Sacro GRA review a beguiling documentary prose-poem to Rome

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An enigmatic tribute to those who work and live near Romes main ring road, the Grande Raccordo Anulare

In 2013, this fascinating, almost experimentally unclassifiable film by Gianfranco Rosi won the Golden Lion at the Venice film festival. It is an enigmatic non-fiction essay, a docu-prose-poem about the peripheries of urban life in Rome. It would be great to see it in a double-bill with Sorrentinos La Grande Bellezza. The GRA is the Grande Raccordo Anulare, or main ring road, the concrete ribbon that encircles Rome. The band Black Box Recorder sung that the English motorway system is beautiful and strange: Rosi feels the same way about the sacred GRA. His movie is intriguingly similar, in some ways, to London Orbital (2002), the film by Chris Petit and Iain Sinclair all about the M25. Rosi has gone out and interviewed the people that live and work around this circular margin. He shows two prostitutes who live in a campervan, an eel farmer, women who dance at a roadside cafe, construction workers reburying bodies, people who rent out their villas for parties (as in Sorrentinos film) and an ambulance crew, who whizz eternally around the GRA. The effect is weirdly urban pastoral. It turns out to be a very beguiling, utterly uncliched love letter to Rome itself.

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via Peter Bradshaw | The Guardian http://ift.tt/1ti3GIb

Playtime review Jacques Tatis late masterpiece

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The satire might be a bit genteel at times, but its recurrent brilliance cant be doubted

Jacques Tatis fascinating, flawed late film Playtime, from 1967, has been re-released: Monsieur Hulot is back, bumbling and adrift in a Paris that, on the surface, is gleamingly antiseptic in its modernity. But underneath all is chaos, and its potential for calamity stirs to life at Hulots touch. This city is every bit as strange as Godards Alphaville. Playtime is wonderfully controlled and contrived, with deep-focus scenes of surreality that must surely have inspired Roy Andersson. Having arrived at the glitzy building where he has an appointment, Hulot sees the reflection of the executive he needs in a neighbouring offices plate glass  an illusion that begins his anarchic travels. I confess to finding some of its satire a bit genteel, and the tableaux indulged and over-extended with some quaint rhubarb-rhubarb acting from the crowd-scene extras. But its recurrent brilliance cant be doubted: Playtime offers us an even clearer view of the contrast between Tatis broad physical comedy as an actor and his superbly cerebral detachment as a director.

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via Peter Bradshaw | The Guardian http://ift.tt/13Oh7uM

Leviathan review a compellingly told, stunningly shot drama

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This Russian retelling the story of Job is impressive film-making on a grand scale

Leviathan director Andrey Zvyagintsev: Living in Russia is like being in a minefield

The great trial of Job is reborn in this magnificent Russian movie, first seen at Cannes this year. Leviathan is a tragic drama, compelling in its moral seriousness, with a severity and force that escalate into a terrible, annihilating sort of grandeur. Zvyagintsev combines an Old Testament fable with something like Tarkovskys Sacrifice; it also has something of Elia Kazans On the Waterfront or Robert Rossens municipal graft classic All the Kings Men. Kolia (Alexey Serebriakov) is a car mechanic with a modest property on prime real estate: a beautiful spot on the Barents Sea, but a crooked mayor called Vadim a wonderful performance from Roman Madyanov, looking something like Boris Yeltsin wants this land, and hits Kolia with a compulsory purchase order. Kolias old army buddy Dimitri (Vladimir Vdovichenkov), now a slick Moscow lawyer, has an incriminating file on Vadim that he promises will induce Vadim to back down, but attempting to blackmail Russias well-connected gangster class is fraught with danger. Leviathan shows a world governed by drunken, depressed men: everyone is drowning in vodka and despair. Kolia is at the centre of a perfect storm of poisoned destiny, at the focal point of smart lawyers, aggressive politicians and arrogant priests. The title refers to Hobbess Leviathan, the classic work about liberty and the state, and also the whale. A Dostoyevskian-looking priest speaks to Kolia about enduring his trials like Job, submitting to Gods will, as mighty as the great beast of the sea: Canst thou draw out Leviathan with a fish-hook? Yet Kolia has become not Job, but the beached whale itself. Stunningly shot and superbly acted, especially by Madyanov, this is film-making on a grand scale.

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Hear The Clash’s Vanilla Tapes, Demos of Nearly Every Song From London Calling

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Every creative work begins with a draft—or two, or three, or four. Great American novel, iconic painting, generation-defining poem, album of the decade… each represents a palimpsest of sketches, blind alleys, dead ends, demos, and outtakes. So it’s no great surprise to learn that London Calling, the Clash’s double-album masterpiece, exists as an earlier […]

Hear The Clash’s Vanilla Tapes, Demos of Nearly Every Song From London Calling is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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  • The Durutti Column & Caoilfhionn Rose - Free From All The Chaos: http://t.co/bQz3dkiUME via
  • The 13” MB Pro Retina (1.57kg) is almost as light as the Air (1.35kg). That+having 16GB of RAM tipped the scales to Pro for me
  • iPhone 6 Plus RHINO SHIELD CRASH GUARD drop test: http://t.co/wVtOFnfY9k via

Great Gastropubs: Michelin Lists London’s Best Food Pubs

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London’s greatest gastropubs.

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Watch Andrei Tarkovsky’s Mind-Bending Masterpiece, Stalker, Free Online

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Note: you can view the trailer for Stalker immediately above, then watch the film in its entirety on Mosfilm’s official Youtube channel in two Parts: Part 1Part 2. Or on Daily Motion in three: Part 1Part 2, and Part 3.

“I feel like every single frame of the film is burned into my retina,”

Watch Andrei Tarkovsky’s Mind-Bending Masterpiece, Stalker, Free Online is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don’t miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

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The Art of Stillness in an age of distraction

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The “T” in TED stands for technology. So it might sound counterintuitive that we would release a book about the need to unplug.  But we live in a madly accelerating world, where new technologies — for all their benefits — are making our lives more crowded, more chaotic and noisier than ever. There’s never been []

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  • It’s not like Mac OS X is immune to attacks. Anyone who runs their day-to-day stuff with Admin privileges on any OS are asking for trouble.
  • Yosemite infested by nasty ‘Rootpipe’ vuln http://t.co/xBfX8M0lds via ‘not run as Administrator for “normal” operations’
  • Woman tells police she tossed child off bridge http://t.co/LgPnjpJPog http://t.co/hA0fQgLq5m Straight out of Richard Milward’s book “Apples”
  • Both sign at front of bus and live update sign at Elephant & Castle stop D showed “Old Coulsdon”. One dissatisfied customer.
  • All passengers on N68 leaving Elephant & Castle at around 02:05 towards Old Coulsdon chucked off by driver at Denmark Hill.

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  • Drive’ is in essence a western movie (stranger comes to town, falls in love with woman, deals with some bad guys, leaves). C&W re-score?
  • BBC’s rescore of <em>Drive</em> the most horrifying thing you’ll see this Halloween http://t.co/VCaxFMdkWc Bah, it’s still Drive. 4*
  • Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) - http://t.co/ida2ZtsVRp 4-star movie until they showed Robert Zimmerframe in the last few frames. So 3* from me.
  • 36 page thread on probs with OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) and HP scan/printer software. Explains a lot. Bye, bye HP scanner. http://t.co/If8Fjr8Dg5

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  • it’s fire resistant sheeting called monarflex. Standard on scaffolds in the city