☆ Want You To Know: Whatever Happened To ‘Winter Is Coming’?

Game of Thrones returns for it's fourth season this weekend. It seems old habits die hard and 'sexposition' is still an important narrative device. If you've forgotten what's happened up until now, here's a decent recap. As that one is in traditional text format, for good measure here's a recap that uses emoji. 14 most brutal deaths in Game of Thrones as 8-bit GIFs. And finally, 'If The Media Reported The Events Of "Game Of Thrones"'.


Crowdfunding game of the day: Kickstarter simulator 2015.

Glass is 'merely descriptive', so no patent for you, Google. At least not yet. Yelp reviews might be a bit dodgy. As if that possibility has never occurred to anyone before.

At the start of this week I had heard the name James Franco, but didn't really know who he was. Then the Internet told me he was mostly a creep, and who was I to disagree? Now, at the end of this week it turns out he just has some product to promote.

Local flavour alert. An Irish Farmer's Journal piece about the County Kildare geep is spreading rapidly ('going viral', as many twits are still fond of saying).

To Ponder, Or Not To Ponder?

Very Important Documentary Film

'Catnip: Egress to Oblivion?' [YT]

Art Corner

George Bush paints other world leaders.

JENNA: You think you got to the soul of you?

GEORGE: You're going to have to ask other people who know me better, such as yourself. This is an improvement of the first one I did of myself.

'Two Monks Invent Renaissance Art'

Totally Confused, Mostly Long Video Edition

Books versus movies, Tyrion Lanister slapping Joffrey for ten hours, shrinking women, Hurtigruten timelapse, and fifty years of James Bond.

Cover version of the day: 'Wave of Mutilation', Kristin Hersh

Film: Tales From Earthsea


Now this was a proper mess. I’m fond of Studio Ghibli productions, particularly Miyazaki senior’s work. I like a lot of Ursula Le Guin’s writing and I really loved the original Earthsea trilogy when I was younger.

I rented this very much on a whim, as I’d seen some pretty scathing reviews and the author’s own comments. It couldn’t be that bad, could it?

The answer is, oh yes it could. If you haven’t read the books you really won’t have much of a notion what’s going on for large chunks of the film. If you have read the books you may even end up more confused as Miyazaki junior picks sequences from across Le Guin’s books and mashes them together in an attempt to make something filmable. Thus we see themes from the books present and correct but applied to different characters, or introduced and then abandoned without explanation. There is little to no explanation of character motivation. Two of the main protagonists team up because they have ‘nothing better to do’. There are several scenes which seem to be total non-sequiturs with absolutely no connection to the rest of the narrative.

Visually it’s less interesting than most recent Ghibli productions. Cob is bizarrely drawn as some sort of almost androgynous Michael Jackson / Cher hybrid. Cheech Marin hamming it up opposite Timothy Dalton’s RSC-style delivery just doesn’t work. Like so much of this film.

I’m going to have to watch Spirited Away again to remind me just how great Ghibli films can be. I may also dig out my old copy of the Earthsea Trilogy.