martes, 30 de abril de 2013

What Are Your Three Favorite Short Stories?

Your humble scribe is so partied out from spending his income tax refund money on new books* that he doesn't even have room for that watching Mankells Wallander Film 9 (Täckmanteln) is probably all his poor little pea brain can handle tonight.  In other words, apologies to anybody expecting a Dead Souls, a Karl Kraus or an Andrey Platonov post (all postponed, at least for a day or two) as well as for that American athlete style use of the third person above.  With that out of the way, I do have a favor to ask of any of you newcomers or "regulars" who might have wandered over here.  Now that you're here, would you please consider sharing a few of your favorite short story titles with me?  I'm hoping to incorporate some more regular short story reading into my reading diet for the rest of the year and would appreciate your input.  Any favorites?  Would three recommendations from you be too much to ask for?  Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

April 2013 New Additions*
Borges, Jorge Luis.  Textos cautivos (Alianza Editorial).
Chekhov, Anton.  The Complete Short Novels (Vintage Classics).
Kleist, Heinrich von.  Selected Prose of Heinrich von Kleist (Archipelago Books).
Miller, Perry.  The New England Mind: The Seventeenth Century (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press).
Tolstoy, Leo.  Collected Shorter Fiction, Volumes 1 & 2 (Everyman's Library).

lunes, 29 de abril de 2013

The Cross of Honor

"The Cross of Honor"
by Karl Kraus [translated from the German by Frederick Ungar]
Austria, 1909

Karl Kraus, the apparent John the Baptist to Thomas Bernhard's Jesus as far as malcontent Austrian insult artists go--although unfortunately I still have to cast the role of Judas, here turns in a winning (and mostly insult-free) two and a half page production on prostitution that's sure to delight a certain type of reader.  Might you yourself qualify as that certain type of reader?  Let's put our Memento-style recap machine to the test to find out.  "For justice is a whore that will not be gypped and exacts the wages of shame even from the poor!" Kraus thunders at the end, the only "logical" conclusion to a generally pro-prostitute "social criticism" tirade in which he takes Austrian lawmakers and law enforcers to task for their bureaucratic inanities and hypocrisy regarding the regulation of the trade in the flesh.  In the anecdotal middle section of his essay, Kraus slips in a humorous tidbit about "a daughter of joy" whose parading about a brothel while wearing the military cross of honor of the title caused her unforeseen legal problems for arousing indignation rather than arousal among her civic-minded clientele.  Tsk, tsk.  Finally, for the morality police and the criminal taxonomists in our midst, there is this somewhat, ahem, anticlimactic beginning: "In Austria there is a graduated scale of culpability for young girls who embrace a life of vice.  A distinction is made between girls who are guilty of engaging in prostitution without authorization, girls who falsely declare that they are under the supervision of the police morals division and, finally, girls who are licensed to practice prostitution but not to wear a cross of honor.  This classification is confusing at first sight, yet it is in complete accord with the facts of the situation."  With this opening, Kraus rests his case--as do I.

"The Cross of Honor," apparently a newspaper piece from the frisky Kraus, appears on pages 1-3 of the Dirck Linck-edited Selected Short Writings: Karl Kraus, Hermann Broch, Elias Canetti, Robert Walser a/k/a The German Library: Volume 56 (New York & London: Continuum, 2006).  The Portrait of Karl Kraus, above, is a 1925 work by Oskar Kokoschka.  More on "the angry Austrian satirist Karl Kraus" over at Tom's Wuthering Expectations blog sometime soon and probably here later in the week in between the Gogol and Platonov posts I owe some of you.

