The first half of Fargo’s opening episode plays like a familiar tune in an off key. There’s a murder in the snow, a friendly, flawed man pushed to the absolute edge of his sanity and morals and a constantly building sense of something awful waiting for everyone, out in the blizzard. It’s beautifully shot, immaculately acted and feels off. Someone whose handwriting you know writing with their offhand, a film playing at slightly too high a speed.
Welcome back to Open Mic Mondays! There’ll be a few of these in a chain, as I carve time out to update the blog regularly and first out of the gate is my friend Wabbit. A fellow former SFX blogger, she’s a relentlessly hard working, generous human, one of my martial role models and a profoundly excellent cosplayer. It’s that last that’s the basis for this piece so, without further ado, over to you, Laura.
Happy Feet is a deeply weird movie. On the one…flipper…it’s a standard ‘nerd discovers he’s special and saves everyone’ story whilst on the other it’s a musical. Or it’s a first contact story. Or a deeply unsettling exploration of abandonment and confinement and the effect it has on animals.
Or all of them.
Oh and Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman are in there as the penguin Elvis and Marilyn Monroe respectively.
Dave Robison is one of the finest people I know. He’s a dynamo of enthusiasm, ideas and energy, always driving forwards, always bringing other people with him and always with something else on the backburner. He’s an inspiration, a man whose absolute faith in other never ceases to humble and amaze me.
A couple of months ago, Dave reached out to me and asked me to join a group of writers he was putting together for a project. Antimatter Press had solicited ideas for ‘serial novellas’, a series of stories set in the same universe and Dave had successfully sold them on a concept. He wanted me, and three other writers, to help bring it to life.
The idea is simple; tell an overarching story set in the same universe using five different writers featuring characters in a common universe.
One of those characters is mine.
Operation Krogan Batman no more. Welcome to the Shattered Worlds. Time to meet The Wane.
The Antoine Fuqua directed version of King Arthur is 10 years old. On release it was gutted, the closing battle so badly censored that it’s literally the same footage re-cut and re-used twice. It was also, at the time, eviscerated critically, because that’s what the industry leaders in film criticism often do; scrabble to be the first to be as creatively unpleasant to a movie that doesn’t fit their definition of what constitutes good as fast as humanly possible.
Then, six months later, when they’ve got over themselves and it’s out on DVD, critically re-evaluate it.
The most important line in both 300 and 300: Rise of an Empire, is one they share. In 300, it’s an iconic moment, roared by Gerard Butler as King Leonidas shortly before he commits the murder that makes war inevitable. The image of McLeonidas, as I like to call him, screaming ‘THIS! IS! SPARTA!’ and front kicking the Persian ambassador into the pit the Spartans keep around for just this sort of occasion is iconic.
COMPETITION’S NOW CLOSED FOLKS. THANKS FOR ENTERING, WINNERS WILL BE NOTIFIED SHORTLY
It’s been a long week. Has it been a long week for you? Definitely been a long week for me. So, as I collect myself a bit, I thought a change of pace would be spiffy. Let’s have a competition! For this!