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herdivineshadow

February 2019

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Hoarding

Feb. 8th, 2019 05:12 pm
herdivineshadow: (i want to believe)

What’s Causing the Rise of Hoarding Disorder?

Even if they want to downsize (which is rare), there’s the overwhelming difficulty of sorting through the mess. People with severe hoarding disorder tend to be easily distracted and have a hard time focusing and concentrating. Paradoxically, they also tend to be perfectionists, so they’ll put off making decisions rather than risk being wrong. And when it comes to their own stuff, they don’t categorize by type. Rather than see an object as a member of a large group (say, one of 42 black T-shirts), they see it as singular, unique, special. Each black T-shirt is perceived apart from the others and carries its own history, significance, and worth. It’s not even categorized for storage (folded with other black T-shirts in a T-shirt drawer), but rather placed on a pile and retrieved spatially (that particular black T-shirt lives about four inches from the bottom of the corner stack). This leads to a deep aversion to someone touching the piles or sifting through them, unwittingly destroying the invisible ordering system.

It me.

Well, I’m somewhere between untidy and hoarder because when I do actually tidy, there’s a lot less “stuff” but yeah, that’s basically my filing system. Whenever a well-intentioned person attempts to tidy for me, without my knowledge, I always end up losing stuff and… having to buy replacements because I can’t find the thing – which I feel is the opposite of what the ideal outcome would be. :/

So far some of the things lost when tidied include: a boxed copy of Evil Genius (which I’ve just re-bought in the Steam sale as a download), a mobile phone and most recently the cable to connect my camera to my laptop (and also to charge my Mum’s Kobo – so yeah I’ve had to re-buy that one).

And there’s no way of knowing if the lost things are just…here somewhere or if they’ve accidentally gone in the bin.

The 42 black t-shirts is also me. However,  I have a “black t-shirt shelf” to go with my “not-black t-shirt” shelf.

Mirrored from half girl, half robot.

herdivineshadow: (high fidelity)

I mean I get why every single one of the trackbacks on my blog from my other blog is put in the “probably spam” category but like, it would be amazing to just be able to set “OK trackbacks from this particular other blog are fine.”

Mirrored from half girl, half robot.

herdivineshadow: (i want to believe)

It’s not quite the end of the year just yet1, but I have decided that it is highly unlikely I am going to leave the house and make the five minute journey to my local multiplex. My film logging widget tells me that I saw fewer films in total this year than I did last year and from looking at last year’s films in review blog and my letterboxd list of 2018 films, I also saw fewer new films. Was it just that there were fewer films that took my fancy released? Could I just not be bothered to go out and see them? I know there were a few that I thought “well, I’ll just wait for them to be on TV” that I can’t even remember the titles of now.

I nearly said that there wasn’t a Star Wars film out in 2018 but I guess Solo counts as one of those, so it’s not even that. I could really do with a new Star Trek film – although Discovery is coming back in the new year and I am p excited for that.

Anyway, onward – from least liked to most liked. Once again, “least liked” doesn’t necessarily mean it was bad but I think I did watch more films I felt kind of indifferent about this year:

  • Long Day’s Journey Into Night – This film was really long and didn’t seem to go anywhere. Sure the 3D 50 minute long single shot take is a technical achievement but like… what was the point. I guess the first section was just too vague and I didn’t care about the main character.
  • In Fabric – Parts of this film were entertaining but then other bits induced too much second-hand embarrassment.
  • The Bill Murray Stories: Life Lessons Learned from a Mythical Man – I don’t know that I’m really that interested in Bill Murray’s hijinks, but it was nice to hear from people who had such good experiences and to its credit, this film is only 70 minutes long and doesn’t try to pad itself out with pointless filler.
  • Aquarela – Ok so this film is about water and only that. Glaciers, frozen lakes, waterfalls, oceans, hurricanes etc. all to an industrial classical soundtrack. The director said that it was supposed to showcase the immensity of water on our planet but it had been a long day and the water noises along with metal-cello accompaniment were really relaxing and I might have drifted off once or twice2.
  • The Quake – I didn’t see The Wave, to which this is a sequel to, but I don’t think I really needed to. Most disaster movies that I’ve seen tend to be all action, which is fine. This film has action, sure, but most of the drama comes from within the characters’ regular lives and their reactions to the disaster of the previous film. Which is a nice change.
  • Ash Is Purest White – I spent 20 minutes trying to remember which of the films on the list had the ballroom dancers in and it was this one. Anyway, Ash Is Purest White kind of starts off as a gangster film, but then actually follows the life of the “gangster’s moll” character who is far more interesting than anyone else.
  • Arctic – I actually had this one just above Aquarela but then I started thinking about it and had to move it up the list a bit. Mads Mikkelsen is exceptional in this.
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story – This was OK. I kind of want to rate it lower but maybe that’s because I kind of expected more from a film about Han Solo and on the whole it was fine. Unnecessary maybe, but fine. I would probably have preferred a Chewie film.
  • A Family Tour – There’s a lot here that I recognise in my own family, although of course, none of us currently live in exile from China or have suffered the kind of injustices that the main character here has. Although saying that, thinking about the race riots in Malaysia in the late 60s, I do wonder if I am wrong about that one.
  • Duplicate – This film is called “Jonathan” in a bunch of places but I guess it must have got renamed to Duplicate. Did not go in the direction I had thought it would at all, mostly because I had no clue where the story would go from the start (but in a good way).
  • The Man Who Killed Don Quixote – This is the only Adam Driver film I saw this year, although in a sense it was like 3 Adam Driver films in one, so I guess I’ve probably equalled last years Adam Driver film total.
  • Happy as Lazzaro – I didn’t really know what to expect from this film and it turned out to be kind of a meditation on sainthood. Also, did not expect the direction the second half took at all, which was great.
  • Outlaw King – I enjoy historical films with loads of violence, what can I say?
  • Deadpool 2 – Also contemporary films with loads of violence. I feel like this wasn’t as enjoyable as the first one.
  • Out of Blue – I guess I would compare this one to last year’s Small Town Crime, only the main character in that was a mess and Patricia Clarkson’s detective is not really.
  • The Hummingbird Project – This was way more heart-warming than I thought a film about putting in a fibre optic cable across America would be and I am glad of it. And SALMA HAYEK plays a great villain.
  • Assassination Nation – I really enjoyed this although I think it was trying to position itself as something more controversial than it was. Also another film with loads of violence. Basically, 80% of films I watch have violence in them I guess.
  • Widows – This was so so good and deeply satisfying. Also, there is a cute dog.
  • A Wrinkle in Time – I saw this so long ago, but I guess it says something that a film from right near the beginning of the year stuck in my memory and maintained its position in my chart – I often find that more recent films chart a bit higher sometimes because I remember them more. I’ve not read the book but I don’t think that’s a problem. This is a really beautiful film but wow Charles Wallace is annoying.
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me? – I picked this film because I really enjoyed seeing Melissa McCarthy in Spy and the title sounded interesting. It turned out to be one of the best films I’ve seen this year – both funny and unexpectedly touching.
  • The Favourite – Rachel Weisz is awesome. Her name is Rachel, so of course. Olivia Coleman and Emma Stone are also excellent, though they are not Rachels. Their performances made the characters seem real – even though they are real people that existed, the distance of time renders them as “just” characters in a story. Anyway, this was great and funny and moving and I really enjoyed it.
  • I Used to Be Normal: A Boyband Fangirl Story – I was never a boyband fangirl myself. I just didn’t get the appeal, but I have been a fan of other things and it was a DELIGHT to watch this and feel those feels and see other people feeling those feels. Not only does this documentary tell the stories of a range of different fangirls, but it also follows the changes in their fandom and what their love of their particular boyband has enabled them to achieve. And it takes all of their fangirling and love and out-there antics and takes it all seriously. Everyone should see this.
  • Little Forest – This is a film where a young woman spends a lot of time cooking for herself and for her friends, eating the nice food she has cooked and hanging out with a puppy and I think this is the gentle film that the world needs right now.
  • Pacific Rim: Uprising – In contrast, I don’t think the world needed this particular Pacific Rim film (perhaps del Toro’s version would have been different) and yeah, there is one element of the story that is CLEARLY RIDICULOUS and UNCALLED FOR. That said, I enjoyed the story and the robots and John Boyega is a national treasure.
  • Avengers: Infinity War – I am here for Captain America 5eva. And most of the rest of them too.
  • Ocean’s Eight – This is literally the only Ocean’s film I have seen in a cinema rather than just waiting for it to be on the telly and that was an excellent decision. Sandra Bullock is my perennial fave and she and her team are just so good at all of it. Richard Armitage is there being awful in the best way. The only thing that could have been better would be if they had just put someone else in as the insurance fraud investigator.
  • Black Panther – It feels like Black Panther came out a million years ago but it was literally only like eleven months. Everything about this film was just right and I loved T’Challa and Shuri and her being the genius little sister.

And that’s it for the new films I saw in 2018. I feel like I would have liked to go to more gigs, but sometimes I’m just not interested in the people who are touring here. I visited Norfolk on holiday and that was great. I ate a great many delicious things. 2018 was okay.

1.  Well, I started writing this 3 days ago.
2. It had been a long day.

Mirrored from half girl, half robot.

herdivineshadow: (i want to believe)

The whole essay is here.