lunes, 22 de abril de 2013

Young Goodman Brown

"Young Goodman Brown"
by Nathaniel Hawthorne
USA, 1846

Given the tragic events that took place in the Boston area last week, it's quite a relief for this metro Boston transplant to share a New England item of interest with you that isn't sickening or depressing or traumatizing for a change.  Rarely has an otherwise somber short story so cheered me up!  Of course, "Young Goodman Brown" isn't oppressive or gloomy from a storytelling point of view.  Not at all.  Hawthorne is in peak form throughout this c. 1700, Salem Village-set tale of the young Goodman Brown's symbolic struggle with faith and a possible late night meeting with the devil in a forest outside of town.  Three reasons why the story wowed me: 1) Loved the "modern" manner in which Hawthorne's prose playfully gussies up the more supernatural aspects of the story while leaving it up to the reader to decide whether the supernatural elements really are only conjured up in the title character's Puritan mind.  Here, for instance, we learn about a nondescript "traveller," later identified as the devil, that young Goodman Brown meets in the "dreary" forest after sunset one night: "But the only thing about him that could be fixed upon as remarkable was his staff, which bore the likeness of a great black snake, so curiously wrought that it might almost be seen to twist and wriggle itself like a living serpent.  This, of course, must have been an ocular deception, assisted by the uncertain light" (60).  2) The devil character, as befits his wily reputation in some circles, is a smooth talker who gets plenty of great dialogue to go along with the best phallic symbol props in the whole affair.  Given the Salem Village setting and the fact that one of Hawthorne's own ancestors is said to have presided over the witch trials at Salem, here's a choice pre-"Sympathy for the Devil" soundbite where the traveler--considering the story's suggestion that evil is to be found inside man rather than without, significantly a lookalike for Goodman Brown--introduces himself and reveals the nature of his game: "Well said, Goodman Brown!  I have been as well acquainted with your family as with ever a one among the Puritans; and that's no trifle to say.  I helped your grandfather, the constable, when he lashed the Quaker woman so smartly through the streets of Salem; and it was I that brought your father a pitch-pine knot, kindled at my own hearth, to set fire to an Indian village, in King Philip's war" (60).  3) Despite its economy of scale, this lean 13-page tale isn't lacking in either ambition or execution.  How else to explain the confidence of an author who can have a fiendish character convincingly declaim "Evil is the nature of mankind.  Evil must be your only happiness.  Welcome again, my children, to the communion of your race" on one page (69) and then have his narrator innocently ask, "Had Goodman Brown fallen asleep in the forest and only dreamed a wild dream of a witch meeting?" on the very next--before answering "Be it so if you will; but alas!" with a plot twist even more devastatingly laden with gloom than a supernatural ending could even hint at?  An exceptionally satisfying piece of work.

"Young Goodman Brown," which should be easy enough to find online for those inclined, is the fourth piece in Hawthorne's 1846 Mosses from an Old Manse as assembled in the still lovely town of Concord, Massachusetts.  I read the Modern Library Classics edition of the work (New York: 2003, 58-70).

lunes, 15 de abril de 2013

Borges francófobo

"Borges francófobo"
by Juan José Saer
France, 1990

In anticipation of what I hope will prove to be a long-term commitment to bringing you more literary criticism and literary history to ooh and ah about here on Caravana de recuerdos, here's a quick, inaugural highlight reel of Juan José Saer's stupendous 1990 piece on fellow Argentine countryman Jorge Luis Borges.  Saer's "Borges francófobo" ["Borges, Francophobe" or "Francophobic Borges," take your pick], inspired by the 1986 publication of the Borges anthology Textos cautivos (a collection of book reviews and book talk Borges wrote from 1936-1939 as head of the "Foreign Books and Authors" section of the Buenos Aires-based "society" weekly El Hogar), is a short, smart, and often funny piece of essay writing that pleased me for the way it subverts the trusty book review format to draw attention to Borges' inordinate disdain for the giants of French literature (note: those who only know Saer from his excellent but abstruse novels may be surprised at how down to earth his literary criticism is).  For our purposes, at least three points Saer makes about JLB are worth repeating for readers without any Spanish.  First, I was tickled by Saer's almost trash-talking depiction of Borges' near "obsequious" Anglophilia.  "Su inclinación conocida por ciertos escritores de segundo orden (H.G. Wells, Chesterton, Leon Bloy) es complementada en esta antología por la exaltación o la mención de autores de tercero, de cuarto e incluso de ene-orden" ["His well known inclination for certain second-rate authors (H.G. Wells, Chesterton, León Bloy) is complemented in this anthology by the exaltation or mention of authors of third-rate, fourth-rate and even bottom-tier status"] (30-31).  Among the recipients of Borges' often dubious English-language esteem, Saer cites Ellery Queen and Mae West--whom he claims Borges praised for her contributions to "modern literature" and not to the art of film.  Second, I was equally amused by the way Saer links Borges' English-friendly literary preferences to Borges' intensely squeamish opposition to almost anything French.  As Saer puts it on pages 31-32 (ellipses added in the longer citation that follows), "una sola pasión puede compararse en intensidad a la anglofilia de Borges: su francofobia" ["only one passion can be compared in intensity to Borges' Anglophilia: his Francophobia"]:

