Welcome to my Blog!
Anybody, providing he knows how to be amusing, has the right to
talk about himself. -
Not even I understand everything I am ¬Aurelius Augustinus of Hippo
In 2013 I started a series of photo albums on Blurb.com, named '36Exp' (a subject adressed in 36 exposures, a reference to the exposures on most common rolls of 35 mm film: 12, 24 & 36.).
JAPAN THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS by ALAN MACFARLANE | BOOKS ANTHROPOLGY
Japan Through the Looking Glass: Shaman to Shinto (2007)
In 2018 I visited Japan (links below) and while I enjoyed the many aethetics as subjects for my camera, I was also confused (even disappointed) for the lack of charme in many ways, the cash culture in the street (backwardness in modern society), excessive artificiality permeating customs and behavior.
Recently in Aberdeen's Waterstone bookshop I came across this book: 'Japan Through the Looking Glass'.
Alan MacFarlane is the author of several anthropological and historical books and articles on England, Nepal, China and Japan.
This book explores the Japanese people and traces the cause of customs and behavior. The reasoning are sometimes confusing but they can also be logical. A warning is stated: do not dissect Japan because it will fall apart. The sum and the total is very relevant to the Japanese.
I like how the Japanes culture accepts certain foreign influences (e.g.religions, capitalism) but is only allowed to fit in, not to change too much of Japanese culture and custom.
I now understand that my frustration while walking the streets of Japan was due to lack of understanding and I hope to visit Japan again with new perspective. It will probably serve me well to read this book again!
Alan Donald James Macfarlane FBA FRHistS (b.20Dec1941 in Shillong, Meghalaya, India) is an anthropologist, a historian and a Professor Emeritus of King's College, Cambridge.
SLOT LOEVESTEIN (CASTLE) | HISTORY HERITAGE
The castle was built by the knight Dirc Loef van Horne (hence "Loef's stein" (stone) house) between 1357 and 1397. Until World War II Loevestein Castle was part of the Hollandic Water Line, the main Dutch defense line that was based on flooding a large area of land south and east of the western provinces.
From 1619 the castle became a prison for political prisoners. One famous inmate was the eminent lawyer, poet and politician Hugo de Groot (Hugo Grotius) often presented as the "father of modern international law", who was serving a controversially imposed life sentence from 1619.
SIMPELE ZIELEN EN NOG WAT - ANNIE M.G. SCHMIDT | BOOKS
She wrote poetry, songs, books, plays, musicals and radio and television drama for adults; she's also
MIDNIGHT SUN (MIDNATTSSOL) | CRIME FICTION DRAMA DVD
ROBERT FRANK: 1924-2019 | PHOTOGRAPHER PHOTOGRAPHY
In 1949, the new editor of Camera magazine, Walter Laubli (1902–1991), published a substantial portfolio of Jakob Tuggener pictures made at upper-class entertainments and in factories, alongside the work of the 25 year-old Frank who had just returned to his native Switzerland after two years abroad, with pages including some of his first pictures from New York. The magazine promoted the two as representatives of the 'new photography' of Switzerland.
Tuggener was a role model for the younger artist, first mentioned to him by Frank's boss and mentor, Zurich commercial photographer Michael Wolgensinger (1913–1990) who understood that Frank was unsuited to the more mercenary application of the medium. Tuggener, as a serious artist who had left the commercial world behind, was the "one Frank really did love, from among all Swiss photographers," according to Guido Magnaguagno and Fabrik, as a photo book, was a model for Frank's Les Américains ('The Americans') published ten years later in Paris by Delpire, in 1958.
He soon left to travel in South America and Europe. He created another hand-made book of photographs that he shot in Peru, and returned to the U.S. in 1950. That year was momentous for Frank, who, after meeting Edward Steichen, participated in the group show 51 American Photographers at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); he also married fellow artist Mary Frank née Mary Lockspeiser, with whom he had two children, Andrea and Pablo.
Though he was initially optimistic about the United States' society and culture, Frank's perspective quickly changed as he confronted the fast pace of American life and what he saw as an overemphasis on money. He now saw America as an often bleak and lonely place, a perspective that became evident in his later photography.
