science-fiction, writing, technology
Not necessarily new, these are my favourites that I’ve watched and read in the last few months.
Brash, cool, ambitious, too long, occasionally confused and classic Tarantino. The portrayal and challenge of slavery and race assumptions makes a great opening, and the key characters are well explored and developed. The middle of the film does seem to drag, before turning quickly into a huge explosion of a finale and a soft finish. The soundtrack, visuals and great characters stand out, but there is a good story in there somewhere too.
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
A very nice, elegant, feel-good story, spread with good humour and some well-judged references to human nature and what it means to have faith. The ending is predictable but there are some brilliant scenes and visual references, such as a man eating spaghetti while his colleague untangles earphone cables. Another scene shows a person walking against the flow of other people, in representation of the salmon. Brilliant film-making.
A black comedy. Very black. And very British. Since watching it I’ve lent it to an American friend, and then frequently worried whether that was a mistake. The opening is one of the most strange yet uneventful I can remember in a film, and the subject matter of a caravaning holiday mixed with serial murders gives you a rough idea of what to expect. It’s often amusing and disturbing in equal measure, with some great scenery thrown in.
Unfortunately I haven’t been reading so much recently, but I do want to mention American Gods. I’m currently in the middle of it so can’t offer a full conclusion, but so far it has been bizarre, fascinating, inventive and, in places, beautifully written. This is the first Neil Gaiman that I’ve read, but I’ll certainly be seeking out more of his writing very soon.