Si no vacila en ser neutro con Mae West, complaciente con un tal Alan Griffiths (título de su novela: Of Course, Vitelli!), es implacable con Corneille, sangriento con Breton, desdeñoso con Baudelaire.  Llama a Isidore Ducasse "el intolerable conde de Lautréamont" y afirma que Rimbaud fue "un artista en busca de experiencias que no logró"....  A pesar de que ya estamos en 1939 no se encuentra, en las 338 páginas del volumen, la menor referencia a Gide o a Proust.  Dos autores se salvan de la hecatombe: Henri Duvernois, porque su libro "acaso no es inferior a los más intensos de Wells", y Robert Aron, autor de una novela llamada La Victoria de Waterloo, título que podría explicar el entusiasmo de Borges, que no se priva de ilustrar a sus lectores: "el título puede parecer paradójico en París, pero para nosotros, los argentinos, Waterloo no es una derrota".  A simple vista, adivinamos una especie de alergia a lo que Thomas De Quincey --uno de los maestros de Borges-- llamó "las normas parisinas en material de sentimiento".

[If he doesn't hesitate to be neutral regarding Mae West, kindly disposed to one Alan Griffiths (title of his novel: Of Course, Vitelli!), he is unrelenting toward Corneille, cruel with Breton, contemptuous toward Baudelaire.  He calls Isidore Ducasse "the intolerable Count of Lautréamont" and states that Rimbaud was "an artist in search of experiences that he did not achieve."...  In spite of the fact that we're already in the year 1939, there isn't the slightest reference to either Gide or Proust to be found in the 338 pages of the volume.  Two authors are saved from the bonfire: Henri Duvernois, because his book "perhaps is not inferior to the most vivid of Wells'," and Robert Aron, author of a novel by the name of The Victory at Waterloo, a title which might explain Borges' enthusiasm, although that doesn't prevent him from making this clear to his readers: "the title might seem paradoxical in Paris, but for us Argentineans Waterloo isn't a defeat."  At a glance, we can foretell a sort of allergy to what Thomas de Quincey--one of Borges' masters--called "the Parisian norms in sentimental matters."]

Finally, the third major highlight of "Borges francófobo" that I think is worth noting is the eye-popping crossover dribble Saer makes in between describing Borges' frequent irritability regarding Paul Valéry and the end of the essay where the critic contends that the author of Monsieur Teste was probably Borges' negative role model for the title character in "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote."  Although I won't take the time to share most of Saer's "evidence," I'll let him describe the gist of the argument at his leisure (34):

Ese cuento ha servido a muchos estudiosos para deducir de él la quintaesencia de la poética borgiana, su manifiesto sobre la figura del creador y de su concepción de la literatura.  En rigor de verdad, la idea que Borges tiene de la literatura es exactamente opuesta a la de Pierre Menard: su cuento es una satira de "las normas parisinas en materias de sentimiento" y el personaje principal una caricatura, o una reducción al absurdo, de Paul Valéry.  Comparar a Borges con su criatura sería, más que una equivocación crítica, una verdadera ofensa: para Borges, Pierre Menard es, en el major de los casos, un frívolo, y, en el peor, un plagio y un charlatan.  "Pierre Menard..." es uno de los hechos más curiosos de la literatura contempóranea: un texto al que la crítica, que sin embargo rara vez deja de percibir su intención satirica, se obstina en interpretar al revés de lo que el autor se ha propuesto.

[That short story has obliged many scholars to deduce the quintessence of Borgesian poetics from it--his manifesto on the creator figure and on his conception of literature.  Strictly speaking the truth, the idea that Borges has about literature is the exact opposite of what Pierre Menard has: his tale is a satire of "the Parisian norms in sentimental matters" and the main character a caricature, or a reductio ad absurdum, of Paul Válery.  Comparing Borges with his creation would be, more than just an error in criticism, a true offense: for Borges, Pierre Menard is, in the best of cases, a frivolous person, and, in the worst, a plagiarist and a charlatan.  "Pierre Menard..." is one of the most curious matters in contemporary literature: a text in which the critics, who rarely stop perceiving its satiric intentions, are however obstinate in interpreting it in the reverse way in which the author has proposed.

