Thursday, May 20, 2010

Update, May 20th

In the wake of my niece getting married (congrats, Jenn & Johnny!) I feel another burst of creative optimism. I have several ideas that I am working on or will be working on in next couple weeks. "Fisherman's Greek" is a dark tale of love, the sea and revenge. "In a Winter Garden" is my first real attempt at a full-fledged fantasy story set in a secondary world of beauty and bloodshed. "The Man Who Invented Justice" is a short, somewhat satiric parable, but it is mostly an exercise in the absurd. I'm also working on a tale tentatively titled "The Flea Market" with the lovely Miss Amanda Hart. She has come up with a delightfully zany premise that will be rounded into a fantasy of manners with some magic realist leanings (I'm predicting).

Only a few days left until the Lost series finale. I think they've done a very good job of creating a total series - beginning, middle and end. While some of their original story has clearly been changed in the six season's the show has aired, the overall plot is satisfyingly cohesive. There are loose ends from the second season that now tie in perfectly. Of all the slipstream/quasi-sci-fi/low fantasy television serials that have every aired, Lost stands out as one of the most artful, accessible and, therefore, successful. I'll miss it when it is gone but I won't lament their desire to give it a real ending that wraps up the show. Carnivale suffered the fate of a well conceived story idea that was cut off in midstream due to conflicts with HBO. While Carnivale may have had the potential to surpass Lost - it certainly had a lot more freedom on the HBO network - Lost has beaten it to a bloody pulp that can't even claim the cult appeal of Twin Peaks.

Image: Dorothea Tanning's Eine Kleine Shop Postcard.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

What's New May 1st, 2010

So, I've got a new official header picture featuring "Creation of Birds" by Remedios Varo (thanks to Kilby). I find her style fits right into The Strange Edge. Can't believe I didn't know about her paintings until a few weeks ago.


Movie Recommendation
Just saw Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Terry Gilliam's latest film and Heath Ledger's last film (RIP), now available on DVD. The best fantasy film of the last few years, sure, but still flawed in the same way as The Brothers Grimm (minus the Matt Damon effect). Overly elaborate plot and settings overshadow the viewer's ability to truly relate to the characters and understand them as anything more than participants in the already mentioned overly elaborate plot. Sure, Tom Waits as the Devil is a nice touch. Sure, Christopher Plummer makes a great old, disillusioned drunk. Sure, Gilliam manages to substitute Colin Farrell for Ledger at the appropriate time--right when the character shows himself to be just as unlikable as Colin Farrell. Vern Troyer should have been kept in a non-speaking role, because unfortunately he's not an actor proper, but the role he plays is interesting even while hampered by his acting deficiencies. Yeah, and Jude Law and Johnny Depp are predictably adequate in their brief appearances, as well. While both are good actors, they spend their time mimicking what Ledger has already set-up, so neither has the opportunity to shine. The FX are amazing, even if deliberately anti-real (read as: MirrorMask with a bigger budget). The ending is a little unfulfilling, and almost every piece of the film is recycled from some of Gilliam's earlier work, but if you love Gilliam like I do, then it is still worth watching. Rent it for a buck from RedBox.