I’m not going to recount the plot of the miniseries, as you can get that from Wikipedia or plenty of other places. But: spoiler alerts. The Queens Gambit‘s success has been enormous and I want to offer a few initial thoughts about it which may help explain this, as it has somehow reached a lot of people. The acting and ‘look’ of the lead -Anya Joy-Taylor – is clearly an important part of it. She even looks on occasion like some elegant chess piece come to life in a Lewis Carroll kind of way. The production values and the way the plot steers away from … Continue reading
by Chris Horner The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear. —Gramsci Frontispiece to Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan (1651) Does a crisis show us what we are ‘really like’? Whether it does or not, it has already been instructive to experience this one, in which our institutions are being stress tested, perhaps to destruction. As many have noted, COVID-19 is a political and economic crisis as well as a medical one. Its size and complexity can leave us groping around for the … Continue reading
Before I saw Good Time, I feared for the future of cinema. Everywhere I looked there were posters for superhero blockbusters, predictable action movies and empty Hollywood comedies. Even great auteurs like Paul Thomas Anderson have slowed down. If you wanted great films, you’d better log into Netflix and watch Better Call Saul. It seemed like there was little hope of a revitalised film scene. Then I discovered the Safdie brothers. I was lucky enough to be recommended Good Time (2017) by a friend, who was attracted by its soundtrack composed by experimental musician Daniel Lopatin (a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never). This was just … Continue reading
Planet Of The Humans, or ‘POTH’ as some people are calling it, has really touched a nerve in the environmentalist movement. Not least because the documentary has serious flaws and makes some bold claims about renewables, while not really specifying a clear way forward. On the one hand, POTH presents a very depressing view of the green energy industry and the prospects for replacing fossil fuels with renewable alternatives like solar power. But, on the other hand, the film makes two positive claims it barely develops: 1) the world’s population growth rate is the real problem, and, 2) the population has … Continue reading
After much speculation, the long-awaited Mueller report has proved to be a big nothing burger served up for the American public on paper plates while the US mainstream media pretends otherwise. But the Democrats have left themselves with few options left as the race to 2020 begins.