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Saturday, May 12, 2018

DAY 10: Kilauea Eruption, BLACK MIRROR and THE HANDMAIDEN

The Honolulu Star Advertiser headlined this morning:  MAJOR DISASTER.  However, nothing much has happened in recent days:
  • 15 fissures
  • 36 structures destroyed
  • 117 acres covered with new lava
Yet, the USGS seems particularly at high anxiety about "something" forthcoming.  I'll return if a major development occurs.

For now has my life changed since I semi-retired from my daily blog?  Not much, actually, as I appear to still be posting something virtually every day.  Yesterday, the eruption vog covered even Oahu, but that condition has disappeared today.

However, the stress level has dropped and I'm sleeping a bit more.  There is now no compulsion to complete my posting.

I find time to watch more television.  I've also just about read all my backlogged magazines, and am actually reading a book on my iPad.

I finally am getting to know my remote control.  Going to the bottom seven white buttons, the white round button to the left gives a second screen (10% the full size), and the next button switches between them.   To the right are + and - round buttons to raise or lower the channels for the small picture in the corner, which I can move around by clicking on the third round button.  I can thus watch two sporting events or news stations at the same time.  At night you can't see any button, but there is that seventh oval button at the bottom that lights them up.  All new to me.

See those four arrows near the top?  If you press on either the up or down ones, you get at the bottom of the TV screen icons (which show which program is playing) for 14 channels.  If you click on any one of them, you get that channel.  The left or right arrows are used to move among those 14 choices.  Now, instead of only being able to access the previous channel, you can now choose from 14 channels.

For the past decade I've monthly paid around $10 each to Amazon and Netflix to access their TV offerings.  I might have watched a movie a month, total, or, 120 for the that period.  Thus, paying $2400 means that I actually spent $20 per film.  Not anymore, for I now have the time to enjoy those stations.  For example, Black Mirror from Netflix?  Anyone familiar with this series?

Never heard of BM until I stumbled across it while scouting around.  The program emanates from the United Kingdom, created by Charlie Brooker (with Annabel Jones, associate in showrunning), was first released in 2011, and  is now up to Series #4, with #5 announced to begin later this year.  Each episode (three in #'s 1 and 2 and six in #'s 3 and 4) is unrelated to any other, and can run from 41 to 89 minutes.

I've thus far only watched the first and second shows of year one.  Traditional American companies would shy away from producing anything like BM, for you can label it to be rated X, techno-phobic, black, satirical, experimental, dystopian, Easter Egg, shocking...you get the point.  There are very few happy endings, and some of the themes have predicted the future, like Donald Trump's victory.  You can say the series might remind you of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone, except for some of the above characterizations.  

The first one I saw had to do with "someone" kidnapping a British princess, but instead of seeking any ransom, called for the Prime Minister to screw a pig on national television for her safe release.  I'm giving this away, for he ends up doing it, but that's not the whole story.

I thought the main character in the second episode looked familiar, so I did some research and found Daniel Kaluuya, who was nominated this past year for Best Actor in Get Out, directed by Jordan Peele, who did win an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.  Peele said he selected Kaluuya after seeing him in this 2011 Black Mirror.  That film would have nicely fit into this series.

Rupert Everett (you should be able to guess which one is him, as a Simon Cowell type) added a nice touch to episode 2.  Other knowns in the total series included Jon Hamm, Oona Chaplin and Bryce Dallas Howard.  One of the directors for this current #4 Series is Jodie Foster.

I haven't gotten around to viewing Amazon Prime much, but did watch The Handmaiden, a Korean production.  The running time was 2 hours and 25 minutes, with three parts that repeat what happened, but with more accuracy regarding the reality.  Rotten Tomatoes reviewers bestowed a 95 rating, with an audience score of 91.  What differentiates some of these Netflix/Amazon efforts from conventional television is that the content would challenge current standards.  All the films above came free with the monthly charge.

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