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Showing posts from March, 2012

The Hunger Games

To get the boring stuff out of the way first: The Huger Games is a good movie.  Tense, fast-paced, and riveting, its nearly two and a half hour running time passes effortlessly and with a white-knuckle intensity that leaves one feeling almost breathless when the credits roll.  Jennifer Lawrence is excellent as Katniss Everdeen, the girl forced to compete for her life in a gladiatorial contest with twenty three other children, including one who is in love with her, crafting a character who is both heroic and overwhelmed, savvy and naive.  The film's world, a future America called Panem in which a hedonistic, wealthy capitol lords over the dirt poor districts that produce its food, goods, and energy, is a perfect blend of the familiar, the futuristic, and the backwards--Katniss's home, district 12, looks and feels in many ways like a Depression-era mining town, but with enough touches or modernity to make it believable as a backwater of a futuristic empire, and the capitol is op…

Hugo

Like, I suspect, a lot of people of my generation, my first introduction to George Méliès's 1902 silent film A Trip to the Moon came from the Smashing Pumpkins' 1996 music video "Tonight, Tonight."  At the time, I had no idea who Méliès was or even that the video was an homage--it was simply a gorgeous, halucinatory short film set to beautiful music.  It was another homage to A Trip to the Moon that introduced me to Méliès's name and his importance in the history of filmmaking--the final episode of the 1998 miniseries From the Earth to the Moon, titled "Le Voyage dans la Lune," cuts between the preparations for the final Apollo mission and an interview with one of Méliès's assistants (played by producer Tom Hanks), who describes the film's production.  Martin Scorsese's Oscar-nominated, rapturously received film Hugo (based on the novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick) also has Méliès and A Trip to the Moon at its heart, but i…

The 2012 Hugo Awards: My Draft Hugo Ballot

I'm not sure that I've mentioned it here before, but I'm a member of Chicon 7, the 2012 Worldcon that will be held at the end of August in Chicago.  It's a bit up in the air yet whether I'll actually be able to attend, but for the time being I'm a member, which gives me nominating rights for the Hugo awards.  The deadline for submitting nominations is fast approaching--March 11th--and I'm afraid my progress through the ranks of prospective nominees has been poor.  If in previous years I made a point of reading through the year's entire output of short fiction magazines, online and off, and sought out books that might be likely nominees, this year I just haven't had the time.  In the short fiction categories, I've settled for relying on others to thin the herd--the Locus Recommended Reading List (as previously mentioned, Liz has a post linking to those stories on the list that are available online), Rachel Swirsky's recommendation posts (shor…