Archive for France Inter

nomadland

Posted in Books, Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 26, 2021 by xi'an

I went to the cinema last week, for the first time since 1917!, and with my daughter (in a sort of ritual of going to see a film the day before a major exam, and this was the majorest of all major exams!). And she selected Chloé Zhao’s Nomadland. I had little a priori on the contents of the film, apart from the main theme, and it had not yet been discussed on my favourite France Inter weekly critical show. And I got very impressed by a unique film, staying away from cheap miserabilism, crude ideology or voyeurism. Maybe due to our sitting quite close to the screen, I was stuck by the way the characters were shot at their closest and how this would bring them to a higher level of reality, again without any form of caricature or judgemental detachment. The humanity of the film is purely staggering, with portraits of people with a complex and rich life. And Frances McDormand is fabulous, as she merges with the non-professional actors so seamlessly she shares their ethereal, transient attitude. There is no idealisation of the van life either, from the hardship of living with no toilet to the need to grab a tough living from temporary jobs all across the Western US. (The closest to a conflictual situation is when the main character, Fern, has to listen to much wealthier relatives droning about the ideal life of these nomads!) This being a movie about a van, there are also numerous (too many?) great shots of the Western USA, between Nevada, the Badlands [with a very brief historical reminder that this was the land of Lakota people, via the forefront of a 1906 saloon], some redwoods, and the (northern?) California coast. Which reveals a strong contrast with the places where Fern needs to work and live, like the Amazon warehouses, the beet processing plant, the soulless and exchangeable gas stations and laundromats along the road, the dirty camping toilets she cleans as a National Park worker… But again without delivering a message or adhering to an agenda. After watching the film, while biking home, I was reflecting that this was both a form of post-Trumpian film, since demonstrating the complexity and fundamental goodness of the people captured by the camera, away from binary statements and vociferation,  and a post-Bernie film as well as these people are not actively engaged against a harsh social system that does not provide basic help during their retirement years and let them with no further horizon than the next payslip. It is more complicated…

what the whale?! [“whales eat carbon, not fish”]

Posted in Kids, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2021 by xi'an

comparison n’est pas raison [w/o statistics]

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , , , on December 2, 2020 by xi'an

On the French public radio this morn’, while having my post-run breakfast, I heard a (lengthy) interview where the Parliament (insoumis) deputy François Ruffin argued about the frequent and biased ID checks by the French police, before stating there was no data about this:

“…la place du contrôle d’identité dans la police française. Quand on compare à l’international, elle procède à beaucoup plus de contrôles d’identité, encore plus sur les minorités que les pays qui nous entourent...” [the role of ID checks in the French police is much more present than in neighbouring countries, especially against minorities]

“…il n’y a aucune statistique du nombre de contrôles d’identité effectués…” [there exist no statistic on the number of ID checks]

feu rouge

Posted in pictures with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2020 by xi'an

1597px-blowing_up_the_stalin_monument

fake maths

Posted in Statistics with tags , , , , , on December 3, 2019 by xi'an