Films you might have missed in 2017

https://twitter.com/OnePerfectShot/status/948320757876183042

One perfect shot have their best movies and it prompted me to rewrite about some of the films you may have missed last year.

Marshall

This is court room battle with Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice. At a time when racism denied him the ability to represent a client. Its smart, sometimes funny and sometimes tragic. Its a excellent watch and compelling story shot well.

The Show

This was a surprising film. The cinematography isn’t great and the story tends to lag in some parts but as a whole the film actually spiked my interest. Not for the faint hearted but not the usual nonsense horror you see.

Detroit

If you haven’t seen Detroit, I don’t know what to say to you. Everytime I watch it, it makes me pretty sad to know its all based on real memories. Its super compelling and the pacing is perfect, with elements of lag to add emphasis to the scene.

Radius

Surprising indie film, about a man who kills everyone within a certain radius of himself. As the film unfolds, we get to learn more about him, her and why. Its cleverly unfolding with enough pace to keep you interested. Easily missed but a real gem.

The Wall

I don’t usually like war films but this one involves 2 people and a voice (check the credits!). Doug Liman’s director touch makes the deadly cat-and-mouse tension so thick you can feel the sand in the air. Its amazing what you can do with a good story and a good director.

Gifted

This film can be summed up as a fight for a child’s freedom or the fight for her gift. Somewhat feel good but its got a strong message about living and freedom. Don’t miss this film!

2:22

I quite enjoy these types of films, its like groundhog day, one of my favourite shows which got canned was daybreak. Time looping with different tries ending in the same or very similar results.

Extortion

Drama with some horrific cliffhangers which gets you wondering what on earth you would do? Really got me, especially some of the twists and turns.

Aftermath

Best Arnie movie in a long time, I would say. Its slow building film not about the accident of the mid airplane crash but the need for closure & resolution. Based on a real mid aircrash, its excellently done with each character transforming over the course of film. Surprising ending too

Jungle

I wasn’t sure I could see Harry Potter in the Jungle but this surprised me at how harrowing this film is. Bit like Extortion, it makes you wonder what you would do – although you won’t catch me in a jungle to be fair. Think of this film like 127 hours and touching the void. Another true life story dramatised

Films you may have missed during the first part of 2017

There has been some really bad news over the last 6 months, its easy to get sucked into reading everything trump tweets or reading and hoping the brexit madness will not happen (but now we’re on a road to the past). However, during the madness, there has been some great films you may have missed.

Not in order, just once looking back through my recently watched film and looking at the ones I rated highly, but hardly heard about anywhere.

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Arrival

This film is incredible and has to be my film of the year, here’s what Den of Geeks said (SPOILER alert if you click the link)…

Arrival is a challenging piece of science fiction, blessedly meant for adults, and about smart grown-ups at that. The kind that actually try to solve problems instead of punching or shooting them. In fact, it is in many ways a spiritual companion piece with Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar since it’s about intelligent people going through familiar sci-fi tropes before offering heady concepts about fifth dimensional space…

Chronic

Chronic

This is certanly one you missed, its slow, painful and suprising; well worth watching but likely at a time when you are open to the messages about life.

Mr Church

Mr Church

Like Chronic, it involves woman who is dying; but this one is about the relationship between her daughter and the carer (mr church). A while ago I slightly put a negative review on boyhood, it was good but it didn’t feel compeling to me. Mr Chruch, although not using the same actors as they grow up, time is driving factor through the film and you see the relationship mature and change over a long period of time.

I wont spoil a single part of it, as its the pasts which make up the whole. Its slow and each actor plays a fantastic role in the story. Its a great film and I understand the critism it got under race grounds but based on a true story, so theres little which can be done. Like loving its a sign of those times.

T2: Trainspotting

T2: Trainspotting

I have said plenty about trainsportting T2 but still many people are wondering if its worth watching. The answer is yes! Its not a remake, its the story 20 years later. Think of it as trainspotting crossed with trance.

Loving

Loving

The story and landmark courtcase of Richard and Mildred Loving, a mixed race couple who go back to a southern state where mixed race marriage was still illegal in the 1960s. I heard of the courtcase a few times but I am lucky enough to be born in a time and country where mixed race relationships are not just illegal but mainly part of the norm.

Seeing lovings struggle in film, really brings home everything.  Great film, slow but so very moving. Well worth checking out, hard to have a dry eye after watching it.

The Shallows

The Shallows

Nothing deep or meaningful, just a well done drama/thriller. Think of it as Jaws for a new generation.

