The Bill Murray Stories

billmurraystoryApparently there are lots of stories on the internet about Bill Murray doing some crazy spontaneous things where he crashes a party or a wedding picture session, comes behind someone in a public toilet and puts his hands on the person eyes saying “No one will ever believe you”, or ends up doing the dishes in some kid’s apartment. He just shows up out of the blue, acts like he is just a normal guy (not a celebrity) but in a way that touches people’s life. Could those stories be true? That’s the question which Tommy Avallone asked himself and decided to make a documentary about it. 

The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned From a Mythical Man is a documentary that retells those stories and interviews the people who experienced them. It really seems that most stories — at least those told in the documentary — are true and there is pictorial or video evidences to prove it. Avallone then goes on asking himself: why? Why someone like Bill Murray would do such things? To goof around? As a publicity stunt? Not at all. It is just who Bill Murray is. It is part of an improv thing and part of a life philosophy (something like taoism or zen). He just like to live in the moment and make people happy.

Personally, I am just wondering what makes people wake up in the morning and decides to make a documentary about Bill Murray. You are in movie school and need to do one as an assignment? Or really want answers to those questions and decide to just films everything and try to make money out of it? Or you just have the “reporter” gene in your blood? I guess someone should make a documentary about that.

It’s not a very good documentary (it’s clumsy, particularly toward the end, and I dislike when someone makes a documentary about themselves looking for something) but I enjoyed it because I not only learned a lot about who is Bill Murray, but it was also quite entertaining (lots of funny anecdotes and movie excerpts). It reminds me of this book that I once saw in the library: The Tao of Bill Murray: Real-Life Stories of Joy, Enlightenment, and Party Crashing, by Gavin Edwards and R. Sikoryak, which was basically asking the same questions. [ Amazon / Goodreads / Library ]

Apparently, Bill Murray is quite an interesting person. But whether you are interested or not, whether you like documentaries or not, it doesn’t matter: if you just take the moment to watch this sixty-seven minutes movies you will certainly enjoy it. And maybe, maybe, you’ll take something out if it and wonder, like me, could I ever be that spontaneous and really live in the moment? stars-3-0

To learn more about this title you can consult the following web sites:

[ AmazonGoogleIMDbNetflixRotten TomatoesWikipedia ]

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Notable News (w42-w53)

It has been a little more than two months since the last entry of our journal. The weather has been relatively gray, since we’ve had very little snow so far, as it was—more often than not—rain and freezing rain, and lots of ups and downs in the temperature. The most notable events on the domestic front included a strange saga over the video of a panel at the book fair, where I also attended the launch of Solaris #208 and did a capsule interview with Catherine Sylvestre. We had again a problem of flicker in our electricity (strangely only on one side of the house), so bad that one night I thought my apartment had become a disco! Finally, we found the source of the problem (old wirings) and hired an electrician for a temporary fix but we will have to change the electrical entry in spring.

Somehow my sister’s cats managed to start the shower while she was on vacation. It lasted about twenty minutes before we realized that water was dripping from my bathroom’s ceiling. Luckily this small flood was relatively contained but we had to mopped the floor for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. The damage is limited but we will have to redo our bathroom’s ceiling…

The work-place was not too much a strain on my mental health, beside the continuing problem with the ventilation and heating system (strangely when this happens at another library of the borough they close immediately while we have to endure and work in very unpleasant conditions—that’s so unfair!) and some dubious decision on age classification of some mangas (Bride Stories, Nausicaa & Mafalda for kids! Are you joking?)!

readings2018Apple announced new Macs and iPads. We attended the vegan fest again, visited the Book of Hours and the Calder exhibits. I reached my reading goal for the year (fifty books! But, as usual, it was mostly comics and mangas). This allowed my to comment on  a few books (C Comme Cthulhu, Le Chat du Rabbin 8, Isabella Bird 3, Nous rêvions de robots, Pline 6, Ross Poldark, and a book about the New Yorker’s cartoons). I also wrote about the works (bande dessinée) of Philippe Gauckler: Convoi, Prince Lao and Koralovski. Unfortunately, I still watch too much TV and movies (A place to call home season 6, Mars season 2, Murder on the Orient Express, Outlaw KingPicnic at Hanging RockRBG, Solo, Transformer: The Last Knight, Traverlers season 3). Finally, I took some time to reminisce about the fanzine era and the old Protoculture days.