Whatever you make of Saer's argument here (I realize that it's difficult to assess through an intermediary, and I've intentionally left out a lot of other good stuff and/or contradictory evidence due to sheer lack of time), one of the most compelling ideas that I took away from it is Saer's contention that "Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote" is "un arreglo de cuentas con la literatura francesa  --o con la idea que Borges se hacía en los años treinta de la literatura francesa" ["a settling of accounts with French literature--or with the idea of French literature that Borges had in the 1930s"] (36).  Saer mentions symbolism and Paul Valéry as Borges' particular targets before concluding that, "excepción hecha de Flaubert, de algunos versos de Verlaine y del inenarrable Leon Bloy, Borges consideraba la literatura francesa como artificial y frívola" ["with the exception of Flaubert, of some of Verlaine's verses, and of the inexpressible León Bloy, Borges considered French literature as artificial and frivolous"] (36).  The irony of all this?  According to Saer, it's the fact that Borges' work well post-"Pierre Menard" "comienza a ser apreciada en Francia en pleno auge del formalismo estructuralista y postestructuralista, que ha puesto de relieve, preferentemente, una version intelectualista de sus escritos" ["began to be appreciated in France at the peak of structuralism and post-structuralism, which has put in relief, preferentially, an intellectualized version of his writings"] (37).  Saer, for his part, was a nouveau roman fan who liked Borges' book regardless of its "dislates" ["nonsense"], "manías" ["manias"] and "extraños caprichos reunidos" ["collection of strange whims"]--saying that, as strange as it may seem, Textos cautivos deserves to be ranked among Borges' best on account of its "sensatez teórica" ["theoretical sensibleness"], its "gracia verbal" ["verbal charm/gracefulness"] and its "humor constante" ["constant humor"] (32).  Sounds like a good recommendation to me--and maybe it's about time to reread "Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote" while I'm at it.  That story, whatever its true meaning, never grows old, you know?

"Borges francófobo" appears on pages 30-37 of Juan José Saer's 1997 El concepto de ficción (Buenos Aires: Seix Barral, 2012), my copy of which came in a whopping 3rd edition print run of--get this--only 500 copies.

miércoles, 10 de abril de 2013

Los enamoramientos

Los enamoramientos (Alfaguara, 2011)
by Javier Marías
Spain, 2011

La última vez que vi a Miguel Desvern o Deverne fue también la última que lo vio su mujer, Luisa, lo cual no dejó de ser extraño y quizá injusto, ya que ella era eso, su mujer, y yo era en cambio una desconocida y jamás había cruzado con él una palabra.  Ni siquiera sabía su nombre, lo supe solo cuando ya era tarde, cuando apareció su foto en el periódico, apuñalado y medio descamisado y a punto de convertirse en un muerto, si es que no lo era ya para su propria conciencia ausente que nunca volvió a presentarse: lo ultimo de lo que se debío de dar cuenta fue de que lo acuchillaban por confusion y sin causa, es decir imbécilmente, y además una y otra vez, sin salvación, no una sola, con voluntad de suprimirlo del mundo y echarlo sin dilación de la tierra, allí y entonces.  Tarde para qué, me pregunto.  La verdad es que lo ignoro.

[The last time that I saw Miguel Desvern or Deverne was also the last time that his wife Luisa saw him, which didn't stop being strange and perhaps unjust since she was just that, his wife, and I on the other hand was a stranger and had never exchanged a word with him.  I hadn't even known his name, I only learned it when it was already late, when his photo appeared in the newspaper, stabbed and with his shirt half ripped off and on the verge of becoming a dead man, if, that is, he wasn't one already in terms of his own absent consciousness that would never again return: the last thing he must have realized is that they'd stabbed him to death by mistake and without any reason, that is to say idiotically, and what's more not just once but over and over again, without mercy, with the intention of eradicating him from the planet and throwing him off the face of the earth without delay, right then and there.  "Late for what?" I ask myself.  The truth is that I don't know.]
(Los enamoramientos, 11 [my translation])

