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Life, Tech and Unimportant Minutiae

2015 January Notes

Created by cmiles on 2/3/2015.

The Shape of Jazz to Come - Ornette Coleman: I love this - still some familiar forms/ideas/content - occasional lyricism - plenty of variety - and most importantly just enough freedom from standard forms to allow - for my ear - this to become something wonderfully true and expressive (or maybe personal?) . Rating: 4 of 5

Bitches Brew - Miles Davis: Obviously working thru some well regarded jazz albums - but while I immediately connected to The Shape of Jazz to Come (and to some extent Coleman's Science Fiction also) I just have not been able to hear/feel why this is so well regarded... Rating: 2 of 5

Science Fiction - Ornette Coleman: More diverse, but harder to listen thru than The Shape of Jazz to Come - and with less familiar to hang on to. Maybe some of this will grow on me? Rating: 3 of 5.

Gotham 7.5K, A Rare High Altitude Night Flight Above NYCVincent Laforet: Visually stunning pictures of New York at night. Rating: 4 of 5

High Hopes (1988) - In the beginning of 2014 we tried another Mike Leigh film - Life is Sweet - like that film I suspect that having no frame of reference for the characters and setting really killed the joy of this. Rating: 2 of 5

Short Term 12 (2013) - Simple - good story, believable characters and good actors. Rating 4 of 5

Rushmore (1998) - In Casa Video and lost among all the videos we needed a theme - Wes Anderson... This seemed great for fans - but really feels like a warm up for some of the later films (Moonrise Kingdom and Life Aquatic are certainly still my favorites). Rating: 3 of 5

The Squid and the Whale (2005) - Definitely some strange surprising moments but slightly strange characters couldn't make up for being basically a not so interesting divorce story. Rating: 2 of 5

Boyhood (2014) - I have deep respect for this having being filmed over so many years - great that it could be done that way and the film hangs together. However, I have to say that I would take slightly jarring actor switch outs in exchange for something that - once I was over the slick time jumps - seemed like a standard coming of age tale.

Gone Girl (2014) - Well I admit there were a number of plot twists that I didn't see coming - and showing the two stories was clever - but ultimately too long for too little payoff... Rating: 2 of 5

The Wind Rises (2013) - I have deep respect for Hayao Miyazaki - a human tale in the face of war - I don't love all of his films I have seen equally but have to say I have had some kind of emotional connection to each one I have seen. I also think the subject matter is a bit of a puzzle - I am not really sure how to feel about the beautiful creations in service of war. Rating: 4 of 5

3rd Rock From the Sun - Season 2 - I see this in reruns sometimes but seeing a bunch of these back to back reminded me these are pure genius! Rating: 5 of 5

Quarantine - Greg Egan - So techy, so cool... But by part of the way thru all I could think of was Neal Stephenson's Anathem - Quarantine was a little more fun but by the end I was kind of done. Rating 3 of 5

Diaspora - Greg Egan - This is one of the best science fiction novels I have read. I certainly admit that I skimmed some in some of the super deep tech theory explanation sections - but even with that this is great hard sci-fi on a grand scale, still with some personality and a lot of imagination and interest - this feels like a classic. Rating: 5 of 5

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