To Haraway, the cyborg is a matter of fiction, a struggle over life and death, a modern war orgy, a map, a condensed image, a creature without gender. The manifesto coopts cyborg identity while eliminating reference to disabled people on which the notion of the cyborg is premised. Disabled people who use tech to live are cyborgs. Our lives are not metaphors.

Mirrored from half girl, half robot.

Tuesday

Dec. 4th, 2018 02:24 pm
herdivineshadow: (hello panda)

I am languishing in my sickbed, riddled with plague and reading about all this Tumblr stuff.

Maybe not plague. A cold.

I know that the ringing in my ears is louder when I’m sick, but it’s coupled with the sound of the water moving through the radiators and hot water pipes – a similar sound to the one I hear in my ears – which makes it all worse somehow. No amount of earplug-wearing will help when it’s a noise already in my head.

Coincidentally, I’m also reading about how places like restaurants are really loud. I’m constantly thinking about how loud places are and how it seems like everywhere has gotten louder but can’t really decided whether they really have become louder or I just notice more now that I try to avoid loud noises. Probably both.

Restaurants are so loud because architects don’t design them to be quiet. Much of this shift in design boils down to changing conceptions of what makes a space seem upscale or luxurious, as well as evolving trends in food service. Right now, high-end surfaces connote luxury, such as the slate and wood of restaurants including The Osprey in Brooklyn or Atomix in Manhattan.

This trend is not limited to New York. According to Architectural Digestmid-century modern and minimalism are both here to stay. That means sparse, modern decor; high, exposed ceilings; and almost no soft goods, such as curtains, upholstery, or carpets. These design features are a feast for the eyes, but a nightmare for the ears. No soft goods and tall ceilings mean nothing is absorbing sound energy, and a room full of hard surfaces serves as a big sonic mirror, reflecting sound around the room.The result is a loud space that renders speech unintelligible. Now that it’s so commonplace, the din of a loud restaurant is unavoidable. That’s bad for your health—and worse for the staff who works there. But it also degrades the thing that eating out is meant to culture: a shared social experience that rejuvenates, rather than harms, its participants.
And the Underground is SO loud. I mostly travel on the Northern line when I use the tube and the TRAINS are SO LOUD. If you want to talk to someone, you’d have to shout (on the other hand what are you doing, breaking the unwritten rule of not speaking on the tube). I always wonder about how loud people must have the volume for whatever they are listening to on their headphones. I think about how that kind of volume from headphones on my own ears would probably be worse for my tinnitus than the sound of the trains the music would be drowning out. At least I can wear earplugs on the train.

Mirrored from half girl, half robot.

On reading

Sep. 25th, 2018 08:39 pm
herdivineshadow: (i want to believe)

At some point, two different things about reading ended up in my “tabs to read” window – one about skim reading and the other about reading with a pencil.

In the first, Maryanne Wolf (Director of the Center for Dyslexia, Diverse Learners, and Social Justice at UCLA) talks about how our brains’ ability to read is changing as we read on electronic devices more:

My research depicts how the present reading brain enables the development of some of our most important intellectual and affective processes: internalized knowledge, analogical reasoning, and inference; perspective-taking and empathy; critical analysis and the generation of insight. Research surfacing in many parts of the world now cautions that each of these essential “deep reading” processes may be under threat as we move into digital-based modes of reading.

She goes on to talk about we have less “patience to read longer, denser, more difficult texts” and along with that potentially comes less ability to apply higher levels of critical analysis to such texts (or perhaps also in texts we come across in every day life like contracts or wills).

The whole article is worth reading (especially how the change in reading is coming with a change in empathy) but the main thing that interested me was how reading on physically printed media instead of a digital device kind of added “a spatial ‘thereness’ for text” and readers have a better sense of where they are in what they are reading – a place “to go back, to check and evaluate one’s understanding of a text.”

The second tab I’ve had open – the one from Austin Kleon’s blog about reading with a pencil made me really think about how I read. I don’t think I could ever actually write IN a book, which is also interesting to me – there are people who freely write in books they own and then there are people who would never dream of it and is there anyone in between?

Marginalia means to me that I’ve paid attention to the thing that I was reading – for the essays and such that I’ve written in the past, I’ve always had to print out papers (in part to highlight them and make notes) rather than attempt to read them in a digital format. Even though I can’t bring myself to write notes in a book, the books I used for my dissertation were RIDDLED with post-it notes with various scribbles and arrows on them.

I feel like I don’t read as much as I used to – I certainly don’t get through as many books as I once did. However, when I really think about it, I wonder if I am really reading less or is it that reading in a digital format somehow counts less? Instead of zipping through novels, I read fanfic, journal articles, meta, Twitter, newsletters (the satisfaction of reading a blog with the ease of it being right there in my inbox, though I never forsook RSS), the odd Livejournal/Dreamwidth entry… so am I really reading less? Or is it that I don’t have the patience for long things anymore?  I know I don’t understand how anyone can binge-watch a series – I can watch two episodes tops before I have to switch to a different series.

