I don’t know what I expected when I sat down to watch Simon Amstell’s Carnage, a film I had heard described as a vegan mockumentary of sorts that kind of made fun of vegans but also inspired people to become one themselves.
The clouds are edged with gold as if someone has drawn around them with a highlighter pen, and in between them great gaping tears in the fabric with soft corners where the evening sun shines through, a portal to another place floating away from me inch by inch. I wish I could paint so I could capture the smudged grey-blue of the clouds, delicately illuminated from the centre like a palette brought to life. The contrast between the stormy grey, the pale amber, the sky blue, all shot through with white trails.
I fiddle with my phone, take a few shots and look down, and when I turn back it has gone.
Image Credits: Seeta Parmar
Oryx and Crake. A strange title, right? It sounds like it’s from a made up language, originating on some distant planet in the far reaches of the galaxy. The sense of oddness only intensifies when you open the book and start reading about a strange being named Snowman, seemingly marooned on a desert island in some far off post-apocalyptic wasteland, surrounded by non-human beings that are as alien to him as they are to us.
There’s a long enduring stereotype that Americans don’t get irony. Like all sweeping generalisations this is quite obviously false and borderline insulting, but in my opinion, there is something to this that speaks for a real difference between the type of comedy that can be found on British television as opposed to American.
Who do you think of when someone says “NASA” or “space programme”? Most people would probably think of famous astronauts like Neil Armstrong or Buzz Aldrin, fewer people would be able to name the engineers and scientists that made their journeys possible and the names Katherine Goble, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan would most likely be met with blank faces.
It’s rare nowadays that anything I watch is capable of capturing my attention for longer than twenty minutes, without my succumbing to the temptation of mousing over the video progress bar, opening another tab on my browser or checking my emails- I watch a lot of television on my laptop. Arrival proved to be an exception to this rule, and reminded me of why I enjoy going to the movies so much.
As part of my degree, I often find myself reading books that I have never heard of and indeed which have largely fallen out of print. Cometh Up As A Flower falls into both of these categories, and also happens to be a very interesting and peculiar book.
I’ll be honest, my first thoughts after watching ‘The Final Problem’ were not totally coherent. I wrote down a few things immediately after the episode finished and the phrase that jumps out at me as most pertinent is “absolutely batshit insane”.
I have to admit, when I first came to the end of North and South I eagerly turned to the next page and thought, is that it?
I think that my initial surprise was due to the fact that throughout the entire novel I was subconsciously comparing North and South to Pride and Prejudice and the ending above all highlights the fact that despite superficial similarities, the two novels are very different.