Friday, 1 June 2001

A one and a two

Listening to:

Mahler, symphony no. 3.

A recent movie:

A one and a two. This is a Taiwanese movie that is almost three hours long. You’d want to be confident that you were going to a good film before you submitted yourself to such an experience, but I was inspired by this review in the Financial Times, which called it the best film of the year, and probably the best film of the decade.

The reviewer was not far wrong. It is a very elegant movie, very beautiful and with a good mix of realistic humour and tragedy. It’s neither slapstick nor nuclear holocaust. It probably is too long, and I found myself slightly resenting the little boy who is really very cute and very affecting in a “from the mouths of babes” kind-of-way, but is also completely unrealistic.

The Internet is going to hell in a handbasket (I’ve never understood that saying; am I misquoting it?), and here's the proof: a fascinating account of tracking down hackers by a beleaguered innocent. In Clifford Stoll’s The Cuckoo's Egg, the evil-doers were working for the KGB (or a near equivalent); in the 21st century, they are clueless 13 year olds.

So, if it's all getting too much, I recommend this last link.