I am about to publish an extremely large post, so use this Open Thread for non-related commentary.
I have watched more movies these past two weeks than in the entire year before combined. Friday before last, I went to the premiere of Кино как Молитва (Cinema Prayer), which was directed by Tarkovsky Junior. I like the original Tarkovsky’s films, but I am not enough of a fan to find a 2 hour bio very interesting. So 2/5. That said, I was struck by just how deeply spiritual Tarkovsky was, which was well beyond even what he hinted at in his films. I am still surprised the USSR allowed Stalker to be screened. I then watched Once Upon a Time in Hollywood the following day. It’s an obvious love letter to Tarantino’s youth and social milieu; which doesn’t interest me, but as master of dialog, still very watchable. So 3/5. I concur with other people’s observation, which incidentally both Steve Sailer and Egor Kholmogorov have made, that Tarantino might be becoming a bit of a reactionary in old age.
I was doing some spring cleaning on my many hundreds of bookmarks in Google Maps, removing less interesting pins from places that I’m unlikely to live in again (e.g. California). Irrational as it is, I was sad to see the closure of old haunts. One of my favorite (caffeine) watering holes in Berkeley – the Caffe Mediterraneum – closed down, apparently quite a while ago. They claim to have invented cafe latte (perhaps appropriately, I see it has been replaced by a cannabis dispensary). Spasso Cafe and Octopus Literary Salon – nodes of futurist discussions in the East Bay – also shut down. Mission Heirloom, a paleo/keto place that did Bulletproof Coffee, gone. Mandarin Garden (second best Chinese Berkeley restaurant after Great China) – gone. Biryani House. Thalassa, where you could play pool with cheap booze (though TBF I think it closed down shortly before I left anyway). And of course a whole bunch of cafes. Still, a good majority of the best places survive.