Viola Davis live

It is Oscar fever in LA and this evening Viola Davis, SAG Award winner for Best Actress, was at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica for a screening of race relations picture THE HELP, nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actress (Viola Davis herself) and two for Best Supporting Actress (Octavia Spencer and Jessica Chastain).

The film is about racism and classism in Jackson, Missisipi in the mid sixties. A recent college graduate and aspirant author is able to convince Afro-American maids to tell and share their stories of injustice and abuse of powers suffered from nasty, biggot and comformist housewives who had been lovingly raised by black domestics.

In the film here is a lot of fine acting but honestly I did not like it so much.  The subject – from the book “The Help” written by Kathryn Stockett – is extremely interesting and passionate. However, the whole film is covered by the usual Disney gloss. A lot of laughing and crying, nice pictures with the right music and the movement for civil rights far in the background.

In the Q&A session the only interesting moment beyond the usual chit chat was when Viola Davis herself admitted that very often making a movie in Hollywood is not much about cooperation but about adapting to the ideas of those who have the power…well, the money.

 

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“Beasts of the Southern Wild” best film in SUNDANCE 2012


  • “Storytellers broaden our minds: engage, provoke, inspire, and ultimately, connect us.”—Robert Redford, President and Founder of Sundance Institute


Sundance 2012 is over. Unfortunately I have not been able to travel to Park City for the Festival…definitely a missed opportunity.  At least I will try and visit the Los Angeles office of the Sundance Institute and will tell you everything about it on this blog. Since 1981, Sundance Institute has evolved to become an internationally-recognized nonprofit organization that actively advances the work of risk-taking storytellers worldwide. Originally founded by Robert Redford in the mountains of Sundance, Utah, the Institute has always provided a space for independent artists to explore their stories free from commercial and political pressures. The Institute provides creative and financial support for the development of original stories for the screen and stage and is always committed to its mission to discover and develop independent artists and audiences across the globe. It sounds a bit like the MEDIA Programme, doesn’t it?

Going back to the Festival – past winners include Blood Simple the first film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen – here is the great winner of this year’s edition:

Beasts of the Southern Wild, directed by Benh Zeitlin

South of Tehachapi – Vita quotidiana in California del sud.

SOCAL, Southern California, la California del Sud esiste ed inizia geograficamente a sud di Tehachapi, cittadina situata fra la San Joaquin Valley ed il deserto di Mojave.  Quando si parla della vita quotidiana in questa regione non si puo’ prescindere dal fattore che probabilmente rende il “Socal lifestyle” cosi’ peculiare: il clima. Oggi dopo tre, quattro ore al massimo di pioggia moderata – la prima pioggia da 90 giorni –  a Los Angeles si viveva un’atmosfera da fine del mondo, da città assediata dalle acque. In realtà già nel primo pomeriggio il sole iniziava ad illuminare la città  e nell’atmosfera tersa si stagliavano le montagne di San Gabriel leggermente innevate. Per ora stiamo vivendo in una tarda primavera mediterranea con massime che oscillano fra 17 e 25 gradi e minime che di notte scendono a 8/9 gradi. Un paio di giorni sorprendentemente nebbiosi, un paio leggermente nuvolosi e poi tanto sole e cielo terso dal mattino presto fino agli splendidi tramonti sul Pacifico. E siamo nei mesi considerati peggiori dal punto di vista climatico.

A fare da contraltare alle piacevolezze atmosferiche c’é per gli Angelenos il fattore traffico. Los Angeles é proprietà delle automobili che molto spesso prendono in ostaggio i loro proprietari. Devo pero’ ammettere che personalmente temevo molto peggio. Probabilmente i nostri tragitti quotidiani sono privilegiati e non dobbiamo scontrarci con la famigerata 405, la San Diego freeway, un blocco solido di lamiera al mattino verso sud ed alla sera in direzione nord verso Pasadena e la San Fernando Valley. Il percorso casa-scuola-lavoro – una buona ventina di miglia – richiede al massimo un’ora. Lo stile di guida locale é veloce, aggressivo ma decisamente pragmatico. E poi spesso basta uscire dalle freeways per ritrovarsi sorprendentemente a guidare in una città semivuota.

