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Showing posts from August, 2017

Burning Hell song analyses #2: Nostalgia and Kings of the Animal Kingdom

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This post will look at two very different songs, that provide two entirely different ways of presenting significant ideas. ‘Nostalgia’ as its name suggests is a song that offers examples of nostalgic contemplation, and then presents a brief buy brilliant assessment of what nostalgia is. Not didactic, exactly, it is nevertheless a kind of clear position piece. ‘Kings of theAnimal Kingdom’ by contrast, despite its much more over final assertion (We are the kings of the animal kingdom) is actually much more gnomic – somewhere between a parable and a fragment. I have offered links to the songs, and have annotated the lyrics – I hope that doesn’t get in the of reading them too much.
Nostalgia
The compact disc was the wave of the future I had my first kiss and I liked it ok April and I slow-danced to the Cocktailsoundtrack ‘Kokomo’ is still my favourite song to this day


Remember when John Stamos played the drums in The Beach Boys? That’s the kind of thing that happened back then Musicians guested o…

Espenson Draft series #3 - Band Candy

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Today's drafts take us back to the beginning - Espenson's debut as a writer on Buffy in season three's 'Band Candy. Featuring the character of Ethan Rayne who first appeared in the Halloween season two episode.

Note the relative stability of the teaser sequence - which, at least based on the drafts to the other episodes Espenson wrote, would seem to be relatively uncommon. This might be due to the fact that the premise for the episode (if not all its detail) was, as Espenson told me in our email exchange:

"That was an unusual situation. I pitched that episode. I mean that this was an idea that I had and brought to Joss. Some episodes came about in this way, although not as many as you'd think. I think this was the only ep I ever pitched that Joss took. Luckily, I pitched it at my job interview. The original idea was coffee - Giles and Joyce were going to be regressed to teens by drinking magical coffee. That turned into candy as we worked on the idea."
A g…

Kelly Standish - brilliant contemporary artist

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I love this artist's work - a fabulous capacity for landscape in a clearly representational tradition (sometimes bordering on hyper-realism, occasionally more fluid and allusive) but there is always such a sense of the emotional connection with the landscape / city view urban poem - go take a look: you'll be pleased you did!




Alien Resurrection: New Labour, Clinton and the centrist consensus

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I am working an a book about the year 1997, the year that made the future. Made up of 26 short chapters, alphabetically labelled with one of '97's cultural highlights, it will offer a series of reflections and some polemics, about the year. This is an early draft of chapter 1, although given its length I suspect this will be split into a couple of chapters Any comments and improvements would be much appreciated. There is no referencing as yet... tut tut.
While this is not a polemic, it does have a position...

On November 26th 1997, Alien Resurrection was released. Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, it is the fourth and final part of the original Alien franchise begun in 1979. The story sees Sigourney Weaver return to a version of the part from the iconic original movie, Ripley, but this time set 200 years after the end of the last instalment with Ripley having been cloned (see chapters XXX). The United Systems Military – a human military force made up of all the former separate m…

Buffy Draft: End Of Days 7.21

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Here is the next set of drafts from Jane Espenson (this one co-written with Doug Petrie). This one is 'End of Days', the brilliant nail-biting lead in to the final ever televisual Buffy. Faith and the girls are blown up, Buffy meets a very old woman who tells her about a scythe, Spike and Buffy get close; Angel and Buffy get seemingly closer... It's a great episode.

Only two drafts, but also a snippet from the email correspondence between myself and Espenson, some of which will be in my forthcoming book, Joss Whedon.

The drafts remain the property of FOX television, and the email snippet is copyright to Manchester University Press.


Draft 1

Draft 2

"Attached is ‘End of Days’, another co-write with Doug.  He wrote all the big actiony bits, I wrote all the funny Andrew/Anya, Willow/Giles, Xander/Dawn stuff."

Go here for a little snippet about one of her insights into "The Replacement"

And try out for drafts for Band Candy, and more Espenson insight!

Aryan Kaganof's Acinema and the limits of Lyotard's cinematic writing.

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For those who don't know, Aryan Kaganof is an astonishing South African Artist. He writes brilliant surreal novels, makes disturbing movies, short film and, most pressingly for this post, remarkable avant garde documentaries. He is also a political activist with a prescience and insight that is both humbling and terrifying. While everyone else was celebrating the 'rainbow revolution' in South Africa, Kaganof, then still Ian Kerkhof, made a bleakly funny musical called Nice to meet you, Please don't rape me that highlighted the on-going, deeply structured misogyny and violence that was being overlooked in favour of optimistic futures. This is a long and difficult piece but I'm posting it because Aryan's work is so important and, while my post typically engages with more mainstream work, truly important global voices will also be part of the fabric. For those of you who struggle through - enjoy!

Prologue. This essai began as an intuition. The intuition was that as…