"a forum for anonymous rage"

Mary Adams and other BBC female pioneers who inspired my love for Natural History:
"If you ask someone to describe what a wildlife filmmaker looks like, I suspect they’d paint a portrait of a man with a beard and a big camera wearing camouflage gear. But I’m a wildlife filmmaker - I’m a petite, 38-year old woman, and there are plenty of others like me."

Death threats and angry chefs – when restaurant reviews go wrong:
"Eating nice food for a living sounds great, but there are downsides: from being unmasked to finding out, after you’ve published a glowing review, that there were rodents in the kitchen. The UK’s top critics spill the beans."

Thor: Ragnarok actress Tessa Thompson talks redefining Valkyrie:
"EW talked to Thompson about reimagining the role, training like Linda Hamilton, and finding the right sized cape."

'Buffy' at 20: Joss Whedon Talks TV Today, Reboot Fatigue and the Trouble With Binging:
"The internet often appears to exist for just two purposes. It provides a forum for anonymous rage and, maybe less frequently, it can be communal spot by the pop culture fireplace — where people can warm their hands at the embers of nostalgia. On Friday, it will probably bend toward the latter."

Art of the Title: My So-Called Life (1994)
"Go now, go."

"a cheerleader going into an alley"

Buffy the Vampire Slayer at 20: the thrilling, brilliant birth of TV as art:
"Twenty years on, the brilliance of Joss Whedon’s funny, tragic seven-season synthesis of most film and TV genres, literary conceits and pop cultural tropes remains undimmed."

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a feminist parable for everyone – including me:
"Anthony Stewart Head: Twenty years after we started, I see that our series gave flesh (and horns) to the demons we all face in life: teenage Buffy’s storylines transcended age or gender."

And here are some archive links from this blog. This blog is old. The first three were written after transmission.

Season Five Review:
"The actual teaser was an actualization of the idea which Creator Joss Wheadon has sited as his reason for creating the film and show – a cheerleader going into an alley and able to surprise her attacker with her funny and martial arts. As the scene played out it was clear that the world was on her shoulders."

Season Six Review:
"The seasonal structure of the series is actually fairly brave. A main arc based about a 'big bad' which runs through all twenty-two episodes, weaving its way through the stand alone episodes. It's a middle ground between the Classic Star Trek model in which the reset switch in the characters is effectively pressed at the end of each episode no matter how life changing the moment and The X-Files in which a conspiracy story carried on interminably for nine series and still wasn't resolved. It gives the seasons a form very similar to film, albeit over a much more extended period. By having a massive foe it also offers a good shorthand of good guy / bad guy for casual viewers."

Season Seven Review:
"Then the season plot kicked in and things began to go all floopy, the balance thrown asunder. Xander started making big speeches. Willow began to worry about her witchcraft and the burden of responsibility again weighed heavy on Buffy's shoulders. The obsession with Spike showed itself again, the premise of the show being stretched again as the VAMPIRE who had KILLED PEOPLE was kept alive because he was a main character who was popular. The fact that all the fun had left him seasons ago when he was neuter didn't matter. I'm not anti-Spike. He's a great character. I'm just anti-whattheydidtohim."

rewatching all of the television series on which Joss Whedon has had overall creative control
"My expected appreciation curve for Buffy: The Vampire Slayer was that after a barnstorming first three seasons, the show would become a rather patchier affair in which individual piece of classic television usually written and directed by Whedon himself (Hush, The Body, Once More With Feeling) provided a scaffold for less compelling overall story arcs and baddies, with the Nerd Trio in Season Six, and Season Six actually the nadir."

Mystery Music March in April: Once More With Feeling – The Cast of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer:
"I just love Once More With Feeling. Fans of musical theatre probably look down their nose at it and can see the broad shoulders of the giants it’s balancing on but the only musical I can sing along to from top to bottom and which (and I do think this is important) has an emotional content I can relate to. The problem I often have with musicals is that no matter how good the book, or how much empathy can be generated through the touching emotional break, the songs themselves are meaningless outside of their context."

"inspiring women"

F-rated: IMDb introduces classification system to highlight work by women:
"Rating awarded to Frozen, American Honey and others, as database adopts system to raise profile of movies written by, directed by and starring women."

Ten Modern Women who helped to change the world:
"On International Women’s Day a new book, Modern Women: 52 Pioneers casts a light on inspiring women who have helped change the world for the better. BIDISHA picks out her personal top ten and talks to the author about the challenges women still face."

Lisa Scott-Lee interview: “We said — it’s twenty years of Steps, what can we do to make it special?”
"Are you hoping for B-List at Capital?"

The 1947 Fuel Crisis and the BBC:
"It now seems like an incredible tale from the dim and distant past, but because of a national fuel shortage during the harsh winter of early 1947, the BBC Television Service and the Third Programme, precursor to Radio 3, closed down for several weeks to conserve electricity."

And then the Strangest Thing Happened: What is Adam Curtis doing?
"WHEN ADAM CURTIS’S NEW DOCUMENTARY HyperNormalisation premiered on the BBC’s online iPlayer service last fall, the journalist Chris Applegate compiled an Adam Curtis Bingo card that circulated widely on Twitter and Facebook."

When is Logan set?

Film Just returned from seeing Logan. I don't quite have a coherent opinion about it yet, although my suspicion is less impressed than some, but it'll be interesting to know how that changes after a second viewing when I'm more prepared for the tone and the surprises are anything but.

With everything which happens, it's probably worth returning to the X-Men chronology questions which this blog has been wrestling with in recent years and exactly which order in which the Fox MARVEL films are supposed to be viewed.

