Showing posts from 2016

'Best Films of 2016'

The inverted commas are because this isn't going to be that at all.
When I had a blog before, like a lot of people I would present my own lists of the year's best films and music though I don't think I ever got round to doing a books lists as well. I hope I never pretended to be demonstrating any kind of definitive judgement. For one thing, who except for a professional critic can claim to have seen/listened to/read enough of a year's output to be qualified to cite the 'best'?
This year in particular has been thin for me as regards new films or records. I've only been out to see a handful of films, and I only bought two or three records. As for books, oddly enough there are encouraging signs of a revival of my reading, but not of new books - I find it really hard to get interested in the marketing of the publishing world, even more than in the music industry.

However, I'm not impervious to pop culture around the movie industry. I regret this, because it…

Jason Bourne

I enjoyed this, but felt at the same time that it was a standard Bourne-by-the-numbers plot. Maybe the swerve away from the usual style of title in this film series, to simply stating his name, underlines that. I found the Bourne series addictive from the beginning, but with this film I wondered if I'd rather they'd let it lie. Oh, if they make another (ha ha - that's the first spoiler, isn't it - Bourne doesn't die in this film!) I'll definitely go and see it, but hoping against hope that they can come up with something more surprising than this one. Let's pick at a few points.

First, I'm supremely unimpressed by yet another girlfriend being bumped off (2nd spoiler, sorry), purely to give Bourne some motivation. Just as I liked Franke Potente's Maria, so I liked Julia Stiles as Nicky Parsons. Both of them great actresses, who made their characters interesting. There's a point in the film where it looks like Alicia Vikander as Heather Lee is be…

The Citadel of the Autarch

I've just read this, and it's a case of 'at long last' to put it mildly. It's the 4th and final volume of Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun, which started appearing in the Eighties and it was then that I read the first two volumes. I bought them as they came out in paperback, and they've yellowed over the years, waiting on various bookshelves in the course of several house moves, until last year when I picked up the 3rd volume, The Sword of the Lictor, found I still had a taste for it, and so duly finished the series with this.

I fully accept this is a ridiculous way to go about reading, especially in this case, when the four volumes are very much four consecutive parts of one long book. I gather that it could very easily have been published as one volume. But it seems I've been inclined to complete things in recent times. Perhaps it's just my OCD instincts. Now I'll reveal that I've written down every book I've ever read, in a little…

Out With the Old, In With the New

Something to kick this off. It's hard to justify yet another personal blog, but I'm content to see if this evolves. If I'm honest, this is the same species of thing as the home pages which littered the World Wide Web in the early days. It may turn out that the only difference here is that I won't be talking about my pet cat.

I did use to have a website, created in Dreamweaver no less, which will have its life support switched off some time in the next year. (Update: Here up on the right is what it looked like at the end) After a gap of several years I've just written another front page post; but I won't be adding to the content, which is mainly about music and random eccentric interests of mine. You can see it here if you want, at Mark's Lists. (Update: No you can't, it is now well and truly lost from view) For now. Having set up a couple of blogs on Blogspot this year, it seems to me this is entirely sufficient for what I want, which is mainly an outl…