Showing posts from January, 2015


The second stop in my short trip through 2014's lesser-known genre filmmaking is James Ward Byrkit's Coherence .  Which turned out to be fortuitous, as the comparison between Coherence and The One I Love revealed some interesting similarities, as well as telling differences.  On the surface level, the two films feel very different-- The One I Love is intimate and tightly focused, while Coherence is chaotic and occasionally rambling.  Coherence has a more overtly SFnal subject matter, which it expresses through the more obvious tropes of horror filmmaking, such as jump scares and dark shadows, a stark contrast to how The One I Love conceals its horror story under a sunny, comedic tone.  And perhaps most importantly, Coherence is a micro-budget production (IMDb claims it was made for $50K, which if accurate is very impressive indeed) next to which even the small-budget, independent The One I Love looks polished and well-funded. Dig a little deeper, though, and the two f

The One I Love

I wrote some half dozen full-length film reviews in 2014, and looking back, almost every one of them revolves around the theme of how difficult it is to find genuinely intelligent, thoughtful SF movies.  "Intelligent," in this context, means a willingness to engage with the SFnal tropes that drive a story, to explore their implications on the film's characters or even its world, instead of plumping for the familiar story beats of a superhero movie or a family drama without asking what the existence of the SFnal does to change them.  As I get to catching up with the 2014 culture that I wanted to get to (and in preparation for Hugo nominating, open until March 10th ), I've been exploring the year's smaller-budget genre efforts, and finding a much greater willingness to explore the limits of the genre than in the studio fare. The first of these forays, The One I Love , is not precisely the elusive beast I've been looking for.  Rather, it takes a fantastic eleme

Winter Crop, 2015 Edition

After a profoundly lackluster fall pilot season, the networks and cable channels seem to be pulling out all the stops for the midseason.  Just about every odd, high-concept, genre-ish series on the roster seems to have been held back for January, and if the resulting shows aren't always good, they're at least interesting to think and write about.  Not covered at length in this post, but still interesting, are Empire (whose concept I respect but whose episodes have a weird habit of collapsing into incoherent messes around the 20-minute mark), new comedies Togetherness (low concept but extremely well made), Man Seeks Woman (high concept that doesn't quite work but is funny enough to be worth a second chance), and Schitt's Creek (horrible title; surprisingly clever writing and some stellar acting from a great cast; too much reliance on cringe humor for my tastes), teen-oriented shows Hindsight and Eye Candy (sometimes YA shows work for adults; this is not one of thos

The 2015 Hugo Awards: Thoughts on Nominating

Is it just me, or does it seem as if Hugo season gets longer and longer every year?  The first few months of the year are taken up with nominating.  The spring is dedicated to arguing about the nominees.  The summer is spent anticipating the winners and then--which is really much more fun--obsessively analyzing the nominating and voting statistics.  It's only in the fall that we have a brief reprieve, and then the whole thing starts all over again.  Which it has--at the end of this month the Hugo nominating period will begin, and in anticipation of that, I have a few thoughts for people who are, or are considering becoming, Hugo nominators. Because it seems that every year there are more people coming in who find the Hugo rules baffling (which they are, I'm not judging here), let's get the boilerplate out of the way.  You are eligible to nominate for the 2015 Hugo awards if you are: An attending or supporting member of LonCon 3 , the 2014 Worldcon. An attending or sup