La Reine dans le palais des courants d’air

Un final étourdissant qui, au fond, n’en est pas vraiment un – trop de pistes sont laissées ouvertes, et tout lecteur attentif se doute que Stieg Larsson ne comptait pas en rester là.

L’énigme Salander continue – et la jeune femme n’est pas disposée à aider Mikael ou le lecteur à la résoudre. Ce qui fait tout son charme, me direz-vous. Malgré son physique de chat écorché, son refus de communiquer, Lisbeth devient, en quelque sorte, l’emblème de tout ce que les hommes font subir aux femmes. Refusant de se lancer dans d’assommantes analyses psychologiques afin d’expliquer le personnage, Larsson se contente de la décrire en action, face à un monde qu’elle appréhende mal, et cela la met en relief, la rend plus réelle que ne le ferait n’importe quel long discours introspectif. Lisbeth a le tranchant d’un diamant brut, elle dérange et chamboule les idées reçues, et le lecteur s’y attache au fur et à mesure qu’il la découvre, qu’il apprend son histoire et ses persécutions. Et qu’il est témoin de son évolution. Car Lisbeth refuse de se laisser enfermer dans son personnage du premier tome. Elle change, comme on le fait dans la vraie vie.

Une bonne surprise, donc. Une trilogie qui mérite de trôner dans le palmarès des meilleures ventes. Une preuve que la littérature suédoise a encore bien des surprises dans la manche. Une future adaptation cinématographique en projet. Larsson nous a quitté, mais il nous a laissé son chef-d’oeuvre inachevé.

May 13, 2008

The Pillowman – Martin MacDonagh

Filed under: Littérature,Théâtre — Lib @ 9:49 pm
Tags: , ,

Katurian est un écrivain de nouvelles assez horribles: la plupart traitent de morts d’enfants dans d’affreuses circonstances. La pièce commence alors que Katurian est arrêté par la police et interrogé: des enfants ont été sauvagemment tués dans le voisinage, et il est fortement soupçonné d’être le coupable… Ajoutez à cela deux inspecteurs de police eux-mêmes très torturés, un frère attardé mental et des souvenirs d’enfance particulièrement traumatisants… Cette pièce est profondément macabre et pourtant teintée d’un humour latent, elle fait appel à des sentiments qu’on préfèrerait garder enfouis au fond de soi, et pourtant, une fois commencée, difficile de la lâcher… L’écriture est tantôt vive et alerte pour mieux rendre les rapports de force entre les personnages, d’autre fois presque macabrement poétique, comme pour souligner avec encore plus de mélancolie les rapports étranges, et pourtant émouvant, entre Katurian et son frère…

Cette pièce m’a tant touchée que je suis en train de la traduire en français… avec grand plaisir.

T In The Park – A Scottish Experiment

Filed under: Grand Moment — Lib @ 9:38 pm
T In The Park
6th, 7th and 8th of July 2007
Balado by Kinross, Perth and Kinross


Left at about 8.30. Sunhat, stripey wellies, flowery cagoule, full supply of baby wipes, ticket (of course!), folding chairs, tent, sleeping bag, mat, pillow, torch… all geared up! Raining buckets though… Got there at about 11 am (after a few stops for some last minute shopping). The car park (in a field) is already turning into a swamp. We get lucky and find a space quite quickly. Cars are laready stuck in the mud.

Meet up with the others and we make our way to the campsite with the rest of the crowd. The ground is slowly turning to a muddy swamp. Muck staining trousers. Wellies are the most popular item, and people wearing trainers are starting to regret it. Some smarts arses think they were clever by carrying their stuff in wheeling suitcases – they realise their mistake. No wheeling at all in the mud, and the suitcases are wrecked. Other folks have sledges – mighty handy! They’re all carrying heavy stocks of booze – never mind spare clothes, beer is the most important thing to have.

