Lunch Break Reads: Bringing Zubrowka to Life, Jack Kerouac's Haunted Life, Christa Faust on French Film Noir, & Opening Wine With Shoes / by Lars Garvey Laing-Peterson

Whether or not Wes Anderson's newest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel, met your lofty expectations, there is no doubting the sheer talent involved in creating the fictional state of Zubrowka where the film was set. Creative Review sat down with Annie Atkins, who designed every prop in the film, to talk about helping to bring Anderson's vision to life.

And if you are adverse to reading, there are lots of pictures, don't worry.

Full story at Creative Review. Tip of the hat to Hazlitt's Tabs section for the heads up. (Also, if you aren't reading Hazlitt's tabs every day, I'm not sure we can remain friends.)

Related: The color palates for a number of scenes from Wes Anderson's films. (Thanks, Lauren!)

The Los Angeles Review of Books published today a fantastic piece on Jack Kerouac's "lost novella," The Haunted Life, which was released on March 12—what would have been the author's 92nd birthday.

As Paul Maher, Jr., puts it:

Before reaching the age of 25, Kerouac had lived enough lifetimes to equip several men, and realizing this, he recognized the potential of populating his early writings with his exciting and sensitively-rendered life experiences. The Haunted Life and Other Writings can best be understood as part of a whole, addressing this crucial period of his personal and creative development, that ultimately shifted the direction of American literature in the 1950s.

Full story at Los Angeles Review of Books.

Christa Faust, author of Money Shot and Choke Hold (both available at Hard Case Crime), wrote some notes on two films she caught at Noir City: Jean-Pierre Melville's Two Men in Manhattan and Jules Dassin's brilliant Rififi.

Always interesting to see how noir authors react to film noir, and Faust has an eye for detail and a very playful style, which one can notice in her segue between reviews:

I didn’t love this one quite as much as some of Melville’s better known films like LE SAMOURAI or BOB LE FLAMBEUR, but the NYC street footage makes it well worth seeking out. Also tits. I did mention the tits, right? Superbe.

Speaking of nipples…. RIFIFI.

Full story at Faust's website.

And speaking of the French, NPR set about answering the age old question, "Can you open a bottle of wine with a shoe?"