The Black Sea MAP project wasn’t explicitly searching for shipwrecks, but rather scanning the seafloor to understand the region's natural history. But they knew they would find wrecks along the way. The Black Sea’s waters have relatively little salt and low oxygen concentration, which means that the creatures that break down the wood of shipwrecks elsewhere don’t thrive here. When a wooden ship sinks to the bottom of the sea, it can stay in decent condition, even after centuries.
Of the 43 shipwrecks the team identified, one of the most stunning is a medieval ship dating to the 13th or 14th century. Historians know that ships of this style existed from written sources, including manuscripts from Venice, but no example had ever been found. This one is so well preserved that the masts are still standing.
“This is the type of ship that created the trading empires of Venice and Genoa; the type of ship used by the Crusaders,” the University of Connecticut's Kroum Batchavarov, a codirector of the project, said in a press release.
The project’s primary goal is to study the layers of sand and rock at the bottom of the sea to better understand the region’s history of flooding. At one point in history, the waters of the Black Sea had receded enough for people to settle in what had been marshy land—only to have their homes floods as climate has shifted. How fast did that happen? It would have been a slower-moving disaster than a sinking ship, but still the sort of event that upended lives before people had a chance to adapt.
Though the cramped attic studio in the Salvation Army building in Melbourne was only restored a few years ago, this hidden gem’s longstanding history traces back until 1891. It’s the home of the Limelight Department, one of the world’s first movie studios.
Within the studio, the Salvation Army produced around 300 films, short and long, for its faithful clients and also for private and government entities. The filmmakers initially used "magic" lantern slides that were created in the Coloring Room and used to project the hand-colored images onto a screen.
The organization used Salvation Army officers as its cast, and shot at its Girls Home and even in the rooms within the studio’s building. In 1900, it notably premiered Soldiers of the Cross, which some argue is perhaps the first feature-length movie ever made, after developing the live action film in the Dark Room here.
The film, which was a mixture of lantern slides, music, and live lectures, lasted nearly two and a half hours. Its violent scenes were controversial at the time. A death scene once even made women in the audience faint.
The The Limelight Department hit the big time when it was commissioned by the New South Wales government to make a multi-camera record of the celebratory inauguration of the Australian Commonwealth. Teams of musicians, lecturers, and projectionists would travel the country showing their films, all to raise awareness and funds for their work.
However, its glory did not last long. Later leadership decided that the department wasn't conservative enough, and it was wound down and eventually shuttered.
The attic studio that once housed the department now showcases some colored slides from the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, vintage cameras and equipment, posters, and artifacts.
It was close to 10 p.m. on a spring night in Tokyo in 1912, when Kazuko Mozume heard a dog barking behind her father’s house. It would not stop. At the back gate, she found three men waiting for her, a policeman and two others. They didn’t say what they wanted, they only asked her if this was the office of Seitō, the women’s literature magazine she had started with four other young women.
She led the men through the large house and down the long corridor to the rooms that served as the magazine’s headquarters. The men looked around and spotted just a single copy of the magazine’s latest issue. They seized the publication and, as they were leaving, finally told the surprised young woman why they had come. This issue of Seitō had been banned, they told her, on the grounds that it was “disruptive of the public peace and order.”
The young women who had created the magazine less than a year before had known it would be controversial. It was created by women, to feature women’s writing to a female audience. In Japan in 1911, it was daring for a woman to put her name in print on anything besides a very pretty poem. The magazine’s name, Seitō, translated to “Bluestockings,” a nod to an unorthodox group of 18th-century English women who gathered to discuss politics and art, which was an extraordinary activity for their time.
But Seitō was not intended to be a radical or political publication. “We did not launch the journal to awaken the social consciousness of women or to contribute to the feminist movement,” wrote the magazine’s founder, Haruko Hiratsuka, who went by the penname Raichō, or "Thunderbird." “Our only special achievement was creating a literary journal that was solely for women.” Raichō was most interested in self-discovery—“to plumb the depths of my being and realize my true self,” she wrote—and much of the writing in the magazine was confessional and personal, a 1910s version of the essays that might now be found in xoJane or Catapult.
