dill & fennel

August

I really jammed a lot of movies into the last few months of August, but mostly I watched The Boys and Alone. I’m hopeful Hollywood will give up on theater launches of films so I can watch stuff like Tenet sooner than later. Also, fuck our state’s ability to deal with the wildfires and the damage to folks’ health and us being forced inside. It’s a hella bummer that global warming caused by the global north is slowly making California inhospitable.

Books

Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World — Haruki Murakami

An excellent reread, though Murakami is pretty bad at talking about women.

Goldilocks — Laura Lam

A little too real at times, this pairs well with Emergency Skin. I think my only complaint was the flashbacks went on a little too long, which slowed down the tension of the present-day story. Mostly I really dug this though.

Harrow the Ninth — Tamsyn Muir

For a book that was maddeningly confusing for almost its length, I loved it. I literally could not put it down and read the whole thing largely in one go. Beautiful, bizarre, and baffling. I cannot wait for the third book. More. lesbian. necromancers. in. space. please. Oh and for everyone complaining there wasn’t enough Sci-fi in Gideon, this book has malevolent planets AND space stations. So.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January — Alix E. Harrow

A fun portal fantasy set in the early 1900s. This was decidedly a YA book, but moved along quickly and had enough fun world building to make me hope for a sequel. I also appreciated the use of alternate worlds to talk a bit more about race, gender, and sexuality, but hoped that would translate a little more into the main characters desires. As always, my throne for more lesbian protagonists.

How to be Bored — Eva Hoffman

I’ve read a lot of books kind of like over the last few years, and this is one of the better-stated and brief ones out there. If you would like to read a book about attention and enjoyment, this is solid. It’s high-minded and well-cited without coming off pompous either.

The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps — Kai Ashante Wilson

Ah, I wish there were more good gay fantasy novels. This was brutal, heart-warming, and confusing at various turns. I loved that the language of the book was an AAVE, along with other patois. My hope is that Wilson writes more set in this world of magic and godlike alien technology.

Movies

Violent Cop

This is a rewatch, but I think it’s been at least 15 years since this first time I saw it. Beat Takeshi is a treasure. This movie is delightfully filmed. I kinda love the 80s Japanese film look, which is more reminiscent of TV than film. A classic

An Evening with Beverly Luff Linn

I hope folks had fun making this movie… it felt like everyone was trying a little to hard. This felt like an extended Tim & Eric skit. Everything was just off.

Sputnik

I thought this would take place in space, but it’s mostly a fairly tight alien captive story. Enjoyable but not too wild or original.

The Rental

Ok, I’m glad I don’t have to stay in any Airbnbs soon after seeing this creepy movie. Whether it’s spycams, or the slow dawning realization that someone is watching, the way the vacation unfolds in this film is super scary.

Alien: Covenant

Ah, I love this ridiculous sequel to Prometheus. I think it captures the creeping horror of Alien and Aliens quite well, and is chock full of cool actors. I hope Scott keeps making solid Alien films for a while to come.

Contact

Still liked this movie, but the weird romance plot was uncomfortable AF. Also the way religion tied into it was hamfisted.

2:22

Watched this so I can enjoy this week’s How Did This Get Made. It wasn’t great, and tried a little too hard to be clever without actually being entertaining.

John Wick 1-3

Rewatched all the John Wick movies out of a desire for action and style, and they delivered. This series isn’t super substantive, but it’s an action movie smorgasbord.

Prometheus

A deeply satisfying addition to the Alien canon. I’ve watched this move a number of times, and it continues to thrill me.

Barista

I don’t watch a lot of documentaries, but this was pretty fun if a little telegraphed. The only downside to this film is now I want coffee, but it’s 1130pm.

Ride Your Wave

The creator of Devilman Crybaby and The Tatami Galaxy made a really delightful anime about adulthood and love. It was gorgeous and pretty touching, even if it made me really wish I could fly somewhere again. There’s also a weird parallel between this show and every season of Terrace House: namely there’s surfing, and firefighters.