Month: January 2020

The Ocean Doesn’t Care

The Ocean Doesn’t Care – Now – We drive West from the airport to where the rivers meet. For eight years, several hundred kilometers have lain between the Arctic circle and me. I’d forgotten that here nothing escapes scars. The shapes of the mountains, with sharp lines like screams, tell of millennia-long torture by ice. The birch trees, suffering from a disease, are withered and yellowing despite the spring. Trolled is the word for everything unsettling. We pass a trolled river which, for some reason my mother can’t remember, looks as if it’s running up the mountain. I play...

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Who Would You Be?

Who Would You Be? Tali Robbins   I rang in the new decade with a group of friends, non-activist types among whom I play the role of the nag who takes every opportunity to bring up climate change (“Yeah, these lentils are good! Good thing they also fix nitrogen in the soil and reduce farmers’ use of fossil fuel-based inputs!” I chirp, as my friends chew politely). But the other night, just after midnight, after someone brightly offered, “I think 2020 is going to be a good year!”, someone else (not me!) responded seriously: “yeah, welcome to the Decade...

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Absorption: On “The Paper”

Absorption: On “The Paper” Cory Stockwell The first thing you notice about “The Paper,” the Croatian political drama currently available on Netflix (season three is slated to be released in the coming months), is its grayness: from the clothing worn by the main characters, many of them journalists working for the newspaper that gives the show its name, through the interiors – offices, homes, and also the smoke-filled bar where the journalists spend far too much of their time – that always seem just a tad too dark, to the stately, off-white Hapsburg-era buildings and concrete docks of Rijeka, the coastal city where the show takes place, everything is strangely muted, and there never seems to be quite enough light to make things out clearly. This is all the stranger, to my mind at least, given The Paper’s setting: this part of the Adriatic coast is known for its many beaches, to which tourists from all over Europe flock every summer, and as I binge-watched the first two seasons, I kept expecting to be dazzled by the light of this region that is just a short distance from Italy. But the summer in which this light might appear never arrives. The series seems trapped inside an endless, rainy winter, even in the establishing shots with which every episode begins, generally bird’s-eye panoramas of the city and the sea...

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