Weeknotes 2024.2: The Heron, minus the boy

Weeknotes 2024.2: The Heron, minus the boy

We just saw THE BOY AND THE HERON (a.k.a. HOW DO YOU LIVE?) the new, and possibly final film by Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki. It is simply bloody lovely. Weighty, wistful, cosmic, and every frame from the first to the last is like a painting, backed by a gorgeous script and sound design, and possibly Joe Hishaishi’s finest score to date.

There is a heron who lives near us in Stratford (previously, previously.) I shall not be able to look at them again without hearing a gentle, yet dramatic piano chord.

Other things I have been reading/watching this week:

  • SALTBURN (2023 dir. Emerald Fennell) Oh, I tried. It looks very impressive. “Pretty” is the wrong word, even though some shots are. It does have an extremely greasy vibe—exactly how I remember its 2006 setting, although that might’ve been a side effect of me being in secondary school at the time. But the script is puzzling. People don’t talk like that. Even stinking rich people. I couldn’t get more than about 40 minutes in. Points for style and unhinged-ness, though.
  • FOR ALL MANKIND season 4 finale. God, this show is so frustrating. There are flashes of brilliance, for instance Dani Poole’s (Krys Marshall’s) reunion with her family and her new grandchild, and pretty much everything Wrenn Schmidt and Coral Peña do. But so much of it plods along with unexciting and transparent MacGuffins, subplots that conveniently resolve themselves concurrently for an ‘epic’ climax, and characters seemingly forgotten about (what on earth happened to Kelly and her son Alex? Where are they?) As much as I appreciate Joel Kinnaman, his character (Ed Baldwin) is dead weight. Dev Ayesa, a billionaire, is characterised as an Elon Musk-a-like, except he’s actually an engineer (as opposed to the scion of a property developer and emerald mine owner.) I’m not sure if it says more about the script or about reality that this seems a little far-fetched.
  • WHITE HOLES, by Carlo Rovelli. Think of a book about white holes, a concept in astrophysics, and then picture something thin, concise and yet meandering, which makes extensive quotes from Inferno. I will withhold judgement until I have finished. I’m enjoying myself so far.

Charity shops are awesome. This week’s finds: a pair of Spoke chinos in exactly my size for £25 (usual price £110), a Uniqlo shirt for £10 (usual price £30.) All good as new. This is good news if, like me, you tend to wear things until they fall apart. (The other day I was getting dressed after a swim and realised pretty much every article of clothing had some kind of hole in it.)