...and four other things you need to know about this week, including the book to sort out your bonce, a Nordic Noir with a British accent and a festival launch party that should prove a Near Death ExperienceMore
Don’t expect to come out of Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film Inherent Vice with any sense of what has just happened to you, or the film’s title character, Larry 'Doc' Sportello, played by Joaquin Phoenix. Of course Anderson has been known to make movies with an element of the unfathomable about them – The Master being a case in point – but with this one he’s into a whole new realm of WTF.
Of course, he’s just being true to the source material – the film is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by the notoriously unfilmable-novel writer Thomas Pynchon. Instead, sit back in the smoggy Seventies’ haze as Doc tries hopelessly to get to the bottom of a possible conspiracy deep in the heart of the LAPD, and enjoy the legion A-list cameos from the likes of Reece Witherspoon, Benecio Del Toro, Owen Wilson and Josh Brolin.
Does your brain feel like it’s straining at the seams? Do you feel like one more piece of information could, at any time, cause your eyes to roll up in your head and your ears to emit puffs of steam? You may be suffering from cognitive overload, a symptom of the age of digital bombardment, but, argues neuroscientist Daniel J Levitin in his new book, it is neither a new phenomenon, nor an unsolvable one.
The evolution of the human brain, argues Levitin, has yet to catch up with the speed of technological change, and he talks in detail about the workings of memory and attention spans, but then he gets down to business: how to organize your home, how to create good (memorable) passwords, how to conduct useful conversations, the practicalities of decision-making, and how to arrange your sock drawer (possibly). At nearly 500 pages long, you could pretty much reprogramme your life with this book – as long as you can organize the time to read it.