My plan was to write this yesterday, Friday. My thought was that writing it fast, and in a delirium born of stress and poor sleep, would allow me to sail through this writing task. My hope was that a slightly untethered mindset, free from overthinking, would allow it to glide from mind to page. It was not to be, and my new thinking was that a good night's sleep would allow me to approach this, and my myriad other tasks, with a fresh mind.
It's now Saturday. I'm writing this fast, in a delirium born of stress and poor sleep. Untethered, yes. Free from overthinking, not so much. Fresh mind? Not on your nelly. Time to fire up the twin engines of caffeine and words.
It's been a couple of weeks now, a good 10 to 12 news cycles, but those Academy Awards were a Hot Mess (tm)! I have no intention of adding to the thinkpiece avalanche caused by The Slap, or even The Unjust Erasure of Kiki (which I'm claiming as an album title). Instead I'd like to talk a little about the 'below the line' awards, the craft Oscars that were awarded ahead of the red carpet to a nigh-empty auditorium. At this occluded event Dune won Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, and Best Visual Effects. Jessica Chastaindecided to skip the red carpet, so she could turn up to support her Hair and Make-Up team for The Eyes of Tammy Faye; they would go on to win, as would Chastain herself.
I've long been an advocate of short films, both as a talent incubator and as their own creative creation. So it's important to highlight the achievement of Riz Ahmed, winner of Best Short Film for The Long Goodbye, the short film based on his eponymous concept album. If you'd like to watch it, it's only going to take up 11 minutes of your time. And to the clamour of exactly zero people, I'm tempted to add a new segment: Short Film of the Fortnight.
I should really expand this to 'New on Streaming', but this is what I have to hand right now. Again, as ever, not a comprehensive list, but a short rundown on what I'm excited about this month.
Call Me By Your Name has arrived to free streaming, and it's a great film. Its pace, its warmth, all lend itself to it being listed among modern classics, even with the over-clouding of the presence of Armie Hammer. A sequel is still in consideration, though this has been complicated by the pandemic, and by Hammer.
Joker is due next week, but I've already published my thoughts on that.
I know the return of Grace & Frankie will be welcomed in some corners, and deservedly so. It's not for me, but it is both heart-warming and funny.
But personally, I'm excited about the second season of Russian Doll. Natasha Lyonne returns to the helm, set four years after the events of season one. The trailer shows that the scope and scale have vastly expanded, and I only have to wait until the 20th to see it.
In "honour" of Louis CK winning a Grammy, I present you Green, written and directed by Kylie Murphy.
Wet Leg were first featured in our 13th playlist and have since gone from strength to strength. Their full album is out now and is reviewing well, and if you were lucky enough to snag tickets, they're currently on tour. I reckon they'll be pretty much omni-present at festivals this summer.
This week's playlist is here and contains somewhat more Ladytron than I was planning.
I've talked before about the difference between taking a photo, and making a photo, and this is an example of the latter. It's been a while since I envisaged a photo, assembled all the parts, and was happy with the finished result. The component parts: Camera on a tripod, triggered with a 5s timer. Warming filter on the lens. Blue gel on the off-camera flash that I held in my hands. Eye drops for the tears.
There's been a bit of a trend on social media of an unusual beverage combination: Orange juice with a shot of espresso in it.
For science, for you, I tried this and... it's okay? I didn't hate it, but I'd say it's far too sharp for most, and in no way does it deserve the shocked acclaim it's receiving. Feel free to give it a go, YMMV, but I don't think we'll be seeing this trend break out into the real world.
On the subject of coffee, some apropos definitions for you. See if you can guess which of these is fuelling me right now:
A Red Eye Coffee is a brewed coffee with a shot of espresso in it.A Black Eye has two shots, and a Dead Eye has three.
Also, this week we are having our martinis bone dry, which is how Blake Lively has hers in A Simple Favor.
Running a short as well as late this time around, I'm afraid this is all I have to give. I am so in need in need of a holiday, so it's a relief that I have one next week.
My hope is that I shall return refreshed, rejuvenated and resurgent. I hope the light is as glorious as it was in October.
I hope I get everything done that I need to before I go.
I'll obviously be thinking about you.