Posts in English

Postcard from Kyoto

Postcard from Kyoto

I wondered if going from Tokyo to Kyoto would be like going from Hanoi to Hoi An: from a working city that pays visitors no special attention to a place, with all the historical trimmings, that exists mainly for tourists. We've found that Kyoto has its own mellow,...

Postcard from Tokyo

Postcard from Tokyo

Tokyo makes me question some of my assumptions, my likes and dislikes. At home, I'd avoid malls and railway concourses as impersonal, artificial; here, where the smog is often so heavy that people go about in masks, malls are clean, controlled spaces. Often we choose...

Movie Diary 30/3/18

Movie Diary 30/3/18

Black Panther (2018) – In outline – a superhero from a hermetic culture must decide how to engage with the wider world – this is very similar to Wonder Woman, last year's blow for comic book diversity, but this is much better executed. Partly it's the way the movie...

Movie Diary 15/2/18

Movie Diary 15/2/18

Blade Runner 2049 (2017) – The design here – post-apocalyptic environments where colour is almost completely excluded, or luxurious digs bathed in yellow – is certainly striking, if a little monotonous. (It's a little mystifying that Jared Leto and Harrison Ford get...

Movie Diary 21/1/18

Movie Diary 21/1/18

Call Me By Your Name (2017) – This wears its luxury more lightly than Luca Guadagnino's previous films: the characters' wealth is expressed in cultivation rather than consumption, their freedom to translate and transcribe music and study old things while their...

Movie Diary 17/12/17

Movie Diary 17/12/17

Battle of the Sexes (2017) – This is a mainstream entertainment as good as A League of Their Own. The casting is impeccable top to bottom – from Sarah Silverman's way with a cigarette to Alan Cumming's finely calibrated mixture of kindness and bitchy speculation. It's...

The Grub

The Grub

He made friends quickly, but he lost them too, often with much bitterness. It wasn't that he was a narcissist, good only for first impressions. But he seemed to hold out the promise of something more than friendship, hold it out inadvertently. They expected...

2001

2001

In 2001 my stereo had a cassette deck and my bed as yet no sheets I woke with its diamonds pressed on my cheek and it felt like wealth something I'd paid for myself conducting surveys on phones yellowed like bone in a room full of monochrome screens Nelly Furtado was...

Sydney v. Melbourne

Sydney v. Melbourne

After years in Melbourne with its arid design, its treeless streets ruled in straight lines I came home to a bodily place where even the ground undulates like the pleats of the Moreton Bay figs, unfurling like squid the air a soft brush, furred like a peach when it...

The King

The King

Like a king with legitimate and bastard offspring, pairings endowed with degrees of recognition, He hedges his bets; those who inherit the official functions not always his favourites. We exist in relation to power even if we choose exile, a new name, renounce all...