I’m back from Orlando, just getting over the jet leg as well as a bit of a head cold.
I could write a lot about how strange Orlando is. Although I really enjoyed Universal Studios (especially the Halloween Horror night we went to there), it’s very peculiar to be in a different country for a whole week and not encounter anything ‘real’, by which I mean something that isn’t artificially constructed. A whole week and we didn’t encounter a real high street or anything you’d call a ‘community’ (and we tried!). But, wow, that King Kong ride is pretty fantastic!
On the plane I watched Rocketman which I enjoyed far more that I thought I would (it’s pretty much made to be an aeroplane film), and I thought Taron Egerton gave a fantastic performance. Also on the plane (but on my Pixelbook, these two weren’t on the in-flight entertainment menu) I watched Ken Russell’s 1908 psychedelic sci-fi/horror Altered States, which I really liked in all its trippy, slightly melodramatic insanity (it also makes you appreciate what an amazing job Kubrick did with his special effects over a decade earlier), and Richard Brooks’ 1977 true crime drama Looking for Mr Goodbar starring a great Diane Keaton and Richard Gere in his first screen role.
Since we got back Nina and I watched Steven Soderbergh’s new one for Netflix, The Laundromat (not that great) and Lulu Wang’s The Farewell which is just beautiful and touching and funny and everything you want from a film.
Television good news: Watchmen is very good so far (two episodes in), and AV Club agrees with me.
Television bad news: The fantastic Lodge 49 has been cancelled and is looking for a new home. Such a shame when shows like that can’t survive. Here’s Vox talking about why it’s so special.
Back to film for a second: Vice has a nice oral history of one of my favourite cult films: The Improbable True Story of How ‘Clerks’ Was Made, and the New Yorker has a long, fascinating interview with the great Errol Morris about his new documentary which is a typical Morris profile of the vile Steve Bannon (AV Club reviews the film positively here).
Back to Vice, and they have a really interesting article about a big AirBnB scam (I have become increasingly disillusioned with the service over the past year or so and think it will take quite a lot for me to use it again at this point). Meanwhile The Atlantic explain why WeWork’s Adam Neumann Is the Most Talented Grifter of Our Time (and by ‘talented’ they mean ‘disgustingly greedy’).
My favourite article this week though was This essay is just Harry Potter for people who think comparing things to Harry Potter is stupid (it’s not actually about Potter).
Finally this week: music. Yesterday I went to the Southbank Center to see part of their Deep Minimalism weekend. Essentially I sat in a darkened room for three hours (no break) and listened to Trilogie de la Mort by Eliane Radigue, “the long-form bass experience never to be forgotten by those willing to give up the surface of the world for three hours.” I’m not exaggerating when I say it was a beautiful, mind-altering experience, which you can recreate in the comfort of your own home by getting some good headphones, going into a darkened room and listening to this: