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Archive for January, 2004


Films I have seen recently:

Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King
As long as Father O’Ryan’s Sunday sermon and about as interesting. Lots of gay scenes (the scene at the end where Gandolph watches the little ones jumping on the bed… hmmm, dubious old ‘wizard’), but I liked the battle scenes and settings. The thing that bugged me the most was that I felt that my emotions were being manipulated throughout the film. However, I am going to see it again and I reserve the right to change my mind….

Requiem for a Dream

This toe tapping musical depicts a jolly Staton Island adventure. But really – among the grimmest films I’ve ever seen, up there with ‘Nil by Mouth’. I do recommend it though, it is superbly made and acted – but be warned – for several hours you may experience an overwhelming compulsion to stick your head in oven.

Maidens in Uniform

One of the most fascinating films I’ve seen for many a year. Made in 1931, set in a girls boarding school, this allegorical tale of pre-nazi Germany defines the girls struggle against the authoritarian leaders of the school. It is Leontine Sagan’s only film. It has barely dated – Maidens in Uniform blew away my preconceptions about ‘old’ films, which caused me to watch….

M

Fritz Lang’s brilliant film about a child molesting murderer (played by Peter Lorre) on the run not only from the police, but also the underworld gangs. When separated from the context of the crime, the viewer feels an uneasy sympathy with the antihero. ‘M’ delivers an emotional speech at the finale. Powerful stuff, and I feel not the sort of film that would get made these days. Again, the film’s themes reflect Germany of the day.

Ghost World

Alternates between being funny as fuck and sad as fuck. Steve Buscemi rules as always.

Chinatown

Polanski in fine form. The film’s name derives from police in Chinatown never knowing what was going on due to the language barrier; who had shot whom, who the guilty party was and so on. In this noir inspired drama, Jack Nicholson’s character is at a loss to understand the increasingly complex situation growing around him. A dramatic ending as you’d expect, and super performances from John Hudson, Faye Dunaway and Jack. I recommend it.

Tokyo Story

A moving story about the relationship between parents and their grown up children – sure as hell gave me the guilts. Hailed by at least one critic as the greatest film ever made, this is definitely something out of the ordinary.

Maida Vale, London, Thursday, January 22nd, 2004

bucketFountain Lit Review

I recently finished ‘Letters to a young contrarian’ by Christopher Hitchens which is a shining example of great writing. I also slogged through the very short ‘Communist Manifesto’ by Marx and Engels. Hard work, but nice to have on the shelf as a reference. I was surprised to find myself wondering if it is an historical curiosity or still relevant today? Marxist (even communist) principles will be with humanity for a long time, and they have the power to help when wisely implemented and the power to ruin when incorrectly interpreted.

I’m presently reading Nigel Cawthorne’s ‘Vietnam – a war lost and won’. Interesting background to the war, although Cawthorne’s writing is weak in relation to Hitchens and Marx (particularly Hitchens). I find his constant use of slang is getting on my wick – it’s like he is trying to make out he is a ‘nam vet. I’ve also noticed three glaring errors, something that I’m accustomed to in newspapers, but not books. In its own right a worthy book, but in comparison to some of the great writers I’ve been exposed to recently it reads like a ten year olds rushed homework.

Hitchens makes me want to write, Cawthorne reminds me that it is not so easy.

Maida Vale, London, Thursday, January 22nd, 2004

Penguin on the Eurostar

Penguin in the chunnel

Penguin in the chunnel

Maida Vale, London, Thursday, January 22nd, 2004

Hiatus

‘took a fortnights hiatus, now you wanna hate us’ – from the Wu’s Iron Flag (sort of)… well I’m sure you don’t hate us but you know what I’m saying. Anyway, I’m back at the PC, talkin’ shite.

Maida Vale, London, Thursday, January 22nd, 2004

FeedDemon

I’ve installed FeedDemon for testing puposes. A lovely bit of work, but I’m not sure that I’d want to pay for it.

Maida Vale, London, Sunday, January 11th, 2004

The times are a changing

And so is bucketFountain. I’ve done some work over the weekend, tidied up the very messy backend of the application, gotten most of the pages to validate, and cleaned up the interface a little. I’ve nearly got an RSS feed on the site too, just gotta sort out an issue with the pass thru html in Domino….

Maida Vale, London, Sunday, January 11th, 2004

Old year book list

I saw this on someone else’s site (one of the links off Kottke methinks) so I thought I’d steal the idea.*

Here’s a list of (most of) the books I read during 2003:

Inventing a Nation – Gore Vidal
The Trial of Henry Kissinger – Christopher Hitchens
911 – Noam Chomsky
Chomsky and Globalisation – Jeremy Fox
Profit Over People – Noam Chomsky
Pirates and Emperors – Noam Chomsky

The Last Empire – Gore Vidal
Globalization and its discontents – Joseph Stiglitz
The Art of War – Sun Tzu (Shambhala edition)
Introducing Marx
Introducing Islam
Stupid White Men – Mike Moore
The New Rulers of the World – John Pilger
End Game – Scott Ritter
The Great War – Correlli Barnett

*Immature bloggers imitate; mature bloggers steal (apologies to TS Eliot)

Maida Vale, London, Wednesday, January 7th, 2004

A bucket at the bloggies?

Oh shite, a diehard bucketFountain fan nominated yours truly in this years bloggies. If you can be bothered, visit the site and help me out by voting ! (AND I don’t even know what category I’m in.)

Maida Vale, London, Wednesday, January 7th, 2004

Stalked

It appears I have stalker who is threatening to send me place-cards for tables at a wedding reception with my name in florally, love-heartie lettering. Bleagh.

Maida Vale, London, Wednesday, January 7th, 2004

Brussels

Downtown Brussels, night, 1st Jan 2004

Steve, Kirt and that penguin

Maida Vale, London, Sunday, January 4th, 2004

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