How I'm coping.

Life A couple of weeks ago I asked a question. The question was about how, now that everything is available (pretty much) how do you cope?

I genuinely needed some advice. I even asked Metafilter too.

The result was a range of replies on Twitter, three whole comments on the post itself (which is some sort of record for this place) and tons of ideas on said community discussion board although in the end (after my clumsy editing of the blog post) they decided I probably need therapy.

After collating all of this, here's what I've done and am doing:

(1) Deleted online backlogs. Pretty much. One afternoon I went through Pocket, read a couple of the longer articles I'd been looking forward to about film and deleted everything else. Same for YouTube playlists.  Just about.

(2) Film wise: one of the Ask Metafilter people said quite rightly that the pile of blu-rays I have are bought assets so I should prioritise them. So I am between ...

(3) Watching Lovefilm disc when they come in. Which seems counter intuitive but it gets me out of the "list" culture (Disney in order etc) and also takes the choices away from me to a certain degree.

(4) Box sets: if I've bought them, I should watch them. Still working through Alias. Then Yes, Minister. Then Northern Exposure. But slowly.

(5) Television: only if its something I'm genuinely interested in and make fewer appointments to watch. That's what catch-up is for. But if I miss something it's not the end of the universe.  Plus television series, even the quality programmes, are ultimately in the end saying the same thing over and over again.

(5.1)  Television documentaries as a format are broken.  Too often we'll be forced to sit through hour long documentaries with about half an hour's material, even less, stretched to fill the duration, or even an hour's worth of research pondered through three hours because the structure is dictating rather than the detail of the subject.  The problem is you sometimes don't realise that until half an hour in.  Don't know what to do about that other than to stick with presenters I like or tested formats.

(6) Reading: books in the house, magazines I've bought (unless spoilers). I've dramatically cut down on the RSS feeds I read.  Since I'll never know everything, I'm trying to learn that it's ok not to even try sometimes.

(7) One of the best pieces of advise I had was from the commenter mumoss on here:

"In the end, I've thrown up my hands and given up. Experience all you can, try not to get upset at what you don't. There's nothing you can do about it. Just try and be joyous that we live in a world where this is a problem. I'd rather have this issue than being bored for the rest of my life."


The underlying problem is still there.  If you're interested in everything, you can lose sight of what you're really interested in, but I'm hoping that will slowly emerge.  Again.

Editing Selma.

Film The Credits has an interview with Spencer Averick describing the process of editing Selma which has some useful material about how an editors choices influence the director and vis-versa:
And once production is over, how do you tackle all the scenes you’ve now strung together?

Then I get back to LA and I have a week or two to continue editing by myself without Ava, to finish the editor’s cut, trying to keep up. When they shoot three scenes in one day, I’m trying to edit three scenes in one day as well, which is hard to do, so you fall behind. So those couple weeks after you get back is your time to catch up. By no means is the editor’s cut great, but the movie’s at least put together, although it’s long and it’s rough. Then Ava comes in after two weeks, she watches the editor’s cut, then we go from there. Then it was five months for the two of us. We had our producers, Plan B, Oprah, and Paramount in dialogue and giving us feedback as well. It’s a collaborative experience, but mainly it’s Ava and I together."
Auteur theory tends to consider films in relation to the director or producer or even studio in regards to modes of production. Averick has only really worked with Ava DuVernay, but on a wider note, I wonder about the extent to which you can tell whose edited a film through watching, if there are particular editing styles.

Soup Safari #16:
Chicken Noodle at the Soul Cafe & Bar.

Lunch. £3.95. Soul cafe & bar, 114 Bold Street, Liverpool, Merseyside L1 4HY. Phone:0151 708 9470.  Website.

Gallifrey is Awesome.

