1. Jonathan Glazer’s Under the Skin is a film about a beautiful, scary alien that is itself beautiful and scary and alien: it’s an entirely extraordinary, outrageously sensual film that Glazer’s previous excellent work had really only hinted at, partially and indistinctly. His Sexy Beast (2000) was a visually accomplished, exciting and intelligent crime thriller that was way ahead of the woeful mockney-geezer mode of the time. Birth (2004) had Kubrickian ingenuity and chill, with some remarkable moments; it was a movie that deserves cult-classic status but has yet to achieve it. Then a decade went by, and it seemed that Glazer might be a stylist for whom a sustained cinema career would perhaps not be achievable (and heaven knows, it can happen to the most talented).
4. I experienced this pessimism personally in Davos in January 2014. Several leading western intellectuals asked me whether war would break out between China and Japan. I was so confident that there would be no war in east Asia that I offered to take bets with ten-to-one odds against myself with eminent western journalists. Two took up my bets. And I will be collecting on these bets when I return to Davos in January.
6. Key projected targets for development this year:
According to the announcement, the new administrative center in Tongzhou will put infrastructure upgrades and ecological improvement on top of the agenda. The municipal government hopes to improve public services in education, healthcare, cultural events and industries in the district.