Anyway. It is a thing I have been thinking about.

Other stuff:

Mirrored from half girl, half robot.

herdivineshadow: (possession)

I’m not sure that it really makes any difference who plays Superman, since compared to the steady churn of the MCU out put, there are barely any DCEU films. Anyway, I keep seeing articles like this that mention:

With Henry Cavill reportedly parting ways with the DC Universe, there is currently a large cape to fill and no shortage of strapping, symmetrical-faced lads to fill it.

Henry Cavill, the person whose face I enjoy looking at primarily for his partial heterochromia and because I am heartened to see that he still has teeth stereotypically common to my fellow residents of the British Isles.

Of course Clark Kent can’t go down to the orthodontist to get his teeth fixed.

Mirrored from half girl, half robot.

herdivineshadow: (The Doctor & Idris)

Romeo & Juliet at the Union Chapel
On Saturday, I went to see Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet at the Union Chapel, with a live choir. Basically that meant that there was about half an hour’s performance of some of the songs from a choir before the film along with some dude saying various quotes from throughout the play. Then they did a song at the end and some guy in the audience then proposed to his girlfriend, she said yes, we all clapped and the choir did another song, dedicated to the couple.
I don’t really get why someone would pick Romeo + Juliet as a prelude to popping the question, as so many people die and namely the “happy couple.” I am sure it was probably a nice evening for them so that must add context.
Romeo + Juliet was great though. I first saw it when I was about 12 and I didn’t really get probably about half of the language used, but it’s like watching Chinese historical dramas – you don’t know what anyone is really saying, but they are doing the right faces. I guess it probably helped that I studied the play at school afterwards and I’ve learnt a bit more about Shakespeare and that since then. Watching now, over 20 years after the film was released, and looking at 20 years ago Leonardo Dicaprio and Claire Danes was kind of weird. I guess when I first saw it, the actors were like 5-10 years older than me and I was just watching stuff happening to people. Watching now, looking at 21 year old Leonardo and 17 year old Claire Danes, from the viewpoint of someone now in their thirties and like… they are really dramatic children. I know in Zeffirelli’s version, Romeo and Juliet are played by even younger actors – but they’re not in a relatable modern setting. I’m sure I must have written an essay about this in school, but man those kids needed some responsible adults in their lives who didn’t enable their nonsense.

It wouldn’t be quite so entertaining a play though.

What else? I think that’s all I have.

Mirrored from half girl, half robot.

102

Aug. 12th, 2018 04:34 pm
herdivineshadow: (high fidelity)

Today my Granddad would have been 102 years old, had he not died 14 years ago. He missed his birthday that year by a few days. We went out to the local carvery and had roast dinner in his honour. Inevitably we will always go out to eat roast dinner, because the right variety of bits for a roast dinner is tricky when you’ve only got two people to eat the thing.

On Wednesday night, I went to see Larry & His Flask at the Islington Academy. Weirdly I don’t think I had really listened to any of their music, since the last time I saw them live, bought an album and played it in the car on the way home. All I knew was that I enjoyed the last time I had seen them and it felt like ages since I had seen them and that I should see them again.

Which, of course, was the right decision.

Sam Russo, whose music I also like, and Crazy Arm, whose music I’d never heard but I think Emma likes, supported and were good. The last time I saw Sam Russo, he was supporting Dave Hause and he’d done his leg in but remained charming. He’s still charming and his music is still great but seems to admit to a lot of crime? He says he didn’t murder anyone, which is good.

Larry & His Flask though. I was thinking as I stood there listening, that my Dad would have really enjoyed their music. Being an only child, my parents were always fairly protective (maybe overprotective as I’ve always been cautious anyway) so my Dad used to come to gigs with me. He took me to my first gig – AFI’s Nightmare After Christmas gig at the London Astoria back in like 2002. We went to festivals and gigs and I never minded that I always “had” to go with my Dad because we had a great time and he was always up for going. I suppose maybe I was lucky that my Dad would listen to the music I liked – it always seemed more difficult for other people I knew whose folks weren’t keen on them going out late on a school-night and there was the tension between having to hurry home after and not wanting to hurry back. No such problem for me and my Dad, because since he didn’t like public transport, he would always drive us there and back and we didn’t have to contend with the thought of missing the train.

Plus like, he would buy the tickets and the drinks and the merch because he was my Dad and I was the child. I’ve still got the hoodie he bought for me at that first gig – he popped out during the encore to buy me something, have a smoke and bring the car round and miss all the crowds going for their cars and that.

