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    MOVIES! TRAILERS!

    >My new video "A HARD DAY'S KNIGHT," in which I don chain mail to find glory, donuts and spare change for my quest. BIGGER SCREEN ON YOU TUBE

    CLASSIC BOOK trailer! [bigger screen on YouTube]

    more videos here

    Saturday
    Jan302016

    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and the state of the mash-up movie

     

    How to make a mash-up: Into a cauldron, toss some historical or fictional character, dusty novel, or ancient fairy tale. The more staid or stale or out of fashion, the better. Then, stir in creatures or villains from some different genre: zombies, witches, dinosaurs, even Nazis. Pour this mixture into a script, and bake for about 120 minutes at 75 million dollars, give or take a few million. Serve with a reliable dressing — blood and gore, perhaps — that most focus groups will find to their tastes. Prepared correctly, your Hollywood masterpiece will serve the masses.

    On Friday, the mash-up rises again with “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” The movie version of Seth Grahame-Smith’s 2009 novel of the same name retells Jane Austen’s 1813 tale of manners, morality, social standing, and romance, but sets it in a reimagined Regency Era beset by the undead.

    Will this new concoction, equal parts Austen and zombie pandemic, deliver a much-needed shot in the arm or another box office blow to the genre? Read the rest of my story over at the Boston Globe

    Monday
    Jan252016

    My first foray into online teaching

    I'm taking the plunge into online teaching! Introducing my first workshop for 24PearlStreet, the Fine Arts Work Center Online Writing Program -- "Absent Fathers, Controlling Mothers, Treacherous Exes and Other Interpersonal Dysfunction: Writing the Publishable Relationship Essay," running February 29 to March 4. Join this class and write essays together during this intensive and supportive week. More info here.

     

    Saturday
    Jan232016

    Let's get virtual... virtual ...

    In which I try out a virtual reality exercise bike, become a pegasus, lasso some bandits, and come in second as a dog driving a Formula One racing car. Plus, I burn some calories. My story for the Boston Globe.

    Tuesday
    Dec292015

    Star Wars preview on Wisconsin Public Radio

    Tuesday
    Dec292015

    Star Wars -- Shakespeare Mashup: A Review of Ian Doescher’s ‘William Shakespeare’s Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge’

    In “The Empire Strikes Back,” Yoda admonishes his apprentice, Luke Skywalker, saying, “Wars not make one great.” Later, in “Return of the Jedi,” he quips, “When 900 years old you reach, look as good you will not.”

    In case you didn’t catch on, Yoda inverts his syntax. In other words, Yoda practically speaks Shakespearean.

    And in Ian Doescher’s best-selling “Star Wars” / Shakespeare mash-ups, so does every character in George Lucas’s science-fictional universe of Wookiees, droids and the Force.

    Read the rest of my review of Ian Doescher’s ‘William Shakespeare’s Tragedy of the Sith’s Revenge’ for the New York Times.

    Tuesday
    Dec292015

    Star Wars Jabber on WGBH

    Friday
    Dec182015

    My Failure Is Complete: I Fell for Star Wars Hype. Now, Can We Just Watch the Damned Movie?

    The hype-train has hit hyperdrive. The entertainment-industrial complex has devoured us all like that sarlacc from “Return of the Jedi” lurking in the Great Pit of Carkoon. This “Star Wars” fan is worn out: The nonstop marketing machine has turned fandom into a grind. Dear Lucasfilm and shareholders of the Walt Disney Co.: I just want to watch your damned movie. I wrote this rant for Salon.com. Enjoy!

    Friday
    Dec182015

    ‘Star Wars,’ And The Force It Awakened In Me

    “Star Wars” and its sequels were touchstones, mind-bending fantasy movie experiences into which I poured my longings for escape, creativity and adventure. Read the rest of the essay here.

    Friday
    Dec182015

    Apparently this is what I look like when I'm talking about Star Wars

    I was on WGBH's Greater Boston to talk about The Force Awakens. Apparently this is what I look like when I'm talking about Star Wars. Watch the full video here.

    Sunday
    Dec132015

    Star Wars Means Different Things to Different Generation

    In four decades and over six movies, “Star Wars” has infused our culture like a Force unto itself. Devotees view George Lucas’s universe of lightsaber duels, spaceship dogfights, and father-son conflicts as holy writ. Even casual fans are counting down to the release of the long-awaited Episode VII, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” on Friday.

    But what “Star Wars” means to its admirers, and the expectations they bring to the new installment, depends not just on personal taste but on how old they were when they initially encountered the epic science-fiction saga — and on where, for them, the story began. 

    Read the rest of my story over at the Boston Globe.