Posts by flares

I am a critic and researcher of sf, with interests in queer theory, postmodernism, psychoanalysis and other long words. I have various blogs.

The Old Tracks

OS36The last thing I wanted to see, when I pulled the map out of my shoulder bag, was OS Outdoor Leisure 36 for South Pembrokeshire.

It isn’t up to date by twenty years.

And more to the point, I am in Kent.

Well, I guess there are worse things to see. I just can’t think of them right now.
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My Left Foot

Jørn Lier Horst, Dregs (2010, Bunnfall, translated into by Anne Bruce, 2011)

DregsThere’s a kind of detective work in coming to this, the fifth in the Wisting novels, after the television adaptation of books nine and eight of the sequence.

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The Play’s the Thing

Richard Bean, One Man, Two Guvnors (based on Carlo Goldoni, The Servant of Two Masters, directed by Nicholas Hytner, National Theatre Live)
Robert Louis Stevenson, adapted by Bryony Lavery, Treasure Island (directed by Polly Findlay, National Theatre Live)
Mary Shelley, adapted by Nick Dear, Frankenstein (directed by Danny Boyle, National Theatre Live)
William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (directed by Simon Godwin, National Theatre Live)
William Shakespeare and John Fletcher, The Two Noble Kinsmen (directed by Barry Rutter, Globe)
William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra (directed by Simon Godwin, National Theatre Live)
William Shakespeare, Macbeth (directed by Cressida Brown, Globe)
Inua Ellams, Barber Shop Chronicles (directed by Bijan Sheibani, National Theatre Live)

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Iced Blondes

Wisting (Directed by Trygve Allister Diesen and Katarina Launing, 2019)

I stumbled across Wisting a couple of months ago in the nether regions of iPlayer and downloaded the first episode a couple of months ago. I confess I’ve never seen The Bridge (soon to be a Radio 4 programme), nor Wallander, nor the original version of The Killing (but most of the American version). I did see Modus (possibly in reverse order) and Svartsjön (ultimately silly, but verging on the Todorovian fantastic, if I recall correctly), so my scandinoir experiences are thin (I think I gave up after the second film in The Girl with the Increasingly Passive Character trilogy). Continue reading →

The Young One

Young Rembrandt (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford)

Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn has all the makings of a tragic hero — with perhaps his fatal flaw of pride. He seems to have a meteoric rise — but as with the tulip bulb market, the bottom fell out and he, overstretched, crashed. He gets up to a couple of nasties — but that is a tale for another day.

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Monstrous Progeny

Mary Shelley, mucked about with adapted by Nick Dear, Frankenstein (Directed by Danny Boyle, National Theatre Live via YouTube)

Years ago, there was a series of documentaries on the gothic horror novel presented by Christopher Frayling – Frankenstein, Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Dracula and The Hound of the Baskervilles. Each of these narratives have passed into public consciousness, far beyond those who have read them – often via plays – and, with the arguable exception of the last, in forms that corrupt the author’s original structure. Despite at least two great franchises – from Universal in the 1930s and from Hammer in the 1950s – Frankenstein adaptations are travesties of Mary Shelley’s vision.

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