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Ben has not seen… any films this week

I didn’t make it to the cinema this week. Sorry. Anyway, I have been thinking about how I am reviewing films and I’m not sure I like it. It needs a little bit more… more. And as less is more, I thought, “Why not give it a bit more more by giving it bit less. That way the bit of less will give it a bit more more, more or less.” Yes? Yes. In other words, I am going to limit the word count of each film review on this… Read more Ben has not seen… any films this week

My favourite comics of 2018

OK, when I say comics I mean mostly in book form. I have neither the money nor the brain power to keep up with stuff as it is released the first time. Consequently what I call 2018 may well have been published individually in 2017 or even 2016. Do I care? No, I do not. I am one hundred percent whatever. I also refuse to make any distinction between cartoon strips, comics, and graphic novels, which I accept is ridiculous but again, I don’t give a hoot. I have sympathy… Read more My favourite comics of 2018

The three best things I ate last year

Basically, best restaurants, but with a more clickbait-y headline. The twenty first century, eh? No. 3 – The Block, York It’s a pizza place. Pretty basic. A handful of chairs and a table or two, pizza by the slice. But what pizza. Oh my. Oh my. In a nutshell, if you like pizza, eat here. If you don’t like pizza, I can’t help you. Eat something else. Or learn to like pizza. I mean, I don’t like to judge or anything, but jeez, it’s pizza. What do you like? They… Read more The three best things I ate last year

My favourite non-fiction of 2018

I seemed to read more non-fiction than fiction last year. I suspect it is more to do with it being easier to read in situations where you are being perpetually interrupted, like parenthood, rather than any stylistic preference, but you never know. I’d need to do more research. Also, for some reason, my brain will accept non-fiction from a screen in a way it won’t with fiction. Sure, I prefer reading The Guardian as an actual paper far more than as a website (not least because all the terrible opinion… Read more My favourite non-fiction of 2018

My favourite non-fiction book I read in 2018 that was published before 2018

So what did I read last year that was old and true? I found three collections of Pauline Kael’s film reviews in my local bookshop, Hooked, Reeling, and Movie Love and boy she could write. I bought a book about gulls but I suspect you won’t be very interested in that. I enjoyed browsing several of the Best Birdwatching Sites books published by Buckingham Press and if you are going to, or live near, the Scottish Highlands, Yorkshire, or North-East England (and actually like birds of course) you should definitely… Read more My favourite non-fiction book I read in 2018 that was published before 2018

My favourite bird of 2018

Until last year I had never seen a redstart in the uk. Don’t @ me, I never claimed to be Bill Packham or anything. I just think birds are pretty cool. Anyway, last year I decided it would be nice to see one. We were in Scotland and there was a nature reserve that was supposed to be a good place to see them. It was near a zoo. And so, while Jo took Emily to the zoo, I went looking for redstarts. I learned the call and I listened.… Read more My favourite bird of 2018

Ben has seen… Mary Queen of Scots

It is perhaps a little unfortunate that Mary Queen of Scots has arrived only a fortnight after the extraordinary The Favourite, with all its accompanying awards buzz. However, despite not being as daring with form or as provocatively irreverent, it is a film that is just as original and interesting. Both films, as good historical fiction should, use the past as a way of looking at, or reflecting, the present. Mary Queen of Scots is a film concerned with how women can use power and how power affects women. (At… Read more Ben has seen… Mary Queen of Scots