Storyville, 13 years on death row.

6°C, dry with white cloud.
BBC: A Death Row Tale: The Fear of 13.
Quite the most moving thing I have seen on TV for many years.

image

Credit: Storyville.

Practically a single scene play with just the narrator. If tells his own story in a beguiling manner the revealed gem after gem.
I put the recording on late on a Friday evening thinking I could watch half and finish in the morning.
A man on death row, a drug addict, a car theif was sentenced to death for a rape and murder. He sits in a darkened room, under a single light and tells his story.
In this story, there are frequent glimmers of optimism and unwavering hope. He used the time to teach himself to read properly, to enjoy reading and became articulate. More than that, he’s eloquent.
Yarris tells a story of horror, obvious human rights violations and poetry. Not wistful romantic poetry, this is beauty within a life in a hell. Men in a confined space with a dreadful end story, behaviour is animal. Here is hope.

There are a few edits where outside images break up scenes, the unfolding story evolves and unfolds beautifully. Through my own personal tiredness. .I was pinned to this. Half an hour in, resuming in the morning was out of the question.
My hope is that I can this film on disc, I want to go back to this sometimes. There are themes here for me personally. This is a public space, so I’m not saying now.

Although I’m no criminal, I can take something from this story. There are profound messages about life here. Take a look.

Chernobyl Diaries

Sat. 18°C,
Film- Chernobyl Diaries; a shock-horror film set in Pripyat, Ukraine. As you know, it’s the site of the Chernobyl disaster in the 1980s. The film makers have exploited the eerie atmosphere of that abandoned city and joined the genre of films like The Hills Have Eyes. The film would like you to to sit on the edge of your seat and jump frequently.
The story raises several points of note. The six characters soon break apart as a team under stress after the van is damaged. That leads to their eventual demise. My thoughts followed what could happen if they had cooperated. I suppose that’s the role filled by fan fiction. The genre requires elevated tension, fear and shocks. The characters behaved in panic at times, no calm under pressure.
There were some problems with continuity too: the reactor building featured, but it had three cooling towers, the real one has none.

Do you want a recommendation? If you have seen nothing of this genre, then you could tick off with this one. If you have though, you would probably share the criticisms held by others online. That is, there are better examples out there.

|~~~~~~~o_o~~~~~~~|
Posted from a mobile.

Traffic Police.

C, windy.
Desperate for a break, this weekend will have to do.
Motorway cops- a documentary series on BBC television is easy watching. None of the sensational drama that seems to encourage crime as found on other channels. It did leave me with some questions.
One incident closed the motorway because of a multi-car crash. The front car driver said red car braked in front and then 4 more collided in a cascade. It was never established who caused it all, so no charges were filed. Breathalysers were used but no checks were made on mobile phones. Also, none of the following cars were prosecuted for tail-gating.
The most disturbing incident involved the death of a cyclist. The body was found on the busy, fast section of the A10, late at night with fast traffic still passing. Police spent time searching for alter and were interrupted by a phone call. Police went round to a mini driver’s house where a badly damaged car was parked. The wind-screen was broken on the near-side and the driver thought she had hit an animal. When told of the death of a man, she collapsed and threw up.
Back at the accident scene, was the body dressed in dark clothes, a mangled bike with no lights or reflectors. The victim was also very drunk.
image
I felt rather sorry for the mini driver. She will have to come to terms with killing someone, which was in no way, her fault.
A troubling programme. She was breathalized, a standard procedure. But why are mobile phones not checked as standard procedure? Distraction would explain at least 3 of the unexplained accidents, and phone companies hold those records.
|~~~~~~~o_o~~~~~~~|
Posted from a mobile.

David Sedaris

English: David Sedaris at a talk in Ontario.

English: David Sedaris at a talk in Ontario. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

15°C, lots of rain.
Glad I did the weekend’s ride on Saturday. Today, rain and a listlesness that suggests an oncoming cold. It’s Autumn now.
The new season brings new programmes on the radio- my favourite of Sundays- David Sedaris. This guy puts the kid to Americans inability to understand irony. His show is presented as s series of essays. They are hilarious.

And All Our Dreams Will End in Death

13°C, heavy rain. CK:36miles

Rain delayed enough for a decent ride this morning. I’ve missed riding that bike.

BBC Radio 4: they make good plays that are worth listening to on long motorway drives. Saturday. Howard Neal is the story of a US bloke on death row. The story wasn’t especially surprising, nor were the details, but the interest for me was the voice. Radio is entirely dependant on voice in plays like this. His accent was a mixture of deep south (US) and effects from his deprived background. Except not always; he seemed a little too articulate to me, his phrasing was rather conventional and it shouldn’t have been. Okay the whole play would have been more difficult, but surely, more rewarding.

Today was the story of Richard IIPlantagenet: And All Our Dreams Will End in Death. Okay, it’s not really fiction, well, no more than history is usually. Very good I thought, sadly, I missed the end. I did get the feeling that our past monarchs were largely a bunch of despotic gangsters. His relationship with Queen Anne was interesting, and touching. There are interesting parallels in the peasants’ revolt with The Tsars in Moscow in 1918 too. Both groups wanted an end to serfdom (slavery by another name) and concessions were given but even more asked for. Then the monarch backed off in fear. That, it seems is a pattern that has repeated a number of times in history. You can tell I have been following the BBC R4 series on Russia‘s history can’t you?

Pulsar

16°C, showers & more crispy sun

This is the best animation of a pulsar I have yet seen. It does a good job of conveying the rotation rate- 30turns per second.


I’d like to know a bit more about who did this clip and how. Perhaps it was the BBC’s own 3D animation department.

Macbeth

3°C, thin but dark skies

I’m no aficionado, so it’s new to me this impression of Macbeth. I’m talking about Rupert Goold’s film version. It’s the Cold War Warsaw Pact setting, the uniforms and location. It’s like some hideous Stalinist interrogation camp. These plays presumable are always teetering on the edge of over-acting, but this one never steps over into discomfort. I hope to get a DVD version soon; a far better way to watch it, at over 2 & half hours I will have to tackle this in parts.

How on earth do I insert symbol characters on this laptop?

Eternal sunshine

5°C, dense fog.


How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d

I don’t dislike Jim Carey anymore! The film was just great- Eternal Sunshine Of A Spotless Mind. His acting was just right, okay a few moments jarred a bit but only because they reminded me too much of his previous dreadful films. Some reviews have suggested “surreal” as a term to describe this film- not one I’d choose, it’s not what I understand of surrealism at directly. On the other hand, words like these do tend to take on a modern meaning which leaves the original behind. Unlike some of my other film ramblings, I can’t contradict what others have said in this one.

Gadgets- I have my clock-radio back, this one works properly with the iPod, so a result. the sound quality is affected somewhat by sliding the instruction manual underneath (for those times that you forget how to change the alarm). There appears to be a narrow speaker port underneath the wooden case. Small speakers often have some sort of port to control the lower frequency sounds. the drivers are simple 3″ cones with no separate tweeters- hence a slight lack of sparkle to the sound. At least that means less harshness on some radio channels.

Brief Encounter (with a bun)

18°C, dark


Kneehigh Theatre: with their version of Brief Encounter, a homage to Noel Coward as much as the original film of 1945. They included "I’m no good at love" (which I’ve included on these pages in the past), along with other songs and passages by him. There was some audience participation, in one scene I was offered a bun, which I ate- it was really quite fresh I should state clearly now. Other nice touches, in the programme, actors’ own brief encounters printed with their shortened CVs.