Brother in law Bob said that I Like Killing Flies is the bomb. What about Bob you say? Well, he’s a fine father to my nephews, and a ferocious foodie. Given the latter, I just had to check this one out. Much to my delight, the library has the film, which according to the blurb on the cover is a Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize Nominee. Serious cred for shizzle.
Gritty and genuine feeling, the film has the ambiance of a meal at South Street staple Pete’s Diner. It chronicles Kenny Shopsin, his dining establishment, and the cast of characters populating his universe. Mr. Shopsin is by turns delightfully philosophic and crusty. In fact, he is the inspiration for the classic Seinfeld character the Soup Nazi. If the essence of cool is making something out of nothing, then Mr. Shopsin has definitely got it going on, as he is apparently capable of generating nine hundred dishes with limited ingredients and space. This one is culinary theater of the most original sort, has a flavor all its own, and is recommended without reservations.
“If Russell Banks hadn’t become a writer, he thinks he would have wound up stabbed to death in a barroom brawl. He is the son of a two-fisted, drunken New England plumber, and the grief of fatherly combat resonates through his work like the background radiation of the big bang.” –Amazon
Visceral. Lost Memory of Skin evoked a visceral response. On more than one occasion, the act of reading it left me downright queasy, stomach tied in knots. Mr. Banks has penned a brutal bare knuckled novel that punched my buttons, left me prose drunk and reeling. It’s a literary left hook to the conscience, and certainly unsuitable for the faint of heart. Dark matter indeed. By turns vile and sublime, I often found myself watching the clock at work, desperate for the day’s toil to be done, so that I could go home and read some more. I could not get enough. I am not ashamed to admit that on more than one occasion I lied to friends and lovers in order to climb back in the ring with this one. I hung with it to the final bell, and all I can say is, Russell, you beat me up, but I feel you, I really do.