Women's feelings and inner thoughts, however, turned out to be a provocative challenge to the social and legal strictures of this era, when a woman’s role was to be a good wife and mother. The Seitō women imagined much wider and wilder emotional and professional lives for themselves. They fell in love, they indulged in alcohol, they built careers as writers, and they wrote about it all—publicly. The stories were radical enough that the government censored them. The story that prompted policemen to visit the magazine’s office late at night was a piece of fiction about a married women writing to her lover to ask him to meet her while her husband was away.
As they attracted public attention and disapproval, instead of shying away from the controversy they'd created, the editors of Seitō were forced to confront more baldly political questions, and this in turn earned them more banned issues. In the pages of their magazine they came to debate women’s equality, chastity, and abortion. Without originally intending to, they became some of Japan’s pioneering feminists.
Starting the magazine hadn't been Raichō’s idea. At first she had no interest in being a professional writer or editor. At the time that her mentor, Chōkō Ikuta, suggested it, Raichō had been immersed in practicing zen meditation, learning English, and pursuing a self-directed course of literary study at the library. She was 26 and living at home with her parents, so she wasn’t worried about supporting herself. She may also have been reluctant to reenter Ikuta’s world. Her experience with his last literary society had ended when she ran off with a married man to a mountain retreat, where they spent a night outside in the cold—a romantic, failed attempt at suicide.
This incident had been a scandal for her upper-middle-class family, and though her father and mother had supported her through it, she was still expected to settle down in a respectable marriage. Raichō was part of a generation of Japanese women who had unprecedented access to education, in women’s high schools started in the late 19th century and at Japan Women’s University, which was established in 1901. Women like Raichō studied the literature of naturalism, full of ideas about self-awakening (for men, at least). Even as women’s education improved, they were expected to conform to increasingly constrictive ideas about women’s roles and behaviors. Strict moral codes were creeping up around chastity, and arranged marriages, once a practice reserved for the highest classes of society, were becoming more common among the middle class.
“A lot of these young women had developed intellectual curiosity and ambition and wanted to do something more than be a good wife and mother,” says Jan Bardsley, a professor of Asian Studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of The Bluestockings of Japan.
Living at home, Raichō had a roommate, Yoshiko Yasumochi, a friend of her older sister. When Raichō mentioned the idea of a literary magazine, Yasumochi, who had recently graduated college, jumped on it. “She had no desire to return to her home in Shikoku,” Raichō wrote in her autobiography. “This was just the sort of job she had been looking for.”
The two women started making plans for the magazine and a literary society that would accompany it. They recruited three other founding members, including Mozume, who offered her house as an office. Raichō was too worried about her own father’s continued support to offer hers, but her mother did secretly fund the printing of the inaugural issue. At Ikuta’s urging, the Seitō founders had canvassed for submissions and support among the few female writers of Japan and the wives of literary men. The first issue contained a poem from the famous poet Akiko Yosano, who wrote:
The day has arrived when the mountains are about to become active People do not believe me when I say this The mountains have simply been dormant for awhile … ... Believe only this Now all the women who lay dormant are rousing themselves.
Raichō herself wrote the magazine’s manifesto and call to action, which became known as the first public address on Japanese women’s rights. “In my wildest dreams, I did not imagine how much my opening statement would stir the young women of my generation,” she wrote later. She had sat up through the night, writing “with every fiber of my being,” an expansive, rambling, impassioned piece that opens, “In the beginning, women was the sun ... ” and builds to a call to arms, “Even if I collapse halfway, or even if I sink to the bottom of the ocean, a shipwrecked soldier, I will raise both my paralyzed hands and yell with my last breath, 'Women! Advance! Advance!'”
The Seitō editors put a small ad in the paper to announce the first issue. They priced it at 25 sen, slightly more expensive than other magazines of its kind. None of them expected it to be a publishing success.
