Bits and Pieces: Gravity trailer, Guardian Essential Summer tracks, Pew polls on Religion and Science and anarcho-socialism and anarcho-capitalists… May 11, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Bits and Pieces.
This looks… good:
Gravity from Alfonso Cuarón (who previously did Children of Men). Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, and presumably others. What strikes me is how… real… it all looks. It has none of that fuzziness and overly reflective surfaces of most CGI.
Yeah whatever, I’m only into bands who haven’t formed yet.
For your entertainment some (admittedly short and straightforward) questionnaires.
…yeah, that’ll work.
Bits and pieces… February 23, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Bits and Pieces, Culture.
Let’s start with the news that the Boomtown Rats have reformed in order to play the Isle of Wight festival later this year has not been greeted as an unalloyed good, at least to judge from some of the entertaining comments under this article.
Here’s Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy column with Slate talking about massive stars in the Lobster Nebula. Interesting in itself, but he talks about some stars which are so massive that they’re unable to last for more than a couple of million years. I never knew stars could have such (relatively) brief lives.
Cousin Claudette: Today’s figures for operations in the urban area alone account for the elimination of a total of 2,750 pounds of conventional editions, 836 pounds of first editions, and 17 pounds of manuscripts were also destroyed. Twenty-three anti-social elements were detained, pending re-education.
Rewatched Truffaut’s Farenheit 451 recently, after a gap at least thirty years. I seem to recall the first and only time I saw it was on a small black and white television, so the vivid colours were a bit of a surprise. But it’s an interesting if flawed piece of work. So much to like: the 1960s concrete dystopia, the subtle camera trickiness and nods to surrealism – Truffaut did love winding the film backwards, the flatness of the surfaces, the heightened colours, the prophetic widescreen televisions, and the general dreamlike air – all that and Cyril Cusack as well at his most mercurial. And if Julie Christie and Oskar Werner are emotional ciphers, well perhaps that’s precisely the way it should be in a film that is, in its own way, a love letter to book based fiction. Particular kudos for the initial title sequence which I won’t spoil for anyone who hasn’t seen it.
Though no kudos at all for this atrociously inept and misleading trailer.
On a related topic I had to admire the monorail that features prominently in it. This was from the SAFEGE experimental track in France – now long since abandoned. What’s interesting is how relatively few monorails there actually are. Of course way back when that was as much a signifier of the future as space travel, perhaps more so because it seemed so achievable.
On an entirely unrelated topic here’s an infographic on trolls.
And to conclude for the moment… here’s our obligatory Objectivist or libertarian themed link… a reflection on Rand and her – most interesting – editor.
Bits and pieces… February 9, 2013Posted by WorldbyStorm in Bits and Pieces, Uncategorized.
I always liked Buffy, found it smart and fun and I’ve been rewatching it from the start over thnow and have sort of synchronised with Angel. I’m amazed how well it holds up still. I saw most of it when it first came out and haven’t seen it since, and I’ve rarely enjoyed television so much. Anyhow, here’s a curiosity which I only saw recently, the 25 minute unaired pilot. Different Willow, interesting how the actor who played her would have developed, but much else that is the same – though the more elaborate Library would have been a treat.
Meanwhile, did anyone else catch Secret State – the update of A Very British Coup.
Entertaining, but not great and in places downright… well… I want to be kind given its provenance (Chris Mullin is a lucky lucky man to get two adaptations from one book). There’s Gabriel Byrne playing a British PM (and with an accent of intriguingly unknown origin) surrounded by conspiracy, or who knows what, and if it’s all a bit predictable, red shirts are done away with abandon, well, so be it. There are some nice touches and it looks spot on from the Cabinet room to the place Byrne as Prime Minister gives press conferences. But it can’t quite decide if it is political drama, comedy, thriller or some combination of all three, and therefore falls between all those stools.
In a way it was telling how this is avowedly non-party political. Was Byrne’s government Labour or Tory? We can’t tell. And perhaps that was the point – though somehow it makes the stakes oddly enough seem lower. But in that it lacks the transgressive quality of the original where the PM was defiantly Labour and left Labour too. And then there’s the point that in his closing speech Byrne references a list of woes, banks, etc, etc, and then the… er… ‘unions’. Huh? So, A Very British Coup it ain’t.
The following is where Marty Willson-Piper of the Church proves he should have a show on music, or something…
And this. You’d never know with a Guardian spoof competition on posters to dissuade migrants from Britain, it could go one of any number of ways, but some of these were kind of funny.
And to conclude for now, the poll tax riots came up in discussion recently. So check out this from mises.org, a libertarian right view on the issue… interestingly they weren’t happy with it either, though not – perhaps predictably – for the reasons most of us would find fault with it.