Saw Daybreakers at the cinema. Good vampire film with a novel twist: ten years after the outbreak society is thoroughly vampirized, and the remaining humans are hunted by the army. But with blood stocks low, a vampire researcher seeks an alternative to blood before the famine begins.
It's tautly done on a fairly low budget, with some stylish designs. It's more like a skiffy movie than horror though: not very scary at all.
I liked it a lot: good to see something taking the genre forward a bit. I think like "Outlander" it's been underrated by the critics, who tend to just lump smarter-than-average original action movies with dire sequels. Well worth seeing, though not earth-shattering.
What I'm Watching 2
Saw Ran on DVD. Akira Kurosawa movie, based on King Lear but with many changes, one of which is that the daughters become sons, but equally tragic.
Good film, with a great central performance from Tatsuya Nakadai as the decaying king. Has a very striking battle scene with no sound, just music, as the king's bodyguards fail against overwhelming numbers.
Saw Generous at the Finborough Theatre. That's another tiny pub theatre, maybe even smaller than the Bush theatre.
Has a cast of 8, in a highly-rated play by Canadian playwright Michael Healey. Tells several stories, with some interlinked characters, themed around altruism or its lack.
Some good performances and clever writing. Jane Perry did a great phone conversation, switching call-waiting between her husband and lover. The opening scene, with six characters rushing in and talking loudly at cross-purposes, is brilliantly done.
However, while that scene works well in the small space, the other scenes didn't seem so effective in it. The dialogue has lots of long complex speeches, which seem a bit unrealistic in those close quarters. Also some of the characters didn't really come together. the industrialist and others seem too willing to self-flagellate rather than self-justify.
Overall, pretty good but not unmissable.
Seem to be some true colours coming through with some of the parties at the moment.
"Libertarian" UKIP have nicked the BNP policy of banning the burkha. Very libertarian, passing laws about what clothes citizens are allowed to wear.
David Cameron has finally given some specifics on how he's going to decentralize and empower low-level local groups. By, um, passing a top-down edict insisting teachers must have at least a 2:2 degree. Good thing that kind of micromanagment couldn't have any bad consequences. Like, say, hiring a 2:2 Media Studies graduate when an Astrophyics grad with a 3rd might be better, or incentivizing students to do easy degrees rather than risk a low pass with a tough degree, or causing teacher shortages because you're banning worse-qualified applicants without raising salaries to hire the better-qualified.
I already mentioned the third time a BNP member has been convicted on explosives charges. But for a bonus, Neuroskeptic debunks a Nick Griffin claim, since no-one else in politics or the media wants to.
We're so fucked.
I find the "innovation slump disguised by housing boom" idea very interesting. But what might have caused it?Web
I'm wondering if patent and copyright thickets might be responsible. For instance, software became much more patentable in 1996. Since then, things like the Amazon One-Click patent have made innovation much more difficult.
Also consider the 1998 Copyright Term Extension Act. That's dammed the stream of intellectual property coming into the public domain. If anyone could make Mickey Mouse cartoons, more would be made.
Bottom-line oriented managers seem to have been very hostile to R&D in recent years, seen for instance in the closing of Bell labs. This might be an additional cause. Or it might just be a sensible response: you can't innovate since someone else always holds critical payments, so may as well close down your R&D department.
Haiti. Articles here, here and here point out the gleeful exaggeration by the media of violence in Haiti, to the point where it may be hampering relief efforts as aid workers stay in their bases. It reminds me a lot of the exaggerated reports of carnage in the Superdome in Hurricane Katrina. People really want to see the instant barbarism that happens in the movies.
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