It takes us about one hour to get to the campsite entrance. Each of us get a pink wristband – camper privilege. The entrance of the campsite has already turned to muck. We make our way to a poart that’s still grassy. The rain, that had stopped as we got into the car park, has started again. But we are not long to put our tents up, and we can take shelter under them.

The boozing can start (I won’t be drinking at all, though – not in the mood). At about 4, we make our way to the arena. Mud is everywhere. People without wellies are doomed – and wellies sellers make a mint! Still, people are cheery – from time to time, a massive collective whooping rise from the campsite.

In the arena, Lily Allen is already on stage – but we take shelter into the T Break tent until the rain stops – it eventually happens, against all odds! Burger and chips – £5.50, rip off! – we dry off a bit, but the ground is a sea of mud. About 4 inches of liquid muck, muck ponds outisde the beer bar, where most folks tend to spend teir time – no wonder the event is sponsored by Tennent’s Lager. Some folks find it funny to dive and jump in the mud. Campers only on Friday night – they won’t get a wash till the festival is over… Some guys pee just where they stand… I get the TITP official laminate and a TITP T-shirt – I’m not drinking, I can afford it (£3.10 a pint, Fresh As A Daisy!).

After Lily Allen, The Coral, and Bloc Party. To my dismay, we’re not joining the crowd for Bloc Party, but I enjoy it from the bar, especially The Prayer. We join in for the headliners, Arctic Monkeys. Great gig, though I see most of it on the big screens – too wee to see over the crowd. The crowd really enjoys the show, and you’re forget you’re soaked through and standing knee-deep in mud.

Doesn’t last long though – the walk back to the campsite is a walk through hell. Your wellies sink into the mud and you have to tread carefully not to slip in the dirt. Each step you take is a challenge, you cling on to your mates to keep balance. And when you leave the path to get to your tent, you have to be careful not to trip on the tent’s guide ropes – a real cobwed, especially in the dark. When you get back to your tent, you’re pleased to find it’s waterproof, no rain nor mud in the area where you’re sleeping. But I realise I’ve forgotten my earplugs. Bad move, as folks are not in the mood for a wee lie in – especially since some folks are just getting there, as the whole Balado area is completely gridlock. A no sleep night, then, fearing that some guy might pee on my tent. I can hear thumping music, folks talking loudly (about boozing, poppers and getting 6 folks into a 1 man tent). Might have dozed off for a couple of hours in the morning, when it starts getting a bit more quiet – until some clever clogs decides to play the guitar right besides my tent. And they’re rubbish.


At this point, if my mum and dad had been in the country, I’d have phoned them up and asked them to pick me up. When I get out of my tent (surprisingly, I kept warm for the night, even though I didn’t sleep), I find out someone’s put up their tent in the middle of our “social circle”, where we’d left a space in the middle of our tents to sit and chat. Liam calls it the TARDIS – he’s been sitting there drinking for half of the night, but didn’t see the new comers arrive. Colin, Gillan and I decide to go back to the car – we’d decided earlier to leave our clothes there so they’d keep dry – but the entrance is mobbed, the queue is not moving, so we give up. No change of clothes, no wash – festival atmosphere! And I’d better not mention the state of the toilets. I get a burger (£3.50) for breakfast, the general mood is pretty grim. The campsite is a mud field. I’ve never heard so many swear words in my life. Inly good news: the sun has come out. That helps people to keep going.

When we get back, the guy inside the mysterious tent comes out to find us all sitting around him. Nice Irish bloke from Aberdeen – took him ten hours to get there. He’s got no wellies, poor sod. Liam greets him: “We thought you were fucking Doctor Who!” Time to wait for the gigs to start, sitting on folding chairs and boozing.

We head off for the arena at about 3 pm. The mud has started to dry out a bit. The arena is all right even, still quite muddy in places though. We get some food – Chinese beef and noodles. We start of with Lost Prophets and James on the main stage. James is really good, especially their hit song Sit Down. The lead singer is mental, his body waving around like an eel. Then we head off for the NME stage to see Babyshambles. Pete Docherty, wearing a broad brimmed hat and chain smoking, entertains the crowd. I find out Killamangiro is one of their tunes… The NME stage is smaller, easier for me to see the performers. Then, we get ready for the headliners, The Killers. Unfortunately, the place is mobbed, and the spot we’re in is far away, I don’t get to see much. Razorlight is on just before The Killers – all right, not great. As I wait for Colin and Gillian to get me – they’re off to get some booze, I went apart to get a Nutella crêpe and a fresh fruit salad, bliss! – I’m in the middle of a nasty crowd. A guy is completely off his head, high on booze and drugs. Not pleasant. But we move after Colin and Gillian get me.

As I’m a great fan of Hot Fuss, I’m thrilled to hear Somebody Told Me, Mr Brightside, Smile Like You Mean It, On Top, Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine, and especially All These Things That I’ve Done : “I got soul, but I’m not a soldier…” and singing along most loudly, I have to say… They even cover Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You.

The crowd is weird, but fascinating – so different from a regular gig. Folks waving flags around – the Saltire being the most popular. Folks carrying their friends on their shoulders, though it’s prohibited. Throwing pints over the crowd. Standing about completely pished, wearing a band’s Tshirt. Wearing bridal gowns. Not wearing much. Bare foot.

The walk back to the campsite is easier this time. We are asked to lift out arms up so they can check on our wristbands. Craig found me some earplugs, bless him. To tell you the truth, I feel much better now than in the morning. When we get to our tents, our friends are there already. Liam is in a state – reall funny though. I have a chat with folks I don’t know – Craig and Allison, whon think I’m steaming. Alison’s been hit by a glass bottle during one of the gigs. I can’t believe I’ve only had two hours sleep in the last two days and still make sense in English. I get into my tent, put my earplugs in – and sleeps like a baby till 8 am.


We decide not to sleep in the campsite on the Sunday night : we’re gonna take all our stuff to the car in the morning and leave straight after the last gig – best idea of the week-end. The walk back to the car is ok, and we even find decent toilets in the car park. No point in getting changed – at least I won’t fuck up more clothes! Gillian and Colin get more booze – though Colin is driving the night and easing off on the drinks. We get into the arena earlier to see more acts and get some decent food.

The weather is lovely, if changeable. Really windy when cloudy, but as soon as the sun comes out, it’s roasting. The campsite has dried out and they’ve rolled on the mains paths, much easier to walk! The festival mood has definitely kicked in. A guys walks by us and casually offers us some weed. We pass by a guy snorting cocain in his tent, not shy from anyone. David Johnstone claims to have five different drugs in his body. The Irish camping in the middle of our tents gives me an apple. People keep cheering and singing along. The campsite is filthy – you even get into the habit of dumping your urbbish anywhere. Empty cans, carrier bags, shoes, sledges, wellies, tissues, tent parts… you can find anything lying about.

We start up at the NME stage to see The Pigeon Detectives. Really nice band, very energetic lead singer. Then, on with The Twang, they remind me of The Streets. I get a The Killers Tshirt. The sun’s out. People’s faces get redder in the sun. A bloke is sleeping on the ground, right on the spot where guys go pee – or was it yesterday? After that, I go on my own to see Paolo Nutini, as I’m the only one who wants to see him. The others go to the Silent Disco, and we agree to meet up for The Fratellis. Laurent keeps me informed on the Wimbledon final – Federer/Nadal – by text. I get to a really great spot, and for the first time, I can actually see the stage pretty well! And I’m leaning against a fence, where the security guys stand, it feels safer.

