Rivers and Tides

Just returned from the Seven Gables Cinema in the University District. This is such a strange little place, like an old residence. Single screen, which is covered most of the time by a painted curtain depicting a “romantic” scene entitled the Last Castle. The walls are covered in curtains, and the seats are old, faded, with bursting seams.

I went to see Rivers and Tides, a film about Andy Goldsworthy. To generalize terribly, he basically walks out of the door to his home every day, with no idea what he’s going to build, and goes through this high-patience, highly torturous process of interpreting the land around him with natural, found objects, in the process creating breathtakingly beautiful scultures. The film captures his process well, and shows the scales at which he is capable of working, and the depth of thought around even the simplest ideas. In fact, all the ideas look simple, but you come away knowing there’s no way in a thousand years that you could create them.

Spirited Away

We saw Spirited Away today at Bella Botega. This is Miyazaki’s latest, and better I think then Princess Mononoke. It’s an incredibly imaginative film, beautiful, softly paced, and incredibly drawn. I came away feeling a little like I was missing a huge amount because of my obvious lack of knowledge for all the cultural and spiritual references that I assume most Japanese have, and that (I think) the movie is full of. But it’s still highly accessible, and doesn’t seem its 2 hrs and 20 minutes.

Brazilian Grand Prix

Stunningly strange Brazilian Grand Prix (see this blow by blow account by the BBC). Peter Windsor tried to explain the new tyre regulations in the coverage I saw here in the US of A through Speedvision, but I’m still left highly confused by why no one really had the tires they should have for this very wet race. Ross Brawn has some comments on the subject, which make it all seem highly political, the fault of Michelin if they are to be believed. Politics doesn’t seem to be a good reason to put all of the driver’s lives at risk, though.

I just couldn’t believe the action in the 3rd corner. 6 drivers out at that point, including Michael and Juan Pablo. You’d think that in itself would be enough to stop the race. But both Webber and Alonso’s spectacular crashes came later, and it’s a miracle they walked. If the space-age technology that makes up the cockpit around a driver, and allows them to survive these huge impacts, ever makes it to the public I wonder how that will change the standard of driving? Can anyone say “nothing to lose”?

Anyway, the boredom of last years season seems to have been replaced by a highly exciting, and highly unpredictable, set of races, due in large part to the new rule changes. I can’t believe that Ferrari are in the position that they are (3rd in the constructor’s championship behind Mercedes and Renault), and I’m not sure what they can do about it. At the same time, Michael went out today due to driving error, and Rubens because of technical difficulties (whilst in the lead), both things that were the teams fault, not the new rules.

The box office

I love what this page says about the state of the box office. Scroll down near the bottom and compare the Current High Scores table with the Weekend Box Office table. As I’m looking at it, there are 15 films currently in release with a score of 85/100 or more. And the top weekend grosses have scores respectively of 45/100 (Head of State), 38/100 (Bringing Down the House), 44/100 (The Core) and 30/100 (Basic). That’s democracy in action. People voting with their feet.