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So film. Much learn. Wow. 
10th-Jan-2015 12:03 am
People: Hamlet, People: Sarah Bernhardt as Hamlet
plumtreeblossom and I have been watching a lot of really interesting stuff lately.

Actually, while she was away visting family, I saw The Imitation Game (Wikipedia) with some friends who I don’t think are on LJ, about the tragic and fascinating story of Alan Turing. I thought I’d written about that already, but I don’t see anything about it either here or on Facebook, so I guess not.

Shortly after we came back to Boston, we saw the last installment of the Hobbit trilogy. Well, it had some good special effects, and there were some things in it that vaguely reminded me of Tolkein’s world, so I guess that was nice. It was a fun blockbuster adventure movie, though.

Then at the end of the month we saw Big Eyes (Wikipedia), which we both loved.

And when browsing in a bookstore near her house, we were offered free passes to a preview screening of Spare Parts (Wikipedia; website), a true story about a group of undocumented high-school students who compete in a remote underwater vehicle challenge against top universities and win. It’s based on this Wired article (which I haven’t read yet). It’s pretty androcentric, but presumably so was the reality it’s describing, and it was quite a feel-good movie (and also a pretty effective emotional argument for the DREAM Act). If high-school underdogs building robots and beating the odds sounds like the sort of story you might have any interest in, I would very much encourage you to see this when it’s released.

Streaming on Netflix, we watched Crossing the Line (Wikipedia), a absolutely fascinating documentary about Joe Dresnok, a US soldier stationed in the DMZ who defected to North Korea in the early ’60s and has lived there ever since, making anti-US propaganda and becoming a minor celebrity (along with the tiny handful of other US defectors) playing evil “American bastards” in North Korean movies and TV. He still has his rural-Virginia accent, and I know this is an unfair stereotype, but he looks and sounds more like somebody who would be driving a pickup truck with a confederate flag on it to a rally denouncing Obama as a socialist than somebody who would be singing the praises of the North Korean “socialist” government and saying that in the United States a worker like him would have no future. While we know there must have been minders around at all times as he was being interviewed, and occasionally there’s stuff he’s reluctant to talk about, for the most part he sounds very natural and sincere. (Then again, he’s had decades to perfect that.) As you would expect, there’s some deeply disturbing stuff in there.

And just tonight, in search of a documentary to watch while we ate dinner, we started watching Ken Burns’ Baseball on Netflix. Although neither of us is much of a baseball bug or crank, we really enjoyed it. The first episode covers the history of baseball up until 1900. (Since there are eleven episodes, either the 20th century is going to be covered in much more detail, or other episodes are going to go back and cover different aspects of the game.) I’m kind of hooked, and we’re looking forward to watching the rest of the series. Maybe that will tide us over until the fourth season of Game of Thrones is available for streaming.

Oh, I forgot: We also watched a Nova episode “Secrets of the Sun”, about recent discoveries about the sun’s internal dynamics.
10th-Jan-2015 11:59 am (UTC)
Regarding the Baseball series. The subsequent episodes are definitely much more detailed. The original series was nine episodes, and the other two are updates. I also really enjoyed it, but I found the last two installments significantly lacking in comparison to the original nine. I'll be curious to hear your opinions.
10th-Jan-2015 09:16 pm (UTC)
Cool. I can’t imagine I won’t love them.

One thing I noticed was that the earliest photographs didn’t show gloves, but by the late 1800s they were using gloves. I hope that gets explained a little more. (I wonder if there was opposition to the introduction of gloves, and/or if baseballs themselves changed when gloves were introduced.)
27th-Aug-2015 01:30 am (UTC)
The Imitation Game was a brilliant film. Best film i have seen for awhile!
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