Viviamo a Santa Monica – la Bay City di Chandler – splendidamente affacciata sul Pacifico all’estremo occidente del continente americano. Santa Monica é abitata da un mix di famiglie a medio ed alto reddito, celebrità, scrittori e sceneggiatori, musicisti,  ex e post-sessantottini ma anche da tanti giovani e tanti personaggi piu’ o meno alternativi, specialmente nella parte a sud di Colorado Avenue verso Venice Beach. E’ una delle città piu’ avanzate dal punto di vista delle poliiche sociali ed ambientali degli Stati Uniti – negli anni 70 in seguito ad una legge sugli affitti simile all’equo canone italiano fu soprannominata “the People’s Republic of Santa Monica”. L’unica strada pedonale della contea di Los Angeles é la Third Street Promenade in cui é vietato fumare persino all’aperto ed anche gli “homeless” sembrano integrati nella vita della comunità e chiaccherano amabilmente con i residenti. L’offerta gastronomica é varia e di altissimo livello – del rinomato “Farmers Market” ho già parlato in un precedente post – sia a livello di negozi che di ristoranti. Per pane e pasta si va al “Bay City Italian Deli” mentre pesce e frutti di mare freschissimi si trovano al “Santa Monica Fish market” che oltre ad essere uno splendido negozio offre anche aperitivi con ostriche, gamberi e Chardonnay californiano.  Quanto ai ristoranti – argomento sul quale ho intenzione di ritornare – segnalo il due stelle “Chez Melisse” (non ancora provato) oltre al mio preferito il “Rustic Canyon”.

Non riesco proprio a farmi piacere lo sport americano, tant’é che sto iniziando a visitare con una certa frequenza il sito dei Los Angeles Galaxy di Donovan, Keane e Beckham ed a consultare febbrilmente il calendario del campionato di soccer che inizierà a Marzo. Ho visto per ora una partita di basket universitario – il derby in cui UCLA ha massacrato USC – ed una partita dei Kings (hockey su ghiaccio). In entrambi i casi mi ha sorpreso ed annoiato la mancanza di ritmo ed il poco interesse per il lato sportivo dell’evento. Interruzioni, pubblicità, cheerleaders, nani e ballerine entrano in campo con una frequenza assurda e distraggono – se mai ce ne fosse bisogno – una folla dedita al consumo incessante delle schifezze piu’ incredibili. Provero’ ancora con una partita della NBA, con il baseball che in America ha una dimensione letteraria (De Lillo, Roth, Auster, ecc.) che mi ha sempre attirato ed altrimenti lascero’ che il richiamo del calcio vero mi porti verso sud a Carson, all’ Home Depot Stadium.

Infine due parole sulla nostra personale esperienza con il sistema sanitario americano che abbiamo avuto modo di conoscere – nostro malgrado – in modo abbastanza approfondito a causa della frattura del gomito che si é procurata V – 9 anni – mentre giocava a scuola. Intanto grandi sorrisi ed estrema gentilezza quando informavamo le segretarie all’accettazione, infermiere e medici che eravamo disponibili a pagare cash e subito e che saremmo poi stati rimborsati dalla nostra (generosa) assicurazione europea. E proprio questa nostra appetibilità come pazienti – o sarebbe piu’ appropriato dire come prede? – che temiamo abbia portato V sull’orlo di un’operazione giudicata come assolutamente non necessaria da almeno 6 diversi medici europei che abbiamo contattato un venerdi’ notte – sabato per loro –  e che ancora ringraziamo di cuore per la loro sollecitudine ed amicizia. Altrimenti avremmo dovuto presentarci all’ospedale alle 7 del mattino con un assegno di 7mila dollari…giusto per cominciare come é stato  sottolineato con classe dal chirurgo incaricato dell’operazione.

What is your favourite Oscar’s multiple winner film?

Just to start to enter into the Oscar’s atmosphere check the ranking of the multiple awards winning films. What is your favourite one? My top three are the following :

1. On the Waterfront (1954)

2. The Godfather Part II (1974)

3. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Do not forget that the nominees for the 84th Annual Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday 24 January and the winners will be announced during the awards ceremony on 26 February 2012.

