Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Bo Hai Dumpling Town


I've been continuing with my bike riding, but moved to the turbo, using a quite gentle 0% gradient setting since I've tipped over the 4,000 miles mark this year (4,110 today). It's giving me a chance to watch a box set or two and the latest on the screen has been the cyber thriller Mr.Robot.

Set in today's world, seen through the eyes of an often hoodied and raddled hacker, it includes a 'grand scheme' plot line.

The setting has some of the edginess of Fight Club, flitting between dingy New York alleys and ultra bright corporate blocks. We've big cyber security businesses doing their thing and plenty of computer talk about IP addresses, distributed denial of service and spoofing. They do use some improbably high IP addresses: 172.258.62.296 anyone? It kind of breaks the octal.

It's still a step beyond normal IT-speak in the scripting, without quite reducing the language to dog.

There's a big plot about breaking something - using a wired-in Raspberry Pi as the hack to make it all work. I haven't seen whether they are successful or not yet, even assuming everything is what it seems to be.

If some of that sounds nerdy, then it's because the lead character Elliot (Rami Malek) is a jaded uber-geek. He operates as a morphine dependent psychotic and we get jittery camerawork around him when he's explaining himself to his imaginary friend, which is us, the viewer.

The series uses digital and social connectivity to illustrate that we can all be just a few clicks away from being found out.

I've also been fascinated by some of the filming, with framing to drive isolation, disconnection and occasionally a convergence. There's an often synth-led soundtrack breaking us through to the world of digital. We can sense the parallel digital world at every twist and turn. Evvvven the glitches.

I'm enjoying the series. There's a few pieces I deliberately overlook and which are offset every so often with some scripting gems as the characters step it up a level. They haven't used "the root (kit) of all Evil" yet, but I can sense it's hovering there somewhere..

To prove a quick point I even found Elliot's home address next to the Chinese restaurant on Broadway. Check out the food reviews.

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