Now, I don’t think my Dad loved AFI, even though he saw them probably 6 or 7 times over the years, but I think he would really have enjoyed seeing Larry & His Flask. This was the thought I had on Wednesday night, along with the thought that everyone there seemed to be really joyful and happy that Larry & His Flask were back on tour and were playing for us all that night.

I really want to seem them again.

Other things:

  • I am hoping that Anthropocene will be at the London Film Festival this year and at a time I can make. Last year, I got lucky that all the various extra religious holidays that my work gives us off overlapped with LFF but this year it’s all a month early so maybe I’m going to have to take actual time off to see films. We’ll see.
  • Our Attitude Toward Aliens Proves We Still Think We’re Special – I guess I just figured that aliens have a Prime Directive, like there is in Star Trek.
  • An idea that really resonated with me:

    “A multipotentialite is someone with many interests and creative pursuits.

    Multipotentialites have no “one true calling” the way specialists do. Being a multipotentialite is our destiny. We have many paths and we pursue all of them, either sequentially or simultaneously (or both).

    Multipotentialites thrive on learning, exploring, and mastering new skills. We are excellent at bringing disparate ideas together in creative ways. This makes us incredible innovators and problem solvers.

    When it comes to new interests that emerge, our insatiable curiosity leads us to absorb everything we can get our hands on. As a result, we pick up new skills fast and tend to be a wealth of information.”
    — Emilie Wapnick, Puttylike (found here)

  • The Story We Don’t Talk About: On Irishness, Immigration, and Race
  • I like to think that this ice cream was made from Old ones.
  • About my favourite food in the whole world.

Mirrored from half girl, half robot.

herdivineshadow: (dear livejournal)

I’m subscribed to a few newsletters and tend to read them either immediately or months after I received them.

So now I know what an omelette thing stemmed from, that made the rounds on the twitters and other newsletters that I did read when I got them. Months after the fact.

Some things from newsletters:

I don’t think I was ever a blogger. I had a livejournal for a long time and various blogs etc over the years, but I don’t know if I ever had anything in particular to broadcast.

Mirrored from half girl, half robot.

herdivineshadow: (mitchell)

On Saturday, I got on the Northern Line to return home from hearing the Space Spectacular at the Royal Albert Hall (which was great). Anyway, I spot an empty seat between some dude and some lady, whose bag is on the seat.

I stand in front of the seat. The lady moves her bag and I sit.

Now back to the dude, who had been sitting knees akimbo and is now sitting with legs significantly less akimbo. The dude looks at my leg, right next to his leg. The dude looks at my arm, right next to his arm.

The dude turns to his friend on the other side and comments to him about the inexplicable closeness of our limbs, deeply surprised that yes, yes I am right up in his personal space and yeah, my elbow is now on the armrest, where his once was and is not moving no matter how incredulously he peers at it.

Turns out this dude has seriously underestimated exactly how fat I am and how unconcerned I am about personal space on a mode of transport where traditionally the passengers are packed on like sardines. LOL

So the lesson is, when you spot someone who clearly likes a few pies and can generally be described as “sturdy”, you should expect them to take up a whole seat.

Mirrored from half girl, half robot.

herdivineshadow: (i want to believe)

Saw this last night on TV and still can’t get over how great it is.

Mirrored from half girl, half robot.

herdivineshadow: (i want to believe)

Lately I find myself subscribing to more newsletters. Partly I blame Warren Ellis, mostly I think I just miss the stream of longer form wittering that I used to get from my Livejournal friends page. I never stopped being annoyed when a website failed to furnish me with a RSS feed (or get slightly angry when they removed it).

Oh you don’t have RSS, well I guess I don’t need to look at your website at all.

Which maybe is a little counter-intuitive, since RSS tends to just give you the latest thing (and yeah, I don’t enjoy the RSS feeds that only give truncated snippets), but since if the latest thing in my aggregator looks interesting, I open it in a new tab to pay attention to later then…

Newletters. I don’t always get to them as they arrive, but every so often I binge on a few of them (it’s the same with podcasts for me).

Anyway, I’m slowly putting some links to the ones I subscribe to in the sidebar. Enjoy.

Mirrored from half girl, half robot.

herdivineshadow: (jack of spades)
In this week's edition of Sarah Jaffe's newletter she says:
"I keep those things closer to the vest these days; once upon a time I was as much a feelsblogger as anyone but, well, some combination of adulthood, professionalism, and Literally Everyone Being On The Internet now marked a shift there."

And isn't that a great term? Feelsblogger. I've never really been one to talk about how I feel about anything - online or offline. Maybe I did right at the beginning of the Livejournal days, but mostly due to a lack of anything to really say? Most of my writing back then was on Usenet, so that's where all the real substance (such as it was) went.