Here is the ranking. Pick your favourites…

11 AWARDS
Ben-Hur, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1959 (12 nominations)
Titanic, 20th Century Fox and Paramount, 1997 (14 nominations)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, New Line, 2003 (11 nominations)

10 AWARDS
West Side Story, United Artists, 1961 (11 nominations)

9 AWARDS
Gigi, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1958 (9 nominations)
The Last Emperor, Columbia, 1987 (9 nominations)
The English Patient, Miramax, 1996 (12 nominations)

8 AWARDS
Gone with the Wind, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1939 (13 nominations) (plus 1 special Oscar and 1 Sci/Tech Award)
From Here to Eternity, Columbia, 1953 (13 nominations)
On the Waterfront, Columbia, 1954 (12 nominations)
My Fair Lady, Warner Bros., 1964 (12 nominations)
Cabaret, Allied Artists, 1972 (10 nominations)
Gandhi, Columbia, 1982 (11 nominations)
Amadeus, Orion, 1984 (11 nominations)
Slumdog Millionaire, Fox Searchlight, 2008 (10 nominations)

7 AWARDS
Going My Way, Paramount, 1944 (10 nominations)
The Best Years of Our Lives, RKO Radio, 1946 (8 nominations) (plus 1 special Oscar to Harold Russell)
The Bridge on the River Kwai, Columbia, 1957 (8 nominations)
Lawrence of Arabia, Columbia, 1962 (10 nominations)
Patton, 20th Century-Fox, 1970 (10 nominations)
The Sting, Universal, 1973 (10 nominations)
Out of Africa, Universal, 1985 (11 nominations)
Dances With Wolves, Orion, 1990 (12 nominations)
Schindler’s List, Universal, 1993 (12 nominations)
Shakespeare in Love, Miramax, 1998 (13 nominations)

6 AWARDS
Mrs. Miniver, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1942 (12 nominations)
All about Eve, 20th Century-Fox, 1950 (14 nominations)
An American in Paris, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1951 (8 nominations)
A Place in the Sun, Paramount, 1951 (9 nominations)
A Man for All Seasons, Columbia, 1966 (8 nominations)
The Godfather Part II, Paramount, 1974 (11 nominations)
Star Wars, 20th Century-Fox, 1977 (10 nominations) (plus 1 Special Achievement Oscar)
Forrest Gump, Paramount, 1994 (13 nominations)
Chicago, Miramax, 2002 (13 nominations)
The Hurt Locker, Summit Entertainment, 2009 (9 nominations)


 

2012 Golden Globe -“meeting” Angelina and Pedro…

The 2012 edition of the Golden Globe is history. Check the list of winners on the website of the organizers, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

On Saturday, I had the chance to follow the  FOREIGN-LANGUAGE NOMINEES DIRECTORS SEMINAR at the historical Egyptian Theatre.  Zhang Yimou was absent but all the others candidates were present including the much acclaimed – I imagine for her beauty and her acting as her first film as director is really bad – Angelina Jolie.

As you probably know the prize went to the Iranian film “A separation”. An impeccable decision which honoured a film at the same time very local and universal. Asghar Farhadi was asked if this film had a political message and his reply was dismissive: in any case – he said – the film represents the life of two Iranian families not the whole country. He added that there is an image of Iran which is distorted by politics and politicians who usually are not able to deal with the real problems of people. Nevertheless, I was extremely disappointed when he was not able to say a single word of solidarity for his colleagues Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof who have been sentenced to 6 years in prison for assembly and collusion and anti-regime propaganda, and – in the case of Panahi – deprived of his civil rights including film making, writing film scripts, travelling abroad and interviewing with the media for 20 years.

Angelina was extremely beautiful, elegant and also humble as debutant filmmaker. However, one can not help wondering about the real reasons of the candidature of her “In the land of blood and honey” for best foreign language film. The movie is honestly quite embarrassing. It is a “hollywoodization” of the war in Bosnia. Local actors are good but the story and the characters are just not credible.

I already wrote in a previous post about my conversation with the double Palme d’or winners, the Dardenne Brothers.

Finally, it was not surprising at all to discover the brilliant intelligence of Pedro Almodovar. He was always at ease, joking with Angelina on the possibility of including her in the casting of his next work. He also admitted that when filming he is a real nightmare for crew and actors as he’s obsessed by everything, from set design to hairdressing, costumes, etc. He also reminded the times of Franco’s dictatorship when “American and Italian films saved me from darkness”.  When asked if he was going to make a film in the US, in Los Angeles he gave a reply which explains perfectly the differences between the Hollywood industry and the European one. “Yes, I would love to make a film here and I am sure I will do it at some stage”, he said, “but I imagine that it will be a European production shot here in LA…you know the production system of this city does not really fit me“. Cristal clear, dear Pedro. On this side of Atlantic (I am in LA now…), a film is a product which will have to be sold. In Europe it is first of all an artistic and cultural expression. The director is king in a European work, while the most important person in Hollywood is the film producer.

