April 18th, 2005

breaking bad

The Aliens of London

I have read mixed opinions about this weekend's Doctor Who 'The Aliens of London'. Personally I loved it. I think it celebrated the binding of Who with British culture. It took seriously the question: what would it mean to us if Doctor Who was real? What would it mean to the families of the people who disappeared with him? What would it mean to civil servants? What would it mean to Tony Blair and Blue Peter and the BBC news?

What I like about many shows and books is the suggestion of something behind them, which we glimpse at. And in this episode I saw an alien invasion, glimpsed through the naffness of our culture.

The other major theme I think was reconciliation with the past. Reconciliation, most obviously, with the past Doctors, but also reconciliation with our past culture, that things change but also stay the same, and we can still love the things we laugh at. While I was watching it I was calling out to H 'I love Doctor Who so much' and that feeling, which I find overwhelmiing for this series, was so strong that I couldn't be critical of it, though I understand the criticisms that other people have made.
breaking bad

Grave of the Fireflies

A film from Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away), Grave of the Fireflies is a film about a teenage boy and his four year old sister, attempting to survive in Japan in 1945. Apparently it is the second most popular film in Japan, after the Seven Samurai. I watched it this weekend.

A tragic film that will rip your heart out. I have never cried so much. A strongly anti-war film.

A good feel for the power of this film can be gained from the imdb comments, which I've been reading over lunch.