Read My Lips: Marvin, Tintin and De Niro

I’m reading Robert De Niro: The Man, The Myth And The Movies by Patrick Agan which covers De Niro’s career and gives you an insight into how he approaches his roles. The De Niro phenomenon is explored through his friends. A superb read. I’m also reading J M Coetzee’s Disgrace which is set in post-apartheid South Africa, by no means a cheerful landscape. The book takes you through the middle-aged protagonist Professor David Lurie’s painful decline into disgrace, a decline set against the turbulent backdrop of a country whose political destiny has changed forever.
Instead of Wordsworth, David has to teach ‘communication skills’ because his university is now a technical institute.
And when the prostitute he regularly visits refuses him, he imagines that she must feel about him as one who “shudders over a cockroach in a washbasin in the middle of the night”.
Among my favourites are Woody Allen’s short stories, Jack Kerouac’s On The Road, Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings, and of course, Douglas Adam’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. I was fascinated by the character of Marvin. He’s such a manic depressive that everything around him seems mundane, and that’s also because he is brilliant. I love that line, “The Vogon spaceship hung in the air just like bricks don’t.” It cracks me up every time I think about it.

Tintin was a comic book character whom I loved as a child when life was still silly and uncomplicated.

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