TREASURES FROM THE GOLDEN AGE OF CARTOGRAPHY | EXHIBITION HISTORY
Yesterday made a fine visit to The Royal Palace of Amsterdam in Amsterdam (Dutch: 'Koninklijk Paleis van Amsterdam' or 'Paleis op de Dam').
The palace was built as a city hall during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century. The building became the royal palace of King Louis Napoleon and later of the Dutch Royal House.
KEEP FAITH | TV-SERIES CRIME FICTION DRAMA
'Keep Faith' is a Welsh tv drama which returned to BBC One on 23Jul19 . This is the 2nd series.
I was a little confused at first, doing my best grasp the plot without the benefit of having watched the 1st series.
Eve Myles plays the role of the titular Faith Howells, partner in a law firm and mother of three.
I don't remember her from the Broadchurch series, allegedly Faith is her finest screen role to date.
I found it a handicap not to have watched the first series of Keep Faith, struggling with why her husband was in jail (also partner in the same law firm of which his father Tom seemed to be the founder).
Faith is blackmailed by Gael, boss of a trucking company, suspected of trafficking and money laundering.
While plotlines of the first series continue into the 2nd series, the conviction of the wife of a farmer with land development ambitions is the murder plot; she is supposed to have her husband killed with a shotgun.
Gael (Anastasia Hille) is suspected to have obstructed the development plans and meddled in farmer William's marriage and bribed a city official to obstructed the development plans.
Faith is blackmailed to play a part in a company takeover planned by Gael, vital for her money laundering schemes. She is connected to an Irish criminal network.
A body is found half buried in the dunes and a suicide also plays a role. Inspector Breeze (Rhashan Stone) from London finds it hard to uncover the truth, being lied to by about everybody involved. He in turns uses blackmail to obtain cooperation by Evan, Faith' husband released from jail on parole, and Faith.
Steve (Mark Lewis Jones), a truckdriver in Gael's company with an agenda of his own, holds a candle for Faith.
Faith is supported by Cerys (Hannah Daniel) in the murder inquiry of the farmer. Cerys is much more objective than Faith, who is all over the place emotionally most of the time. Cerys also has dealings on the side, obscured from the law firm.
Evan (Bradley Freegard) pulls all kind of strings from jail and remains in a secret relationships with Gael.
There is much drama concerning the 3 children of Faith, their safety threatened by an unscrupulous Gael.
I watched all 6 episodes but missing the first series was a handicap and drama involving Faith too often ended in hysterics, a bit too much for me. I don't think I am keen to watch a 3rd series (if and when).
DIRT MERIDIAN by ANDREW MOORE | PHOTOBOOK PHOTOGRAPHY
No longitude in the United States carries the weight of the 100th Meridian. It’s the dividing line that bisects the US contient almost exactly in half between the green fertile east and arid lands of the west.
MY SOUL TO TAKE by YRSA SIGURDARDOTTIR | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
'My Soul to Take' is #2 in the Thora Gudmundsdottir series, by Yrsa Sigurdardottir.
This time, Thora finds herself representing the eccentric, dope-smoking owner of a new-age health resort when he becomes prime suspect for the murder of the architect who converted his property.
The place, originally a farm in a remote area of Iceland, is not only haunted but Gudmundsdottir's investigations turn up some very nasty secrets. All kinds of nasty business between relations surface: adultery, an illegitimate child, multiple murders and even the Nazis seem to have played a role.
The style of writing is pleasantly meandering, Thora works her curiosity around the police investigations and Matthew, the German lawyer and lover from 'The Last Rituals', is over for a friendly visit and their chemistry adds romance and humor.
Gudmundsdottir has a wry sense of humour, keeping her children and her ex-husband at arms length, giving priority to her investigations even while her son's fifteen year old girlfriend may deliver a baby at any moment (making her a grandmother!).
Entertaining crime novel, although at times I had some difficulty remembering the who-is-who for the complicated relations and Icelandic names. But certainly recommended reading.
PUBLIC ENEMY | TV-SERIES CRIME FICTION DRAMA
The 10-part first season aired on La Une in Belgium from 1 May to 29 May 2016 and the series has been renewed for a 2nd season.
Convicted serial child killer Guy Béranger is released after serving 20 years in prison. Hated by the public, Béranger takes refuge in a remote monastery where a lone police officer, Chloe Muller, is sent to guard him.
When a local girl goes missing, tensions quickly rise in the community.
