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Life, Tech and Unimportant Minutiae

July 2014 Notes

Created by cmiles on 8/2/2014.

Sidetracked - Sidetracked continues to deliver great content and beautiful images on the web - I did think that some of the previous content had just a bit more 'wow' factor, but on the other hand each article currently on the site became more interesting as I got deeper into it. The 2nd Volume of the print magazine is available for pre-order at the moment. Rating: 4 of 5

Timecrimes (2007): Not terrible but doesn't really amaze since some of the time travel concepts feel like well used 'tricks' at this point (you will likely start guessing some of the plot details a few minutes into the movie...). Rating: 3 of 5

Stalker (1979) - Andrei Tarkovsky's Solaris is definitively a film that has stayed with me since I saw it in 2011 so I am not sure why it took so long to watch Stalker... But while Stalker is well regarded I had a much harder time staying interested than I did with Solaris. The imagery is stunning and the premise is compelling and interesting - but this film seems much more stripped down than Solaris, and perhaps for better or worse the additional 'spectacle' that Solaris has is an important element in keeping my interest in the rather heavy material. Rating 3 of 5 (clearly this is a masterpiece and the visuals are stunning - but I had such trouble staying engaged...)

Finding Vivian Maier (2013) - I think one of the amazing things about this film is that the hype around it takes nothing away from the power of the photography - there is an interesting story about a person here which in some films would be the central element, but here what ultimately lifts the scattered details of her life and the history of her work into something worth watching is the art. I did find the Wikipedia entry on Vivian Maier worth reading after watching the film - it has a few details that I found interesting, and not what I expected after watching this film. Rating: 4 of 5

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) - Not as bad as some, about what you would expect? Rating: 3 of 5.

Borgman (2014) - WOW! Didn't really have many expectations going into this film and it completely entertained and amazed. I loved the strangeness, and I loved that it felt like the story was the primary concern over logic or detail - quite a trick to get the balance right between magic and reality, here it is done very well - definitely reminded in some ways of the works Haruki Murakami that I love. Rating: 5 of 5

High Country News - For a number of years I have seen and occasionally paid attention to articles from High Country News ('for people who care about the west') and just recently subscribed. You can read their mission page and browsing may give you an idea of typical content - but the important detail is that they are able to produce consistently interesting content, and that is magic! Rating: 4 of 5

See Dee Tee Bike - This is the first post in an ongoing series by Scott Morris on riding the CDT - while every individual post may not be magic the whole series and overwhelming number of great details and pictures make this an ongoing delight! Rating: 3 of 5

Orange is the New Black - Season 1 - Watched Season 1 of this 'prison drama comedy' on DVD - this series started well enough but by the last 4 episodes or so it really lost me, I understood how the details were adding up to get to the season finale - but I think it could have been done with about 30% fewer episodes. Not sure I am interested in the next season. Rating: 2 of 5

True Blood - Season 6 - It is probably good the next season is planned as the last - hard to figure out why I keep coming back to this, but there is no doubt I will watch the next season! Rating: 3 of 5

Déjame Vivir - Summit of my Life - The 2nd film in this series that follows Killian Jornet on speed ascents on a number of summits - while there are several destinations in the film the Matterhorn is the star here with some breath taking shots of the mountain and the ascent. Rating: 3 of 5

Jodorowsky's Dune (2013) - An interesting documentary about an early attempt to make Dune into a film - this is a great documentary, but the Dune part - while interesting - almost seems like an excuse to have a conversation/tell a story with Alejandro Jodorowsky who by part of the way thru this documentary comes across as strange/interesting/charismatic enough that frankly doing any documentary where he could tell stories about his films would probably be great! Rating: 3 of 5

I am spending quite a bit of time lately working on Hike Lemmon which combined with 'life' has kept me very busy - reading anything long has continued to be one of the things that has fallen away and it seems odd to go so many months without reading a 'book', but I happy happy frantically creating right now so that is enough.


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