Notes for week of 13 February, 2023

→ This week, I watched another cult film from the 70s: Deep End (actually, I just realised it was reelased in 1969 - close enough). directed by Polish director Jerzy Skolomowsk, I didn’t realise he also directed EO, which is up for an Oscar for best foreign film this year. He also directed one of my favourite British ‘folk horror’ films, The Shout. What a career!

I’m going to write more about Deep End for London in Bits at some point, because while a lot of it was filmed in Munich, some key parts were filmed in London, including a whole segment in Soho’s red-light district. It’s a beautiful film with incredible art direction, and it’s easy to see why David Lynch said “There’s never been a colour movie I’ve freaked out over except one: this thing called Deep End”.

→ I also watched Derek Jarman’s Wittgenstein. I remember watching it (strangely) as a kid. I’m not sure why - I just remember watching it round at a friend’s house and being completely mystified and fascinated by it. This time around I could appreciate it a bit more, and it’s kicked off my own personal ‘Jarman season’ ahead of going to visit his cottage and garden later this year.

→ I made Kenji Lopez’s epic ‘best ever chili’ this week. It’s a good few hours of chopping, blending and simmering, but all completely worth it when you’re devouring it along with some beer and a few friends.

→ And on that note: Melville House, which also published Jenny Odell’s brilliant book, How to Do Nothing, has published Hanging Out: The Radical Power of Killing Time by Sheila Liming. Here’s an excerpt from this interview with Sheila in Slate:

I reflected on my own difficulty making friends when I reached my 30s, and how it took years for my wife and me to find friends who shared with us not only a desire to hang out but a willingness to open themselves up that we felt able to match. … Hanging Out  is meant to be not only diagnostic but instructive. Liming offers some practical tips to encourage readers to hang out more: separating from devices, carving out time in your life that is unscheduled and unproductive. Most of all, she writes, it’s important to “take heart”—to remember that we are always building a better future, even when things are hard. “Hanging out requires the repeated exertion and application of one’s social capacities,” she writes. “That can feel exhausting.” But for the future we all want — we all  need — it is crucial to use the energy we’ve drawn from all our previous hangings-out, the memories of those good times, to push ourselves to commit, and recommit, to lives of sociability and mutual affection.’

I have already put it on my Kindle for when I’m on holiday in a couple of weeks.

→ Written this week:The second part of The Curse of the Curzon issues, and this interview with artist Jasmine Kahlia. Both for LiB.

→ Some interesting things I’ve read this week:

Revealed: the hacking and disinformation team meddling in elections - a great bit of investigative journalism from The Guardian (by “an international consortium of journalists”).

20 Years as a Blogger by Cory Doctorow - some great tips, ideas, principles etc to be found in here.

Is Mastodon a Commons from the legendary Doc Searls. I’m enjoying Mastodon a lot at the moment (this is me by the way and in this quick post Searls looks at why he thinks “it’s important, given the sudden growth of Mastodon and other federated systems …to examine how deep research and writing on commons apply.”

I also watched this hour-long talk given by Robert M. Pirsig at the Univeristy of Minneapolis in 1974. A transcript of this appears in the recently published On Quality: An Inquiry into Excellence, but I think you get much more from watching it (not to mention the outfits of some of the people in the audience!):

→ Listening to:

Tickets For Doomsday: Heavy Psychedelic Funk & Soul Ballads and Dirges 1970​-​1975 from the always-dependable Now Again records.