“Death is the only path that leads to birth”

I ended up purging quite a few of my older posts from 1-2 years ago. I guess this tends to happen when I’m about to leave a piece of my life behind: I prefer to erase all incriminating evidence. Well, the stuff I deleted was mostly debris anyway, so I don’t suppose the on-line multiverse’ll miss it.

Well, here I am then, finally able to update and – generally – take a break from all the complcations of dealing with life. I received my copy of The Weird Fiction Review – Number 1 in the post recently, and I’m over the moon about it (how come I didn’t find out about this little gem sooner? shame on me!). I’ve only flicked through it so far, but it appears to be more than fascinating, so expect a review of the Review sometime soon. 😉

More interestingly, though, I’ve been to see Les Aventures Extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec/ The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec, a most delighful movie from director Luc Besson, based on the comic books of Jacques Tardi, which I have not, however, had the pleasure to read. Here’s my preferred trailer (French and no subtitles, I’m afraid):

Again, I can’t really compare the film to the original comics, since I haven’t read them, but then again, I doubt that would be fair play anyway. As far as my amateurish opinion goes, it was a gorgeous, baroque feast of doubles and doubleness – from twins to arch-enemies to the timeless life/death motif – all wrought together in a string of absurd and savoury adventures. The plot is set in pre-WWI Paris (mostly) and Egypt (or the stereotypically-spooky entrails of an Egyptian pyramid, to be more precise). The main character, Adèle Blanc-Sec (played by Louise Bourgoin) is a tomboyish (for lack of a better attribute) young journalist/novelist/adventurer looking for a three-millennia-old mummy whose knowledge would enable it to cure Adèle’s twin sister, Agathe (and I will not spoil for you what it is that Agathe needs to be cured of, but a word of caution for the faint of heart: it’s a gruesome little detail). As main characters go, Adèle is quite remarkable through her unbreacheable loyalty to gimendous hats and the cool indifference she exhibits towards sneezing mummies and pterodactyls with a taste for ostrich feather shawls. Her reactions are sometimes predictable perhaps, typical of the “reckless adventuress”, but in 97% of the cases, Adèle is simply charming (and I’m afraid I’ve also taken a dangerous liking to her “museum of curiosities” bedecked flat).

The plot I found well-balanced and tantaizing, combining a decent percentage of supernatural, absurd, humour and drama. From scientists with telekinetic abilities, to Jurassic birds in the middle of Paris, to mummies with a unique sense of aesthetics – “The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec” has it all. But the best part about it is its “film noir” streak, in which no joke is left without a shady or tragic twist. For every life saved there is a life tragically lost or at least placed under severe threat. I would love to expand on this, but I don’t really want to spoil the movie for anyone who hasn’t watched it yet. I leave you with a lovely pic of sisters Adèle and Agathe in the foremath of a truly decisive tennis match:

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