The Universe and Me

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Life Aquatic

Movie: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. Everytime I try to say this title, it comes out Steve Isuzu. That would be a totally different movie. Having been raised many moons ago, I remember watching endless Jacques Cousteau documentaries and I found this tribute rather charming, with its off-beat, kooky characters (especially Angelica Houston still channeling Morticia Addams and Willam Dafoe pouting like he was chosen last in gym class.) Bill Murray retains his “Lost in Translation” melancholic resignation, delivering his character with wonderful deadpan irony, although he is a little scary in a speedo. CGI effects create splendidly vivid sea creatures. And Bowie in Portuguese! (I didn’t hear “Young Americans” though.) So funny. Also, the red knit hats, the old and faulty equipment, the yellow submarine, The Belafonte. Which reminds me that my grandmother once had a friend who insisted she was having a fling with Harry Belafonte. While they had never met, she could tell Belafonte was singing especially to her and sending her messages with her songs. While I don’t think any musician has ever sent me a message, I did appreciate the use of Sigur Rós’s song Starálfur during the climactic and lovely shark scene. The lyrics are very poetic, in both Icelandic and English, so I’ll copy them here:

Blá nótt yfir himininn
Blá nótt yfir mér
Horf-inn ut um gluggann
Minn með hendur
Faldar undir kinn
Hugsum daginn minn
Í dag og í gær
Blá náttfötin klæða mig í
Beint upp í rúm
Breiði mjúku sængina
Loka augunum
Ég fel hausinn minn undir sæng
Starir á mig lítill álfur
Hleypur að mér en hreyfist ekki
Úr stað – sjálfur
Opna augun
Stírurnar ur
Teygi mig og tel (hvort ég sé ekki)
Kominn aftur og alltalltílæ
Samt vantar eitthvað
Eins og alla vegginna

Staring Elf
Blue night over the sky
Blue night over me
Dis-appeared out of the window
Me with hands
Hidden under my cheek
I think about my day
Today and yesterday
I put on my blue nighties
Go straight to bed
I pull the soft covers over
Close my eyes
I hide my head under the covers
A little elf stares at me
Runs towards me but doesn’t move
From place - Himself
A staring elf
I open my eyes
Take the crusts out
Stretch myself and check (if I haven’t)
Returned again and everything is okay
Still there is something missing
Like all the walls


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