Monday, May 18, 2015

Things to Report

 Over the weekend I completed watching Black Mirror, a British program that finished its second series last year.  Apparently, it's obscure, as I only chanced to hear it from a podcast posted last summer (never mind the podcast, it was shit).

See this show.  It makes Daredevil's "darkness" look like kiddie programming, it's thoughtful, profound, potentially disturbing and written with a skill and ability that puts North American scriptwriters to shame.  It's the first truly decent work I've seen this year.

Begin with the first episode, first season, though you may hear from some that it's not worthy.  The first episode sets the context for S01E02, though I haven't seen any reviewer that picked up on that.  If you're the sort who review what you're about to see before you see it, stuff the reviews.  Watch the first episode, get your head out of your ass and be prepared to be blasted by the second.



After that, it's all horror.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

So much so that, in feeling not that well yesterday, I took a trip from Trondheim, Norway, to Bodo, in 10 hours:



Seriously, I watched every minute of this, pausing it when necessary, together with my partner Tamara, commenting on what we saw and generally chatting.  Oftentimes, it was compelling and mesmerizing.  It is shot with good equipment, with and excellent wide-angle and, being Norwegian rail, there's no ugly electrical apparatus overhanging the track to destroy the landscape's raw beauty.

Is it a strange thing to sit for this long and watch?  Of course.  It helps immensely that I can identify the scenery, the effects of altitude on the environment, assess in a flash the difficulty of blasting through certain areas or the difficulties of some of the tunnels, not to mention the sheer pleasure of the visible culture.  It also helps that as an old man I have developed patience and attention to detail, skills that were not present in my younger self.  There's a reason why these things bring pleasure to older folk . . . we have a greater resource of perspective and we're used to spending long, long hours doing completely useless shit - like working a 9 to 5 job, for instance.  I have spent far more boring days at work that the linked video.

Or is it just that I'm unemployed and I have time, time, time to spend.  Hm.  Not so much.  I haven't been sitting around much lately.  Working on something - D&D, writing, looking for work, trekking to interviews, sorting out things that were ignored year after year and so on - helps numb the mind and keep it from stressing out.  I haven't been giving myself much time to think lately, since thinking leads to overthinking and just now, with still no job in sight, I have a lot to overthink right now.

The Norway trip, however, proved most distracting.

I'll throw in, too, the demonstration it provides for the inadequacy of fantasy settings for offering the depth of place and experience that the real world offers.  A fantasy may have rocks floating in the air, but it doesn't have the simple awe to be found in sturdy houses sitting upon the blasted heath, lost in lonely, desolate poetry.

4 comments:

JB said...

Black Mirror is something I've seen advertised here in Paraguay (it's an "upcoming series") but haven't yet had a chance to watch. It certainly does look intriguing.

If I had the time to "train to Norway" that'd be my cup o tea, too. Unfortunately: small children.

Alexis Smolensk said...

My daughter at three would have cheerfully watched something like this with me, so long as she could lay on my chest.

shlominu s said...

stuff from charly brooker is usually worth watching, but i haven't heard of this show before.

thanks for bringing "black mirror" to my attention.

you might want to check out nathan barley, i think you would enjoy that show as well.

Maxwell Joslyn said...

I'll look this one up.