WFC Oman: Operation Oman

I found this documentary on Amazon, and it’s really more of a British film than an Omaranian (that’s a word, right) film. But

It’s a straight-up propaganda film about scrappy, idealistic British mercenaries (and soldiers? the film is vague on that point) protecting Oman (and thereby, the rest of the world) from the spread of evil, eeeeevil Communism.

It’s not very effective as propaganda goes, I think, because it’s so ham-fisted: The only voices we hear are British. I mean, literally.

Operation Oman. Tristan Ofield. 2014. Oman.

Mint Lemonade

  • lemon juice
  • simple suryp
  • water
  • mint leaves
  • rum

Run everything through a blender with ice. Pour into a glass.

(The original recipe was without the rum.)

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.

WFC Tajikistan: سکوت‎‎

I guess this is more of an Iranian film than a Tajikistani (that’s a word, right?) film, but

And, wow! What an unexpected delight! An honest-to-goodness avant garde film! Yay! If I had known that this was an Iranian film, this wouldn’t have come as such a surprise, seeing as Iran is really the cultural power house of the region.

I don’t know whether the actors are purposefully stiff or whether they’re just not, er, actors, but the stilted quality lends a further sheen to the strange proceedings. Very Bressonesque.

But to be honest, most of the film I was going “Don’t fuck it up! Don’t start making ‘sense’!” And it almost made it all the way; deliciously obscure. If it had only stopped before the very last scene, which was hokey in all the wrong ways.

But it’s otherwise riveting.

The Silence. Mohsen Makhmalbaf. 1998. Tajikistan.

Boulder Tangerine Bourbon Sour

  • 24 parts bourbon
  • 8 parts lemon tea
  • 8 parts simple syrup
  • 1 part lime juice
  • 3 parts lemon juice

Shake with ice. Pour into an ice-filled glass. Garnish with a cherry and a slice of orange.

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.

WFC Qatar: Divines

I got this on DVD, but it turned out to only have French subtitles. *sigh* But Netflix had it streaming with English subtitles, so the Ipod to the rescue again.

This is the first Netflix film in this blog series: It occurred to me that they might have a larger library of films co-produced by European countries than Amazon, and that seems to be the case. The video quality isn’t bad: Not as artifactey as some Amazon videos are, but it’s sometimes kinda choppy? I’d prefer to watch from Bluray or DVD, as always…

I guess this film is more French than Qatari (that’s a word, right?), but

The actors here are wonderful, the characters are fun and unexpected, the cinematography is beautiful, the plot is loopy and exciting. There are a few scenes that I don’t quite buy (like in the school or the “are you scared?” scene), but it’s compulsively watchable.

The robbery/dance premiere edit climax thing is really, really bad. And even though I teared up at the ending, I loathed the “ironic” manipulative moral twist ending. But still, if you make an edit of this film that ends at the train station:

Divines. Houda Benyamina. 2016. Qatar.

Official Bullfrog Cocktail

  • 1 part gin
  • 1 part tequila
  • 1 part vodka
  • 1 part white rum
  • 1 part blue curaçao
  • 1 part Red Bull

Pour everything (except the Red Bull) into an ice-filled glass and stir until cold. Top off with the Red Bull and stir briefly.

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.

WFC Bahrain: حكاية بحرينية

This is high melodrama with long-suffering, noble women and harsh, evil men. The actors are highly variable and the cinematigraphy isn’t very exciting, but somehow it still works. It’s fascinatingly odd in parts and rather gripping.

And it’s funny, too, in-between the drama.

A Bahraini Tale. Bassam Al-Thawadi. 2006. Bahrain.

M E Cafe Latte Cocktail

  • 3 whole cardamom seeds
  • 45 ml dark rum
  • 45 ml Madeira
  • 5 ml simple syrup
  • 1 whole egg

Muddle the cardamom seeds in a shaker. Add the remaining ingredients and shake. Add ice, shake more, and double strain into a tulip glass. Garnish with some cardamom seeds.

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.

WFC Iceland: Nói albinói

“I am so in this class. I’m totally not an adult.”

This has a very un-colour-corrected look, which is nice.

I was a bit thrown at first, wondering why this adult was hanging around at school and living at home with his parents: Was he developmentally challenged or something? But it turned out to just be the “we’ll cast a 26 year old to play the 17 year old! Nobody’ll notice!” thing.

But it’s kinda good once I got past the initial confusion.

Noi the Albino. Dagur Kári. 2003. Iceland.

Iceberg Paralyzer

  • 1 part vodka
  • 1 part Kahlua
  • 1 part Coca Cola
  • 1 part milk

Fill a glass with ice. Pour all the ingredients over the ice and stir.

This post is part of the World of Films and Cocktails series. Explore the map.

Useful Consumer Review

I’ve been trying to get more walking in lately, but walking is boring. To keep parts of the brain entertained, I thought it might be nice to listen to radio theatre stuff, and it is.  Nice, that is.

The great thing about plays instead of music is that it’s fine just listening with one ear (literally), so I’ve been trying to find bluetooth ear plugs that are hassle free and work without the other one of the pair nearby.

After trying a number of different plugs, I finally found this one: It’s a Rowkin Mini Plus+. (Gotta love that name.) While you can buy two of them and use them in a more normal stereo configuration, you can also buy just one.

Hm, that picture doesn’t really show how small these are…

There, that’s better.

Not only is this earbud small, it’s also hassle free.

It comes with this “charging tube”, which uses a magnet…

… so you just slip it near the top of the tube, and smack, no worries, it’s charging. Very nicely designed physically.

As for daily use, it’s also just about perfect. You pick it up, press the one button on the end for four seconds, it says “on” and then “beep” (which means that it’s connected to the phone), and then you can play and pause by hitting the button again: It’ll continue playing from where you let off (if your player supports that, but I guess they all do).

I’ve only tried it with an Android phone, but it’s glitch-free there: I don’t have to pick up the phone, ever, except to change the volume. Or choose another radio play, which doesn’t happen very often, since they’re looong.

So: Perfect. Perfect? Nope. Bluetooth. As with any bluetooth device I’ve used, there are dropouts. These have way fewer dropouts than I’ve experienced before, though, and if I have the phone in my left pocket and the ear bud in my left ear, I’ve yet to experience a dropout. Anything else, whenever I turn my head quickly I’ll get a dropout.

Which reminds me that I meant to write a long rant about how st00pid it is using bluetooth for audio playback: Bluetooth audio has a very small buffer, because it’s meant for realtime communication. That’s a fine thing for talking on the phone, but most of the time devices like these are used, they’re used to stream a continuous audio stream.

So why not use something meant for streaming? Like… just get chunks of mp3 or ogg or whatever compressed audio format is most convenient, and then you can have the antenna take a mini-sleep while playing the hunk, and then request the next hunk?

Requiring an almost-perfect radio connection between the player and the earbuds is insane: There will always be situations where you’ll get dropouts depending on the angle, reflection and distance.

I’m happy with these for now, and I guess I’ll just have to wait until the industry realises that I’m smart and they’re stupid and then they’ll start streaming audio the smart way.

So there.

Rating for my use case: