He Knows When you are Sleeping / He Knows When You’re Awake

If there’s one Christmas movie I need to see this season it’s Rare Exports.  Loosely based on a couple of Finnish short movies from 2003 and 2005, it could be this year’s District 9.

The 2003 short describes the hunting and training of Father Christmases.

Its 2005 sequel points out what can happen when a Father Christmas goes rogue.

I hope Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale gets caught up in the current Scandinavian love-fest since I haven’t seen such an imaginative horror idea in years.

Thought for the day; why do all Finnish kids look so weird?

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A Brief History of Dagenham

Hawking as seen as a cartoon character on The ...
Image via Wikipedia

Ang and I recently attended a showing of “Made in Dagenham” at the Arts Cinema and were captivated by a movie that both immersed us in the feel of late-sixties London and managed to portray an important historical event without being stuffy.

However, during the climactic scene we started to hear a low but constant beeping. Ang, being much more generous than I am, only glared accusingly at the smoke alarm but I turned around to shush what I thought was a rampaging horde of huge thumbed happy-slappers. Cue a retreat of almost Gallic proportions when it turned out the source of the beeping was none other than Professor Hawking.

Obviously the erstwhile professor likes working class period drama – we’d already been graced with his presence during a showing of Kinky Boots.

My own contribution to the Wittertainment Code of Conduct for cinema patrons: No random beeping unless you’re a former holder of the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics.

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You have 500 Million Friends

the social network
Image by whipsmart via Flickr

Everyone’s on Facebook, right?  Poking, messaging, friend requests, liking, and other every day words take on their own meanings on this website.  A website that has a population equal to the whole EU, has overtaken email, texting, and the telephone as a means of communication and still manages to grow despite a small (but extremely vocal) community of detractors that think it needs to be shut down.

Sorkin and Fincher’s movie, based on The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, doesn’t touch on the minutiae of the privacy activists concerns, but rather delivers a tight precis of the Facebook’s birth pangs and subsequent legal fallout.

More sympathetic to Zuckerberg than I would have imagined, the movie seems to be the beginning of a narative that portrays the Facebook co-founder as a misunderstood genius (possibly with Asperger’s) that just wants to be loved. Sorkin is at his best when allowed to write fast paced dialogue and interweaving the various legal issues with the Facebook story stopped the movie from grinding to a halt or becoming a spiritual sequel to A Few Good Men.

Love it or hate it Facebook is here and most people will continue to use the site until they finally get bored with talking to each other.  Open source initiatives like Diaspora may gain some currency with a certain type of user, but they won’t ever be as cool, and as Zukerberg’s character says in the movie, Facebook is nothing if it’s not cool.

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Kinky Serenity

Kinky Boots (film)
Image via Wikipedia

A while ago I saw Kinky Boots, a very British comedy set in the north of England about a shoe factory saved from bankruptcy by changing their product line from quality mens’ brogues to womens’ boots that could hold the weight of a man for transvestites. While the film was very simple and had some quite sweet moments, it was made all the more odd because the transvestite in question was played by Chitwetel Ejiofor, who had previously played the Central government assassin in Serenity.

It’s not every day where you see someone as an assassin one week and a very convincing transvestite the next.

As if that weren’t strange enough, Stephen Hawking was in the front row and appeared the enjoy the movie quite a lot.

Only in Cambridge.
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