50:50 A cancer comedy

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The pitch for this film must have gone something like, “We want to make a comedy about the most un-funny thing ever; cancer!” And that’s exactly what they’ve done.

So oddly enough, this is a comedy about cancer. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a film quite like it before – it’s a 50:50 balance;  raw emotion and hard hitting deep stuff about cancer and relationships, but with a generous sprinkling of comic relief on top.

If you’re a fan, Seth Rogen is at his best in this film apparently inspired (never quite sure what that means) by a true story, about a young and healthy 27-year-old guy, Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), who learns he’s got a rare form of spinal cancer. He’s given a 50:50 chance of survival and the film explores how his relationships with his friends, family and girlfriend change as he struggles to beat the disease.

Well worth a watch, it’s like a sweet & sour haribo.


I Believe I Can Fly
(flight of the frenchies)

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When someone sent me this link I mistakenly thought it was a link to the R Kelly classic. Mercifully, it’s not. Instead, it’s a film by the kind of man I imagine myself to be. Maybe not now, but probably next year after I’ve gone to the gym a bit.

Sebastien Montaz-Rosset’s new film is a 40-minute documentary following skyliners – practitioners of an extreme sport that involves elements of mountain climbing, slacklining and base jumping. Filmed beautifully, it combines a delicious treat for the eyes with an epic quest of folle-francais.


Lytro’s light-field camera unveiled

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Lytro camera is unveiled, originally uploaded by benaston.

After talking about themselves a lot for the last 6 months, today Lytro finally unveiled their radical new camera; the errm, Lytro. And I’ve got one.*

The camera’s been billed as a big deal because it gives you the ability to focus a picture after it’s taken, on the camera, on your computer or online using a special viewer by using a technology called light-field photography. Basically, it makes it impossible to take pictures that are out of focus. And lets you play around with the focus after you’ve taken the picture.

The design is a bit industrial and distinctly Apple iSight flavoured. The pocket-sized camera with its anodized aluminum body has just two buttons; power and shutter. There’s a touch sensitive zoom slider and rear display that lets you view and refocus your pictures directly on the camera. It comes in three colours and two models. The blue and graphite models have 8GB of storage and will cost $399, the red model is 16 GB and costs $499.

But I’m not really convinced. I’d want it if I could it have it as a lens for my DSLR. But in its current format, isn’t it just an expensive point and shoot for people who find it hard to take pictures in focus? And for the point and shoot type of pictures you flick through on facebook, I’m not entirely sure the pictures are really worth ‘exploring’ are they?

So if anyone wants my camera, let me know.

*Kind of. It’s reserved.

Cow Club comes to London

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Cow Club Oct ’11, originally uploaded by benaston.

I joined London’s first Cow Club because I like mmmeat.

The concept is pretty simple; get a crowd of mmmeat eaters together, buy a cow, get someone to chop it up, and get it delivered to your door for a bargain £10/kg.

OK, so on the face of it, it might not be a bargain, but this was no ordinary cow.

The Cow Club mmmeat was locally sourced; a Sussex Bullock, native to the South East. These beauties are exclusively grass fed which means they taste better and are healthier too – with lower overall fat content & higher Omega 3 fat ratio. Not only that, but when you compare it to the competition, it stacks up pretty well financially too. After 20 months of chomping on delicious grass, the happy cow trotted just three miles up the road to a small family run abbattoir, hung around for 28 days, and was then transformed into a selection of  delicious mmmeat pieces.


Grupo Corpo’s Ímã, Onqotô & the naked man

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Going dancing with grupo corpo, originally uploaded by benaston.

In a bid to be cultured and that sort of thing, for the second time this month I trotted along to Sadler’s Wells, this time to watch Grupo Corpo; a Brazillian comapny who have been “reinventing classic ballet since the Seventies.” Not sure what that means but it certainly sounds like an awful lot of re-inventing.

I chose this show mainly because they looked like they did a lot of prancing about, combining ballet with a sprinkling of Riverdance; styles which I’m proud to say I’m quite good at too.

I’ve got no idea how to assess whether or not it was a good performance or not. I think it probably was. The sychonicity, flair and athleticism of the dancers was outstanding and I even had to concede that maybe they were better than me.

On the downside, there was a bit of confusion half way through when the show ended and the dancers started bowing, seemingly a bit prematurely. But after getting over the awkwardness of not really knowing whether or not it was time to leave, we were glad to find out that it was to be a tale of two halves; not just Ímã but Onqotô too.

It was only after the show that I realised just how much it was beyond me. Apparently, “Ímã is inspired by the scientific law of magnetism as particles either repel or attract one another”. Erm, right. Didn’t get that. Nice idea though.

And Onqotô tackles the origins of the universe through, a football match in Rio. Hmm, didn’t quite pick up that bit of the story either. Retrospectively of course, it kind of makes sense. It’s art. And it’s good to watch. Apart from the naked man bit.

Bonafide. 9/10.