24July-6August2011 :: These (Early Spring) Weeks
These weeks were The Quantum Thief, Me And Orson Welles, Captain America, Youth Novels, Two Suns, Outcasts, and a few articles through the Instapaper queue.
- Read Hannu Rajaniemi's The Quantum Thief (amazon); a great heist story in a clever scifi setting; it overpacks the concept a bit much at times, but the characters carry the story, even if they are fairly classic archetypes, the eponymous thief a loveable rogue; it nicely balances the smaller human story against the vastness of the setting, with one quote jumping out: "It is tempting to stay here, to do something on a human scale, to build something." (kindle)
- Watched Richard Linklater's Me And Orson Welles (imdb); an awfully contrived plot, but reasonably entertaining; Linklater does people very well, turning out a number of charming characters even if they aren't the most sympathetic.
- Watched Captain America: The First Avenger (imdb); went in with fairly low expectations, so I got an entertaining film; its first half is excellent, with the story of a scrawny kid who just wants to fight bullies, who's turned into a super-soldier yet never loses his heart, and who's made to dress up in a silly costume and sing and dance to sell the war; while its plot plods along in its second half, it falls apart really, with an uninteresting conflict and no real engagement, only highlighted by the unsatisfying resolution and the reveal that it's all just a set-up for Cap becoming frozen in ice somewhere so he can wake up in the modern day in time for next years' Avengers; it features an excellent cast, somewhat tragically, as Cap himself is the only one we'll get to see again; Peggy Carter especially is superb, so full of potential, and it's sad Avengers will likely be predominantly testosterone-fueled.
- Been listening to Lykke Li's Youth Novels (iTunes/amazon); very fun alt-pop-rock, with an interesting voice and lots of great instrumental touches, with influences from dance to jazz.
- Been listening to Bat for Lashes' Two Suns (iTunes/amazon); not sure how to describe it without reductionist comparisons (Kate Bush, Florence + The Machine), but it's grinding rock with full sounds and gorgeous, haunting vocals, good for hours of looping.
- Finished watching Outcasts (imdb); very clever scifi series (or mini-series, with 8 episodes and no renewal) that gives us a western's story, with a frontier town that just happens to be on another planet, full of delightfully flawed characters in need of redemption; it explores a few interesting ideas, with its leaders scientists, with "religion" presented just as a tool of power and manipulation, but with spiritual elements and morality tightly woven (the un-religious but endlessly questioning scientist president blasts the guy who stands in for manipulative priesthood with "you know nothing of my morality"); low-budget, and it shows at times, but they do great work with what they have, relying on grungy settings and an excellent ensemble cast to embellish the world.
- Out of Instapaper these couple of weeks, a few highlights: Matt Jones of Berg's The Robot-Readable World is packed full of ideas I've not quite been able to digest yet (I particularly like the suggestion that the surveillance industry has fueled a wave of "domestic, cheap and hackable" computer-vision tech); Molly Wizenberg's How we do what we do is a beautiful self-reflection about writing; Kate Aurthur's When Reality-TV Fame Runs Dry at The Daily Beast is a strangely fascinating profile piece on Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt, and a reflection on the construction of celebrity in reality TV.
- 11September-5November2011 :: These (Riding) Weeks (05Nov2011)
- 21August-10September2011 :: These (Running) Weeks (17Sep2011)
- 7-20August2011 :: These (Winter, Returned) Weeks (21Aug2011)
- 24July-6August2011 :: These (Early Spring) Weeks (13Aug2011)
- 3-23July2011 :: These (Hong Kong) Weeks (31Jul2011)
- 26June-2July2011 :: This (Cordless) Week (04Jul2011)
- 12-18June2011 :: This (SydFilmFest) Week (26Jun2011)
- 19-25June2011 :: This (Canberra) Week (26Jun2011)
- 5-11June2011 :: This (Last) Week (16Jun2011)
- 29May-4June2011 :: This Week (06Jun2011)
- 22-28May2011 :: This Week (29May2011)
- 15-21May2011 :: This Week (22May2011)
- 8-14May2011 :: This Week (15May2011)
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- 3-9April2011 :: This Week (10Apr2011)
In which I read and watch and listen, and wonder about genre
- 27March-2April2011 :: This Week (03Apr2011)
- 20-26March2011 :: This Week (28Mar2011)
- 10-19March2011 :: This Week (and a bit) (20Mar2011)
- Recent Media Consumption — February and March (29Mar2008)
In which I consume hours of media in a short amount of time, and rediscover television
- 7-13January2008 :: This Week (15Jan2008)
- 1-6January2008 :: This Week (06Jan2008)
- Recent Media Consumption (30Dec2007)
In which I consume, to varying degrees, various media
- Recent Consumption (12Aug2006)
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