Try to learn something about everything

The Movie, the Podcast and the Article

It’s October, which means that movie enthusiasts in Vienna can watch loads of good movies at the Vienna International Film Festival (Viennale):. This year I unfortunately only have time to watch 2 movies, whereas normally it’s around 5-8… Yesterday evening we’ve been watching Alian and tomorrow we will see Hong yan.

So what’s there to say about Alian? It’s a movie by young Chinese director Wei Xueqi, which portraits two young couples in Guandong’s Perl River delta. He chose to go for a Dogma like style, only using a DV hand-camera, no make-up and no artificial lighting. All the directors were amateurs and quite a lot of the dialogues were improvised. All this adds together to the feeling of watching a documentary, which summons an image of modern China which is pretty congruent with my experiences from living there for a year. And that’s probably the main reason why one should go and watch Alian, despite the not really enthralling plot: it draws a good image of the people who don’t really profit from recent economic developments in China, namely rural workers who come to the booming cities in search for a better life, and who, more often than not, won’t find it. After the movie there was a little Q&A session with the director, which wasn’t bad, but also not overly interesting, especially since the translator seemed a little nervous, which led to some strange translations in both directions.

Most of you probably know writer Cory Doctorow from BoingBoing. If you are a fan of his fiction, you may be delighted to hear that Cory now has finished the first 9 episodes of his new podcast, where he reads the story ‘After the Siege’, which he wrote in chunks of 2-5000 words on long-haul flight segments. I’ve listened to the first 3 readings after I came home from the cinema yesterday, but unfortunately at 2:something a.m. my body decided to surrender to sleep, while my mind actually would have loved to hear more of Cory’s story. Go check it out, it’s pretty interesting as far as I’ve heard it!

Today I’ve read an article called ‘What business can learn from Open Source’ by Paul Graham which spb posted to the alias in a recent discussion. I’m pretty sure though that this article has been around for quite some time now and I should probably have read it long ago, but better late than never. I think it’s a pretty good read, and judging from previous work experience it contains a lot of truth, especially on the “faking to be busy” part.