SF Question of the Day: Dune and Lawrence of Arabia

Would Frank Herbert’s Dune have been such a wide success if its publication in 1965 had not been preceded by David Lean’s masterful cinematography of windswept dunes in 1962’s Lawrence of Arabia?

How, more generally, does our experience of pictorial representations of landscapes and people (both still and moving pictures) influence our perceptions of other works of art, of the world and people around us, and even of our own self-awareness?

Racebending and Cloud Atlas

Variety described the notion of white actors playing Asians as “exciting,” suggesting that the Wachowskis “put the lie to the notion that casting — an inherently discriminatory art — cannot be adapted to a more enlightened standard of performance over mere appearance.” The irony of this declaration is overwhelming — praising a film for “enlightened” casting choices that merely replay old discriminatory practices.

Soft targets

While I’m anticipating the new version of Total Recall with Colin Farrell with a certain degree of relish, I can’t help but note that so far as late-80s Arnie dystopic movie remakes go, TR aims at much softer (because interplanetary farther-future etc) targets than The Running Man ever did.

Vale Nora Ephron

A warm and moving tribute from Melissa Silverstein at Women & Hollywood. I’m sitting here reeling from the news that Nora Ephron has died. No one even knew she was sick and now she is gone.

Friday Hoyden: Madonna

Just like the political press gallery, the showbiz beat reporters love to have a predictable narrative for artists, especially female performers, and she just doesn’t play that game.

Less than 2 weeks left to rate favourite Oz films for IF awards

… it’s a timely reminder that now is the time to make your opinion count in terms of the latest Australian films that are contenders for awards. For those concerned with social justice and media representations of marginalised groups, it’s an excellent opportunity to vote up films with diverse and inclusive casts and storylines.