The first issue sold out in a month. Seitō was a phenomenon.
In the first issues, the Seitō editors published essays, poems, and works of fiction that plumbed their inner worlds. “There was a vogue at the time to write in the first person, as if you were sharing your innermost thoughts,” says Bardsley. These weren’t political provocations, but they attracted an impassioned following, mostly young women. Letters from around the country poured in, and the magazine's most ardent fans showed up at the office looking for advice or a glimpse of the writers they admired.
From this outpouring of enthusiasm, the inner circle of Seitō began to grow. Within the first year of publication, the office started receiving frequent letters, which, Raichō wrote, “stood out for their pure idiosyncracy.” They came from Kōchiko Otake, the daughter of a prominent artist. In person, Otake was tall and loud, and dared to wear men’s clothing. But in her writing, she sounds like an eager kid. In her first letter to Seitō, she wrote, “I’ve said so many foolish things, but that’s the kind of person I am—I just can’t be dishonest about myself. So I’ll just go ahead and send this letter .... When I go to Tokyo, I’ll visit your office and apologize in person in my crude, childish way.”
“She was absolutely uninhibited,” Raichō wrote.
This particular quality of Otake's became a problem for Seitō. The popular media had taken an interest in the lives of the unusual women who were producing the magazine. As many feminists have found, their ideas and work mattered less to the press and public than how they conducted their personal lives. After she became a regular presence in the office, Otake's taste for adventure and eagerness to share her experiences fueled the gossip swirling around the editors.
In one incident that made it into newspapers, for instance, Otake visited a café known as a haunt for local artists, where the proprietor taught her to make a trendy cocktail with five brightly colored liquors. Women weren’t supposed to drink, and Otake was less interested in imbibing than in the delight of mixing the concoction. But when she described it in the magazine, it seemed as if everyone involved with Seitō had been getting drunk on fancy cocktails.
More scandalous was a visit arranged by Otake's uncle to the Yoshiwara quarter of the city, a red-light district that only men were supposed to frequent. A small group of women, including Otake and Raichō, spent the night in a high-end brothel, in the company of a courtesan named Eizan. The Seitō editors had little sense of the lives of women of lower classes, and the visit was meant to open their eyes to the problems faced by women of different circumstances. That is not how it was received when Otake told a reporter about it.
“Some key members of the 'Seitō Society’ have absurdly and outrageously been to the Yoshiwara,” one paper wrote. “They have gone so much on the loose that even men would have been put to shame."
"They also write about iconoclastic and unconventional things," the article noted, almost as an aside.
The newspaper reporters weren’t the only ones who thought Otake and Raichō had gone too far, though. The Yoshiwara trip in particular caused divisions among Seitō's members. The magazine’s subscriber base had been growing, but after this incident, teachers, worried for their jobs, canceled their subscriptions so they couldn’t be associated with this group of wayward women. Mozume’s father forced her to resign (though she kept writing under a pen name). Yasumochi, who had been so important in the founding of the magazine, wrote to Raichō that, “In the earlier stage Seitō was indeed a heartfelt, trustworthy and distinguished magazine, but it has lost these good qualities .... Because of your thoughtless conduct, all these women have gained a bad reputation for doing away with past conventions and attempting things women have never done before.”
By 1913, Seitō had reached a turning point. The group’s collective journey of self-exploration had led them into trouble, but rather than turning away from the controversy, they leaned into the questions of women’s rights and lives that they’d raised.
In the first year of publication, the editors had discussed women’s issues on occasion, most notably in a special issue on Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House, itself a controversial work about the place of women in society, which had run in Tokyo. And the 1912 Seitō story, “The Letter,” which provoked the first censure from the government and the seizing of the issue from the office, read: “thinking of the nape of your neck and the delight of the first night your crimson lips met mine …. What I want ... is to feel completely enveloped by an earnest and human love.”
