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So, the lovely and creative Alex Cavanaugh has devised another blogfest for us all to post about. This one asks: “Everyone has a favorite movie or band that no one else has ever heard about. For whatever reason, they remain undiscovered and underrated. Now is your chance to tell the world about this obscure treasure! On Monday, September 22, post about your favorite unknown – MOVIE – BAND/ARTIST – TV SHOW – BOOK Post about one or all four – dealer’s choice!”
This is going to be great because I just know I’m going to discover some hidden gems on this hop! Hope you find some here. 🙂
Here are mine.
I could tell of many movies I’ve watched, loved and never heard of again, over the years. But this is the one which jumped in my mind when I read the blogfest description, so I chose this one.
An incredible movie which never got the big break it deserved was The Basketball Diaries.
The Basketball Diaries is a 1995 American drama film directed by Scott Kalvert, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Lorraine Bracco, James Madio, and Mark Wahlberg from the non-fiction work of the same name. Wikipedia
Jim Carroll, an American author, poet, autobiographer, and punk musician (Movies: The Basketball Diaries, Poetry in Motion, Obscene; Albums: Catholic Boy, Pools of Mercury, Jim Carroll) but was best known for his 1978 autobiographical work The Basketball Diaries, which inspired this movie, in which Leonardo played Jim Carroll.
The Basketball Diaries is the….
Film adaptation of street tough Jim Carroll’s epistle about his kaleidoscopic free fall into the harrowing world of drug addiction.
As a member of a seemingly unbeatable high school basketball squad; Jim’s life centers around the basketball court and the court becomes a metaphor for the world in his mind. A best friend who is dying of leukemia; a coach (Swifty”) who takes unacceptable liberties with the boys on his team; teenage sexual angst; and an unhealthy appetite for heroin — all of these begin to encroach on young Jim’s dream of becoming a basketball star.
Soon; the dark streets of New York become a refuge from his mother’s mounting concern for her son. He can’t go home and his only escape from the reality of the streets is heroin for which he steals; robs and prostitutes himself. Only with the help of Reggie; an older neighborhood friend with whom Jim “picked up a game” now and then; is he able to begin the long journey back to sanity.”
Why is it awesome?
The performances, most notably that of Leonardo who played Jim, were brilliant. IF we had a place for underrated actors, Leonard would be featured here. Yes, I know he’s a bigtime movie star and earning a buzzillion for each movie, but I mean critical acclaim. I mean Oscars!
Most of all, I enjoyed the tense, dark atmosphere, the incredible poetry of Jim Carroll, the story of decline propelled by abuse of self and others, and finally, a possible redemption. This is still popular amongst fans today, perhaps even a cult classic, but it won no accolades at the time.
I have not watched this in over a decade, and though I imagine it’s very dated now, it’s incredibly memorable.
Stream it if you can find it to download, otherwise buy it. If this subject (drug abuse, child abuse, poetry, Jim Carroll) intrigues you, the book is apparently much darker, less Hollywood (positive), but better. Aren’t they all? You can buy that here.
I should mention, Jim Carroll wasn’t hugely happy with the finished product, but wasn’t utterly appalled by it either.
I’ve long loved the music of Icelandic folk, and I’ve mentioned before how much I loved Ane Brun, a songwriter, guitarist and vocalist originally from Norway, for example. Here’s a video of one of my fave of her songs. 🙂
Ane Brun on Amazon
But here is my latest find.
Eivør, born in the Faroe Islands in 1983 (now based in Denmark) is a vocalist, instrumentalist and songwriter with a voice of rare beauty and power and character. Many of her songs are in Faroese, some are in Icelandic and the most recent tend to be in English, which is better me 🙂 Her music covers a wide musical and emotional range, with themes of love, loss, memory, freedom, and nature. She has been described as “a pure Viking goddess”, and as having “an extraordinary presence”, who produces music that is “painfully beautiful”.
Find her music on Amazon
Interesting fact: **A remix by Cato of Eivør’s track “So close to being free” from the “Larva” album was selected in one of the trailers for Season 4 of “Game of Thrones”**
Here’s an extraordinary video: haunting and beautiful. Enjoy.
Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
“From its uncompromising prologue – a young woman being bludgeoned to death in a ditch – Haynes’s powerful account of domestic violence is disquieting, yet unsensationalist.”
Read the full review..
“A very impressive first novel; it tells the story of Catherine who starts off as a lively, fun loving party girl until she meets Lee.”
Read the full review..
“There’s real dramatic tension in this book and when I got to the end the first thing that I did was to turn back to the beginning again.”
Read the full review..
They said all these wonderful things, but no one that I know has even heard of the book or the author?
Catherine has been enjoying the single life for long enough to know a good catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic, spontaneous – Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell. But there is a darker side to Lee. His erratic, controlling and sometimes frightening behaviour means that Catherine is increasingly isolated.
Driven into the darkest corner of her world, and trusting no one, she plans a meticulous escape. Four years later, struggling to overcome her demons, Catherine dares to believe she might be safe from harm. Until one phone call changes everything. This is an edgy and powerful first novel, utterly convincing in its portrayal of obsession, and a tour de force of suspense.
My full review can be found HERE
AUTHOR: Elizabeth Haynes
is a police intelligence analyst. She started writing fiction in 2006 with the annual challenge of National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo) and the encouragement of the creative writing courses at West Dean College. She lives in a village near Maidstone, Kent, with her husband and son. Into the Darkest Corner is her first novel. Visit her website at www.elizabeth-haynes.com.
So why did I choose to feature this book
Because I love spec-fic, you might have expected something in the fantasy, sci-fi or horror genre to be featured here. But no! Why have I chosen to feature a suspense / thriller instead?
I can it’s a book which stands out from all the other books I’ve read over the past five years, and one I cannot forget. When I forget so very much!
- It was written by a British author, so I doubted most of my blog’s readers (mostly from US or outside of UK) had heard of her or her book, which seemed a shocking shame and fit well with this blogfest.
- This book is above all dark, and speculative or not, that’s what I tend to go for in any genre.
At the time of publication, I invested my 99c and downloaded this book to my Kindle, intrigued to read it, mostly because it was a huge success of NANOWRIMO! She wrote this (first draft) on her third Nano attempt. Much revision later, this became the finished article and a huge success.
Awesome right? I thought so, but why aren’t other folks talking about it?
After finishing the book, even having felt I’d been steamrolled by the intensity of it, I didn’t really expect it to have such a profound affect on me–longterm. In fact, I gave it 4/5 on my review originally (but I’ve since upped it to 5/5 because of sheer staying power).
This book entertains, with it’s tense, dark intrigue, it’s incredibly rounded characters, and the raw reality of the plot. But it also illustrates the grim reality of certain issues and how they might come about, like domestic violence, OCD and living in perpetual fear of …everything.
This is certainly not one for the faint of heart, I admit. But if you do take the plunge, you’ll be glad you did, and be prepared to be marked by it for long after you finish. No many books can claim that, especially debuts.
What does the author say about her writing process (she’s a panster like me) and about the creation of this book? CLICK HERE> It’s interesting. 🙂
So, hope I’ve opened your eyes and have spurred you on to try something new. If not,
there’s no accounting for taste no biggie 😀
See you at your blog!
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