Saturday, 29 May 2010

Shutter Island

Yesterday I saw the new Scorsese/DiCaprio collaboration Shutter Island.
The film is based on the novel by the same name written by Dennis Lehane, a 44 yo American author who has written some fantastic books, incl Mystic River and Gone, Baby, Gone and has also worked as a writer on The Wire.

Shutter Island was written in 2003 and was turned into a film by Scorsese and was released this year.
It starts out on a ferry with the main character  U.S Marshal Edward Daniels feeling sick in his room before going up on deck to meet his new partner Chuck. The ferry goes to Shutter Island where the Ashecliffe Hospital is situated, a hospital/penitentiary for the criminally insane. And the reason we are given is that they are to investigate the disappearance of a patient out of a locked cell. Inside the cell Edward finds a note written by the escapee that points to a patient 67 (there being 66 official patients in the prison) which Edward then investigate while also (which is revealed later) seeking revenge on one of the patients that's guilty of burning his house down effectively killing his wife.

The movie is a Scorsese masterpiece in many ways. There are some fantastically beautiful scenes that pictures Edwards dreams that will take your breath away. The cinematography is always aptly done in Scorsese movies but I feel it has been lifted a notch in this film.
DiCaprio does a steady job portraying the troubled Edward Daniels, a WWII veteran that liberated Dachau and had his wife killed. Ben Kinglsey is a little bit on autopilot, but he has that persona (Like Anthony Hopkins) who can get away with it. I also like most of the music, especially Mahler is used very effectively.

All is not well though, There are also some continuity mistakes, hands that switches places between angels, papers that are ripped and the next second is whole again. The Auswitch sign over the Dachau camp. There are probably more that I didn't immediately recognize, but what I don't know doesn't bother be of course.

All in all, a good popcorn movie with a lot of talent involved.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Marina & The Diamonds

A fantastic album has crossed my path once again. Sometimes you just fall into an abyss of strange but comfortable new water and I've totally fallen into The Family Jewels by Marina and The Diamonds.
The songs are crazy, bold, intelligent and surprisingly catchy.
It resembles Florence + the Machine, Regina Spektor, Bat for Lashes and Lily Allen with its no rules, fun, unconventional and inspired songs.

Marina is a Welsh girl with a Greek father who moved to London and used her quirky personality and brilliant mind to start the band that really is just her. The diamonds are the fans, and not the band. And she's cute as a button to...I'm obsessed with this mess that is Marina & the Diamonds.

Watch these videos

Mowgli's Road - Official Video
Hollywood - Official Video
Marina backstage at Glastonbury
Marina at the NME

Sunday, 16 May 2010

The Door to Hell

Derweze (or Darvaza) is a small village in Turkmenistan in the middle of a desert pretty void of anything interesting. Except that is where the Door to Hell is located.
Wait, what?

No, the other hell. This is only hell to people suffering from harp-phobia or vertigo.

The story is this; the area where Derweze is situated is rich in natural gas which to Energy Company Executives is like honey is to bees or face-painting tents are to hippies. What the geologists (or possibly satanists with a degree) chose to do was the same old thing they always do. They set up a drilling rig, maybe something like this:

After it was set up, they probably pushed the start button and poured a cup of coffee and started planning what they'd do with their enormous bonuses. What could possibly go wrong with building a massive structure over a swiss-cheese, gas infested rock and then put a big drill through it.

Right in the middle of the eternal Aston Martin vs Jaguar discussion the whole rig disappeared into an enormous hole leaving nothing but...well, actually just "nothing" on the surface.
The geologists stared at each-other in disbelief and ransacked themselves if it was their area of responsibility to make sure the drilling rig didn't fall right down a big fucking hole! After a silent nod of mutual agreement that it was probably somewhere in the fine-prints of all of their contracts, and possibly some rock-paper-scissors-lizard-spock that all ended in a tie (somebody must stop choosing Spock) they all rolled up their sleeves and went to work.
As the ginourmous hole spewed out incredible amounts of Methane gas into the atmosphere they all agreed that if they tossed in a lit match the methane would start to burn off and Bob's your uncle.
 This gas-find will selfcombust in five seconds, good luck Jim.

A cunning plan, with one little drawback; a slight underestimation of the amount of gas.
You see, it was back in 1971 they set it on fire and it has been burning ever since.

Yes, that is people. Possibly deciding to have some cognitive behavioural therapy to combat their harp-phobia

So what do you do with a big burning whole right in the middle of your normally hell-gate free little town? Make it a tourist attraction of course!

Article & Pics from EnglishRussia
Tourism info

About Me

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Member of the band Colony 5, also producing music under the names Moonboy & 200OK.
Rides a Kawasaki ZX6R
Loves movies, books, whisky, pipes and an open fire. 
Father of two girls; Enya & Leia 
Fiancé of Malin