Now for the surprise: Maleficent felt like a credible anarchafeminist fairytale.
[Trigger warnings: rape.]
I was surprised by Maleficent. I was expecting to be sorely disappointed, given the predictability of mainstream media that leaves us low bars like, ‘a single strong female character’! After the joyfulness of the first few minutes I almost wanted to walk out of the cinema before, I thought, everything inevitably came crashing down into the usual mess of Disney fairytales.
As usual, the judges want to tell us that this a longlist of ambition, breadth and depth, but this year more than most, that seems like a disingenuous claim.
This year’s Man Booker Prize, in its first outing since the controversial rule change, was widely tipped to be The Coming of the Americans writ large. Previously open only to novels by Commonwealth authors, this year the Man Booker is open to any book published in the UK in the relevant period – hence, USian authors are eligible, and were expected to dominate. On the eve of the longlist announcement, many pundits were tipping a longlist that was over half or even two-thirds American-authored, and some big name American writers were being touted as shoe-ins.
Campaign of Hate is a thoughtful examination of Russia’s heinous, anti-LGBT propaganda laws via one-on-one interviews with those most affected by them.
Michael Lucas is the most mainstreamed, provocative, and controversial figure in gay adult entertainment” according to his website, and it’s hard not to believe the hype. A sort of David O. Selznick of gay porn – if Selznick had also directed and starred in his lavish talkies – the Russian émigré lawyer turned porn emperor is the founder of Lucas Entertainment, one of the biggest studios in the blue movie game. Back in 2006 that NYC-based company produced “Michael Lucas’ La Dolce Vita,” a record-setting adult remake of the Fellini masterpiece that took home all 14 of its AVN nominations. (In comparison, “Gone with the Wind” only nabbed 10 of 13 nominations at the vanilla Oscars in 1940. Take that, Selznick International Pictures!)
It is no surprise that The Goldfinch won the Pulitzer Prize.
It’s been a fair while between drinks for Donna Tartt. Her previous novel, The Little Friend, came out in 2002; The Goldfinch, her latest (and, as I will argue below, certainly her greatest to date) book hit the shelves in 2013. Such a gap is par for the course for Tartt, though – The Goldfinch is only her third published novel in a 21-year writing career, her debut, The Secret History, being published in 1992, when she was 29.
This is a show of human dramas, but it’s also one about how the establishment began to understand the complex physiology of human sexuality, from orgasms to electrical activity in the brain to the hormonal responses involved in sex.
Masters of Sex is back on Showtime as of Sunday, with a doozy of an episode in “Parallax.” The Showtime drama is one among many shows competing for the attention of viewers suddenly drawn to costume dramas, but it’s more slow, thoughtful, and pensive than programmes like Downton Abbey, which seem to whip from plot point to plot point. Like many shows that move more quietly, Masters of Sex hasn’t received quite the buzz and attention as flashy offerings like Game of Thrones, but it did manage to score an Emmy nod (Lizzy Caplan as Victoria Johnson).
What Wright does in The Swan Book is something extraordinary – she holds a future mirror up to an Australia ruined by greed and racism, and asks, Do you like what you see?
“Even true stories have to be invented sometimes to be remembered…”
The winner of Australia’s premier literary prize, the Miles Franklin Award, was announced last week – it went to Evie Wyld’s All the Birds, Singing, selected from a shortlist of six fairly diverse titles. While there is no doubt Wyld’s is a very good book, I admit to being slightly disappointed. The book I would have picked, the book that I thought head and shoulders above the rest, wasn’t the winner.
Extant may end up asking what remains of us as a culture when we come to rely too heavily on technology, and when we begin to develop technology that is self-aware and intelligent enough to become manipulating, conniving, and sinister.
Making the hop from film to television seems to be increasingly common these days, so it’s no great surprise to see Halle Berry headlining CBS’s latest sci-fi offering, Extant. The show premiered on Wednesday to unexceptional ratings, and it’s unclear what sort of future lies in store for it. Summer is traditionally the season of popcorn television and casual entertainment, making the slightly over-the-top drama a good fit, but can CBS keep it going beyond the first season?
These are the books you really need to read before you reach the pearly gates.
There has been so many books published over the years in both classic and contemporary genres that it is so hard to know what is valuable or interesting to read and what is not. In this article I aim to highlight the books you really need to read before you reach the pearly gates.
Could 2014 be a turning point for US networks in terms of learning about the handling of race?
With a rise in interest in sweeping historical dramas filled with intrigue, betrayal, amazing frocks, and sensuality, it’s not surprising to see almost every US network vying to produce some version of the costume drama for its viewers — and to see networks casting further afield for more grand ambitions of setting, scope, and history. When Fox announced Hieroglyph, a series about a thief plucked from prison to serve the Pharaoh, it seemed like a particularly outstanding and innovative take on the costume drama, a programme that would plunge into an era of history that hasn’t been explored very much on television. Ancient Egypt has a rich, fascinating, and complex history with plenty of real-world drama to build on.
Joanna Hogg’s third film “Exhibition” confirms her as that rare creature, a British auteur director.
What if in this age of austerity all the modernist homes of the urban intelligentsia were actually spacecraft? What if these chameleon constructs were housing the agents of bourgeois gentrification? Artists H and D (conceptual artist Liam Gillick and “Slits” guitarist Viv Albertine) may look like human beings, talk like human beings, walk like human beings, but there is something missing, something disconnected, broken off and unformed when these facsimiles were first manufactured.
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