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The Changelog – June 2024

The "worst month" ended up being better than expected. But it had to hit me with a flu.

In the last issue, I lamented May’s lack of passion and my inability to connect with anything in particular. In June, instead, I caught up with everything. I got very invested in many things. I loved tons of movies, and I lost myself (and spent too much money) in a lot of different music genres.

It was like a dam broke. June brought me all the enthusiasm I lacked in May. It arrived and swept me with strength.

And June was long (as this newsletter will be long), or at least it felt that way. It was one of those months in which you look back on June 1st and it looks like a year ago.

Although struggles are still there, it was nice to live outside of my head.


I wrote a comment on a beautiful linguistic/mathematical properties of LLMs. Because I am a fucking nerd and I like mathematical things.

I also started messing with my blog theme a bit. So, I am sorry if I break something in the meantime.


I could have read more, to be honest, but I am very satisfied with the result.

  • 🪖 How to Think About War by Thucydides, translated by Johanna Hanink. Another wonderful entry from Princeton’s Ancient Wisdom for Modern Readers series. This time, we have six selections from Thucydides’ History of Peloponnesian War. An important reflection about war, still current, after over 2000 years.
  • 💬 How to Write Dazzling Dialogue by James Scott Bell. This month I did a light revision of my first novel and I wanted to refresh some dialog tricks. Books about writing keep me in the zone, and the Scott Bell ones are great for that (plus, I got an extensive list of movies to watch).
  • 🏛️ Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. It took me ages to finish this book. My fault: I read a couple of sections every few weeks for a year. I have to say that I am very puzzled about it. The writing is fascinating and full of precise evidence, but Harari strings them together in a coherent speculative narrative in a way that contrast with the factual identity of the work. It is an interesting story, a plausible story maybe, but a story nevertheless.


Perfect Days (2023)

Around the middle of the movie, I wondered when the “breaking plot point” would happen. It wasn’t because I was bored or anything (the silent portrait of a procession of mundane activities has a pleasant, meditative, and relaxing quality), but rather because my “news-addicted brain” craves novelty, change, and the unexpected. Without them, I feel a certain discomfort building up.

And it was at that moment that I realized the moral of the movie. Things were already happening. They were happening in the minor variations of Hirayama’s everyday routine. A routine consciously chosen by him, who probably has a wealthy family (given that his sister has a driver) but chose the most humble job ever, lives his analogic days without a watch, without an alarm, waking up with environmental sounds going to sleep when he cannot read anymore. Embracing the good days because they are good, the unexpected ones because they are unexpected, and the hard ones because they are part of nature and would be madness to expect immutability. Because “now is now” and another time will be another time. 

Perfect Days is a wonderful movie.

One Week (1920)

A year ago, more or less, I stumbled into a short Buster Keaton silent movie on YouTube (here). It is the story of a young, just-married couple that received a build-it-yourself house as a wedding gift. However, an envious friend changes the numbers on the assembly kit, creating the premise for a lot of “weird house” gags. It is only 20 minutes long, but from that moment, I fell in love with Buster Keaton and entered a rabbit hole of silent movies.

Maybe it’s not the most impressive of Keaton’s filmography (there are some pretty crazy stunts, but nothing like in other films), but it’s a short, sweet piece of work. And Sybil Seely is so adorable she will be burnt into your brain forever.

Godzilla Minus One (2023)

I am a bit of a Godzilla/Kaiju noob, but I liked this one. I appreciated the 1940s settings, that it wasn’t just a “big lizard go braaaw” and, instead, there was a big focus on the human relationships and the handling of Japanese post-war trauma. After all, Godzilla was a metaphor for nuclear weapons. That’s why Japanese Godzilla movies are usually good and the American ones usually suck.

All the rest

Here it is a brief comment on the other 24 movies I watch in June (for more comments, you can refer to my Letterboxd profile).

