Yes, that’s Scarlett Johansson. Adam Pearson in film Under the Skin (2013)
Before watching the BBC’s documentary The Ugly Face of Disability Hate Crime I had never heard of the term ‘disabilism’. Of course, I was well aware of despicable disability hate crimes reported in the news, but I’d never seen a prejudicial -ism mentioned in connection with them.
Continue reading Disabilism – The Ugly Face of Disability Hate Crime (BBC)
Writing the The Wicked + The Divine review reminded me of Jay-Z’s Lucifer, so I looked it up on YouTube for a listen.
Instead I find this.
Continue reading Lucifer, I’ll Be Watching You
“Cordon sanitaire” is a sanitary cordon used to confine the infected with a highly contagious and deadly disease to a specific area, quarantining them away from the general population until everyone inside either dies or survives, allowing the disease to die out. This technique has been around for centuries. Photos are available recording how the cordon was implemented in Honolulu’s Chinatown in an outbreak of bubonic plague in 1889. In August 2014 cordons were used in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia – the African countries most affected by Ebola.
Continue reading TV: Belgium’s Cordon a modern adaption of Albert Camus’s The Plague echoes Ebola crisis
Dorian, Almost Human
Sci-fi is one of the few areas in which non-white characters can be main characters in a narrative not focused on slavery, the civil rights movement, tropes like Ethnic Menial Labour, Apron Matron, Mammy and Whoopi Epiphany Speech, or some other form of racist commentary. Exceptions include those films and TV shows with entirely non-white casts.
Continue reading Is sci-fi one of the few genres to accept non-white characters as heroes?
Did anyone watch The Last Ship [ IMDB | Wikipedia ]? I’ve heard nothing about it, yet it aired in June in the States. It’s based on the book of the same name.
Plot summary: A US naval warship is secretly being tested for deployment which is actually a ruse to prevent the crew from finding out about the true nature of their mission. They’re carrying two secretive Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientists who are working on a cure for an airborne virus that had only affected a handful of African villages, but after four months at sea it’s wiped out 80% of the world’s population including the United States government. It has a 0% survival rate and is highly contagious. All governments have ceased to be and the crew of the warship are on their own.
Kinda makes you think of the Ebola crisis, doesn’t it?
And World War Z.
Continue reading TV Pilot: The Last Ship
Panellists: Carrie Vaughn, Amy H. Sturgis, Martin Lewis, Thea James (The Book Smugglers), Erin M. Underwood
The YA publishing boom has been accompanied by a boom in film adaptations, but while some have seen commercial success others have stalled. What does it take to transition from book to film? Are there any special considerations when working with a young adult story? Modern YA is a genre with distinctive tropes — how are these being transferred to the screen? How is “classic” YA adapted in that context? Is this to the original story’s benefit or detriment? Which YA books have successfully made the transition–for good or ill? What stories would make great films, but haven’t yet been done?
Continue reading LonCon3 #20: YA on the Big Screen
Panellists: Foz Meadows, L.M. Myles, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Sarah Shemilt, Christi Scarborough
At the end of last year, to mark ten years since the broadcast of the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on the BBC, Naomi Alderman made a special edition of the Radio 4 programme Front Row, featuring interviews with cast, creator, and critics. Among other things, she asked what the show’s legacy had been, and whether the right lessons — female characters written as well as men, given as much narrative importance as men, and surrounded by other women — had been learned. Following on from her discussion, our panel will ask: who are Buffy’s heirs? (And you can listen to the original programme here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03m7zmq)
Continue reading LonCon3 #18: The Daughters of Buffy
Panellists: Tracy Berg, Jo Hacker, Jeanne Gomoll, Moira O’Keeffe, Sunil Patel
Orphan Black is one of the most critically-acclaimed and fannishly-popular SF TV series to debut in the last few years, and is notable both for being a strongly feminist narrative and for sticking (more or less, so far) to a plausible depiction of biological sciences. In the season one finale, the two themes are linked: “We have to control our biology”, one of the clone-sisters asserts. Bearing this imperative in mind, how do the show’s feminism and science interact and inform one another? How successful is the show at balancing commercial and political narrative goals?
Continue reading LonCon3 #16: Welcome to Clone Club
Panellists: Laurie Penny, Daryl Gregory, David Towsey, Claudia Kern, Deborah Christie
According to M John Harrison, “The zombie is the ultimate other in a neoliberal society … they will never embarrass you by revealing their humanity.” To what extent does this reading explain the popularity of zombie franchises? And what are we to make of works such as Warm Bodies, The Returned and In The Flesh, that start to rehumanise the zombie?
Continue reading LonCon3 #12: Sympathy for the Zombie
Panellists: Martin McGrath, Carrie Vaughn, Roz J. Kaveney (GR), Takayuki Tatsumi, Laurie Penny
One of the defining political issues of our time, societal inequality is showing up on-screen in films like In Time, Elysium and The Dark Knight Rises, and TV shows such as Continuum and Arrow. How successfully do these works engage with the issues they raise? Is the imagery they use at odds with the narratives they follow? And what would radical anti-inequality SF look like?
Why does SF hate poor people? It seems to echo the media’s hate for the poor.
Continue reading Loncon3 #8: Occupy SF – Inequality on Screen