They increasingly began to confront controversial questions about the rights of women and the control they should have over their bodies. In a special 1913 issue on women’s rights, Seitō commissioned an essay from Hideko Fukuda, a feminist known as a radical activist, on “The Solution to the Woman Question,” in which she advocated not just for equal rights between genders, but also for a communal system to create equality among classes as well.
“Only under such circumstances will real women’s liberation come about,” she wrote. “Unless this first step is taken, even if women get voting rights, and even if courts, universities, and government offices in general are opened to women, those who enter these, will, of course, only be women from the influential class; the majority of ordinary women will necessarily be excluded from these circles. Thus, just as class warfare breaks out among men, so class warfare will occur among women.”
The government banned this entire issue for being “disruptive of public peace and order.” A couple months later, another issue was banned because of an article opposing arranged marriages. The next year, one of the magazine’s writers sparked a debate on chastity when she wrote (in vague terms) about losing her virginity to a boss who threatened to fire her if she wouldn’t have sex with him. Though that question aroused the feelings of the magazine’s contributors, who argued over whether the writer’s decision was analogous to accepting an arranged marriage, the government allowed the discussion to proceed.
Censors returned for a 1914 issue containing a fictional story about a woman leaving her husband, and one in 1915 for a fictional story about a woman who did not regret having an abortion. That story, “To My Lover From a Woman in Prison,” was inspired by real-life events, and the main character offers a pro-choice argument that must have seemed incendiary at the time. “As long as a fetus has not matured, it is still just one part of the mother’s body,” she writes to her lover. “There, I believe it is well within the mother’s rights to decide the future of the fetus, based on her own assessment of its best interests.” The government called the story “injurious to public morals.”
As they provoked government censors with their writing, the women of Seitō tried to live according to the principles of freedom and exploration that they advocated for. They left husbands and started affairs. They found themselves pregnant and considered abortion. Raichō started a relationship with a younger man, left her parents’ house, and gave up their financial support. Pursuing an unconventional life and publishing a controversial magazine, though, strained her emotional resources. In 1915, she handed over editorial control of the magazine to Itō Noe, who pushed further into contentious territory. But the magazine had been struggling financially and, after Japan entered World War I, attention began to fade. It closed, without warning, in 1916.
For many years after that, Seitō’s creators dropped out of the spotlight. “They were notorious in the 1910s, but then you don’t hear too much from them,” says Bardsley. But after World War II, the occupying Allies pushed for women’s equality, through coeducation and the right to vote. All of sudden, interest in the Bluestockings rose again, and they were seen as a pioneering feminist organization in Japan. Today, anyone who studies the history of women's rights there learns about their work.
“Too often the perception is that women movements come from elsewhere to Japan,” says Bardsley. The story of Seitō, though, shows that Japanese feminism has its own legacy. “It’s mixed in with ideas from abroad, but there are Japanese ways of thinking about these issues,” says Bardsley. “In its own day, what was so bold about Seitō was just that these women stood up and wrote, ‘I think this. I want this.’”
In early June, 1944, tens of thousands of American troops prepared to storm the beaches of Normandy, France. As they lined up to board the invasion barges, each was issued something less practical than a weapon, but equally precious: a slim, postcard-sized, softcover book.
These were Armed Services Editions, or ASEs—paperbacks specifically designed to fit in a soldier's pockets and travel with them wherever they went. Between 1943 and 1947, the United States military sent 123 million copies of over 1,000 titles to troops serving overseas. These books improved soldiers' lives, offering them entertainment and comfort during long deployments. By the time the war ended, they'd also transformed the publishing industry, turning the cheap, lowly paperback into an all-American symbol of democracy and practicality.
As the bookseller Michael Hackenberg writes in an essay for the Library of Congress, small books and paperbacks have arisen many times over the course of publishing history, usually in response to some particular need. In 1501, Venice's Aldine Press began printing octavo-sized editions of Latin and Greek classics for aspiring scholars on the go. (The books were designed to be "held in the hand and learned by heart… by everyone," their publisher, Aldus Manutius, later wrote.)
The streets of 16th-century Europe were plastered over with paper tracts and pamphlets. In the 1840s, the German publisher Bernhard Tauchnitz began putting out portable editions of popular books, which travelers snapped up to while away the hours during rail journeys, and by the 1930s, Britain was stacked with softcover Penguin Classics, available at every Woolworth's store.
But in the U.S. in the early 20th century, paperbacks were a bit more of a hard sell. As Hackenberg writes, without a mass-market distribution model in place, it was difficult to make money selling inexpensive books. Although certain brands, including Pocket Books, succeeded by partnering with department stores, individual booksellers preferred to stock their shops with sturdier, better-looking hardbacks, for which they could also charge higher prices.
Even those who were trying to change the public's mind bought into this prejudice: one paperback series, Modern Age Books, disguised its offerings as hardcovers, adding dust jackets and protective cardboard sleeves. They, too, couldn't hack it in the market, and the company folded in the 1940s.
At exactly that time, though, another demographic arose that had a particular use for low-cost, portable books: American soldiers. In September of 1940, as the U.S.'s entry into World War II began looking more and more likely, President Roosevelt reinstated the draft. Hundreds of thousands of new recruits soon found themselves in basic training, an experience that, due to a lack of available facilities, often included building their own barracks and training grounds.
Within a couple of years, many of them—along with hundreds of thousands of others—had been deployed. As Hackenberg writes, the U.S. military now consisted of "millions of people far from home, who found themselves in a situation where periods of boredom alternated with periods of intense activity." In other words, they were the perfect audience for a good paperback.
It didn't take long for the Army, too, to come to this conclusion. As Molly Guptill Manning writes in When Books Went to War, although books were already considered an important source of troop morale—the Army Library Services had been established during World War I—Nazi Germany's embrace of book-burning, propaganda and censorship imbued them with new wartime significance. In 1940, after word got out that the newly built camps were starved for books, the Army's new Library Section chief, Raymond L. Trautman, set out to change that.
As Manning writes, Trautman's initial plan, which involved using Army funds to buy one book per soldier, fell far short of its goal. In an attempt to pick up the slack, libraries across the country independently organized book drives. This quickly mushroomed into the nationwide Victory Book Campaign, or VBC, a collaboration between the Army and the American Library Association that aimed to be the biggest book drive in the country's history.
Although the campaign started off strong, collecting one million books in its first month, donations soon slowed—citizens, who were already being asked to sacrifice for the war effort in any number of other ways, couldn't keep up that initial pace. Many of the books donated—like How to Knit and An Undertaker's Review—were rejected, as it was assumed, fairly or unfairly, that they'd hold no interest for soldiers. On top of that, the bulky, boxy hardcovers proved bad battlefield companions. In 1943, the VBC was officially ended.
Trautman had to try something different. Over the course of the preceding years, he had consulted with publishers, authors, and designers about how to quickly and efficiently increase the number of books that made it to the troops. In 1943, together with the graphic artist H. Stanley Thompson and publisher Malcolm Johnson, he officially proposed his idea: Armed Services Editions, or ASEs.
These would be mass-produced paperbacks, printed in the U.S. and sent overseas on a regular basis. Rather than depending on the taste and largesse of their overextended fellow citizens, soldiers would receive a mix of desirable titles—from classics and bestsellers to westerns, humor books and poetry—each specially selected by a volunteer panel of literary luminaries.
But choosing the books was only half the battle. As had been proven by previous efforts, in order for this project to be a success, the objects themselves had to be somewhat war-ready: "flat, wide, and very pocketable," as John Y. Cole, of the Library of Congress's Center for the Book, put it. Although five different presses quickly volunteered to help make the books, their machines were normally used to print magazines, which, while both flat and wide, were certainly too big for your average soldier's pocket.
Trautman and Thompson solved this problem by printing two books at a time, laid on top of each other. Workers at the presses printed out the double pages, cut them in half, and sorted them into appropriate piles. The pages were then stapled together—a way of thwarting the world's many glue-eating insects, and of slowing down the mildew invited by thread.
