Like people, Braitman writes, individual animals can be more or less prone to mental illness. But animals living in captivity—even pets—are more often pushed to the edge of sanity, frequently by factors wholly outside of their control. Constant visibility, social isolation, and a succession of strange environments make animals anxious, and the signs of that anxiety are, in turn, often highly visible: animals pluck their own feathers or pull out their fur, bite their tails or fins, regurgitate their food, pace ruts into the floors of their stalls or cells. Some animals, Braitman argues, are driven to despair—not some dumb, unthinking “animalistic” blankness but genuine spiritual emptiness.

García Márquez / Kurosawa



In October 1990, Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez visited Tokyo during the shooting of Akira Kurosawa’s penultimate feature, Rhapsody in August. García Márquez, who spent some years in Bogota as a film critic before penning landmark novels such as One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera, spoke with Kurosawa for over six hours on a number of subjects.

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Halfway Between Her and Hollywood


I keep coming back to this place. I stay longer each time. Things are softer each time.

Los Angeles draws me in.

Because the freeways are glittering and hypnotic and chaotic and overwhelming.

Because the sprawl.

Because the streets stretch over incredible distances.

Because not far, there is…

What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.

Anastasia shares a smoke with her dad, Tsar Nicholas II, two years before their assassination in 1916.

Even on Dazed and Confused, where’s the car wreck? Where’s the teen pregnancy? It’s amazing we got that movie made. But when you think back, the essence of your life is the little stuff, the little things you remember. I’m really counting on the cumulative effect of all this adding up to something, a feeling, an experience, for it to really mirror the ebb and flow of life. I’ve never really been that plot-y. Plots are artificial. Does your life have a plot? It has characters. There is a narrative. There’s a lot of story, a lot of character. But plot? Eh, no.