Posts Tagged ‘criticism’


The Hugo Award is a rocketship, to indicate the importance of rocketry or something, I don’t know

(Okay friends!  We are trying to get back to some regularly-scheduled programming, now that this nonsense with the baby has settled down somewhat.  To reward you all for your patience, I’m starting on with some inside baseball horseshit about an obscure conflict deep in the nerdliest bowels of the science fiction & fantasy community.  Maybe this is what you read Threat Quality for!  Probably not!  Too bad!)

Today I would like to talk about this, a proposal for an award for SF storytelling, created by a guy named Jay Maynard, whom you probably (do not) know as “Tron Guy.” I do not think that this proposal, or the conflict that has engendered it, is particularly interesting or important in either the grand scheme of things or in the petit scheme of things, but puzzling over it has led me to some ideas that I have about the nature of criticism that I DO think are interesting, and so I’m going to write about it anyway.



I know that I’ve gone to a lot of trouble to build up my credibility when it comes to talking about movies, and I know that basically everyone (including some critics that I almost always agree with, like Walter Chaw and Genevieve Valentine) hated this movie, and so I’m going to burn that credibility by saying that I loved it.  I just saw Jupiter Ascending on Saturday and I cannot remember the last time I had so much fun at a movie.  (No, wait, I can, it was Wreck-it Ralph.  I really liked Big Hero Six, but if I’m being honest, I had more fun more consistently watching this crazy tower of excellence).


What follows is a partial list of things about Jupiter Ascending that are perfect and amazing.



You cannot justify the existence of a thing in a story by arguing that it is a necessary consequence of other elements in that same story.

Why not?


Jesus, when am I going to stop with this?  Okay, so, Holland wrote his bit about Paranormal Activity, and he’s right in a lot of important ways.  But I think there’s actually even more to be mined from a discussion of the subject, and since that’s basically all I do (talk about things AT LENGTH), that’s what I’m going to get up to today.


TQP LOGO readyTwo today, because Holland tricked me by posting yesterday.  I have a hard time knowing what day it is, and it’s not helpful when Holland CHANGES THE SCHEDULE WITHOUT WARNING.  Sweet zombie Jesus, is it Wednesday?  Tuesday?  I don’t god-damn know.

Anyway, here’s a thing I wrote about The Producers, over at my new theater-project blog.  It counts as a TQP post, too, I have decided.

I saw a local theater’s production of Mel Brooks’ musical The Producersa few weeks ago.  Entirely by coincidence, I happened to be there during the talk-back session.  Now, I’ve participated in talk-back sessions before, so I should have known better than to ask serious questions; most of the time, a talk-back is just another opportunity for the actors to blush beneath the gushing weight of the audience’s praise.  It’s not unreasonable; when are you going to see most of these people again?  If you want them to say something nice about you, you need to seize the opportunity.

(cross-posted at my workblog for Iron Age Theatre’s SOE division)

Just saw REV Theater Company’s The Witch of Edmonton over the weekend; I’m not going to say much about the quality of the production, as the play isn’t running anymore, so who cares?  It wasn’t the best design, direction, or acting that I’ve ever seen, but I doubt that, even if it were, such elements could have salvaged the play itself.

The dramaturg for this play left extensive notes in the program, gently beginning the process of interpretation.  She (?  I actually can’t remember the person’s name, and have lost the program, so we’ll have to rely on my memory here) says that during the combined reign of the Tudors and the Stuarts, more than 2500 plays were written and produced.  She does not address this question:  how many of them are actually worth doing?