David Bowie starred in quite a few movies during his career, including Labyrinth, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, and Absolute Beginners. Perhaps none is more metatextual, however, than Nicolas Roeg’s 1976 film The Man Who Fell To Earth.
In the middle of things.
Boy, the old Latin language can sure sound an interesting turn of phrase, here in the twentieth century, can’t it? It’s the past and the future, gloriously shaking hands whilst shedding some light of understanding on each other. Its comingling makes one feel smart, when uttered in a proper, and apt, context, of course.
And today, uttering “in medias res” is proper and apt.
It’s used to describe the eleventh chapter of one of the most entirely riveting (and fun!) comic book series being published these days.
If you’ve been with Paper Girls for the last year, you know what I’m talking about. If you’re new to the title, don’t let missing out on the previous ten chapters deter you for picking up the latest installment – I’ve got you covered at the end of this column.
Handshakes aside, in medias res, today sees the release of Paper Girls #11!
TIFF’s been doing a retrospective on the German director Rainer Werner Fassbinder. A prodigious wunderkind of the seventies German New Wave, he died of a drug overdose at 37, leaving behind over 40 features and television mini-series made in a brief 15-year career. (Cocaine is a powerful drug in the right nose.) In that burgeoning output, Fassbinder made only one science fiction film. World on a Wire appeared in 1973, a made-for-TV two-parter that virtually disappeared soon after its release. Steeped in a 1970s futurist aesthetic, the film is both wildly dated and amazingly anticipatory, a speculative plunge into the world of virtual reality fully 36 years ahead of The Matrix. Turns out Neo wasn’t the only one popping pills to see what’s really going on.
From Seven to Eternity to Black Science to Saga to Monstress, to Red Thorn to name only a few! There’s a litany of amazing reads available to us each and every week, and we here at Biff Bam Pop! love every single one of them!
And since there’s so much love to go around, why not add another to your fervent reading pile?
This week sees the release of Ether #1 from the critically acclaimed (and one of The Wednesday Run’s favorites) writer and artist, Matt Kindt!
Arrival …um …arrived in US theaters over the weekend. Based on Ted Chiang’s Nebula and Sturgeon award winning novella, The Story of Your Life, the movie opened to mostly good reviews and a modest third place domestic box office take. How did the movie hold up to its source material? Let’s chat after the break (and yes, lots of spoilers!)
Amy Adams is having a pretty great year. It’s only going to get better. With two top-flight films at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, she’s this year’s Benedict Cumberbatch. I already wrote about her note-perfect performance as the love-lorn gallery curator in Tom Ford’s chilly noir Nocturnal Animals. Her role in Denis Villeneuve’s cerebral sci-fi feature Arrival is even better. The movie is pretty great, too. But Amy, she should clear some space on her mantle.
Back in the early 1980s, when I first began reading comic books, I was immediately drawn to titles firmly based in the science fiction genre. Of course, that was right after the caped crusader, Batman, naturally.
Yep, comic books like Dredstar and Killraven and Star Trek were my monthly fancies. I even started picking up Epic Illustrated and Heavy Metal magazines. Somehow the comic book shops I frequented allowed those more mature titles to be purchased by a young-looking (but well-read and mature) kid.
One of the books I remember reading regularly and sharing and trading with like-minded pals was The Omega Men – a fantastic and exciting romp through DC Comics’ outer space universe, overflowing with wild characters, aliens and villainous despots. In 2015, as part of their short-lived DC You initiative, publisher DC Comics revived that series to critical acclaim, and more importantly, positive fan reaction.
In fact, fans saved the series from early termination.
Today sees the eagerly anticipated release of the entire series of The Omega Men: The End Is Here in a paperback compilation!
The new story trailer for Star Wars: Rogue One just dropped. There’s a nice chunk of juicy narrative morseldom dished out in its two minutes and fifteen seconds. And possibly the most exciting back-of-someone’s-head shot of all time. Which is apparently the moment we’ve arrived at in popular culture. But shit, it is pretty cool. Feast your eyes, Rebel soldiers, after the jump.
While it’s the job of a publicist to sell audiences on entertainment media, sometimes there is false advertising. Not so with Stranger Things, the latest offering from The Duffer Brothers (Wayward Pines). The show is described as “a love letter to the ‘80s supernatural classics that captivated a generation,” a synopsis that might sound cliché but is delightfully accurate.
Stranger Things is set in the small town of Hawkins, Minnesota in 1983. For those of us who grew up during that decade and think of it with fondness, our first instinct is to look for mistakes. The folks behind Stranger Things, however, have done their homework. The production design and costumes make us truly feel like we’re in 1983. This is not the glossy Miami Vice ’80s or even the 1998 version as seen in American Psycho; this is the station wagon, button-down shirts, wood paneling, macramé and latch-hook, crappy TV sets, last gasp of the 1970s-version of the ‘80s, which is exactly what it was like for most of us in middle-class America.
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