Friday, 14 February 2020
Thursday, 13 February 2020
I see, so the UK becomes a freeport hub. You plug money into one end and connect a fat cat to the other end and the hub converts the money into tax-free emoluments.
I can understand that we'd need a different kind of Exchequer to handle this. Dom probably has oodles of loops for it.
Maybe we could change a few laws (or lawyers, even?) and stand down some of the more difficult Cabinet members and media too? I hear Pelham make high-quality replacements.
Sunday, 9 February 2020
Saturday we were in Notting Hill and decided to see the movie David Copperfield at the Everyman. It had a winning formula of star-studded cast and Armando Iannucci's writing and direction and it was, after all, a Charles Dickens novel set partly in London.
Somehow it didn't quite work for me; I could sense it was a joyous celebration of the roles, but it was all pitched somewhat frenetically. I know about editing the scene so you don't need to show the entries and exits, but this took it to another level maybe suited to click-generation viewing.
There were some good little character studies developed by the individual actors, but somehow it didn't gel into a story that one could feel empathy towards. It was just too jump-cut between rags/riches/rags/riches with everyone running around and flailing their arms, kites and donkeys about.
There's the status anxiety of Uriah Heep (Ben Wishaw), or the gadfly flittishness of Mr Dick (High Laurie channellling some of his left-behind comedic acting), Tilda Swinton as the indomitable Betsey Trotwood, Peter Capaldi as Mr Micawber waiting for something to turn up. The older David Copperfield was played by Dev Patel, and he smilingly kept the comedy pacing rolling along, even when doing the 'bang head on beam' gag several times in a row.
Iannucci gets under the skin of politics in some of his comedies (Thick of It and Death of Stalin), but this one, whilst dealing with the diversity of London in Victorian times, the rule of property landlords and sweatshop working conditions somehow didn't land the same kind of satirical punches that the other movies have managed.
I couldn't help noticing the extracted words from Dicken's pen during the film. It has made me want to read the book again.
Saturday, 8 February 2020
Peeped into the Cars exhibition at the V&A. There were plenty of cars on display, but I wondered about the agenda. It did show oil depletion but didn't really show the progress on electric cars. I'd have liked to have seen a couple of examples, and maybe a cutaway example with the batteries section displayed.
Infinest Top Gear traditions, they had an E-Type jaguar on display. It looked suitably vintage until one noticed the cockpit which featured a flat panel display. Check it out in my picture below.
See, vintage steering wheel and then a computer console next door to it? But that seemed to be the token nod to electric cars, and perhaps also to British manufacturing. For small cars, there was the Messerschmidt bubble car and the Fiat 600. No Issigonis Mini on display. The show included mass production, featuring Ford and may be glossing over the Japanese. I was pleased to see The Fifth Element receiving recognition.
It was an interesting meander but I did wonder about Bosch the sponsor's curation criteria.
Friday, 7 February 2020
Madonna at the Palladium was a show to remember. An intimate show, which demonstrated a transcendent magic from a performer who has re-inveted herself countless times. She chatted to the audience in a way that I doubt we'd see at a Stadium.
Fantastic evening, which we were asked not to describe too much, nor take pictures.
I was amused to hear hardened Londoners after the show, walking past the venue saying, "It must be a Madonna tribute act." No, we were on Madonna's Isla Bonita.
Monday, 3 February 2020
Monday, 27 January 2020
I can tell it is the winter months because I've been to see around three movies recently. The latest was the satire JoJo Rabbit about a hitler youth's experience living in a village during the last days of World War II.
It is both comedic and shocking, with hardly any punches pulled as the story unfolds. The boy goes to youth camp to learn about guns and bombs and is seriously injured in a grenade incident. The scenes, cuts and dialogue are whip-smart and we later learn that his mother is hiding multiple secrets in their house.
Sometimes the scenes are predictable, but there's an edginess to much of the screenwriting that leaves one wondering who will get out alive.
The ideas of history and politics contained in “Jojo Rabbit” are terrifying. Absurd incompetents creating an enormous human tragedy.
It plays out here as dark humour, in a movie with a heart that leaves a lasting impression.
Sunday, 26 January 2020
Saturday, 18 January 2020
I listened to a short talk about book cover design a couple of days ago.
It went along the lines of "lead the reader into the book."
It implied that certain genres have certain motifs which repeatedly occur on the covers so that people know what they are buying into. Often the more successful ones will have a 'vanishing point' graphic on the cover with a silhouette of a person running towards it.
Above, I picked a few at random from a well-know bookseller, just to test the point.
Subliminally it is supposed to encourage a browsing person to dive into the book. I wonder if it is also to confuse the reader-to-be to select a book 'something along the lines of'?
I can remember the first cover for the Triangle, which went to a professional cover designer, and featured a single person moving towards the reader. It didn't get past the second edit, though, and we eventually settled on the orange cover, which could stand out well on (ahem) street banners and bus wraps.
Friday, 17 January 2020
Thursday, 16 January 2020
I had to drop briefly into Windows today from my Mac. Its's a long story. I fired up Parallels and was greeted with the message to update to the latest version (15), which took all of 5 minutes. Then I could fire up a Parallels control panel and select my version of Windows. Windows 10, of course. And it started up, showing me the desktop before a Microsoft message appeared across the whole screen.
It told me my version of Windows 10 was superseded and I'd have to download an update. Just 6 Gigabytes. I clicked 'Download Updates' and the button didn't work. I tried I need Help. Didn't work either, so then I thought I'd try Not Right Now. It locks.
I've now got a punky blue screen across the whole Windows session, which probes tell me is using loads of CPU and network. There's no useful user feedback whatsoever.
I'm beginning to remember why I hit the big red button on Spindows.