“David Bowie: Five Years”, the Documentary

Showtime will host the American premiere of David Bowie: Five Years this Friday, 1 August 2014, w/a dozen encore performances through August, and the usual VOD.

The show will focus on five specific, crucial years in Bowie’s career, starting in 1971 w/the creation of “Ziggy Stardust” and ending in 1983, w/”Let’s Dance” and the Serious Moonlight tour.

The 90-minute documentary ran on BBC Two last year.

The Tree of Forty Fruits

40 Tree

The Tree of Forty Fruits

Sculptor Sam Van Aken has been using chip grafting to create fruit trees like the one in the picture.  Not only is it beautiful in the Spring, but a single tree produces heirloom varieties of stone fruits like peaches, cherries, plums, apricots… and maybe even almonds.

He describes he project in a short TEDx Talk.


“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”

For the past five years, the National Theatre in London has had a program called National Theatre Live, which films live performances of National Theatre plays in high definition, and makes the productions available in select cinemas around the world.  In Washington, the Shakespeare Theatre Company is the venue of choice.

Last week I saw an beautiful production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which was based on Mark Haddon’s novel, and adapted by Simon Stephens. The play swept the 2013 Laurence Olivier Awards, winning Best New Play, Best Director, Best Actor (Luke Treadaway–brilliant in the role), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Nicola Walker, late of Spooks aka MI5, Last Tango in Halifax, etc.) and three other categories.

They play’s London run was interrupted in mid-December 2013 when a portion of the theatre’s roof collapsed.  Performances in London didn’t resume until June.  A production will open on Broadway in September at the Barrymore Theatre.

During intermission, we discussed the differences between seeing this version and seeing the play on stage.  I think the performance we saw that night might actually be the best way to experience the play–it combined the immediacy of the live performance w/the cinematic tools that let us fully appreciate the brilliant staging and choreography.

An awesome theatrical experience, and one of the high points of the year so far.


Soi 38 — Lunch on 28 July 2014

Soi 38

Soi 38

Soi 38, which offers Thai street foods “inspired by the underground eateries around Bangkok’s night markets”, opened in the West End about three months ago.  A couple of weeks ago, Zagat listed it as one of “DC’s 10 Hottest New Restaurants”.   I had the first of what I’m sure will be many meals there today.

From the restaurant’s web site:

“The name Soi 38 is based on the iconic street food district and night market of the same name in Bangkok.  As evening falls in Thailand, the Soi 38 night market transforms into a high energy, open-air food market crowded with stalls and rickety furniture where vendors dish out authentic Thai food favorites until the early-morning hours.  ‘The street foods of a country are the backbone of its culinary identity,’ says Soi 38 co-owner Dia Khanthongthip.  ‘We can’t imagine a better community to showcase these foods than the cultural epicenter that is DC.'”

Larb Tod

Larb Tod

Larb Tod consists of bite size fritters made of fried minced chicken, scallions, chili, and mint.  Addictive.

Poh Pia Sod

Poh Pia Sod

The spicy Poh Pia Sod roll is filled w/Chinese sausage, crab meat, fried egg, bean sprouts, and

Gai Tod

Gai Tod

This was unexpected.  The menu described it as  “fried chicken, lemongrass, served with spicy or sweet sauce”, and I thought it would be something like the Larb Tod fritters.  Instead, it was a small, complete bird, and it was absolutely wonderful, with a crunchy, flavorful coating.

I love Thai, and I’ve eaten in a lot of good Thai restaurants, but this taste palate was fresh and new to me.   Beautiful restaurant, perfect service, and excellent food.


“Our Leader the Mockingjay” –- Official Teaser Trailer

Just a couple of things:

1.  How sad is it to see Philip Seymour Hoffman?  Immeasurable loss.

2.  From the first, Hunger Games teaser videos have ended with the someone whistling the same four notes.  Am I the only person who’s noticed that they’re the first four notes of the theme from Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 film version of Romeo and Juliet?

Sunday Morning — Victoriana of the Week

Burne-jones tate cophetua

“King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid”, by Edward Burne-Jones

This Edward Burne-Jones painting, “King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid”, is based on the legend that the African king Cophetua looked out of a palace window and saw Penelophon begging in the street.  He fell in love w/her instantly, and then married her, proving that love transcends social class and tradition.  Shakespeare made references to the story in at least four of his plays, but Burne-Jones’s inspiration was Tennyson’s poem, “The Beggar Maid”.

The painting is in the Tate.

The Ubiquity of Lorde (Plus Some Amazing Assassin’s Creed Unity Demos)

A few days ago, I posted a fan-made video montage of Game of Thrones that used Lorde’s cover of the Tears for Fears’ song “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”, which I noted had also been used in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Yesterday, I posted a parkour video created to help launch Ubisoft’s new game,  Assassin’s Creed Unity.  That led me to finding the official Assassin’s Creed Unity Cinematic Trailer.

Guess what.

Check out the four demos linked at the end of the video.  I’m not a gamer, but this looks fantastic!