2018blogstatsI just completed my first year with WordPress.com so I don’t have much basis to compare this year’s statistics (although I remember that with Internic’s hosting I had ten times more traffic so either they were calculating it differently or I lost some followers in the switch or WordPress is not promoting the traffic as well). There is also a slight difference between WordPress’ and StatCounter’s numbers. Anyway, in 2018 I posted 319 entries (a 16% increase), acquired 68 followers and received (if we round up a little) an average of a thousand views per month or 350 visitors per month (about 135 returning visitors per month). It is not as much as I would I’ve liked but it is a beginning. The most important is that it keeps increasing from month to month. I’ll keep improving the blog and (hopefully) writing more so it will be at its best when I retire and make it my main occupation (in about 3064 days!). 

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Doonesbury (2018/10/21)

On the world stage, the months of November and December had their lots of typhoon, floods, wildfires, tsunami, and violent protests in France, but it is mainly the U.S. Mid-term elections that retained the attention. In reaction to Trump’s insane White House, people went to the ballot with numbers not seen in nearly a century allowing the Democrats to retake the House by electing many young candidates, including several women (95), members of racial minorities (two Muslim and two Native Americans) or of the LGBT! Space exploration was also in the news as we landed another probe on Mars, explored more asteroids and mini-planets, and China landed a probe on the far-side of the moon.

All in all, 2018 was a very challenging year for everyone, so let’s hope that 2019 will be much better.

Through all this I tried to stay acquainted with the affairs of the world and gathered a few notable news & links — which I now share with you (in both french or english, slightly categorized, but in no particular order — note that, to save on coding time, the links will NOT open in a new window as usual), after the jump.

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The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker

CompleteCartoonsNewYorker-covI acquired this phenomenally huge book in a sale earlier this fall and I paid only fifteen dollars for it. I have always liked the single-panel cartoons (often referred to as “gag cartoon”, in the likes of what you find in the series “For Dummies”, or in Herman or Bizarro, and, of course, in newspapers’ editorial cartoons) and the most iconic of those could be found in the magazine The New Yorker. So I was quite pleased with this acquisition. However, it is the type of nightstand book that you savour slowly and it took me a couple of months to go through its 655 pages and over 2,000 cartoons (about two weeks of actual reading). Unfortunately the used copy I purchased did not include the two CDs with all 68,647 cartoons ever published in the magazine (if so it would have taken me much more time to read!).

A New Yorker cartoon is usually made of one drawing (but sometimes of the sequence of two or three), plus a funny caption. Most of the time all the humour is in the caption… Here are some examples:

 

The cartoons are organized into the eight decades during which the magazine was published (from its founding in 1925 until the publication of the book in 2004) and each period is introduced by an essay by one of the magazine’s most distinguished writers: 1925-34 (introduction by Roger Angell), 1935-44 (Nancy Franklin), 1945-54 (Lillian Ross), 1955-64 (John Updike), 1965-74 (Calvin Trillin), 1975-84 (Ian Frazier), 1985-94 (Mark Singer) and 1995-2004 (Rebecca Mead). The book starts with an Editor’s Note by Robert Mankoff and a Forword by David Remnick, and concludes with an index of Artists.

In addition, for each era, you find a brief overview of a predominant theme (the depression, drinking, nudity, television, cars, the space program, slipper dogs, business culture, the internet and politics) as well as a brief profile (including a mini-portfolio) for a key cartoonist (Peter Arno, George Price, James Thurber, Charles Adams, William Steig, Saul Steinberg, George Booth, Jack Ziegler [about whom I’ve already talked], Roz Chast, and Bruce Eric Kaplan).

In a way, this book chronicles the history of the magazine, but also the history of the American society. Therefore, it is much more than just a funny reading as it provides great insights and understanding of the socio-politics of each era.