 

The Dardennes brothers in LA

THE KID WITH A BIKE (Le gamin au velo), the last film of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne is one of the five candidates to the Golden Globe for the best foreign language film and it was presented to the American public last Thursday night. The film will also be distributed in the US by IFC/Sundance Selects and it will open on 16 March. It was kind of weird and funny for me to see this beautiful Belgian movie in the AERO Theatre in Santa Monica instead of in the Vendome in Brussels…but I was really happy to see  a big audience enthusiastically applauding a European work and two great filmmakers in the sitting-room of Hollywood.

The following day I have the privilege and pleasure to meet the “fréres” in the bar of their hotel in West Hollywood for a long and pleasant conversation. We drink a Sierra Nevada – a good beer but hey can you compare with Belgian masterpieces? – while they tell me about Seraing, their hometown, and its transformations, about Simenon and Liege. They ask me about Italy – Luc has recently been in Bologna – and we end up talking about food and Carlo Petrini. Then we move to cinema and it is a great pleasure and enrichment to let them speak and listen…

“As Andre Malraux said “realism is a correction of reality”. Our films are not reality but they are always inspired by something which has happened in real life, a “fait divers”, a story we heard. Then we work on this beginning and we look for the story we want to film, for the characters. In this phase of creation, we speak and discuss a lot between us.

We always do a lot of rehearsals, especially physical rehearsal – we do no care about the script in this phase – we want to create a sort of physical memory of the gesture. It is the best way to see actors – both professionals and non professionals – step by step literally falling into the story.

It is the second time we are in LA. It is a very interesting place but it is difficult to understand. Many areas of the city are really run down (delabré). No, we do not feel the Hollywood industry as the enemy. First of all many European professionals were welcomed here after the wars. And they do something different. it is true their presence and their revenues on the European market are imposing but we could not do, we would not want to do that kind of films, follow those rules. Hollywood is big industry, we see ourselves – and many other European authors – as “artisans du cinema”.

Our last film “Le gamin au velo” had a budget of about 5 million Euro. The average budget of a Hollywood productions is often 20 times bigger. Still we have never wanted more money, we always had what we needed for our films. What could have we done differently with a huge budget? Maybe getting Angelina Jolie as Samantha…but with all due respect, she would not have been as good, warm and credible as Cecile De France. 

Wim Wenders is right, taste can be taught. The only way in the long term for Europe to reverse the tendency and gain more audience is education. Youngsters need to discover early the pleasure of cinema and to get to know their films, European films. There are a lot of very good initiative and projects with this objective but they still have a narrow scope: 10 schools there, 30 classrooms somewhere else. Film has to be studied in school by everybody just as literature. This is the only way to have a real impact.

Nevertheless we are optimistic. The MEDIA Programme does a great job and the EU should even more concentrate support on cinema theatres. They have to become places where you meet with friends, have a nice meal, a drink, a conversation and then also you share the pleasure of watching a film in a comfortable theatre. We have to fight the “isolement des spectateurs”.  Also every country should have a CNC on the base of the French model.”

Thank you Jean-Pierre and Luc and see you in Belgium. Maybe in Liege at Cafe Lequet for “boulettes et frites”.

 

 

 

European film wins 2012 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards

While I was at the AERO Theatre, the Santa Monica venue of the American Cinematheque, for the Golden Globe screening of the freres Dardenne  film “The kid with a bike” (Le gamin au velo) – the bros were there, I’ll write about it – the winners of the 2012 Critics’ Choice Movie Awards were announced at the Hollywood Paladium.

A real triumph for the French film “The Artist” which won the award for best movie plus the prize for best director going to Michel Haznavicius. “I made a silent movie,” French director Hazanavicius joked in English while accepting the award for best picture. “I don’t like to speak so much”. The story is takes place in Hollywood between 1927 and 1932 and focuses on a declining male film star and a rising actress, as silent cinema starts fading away grows and is replaced by sound. “The Artist” which is distributed in the US by Warner,  is now an even more serious contented for the Oscar.

