Twisted by Jessica Zafra – Pumping irony since 1994

Archive for May, 2015

Viva Vuvalini: Mad Max Fury Road reviewed by a 70-year-old lady

May 22, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Movies No Comments →


The story was developed quickly. No nonsense early on, just jumped right in and held my attention. I thought the drums were a good vehicle for raising the tension. The band kept things lively. Elements were always being introduced throughout the journey, it never faltered. At the end, they realized their journey was back at the beginning, to go back and make life better for all the people being enslaved and suffering at the Citadel.

Old women were treated very respectfully in this film. I liked that too. They weren’t ridiculed at all, they played important and strong roles, nurturing yet powerful. I don’t understand what those men Men’s Rights Activists are saying about Mad Max; that’s ridiculous. They should be proud at the way men were portrayed in this film. Max acted like a true man, he showed courage and strength. He held men’s standards very well, came in there like a true man and helped those in need. And they’re angry about the theme of men destroying the world and starting wars compared to women nurturing and rebuilding it, but that’s just a reality.

Read Mad Max: Fury Road reviewed by a 70-year-old lady. Via the AV Club.

* * * * *

We need to see Mad Max in IMAX. Please be showing this weekend please.

In the dungeon where Dracula was imprisoned

May 22, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: History, Places, Traveling No Comments →


The non-claustrophobic can go down to the Castle Labyrinth (Entrance fee: 2,000 forints), the long, dark, very cold tunnels where the kings kept their prisoners. The most famous inmate of the dungeons was the prince Dracula of Transylvania, which used to be part of Hungary. Dracula was the son-in-law of King Matyas, for whom the fabulous Matyas Church was named. Old Vlad D was accused of being in league with the Turks, who invaded Hungary many times. He was reportedly tortured in the dungeons. Repeat, Vlad the Impaler was tortured in the labyrinth, and if I ran the tour there would be background music punctuated with bloodcurdling shrieks. My main fear was not that Dracula would appear, but that I would wander into a secondary tunnel and disappear. Outside it was noon; inside it was so dark and cold you could imagine vampires eating babies. The tour operator relieved the monotony of endless walls of rock with mannequins dressed as characters in a Mozart opera, finds from archeological digs, and other tchotchkes, but all you need is bad night vision and an active imagination.

Read our article Budapest Saves the Day at the BusinessWorld Weekender.

László Krasznahorkai has won the Booker International Prize

May 20, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Books, Movies No Comments →

The Hungarian author László Krasznahorkai, whose sentences roll out over paragraphs in what his translator George Szirtes has called a “slow lava flow of narrative, a vast black river of type”, has won the Man Booker International prize for his “achievement in fiction on the world stage”.

Chair of judges Marina Warner, the academic and writer, compared Krasznahorkai’s work to Kafka – the author’s own personal literary hero – and Beckett. “I feel we’ve encountered here someone of that order,” she said. “That’s a trick that the best writers pull off; they give you the thrill of the strange … then after a while they imaginatively retune you. So now we say, ‘it’s just like being in a Kafka story’; I believe that soon we will say it’s like being in a Krasznahorkai story.”

Read the report at the Guardian.

Meanwhile Son of Saul, the debut feature by the Hungarian Laszlo Nemes, has been tipped to win a prize at Cannes. Nemes is a former assistant of Bela Tarr, who has adapted Krasznahorkai’s novels Satantango, The Melancholy of Resistance, and others for the screen.

* * * * *

We used to laugh at people who used umbrellas on sunny days, and now we’ve become those people. It’s Fury Road out there, and you can’t even drive fast because the traffic is at a standstill. Even with an umbrella, five minutes under the sun and your brain starts vaporizing. You can feel your skin crisping and rising off your bones. We were supposed to watch the Don Quixote puppet show at Instituto Cervantes but our systems kept shutting down in the heat so we went home and slept. That’s it, we’re going to hide in our room and think about Budapest until the rains come.

Help for young book nerds

May 20, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Books No Comments →


Are you between the ages of 6 and 16?

Do you read a lot of books?

Have you read The Lord of the Rings and/or Dune and/or The Once and Future King? If you have not read any of these, you are not the nerd we are looking for.

Are you bored and/or insulted by the Young Adult books that are recommended to you?

Do you want something good to read?

We feel your pain, we used to be you. Fortunately we had libraries to go to, and sympathetic elders who knew we wanted more than “age-appropriate literature” (“Give the child the T.H. White, it’s already read the Old Testament”).

We might be able to help with our Young Nerd Program.

We don’t want to be your friend or meet you personally, we’re not a pedophile. We’ll send you the reading matter or leave it at a drop for your parents to pick up. Email us at Write the note yourself, we don’t want to hear from your parents. Do not gush. Do not try to impress us, that’s annoying. Do not even mention your IQ, grades, or school honors, we’re not impressed. Tell us what you’ve read and what you want to read. Note: We are partial to old books (Jane Eyre, Huckleberry Finn, The Odyssey, that stuff) so you may want to mention titles like that. And mind your grammar, we’re not giving books to kids whose subjects and verbs don’t agree.

* * * * *

If you know kids who meet these criteria, forward this to them.

Money, morals and Mayweather

May 19, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Current Events, Sports besides Tennis 1 Comment →

Anyone who cares about boxing knows that a number of its participants have criminal pasts—and, for that matter, criminal presents and criminal futures. In Mayweather’s case, the news of his latest assault and concomitant jail sentence was sometimes treated as yet one more episode in a colorful life. A few months after the sentence came down, HBO called Mayweather “one of boxing’s most intriguing and controversial figures” and broadcast “Floyd Mayweather: Speaking Out,” an interview conducted by Michael Eric Dyson, the scholar known for his analysis of African-American culture and politics.

“I’m pretty sure Martin Luther King been in jail,” Mayweather said, rather nonsensically. “I’m pretty sure Malcolm X been in jail.”

At one point, Dyson suggested that Mayweather’s critics were jealous and possibly racist. He asked, “Do you think people have a real resentment of your success as a black man who’s flashy, making it rain, and they look at their own lives and see that they’re not doing nearly as well as you?”

What should we do with athletes like Mayweather, who commit particularly disturbing crimes? In boxing, the answer, traditionally, has been: as long as they are not currently incarcerated, let them fight.

Read The Best Defense by Kelefa Sanneh in the New Yorker.

You can write between the lines of Pride and Prejudice.

May 19, 2015 By: jessicazafra Category: Notebooks, Sponsored 1 Comment →


The “lines” on the pages are the text of Jane Austen’s novel in small print. (Note: Not the complete novel.) If you can’t bear to read what you wrote, you can read Jane, or Charlotte, Bram and others.


Also available: Persuasion, The Wizard of Oz, Tales of the Brothers Grimm, Dracula, Jane Eyre, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Php699 at National Bookstores.