Miss Sloane

Miss Solane

If it wasn’t for Arrival, I would be putting Miss Solane in best film for 2017. Its supersmart and Jessica Chastain is simply incredible. Like Michelle Dockery in Good Behaviour (TV series I highly recommend) shes a complex character with many depths and dark corners. The film is crafted to cause you to think many different things and then it hits you like a ton of bricks. Once again, you can’t help but be blown away! Would watch twice if I could.

Incredible!

Money Moster

Money Monster

Really nice film, fitting around cable/TV money experts and the occupy type movement. Its not complex but like the shallows, its compelling and a well told story with good acting. End wasn’t quite as good as it could have been but worthy of your attention if you want a smarter popcorn mucher.

Denial

Denial

Based on another landmark court case, irving vs penguin books. The drama is once again crafted to pull out the core arguements and explain the complexity of a subject which seems so obvious. Although we know the final judgement, sometimes you are in dobht about the evidence shown through the film. Certainly compeling and worth of watching.

I removed Fences, Moonlight and few others because they have plenty of press and attention.

My highlights of TedxManchester 2017

TedXManchester 2017

I had the joy of being one of many in the main theatre in Home for TedXManchester 2017 (number 5 I believe?). Once again arranged and produced by the incredible serial successful event organiser Herb Kim and the thinking digital team, with a varied range of people plucked for their interesting stories, projects or surrounding concepts. I got my ticket late because the first lot sold out in under an hour! But I was very lucky and looked forward to the line up without really looking into each speaker.

Of course last year was special to me, as I took to the stage to tell the tales of dating in the new millenium with dating against humanity. But it’s always interesting to sit in the crowd and experience the whole thing as an audience member.

The whole event was good but here are the talks which really stood out for me.

Mr Bingo

TedXManchester 2017

I had no idea who Mr Bingo was or what he had done, till he took the stage. He is just a funny guy who does funny things with analogue media; like drawing extremely rude things on cards and posting it to people who request them. I mean he’s trolling them but only because they requested to be trolled. Sounds like self abuse almost?

Its weird but I thought the whole thing was hysterical. I took a shot of one of his cards and been getting a little attention for it, can’t think why? (pleads innocence but of course I know why!)

Sophie Scott

TedXManchester 2017

There was a host of things Sophie said which was fascinating, but the bit which stuck for me was the detail about our attention and our voice. She told us when we talk our brain turns off the listening part. I’m sure this isn’t strictly true but an interesting thought, specially when thinking about how we hate hearing our own voices and why certainly people tend not to realise others are making points too.

She then went on to suggest our voices are wired for much more than just communication, using beatboxing as the ideal example of our voices as instruments.

Lots to take away and well delivered…

Jennifer Arcuri

TedXManchester 2017

There is little I can say about Jennifer which I haven’t already said about her at the last Thinking Digital Manchester. She talked passionately about hacker culture and how important knowledge was in the internet connected world we inhabit. Always a pleasure and wish I could make it to the first HackerHouse/Madlab course in March.

Jonathan Kay

TedXManchester 2017

Jonathan was a weird one and divided people from what I heard in the break later. He started his talk/act at the back of the stalls by heckling Herb as he gave his introduction. Then moved forward to the stage followed by a remote camera person, so people in the upper levels could see what on earth was going on.

His aim of the act was to get the audience to speak to each other and heck even touch each other (I know shock horror!). Ok at one point he did suggest kissing the person next to us but that didn’t go down so well. It was entertaining and the bigger point of actually talking to the people around us, wasn’t lost on myself and others.

What really brough the whole thing home to me, was the fact a friend sat in the seat next to me was feeling extremely uncomfortable about the act and wondered if someone would be picked out of the audience; because that would be terrifying. Thinking back to Carrie Green in TedxManchester3 and I said would it be so bad?

I think the point was made…

Helen Czerski

TedXManchester 2017

I have heard Helen a few times at previous Thinking Digital’s and honestly every time I hear her talk, she just oozes wonder and excitement for science and the universe. You can’t help but feel excited when she talks. Always enlightening and always reignited my interest in sciences.

Michelle McGagh

TedXManchester 2017

I don’t know what to say about Michelle, except wow and wtf! basically Michelle decided not to buy anything for a year. She did point out buy nothing day which is the same day as black friday; but one day is easy right? Why not spend nothing year?