Here is the full list of honors. I have to say that I am particularly happy for the prize for the best foreign language film to the Iranian “A separation”.

BEST PICTURE

The Artist

BEST ACTOR
George ClooneyThe Descendants

BEST ACTRESS
Viola DavisThe Help

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Octavia SpencerThe Help

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christopher PlummerBeginners

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
The Help

BEST COMEDY
Bridesmaids

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Rango

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
A Separation

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Woody AllenMidnight in Paris

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Steven ZaillianAaron Sorkin, and Stan ChervinMoneyball

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS
Thomas Horn, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

HONORARY: MUSIC + FILM AWARD
Martin Scorsese

HONORARY: JOEL SIEGEL AWARD
Sean Penn

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
George HarrisonLiving in the Material World

BEST DIRECTOR
Michel HazanaviciusThe Artist

Hosting “Il libro d’oro 2011”

I decided to host on this blog the results of  the “Libro d’oro 2011” award, my personal literary prize to best book I read during the year. The winner in 2011 is Legend of a suicide (L’isola di Sukkwann)  of the Alaskan author David Vann . Article (in Italian) follows…

IL LIBRO D’ORO 2011

Quest’anno l’assegnazione dell’ormai tradizionale  “Libro d’oro 2011”, il mio premio personale al miglior libro letto nel corso dell’anno appena concluso, precede l’altrettanto tradizionale annuncio del Pallone d’oro a Leo Messi.

Il mio 2011 letterario é cominciato con i fuochi d’artificio: uno dietro l’altro due splendidi libri di due certezze nel panorama mondiale : SUNSET PARK di Auster e il ritorno ad altissimi livelli di Brett Easton Ellis con IMPERIAL BEDROOMS. Poi il travolgente VIAGGIO DI UN CUOCO di Anthony Bourdain – mitica la scena in cui racconta di come ha mangiato il cuore di un cobra vivo. E poi per distrarsi tanto Carlotto, tanto Connelly e la scoperta di Jo Nesbo. Incredibilmente nessuna grossa delusione

Difficilissima la scelta finale. Esito in ballo fino all’ultimo – mai successo prima – fra almeno 4 o 5 libri. La spunta quest’anno sul filo di lana e si aggiudica il premio del 2011 L’ISOLA DI SUKKWANN (LEGEND OF A SUICIDE) di David Vann originario delle Isole Aleutine in Alaska. Proprio Un’isola selvaggia nel Sud dell’Alaska, isolata dal mondo e immersa in una natura incontaminata é lo scenario meraviglioso di una storia di violenza psicologica senza pari in cui la vigliaccheria e l’inettitudine di un uomo trascinano in figlio tredicenne in una tragedia immane. David Vann con questo libro ha vinto anche i meno prestigiosi “California Book Prize” e il “Medicis Etranger”.

Onore delle armi per BUONGIORNO LOS ANGELES (BRIGHT SHINY MORNING) di James Frey, un libro originalissimo che é allo stesso tempo romanzo plurimo, saggio sociologico e urbano, guida turistica e fonte di conoscenza inesauribile sulla “città degli angeli” e per il vincitore del 2005 Jonathan Franzen che con FREEDOM scrive quel “romanzo americano” che avrebbe dovuto essere Underworld di DeLillo. Infine, ai piedi di questo podio ideale due scoperte: OGNUNO MUORE SOLO, capolavoro di Hans Fallada sulla resistenza tedesca al nazismo e LO SCHIAFFO (THE CLAP) dell’ australiano di lontane origine greche Christos Tsiolkas.

Buon 2012 letterario a tutti nell’anno del 25° anniversario della morte di Primo Levi e Marguerite Yourcenar.