For me, the cartoons were funny most of the time (not LOL, but a chuckle or quiet giggle), but I also often didn’t get it (particularly the older ones — I guess culture change with time or the context was lost to us as sometimes you needed to be there to understand). However, I enjoyed reading this book immensely. If you have a chance, it is worth the time and therefore highly recommended. stars-3-5

To learn more about this title you can consult the following web sites:

[ AmazonBiblio MtlGoodreadsGoogleWikipediaWorldCat ]

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C Comme Cthulhu

C_Comme_Cthulhu-covVous tenez entre vos mains C comme Cthulhu, un abécédaire inspiré de l’oeuvre d’Howard Philips Lovecraft. Si ces créations sont indicibles, cet ouvrage est la preuve qu’on peut en revanche les dessiner avec autre chose que de la bave de shoggoth. Les parents peuvent enfin partager leur passion avec leurs larves… euh… leurs enfants, et apprendre en jouant à se faire peur. Sans risquer de devenir fous. Peut-être chèvre (aux mille chevreaux) sur les bords, mais pas fou.” [Texte de la couverture arrière]

J’ai découvert cet album tout-carton en lisant le commentaire de Karine sur Mon Coin Lecture. Un album pour tout-petits basé sur la mythologie lovecraftienne! C’était trop intriguant: il fallait que je vois ça de moi-même. Alors je me le suis réservé sur le site des bibliothèques de la Ville de Montréal. Et voilà! Je vous le commente donc pour l’Halloween

Comme vous le savez tous, un abécédaire est un livre illustré servant à apprendre l’alphabet aux enfants en se servant d’associations mnémoniques entre une lettre, un mot qui commence par celle-ci et un dessin qui représente ce mot. Pour rendre la chose amusante les éditeurs de livres et les éducateurs font souvent preuve de beaucoup d’imagination et, dans le cas de ce livre-ci, parfois à l’excès!

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Avec C Comme Cthulhu, l’alphabet se décline selon l’univers de H.P. Lovecraft: Alhazred (l’auteur fou du Kitab al-Azif, a.k.a. Necronomicon), Bêêêêê (le cri présumé de Shub-Niggurath, la chèvre noire aux mille chevreaux), Cthulhu (l’inconcevable prêtre des Grands Anciens), Dagon (un autre Grands Anciens, dieu poisson), Écritures Ponapes (texte mythique de R’lyeh), Frissons, Goules, Hastur (un autre Grand Ancien tentaculaire), Innsmouth (ville du Massachusetts où se déroule les cauchemars), John Raymond Legrasse (un inspecteur dans L’Appel de Cthulhu), K’n-yan (territoire sous-terrain en Oklahoma), Lovecraft (Dâ!), Miskatonic (rivière maudite qui donne son nom à l’Université d’Arkham), Necronomicon (le livre occulte qui rend fou), Olmstead (Robert Olmstead, le narrateur dans Le Cauchemar d’Innsmouth), Providence (ville natale de Lovecraft), Q’yth-Az (l’Intellect Crystalloïde, un autre Grand Ancien), R’Lyeh (la cité engloutie), Shoggoth (monstres gélatineux créés par les Anciens), Tiare de Dagon, Ulthar (Contrées du Rêve, peuplée de chats), Vigilant, West (Herbert West, le réanimateur original), Xiurhn (serviteur des Outer Gods), Yog-Sothoth (le Gardien d’entre les Mondes), et finalement Zombies (eh, y-a pas de zombies dans la mythologie de Lovecraft!). Wow!

C_Comme_Cthulhu-N-O

C’est amusant et les illustrations sont “cute” mais est-ce vraiment un album pour tout-petits? A quel public ce livre s’adresse-t-il? J’ai compris quand j’ai vu que le livre est publié par Bragelonne, un éditeur français dédié aux littératures de l’imaginaire (SF, Fantastique, Fantasy). Mais c’est une traduction, publié à l’origine en anglais par ComixTribe en décembre 2014. Il semble que C Is for Cthulhu soit un phénomène en soi, puisqu’il y toute une entreprise créant toutes sortes de produits sur le thème de Lovecraft (livres, t-shirts, toutous, etc). C’est donc un livre à l’intension de geeks, ou plutôt à l’intension des enfants de geeks! Qui ne veut pas apprendre à lire à ses enfants en les introduisants très jeunes à la mythologie de Lovecraft! 

