A 1950s Alternative Universe

on Saturday night I found myself watching a late-night 1950s black and white movie – something I haven’t done much of since the demise of Bill Collins and Ivan Hutchinson’s shows. Oh, how I used to love those old black and white movies (cue massive eyeroll from the kids). Some of the interest lies in a mixture of plot points which appear to have been written while dropping acid combined with gender and class expectations which are all too real.

It’s all connected: story and song

Stuff I’m reading [click through to the links for context]: I’m reading girlejones at mynxii’s place: The arts are the mechanism through which individuals of society express themselves, commentate and protest. It’s what gives individuals a voice and it’s a… Read More ›

Labyrinth As Feminist Myth

Despite its potential, feature movie fantasy hasn’t traditionally been the go-to genre for feminist fiction.

Enter Labyrinth, in 1986.

Jennifer Connelly is an absolute joy as teenage protagonist Sarah Williams, discovering her power – not just the power to solve the labyrinth of the title, but the power to resist the coercion of David Bowie’s illusionist Goblin King, Jareth. Sarah solves puzzles, makes friends, and navigates her way through a series of illusions and temptations, culminating in her rejection of the King’s power in a maze of Escher staircases.

Cinematographers gone wild

on this week’s Wire In The Blood. First a super arty shot with mirrors, then another super arty noir shot though blinds, then bloody handhelds. Dear Sir or Madam, you are distracting from the narrative. Knock it off. Ta.

SF Sunday: intricately detailed worlds etc

I was having a grand old discussion about space-elevators (originally called sky-hooks) with my DBH last night, in particular how Arthur C. Clarke managed to flub some of the construction-tech in Fountains of Paradise, and how Charles Sheffield’s more accurate construction-tech in his almost simultaneously published space-elevator novel was mocked for not being the same as Clarke’s even after Clarke said “hey, actually he got it right”.

Friday Hoyden: Elphaba

A mile above Oz, the Witch balanced on the wind’s forward edge, as if she were a green fleck of the land itself, flung up and sent wheeling away by the turbulent air. That is the opening sentence of the… Read More ›