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

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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…

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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 

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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…

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