Now all the feels I have on the internet are about Star Trek or Captain America or Star Wars or some other media I have engaged with. For me, I'm not sure that anything has changed now that I'm a so-called grown-up with a job and anyone could search for my witterings - perhaps I'm more likely to share my feels (limited to scifi, very little to do with life events)? I don't think I've ever put anything online that I wouldn't want someone to find - I've looked back at those early LJ days and there's nothing embarassing, though it is like looking in a mirror at someone wholly unrecognisable to me now.
herdivineshadow: (dark)
I figure it's time for my annual round up of the new films I saw this year as it's getting towards the end of the year and, having taken a look at what's on offer for the next couple of weeks at my local cinema, I don't think I'll be adding to the list. You never know though, so maybe I'll reserve the right to revise this review closer to the end of the year.

I'm going to start with the "and stuff" of the title - my favourite band, AFI, released a new album this year (and once again did not tour in the UK) and, of course, it is awesome. Davey Havok released an album with his sideproject, Dreamcar, and that was pretty good too. The stand-out albums for me aren't either of these albums (as much as I love them). No, the two albums that have been on repeat in my car all year (pretty much) are Dave Hause's "Bury Me in Philly" and Maxïmo Park's "Risk to Exist" - and Maxïmo Park's album sat in its shrink-wrap for like two weeks before I even opened it (I opened it AS SOON AS I GOT HOME from seeing them live and hearing all the really great new songs).





As usual, the films are listed with the “worst” one first. I was thinking about this the other day and I saw a lot of really, really enjoyable films this year so “worst” doesn’t necessarily mean bad. Just the other films were better. And there were some really great films.
 