As usual in a Javier Marías novel, the narrator's concise opening statement--this one courtesy of editorial assistant María Dolz, who will learn more about Miguel Deverne's untimely death than she ever could have expected or bargained for when Deverne was just half of the "perfect couple" that she used to see at a Madrid café each morning on her way to work--provides a perfectly convenient excuse for me to avoid bothering with any sort of a synopsis of the work and just dive right in.  Unlike other Marías novels, though, Los enamoramientos [literally, The Fallings in Love but appearing in English under the much less unwieldy title of The Infatuations as translated by Margaret Jull Costa] is perhaps the closest thing that the novelist has yet come to writing a detective story.  Of course, it helps if you can imagine that detective story as a metaphysical murder mystery full of minor chord ruminations on love, mortality, and yes, the act of falling in love--but one that also tussles with the nature of crimes of passion, literature's lessons about crimes of passion, and whether love makes some crimes of passion almost forgivable from an emotional if not necessarily a juridical point of view.  Heady, sometimes desperate stuff.  So what did I like best about Los enamoramientos? That's hard to say given that it's an arresting work which gives you an unusual amount of psychological richness to ponder.  Although all the usual Marías trademarks of sinuous prose, textured Shakespearean allusions, and intelligent conversations that take place in slow motion over multiple chapters of what seem like real but visibly dilated time are all here in abundance, I guess I particularly enjoyed the nifty intertextual use made of Balzac's Le Colonel Chabert that Marías revisited off and on throughout the novel: an affecting retelling of the story of a Napoleonic era military officer who came back from mistakenly being declared dead only to die a second death of sorts upon being rejected by his wife--who believed herself a widow and had remarried--and haunted by the moaning phantoms of the corpses he had almost been buried alive with on the battlefield at Eylau.  Macbeth and a scene from The Three Musketeers receive a similarly effective treatment. I was also impressed by the fact that, despite its multiple love stories and its moments of comic relief early on (many featuring the fictional portrayal of the real life professor Francisco Rico, who has become a great comic foil for his friend Marías), this disarmingly soulful "romance" also has enough range to take up Your Face Tomorrow's twin preoccupations of how easily loved ones can walk out of your life forever (or how easily loved ones can replace you with others) and how readily senseless crimes can be committed with impunity by ordinary people whose company you might otherwise enjoy.  It's a disturbing but very thought-provoking read in that regard--especially when you consider that not only Deverne's existence but even the memory of him begin to be blotted out by the living upon his death as evidenced by so casual a thing as the confusion over the spelling of his name.  Finally, it wouldn't be a Marías novel without any number of memorable dialogue passages to read and reread and savor some more.  Since the ones I'd most like to pull from are way too long for these purposes, I hope you'll settle for this super short one that links Colonel Chabert's near fate as a presumed dead man, heaped up naked in a common grave full of cadavers according to the custom of the times, with Miguel Deverne's, stabbed to death on the streets of Madrid leaving a widow and two children behind:  "Había sido un vivo ilustre, pero ahora es sólo un muerto en medio del frío y todos van al mismo sitio" ["He had been an illustrious man alive, but now he's just a dead man in the middle of the cold and everybody goes to the same place"] (156).

 Javier Marías

The Infatuations is now out in the U.K. and is scheduled to make its U.S. appearance on Knopf in August but with one of the dumbest excuses for a book cover I've ever seen.  A white dress shirt?  Really?

sábado, 6 de abril de 2013

La prueba

Cómo me hice monja/La prueba/El llanto (Debolsillo, 2006)
por César Aira
Argentina, 1992