  • Lo Chiamavano Trinità (They Call Me Trinity) (1970). I had to rewatch it. I do it periodically. One of my favorite from my youth and one of the few movies I know by memory, almost line by line.
  • The Beach Boys (2024). A documentary on The Beach Boys surf-rock band. Informative, but I would only recommend it to interested people.
  • Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (2024). It reaches the greatness of Fury Road? No. It was supposed to do that? No. It was really good. Yes.
  • Get Out (2017). I have a very opinionated taste for horrors. But Jordan Peele’s debut title “Get Out” is fantastic.
  • Oppenheimer (2023). I wanted to put it in the “top 3” spot, but everybody already told everything about it. And it won an Oscar for Best Movie. So let me just say that it was a really deserved Best Movie Award.
  • Eric (2024). Another entry for the Cumberbatch Cinematic Universe. This is a mini-series that, imho, is worth watching. Far from perfect, but gives you a good idea of how shitty the 80s were for some people.
  • Viaggio in Italia (Journey to Italy) (1954). It is the third Ingrid Bergman’s movie in a row I watched where she ends up with some insufferable twit.
  • 10 Things I Hate About You (1999). A funny film. But it deserves the role of the 4th most high-voted movie ever by people who identify as “she”? I’d say no. But I am not a she, after all. So what do I know?
  • The Cameraman (1923). One of my favorite Buster Keaton’s movie. There is comedy, action, machine guns, fights, rioting Chinese mans, suspense, high-speed boat incidents, romance, and a monkey. What more do you want?
  • All the 5 Indiana Jones. This month I also watched all the Indiana Jones movies (I rewatched the original trilogy and then watched the other two). It would take too much to review all of them, so here it is one-word for each one of them: GOOD, SUCKS, GOOD, SUCKS, FINE.
  • The General (1926). The Buster Keaton’s masterpiece. But, not my favorite. It is a bit too serious, I’d say. But the locomotive stunts are C R A Z Y.
  • Bad Boys (1995) and Bad Boys II (2003). Never watched a Bad Boys. With the new one on theater, I said: why not? The first one is really rough, it looks put together quick by some confused people. But the second one is a pretty solid action movie.
  • Dune: Part Two (2023). Finally. My gut feeling tells me I liked it less than the first, but it is “cinematographically” superior. Now let’s wait for the third.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2020). I have to say; I had fun. Worth it. Jim Carry’s Robotnik was great.
  • Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019). Whenever I see Pokémons on the screen, I am happy. But Mr. Mime is a damn nightmare fuel.
  • The Menu (2022). A brilliant concept that fell short by muddling his message after the first half. It would have helped if anyone in that movie behaved like an actual human being.
  • Clear and Present Danger (1994). It is a great example of a movie that has no apparent defect but, in the end, I could not care at all. Willem Dafoe’s character is rad, though.
  • The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974). High praised movie from the 70s with a solid Walter Matthau. I was not super excited about it. However, it has the best ending frame of the history of cinema.
  • Suzume (2022). From the author of Your Name. It didn’t hit me so hard, probably because it is very symbolic and allegoric. A story about grief and trauma for the March 2011 tsunami.
  • The Fugitive (1993). It looks like I am following some kind of Harrison Ford marathon. Anyway, this is the perfect thriller movie.


June has been a terrific month for music. Not only I fell again into the Power Metal rabbit hole, but this month saw the release of a lot of excellent albums.

Charli XCX’s BRAT it is clearly in pole position for the best 2024 album. Ulcerate’s Cutting the Throat of God is another great album that broke the boundaries of Dissonant Death Metal and Willie Nelson released his 75th studio album (the 100th if you count the collaborations) at 91 years old. The album is The Border. And it was a very good one.

But I want to showcase the latest album by Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats. They are a neo-psychedelic group from Cambridge, founded in 2009, raiding a kind of noir/horror esthetic for their works. To give you an idea, they remind me of the early Black Sabbath.

Anyway, their latest album, titled “Nell’ Ora Blu,” can be seen as a fictional soundtrack for a 70s Italian crime movie. But it is more: it is a radio drama. Yes. The band had the guts to call original 70s actors such as Franco Nero, Edwige Fenech, and Luc Merenda to recite a script for the album. It is outstanding.

They directly took the man in the cover from the movie poster of “So sweet, so dead”, the English title of the mouthful Italian movie Rivelazioni di un maniaco sessuale al capo della squadra mobile.
Figure 8. They directly took the man in the cover from the movie poster of “So sweet, so dead”, the English title of the mouthful Italian movie Rivelazioni di un maniaco sessuale al capo della squadra mobile.

As such, the album really wants to be heard from top to bottom. It is a wonderful experience if you are in the mood.

(Yes, the album is in Italian. So I have a natural advantage for its fruitions.)

If you think it is a niche project, you are not alone. In the words of Kevin R. “Uncle Acid” Starrs:

I know something like this might have limited appeal, but who cares? Most of what we do has a limited appeal anyway!


If I remember correctly, I did no gaming in June. 🫤 I have some early comments on SKALD: Against the Black Priory, but probably it is better to wait for next month. Maybe.


With this, we reached the end of this long ChangeLog issue and now it is July’s turn to play its card. I already know that the unusually cold weather will end and this will create some problems with my output. However, I usually like July: it is the month where I appreciate the summer perks (in contrast with August, that is when I really get sick of summer). Can I keep up the momentum?

The only way to know is to wait.

See you next time!

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