Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘cinema’ Category

IMG_4792

When I started writing my most recent book, I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing: Star Wars and the Triumph of Geek Culture, I wanted to make an argument about aesthetics. Namely, I wanted to argue that when it comes to art, geeks tend to like works of realist fantasy, which puts the lie to the widespread belief that realism and fantasy are opposites. (They’re not: realism is a mode, or way of making art, while fantasy is a genre; any genre can be done in any mode.)

As I worked on the book, however, I realized that people were just as interested, if not more interested, in the history of geek culture. Whenever I told people what I was doing, they said that they hoped the book would explain why geeky stuff is everywhere these days—why it’s taken over the culture. Why are all the movies at the Cineplex superhero movies? Why is everyone talking about Game of Thrones? Why is it now considered OK, or mostly OK, for adults to read Harry Potter novels and comic books? So I knew I needed to write about that, too.

As it turned out, this wasn’t a problem, because the two topics are intimately intertwined. Indeed, you can’t understand the history of geek culture without also grasping its aesthetics.

(more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

In Part 1 of this series, I documented how the Star Wars franchise, which burst so spectacularly onto the scene in 1977, fizzled out by the end of 1986. Before the first movie had even celebrated its tenth birthday, George Lucas had stopped making not only new Star Wars films, but Star Wars comics, cartoons, TV movies, action figures, novels, video games—you name it:

Slide14x

But of course the story didn’t end there. In May 1991, the franchise rumbled back to life, resuming all of those product lines, and eventually going on to release new Star Wars movies:

Slide16x

What’s more, all of those products have continued in some form or another until today.

What explains that four-year-long gap, when Star Wars disappeared? And why did the franchise return, and why has it stuck around since then?

In order to answer those and other related questions, I wrote my most recent book, I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing: Star Wars and the Triumph of Geek Culture, which I encourage you to buy and read! But if you want the short version of the story, then read on …

(more…)

Read Full Post »

star-wars-holiday-special

Like a lot of people my age, I just missed out on seeing the original Star Wars movies in the theater. Instead, I grew up with them on VHS. And right around when I was really getting into them, in 1986, Star Wars went away.

Which perplexed me at the time. Why did Star Wars disappear in the mid 1980s? And why did it come back, and come back differently, starting in 1991? These questions haunted me so much, I eventually wrote a book about the subject: I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing: Star Wars and the Triumph of Geek Culture. Because it’s an interesting story, I’ll explain what happened in this series of blog posts.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

DeGraff_AJameson_ADCinemaps_193280.jpg

Specifically, it was translated by Berni Mayer, and published by The Heyne Verlag. And is available here and here!

This follows the Spanish-language and Japanese-language editions, as well as the original English. It also follows Cinemaps winning “Best Illustrated Book on Film” at the Frankfurter Buchmesse Film Awards.

About Cinemaps:

Acclaimed artist Andrew DeGraff has created beautiful hand-painted maps of all your favorite films, from King Kong and North by Northwest to The Princess Bride, Fargo, Pulp Fiction, even The Breakfast Club—with the routes of major characters charted in meticulous cartographic detail. Follow Marty McFly through the Hill Valley of 1985, 1955, and 1985 once again as he races Back to the Future. Trail Jack Torrance as he navigates the corridors of the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. And join Indiana Jones on a globe-spanning journey from Nepal to Cairo to London on his quest for the famed Lost Ark. Each map is presented in an 11-by-14-inch format, with key details enlarged for closer inspection, and is accompanied by illuminating essays by film critic A. D. Jameson, who speaks to the unique geographies of each film. This beautifully designed atlas is an essential reference for anyone who loves great art and great films.

 

Read Full Post »

Blog update

I’ve added tabs at the top of this blog to make it easier to find both my fiction and my non-fiction. Whether you’re looking for one of my short stories, or else my writing on various movies, geek culture, and Magic: The Gathering, hopefully this makes it all easier to find!

Also, I just had a new short story accepted by a journal—more info coming soon!

Read Full Post »

Marvel vs DC

Some people say that Superman is boring because he’s too powerful. Who could beat him in a fight? No one. He’s stronger and faster than everybody else, on top of which he can fly, see through walls, hear people whisper from halfway around the world, fire laser beams from his eyes, freeze things with his breath—plus he’s nigh indestructible, to boot. There’s practically nothing he can’t do. He can survive direct hits from nukes, and bathe in the sun without breaking a sweat. And since no one can beat him, the thinking goes, Superman, the Man of Steel, is never really in any danger, which means his stories lack peril, tension, suspense. There aren’t any stakes. There’s no thrill.

But to think about Superman this way misunderstands not only the character, but the superhero genre as a whole—what makes it unique, and what type of stories it’s best suited to tell. Worse still, this misunderstanding obscures the genre’s historical limitations, as well as how artists might transcend those limitations in the future.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

2019-06-04 23_42_53-Greenshot

For a while now, I’ve wanted to point out something about the ending of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, and the way the film uses recurring space to visually convey its narrative. (Spoilers from this point on—and spoilers, too, for George Orwell’s 1984 and Federico Fellini’s . Spoilers for everything!)

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: