It feel like this year has flown by. April vanished in the blink of an eye. I enjoyed being fully recovered and starting to explore more of my new home. I also got out a bit more and did things, so reading time was reduced.
Here’s the media I consumed when I was at home:
Hello world by Hannah Fry- A book from 2018 about algorithms and how much they dominate our lives in different areas. I knew about some of it but a lot of this was new to me, especially in law and medicine. It feels particularly relevant five years on with the rise of ChatGPT and Stable Diffusion, but also already a little out of date. A good introduction to a complex subject.
On Mutability by Jo Shapcott- I was aware of the title poem but had never read the full collection before. This is lush, dense poetry reflecting on the fragility of life. I loved this collection and could have highlighted the whole book.
Katabasis: Forking Through Memory by Saili Katebe - I’ve known Saili from the Bristol Poetry scene for a while now but his pamphlet passed me by. I read it as part of a workshop where we all read it in silence then asked questions. The poems in this pamphlet grapple with masculinity and faith and feel intimate and personal, while inviting the reader in. It was especially interesting to me how Saili has adapted his performance style to the page, condensing and distilling his poetry. I’d really recommend savouring this collection.
Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Amongst Thieves- I’ve been running a D&D campaign for a year or so and this film captures the fun and chaos of the tabletop game. It’s not revolutionary as a film, but everyone in it is having a lot of fun, especially Hugh Grant as the villain. It’s what Marvel films want to be- breezy, funny and entertaining.
Three Thousand Years of Longing - Tilda Swinton is a professor of narrative who accidentally uncorks a djinn and is granted three wishes. I really enjoyed this, it’s a beautiful, slow meditation on the power of story to change our lives as well as a mediation on loneliness. It has some slow subtle touches and is well done.
Polite Society - A delightful film that really commits to its absurd premise. Lens is getting married but her sister Ria wants to stop it. The film is told in an over the top way, with martial arts sequences and heists. It is a lot of fun throughout.
- Reservation Dogs series two - I loved the first season of this comedy drama and the second lives up to the hype. It expands and deepens the cast, delving into some side characters stories. Ultimately, it’s a story about how a community and individuals respond to sudden loss, and how they process the trauma afterwards. One of the best tv series around.
That’s it for this month. I’m going to try and get outside more now summer is (almost) here.