Love: Belhoula Amir’s Alone
Love: Totally loving these artworks from Belhoula Amir who has worked to capture the sense of isolation that exists within everyone at times. The paintings are pretty amazing but I particularly dig the fact that he captures moments that wouldn’t necessarily jump out as moments of loneliness - floating in a pool, or Iron Man in a moment of contemplation…
Thanks to The Fox Is Black for posting, you can check out more here.
Oldie but goody: I wish I could complain more about the rich, but then…
Strong and dark and an improvement on the original: I love this but it hurts.
Hate: It’s dark this morning as I get on my first train. A depressing end to the summer months as the Autumn rolls in.
Love: The Last Of Us
Last weekend I finished The Last of Us and I thought it warranted a little comment.
I’ve tried to avoid specific spoilers in this post but it does deal with the broader themes the game tackles and my interpretation of what the game is trying to say. If you want a completely unspoilt experience I recommend playing and completing it first.
This is one of the most fully realised videogames with a story to tell we have seen yet, on any platform. There have been some criticisms about the abundance of combat, yet personally I found the combat systems engaging and fresh. It manages to feel engaging, empowering and yet at times still incredibly tense.
My only real criticism of the whole game concerns two elements. Firstly there is an element of telegraphing in the building abundance of bottles and bricks before a combat scenario, together with the obligatory waist-high cover furniture that seemingly populate all videogame worlds. Secondly the game occasionally breaks its own rules where, for example, it requires you to suddenly have infinite ammo for a specific section of the game where ammo elsewhere is supposed to be a scarce resource.
These criticisms are by no means unique to The Last Of Us, and appear as much in what are effectively very good games as they do in the bad… Far Cry 3 also occasionally suffers the same logic issues.
The game is unmistakably great. What we will remember when we look back on The Last Of Us through the 4K drenched rose-tinted spectacles of future generations however will be the characterisation. The relationships in these game are a revelation, as complicated and three-dimensional as those in the best TV and movies. Joel and Tess, Joel and his brother and ultimately Joel and Ellie all have relationships that feel like they exist on more than one spectrum. Yes, there will be moments of tension and anger, and yet they will be emphasised as a result of the deeper caring and affection that is de table below the surface.
To me the game mainly feels like a commentary on the fear of death versus the fear of being alone. It’s there in the title - The Last Of Us. Both Joel and Ellie deal with this - confronted with their own private losses they seemingly resent their own survival, and they hate themselves for still living. When faced with their own potential demise they will often face up to it boldly (Ellie becomes particularly confrontational when in a highly dangerous situation where she lacks control). Yet when their partner faces danger they will do anything they can to ensure that person survives, just so they won’t have to face the world alone. Both Ellie’s and Joel’s actions are at their most extreme when they think they may be losing the other person.
Bravery, in other words, isn’t sacrificing your life, or being prepared to live on. Sometimes bravery is the requirement to let someone else go.
Trying another coffee shop from the London’s Best Coffee app, this time Kaffeine, rated 4.5/5. I’ve gone for a flat white and it’s got a surprising depth and a bit of fruit along with a base acidity. The coffee shop itself is a tight little room with sparse crate-like furniture.
I’m guessing (but don’t know) that Kaffeine is another outlet in the long-line of antipodean coffee chains in London and the vibe and food are very similar to Nude Espresso. Overall it’s decent.
Renault Twin'Z Concept Car - Is This The Next Twingo? | carbuzz.co.uk
LOVE: We were promised the future - flying cars, cities in the sky and intergalactic space travel.
When you see ‘average’ it feels like it holds us back and therefore whilst it doesn’t fly, this concept car from Renault fills me with excitement. It’s a concept, so it will probably never be realised quite in this form but if we get a car with an interior that’s anywhere near this minimal, and some sort of integrated wheel / tire solution I’d be happy. I mean, does this look hot or what?
LOVE: Amazing food yesterday at The Bildeston Crown for Mother’s Day. Apricot donuts FTW! – View on Path.
The new Foals album is totally working for me. Massive on a geological scale.