The UK is sweltering in an unseasonal and very welcome heat wave following a cold spring. Just the moment for a drop of the dark liqueur on the lawn. I have been preparing a post on the Japanese director, Mamoru Oshii, so in his commercial for Murphy's Irish Stout you see what a big budget and an even bigger director can do. There's not a lot that's Irish and an awful amount that's pure Japanese genius. The build-up to the arrival in the bar is breath-taking as the Samurai warrior makes his way via underground sewers, up and out of the manhole cover, through a neon light city, leaping from automobile to automobile underneath the admiring gaze of the blonde in the glass tower; and no, it's not a scrap, he's got the scent of Irish stout in his nostrils and is just in time to meet his mates at the pub. Pure genius, to steal a phrase from Murphy's main competitor. In passing we see the guys who quarrelled with the gang the previous evening sort of tied up for the night and the old fellow with the mechanical leg ringing our bell. Pastiche comes no sweeter than this.