I had time to neither pan nor cake thismorning, yet ordered a ‘float’ (flat white made with oat milk, come on, keep up) with flourish and abandon in Monocle and derived satisfaction from that alone. Sometimes you have to take your crepes where you can get them, you know? To be fair, they could well be the only people, in that one place without whom, I would have been frozen for an indeterminate length of time, simply repeating the word ‘float’ in stoney faced confusion and resilience. I have some description of flu type bug and that might be apparent.
There are still those out there who have yet to see Netflix’s Oscar award-winning ‘Roma’. There are also apparently those who definitely know better that are trying to claim it’s not a film? I wish that I couldn’t figure out why but I guess that lemons aren’t mutually exclusive to dat shrove treat, in the same way that films are not exclusive to movie theatres. [It could prove that just because one is a great director, one is not necessarily a good actor.] ‘Roma’ is a thoughtful, slow burn film with a perfectly low key cast that is as much about memory as it is about Mexico or the early 70s. It is also just bonkers pretty and I defy anyone who says you couldn’t just hit pause at any given point, frame the resulting still and hang it in The Getty, a Guggenheim or indeed any photographic temple of your choosing. It would hold in an upward trajectory. The cinematography in its entirety is ridiculously beautiful in a way that most other films can only dream of. I believe Alfonso Cuarón shot the whole film in 65 then edited into a very natural black and white in post. The result is an incredibly delicate, contemporary take on Cuarón's upbringing in the Colonia Roma neighbourhood of Mexico City and the carefully curated sets do everything about that a well earned justice. And as for Yalitza Aparicio…wow. I can’t be the only one either; those are some impressive nominations and I got my rah-rahs out.
Phillip Pullman has stoked the engine of his formidable hype train with the announcement of ‘The Secret Commonwealth’, the second Book of Dust. This one looks like it might be set after ‘The Amber Spyglass’, as opposed to being a prequel and we are continuing Lyra’s journey? I know there was a little red book called ‘Lyra’s Oxford’ [this stuff has to push out vital pin numbers at some point] a good few years back now and that was also set after the end of the third book in the ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy. I just don’t know how I feel about going on down that road after that ending in the Oxford Botanic Garden. I kind of liked leaving my heart on the bench and eventually walking away. ‘La Belle Sauvage’ and its exploration of Pullman’s semi-fictional canals and pubs was absolutely something that I devoured in a handful of days and I would go back for more. Then again, how much fruit is there to be found in toddler Lyra? If anyone could find it, it would be Pullman and we shall have to trust him in going beyond the barely surpassed horizon. He has a pretty good track record, after all.
I have been attempting to apex with legendary effort on a regular basis in recent weeks. It would be entirely accurate to assert that both ‘attempting’ and ‘effort’ are operating words here, as my current position most certainly tends to be toward the base of the apex, rather than the summit and I am rarely legendary in what anyone could feasibly perceive as a form of merit. Panic is more my modus operandi. I took home a poultry-based supper on one occasion but was down for a significant portion of the summit and of little help to my only living comrade who most certainly could not hear my incredibly helpful advice for the duration. That murderer carried us home, irrespective of any of my bullshit.
As always, there are a couple of minor bugs here and there but holiest of holies, they are minor and this beast hums like a relatively quiet and well oiled machine on my dusty launch PS4. I even convinced Mr. Bass to download the very free application to his own unit on the proviso that we might meet and play together in the virtual realms. He was quick to assure me that he might be too old for this shit. I, in turn, assured him that I could teach him. I omitted the part in which I am edifying his path to repeated obliteration. Respawn just get so much stuff right and make everything, shy of success, wonderfully easy: Those minimal load times, that ping system, their inventory prioritisation. Also, you can totally focus on at least trying to shoot opposing trios in the face place and not worry about construction, the combination and subsequent juggling of which oft proves problematic for those of us not hopped up on Ritalin.
I cannot help but jump.
JD - TACOCAT
[Props to EA & Respawn Entertainment for the thumbnail image. See you on the ground.]