There was an interesting discussion between Jonathan Strahan and Gary Wolfe a while back on the Coode Street Podcast about the attractions of the novella form: long enough to allow some interesting world-building and development, but not as major a commitment as a novel. With Tor (in particular) publishing a number of novellas, there’s a market for the stories. Unsurprisingly, authors have risen to the challenge.… Read the rest
This is the story of a young Alfred Pennyworth (the future butler to Thomas Wayne), set in the 1950s in an alternative Britain. He was a soldier in the war, and starts a security service after the war. Produced by the makers of Gotham, Alfred reminds us of a young Michael Caine playing Harry Palmer in The Ipcress File — not just the accent, but the working class background and gruff attitude.
Ewart Shaw reviews Mortal Engines
“…Othello: And O you mortal engines whose rude throats
Th’immortal Jove’s dread clamors counterfeit..”
— Othello, III.ii.352
Mortal Engines based on the book by Philip Reeve, produced by Peter Jackson, evidently flopped badly at the box office. A film with an excellent pedigree may end up losing squillions. I loved it. I want the DVD when it comes out.… Read the rest
Apparently the title of this Russian film comes closer to ‘Non Love’ than ‘Loveless’. There is absolutely not one speck of love. The beginning is arrestingly bleak: slow shots of a snow-covered river bank with piercingly clashing splinters of music. When will we see some life?… Read the rest
Jennifer recalls Sydney in the 1960s
A Melbourne-dweller, I visited Sydney – a family holiday – in 1960. My mother had worked there during the war and she enjoyed showing us around. We went to Coogee Beach on a tram and ate lunch at a Repin’s Coffee Lounge. So, I remember the Sydney of 1959, depicted fondly by Bruce Beresford in his recently released film, Ladies in Black.… Read the rest
Do not read this book if you are squeamish about graphic descriptions of violence, blood, gore and truly horrible men. There are murders, betrayals, seal clubbing, whale slaughter and many other grisly activities, all described in vivid detail. The characters, all men, are violent, self seeking, venal and thoroughly obnoxious.
The story is about an army surgeon in the late 19th century who, down on his luck, joins an ill-fated whaler going into the arctic ice.
I think it is futile to attempt to summarise this show but here goes.
At the most basic level, it is about a theme park where the ‘hosts’ are computerised human simulacra and the ‘guests’ pay loads of money to act as they please, all be it in a Wild West setting, without consequences.… Read the rest
“Watt” was the second of Beckett’s novels in English, written while he and his partner were on the run from the Nazis in France. He wrote it as a way to stay sane in the face of the trauma of war.
This hour-long production, adapted and performed by Irish actor Barry McGovern, is a mesmeric delight.… Read the rest
Written by Kaiu Shirai and illustrated by Posuka Demizu, The Promised Neverland (Yakusoku no Nebārando) is a weekly manga series published by Shonen Jump. The series has climbed rapidly in the popularity rankings, and is now regarded as one of the most popular of the Weekly Shonen Jump mangas … Read the rest
I’ve been playing video games since the Atari VCS first hit the market and watching movies for even longer. I still spend way too much time on both. However, the combination of the two has not proven to be quite as appealing as I might have hoped.
The problem is, (with a few significant exceptions), video games aren’t noted for providing great cinematic plots.… Read the rest
Every week there’s only one TV series which brings everyone in our house into the same room (technically, what this actually means is that it draws my son away from his computer, but it is the same end result) – My Hero Academia (also known as Boku no Hīrō Akademia). We’ve been watching it almost every week since it first aired.… Read the rest
I thought I’d read the novel before seeing the film. (Red Sparrow is just the first novel in a trilogy)
This novel is by an ex CIA agent, so we would presume the spycraft is accurately described. There’s an interesting touch: whenever some dish is mentioned in the text, there’s a recipe at the end of the chapter, should the reader wish to try and replicate the dish.… Read the rest
This may well be the best Hollywood propaganda film made since Hitchcock’s North By North-West during the First Cold War. It comes as no surprise then that it’s based on a 2013 novel by former CIA operative Jason Mathews. Spies never retire so they say, and as a writer Mathews would appear to vindicate this saying.… Read the rest
Salvation, a US science fiction thriller TV series filmed in Canada, is a surprisingly enjoyable yet odd show. It starts with Liam Cole (played by Charlie Rowe), an MIT student who discovers an asteroid that is due to collide with the earth, creating an extinction-level event that will destroy all of humanity.… Read the rest
Roman continues his look at Max Gladstone’s Craft sequence, looking at books four to six.
Forty years after the God Wars, Dresediel Lex bears the scars of liberation—especially in the Skittersill, a poor district still bound by the fallen gods’ decaying edicts. As long as the gods’ wards last, they strangle development; when they fail, demons will be loosed upon the city.… Read the rest
Set before Episode 4, this is a story of a young Han Solo: how he escaped poverty in a kid gang, deserted from the Navy, met Chewy and joined in a train heist. New actors play characters we’ve met later in their lives, and they do an excellent job.
Written & Performed by Amer Hlehel
Adelaide Festival 2018
David Faber reviews the performance
TAHA is the triumphant but not triumphalist story of the Palestinian poet Taha Muhammad Ali, refracted through the experience and artistry of Haifa based actor and dramatist Amer Hlehel. The performance we saw deservedly commanded several standing ovations and not a few tears of empathy and joy.… Read the rest