Mao y Lenin son dos punks lesbianas, de negro, que abordan a Marcia, una gordita rubia y tímida de dieciséis años que camina "envuelta en su aureola" de conformismo heterosexual y virginidad (105), en la calle cerca de la Plaza Flores en Buenos Aires.  Mao, a Marcia:  --¿Querés coger?--  Después de su susto y miedo al principio se disminuyen, Marcia decide pasar un rato con las agresivas punks porque siempre quiso conocer algún punk "pero nunca se había dado la oportunidad" (115).  Las tres van al Pumper Nic, donde una de las muchachas punks blande una navaja frente a la supervisora del local.  Después, van a un supermercado gigantesco donde Mao y Lenin aterrorizan a los clientes con una orgía de destrucción llevada a cabo para poner a prueba "el amor" de Marcia por sus nuevas amigas.  En medio de estas dos escenas, Mao putea a Robert Smith of The Cure (¡bien hecho!) y Freddie Mercury de Queen (¡ídem!) y sin querer cuenta una historia divertida sobre un conocido punk suyo que se llama Sergio Vicio quien, como el bajista de los Sex Pistiols Sid Vicious pero ya vivo, andaba "siempre drogado" (134).  Dado que la pobre ultranormal Marcia se entusiasma por la forma de narrar de las punks pero no le gusta cómo su nihilismo "desvaloriza todo lo que han dicho..." (140), es difícil saber si La prueba es una provocación irónica que tiene algo que ver con la teoría literaria sobre "la verdad" de un texto, es una crítica marxista de la sociedad de consumo en la Argentina, o es una mera parodía violenta de las estupideces de las pelis norteamericanas estilo John Hughes de la década de los '80 dedicadas a los teenagers.  Sin obstante, no importa en tanto que, con la excepción de una mención de Tom Verlaine y su grupo neoyorquino Television, ésta sea la primera novela breve de Aira que he leído que juzgaría como, ¿cómo se dice?, un coñazo total.
Mao and Lenin are two lesbian punks all dressed in black who hit on Marcia, a chubby, sheltered 16-year old blonde who walks about "envuelta en su aureola" ["all wrapped up in her halo"] of heterosexual conformity and virginity, on the street near the Plaza Flores in the neighborhood of Flores in Buenos Aires.  Mao to Marcia: "¿Querés coger?" ["Do you wanna fuck?"]  After her initial shock and fear subside, Marcia decides to spend some time with the abrasive punks because she'd always wanted to meet a punk "pero nunca se había dado la oportunidad" ["but had never been granted the opportunity"].  The three end up going to a Burger King knockoff, the Pumper Nic, where one of the punk chicks brandishes a knife at the supervisor of the joint.  Later, they go to a mega supermarket where Mao and Lenin terrorize the customers with an orgy of over the top violence designed to test Marcia's "love" for her new friends.  In between these two scenes, Mao insults Robert Smith of the Cure (nicely done!) and Freddie Mercury of Queen (ditto!) and tells an unintentionally funny story about a punk acquaintance named Sergio Vicio who, just like fellow bassist Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols only still alive, was "siempre" ["always"] in the habit of going everywhere "drogado" ["all drugged up"] (134).  Given that poor ultranormal Marcia is so into the punks' manner of telling a story but can't relate to how their nihilism "desvaloriza todo lo que han dicho..." ["devalues everything that they've said"] (140), it's tough to figure out whether La prueba [The Test or The Proof, unavailable in English as yet] is an ironic provocation that has anything to with literary theory about "the truth" of a text, is a Marxist criticism of consumer society in Argentina, or is just a mere violent parody of the idiocies of all those John Hughes-style teen flicks from the '80s.  However, it doesn't really matter all that much insofar as this is the first Aira novella that I've read that, with the exception of one Tom Verlaine of Television reference aside, struck me as more or less a total dud on account of how fucking boring it was.

César Aira

miércoles, 3 de abril de 2013

Dead Souls Group Read

Just a quick reminder to any/all interested parties that I'll be hosting a group read of Nikolai Gogol's Dead Souls, a/k/a the "Greatest Novel of the First Half of the 19th Century" according to a nearly five-year old post from our opinionated friend Tom of Wuthering Expectations, during the last few days of this month as part of my 2013 Russian Reading escapades.  At least, I hope it'll be a group read; so far it's just me and two maybes if I'm not mistaken.  I'll be soldiering on regardless, though, so please don't hesitate to read along or just argue with me at the end of the month--whichever appeals to you more.  Until then, I'm glad we talked.

March and April Movie Review Links

Alain Delon in Jean-Pierre Melville's 1967 Le Samouraï
Thanks to the kindness of Novroz of Polychrome Interest who was good enough to remind me recently that there's supposed to be a Foreign Film Festival or something going on at Caravana de recuerdos this year (note: I'm calling it the Foreign Film Festival again although participants may submit reviews from international or domestic movies as they see fit), I'll make every effort to contribute a movie post or two to the event this month after two-months of hardcore slacking on that front in February and March.  It'd of course be nice if anybody else would like to join us for some film chat in lieu of whining about how Amazon is contributing to the decline and fall of Western civilization by taking over Goodreads, but I'll leave that to you to vote your conscience so to speak.  In the meantime, here's one movie review link from Novroz from March with more links from others from March and April hopefully coming soon.
March and April Movie Reviews