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About dog-days

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    Landed Knight

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    Y Gwyll

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  1. dog-days

    Judith Kerr (1923-2019)

    Judith Kerr has died. A fabulous, wonderful writer and illustrator of children's books. One of the greats of her generation. Born in Berlin, she and her parents fled the Nazi regime, stayed in Switzerland, Paris, and then London, where they remained. She created The Tiger Who Came to Tea, When Hitler stole Pink Rabbit, and Mog, amongst much else. Nancy Banks Smith, a near contemporary, has written a lovely tribute to her: "There was steel under the sweetness. All great children’s literature is slightly disturbing beneath the surface and no one could draw the smile on the face of the tiger like Judith."
  2. dog-days

    Video Games: Devils Die Twice

    The Baldur's Gate games were such a big part of my teenage years that I can't hear bad news from Bioware without being sad. It's like hearing that Father Christmas's workshop is being taken into administration.
  3. dog-days

    Watch, Watched, Watching: Getting Sneaky

    Watched the first two episodes of S2 Un Bore Mercher. Enjoyed them and looking forward to seeing how the trial plot plays out, but so far not as gripped as I was by the start of S1. Could do with fewer power ballads. However, Eve Myles remains absolutely mesmerizing.
  4. dog-days

    His Dark Materials Series

    My thoughts exactly! It'll be broadcast around the same time as The Secret Commonwealth is launched.
  5. dog-days

    American Gods on Starz

    Bit sad about Season 2. I was happy to watch it, but at the same time I felt it was a step down from Season 1 in pretty much every way. For me it had lost a lot of the visual flair - it often seemed to know that it should be experimental and clever, but it wasn't sure how. Where S1 seemed almost over-full of ideas about how things could look, S2 was really struggling hard to get in one good moment per episode. That could partly be ascribed to the departure of the original show-runners, and partly to budget cuts. I'll keep watching if only for the sake of the opening credits. Best ones since Black Sails, imo. And I am interested to see how events are handled in Season 3. I do still think S2 is worth watching.
  6. dog-days

    Watch, Watched, Watching: Endgame

    I expect a five thousand word review on my desk on Monday morning Btw, Nictarion - where can I watch What We Do In The Shadows (TV version)? I loved the film.
  7. dog-days

    Watch, Watched, Watching: Endgame

    What did you think of it? Haven't seen it myself. Not sure if I should.
  8. dog-days

    Watch, Watched, Watching: Endgame

    Yes, definitely. I was particularly impressed by the way they handled the character of Ashford - when he was first introduced, I thought he was just going to be a kind of Big Bad, a thug with no vision beyond being the biggest bully on the block. But in the end he turned out to be a much more rounded character than that - not all sweetness and light, but not a total brute either. On another note, The Expanse doesn't kill off many of its regular characters (a few, but not many) - I think that tends to work in its favour. A lot of shows try to create big moments through killing off non-Red Shirts. The trouble with that is that after too many big moments, there aren't enough characters that matter to the audience left alive to populate the story with.
  9. dog-days

    Watch, Watched, Watching: Endgame

    Just finished S3 of The Expanse. I want S4 right now. I like pretty much all of the characters - there's no bit where I think: "Oh God, not him/her again, somebody space them, please? Right now?" The show is sufficiently fast-paced and busy that even the characters I might get fed up with in a slower series - Holden and Juliet from Lost Anna - aren't given enough free rein to drag things down. Even if Holden's the hero, he's in such a big ensemble cast that it doesn't matter.
  10. dog-days

    Can you recommend a good mockumentry?

    Try What We Do in the Shadows - comedy vampire doc. It's a film, and has recently been adapted into a TV show. The director, who also plays a lead role in the film, is Taika Waititi of Thor: Ragnarok and Hunt for the Wilderpeople fame.
  11. Watched Edgar Reitz's Heimat prequel Home from Home last week - it was on the BBC IPlayer. Found it deeply moving. Some of my own ancestors left Germany at around the same time in the middle of the nineteenth century, though they didn't make it anywhere nearly as exciting as Brazil. Particularly enjoyed the director cameos of Werner Herzog as Alexander von Humboldt and Edgar Reitz as (I didn't recognise him at the time) an ancient peasant sitting in a field. Since watching the original Heimat in my late teens, I've been periodically muttering to myself "In heaven they speak Hunsrückisch." It was lovely to go back to Schabbach and see familiar faces in different roles, plus the trademark use of a black-and-white colour palette with sudden highlights - blue-painted flowers on a crumbling wall, red sparks in the smithy.
  12. dog-days

    Watership Down 2018

    One thing I will say for it is that it prompted me to rewatch the 1978 version, as well as reminding me that I've been meaning to read more of Adams's works. I'd forgotten how much I loved the beautiful score. The media tends to dwell on the violence/horror when they talk about the film, but forgets scenes such as the one where the rabbits run up the side of a hill in the sunshine, and the main theme surges up at the same time. Lovely, lovely moment.
  13. dog-days

    Watership Down 2018

    Yeah, I had the feeling that the writers were obsessed with character arcs. They were thinking: "The characters have to change! They have to reevaluate their identity! They have to remind the audience that they are changing their self-image frequently through obvious dialogue!" Someone should have told them that it's okay to just let the characters be themselves as hard as possible. More is not necessary. I was reading yesterday about the characters of Hazel and Bigwig, and how Adams partly based them on people he'd known in the parachute regiment in WW2. Bigwig was based on Desmond "Paddy" Kavanagh ( mentioned here https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/94/a4466694.shtml ) who was known for playing with live grenades. Major John Gifford was the model for Hazel. Wanted to say more, but interruptions keep happening.
  14. dog-days

    Watership Down 2018

    Seen both episodes now ( it was shown in two parts on the BBC). Not impressed. I love the book, and the 1978 adaptation has a very special place in my heart. I was traumatised by it as a young child, and like many children, I rather enjoyed the trauma. I even had a pet rabbit called Hazel. I think that removing the blood and horror was more for the benefit of squeamish adults than children. Right, altogether now: