Posts from 29th June 2005

Jun 05

Interrupting your regular broadcast…

Do You SeePost a comment • 327 views

Erm… at the risk of appearing like a shameless self-publicist, me and my mate Carl are reviewing horror movies over here, and we’re looking for recommendations of stuff we might like (or find interesting). It’s not a very focussed endeavour, as my attempts to take in Creature from the Haunted Sea AND The Wicker Man on the same day will testify. If you have any bright ideas, please put them in the appropriate comment boxes.

Plug over. Sorry.

Efforts to build “a star on Earth” have been technically very challenging

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 292 views

So France gets the nod then to build a huge nuclear fusion reactor. Hmm, that’s a little bit close isn’t it…

Not that the French don’t just love their nuclear power plants, being the largest producer of nuclear power per head of population, and second in total nuclear power produced to the US. 77% of French power is nuclear, which may well stand them in good stead in the next fifty years. Or alternatively may mean they all sprout extri-eyes and glow in the dark*. Nuclear power is after all an environmentally controversial subject. One the one hand it is a very clean energy, it produces much less waste than fossil fuel methods. The only problem is that waste has been traditionally very nasty.

Fusion then is the way forward. And has been so for the last fifty years, and so far no-one has really got a hang of how to do it. As the title says (from the how it works box on the BBC article) the building of mini-suns on Earth has traditionally been seen as
a) difficult
b) potentially dangerous.
Now I’m not saying that just because something is not dangerous that we should not give it a go. I’m not saying that the potential for BLOWING UP THE ENTIRE EARTH is no reason to give it a spin. Its just that part of me wishes Japan had got there first. In the end though fusion experiments are worthwhile because the alternative is covering Antartica with solar cells and equipping North Wales with enough propellers to make it resemble the Spruce Goose. That said, fusion has always been a couple of decades away, and I don’t see that changing soon.

*Hurrah for traditional nuclear power prejudice. One wonders exactly what The Simpsons has done for the image of nuclear power in the US?

Copyright C

Do You SeePost a comment • 225 views

There is something fantastically seventies about title sequences that have copyright notices in them. A lot of low budget indies, just about the time when non-studio films started to happen, had copyright notices on them (Sweet Sweetback being a good example, as is Texas Chainsaw Massacre). These days it is rarely seen, the copyright is a given, and anyway our credits are full of the fifteen different company and producer names who brought us the film. Which is why David Gordon Green’s copyright notice on the title page of Undertow is there purely as a hint to those sort of seventies films. Unsurprising as the entire film seems stuck together from homages of other films. Plenty of people have notice the Night Of The Hunter as a influence, but the film feels almost Cormanesque, or at least its early scenes have the energy of something knocked out quickly (the backwater feel of Boxcar Bertha springs to mind).

Whilst I enjoyed Undertow it seemed a slightly retrograde step for Green, whose previous films (All The Pretty Girls and George Washington) coasted along on a tremendously firm style. Yet Undertow has a much stronger narrative, and until the last twenty minutes, manages to suck you in whilst still playing to Gordon’s strengths as a director (playing on the edge of reality). Perhaps it is a case of too much too soon, the Terrance Malick production may have given us the Badlands feel, and the Phillip Glass score possible overshadows the work Green is doing himself. Or perhaps he just needs to make a Swamp Thing movie. That’s what the hip young directors are doing these days after all, and Green’s affiliation of backwaters and wastelands would fit that nicely.

In the end perhaps the failing of Undertow is that its a film which is impossible to talk about without refering to other films. What price copyright then?

Any Drink Will Do

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 286 views

There is one week in the year, one solitary week, when I buy asparagus. Usually. And it is this week my friends, when the glut arrives and the supermarkets (yes yes , I know, organic box blah blah) start a price war. They also start discounting ridiculously which left me with a nice bundle last night for twenty pee. On the turn possibly so it was straight to the stove. After considering a gratin and then discounting in because I still cannot get with the idea that cheese on toast is a proper dinner no matter how posh, I went for the old tried and tested risotto. This was almost scuppered when after frying the onion and bit o’bacon I realised I had no risotto rice. But that’s what flatmates cupboards are for. In the meantime the ‘grass was slowly going all dente, and I reserved the wood for a soup and started spooning in the stock.

I have made the error before of making a risotto with pretty much ONLY wine, and that was not very nice. However a risotto without any wine seems flat. But our flat had no wine. Not even in flatmates cupboard. Which is when I got creative. And got out the gin.

A shot seemed about right, burn off the alcohol but leave an interestingly juniper tang. And it worked a treat. Once the tips were dumped in and a generous slaver of butter added, the gin really added an aromatic tang to the risotto. What’s more it seemed to compliment the wee-altering taste of the asparagus. So much so that I also dumped a shot in the soup. On first tasting, the soup seems very nice, though tonight I need to add some cream and essential spices (SALT). But cooking with gin is here to stay round my house.