July in Review

Lived

Highlights

  • TRNSMT Festival: Radiohead
  • Six by Nico: Route 66
  • Attended the Death Do Us Part Danger Show – including getting up on stage and pulling a sword from the mouth of Rachel Atlas
  • Pizza at Paesno with some BootCampers (and Paesno continues to make me ‘meh’)
  • Survived a Subcrawl!

Bootcamp is going ok, my injured knee not withstanding as the guys have been great at giving me alternative exercises. Other than that I’ve started looking for a new job, my current contract ends in October and whilst there is talk of an extension I’ve still not gotten anything in black and white. Daily meditation is continuing, and of course little Lucy continues to be a source of wonder as her personality grows.

Stepcount: 276,079.

Read

Life of Pi by Yann Martel
A re-read for Book Club. I don’t normally re-read books but as I started to get back into this I remember why I enjoyed it the first time around and why it annoyed me towards the end. All about pacing, something the film version handles much better, as some of the scenes in the middle to end sections of the book start to get tedious. That said, I do love the opening section as it’s so easy to place yourself as the young Piscine, wandering the zoo, imagination running riot. However I am starting to see a trend with Booker Prize books, take a solid story arc and pepper it with far too much visualisation and description?

Also good

  • The Jordan Rules by Sam Smith – one year in the early life of what would become a hugely successful Chicago Bulls team, written by a sports reporter, a fascinating look into the inner workings of an NBA team and the massive ego that is Michael Jordan.

Watched

Dunkirk
Where to start. A taut tight tension filled movie that takes a different approach to the visceral opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan, instead slowly ratcheting up your heartbeat throughout with some clever pacing, overlapping timelines for the three main ‘stories within the story’ and that soundtrack is something else (check out the next Weekend Reading for why).

It is beautifully shot, utterly bleak and horrifying, taking us into the crux of a war, where sacrifices are made for the greater good. I don’t recall a movie where I felt quite so sucked in to each moment as the movie switches across three different characters.

I didn’t leave the cinema for a few minutes after the final credits rolled. Not because of the tears streaming down my cheeks, but because I was emotionally wrung out and exhausted. If you have an ounce of empathy in your body, this movie will affect you. If you are a lover of a beautiful crafted piece of cinematography and direction, this movie will affect you. If you want a stark reminder of what happened in Dunkirk and just how utterly terrifying it must’ve been to be on that beach, this movie will affect you.

For me, this movie should be shown to children as part of a WWII trilogy (Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List being the other too).

Also good

  • Spiderman: Homecoming – who DOESN’T love Spiderman, right? Thankfully now they’ve sorted out the legal nonsense, Spiderman is brought in to the Marvel/Avengers fold to great effect.
  • Scandal – Starts slow, and is utterly ridiculous at times but very watchable. Think West Wing meets 24..
  • Moana – Yay for Disney! Safe to say that the merger of talent from Pixar is helping them produce some sumptuous looking movies
  • Nocturnal Animals – what’s not to like? Missed this at the cinema but more proof that Amy Adams is surely due an Oscar soon

Listened

With several gigs lined up in the coming months, a lot of my playlists are starting to bend towards those specific artists. However a couple of new albums/artists have snuck on to my radar:

  • At the Drive-In – supporting Royal Blood later in the year, I’m wondering why I haven’t really heard more from these guys. RAWK!
  • Big Thief – who doesn’t like some lightly ethereal vocals and guitaryness?
  • Sleaford Mods – VERY late to this party, but there is something wonderful about the stripped down anger of this that really resonates
  • IDLES – a nice companion for the Sleaford Mods
  • Perfume Genius – undecided… I think I like this a lot, but very mood dependant

Also published on Medium.