Toys A short follow up to an earlier post. Back in April 2014, you might remember I phoned LEGO with a proposal:
"I've just phoned Lego. It was as you might expect an awesome experience. I mostly phoned Lego because I didn't want to have to try and fit the following into the comments box on the website and also to make sure that another person heard and to hear their reaction. Their reaction was that they thought it was a really innovative idea they'd not heard from anyone else. First of all I asked, "Have you heard of the television series Doctor Who?" He said that he had. Well of course he had. It's 2013 not 1994. Anyway, this is what I said next:

"If Lego made Doctor Who Lego, then all Lego becomes Doctor Who Lego."
Well, and I'm sure I had nothing to do with it but nevertheless, as you might have heard today:
"BBC Worldwide and LEGO® have announced a deal to produce a range of Doctor Who Lego, based around a proposal made by fan Andrew Clark last year."
So all Lego is Doctor Who Lego now and we all win.  How this squares with Character's attempt to create a third-party non-compatible version we'll discover if anyone starts lawyering up, but I can't bare the excitement.  Unless when it's finally released its poorly designed rubbish in which case we all lose.  I have fears that they'll go for some nonsense riff on LEGO Friends because of the gender of the Doctor's usual companions but they wouldn't do that. Would they? Either way here's the announcement video which buries the headline and features an amazing pronunciation of The Avengers.

My Favourite Film of 2010.

Film Inception is one of the few films on this blog to have its own tag. When I saw it at FACT's Picturehouse in Screen One it was at a pretty full screening but with few distractions, I genuinely thought I was witnessing a tipping point where the distinctions between the old forms of "art house" and "Hollywood" had broken down even further, that we'd finally seen Last Year at Marienbad with action sequences.. While there have been examples of films which you can make similar crossover claims, Gravity for one, The Grand Budapest Hotel another, those old form genres and the inherent prejudices from both in audiences and production companies are still being maintained.

The Company of Friends: Benny's Story.

Audio Bless Lance Parkin. The opening narration to Benny's Story pretty much confirms the implication in The Dying Days, a whole twelve years after he wrote it, that the Time Lord and the archaeologist shared a "cup of tea" making her the only companion he's had that sort of relationship with (depending on how you view River Song). But it's not awkward, presumably because they're both adults, though Lisa and Paul make them brilliantly flirty anyway. The Doctor's asexuality across the series now all looks rather strange in retrospect particular the reticence over the Grace kisses, especially since he's clearly been married at least once and Susan has to have come from somewhere (unless looms, I suppose, but still). It's a bit of an orphan - there's no particularly useful place to put it narratively. For added confusion the Doctor references Brotherhood of the Daleks which featured 6th and Charley though he remembers it happening with someone called Mila substituting for the companion he hasn't met yet. As with Mary's Story, the possibility is left hanging at the end for more stories with Eighth and Bernice. Both of them are busy with other narratives at present but on the strength of this some further adventures would be most welcome.


Audio shada. Shada. SHADA! For a story which notoriously wasn’t completed on television, there are now a lot of alternative versions. Which is canonical now? All of them? None of them? In the context of this listen, the key moment for me turns out to be when Eighth mentions that he and Chronotis visited the Shelleys and Byron which either means they did after he dropped Mary off home, time’s been rewritten or the Doctor’s misremembering what happened in Mary’s Story, his mind replacing his older self due with the elder Time Lord due to Davros’s meddling as per Terra Firma. Unless I’m misremembering what happens in that story. Also although it was released after Neverland, it’s Lalla Romana’s first meeting with Eighth. I’ve always liked the way in adapting Douglas, Gary made sense of the Doctor returning to Cambridge to deal with unfinished business [my original review from back in 2003 is here and here's me writing about the Gareth Roberts adaptation in 2012].

Saving Mr Sorkin.

Film As expected I sobbed through Saving Mr Banks tonight although I was constantly distracted by the familiarity of one of the themes, an insistent piano rhythm. It's in here from about thirty seconds in.

A whole hour I sat wracking my brain, then I realised:

The Newsroom - Season 2 Title Sequence

I'm afraid you'll have to click that, I can't find an embedible version.

None of this should be too much of a surprise - the soundtrack to Saving Mr Banks and the title music for The Newsroom were both composed by Thomas Newman.

And I'm not the only one to notice.