As such this will necessitate spoilers, so here's the Deadpool mini-feature, which oddly enough didn't appear in front of the screening I attended. Perhaps it was just a US thing. Anyway ... enjoy this gap for glancing away ...

Brutal. Not as brutal as Logan though.

Anyway, previously we discussed although it seems like the best way to watch the films is by following Logan's consciousness as it bounces around time:

X-Men Origins: Wolverine
X-Men 2
X-Men 3 (or whatever it's called in your end of the world)
The Wolverine
First Class
X-Men: Days of Future Past
X-Men: Apocalypse

Although as I later discovered after actually watching the films in this order parts of the rebooted films negate Origins even though it's set before them.  Shrug.

Incidentally, this guy at Cinefix pretty much follows this template then makes the mistake of assuming the Logan who turns up at the end of DoFP has lived through all the years again, when in fact its some other version of him, the one who's a berserker in Apocalypse, who then has his brain wiped over by the original Logan when his consciousness returns from the past into the altered future.

So where does this leave the film Logan?

[Brief sidebar.  In the original timeline, Logan was perfectly healthy right into the future whereas here he's noticeably older and dying of adamantium poisoning.  Is it possible that because he was freed in Apocalypse in a different way and possibly earlier to that established in the other films it was before the end of his treatment and not given the necessary ability to counteract the cumulative effects of having the metal in his body?]

As the Cinefix guy notices if the end of DoFP is set in 2023 and Logan is set in 2029, that means that within six years everything goes to shit for the mutants, Richard E Grant's doctor has done for them through the food supply in a way which the sentinels didn't quite manage in the original.  Plus there's a suspicion that Xavier's accidentally destroyed the school and killed the X-Men through his mental earthquake shock thingy.

Oh fuck is this a depressing film.

But there's nothing in here to say that any rewatch of the series shouldn't end on Logan.  Various bits of film mythology are mentioned but interestingly everything is suggested.  Nothing is specific.  None of the other X-Men are named.  Not even Jean.  Or the events which led this Logan to being in this body with Xavier aware of the change.

Oh fuck this is a depressing film.

Because that means that whatever happens in the next X-film and anything else in this 'verse, we know that none of it matters.  However much Brian Singer or whoever wants to guide the story towards the epilogue of DoFP, six years after that Xavier's going to be murdered by X-24 and Logan will die defending his daughter.  I did warn you.

Some have suggested that it's set in the original timeline which doesn't make much sense given that everyone was going to die anyway until Wolverine succeeded.  Plus the information in here doesn't tally with what's in there.

The other possibility is that it's a What If? type story or that its set in a kind of "real" timeline in which the other films have the same veracity as the comic books which are mentioned.  But that's not really satisfactory either.

Fox has effectively murdered one of its major franchises just as it was getting going again.

Which isn't to say I wouldn't be interested in seeing another film set afterwards with all of these genetically engineered mutants on the run in Canada.

My Favourite Film of 1909.

Film There’s a spectacular moment during Charles Kent’s eight minute version of A Midsummer Night Dream which I’m still yet unable to explain. When Oberon tasks Puck to seek the flower which will the source of the night’s romantic farce and his servant says he’ll “I'll put a girdle round about the earth, In forty minutes” (not that the intertitle says this), the nymph is shown floating quickly into the sky then briefly speeding across the spinning earth before landing where the plant must be. Then the action is repeated as Puck makes the return journey.

The incident takes seconds, but even watching the shoddy capture of the film from the Wikipedia page, I’m enchanted. Perhaps the child is being whisked upwards on a wire. Perhaps we’re seeing a double or triple exposure when they’re circumnavigating the globe. But even now, I want to believe. With the rest of the film looking like it could have been filmed in some ancient time, I want to believe that what I’m watching is documentary evidence of fairies even if the effect is about as convincing as the papercuts of fairies at the bottom of a garden.

Special effects are rarely this awe inspiring of late. Watching the average film, even outside the sci-fi genre is to see a screen filled with computer graphics utilised to create the most mundane objects and vehicles. That has the effect of making the viewer assume that everything they’re seeing outside of the actors had their origin inside a computer which means that quite often the film makers then have to release set footage to show that actually a large proportion of what we’re seeing was created practically.

There’s not much which can be done about this now. When the remake/prequel to The Thing is shot with some perfectly reasonable and often brilliant practical effects but the studio orders they replaced with inferior digital effects because it’s what the audience expects (leading to the film being thoroughly trashed precisely because of how awful those intruder effects look) there’s no real chance of going back. I actually quite liked that film by the way and would be eager to see the version which hasn’t been visually bowdlerised.

There are exceptions both CGI and practical. Ant Man’s decent into the micro-verse. The corridors of Inception’s dream sequences. Every part of Gravity. But so inured are we wanting to see something extra special that when Doctor Strange didn’t quite deliver on showing us something we hadn’t seen before or rather that wasn’t simply another painted landscape we were disappointed especially given the hype about the visual leap of what we were about to see. When we see Rogue One, we’re somewhat impressed but quick to say, it’s fine but it’s not quite right. Not yet.

None of which is meant to denigrate the artists who work on something like Gods of Egypt; they’re creating the best work they can within the time and budget, directorial expectations and technological limitations. But I do miss the time when you’d see something happen in a film and be not quite sure how it was achieved, that there wasn’t a catch-all explanation however accurate that was. Say what you like about the remake of Point Break, but did you know that most of those stunts were filmed in actuality? Remarkable.