The global warming novel from l962: The Drowned World

In 1962, in his second novel, The Drowned World, J.G. Ballard told a story of steadily rising global temperatures, of ice caps melting and rising seas, of humidity and rains and lizards moving into skyscrapers. It's an extraordinary book, for its imagination and artistry and language, but also for its vison of global warming. MightContinue reading “The global warming novel from l962: The Drowned World”

Studio exec: Forget story. It’s all about spectacle.

In Variety, a Disney studio exec makes brutally clear what has become increasingly obvious over the last few years. Big movie audiences no longer care much about character, dialogue, or even story — what they want is spectacle.  "People say 'It's all about the story,'" [Andy] Hendrickson said. "When you're making tentpole films, bullshit." HendricksonContinue reading “Studio exec: Forget story. It’s all about spectacle.”

Harry Potter: the early Isherwood version

Back in the l930's, Christopher Isherwood published a fascinating quasi-memoir about his years at university called Lions and Shadows. Isherwood was a brilliant student, but — surprise, surprise — an outsider. With a fellow student named Chalmers he formed a sort of secret literary society opposed to what they called "the poshocracy."  Isherwood and ChalmersContinue reading “Harry Potter: the early Isherwood version”