This really got me going because she made very good points about our quick fix consumer culture and the logical conclusion of this all. But unlike the a preachy lecture about how bad we all were, she put herself through a year of trying to live it.

The results were funny and sometimes tragic. I’m not very frugal at all but I typically don’t spend much money on buying stuff. Tend to spend more on experiences and doing things. But recently I made the decision that if was getting old or causing too much effort to keep it going, I should trade it in earlier than later. I’ve spent too much time, fighting to keep things going when I should have just got rid of it and moved on.

So to hear someone actively trying to not to spend anything, and not because she couldn’t afford it – was a little shocking. The full extend of her frugaleness was quite something and reminded me of when I left the hospital almost 7 years ago and seeing my bank balance, because I simply had not spent a single penny except paid my usual bills etc; It was amazing… Maybe there was something to it, I thought as she left the stage.

Andy Burnham

TedXManchester 2017

It was a surprise to see Andy Burnham on the TEDx line up, knowing how TED doesn’t like politic talks, but I have to say although he spoke with passion and made some good points. I couldn’t help but feel the us and them argument a little too simplistic. Centralised power does have a tendencancy to turn corrupt but there is also some good things about it too. If I was talking to Andy directly, I would point to examples like the states, where each state can pretty much set their own rules but the united states system can over rule them; and in some cases thank goodness otherwise slavery, marital rape, etc would still be enforced (although then you get crap like the bathroom nonsense, with the centralised power making backwards decisions).

I also think Andy a few times pointed the finger at the south vs the north, when what he really meant is the country vs westminster. Anyway it was interesting and good to hear, even if I’m not certain on everything said.

Dan Machen

TedXManchester 2017

I liked Dan’s talk, it was a number of things I’ve been thinking a lot about. Attention and Intimacy. I was surprised he never mentioned Sherry Turkle but the quote from William Bernbach was a good place to hand a lot of thoughts. I had never actually checked out Tristan harris, but after Dan’s talk I had a deeper look at him.

Very interesting stuff which I agree about quite a bit (expect a longer blog about him soon). I’ve also been thinking about people not platforms, putting more emphasis on human time and less on productivity. It’s all very interesting in the face of machine learning and AI; I can feel the quantified self/movement (they are quite different) right in the middle of all this, along with data ethics.

Back back to Dan’s talk, I did find the point about the smartphone being a hammer and would we take our hammer out in a meeting? Put it on the table? Interesting… To be fair when he talked about it, I did picture the business card scene from American Psycho, when he mentioned the hammer on the table.

Lots to take away and think about…

TedXManchester 2017

Of course there was plenty more good talks including Isaiah HullVolker HirschSquirrel NationTash Willcocks and Ukebox; which made the ukulele actually interesting. The only one I didn’t enjoy was Nic Cary from Blockchain, which actually has made me want to move my bitcoins from my blockchain wallet to somewhere else. I was actually thinking maybe its time to have my own personal offline wallet?

Another TEDxManchester with plenty to think about and another high bar for TEDx’s to try to achieve, well done to everyone involved.

Just checking its 2017, right?

Day 18/30: Shoes

This certainly fits under John Oliver’s “how is this still a thing?” On last week tonight

I can’t quite remember who first pointed me at the UK petition; but glad they did because I read the petition, was taken a back and signed it straight away.

Make it illegal for a company to require women to wear high heels at work

It’s still legal in the UK for a company to require female members of staff to wear high heels at work against their will. Dress code laws should be changed so that women have the option to wear flat formal shoes at work, if they wish. Current formal work dress codes are out-dated and sexist.

Yesterday I got a email telling me 152,420 people signed the petition, which is great as 100,000 was needed to get it debated.

Parliament is going to debate the petition you signed – “Make it illegal for a company to require women to wear high heels at work”.

The debate is scheduled for 6 March 2017.

Once the debate has happened, we’ll email you a video and transcript.

Look forward to hearing the outcome on this throw back to the past.

DJ Hackday has been cancelled…

Paul Devro

Unfortunately the DJ Hackday which was meant to happen on 13, 14, 15th January in Manchester has been cancelled. Its a little heart breaking but myself and Simon always knew if things were not setup before December, it would be buried in the festival holidays.

Don’t worry we still have plans to move forward with a hackday in the same venue (MMU Shed).

Thanks to everyone who took an interest, we haven’t forgotten you and we’ll be back in touch once we got another solid date. Don’t forget if you would be interested in being involved in the organisation of the event, get in touch.

Till then keep an eye on DJHackday.com, the hashtag and our lanyrd event.