  • Silence – Saying that, Silence was kind of dire. I unexpectedly saw a lot of films with Adam Driver in and this was the worst. I would not have chosen to see this film and technically, I didn’t I guess – it was my Mum’s choice for our New Year’s Day film. Catholics in Asia seems like it would have been exactly my kind of niche topic but no. I guess I’ve just read too much about Catholic martyrs for this to have any kind of impact? Also, like it was really long. Whatever Scorsese.
  • Manifesto – This was an interesting film to experience and Cate Blanchett is totes amazeface in this. I just don’t really know enough about art from the last two hundred years to really appreciate this.  Most of the funny bits are still funny with a total lack of context though? So that’s something.
  • Assassin’s Creed – Maybe this should be rated lower than Manifesto? It’s an action film based on a computer game. It’s what you’d expect really. There was killing and fighting. My Mum enjoyed it.
  • 6 Days – Mark Strong totally nails his role. I don’t know how similar he was to the actualfax real life guy he was playing, but he conveyed the conflict of being a negotiator so so well. Otherwise, it was fine.
  • La La Land – The music is lovely. The dancing is fine. The story and characters are fine, though I didn’t really care what happened to them. As it is with most musicals I suppose?
  • Loveless – I ended up lining up a lot of films at LFF about missing children (although I had to skip one, Little Crusader, because I didn’t think I’d manage to race to the film after quickly enough on my dodgy ankle). This was probably the bleakest, saddest and most hopeless of them, with main characters that exhibited such a striking lack of compassion that it’s a wonder that they had any relationships with other people at all (though maybe they’re just repeating the same relationship with different partners). Tough to watch, but worthwhile.
  • The Death of Stalin – Jason Isaacs MAKES this film. My Mum laughed at the corpsey bits. So did I.
  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – I feel like Laureline was was more of an interesting character than Valerian so I don’t understand why her name isn’t in the title. Really delightful to look at.
  • Justice League – Justice League was a lot better than I was expecting although I don’t get why Batman had a go at Wonder Woman. Ezra Miller and Ray Fisher’s exuberant enthusiasm during the press tour was the highlight, pretty much. Those two REALLY love their characters.
  • Walk With Me – Sort of a meditative journey alongside the monks in the documentary that really reminded me that people who commit to this kind of a religious life are regular humans too.
  • Kingsman: The Golden Circle – So like, I don’t understand why Charlie’s girlfriend had the Golden Circle tramp stamp and like… how do you even do that without potentially causing paralysis? Mark Strong, as always, was great. Needed more Halle Berry.
  • Grain – I do like dystopic films. Kind of scifi with some religious themes.
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming – SO. I am a bit meh about Spider-Man.  I liked that Peter Parker has friends. It was fine that Tony Stark was in this because it made a bit of sense. Glad that they skipped most of the usual the origin story stuff because it’s not like the five billion Spider-Man films already in existence haven’t explained that part.
  • Promise Land – I feel like maybe I should see more documentaries. This is a road trip in Elvis Presley’s car across the USA during the 2016 election that tells the story of Elvis and somehow also how we got to the US being how it is.
  • Loving Vincent – This was the only film of LFF that my Mum saw with me – mostly because my auntie was here from Portugal and partly because she’s not that keen on trudging all the way into central London to see a film when there is a perfectly decent cinema 5 minutes from our house. Loving Vincent was shown at my local cinema as part of LFF so my Mum (and auntie!) came with me to see it. It’s a really beautifully painted and animated film that fills in some of the details of the people around Van Gogh at the time of his death, who I’d never really considered.
  • Gemini – Unexpected but not unwelcome John Cho. I don’t know what else to say about this film.
  • Life Guidance  – The trouble I have with films in a second language I only really understand enough of to be a tourist is that it’s a bit like attempting to talk on the phone to someone where there is an echo and you can hear your own voice repeated back to you a second later. That said, this has a really good dystopian future where everyone has to be high-achieving and making progress in all areas of their lives which is kind of nightmarish to me.
  • Small Town Crime – By the time LFF rolls round, I have usually forgotten what the films I have tickets for are about. Usually the name on ticket might prompt me to have a vague idea of the subject of the film but not this one – I went in, sat down and had no clue of what to expect. John Hawkes plays a disaster of an ex-cop who ends up attempting to investigate the death of a woman he finds dying at the side of the road. Clifton Collins Jr is fantastic in this.
  • How to Talk to Girls at Parties – Based on the Neil Gaiman story and directed by John Cameron Mitchell, this film was a lot less odd than that combination of sources could have made it and yet everyone around me as I left the cinema seemed to be baffled by the weirdness of it all.
  • Wrath of Silence – Another of the missing child films, this time about a mute miner looking for his son. Kind of a crime thriller, but ultimately very sad with it.
  • Atomic Blonde – I did not expect Atomic Blonde to be outside my top ten films of 2017 and yet here we are – there were just so many films I enjoyed this year that there were enough really great ones to push the merely really good ones down a few pegs. This is like someone saw John Wick and thought “what if we did that, but with Charlize Theron and more cold-hearted and 80s?”
  • Becoming Who I Was – A documentary that follows a young boy who is also the reincarnation of a Tibetan Buddhist Lama and his godfather/teacher. Very touching.
  • Blade of the Immortal – It’s kind of a toss-up between whether Blade of the Immortal or Becoming Who I Was is more touching and maybe Blade of the Immortal only loses because it’s fiction. This is the heart-warming story of how an immortal warrior helps a young girl avenge her parents murder by killing a LOT of people.
  • Downsizing  – Now all I knew is that this was a film about Matt Damon being made tiny small and that it was a comedy. And yeah, that’s true for the most part. However, it also addresses environmental issues and how we treat the vulnerable members of our communities (if we even “allow” them to really be in our communities). Might have been better as a mini-series though. LOL.
I think I need a break before going into the top ten. I saw a lot of films. I think I saw more live music this year than last, but maybe not as much as I would have liked. Ok, so. That top ten.
 
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi  – I saw Last Jedi 3 days ago and I love it and yet here it is at number 10 on my list (I realise that this list has no numbers but the one I am following on Letterboxd does, so whatever). It’s probably too soon to really get into what happens in this film but I left the cinema with my heart full from watching it.
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – I only vaguely knew what this was about going into the film and I’m kind of glad that this was the case. Three Billboards… has both horrifying and humorous moments, with more tragedy than I had been expecting. Definitely see this if you can.
  • Thor: Ragnarok – I love that this has an entirely different tone to literally every other MCU film. I love that it’s funny and has great action and makes the logical point about Asgard being built on the ruin of other worlds – and then goes for the most worthwhile solution to that. Also Korg.
  • Wonderstruck – This is a really beautiful film, shot in styles that really emphasise the two time periods in which it is set. Really delightful and satisfying.
  • Columbus – Basically I added this to my LFF line-up because yay John Cho. That was it. This is so so so great. The whole film is lovely to watch. It really concerns, I think, the characters’ places in the world  – how they relate to physical place, to each other, to the people in their lives and the cultures that they belong to. Also John Cho should be the leading man in more films.
  • Logan Lucky – Ok yes. The whole Ocean’s 7-11 thing is true. This is fun and heartwarming and sweet and hilarious.
  • Wonder Woman – Diana is a literal wonder and a delight which, of course, makes sense because she is Wonder Woman. I had so many feelings watching this and most of them were love.
  • The Shape of Water – This year had a lot of really beautiful films and The Shape of Water is one of them. It’s a love story about a woman and a fish-creature. I need to see this again and again.
  • John Wick: Chapter 2 – It feels like this came out a million years ago and I suppose it did in a way – the beginning of 2017 seems like a whole other planet. Again, another beautiful film but in a different way to the others. I would watch a million John Wick films so long as Keanu Reeves did them and there were dogs in them. The action and stunts are astounding.
  • Logan – So, Logan is my favourite film of 2017 – a year that had a Star Wars and a Thor and The Shape of Water and Keanu Reeves being a badass and like, so many really great films. This was the perfect final chapter for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. This film made my heart burst.
And that’s it. Logan was the best though, like I said, there was so many great films this year. Watch them all. Though go ahead and skip out on Silence.
herdivineshadow: (i want to believe)

