Telling Stories with Bread Crumbs: The World Building of Mad Max: Fury Road

Between Frames

Nothing loses me quicker than a movie that opens with an overly-choreographed sequence of bombast that tells me absolutely nothing about the characters involved. Even movies that I ultimately enjoy run the chance of briefly mitigating my enthusiasm when they ambush me with a walloping migraine rather than a quick and efficient dose of riveting character work or compelling storytelling. Some examples: Kingsman, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, the original Conan the Barbarian, and so on. I need something more. Not just the same ol’ preordained combination of punch-punch, kick-kick—a smattering of jabs and perfunctory quips punctuated by explosions one-two-three. In short: I have an allergic reaction to set pieces dictated by the camera’s divine placement.

When I can’t invest in the characters, settings, or rules of the game all that remains are low stakes, and when stakes are low: I simply don’t give a shit.

What I

View original post 873 more words


Vamps Still Alive Together

film tv and life


Two female vampires in modern-day New York City are faced with daunting romantic possibilities. (92 mins.)
Director: Amy Heckerling
A film about vampires starring Alicia Silverstone, & Krysten Ritter, directed by Amy Heckerling ( Clueless) . Amy and Alicia reunite in this comedy about two female Vampires living in modern day New York who have carved out lives for themselves in the city and have become family.
I actually really like Krysten Ritter and consider her to be a formidable female comedic talent, however in this film her full set of skills wasn’t allowed to the forefront, Vamps follows the two girls among a star studded cast who are really enjoying their campy roles and if you see the film for what it actually is, a homage to comedy/horror, then you will probably…

View original post 546 more words

Intertexuality and Structure in Roberto Bolaño’s 2666


I had been reading William T. Vollmann’s enormous book Imperial. I bought the book in paperback and then put an illicit copy on my Kindle (this riff is not about the ethics of that move). It’s just easier to read that way, especially at night. At some point in Imperial, probably at some mention of coyotes or polleros—smugglers of humans—I felt a tug in the back of my brain pan, a tug that wanted to pull up Roberto Bolaño’s big big novel 2666—also on my Kindle (also an illicit copy, although I bought the book twice).

This is how I ended up rereading 2666 straight through. It was unplanned.

Like many readers, I aim to reread more than I actually end up rereading.

Truly excellent novels are always better in rereading: richer, fuller, more resonant. Sometimes we might find we’ve thoroughly misread them. (Imagine my horror rereading 

View original post 2,283 more words

Roberto Bolaño’s Powers of Horror


Scenes of Rape and Murder, Francisco Goya

1. In Powers of Horror philosopher Julia Kristeva describes the idea with which she’s most closely identified, the abject, the intense horror our subjective psychology—and our bodies—experience when faced with corporeal reality: the edges of our body: filth, vomit, shit, blood, death: the me that is not me. Breakdown of subject and object: abject.

2. Julia Kristeva shows up as a character, a phantom from a photograph in Roberto Bolaño’s story “Labyrinth,” collected in The Secret of Evil, new from New Directions.

3. (Can there be a more Bolañoesque title than “Labyrinth”?)

4. This is ostensibly a review of that Bolaño collection, but I’ll be riffing on some other things.

5. Bolaño created his own genre. His oeuvre, piecemeal and posthumous at times, is nevertheless a complete fiction or discourse of its own. Think of the Bolañoverse like Middle Earth, like Yoknapatawpha County, like dark Narnia…

View original post 1,768 more words

Scattered Immigrants: The Sacred Power of La Familia in “Fast & Furious”

Between Frames

It’s tough being a film snob and loving a movie like Fast Five. There’s a lot of flak involved. It’s never an easy conversation—at least not from my end. Lots of people see a franchise as ostensibly silly as the Fast and Furious series and all of a sudden, as if it were some kind of physiological prerogative, their lips curl up over their teeth and reveal a mouth full of snark and irony: “You love the Fast series…? You sure about that?” Even more disheartening are the people—or rather, “haters”—who come at me with complaints and generalities of how the cars overshadow the movies’ flesh-and-blood characters, while, in the same breath, admitting that they’ve never seen any of the movies.

I love this franchise. I love its sentiment. I love what it claims to evoke, which is—as purely as can be—a declaration of family and bonding. I don’t…

View original post 1,161 more words

Whatever Happened to Wim Wenders’ Project to Adapt Percy’s The Second Coming?



A few months ago I made a posting concerning Wim Wenders, Peter Handke and Walker Percy. In conversation/correspondence with a filmmaker chum I mentioned that of all Percy’s novels The Thanatos Syndrome would be the most translatable into the modality that is film since it works brilliantly and disturbingly as a thriller on a purely surface level. My second choice of adaptation would be The Second Coming (in my view the most optimistic of his novels) which my chum informed me that apparently Wenders was working on. Googling this, all I came across was this now six year old squib. So in all probability given what I know about the film business, this ain’t gonna happen.

Speaking of Wenders, his biography is not that dissimilar to Percy. According to his Wiki entry:

He then studied medicine (1963–64) and philosophy (1964–65) in Freiburg and Düsseldorf. However, he dropped out of university studies…

View original post 59 more words