Chloe is still suffering from a trauma caused by the disappearance of her younger sister when they were children. Her past has a bearing on the present; Béranger claims he can help her find her sister Jessica but she fears Béranger is trying to influence her for his own gain.
The arrival of the child killer is a stain on the image of the village, it jeopardizes the local funding of a beer brewing initiative set up by the owner to save his tavern and would also save the abbey because their source of income, had-made furniture, has all but dried up.
The community is convinced Béranger needs to go and emotions run high, even to the point men are prepared to take up arms to kill him and bury him somewhere in the woods.
At some point Chloe is the last line of defense for Béranger, while having no sympathy for him she is convinced he can't be the culprit they are after. Even the local police chief Michael Charlier who supported her search for a long time, abandons her, convinced she is chasing ghosts caused by her trauma.
COLLAPSE by JARED DIAMOND | BOOKS NON-FICTION ENVIRONMENT
'How Societies Choose To Fail Or Survive'
Every other year or so I come across a non-fiction book that has a huge impact on me, for the subject(s) adressed and/or the way it was written. 'Collapse' is such a book, both for the subject as well as the clear style of writing.
In Collapse, Jared Diamond first defines collapse: "a drastic decrease in human population size and/or political/economic/social complexity, over a considerable area, for an extended time."
Considering the astonishing cavalcade of different peoples and cultures from across the planet adressed here, I was constantly amazed by the clarity of the author.
Soo what caused some of these societies (such as the Mayan civilisation or the people of Easter Island) to collapse, while others facing similar challenges managed to survive? And what can we learn from history here?
Diamond is at pains to stress the objectivity he has brought to bear on a sequence of collapse scenarios that often continue to generate serious controversy.
The diversity of the case studies he uses (both past and present) is extraordinary.
For those interested in the role of big business, Diamond devotes a whole chapter to examining the behaviour of oil, mining and forestry companies around the world. Again he steers well away from an accusatory tone, mentions 'sinners' and ' saints', expands on his own experiences in Papua New Guinea for both the good and the bad.
Diamond reserves his most insightful analysis for the more 'irrational' reasons why we are not as yet responding to the scale and urgency of today's converging environmental problems.
Interestingly, however, Diamond chooses not to conclude his arguments on that apocalyptic note. Reverting to the inference of his subtitle ("how societies choose to fail or survive"), he briefly reviews the intriguing history of the Netherlands, the country with the highest level of environmental awareness and membership of environmental organisations anywhere in the world.
Jared Mason Diamond (b.10Sep1937) is an American geographer, anthropologist, historian, and author best known for his popular science books The Third Chimpanzee (1991); Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997, awarded a Pulitzer Prize); Collapse (2005); and The World Until Yesterday (2012). Originally trained in physiology, Diamond is known for drawing from a variety of fields, including anthropology, ecology, geography, and evolutionary biology.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS TOO MANY BOOKS
BELOW THE SURFACE | CRIME FICTION DRAMA DVD-BOX
'Below the Surface' (Danish: Gidseltagningen) is a Danish action hostage thriller drama tv-series.
BULLETPROOF | TV-SERIES CRIME FICTION DRAMA
The series follows National Crime Agency (NCA) detectives, and best friends, Aaron Bishop (Clarke) and Ronnie Pike Jr. (Walters). They investigate some of the country's most dangerous criminals, including traffickers, drug dealers and armed robbers, whilst being overseen by their boss Sarah Tanner (Lindsey Coulson).
Walters and Clarke commented to Deadline Hollywood that the series was inspired by films such as Lethal Weapon and Bad Boys, quoting that "the humour and funny moments come from the relationships between the characters."
The series opening theme, "All Goes Wrong", was also personally chosen by Clarke and Walters.
The series is fast-paced and much more focussed on entertainment (fast cars, explosions, raids with guns drawn) than an attempt on being realistic or even an interesting mystery plot.
I would say too American rather than British. Barely entertaining to my taste, perhaps 2 stars out of five.
WILFUL BEHAVIOUR by DONNA LEON | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
The murder of a young woman draws Commissario Brunetti into buried secrets dating back to WW2.
DEVENTER BOEKENMARKT | BOOKS
Pleasant & rewarding visit to the 'Deventer Boekenmarkt' yesterday!
