This past week I watched Neil Gaiman’s “Mirror Mask“. The book-as-film chronicles the dream of a teenager whose mother has become ill and is undergoing surgery. In the scene below, the teenager, Helena, goes to the library with her New Best Friend, Valentine, to find clues to a missing charm. They arrive via flying books (you can see the flying books in the first few seconds of the video). The books fly back to the library if the reader insults them. The two characters insulted some Very Large Books, both to Get Out of a Predicament and to be Taken to the Library to find clues to the missing charm.
I love this scene. The reference librarian is funny, the library has an interesting design, and the fact that the books are alive and that Helena and Valentine have to use nets to “catch” them is cute. I was also amused by the idea of books molting due to depression, because there weren’t chosen to be read. I also wished I could have a copy of the Really Useful Book for myself!
I thought Gaiman showed great creativity and fun in creating new ways to store, access, and retrieve written, “analog” information.
Do you have any information retrieval favorites from fiction and/or film?