log.nikhil.io

The Best Suspense and Thriller Movies

Saved three lists of the best movies of the genre according to the British Film Institute, IMDb, and Rotten Tomatoes. Merged them into a giant list here and sorted by year here.

Pretty version with all those lists here. #covidplanning

Mirzapur - Season 2 (2020) · IMDb ·

A bit sloppy compared to the first season but still quite the entertainer (or maybe I just love the surfeit of bad language, of which there is plenty ♥️)

Excellent stuff from the main cast, especially Sheeba Chaddha and Rasika Dugal.

But Pankaj Tripathi could read the backs of shampoo bottles in 40-minute episodes and I’d still binge the ‘show’ and write encomiums about how good a performer he is.

My Octopus Teacher (2020) · IMDb ·

A beautiful story about my favorite alien told with phenomenally good camera work. Left me a bit misty-eyed1. Lovely stuff.

  1. Felt like kicking myself for reading a few comments about it on Hacker News later. Not sure why I did this but promised myself I’d stick to the topics that site is good for (empathy not being one of them.) ↩︎

Hammerhead X-Rays

And, of course, that’s all cartilage. Mama Nature is metal af. As she do 🙏

Fred Rogers and his Children

Mentioned this to NB. Saving here for later.

On this event:

Yes, at seventy years old and 143 pounds, Mister Rogers still fights, and indeed, early this year, when television handed him its highest honor, he responded by telling television—gently, of course—to just shut up for once, and television listened. He had already won his third Daytime Emmy, and now he went onstage to accept Emmy’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and there, in front of all the soap-opera stars and talk-show sinceratrons, in front of all the jutting man-tanned jaws and jutting saltwater bosoms, he made his small bow and said into the microphone, “All of us have special ones who have loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, ten seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are….Ten seconds of silence.” And then he lifted his wrist, and looked at the audience, and looked at his watch, and said softly, “I’ll watch the time,” and there was, at first, a small whoop from the crowd, a giddy, strangled hiccup of laughter, as people realized that he wasn’t kidding, that Mister Rogers was not some convenient eunuch but rather a man, an authority figure who actually expected them to do what he asked…and so they did. One second, two seconds, three seconds…and now the jaws clenched, and the bosoms heaved, and the mascara ran, and the tears fell upon the beglittered gathering like rain leaking down a crystal chandelier, and Mister Rogers finally looked up from his watch and said, “May God be with you” to all his vanquished children.

– Tom Junod, “Can You Say… Hero?12

I often wonder what people like him would think of our times.

  1. This is the article the movie is based on. ↩︎

  2. Cached ↩︎

Fatman (Trailer)

Well this was certainly most unexpected.

The University of Iowa, 1930

A lovely campus map of UIowa in 1930 (source unknown.)

Kids ·

CK and I loved this short and strange and beautiful ‘game’ by artist Michael Frei and developer Mario van Rickenbach.






There’s even an art exhibition. I don’t know. Take it for what it is.

Dream Team (1989) · IMDb ·

Michael Keaton and Christopher Lloyd were excellent. But Peter Boyle steals the show as “Jack McDermott. Christ fixation. Megalomania.

BILLY
Hey, Doc, isn’t it true that if even one of those tiles were to come loose, millions and millions of gallons of water would come pouring down on us and squash us like tiny little bugs? Is that a leak up there? You see those tiles? They’re leaking water right there!

DR. WEITZMAN
Bill. Cut it out. Oh, my God!

JACK
I will hold back the waters.

DR. WEITZMAN
Thanks, Jack.

.

BILLY
Dr. Verboven can be such a perfectionist.

JACK
Yeah, but that’s what makes him such a great diagnostician.

HENRY (DR. VERBOVEN)
Vital signs are good. Zip code checks out.

.

JACK
Let me hold the gun.

HENRY
No.

JACK
I let you sit in the front seat.

(HENRY HANDS GUN TO JACK)

PSYCHIATRIST
Jack, Jesus Christ would never point a gun at another human being.

JACK
Stay out of my psychosis and get your ass in that van.

and finally (even though there’s a lot more understated gold)

JACK
I drove the moneylenders from the temple. I can handle a ten-spot.

🙏

Art Plunge

Well-worth the $2 you’ll spend on it. Don’t look behind you if you have major vertigo or megalophobia. “The Creation of Adam” was hair-raising. The Vermeer was just so beautiful 💯




Coin Sound

This is lovely. More here.

Rashomon (1950) · IMDb ·

Saw this after about 18 years. Some assorted notes: Thought I heard Boléro. Every frame is a fucking painting. Just so wonderful: sunshine through the leaves and at the interrogation, characters walking into and out of the audience, the gate’s history and state of decay, and of course Tajomaru’s sword when he’s under the tree 🤣 No idea what his constant fly-swatting signified. Faces sometimes resembled those in Ukiyo-e paintings (like this one). Save for the hapless priest, every character is demon and human. Storytelling: tension between whether it is to be regarded a fable or a real account. ‘The lies we tell ourselves don’t matter as long as they’re in the service of mending and preserving our humanity.’ Professor David Thorburn breaks down the movie.

Staying Out of It

And then I explain to him how naïve we were, that the world did know and remained silent. And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must - at that moment - become the center of the universe.

– Elie Wiesel, Nobel Acceptance Speech, December 10, 1986

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

– Desmond Tutu (quoted in Unexpected News: Reading the Bible with Third World Eyes, 1984)

I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal1.

– Martin Luther King, Jr., Sermon at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, April 30, 1967

What Did Jack Do? (2017) · IMDb ·

Stars David Lynch, his spouse Emily Stofle, a monkey, and a chicken. The oddest and most hypnotic thing I’ve seen this year (and twice.) A mere 17 minutes in length and like if film-school students used GPT-3 to generate a script an hour before the assignment was due.

Toototabon 🐓

Interstate 35

I’ve lived in Iowa for a while and felt this in my soul.

Frost

Developer site. A beautiful meditation that’s just the right length.





Reminded me of “Osmos”, an all-time favorite. Won an Apple Design Award on 2018 (with “Florence”.)

Drone Footage of San Francisco amidst Wildfires set to “Blade Runner”

by u/skinnybonez32. Here’s the original video.

Unbelievable.

Bobby McFerrin Plays People

Just pure joy.

Source (without annotation). See also: “Ave Maria”.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things (2020) · IMDb ·

Saw with CK. Excited because Charlie Kaufman. Mostly self-indulgent tripe. The conversations in the car were interminably tedious1 and missing PBR hats and gauloises. The weirdness in the first third-to-a-half of the movie was excellent. Top-notch performances and camerawork.

  1. No, this is neither clever nor the point. ↩︎

“The Fountain” by Darren Aronofsky and Kent Williams

I love the movie and was surprised to find out that there was a graphic novel that preceded it. A work of original and breathtaking beauty like the movie and its soundtrack. Kent Williams’ style and vision took a bit to get used to. Wonderful stuff.

Aronofsky notes in the book that the movie almost didn’t happen due to budgetary concerns, and that he reworked it to make it a “lean, mean indie film.” I wonder if that explains the beautiful macrophotography they used for SFX.

Here it is on ThriftBooks.

A Summary of Iowa’s Covid-19 Response

See also: The time-tested stratagem of going La La La La La. Here’s the entire conference.

Shrek The Elder (Maybe)

Known as “The French Angel”, the wrestler Maurice Tillet is rumored to have inspired the look of Shrek. He suffered from acromegaly caused by a benign tumor on his pituitary gland (which regulates the synthesis of Human Growth Hormone - Wikipedia). Here’s a color video of him chilling 🤗







Ottoman Food

I found out I am to thank the Ottomans for a lot of my favorite things to eat and drink:

  • Baklava (which dates back two thousand years, to the Assyrian Empire)
  • Coffee made the Right Way™
  • The modern kebab
  • Shawarma
  • Sherbet
  • Dolma (stuffed food) and Sarma (wrapped food)
  • An ancestor of the hummus: a chickpea spread flavored with cinnamon, pine nuts, and currants. Consumed with bread and popular in the 15th century
  • Ayran: My absolute favorite thing to drink on a hot day. Couldn’t find many differences between ayran and the laban I grew up drinking.

Generative Pre-trained Deepak

Headed over to “Wisdom of Chopra” to get myself a slice of Deepak’s #cosmiconscious insight.

Took that and had GPT-2 use it as a seed for more wisdom. Behold:

The invisible is the foundation of total belongingness: When we feel like we belong and are at home, we are happy, healthy and in good spirits. Without our sense of belonging, we feel anxious, sad, depressed, disengaged, and negative.

In the struggle to locate our identity, we can limit our awareness of who we are. We become prisoners of our own identities, which is usually the result of trying to fulfill our parents’ or society’s expectations of us.

It takes wisdom and intelligence to become an invisible expert, and this is not only to create a safe space for self-knowledge, but also to create safe spaces for others to be able to be themselves.

Imagine all the different spiritual and emotional benefits when we do not see or know about another’s stories, feelings, anxieties or challenges.

Imagine how freeing it would be for a Buddhist monk or a leader to have all their body, thoughts and speech remain invisible to everyone, including themselves.

How liberating would it be to know your gifts and be free from the burden of being in constant search of knowledge or validation, simply knowing that you are a gift to yourself and the world, and you matter to you.

As the Torah tells us: “You have been born for such a time as this” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We have been given the gift of life to explore our true identities, free of expectations and limitations, to finally reach out into the unknown to create the power and joy of the divine within.

In a world that seems to be in constant change and evolution, it is easy to feel alone and afraid. Yet we are never alone, and it is always safe to be true to ourselves.

There is power in transforming into the master of our own universe. In the words of the Buddha: “The job of a bodhisattva is not to be a creator, but to create a creator.”

In the depths of our souls, the divine resonates with us, nudging us to release our inner monologue of fear and the unconscious power it holds over us. Each and every one of us has within us the potential to embody divine love and compassion for ourselves and all of creation, and in the embodiment of this divine potential, we ignite our own personal power.

Gather the courage to become the master of our own universe and to discover the true magic that dwells within.

Aum Shanti 🙏

Walking Thing II

Absolutely mesmerizing. By Universal Everything, the same folks who did the Walking City” video I love a lot. They call this one “Transfiguration.” 🙌

Marco Pierre White considers a Chicken Curry

“Nidhi: In thirty-five years of being in this industry, I’ve never seen a dish look like that… taste so good. It’s delicious.”