Paolo Nutini seems pissed, but it doesn’t really affect his singing, and he does a great performance. I love it when he covers I want to be like you from The Jungle Book. He also sings a few new songs of his. The, The Fratellis. No way I’m leaving my good spot to meet up with the others, I stay where I can see! The crowd keeps asking for Chelsea Dagger, they get it at the very end. Fantastic atmosphere, the audience is so pleased to see The Fratellis – home boys. I meet up with Colin and Gillian afterwards – Federer’s won the final – and Craig and Debbie join us for Kings Of Leon. But the stage is quite far, and I’m not interested anyway. They decide to go to the NME stage to see Kasabian, but I want to stay at the main stage for the Scissor Sisters and Snow Patrol. I’m lucky and can go back to my good spot. The security guys are looking forward to the end of the day! The one in front of me is not well at all – his eyes seem to bother him. Another one keeps the crowd entertain in between acts.

The Scissor Sisters come on, tartan clad. They are mental. Jake Shears jump about, pretends to have sex with the female singer, climbs up the scaffoldings on the stage and flashes his arse. The crows gets mad over She’s My Man, Laura, and the final I Don’t Feel Like Dancing. The banter in between the songs is really funny – they do get the festival spirit! They leave the stage humming Loch Lomond. While we’re waiting for the headliners Snow Patrol, they play 500 miles in the speakers, and the crowd sings along. Snow Patrol comes on. Gary Lightbody wins the award for the nicest performer. He’s adorable.

Folks throwing glowing sticks at him: “You seem to love throwing them at me! (open his arms) Go on then. Take a square shot. (thousands of sticks thrown on stage.) You’re rubbish! I bet I can hit someone (throws a few back.)

A shoe lands on the stage: “A shoe! Someone is going to be really sorry tonight, walking home. To Inverness. Probably too pissed to notive he had his shoe in his hand. And to notive he let it go. Can I have the other one please? Size 10.” (he does eventually get the other one. And a welly.)

A guy has climbed up a scaffolding during a song, and got everyone’s attention. At the end of the song: “There’s an unusual request. Could the guy who’s climbed up the scaffolding, climb down? You’re frightening everybody. You’re frightening me… Your mum’s phoned, she says she’s got your slippers and your jammies ready. And toasts with Marmite, just the way you like it. This song is dedicated to the man who’s climbed up.”

He laughs in the middle of songs when shoes land on the stage, he pleases the crowd giving it all on Chasing Cars and Eyes Open. And he’s really fit! A grand way to end the week-end.

A girl plays the bagpipes on the main stage, fireworks start off to say goodbye. The week-end is over. I’m knackered, I’m filthy… but I’m starting to think I’d quite enjoy coming back someday!

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Turin Brakes

Filed under: Musique — Lib @ 9:33 pm

Pour commencer, un coup de coeur britannique, un groupe de rock indie peu connu en France et dont je ne me lasse pas.

L’histoire de Turin Brakes se résume en 4 albums: :

The Optimist, le premier. Du talent en gestation, je dirais, un bon petit album, mais encore un peu brouillon. Tout en laissant présager de la qualité de ce qui suit.

Ether Song, beaucoup le considèrent comme leur meilleur. Pain Killer étant ma préférée sur cette album, très dynamique.

Jack In A Box, leur troisième album, sur lequel se trouve ma chanson préférée, Fishing For A Dream.
Cette chanson a la particularité de me faire fondre sur place, littéralement.

Et enfin, Dark On Fire, le nouvel album, paru en septembre 2007.
Le premier single, Stalker, est bon, et le clip est très, très intéressant.
Cet album serait en fait mon préféré, je craque surtout sur Bye Pod et New Star.
Plus sombre, plus rythmé, ce dernier opus me paraît plus mature, un peu moins poétique et éthéré, peut-être, mais plus solide, plus cruel aussi…

Allons-y !

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lib @ 9:21 pm

So, this is a new blog. From me. Sometimes I’ll write it in English. Parfois, je passerai au français. Whatever suits my mood.

And what will it be about? Well, everything I like. Films. Series. Music. Plays. Books. Whatever I want to share with you.

Enjoy – I hope…

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