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Friday five favourites

1. Cold Feet

A comedy-drama broadcast between 1997 and 2003, this September saw the return of Cold Feet to British screens. Comparisons with Friends where often made during its original run, yet it somehow passed me by. This time round I was unexpectedly hooked, so after the latest series finished, I decided to watch the first five. Mike Bullen’s story begins just as mobile phones are becoming mainstream, and finishes while the Internet is still a novelty. There’s a dissonance watching these early episodes; a contemporary screenplay takes place among nascent technologies that now appear dated, yet by the end I was longing for their return. Simpler times.

2. The Beauty of Transport

I recently stumbled upon The Beauty of Transport, a blog by Daniel Wright about transport design and its influence on art and culture. This blog does a great job highlighting the often ignored and under appreciated projects, be they a signal box, a multi-story car park, or the ‘flying banana’.

3. The Photography of Hilla and Bernd Becher

When I visited Basel’s newly expanded art museum earlier this year, I came across a collection of photos by Hilla and Bernd Becher (before stumbling across them again a few weeks later at Tate Modern). While their subject matter – Europe’s post-war industrial landscape – could be considered banal, the consistent framing of structures like water towers, coal bunkers, gas tanks forces you to study the design details that give each their own identity.

4. The Adam Buxton Podcast

I’ve long been a fan of Adam & Joe, a comedy duo whose late-night Channel 4 show was essential viewing in the late nineties. With Joe now writing and directing films, Adam is producing his own podcast, interviewing an eclectic mix of guests from the world of comedy and the arts. Buxton’s open and often knowingly naive demeanour makes for interesting discussions, while his earworm inducing jingles have me in stitches every time. Bonus favourite: his ode to Sushi.

5. Force Majeure

The Swedish-language film Force Majeure depicts the tension between a husband and wife after a controlled avalanche threatens their family during a skiing holiday. The strength of the film’s pivotal scene – spotted during a televised awards ceremony – was enough for me seek it out, and I wasn’t disappointed, even though it makes for uncomfortable and excruciating viewing.