Do Interesting by Russell Davies [7/10]

Russell Davies Do Interesting review

I have observed a sub-sub-nonfiction genre, part of both Self-Help and Creativity, that tackles how be more “in” a consequently more intriguing world, a mixture of mindfulness and a range of hacks. Rob Walker’s The Art of Noticing: Rediscover What Really Matters to You proved to be a catalyst for my own “in the world” habits. Now multifacted writer/strategist Russell Davies freshens up the concept with his Do Interesting: Notice. Collect. Share. , in which we are exhorted to literally pick things/topics, often seemingly banal, to snatch from our senses, to then keep track of them through journaling or scrapbooking or whatever, and then to finally disseminate our observations/musings to others and the wider world. Do Interesting is usefully organized with snappy, numbered “Do” activities, and the writing is snappy and illuminating. If you feel as if the world is a blur around you, if nothing seems to interest you anymore, Do Interesting might form a valuable companion into a new mode of existence.

The Story of Annette Zelman [7/10]

The Story of Annette Zelman review

Seemingly modest in ambition, The Story of Annette Zelman proves to be an intelligent, unabrasive addition to the cinematic holocaust library. Our heroine is a plucky upbeat twenty-year-old Jewish artist in occupied France during WWII. Based on the real Annette, with what seems like careful adherence to the actual chronology, we see her in 1942 Paris, energetically resisting the slowly turning screws of the Vichy government at the behest of the sinister Gestapo, falling in love, and then tumbling into the maw of the upcoming genocide. With less violence and more canny tension-building, splendid, non-grandstanding acting throughout, and sure-footed plotting, the movie builds a sense of horror toward what might be a predictable outcome but is saved from viewer dissatisfaction by some wonderful, inspired final scenes.