So I’m reading about a place I’ve been to eat at a few times and the article has the following:

Until roughly a decade ago, when the Chinese began travelling more freely, bringing with them thrillingly punchy cooking from its various provinces, Chinese food in Britain was dying. It was dominated by over-sweetened iterations of clumsy Cantonese dishes which made you hate yourself for eating them.

And I cannot help but wonder where this person had been going to eat. I mean sure, you do have English-Chinese food, but that’s why when you go to a Chinese restaurant you take a look and see if there are more white people than Chinese people there and then you know what kind of Chinese food to expect. I guess this guy didn’t know about the secret Chinese menu.

Mirrored from half girl, half robot.

herdivineshadow: (indeed)
I guess I'm still keeping my livejournal but what I really want is to reuse that X-Files header I made because it is a delight and everything is X-Files in my heart. Even though I'd probably have to rejig the excellent dreamwidth layout I'm using.

(Aside from when it is Star Trek)

At least I have set up my moodtheme here
herdivineshadow: (listless)

New films I saw this year, in reverse order of how much I enjoyed them (basically, the last film in this list was amazeface) as kept track of throughout the year on Letterboxd.

  • Dad’s Army – This was terrible. The only good part was Mrs Mainwaring.
  • Anthropoid – I can barely remember this film. I imagine it must have much like any other film based on events from WW2. I think there…was a romance? I wasn’t very interested in it if there was.
  • The Girl on the Train – I’d not read the book before I saw this ( and I’ve still not seen it) but it was entertaining enough, if fairly predictable.
  • Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey – It was nice. I had a terrible cold during LFF so it was quite handy that I didn’t have to think too much when watching this.
  • Interchange – I didn’t entirely know what I expected when I decided that I would see a film that involved vampirism in Malaysia – certainly not anything to do with indigenous Malay tribal people. I did like that the characters switched between languages – which of course is common in Malaysia, but I don’t usually get to see it on-screen.
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice  – I enjoyed it. Unsure about Lex Luthor, but I’m quite interested in seeing the next film.
  • Dancer – When this film was being made, no one involved in the film had any idea how it would turn out – as they were just following the life of Sergei Polunin. I’m glad I wasn’t making the film or, for that matter, pursued ballet beyond the age of five.
  • Jason Bourne – My Mum really loves Jason Bourne and Matt Damon to the extent that we joke that he is her new boyfriend.
  • Chi-raq  – I will watch nearly anything based on ancient Greek plays so of course I was going to see this.
  • White Colour Black – Interesting look at being part of two distinct cultures, although I’m not sure thaat I could relate much to the main character Leke even though I’m mixed-race too but that’s mostly because I’m not a hedonistic, sought-after photographer.
  • Ghostbusters – Fun and very much in the same spirit as the previous Ghostbuster films. lol.
  • The Secret Scripture – Mum and I went to see this and Dancer on the same day as this year she was interested in going to see some LFF films (although she still thinks going to see as many as I do is a bit out there) and this was the film she was most interested in. As we got towards the end of the film, you could kind of see what was coming but that was more a nice rounding off rather than being boringly predictable.
  • Star Trek Beyond – I love Star Trek with all my heart and this film was a relief after the film that we do not talk about. Fun, lots of exciting action and Karl Urban is the greatest of us.
  • Deadpool – I also love Deadpool, but not as much as I love Star Trek and this film was still slightly more enjoyable than Star Trek Beyond though probably because of the incredible amounts of violence.
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – I have too many feelings about this film. It’s a solid war movie.
  • Captain America: Civil War – Probably not as good as Winter Soldier, but still super enjoyable. I still don’t like spending time with Tony Stark but RDJ continues to play him well. I will never understand how Chris Evans fit in that tiny car. Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson are forever a delight together.
  • Arrival – This film was astounding when I saw it back in October, was still astounding when I saw it again in November and remains so as I think about it now. I think this year really needed this film. V satisfying.

Mirrored from half girl, half robot.

herdivineshadow: (Default)
At some point, I'll find a wordpress plugin that will crosspost to both LJ and DW at the same time. Until then... there's more likely to be an update over at http://blog.herdivineshadow.com
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