All posts by Rob in Japan


I really cannot stress how much I have been enjoying this series.

set in Lillehammer, the northern city in Norway which was host to the 1994 Winter games, its about a Chicago gangster forced to hide out in Norway as part of his relocation process.


just as desperate Housewives uincovered the dark underbelly of the rich suburban elite, lily hammer suggests that even a country as socially democratic and egalitarian as Norway may not be quite as fair as we could imagine, so much so that the gangster is made almost noble by his dealings by the very people who should be above corruption and protectionism. For instance, in the first episode Johnny uncovers compromising photos of the social worker who has been assigned to help him assimilate in the country.

time and again the gangster is made to appear an unlikely hero in the face of nitpicking bureaucracy and pointless regulations. So when he goes to buy a pram which is the most expensive and best in the shop, we know that we can’t trust the seller, indeed only moments later we watch him attempt and fail to collapse the pram and destroy it, and we know that the store will try not to accept any responsibility.

Last episode we saw was when the rival gangsters from New York had got hold of his whereabouts. this was another skillful demonstration of who the real bad guys are. Not Giovanni Henriksen, new in town and already a local hero and expectant father of twins, but the heartless and cold-blooded murderers who on their first day savagely assualt a gas station attendant.

The season has two episodes yet to air. Let us hope there are more to follow.

Bob Dylan Rolling Stone interview

Here are the best bits from the Cover story on B.D.:

Why do you have the need to reshape things? 

Because that’s the nature of existence. Nothing stays where it is for long.

You’v described what you do as a calling.

everybody has a calling, don’t they?

some have a high calling, some have a low calling, There is a lot of distraction for people, so you might never find the real you, No kind of life is fulfilling if your soul hasn’t been redeemed,

What’s your estimation of president Obama?

you should be saking his wife what she thinks of him., She’s the only one that matters,,,,

Look, I only met him a few times, He loves music, he’s personable, What the fuck do you want me to say?

On the ‘Tempest album’: There’s plenty of death songs. you nay well know in folk songs every other song deals with death, As far as agreeing with the common consensus of what my songs mean or don’t mean, its just foolish

Clearly the language of the Bible still provides imagery in your songs.

\of course, how could it not? I believe in the Book of Revelation, There’s truth in all books, You can’t go through life without reading some kind of book.

when you sY THt those who conjecture about you don;’t really understand, does that mean you feel misunderstood?

It doesn’t mean that all!  (laughs) I mean, who’s there, like, to understand? I mean – no, no.Just the opposite, Who’s supposed to understand? My in-laws? Am I supposed to be some misunderstood artist living in the attic? You tell me. What’s there to understand? Please, can we stop now?




Old films vs new films

I prefer old films generally to older films, and I’d rather watch a film that I’ve seen before than risk watching an old one. The situation gets more acute as the number of old films that I want to see diminishes in number, a few Hitchcock’s some Bergman’s and some of the Italian masters Fellini and Antonioni. perhaps after watching those films somebody will have made a film I actually want to watch.