bird’s eye view

February 22, 2013

flat

There has been a bit of a purge going on in the Snow-Myyear household recently. Some parties seem to believe where we live is too small, but others believe we have too many physical belongings.

Either way, this series of photos documenting how some of the 100,000 Hong Kong-ites who live in less than 4 square metres do it, and calls for improved living conditions for them. I hope this family keeps the newspaper tablecloth even so.

Advertisements

jcvd

February 22, 2013

jcvd

Believe it or not Jean Claude van Damme sends himself up in JCVD. He plays a washed-up former action star in debt, who ends up involved in a hostage situation at the local post office in the small town in Belgium where his parents live. Or is he the hostage taker? Either way, I had a lot more respect for him (and his sense of humour) after watching the film. Excellent tongue-in-cheek entertainment, if a bit sobering on the back of this interview. A rare glimpse behind the man behind the mask.

the photographer

February 22, 2013

photographer

This one stayed with me for a long time after I finished it, and it’s been a strong Myyear gift and recommendation candidate, especially to anyone with an interest in Afghanistan.

A curious hybrid of photos and drawings that works brilliantly, it follows a photographer’s journey accompanying a Doctors without Borders mission through the country. Harsh but full of humanity.

obamania

February 22, 2013

obama

A whole lot has happened since the ‘Yes we can’ moments, but I still love this photo: Barack Obama as a college freshman in 1980, posing for student photographer Lisa Jack at Occidental College in Los Angeles, California. Barack, when it all gets too much – this one should still make you smile. It does me.

More in the series.

small island

February 22, 2013

‘So I have to give him the sign. All we Jamaican boys know the sign. When a man need to be along with a woman, for reasons only imagination should know, the head is cocked just a little to one side while the eye first open wide then swivel fast to the nearest exit. Even the most fool-fool Jamaican boy can read this sign and would never ignore it in case it should be they that needed it next time.

‘Oh!’ Kenneth say. ‘I must be gone.’

_________________________

‘My heart take up residence in me boots when he tell me, “Well, I may have told him that his wife seem to like the company of black men. Maybe. I cannot remember. Plenty things said in the heat of the situation.”.

_________________________

Read. Loved.

down in the hole

February 22, 2013

A re-up of Season 4 pulled us right back into The Wire loop, as addictively as before. The added bonus for me is the fantastic slave-to-the-beat version of the series’ supremely catchy theme song, ‘Way Down in the Hole’. It’s on constant playback, both in reality and in my head.

The relative merits (or not) of each season’s version are hotly discussed among Wireheads. I already liked The Blind Boys of Alabama’s Season 1 version, although Tom Waits’ gravelly (original) version in Season 2 gives the song a feel that is a completely different. The Neville Brothers in Season 3 didn’t seem to make a lasting impression, but DoMaJe’s version in Season 4 has grabbed me by the throat and won’t let go. It features the five Baltimore teenagers Ivan Ashford, Markel Steele, Cameron Brown, Tariq Al-Sabir, and Avery Bargasse, and was arranged and especially recorded for the show.

Steve Earle does the final Season 5 version, but Mr. Snow and I are loath to start that season. It’s a mix between fear of having to totally surrender to the series (again), and never ever having any more episodes to watch again… nor new theme versions to discover.

Have a listen if you need to, and tell me if you agree. Or, do you love an alternative version of a well-known song?

man on wire

February 22, 2013

wire

Looking back, I think Man On Wire was one of the very best documentaries I have ever seen. And you won’t get a better Myyear recommendation than that!

Expectations after reading the online reviews were high, but even so, nothing quite prepares you for the spectacle that is Philippe Petit. This documentary follows him and his merry band of followers (although in this band are the brains behind Petit’s passionate, if hare-brained schemes) using a combination of old footage, some surprisingly effective reconstruction, but best of all Petit’s own highly animated recounting of their adventures, using anything within arm’s reach as a prop.

Combined with a tightrope act between the twin towers makes it a no-brainer. Watch at all costs!