Portorosso - Pixar's latest creation

A lovely short film on Disney+ features the director Enrico Casarosa and colleagues from Pixar talking about how they immersed themselves in the villages of the Cinque Terre near Genoa while building the landscapes within which the action of Luca takes place, the hillside village and tower, the small islands and the waters of the bay. Pixar have always sent their animators to do detailed research to ensure that the textures and lighting is as accurate as possible, and then build their own versions which are full of the little details which only being there in person and capturing smells, textures, feeling and sounds of the villages, including the way that the buildings create shadows at certain times of day... It all builds into the final aesthetic of the film. Warning: Possible Spoiler Alerts in the reviews that follow. If you have seen the film you will have immediately appreciated the way that it captures the sense of place of the Italian locations. There are lots of little detai

The name's Parkinson

The Telegraph have joined many other previous newspapers to once again resorted to the old trope relating to fashion and anyone wearing corduroy jackets... that means they dress like a geography teacher... This time, the person who is sartorially connected with us is James Bond, in scenes from the forthcoming Bond movie...

Grime and identity - a new resource

Grime acts as a catalyst for change, sparking healthy debate and often mobilising young people around social issues most pertinent to their lives today. In this sense, Grime has the ability to transcend age, gender, sexuality, race and political class, providing a much needed social commentary on highly charged topics. From the introduction to a new unit on Grime and Black British history. If you’re a #geographyteacher wanting to talk to students about @sterling7 and Black British identities ahead of the #EURO2020 final consider showing the video to Dave’s song ‘Black’. Read the article by @Parise_CM @GeogShanique and @dhillon113 — Decolonising Geography (@DecoloniseGeog) July 7, 2021

The French Dispatch

Very much looking forward to the release of this film. Wes Anderson is a visual genius and the reviews from Cannes have been excellent.

Due North

I am privileged to have seen 'The Blue Nile' play live several times, and what an experience. From my first introduction to 'A Walk across the Rooftops' in 1987ish there are so many important songs the band produced. A new project: Quiet City by Blue Nile drummer Nigel Thomas features Paul Buchanan adding his distinctive vocals. Looking forward to  Heading Due North in a few week's time and looking forward to it....

Arctic Dreams - on the radio

  I've spoken and blogged about this book many times, and you can now listen to extracts from it on Radio 4 as it has been selected, around 35 years after its first UK publication as the 'Book of the Week'. A heads-up that, to my delight, Barry Lopez's masterpiece Arctic Dreams (1986) will be Book of the Week on @BBCRadio4 this week, starting 09.45am today. The book––and the writer––that made me a writer. Barry passed away in December this year. — Robert Macfarlane (@RobGMacfarlane) June 21, 2021 Barry Lopez is someone whose work has been important to me throughout my career. Catch up with the episodes here. In Episode One of Arctic Dreams Barry Lopez reflects on his first encounters with the surprisingly varied and resilient inhabitants of the polar north and on modern man’s vexed relationship with this beguiling continent. In his breath-taking natural, social and cultural history of the Arctic, Lopez reveals the essential mystery and beauty o

"democratising laziness" - food delivery apps

Interesting article in today's 'Guardian' magazine on the possible implications of an app called Weezy which is one of several used to facilitate the home delivery of groceries and other foodstuffs. The website describes Weezy as the 15 minute supermarket , and covers a small geographical area, particularly around London and places such as Brighton and Manchester. They don't deliver to rural Norfolk... The article considers whether this is another challenge to bricks and mortar shops, driven by perceived convenience. As the piece by Harry Wallop says, there is a growing range of these apps which have 'democratised laziness' and continued to grow the gig economy: "...with names that make them sound like Snow White’s other dwarves: Weezy, Jiffy, Dija, Zapp, Fancy, Getir and Gorillas are just some of them. All have bold, bright, branding; all hire young couriers riding e-bikes, bicycles or scooters; all promise to deliver essentials including food, drink, ca