movie: Bridge of Spies

Movie: Bridge of Spies

I went into this fairly spoiler-free, having not heard of the historical person the movie was based on, and only watching the trailer briefly, and seeing this Tom Hanks / Jimmy Fallon piece.

Spielberg is in good form here, even if the absence of a John Williams score (and indeed the lack of music overall for the first several scenes) makes a tonal difference. Hanks does a good job in something that is at the same time cinematic, and more a stage play than a movie. And this is very much a story about a bunch of men: if this movie passes the Bechdel Test, I don’t remember the qualifying scene.

If you’re a Spielberg fan, or enjoy a well-told historical thriller, it’s enjoyable fare, but probably doesn’t need to be viewed on a giant screen.

Audible: I, Partridge: We need to talk about Alan

Audible: I, Partridge: We need to talk about Alan [a fictional autobiography from, and read by, Steve Coogan’s character Alan Partridge).

If you’re at all familiar with the work of Alan Partridge, you’ll know what to expect here. A man so narcissistic that he can narrate the birth of his son, and insert anecdotes about how his parking was running out, and so it was a bit inconvenient.

Crass in places, it is nonetheless a very funny listen. Points to Audible for putting it in their “guaranteed good listen” collection.

The problem with an Audible book is the impossibilty of highlighting. This book has a lot of phrases I’d like to revisit, but there doesn’t seem to be a way to mark phrases (there are bookmarks, but it’s not quite the same thing).

Side projects

I’ve had a chance to look through some of the projects I’ve been aiming to start over the last while. A video from Gary Vaynerchuck talked about the 7pm-2am window to work on other projects, starting something big. At the moment, I’m pouring that energy more into my main job: there will come a day when that settles down and I’m able to try some other things, but for now, I need to make my peace with keeping the side projects on hold. 

netflix: The Power of One

Perhaps it’s a reflection of the poor structuring of my literary education, but I first heard about The Power of One through a dinner party sketch on the Late Show where they say the book is much better than the film. I listened to the audio book years ago – it’s confronting stuff, and on an epic scale.

And so when I saw that the movie version of the Power of One was on Netflix, I thought I’d have a look at it. It’s a masterful work, on its own epic scale, but with a different (to me less satisfying) ending. But to see Morgan Freeman and Daniel Craig in a film together, so many years on, is something special.

Worth a look for Late Show completists.

lessons learned from some time offline

Today was the last day of a short holiday, where we spent some time away from home, and away from pervasive internet access. It was really good to have the break, and see what a difference it would make to the way we relate together as a family. It feels like there’s lots to catch up on (I skimmed through over 700 things in my feed reader today), but it was helpful to have a perspective on how much my smartphone is driving my consumption habits, rather than the other way around.

I’m hoping to reflect on it further: much harder to do so with easy access to mobile internet.