Albo d’oro

1992 Cien años de soledad – G. Garcia Marquez

1993 Confieso que he vivido – P. Neruda

1994 La guerra dei poveri – N. Revelli

1995 Il lungo cammino verso la liberta’  – N. Mandela

1996 Il libro dell’inquietudine – F. Pessoa

1997 Las venas abiertas de America Latina – E. Galeano

1998 L’ idiota – F. Dostoievskij

1999 La conquista dell’ America – T. Todorov

2000 Ebano – R. Kapuscinsky

2001 Le particelle elementari – M. Houellebecq

2002 La famiglia Winshaw – J. Coe

2003 Pedigree – G. Simenon

2004 Aspettando i barbari – J.M. Coetzee

2005 Le correzioni – J. Franzen

2006 Le fate d’inverno – S.Mannuzzu

2007 Infedele – Ayaan Hirsi Ali

2008 Everyman – Philip Roth

2009 Il Complotto contro l’America – Philip Roth

2010 Hitler – Giuseppe Genna

2011 L’isola di Sukkwan – David Vann

You are what you eat

California is a great place for food lovers. Particularly favourable climate conditions allow to grow and breed quality ingredients. The attention to the product is key: local, organic sustainable, seasonable ingredients are at he heart of the (new) California cuisine. Alice Waters, the owner of Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, has contributed significantly to this concept of California Cuisine. Alice is also the vice President of Slow Food International, the movement founded by Carlo Petrini in Italy in 1986 which promotes culinary traditions and diversity under the motto “good clean and fair“. California cuisine is also the result of Latino, Asian and Mediterranean influences.

A great place to find superb products is the Santa Monica Farmers Market which is committed to promoting healthful eating and sustainable agriculture in California. It is a great place to shop: from strawberries to citrus, from beets to avocados and then eggs, cheese, dried fruits and even buffalo meat, everything is just great and no surprise many of the chefs of top restaurants in the area are often seen wandering through the stalls of the market. I got to know (and love) Meyer’s lemons which are dark yellow, almost orange and sweeter than usual lemons – they are great with seafood.

As regards to eating out, I’d like to mention 3 places I particularly liked so far. Top of my list is “Rustic Canyon” in Santa Monica, a real neighborhood restaurant and wine bar, where celebrating two the best things in life: great food and wine. Farmers Market inspired menu changes often and include small plates of roasted and fried vegetables, local prawns and fish. My favourite course is the re-visitation of the classical hamburger sandwich  prepared with organic local meat,  sharp cheddar, onion fondue, housemade pickles and herb remoulade. Another great example of California cuisine – this time with a strong Italian influence –  is  “Gjelina”, in Venice.  Once you taste the Cavaillon melon with lightly grilled squid, or the wild arugula with sheep cheese and corn, or the cilantro-pork sausage, charred black in the wood-burning oven and served with lentils and a tingly fig mostarda you’ll be more than willing to forgive the trendy atmosphere and crowd. Finally, a very special place in San Pedro right in the port of Los Angeles: the “San Pedro Fish Market”. You buy your fresh fish and seafood which is then cooked “a la plancha” with vegetables and a lightly hot sauce. Cooks are Mexican, from the Oaxaca region and customers are mostly Latinos. We bought two lobsters and 1,5  kilo of shrimps and bay scallops for 60 dollars. With a couple of Pacifico was a real feast. Do not miss this place.

Bestsellers in LA and NY

Let’s talk books.

I had the curiosity this Sunday, first day of 2012, to compare the ranking of best selling books of the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times. As for fiction, the top three in the west coast include “Death comes to Pemberley” of 80 year old PD James who draws the characters of Pride and Prejudice into a tale of murder and mystery. Number 2 is Stephen King with his “22/11/63” and number 3 a real “Angeleno”, Micheal Connolly with his last crime story “The Drop” in which Harry Bosch investigates at Chateau Marmont. In New York the King is Stephen with his story about a teacher who goes back in time to prevent the assassination of JFK. Silver for the last Tom Clancy and bronze for Grisham “The Litigators”. Well, crime rules and if you had doubts about it, the only European non English speaking author who makes it in a top 10 is Stieg Larsson, 2nd in paperbacks both for LA Times and NY times and 7th in e-books for NY Times.  Non fiction? Steve Jobs, Steve Jobs and more Steve Jobs.

After reading all these rankings – those of the NY Times are particularly extensive – which book will I buy and read next?  I am great fan of Harry Bosch – I started to learn about LA through his investigations –  and clearly I will not miss his last adventure.  But I am really curious to read “Los Angeles Stories” the first book from guitar legend Ry Cooder who grew up in Santa Monica during the 1950s. His book is meant to give a panorama of the city between 1940 and 1960. A couple of year ago I had been stunned by the literary debut of another musician, Nick Cave. I hope I will like Ry Cooder’s book at least half of how I had loved Nick’s one.

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/dec/04/entertainment/la-ca-ry-cooder-20111204

PS  Soon “Il libro d’oro 2011″…