Well, only sort of. But I realized the last thing I posted here was the Catwoman announcement, and not any of my nonfiction work directly before or since. Obviously I’m still stoked about Catwoman, but I didn’t realize how much time’s gotten away from me in the last few weeks. Yikes. (I don’t think I ever even mentioned how much I enjoyed Snowpiercer! Though the linked piece is more about the function of a particular image than the entire film, which I thought was a marvelously unsubtle parable that worked beautifully in its details and in the sheer variety of tones it took, so that you’re unsettled not so much by the trappings of the world but by the fact that the journey through the train often juxtaposes wrenching horror with grimly gleeful comedy. For a movie as direct as this is, the variety of tones offers some interesting latitude for the viewer to determine what it’s trying to say. Luckily that’s rolling out on VOD in the very near future, so if you just can’t wait to watch the gutted-fish symbolism rolling out along the train, you won’t have to wait very long.)
A very nice thing about Philadelphia Weekly is that my column there, Genevieve Spoils Everything, gives me some flexibility in what I cover, so that along with the latitude to go off on long tangents (my favorite!), I can also talk about both movies screening that week in a double-feature format, rather than exclusively covering one. So last week, when I saw Violette, which I enjoyed, and Wish I Was Here, which I very much did not, I wrote “Please Excuse the Mess,” which touches on the cinematic Messiness of Women, the Bechdel test, and Kate Hudson as American cinema’s eleventy-millionth Supportive Strained Wife of the year. (There’s a thing I badmouthed; I feel fine about it.) Later this week will be an essay that focuses largely on Boyhood, which is as good as people say it is in an extremely low-key way; the column also manages to spoil a major plot point in the laughable I ORIGINS, the hipster satire of our time that doesn’t know that’s what it is, so if you want to see it and let those laughs wash over you unexpectedly for the first time, don’t read that part of the column, I guess.
For NPR, I reviewed The Book of Life, the third in Deborah Harkness’s Ashmole trilogy, after reading the preceding novels to make sure I had the necessary context. (It…was not my favorite.)
At the AV Club, I reviewed the pilot of Lifetime’s The Lottery, which was also not my favorite! The general clunkiness was not as problematic as the ways in which the show seems so carelessly, clangingly tone-deaf about its own thematic implications, which – considering they deal directly with fertility, government control of women’s bodies, and sexual mores – are the very loaded sort that you’d want to be very careful about, unless you were The Lottery, I guess.
And at Strange Horizons, I wrote “A Million Ways to Die in the West,” a column that was sparked by The Rover (an intensely grim but very committed post-apocalyptic movie that nonetheless might be most famous in five years for pressing the reset button on Robert Pattinson’s career), and how a some movies, post-apocalyptic and otherwise, use a West they’ve decided is the best place for the world to end.
I am going to try my best not to let huge lags happen again; sure, that’s probably wishful thinking, but once I manage to clear Merlin and the Book of Beasts off my ledger, I might even be something close to caught up!