Let’s Not Forget The Balcony Scene

We seem beset lately with academics being funded to study high-profile, fantasist entertainment. We’ve recently been informed that “Disney Princesses” are dangerous to young girls. Now, for older ones, it’s being widely reported that so are the likes of Love, Actually:

Screen capture of the Telegraph.
Screen capture of the Telegraph.

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“Disney Princesses”: An Existential Threat?

Whenever I see reports like this, I sit up and take notice. I wonder: how I am doing? I have quite a few women characters, so I take my portrayal of them seriously:

Screen capture of the Washington Post.
Screen capture of the Washington Post.

Its main argument is:

….The plot of “The Little Mermaid,” of course, involves Ariel literally losing her voice — but in the five Disney princess movies that followed, the women speak even less. On average in those films, men have three times as many lines as women.

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Recollections Of Spectre

I’ve seen all of the Daniel Craig James Bond films in cinemas. With Spectre, though, I hadn’t had a chance. Last night, we finally got to a showing before it finished its run.

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If you haven’t seen it and are interested in what happens, the first thing I feel I must point out is that it went by so quickly I’m not sure I recall some of it. If you have seen it, you may double-check my recollection below – if *you* remember it any better than I do. ;-)

WARNING HUGE SPOILERS:

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Were Those Corpses Driving Motorcycles?

I watch new films only intermittently. Looking for something last night, we all agreed to try Mad Max: Fury Road. As it started, I joked, “Remember, it’s Oscar nominated….”

Uh, we managed about 15 minutes of it before all four of us gave up. (For one, it was the second time he’d tried to sit through it.) I’m sorry, “Best Picture?” Seriously?

We’ve seen a “diversity controversy” erupt around the Academy Awards as well. I haven’t followed it closely, other than I’ve noticed it argued the films Creed and/or Concussion should have been nominated for “Best Picture,” and that African-American actors have been largely ignored in other categories. I haven’t seen either film, but frankly, given that Mad Max was nominated, it seems indefensible one of those wasn’t.

Free Stock Photo: Illustration of film.
Free Stock Photo: Illustration of film.

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Over The Big Pond At Last

Hello again! We were supposed to fly back to the UK from Newark, New Jersey, on Friday evening. “Supposed to” being the operative expression. But you never know when you’re flying.

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“Hey, that’s my movie!”

Perhaps you care more about this sort of thing when you actually create something that’s yours. The idea of your work being stolen is, frankly, a nightmare. And that is why there is something called “copyright.”

Screen capture of Twitter.
Screen capture of Twitter.

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“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”: This Novelist’s Reaction

Okay, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Read no more of this post if you have not seen the film, plan to, and care about this subject.

You can, of course, read on if you don’t care. ;-)

**********SPOILER ALERT**********
I REPEAT: LAST WARNING: Do NOT read on if you care about spoilers!

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His And Hers

Please forgive a Saturday morning ramble. Writing some Christmas cards for mailing here in the U.S. yesterday (I still do some, mostly for “older” relations), it struck me my uncle doesn’t get one this year and will never get one again. That’s the sort of moment it’s toughest: the holidays are indeed the worst of times after losing those you love.

I have one of his later books, which I’d borrowed earlier in the year from my mother, on my bookshelf behind my desk here. I can’t return it to her, of course (this year has, frankly, been awful in our family), and my father wouldn’t care that I have it. So it’s mine now, I guess.

My desk, here in the Catskills. (A little bit of Christmas "cheer" is also visible.) [Photo by me, 2015.]
My desk, here in the Catskills. (A little bit of Christmas “cheer” is also visible.) [Photo by me, 2015.]

It’s the hardcover version, and I was browsing through it last night – and remembering. Glancing at his dust jacket author photo, I recalled him being thrilled years ago when a respected Hollywood star (who you would almost certainly recognize if I told you her name) had optioned one of his earlier novels. Its main character was a woman detective, and she had thought it might be excellent for herself in the lead and wanted a chance to see if it could be produced.

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