Random Film Thoughts

A few unrelated thoughts on film and film-making

The last few years have served as proof that Hollywood can no longer keep pace with popular culture. The World of Warcraft film arrived long after many had forgotten Warcraft existed. The Angry Birds Movie won the Oscar for Film No One Wants Anymore. Eye in the Sky commented on the military use of drones, a conversation everyone else had years ago.

Culture is accelerating. Something becomes part of the zeitgeist and is then forgotten at an ever-quickening pace. But the Hollywood movie-making machine still moves at a similar pace. Which leaves mainstream cinema with three options:

a) Continue to make films about modern culture that become increasingly out-of-date
b) Find a way to streamline and quicken the transition from script to screen
c) Simply give up trying to ride cultural waves

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Friday Links: 17th Jan 2017


Nothing new in books, so online links only:

  • Marissa Mayer could make a fortune. By getting fired
  • Stop reading rubbish
  • I’ve been thinking a lot recently about turning 40. I’ve still got a few years. But I don’t think I can sustain jumping straight into high-intensity exercise without any warmup. So this article by Peter Attia is right in my wheelhouse
  • Elon Musk is really boring
  • AI + Bitcoins + hedge funds
  • 5 trading mistakes
  • I’m going to do a long-overdue deep on the blog of Mr Money Mustache. This post was a good place to start
  • The Reformed Broker on Warren Buffett’s recent, surprising investments

Friday Links: 11th Feb

As I’m still reading the same books as last week, I’ll just list what I’ve been reading online:

Chris Ballard writes…well, it doesn’t matter what it is. It’s Chris Ballard, so you should read it.
Similarly, read anything involving Chris Sacca
39 book recommendations from Charlie Munger
Arnie was rich before you think he was

Friday Links: 3rd January 2017


Chaos Monkeys (Antonio Garcia Martinez’s Silicon Valley memoir. Early days, but I’m enjoying it so far
Movement, by Gray Cook
And finished reading Confessions of an Economic Hitman. An interesting read, though less interesting that blurbs might lead you to believe

I can imagine reading this every six months for years — Turning $2 million Into $2 Trillion
When Christopher Hitchens got waterboarded
American Spring, by Naval Ravikant (I love the way this guy thinks)

Saving this until next week: Tim Ferriss interviews Adam Robinson

Film Thoughts: Rogue One

I’ve got a bad spoiler about this (aka, Rogue One spoilers ahead)

Final scenes can have a disproportionate effect on the viewer’s memory. If a film otherwise bores you, but you enjoy the ending, that late flush of endorphins can wash away your prior negativity. Rogue One’s two best moments come within the last ten minutes: Vader’s single-handed rebel massacre; and Jyn and Cassian’s end. I wonder how much viewers’ estimation of the film was inflated by those late moments; how many percentage points those scenes added to the film’s rating?

The above theory suggests that, if I end this post well, you’ll forget how badly written the rest of it is. We’ll see about that

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Friday Links: 20th Jan

This week I’m only posting some online reading. Most of which I’ve read, a few I’m planning on:


Magnificent, heartbreaking, heartwarming profile of BJ Miller

I’m become increasingly fascinated by Sam Hinkie, former General Manager of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers. I was critical of Hinkie’s ‘let’s lose as hard as possible’ strategy. While it’s still too early to tell, he might have been on to something. Regardless, this article about him is well worth a read

The frantic world of NBA players on ten-day contracts

To read:

How to take a sabbatical
Why you — and everybody — should write a blog
A dozen things learned from Naval Ravikant

Friday Links: 13th Jan 2017


The Launch Pad (Randall Stross’ book about Silicon Valley tech accelerator, Y Combinator)

I haven’t read this yet, but as Tom Bissell is my favourite writer, I’m eager to read his article on Westworld


Peter Attia tells some hilarious stories on the Jocko Podcast

Films watched recently:

Rogue One (7/10)
Frozen (8/10)
Bullet in the Head (6/10)