IN ENGLAND by DON McCULLIN | PHOTOGRAPHY BOOKS
Published by Jonathan Cape, Random House UK (2009?)
RIVIERA, SERIES 1 | TV CRIME FICTION DRAMA
Riviera is a television drama which premiered on Sky Atlantic on 15June 2017.
INFORMER | BBC TV-SERIES CRIME FICTION DRAMA
The six-part (I watched it in 3 parts) series stars Nabhaan Rizwan and Paddy Considine.
Raza (Nabhaan Rizwan) is a young second-generation British Pakistani man from London who is
coerced into informing by Gabe (Paddy Considine), a counterterrorism officer for the fictional Counter-Terrorism Special Unit (CTSU).
Gabriel or 'Gabe' is haunted by his past undercover work for the Met's Special Branch, he struggles to balance his workload with time for his wife and daughter and is not doing too good, esspecially when his past is catching up with his alter ego: Charlie Goodwood.
DS Gabe waters is assisted by DC Holly Morten (Bel Powley); the latter has difficulty dealing with Gabe's attitudes which seems to have a Jekyll and Hyde momentum.
Parallel to the inquiry of a bomb plot there is this inquiry into a coffeeshop shooting, the backflashes we are treated with create a secondary thrilling plot and gradually the drama deepens. While the how and why remains unclear for a very long time, it is clear that Gabe's wife Emily Waters (by Jessica Raine) is
at the scene.
RETOUR NEW YORK - AMSTERDAM by SACHA DE BOER | ART PHOTOGRAPHY
’Retour New York-Amsterdam’ is a book by photographer Sacha de Boer, published in 2009.
Amsterdam has a real pull for American artists: various painters, sculptors, photographers and other visual artists call the Dutch capital home.
Sacha de Boer is a photographer, journalist and former news anchor for the Dutch broadcaster NOS.
BLOOD HUNT by IAN RANKIN | BOOKS CRIME FICTION
We have here Gordon Reeve, ex-SAS soldier, now operating a survival course for weekend warriors on Skivald, a small island off South Uist, Scotland. He lives there with his wife and son Allan. The marriage seems to be progressing so-so but we have to make our own guesses as to why this is. Most likely because Gordon still struggles with PTSD ('red mist') from an assignment in the Falklands War and is less communicative than he should be.
THE FLATEY ENIGMA | ICELANDIC CRIME DRAMA TV SERIES
Set in 1971, the series follows Jóhanna, a professor of Nordic Studies, returns to an island community from her home in France to bury her father and deal with his estate. She travels with her nine years old son Snorri but is known in the community as an unmarried mother: a taboo in those days.
Her father was retired but worked obsessively on solving a mystery: a medieval manuscript 'Flateyjargátuthe' containing a 600 year old mystery of the last Norse King's grave hidden on one of the many islands, important in Icelandic culture and folklore.
But then a visiting Danish scientist is murdered on one of the neighbouring islands; he had stolen a document, a map, from Joanna's father upon his visit to the wake, believing it could be where the warlord's grave is.
The police officer Brynjar is sent from Reykjavik to solve this murder.
When Brynjar meets Jóhanna and finds out he (himself from an unloving foster upbringing and craving a family) was unknowingly a father for 10 years, he tries desperately to implicate Jóhanna for the murder and thus claim her son. His unsympathetic character becomes apparent.
The murder seems to be related to the Flateyjargát and Jóhanna makes every effort to find the solution.
Based on a bestseller by Viktor Arnar Ingolfsson.
Margrét Örnólfsdóttir wrote the scenario of the 4-episode mini-series based on the book; she was also involved in the other Icelandic series 'Prisoners' (Fangar), 'Trapped' and 'Case'. The first two were discussed elsewhere on my blog, including other Icelandic crime series.
Cast (a.o.): Lára Jóhanna Jónsdóttir (Jóhanna), Stefán Hallur Stefánsson (Brynjar), Hilmir Jensson (Kjartan), Sigurður Sigurjónsson (Grímur Hreppstjóri).
FOLLOW THE MONEY, SERIES 3 | SCANDI CRIME FICTION DRAMA
'Follow the Money' (Danish: Bedrag, 'Fraud') is a Danish financial crime thriller that has now run for three seasons.
FOTO FESTIVAL NAARDEN (FFN) 2019 | PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION