Watches, Listens, And Reads


Some brief reviews of things I’ve been paying attention to this week.

On Tunein, I just finished listening to the Jack Kerouac classic On The Road, then I watched the movie on Netflix. I got two totally different takes from each medium. In the movie, there’s an air of bisexuality among the men, particularly the Dean Moriarty character, that you don’t necessarily get from the audiobook, which doesn’t really make the same implications. It was a little nuance that totally changed the complexion of the story.

In the first half of the book, Dean is interested in a not yet legal teenager named Mary Lou (played by the nubile Kristen Stewart in the movie), but they lose interest in each other after a while. In the movie, Dean’s logic and thinking are a bit more understandable, as it is clear that men interest him just as much as women do.

I should also mention here that I’d wist Tunein would splice the chapters a bit better. When they divide these books into 10 minute segments or less, for some reason the last couple of seconds are frequently missing if I listen on an IPhone. In audio books with larger chapters in length of time, this is a much rarer event.

I don’t know what I was thinking when I watched a German movie named Wetlands, also on Netflix, about a woman named Helen (played by Carla Juri) in her late teens, perhaps early 20’s. She goes to the hospital when she cuts her anus grooming herself with a shaving razor, and from there, the movie goes from a little weird into a festival of disgusting and gross behaviors so woven together that most of it doesn’t sound logical. There is also a flashback scene in the movie where Helen goes to a sauna club, which is basically a German brothel, and pays to have sex with a larger woman. That seemed a bit closer to normal behavior.

Two things that shouldn’t be in a movie unless it’s pornography if you ask me, and I don’t consider myself prudish: feces and semen. Simulated or otherwise, they were both in there. The “Helen” character isn’t too tightly wrapped, as after her surgery to repair her anal cut, she’s told she can be released from the hospital by merely moving her bowels.

Because she likes her male nurse, she tries to hide her bowel movements, and finds herself in a predicament when she does number two in her bed in her sleep after eating a high-fiber meal. She gets her nurse to hide the evidence so she can stay longer. When that eventually fails, she impales her rump on a sharp part of the hospital bed. (I guess, I turned away at the moment she does this. I’m not a big fan of gore in movies, so as you can guess, I’m not a big fan of horror movies.) After she’s stitched up and well, she and the nurse fall in love.

The movie is in the German language, so prepare to read a lot of subtitles.

I’d recommend On The Road to you, as it is a literary classic. Wetlands, not so much, though it has grown on me a bit.


One Comment

  1. I’ve only read the book. There are a few hints of bi-sexuality (in Denver, if my memory serves me, he was ready to prostitute himself) and the real life “Carlo Marx” claimed to have slept multiple times with the real life “Dean Moriarty.” This may have influenced the movie portrayal.


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