Last year the most popular video on French TV and the number one song in France and Belgium was “Papaoutai” by Belgian singer Stromae. The tune and rhythms are appealing and unusual; the video is compelling and, ultimately, moving. Though the title sounds like it could be a word in an African language, it is actually meant to be understood by French speakers as meaning “Papa, où t’es?” which translates as “Dad, where are you?” The song and the story of the video refer to the absence of Stromae’s father, who was killed in the Rwandan genocide of 1994. The plaintive cry of the singer who feels the absence of his father is also expressed in the child in the video who begs his mannequin-like father to come to life.
Besides the fact that Irene Gallo being one of the best ADs, I am always excited to work onTor.com short story art there’s no way to tell what kind of subject matter will come along.
This piece accompanies Isabel Yep’s novelette A cup of Salt Tears - an eerie yet beautiful story. You can read it here. The audiobook of IQ84 by Murakami Haruki accompanied the working of this piece, it was quite the perfect track.
“Makino’s mother taught her caution, showed her how to carve her name into cucumbers, and insisted that she never let a kappa touch her. But when she grows up and her husband Tetsuya falls deathly ill, a kappa that claims to know her comes calling with a barbed promise. “A Cup of Salt Tears” is a dark fantasy leaning towards horror that asks how much someone should sacrifice for the one she loves.”
While I was doing research for this project, I learnt a lot of interesting facts about Kappa (河童 ”river-child”), including their obsession with shirikodama(尻子玉 "Small Anal Ball"). It’s believed that kappa lure their victims into the water and gain power by taking their shirikodama, a mythical ball said to contain their soul which is located inside the anus. Check out the amazing manga by Hokusai titled 同河童を釣るの法 (“How to fish for Kappa”).
I love how Eames is bored listening to Cobb. Fidgeting and fiddling with his totem until Arthur speaks up. Then his whole body focuses on Arthur. He sits up and swivels around - even his hand stills for a bit. All of his attention on Arthur. Just look at them!!!
delights me that Eames clearly lies in wait for Arthur to say something that he can jump all over him for. It’s like someone put a coin in him the way he turns to Arthur with his eyes dancing.
[snip] personally I don’t think Eames lies in wait for Arthur—i mean, this is the guy who casually throws around phrases like “anti-monopolistic sentiments,” lol. I think it’s more that Arthur riles him to occupy whatever corner Arthur isn’t occupying.
[snip] If anything I feel like Eames thinks Arthur’s a little dull (both in terms of intelligence and personality) and is quite overtly delighted and distracted by this spark of ~something from Arthur.
[snip] I keep getting tripped up on Arthur regarding his level of education, and my Arthur never settles firmly into one or the other. He seems clearly sharp and competent, but… On the other hand, I always get stuck on the way he says “that worked so good” to Cobb instead of “that worked so well.”
I think that Arthur is a total street rat who’s had to fight for every scrap of education he’s gotten; and that, in self-educating himself, he’s gotten a much better, much higher level of cultural and general education than most people with four degrees or so. I LOVE that he says “that worked so good” bc to me that’s a) proof of how shaken up he is, that he lets his cultured veneer drop, and b) a hint of the rough past he’s smoothed over. And I think that Eames can always sense that past around Arthur’s edges, (even if you don’t buy the military backstory that says eames probably new Arthur back when he WAS that street rat), and part of that gleam of delight is the chance to slip in some extra intimacy in reminding Arthur that Eames knows him that well, and no amount of five-syllable-words and fine suits can ever completely mask that.
Yyy love it. And I definitely buy this characterization of Arthur the self-made man — who incidentally will never understand how Eames could so casually toss away all his own privileged upbringing and advantages, become a petty thief (because that’s what Eames did, to start) and a thug. And Eames still has the temerity to throw his vocabulary and education around in front of Arthur, to tease Arthur about his shortcomings, because Eames might roll around in the mud for fun but he’s not from this world and he never will be and UGH MY FEELS.
(It’s awesome that we can still have these discussions all this time after the movie came out. Good acting gives you so many levels! LIKE DREAMS.)
YES. I litterally have nothing else to add because that is exactly how I see them. Arthur having to work hard for everything and thus the mild OCD over the little details and Eames being a spoiled rich boy who just left it all because he didn’t want to be. Ugh, you are all amazing and yes. Plus hood rat Arthur is love XD