Greasy Spoon #124

Fulham CafeIf you’re in the Fulham area and fancy a good breakfast, you could do a lot worse than the Fulham Cafe on Fulham Road. Full English Breakfast including coffee for about 5 pounds. Can’t say fairer than that in London.

(head out of Fulham Broadway station, turn right onto Fulham Road, and it’s on the left-hand-side of the road after two corners and about 300m).

Disclaimer: I have no connection with this cafe apart from being a client.

Sideways

This film is about: fine wine, weddings, car crashes, relationships, broken noses, sex, and road trips. It’s an entertaining watch, and an emotional one. You can despise both the main characters and also admire them. Paul Giamatti in particular is good as the neurotic one of the pair.

Sideways is definite entertainment, and the two hours don’t lag. But, ultimately, there’s nothing very demanding for the viewer in it, so it’s probably a once-only deal.

eXistenZ

eXistenZ is David Cronenberg’s The Matrix. But the layers of reality and existential indirection are far more complex and interesting than with The Matrix (although both films are of high quality and have plenty to hold the interest). With eXistenZ, we quickly get into this ‘now, is this the real world?’ questions, and keeping track is half the fun. The twists and turns of the plot are pacy and well-thought out. Reality layers are built on computer games, and there are many entertaining in-jokes: anyone who has played simple role-playing games such as one of the Monkey Island series will quickly recognise the style of interaction with the games characters, and it must of been great fun for the actors to play with this.

Unlike the Matrix, though, Existenz feels and looks like a feature length episode of the X-Files or the modern The Outer Limits. The glamorous female lead and bright, glossy lighting have a lot to do with this. As is typical for a Cronenberg film, it’s also pretty gruesome (much interaction with the game world is through indistinguishable organic parts that gets diseased, blown up, etc.).

Barcelona Photos

As promised, my photos from Barcelona, including the Sagrada Família and Park Güell.

Liberty Heights

To sum this film up in one sentence: sex, business, love, and racial segregation in 50s Baltimore. The problem is, I’ve pretty much just covered it all. Sure, there some are charming scenes, but fundamentally this film doesn’t cover topics that haven’t been covered better elsewhere, doesn’t include anything spectacular, and although it holds the interest for a while, is ultimately unfulfilling. A worthy effort, but not a classic.

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