C Comme Cthulhu n’est vraiment pas pour tout le monde. Mais moi j’ai adoré. Cela reste toutefois une curiosité. 

C comme Cthulhu : l’abécédaire Lovecraft, écrit par Jason Ciaramella et illustré par Greg Murphy (traduit par Alain Névant). Paris: Bragelonne, novembre 2016. 26 pp. 14.90 € / $24.95. ISBN: 979-10-281-0152-7. Pour lectorat de 4 ans et plus (!). stars-3-0

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Pictorial chronicle

Déroutante erreur / Baffling system error

Baffling error message

“Une exception non gérée s’est produite dans un composant de votre application. Si vous cliquez sur Continuer, votre application va ignorer cette erreur et essayer de continuer. La collection a été modifiée; l’opération d’énumération peut ne pas s’exécuter.”

Voici un étrange message d’erreur apparu sur un poste au travail aujourd’hui. Le libellé en français ne fait guère de sens… mais, bon, nous n’en sommes pas à une absurdité près…

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Le Guide du Mauvais Père (4)

Guide_du_mauvais_pere_4-covToujours aussi parentalement incorrect, Guy Delisle retrouve son rôle préféré : meilleur (mauvais) papa du monde ! Sa recette : une bonne dose de mauvaise foi, des colères importunes, un tas de gamineries et surtout BEAUCOUP d’humour !

Défier son fils aux jeux vidéo quand il travaille, oublier sa fille dans un magasin et lui faire croire le contraire, parler à ses enfants de sa vie merveilleuse d’étudiant… quand ils n’existaient pas… Guy Delisle, un mauvais père ? Non, un auteur de bande dessinée qui sait puiser l’imagination là où elle se trouve, avec un sens aigu de l’observation et une bonne dose d’autodérision.

[ Texte du site de l’éditeur; voir aussi la couverture arrière ]

Guy Delisle nous fait encore rigoler avec son alter-égo qui représente le summum du mauvais parent: distrait, égocentrique et enfantin. Il s’agit de quatorze petites histoires d’en moyenne un douzaine de pages chacune (entre dix et dix-huit pages): Coup de blues, La dent III, La signature, Au magasin, Compétition, Sortie scolaire, Le jeu, Une histoire, Les invités, Savoir résister, Le test, Un petit film, Le placard, Tunnel of life.

Somme toute c’est quand même très similaire aux trois premier volumes. Je suppose qu’il y a une limite à étirer la sauce avec toujours le même genre d’histoires inspirées de son quotidien. C’est pourquoi ce quatrième volume sera sans doute le dernier. Dans la dernière histoire, Tunnel of Life, le père s’amuse bien avec les enfants dans un parc d’attraction mais se rend compte soudainement que ceux-ci ont grandit (Alice a maintenant 11 ans et Louis 14 ans) et n’ont plus autant le goût du jeu…

À travers cette série (et la plupart de son oeuvre) Delisle réussit le tour de force de raconter des histoires complexe et riches en émotions de façon très succincte et avec un trait de crayon très simple. C’est un livre amusant (et terrifiant à la fois) mais, avec en moyenne deux dessins par page, cela se lit plutôt vite. C’est tout de même une bonne lecture, légère, pour le transport en commun ou la salle d’attente.

Le Guide du Mauvais Père 4, par Guy Delisle. Paris, Éditions Delcourt (Coll. Shampooing), juin 2018. 18 x 13 x 1.75 cm, 192 pg., 9,95 € / $15.95 Can. ISBN: 978-2-413-00280-2. Recommandé pour public adolescent (12+). stars-3-0

Pour plus d’information vous pouvez consulter les sites suivants:

[ AmazonBiblioGoodreadsGoogleWikipediaWorldCat ]

Voir aussi mes commentaires sur les trois premiers volumes:

Le Guide du Mauvais Père © Éditions Delcourt, 2018.

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