Saw Her on disc: Spike Jonze movie about a lonely man in the near future falling in love with his artificially intelligent operating system.
Liked it a lot. It managed a deft balance between comedy between comedy and poignancy. There are some brilliantly awkward moments, but the cast manage to sell it as a believable romance.
It seemed a very rare example of movie SF working more like written science fiction: taking an idea and developing it. It's not hugely original, but it was interesting to see the growing acceptance of OS companions and it at least avoided some clichés there was thankfully no campaign for OS rights.
I also liked the depth and the detail: the job was brilliantly observed and Perfect Mom game.
The movie might edge a bit too much into the sentimental for some. But I thought it was a great movie, well worth seeing.
What I'm Reading
Armor by John Steakley. Classic military SF from the Eighties. Has two interlinked stories, one of an emotionally distant power-armoursoldier fighting a war against insectoid aliens, the other of a group learning his story.
Good fun, a fast-paced read with plenty of action. So heavily inspired by Heinlein that it reads more as a tribute than an imitation.
Would annoy Mefites as it's very pretty reactionary, union-bashing, treat'em'mean sex as well as glorification of the military.
Overall though, while entertaining I wouldn't rate it as a classic, since it's neither that original nor that well constructes, especially the way the two stories don't quite gel.
What I'm Watching 2
Saw In a World on disk. Indie comedy about a young woman trying to break into the world of movie voiceovers.
Very much an indie comedy, occasionally veering into the grating side of quirky, especially the wet-blanket male love interest. But it is very well done, with snappy dialogue and plenty of subplots.
Not unmissable, but good light fun.
Socioeconomics. Transgender people's experience of workplace sexism. Coase at Cruising Altitude: A Closer Look at the Pay-Me-to-Not-Recline Argument. The abrasiveness trap: High-achieving men and women are described differently in reviews.
Politics. Can UKIP scale (rare to see parties considered as organisations). Silence over the assault on George Galloway. Young people don't see immigration as threatening their jobs. Why are Scottish and English nationalisms so different?
Articles. From Bin Laden to Isis: Why the roots of jihadi ideology run deep in Britain. Manuscript history of Marcus Aurelius' Meditations, via. Nobody knows where the "Kung-fu Fighting" fake-Oriental music riff came from. Slavoj Zizek: ISIS Is a Disgrace to True Fundamentalism.
Random. Hemingway's burger. Britons demand hangover consistency. Child direction: Spielberg got the kid to look scared/excited in Close Encounters using one guy in a gorilla suit, another dressed as the Easter Bunny. Great Mistakes in English Medieval architecture. The word "scofflaw" was created in 1923 after a competition to coin a new word for illegal drinker under Prohibition. NY menus 100 years ago at same restaurants. Japanese Batman.
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