Because of the varying sizes of the printing presses, two types of ASE resulted: a smaller one, about the size and shape of a postcard, which could fit into a breast pocket, and a larger one, 6 ½ by 4 ½ inches, for the pants pocket. Both kinds were horizontally oriented, almost like a flip book. These design choices weren't lost on the soldiers: "Whoever made 'em hip pocket size showed a stroke of genius!" one soldier wrote. "I can't say it's next to my heart, but it is treasured."
The first set of ASEs was released in October of 1943. Each month for the next four years, crate after crate of books made their way to overseas soldiers, pretty much wherever they were. "They have been dropped by parachute to outpost forces on lonely Pacific islands; issued in huge lots to hospitals… and passed out to soldiers as they embarked on transports," reporter Frank S. Adams wrote in 1944.
They were a huge and immediate hit. "Never had so many books found so many enthusiastic readers," Cole later wrote. As Manning tells it, "servicemen read them while waiting in line for chow or a haircut, when pinned down in a foxhole, and when stuck on a plane for a milk run." Some soldiers reported that ASEs were the first books they had ever read cover to cover. Troops cherished their shipments, passing them around up to and beyond the point of illegibility. "They are as popular as pin-up girls," one soldier wrote. "To heave one in the garbage can is tantamount to striking your grandmother," quipped another.
Sometimes, particular titles had lasting effects. Betty Smith, whose A Tree Grows in Brooklyn went out in Shipment D, received ten times more fan mail from soldiers than she did from ordinary civilians. (One, from a 20-year-old soldier who read the book while recovering from malaria, told her that it caused his "dead heart" to "[turn] over and become alive again.") After Katherine Anne Porter's Selected Short Stories was chosen, she began hearing from aspiring writers who wanted to discuss technique and craft.
During a Library of Congress event in 1983, veteran Arnold Gates remembered tucking Storm Over the Land, Carl Sandburg's history of the Civil War, into his helmet before marching to the front lines. "During the lulls in the battle I would read what he wrote about another war and found a great deal of comfort and reassurance," he said.
This influence went both ways. The soldiers' enthusiasm brought particular titles—including the Great Gatsby, which wasn't very popular when first released—a new wave of renown. It also changed the American paperback's reputation forever. "The ASE series set the final imprimatur on cheap, mass-market reading material," Hackenberg writes.
From the beginning of the production process, he continues, the publishers involved felt "a sense of pending triumph and of crossing a new threshold." After the project's end, in 1947, this instinct was borne out: by 1949, softcovers were outselling hardback books by 10 percent.
So the next time you dog-ear a page of your pocket paperback and slip it into your jacket to accompany you on your commute, think of a soldier. They're a big part of why it fits.
Alicante is a modern, vibrant, city, but as you wander round the Lucentum archaeological site you can imagine being back where it all started.
This fascinating site contains ruins from both pre-Roman (Iberian) and Roman periods, as well as an Islamic graveyard from the period of the Moorish occupation. There is also considerable evidence of Carthaginian influence; the old city was fought over and captured during the Punic Wars.
Lucentum is situated just to the east of Alicante city centre and before the tower blocks to the south. The hill on which it was built had a commanding view overlooking both Albufureta beach and a small harbour. It is from this site that the city of Alicante developed.
Even before the Roman occupation, the Iberian town had links with Greece and Phoenicia. The city's peak came in the Roman period, particularly between the first century BC and the first century AD. By the 4th century AD, competition from nearby city of Elche lead to an almost complete decline and by the 10th and 11th centuries this area was only being used as a Moorish graveyard.
The site is run by the Alicante archaeology museum and consists of a combination of excavated building remains and some cleverly done reconstructions that seem to blend very well with the excavated material. There are some excellent reconstructions of underfloor heating systems and water heating furnaces in two different bath houses. Walking between the ruins one can get a real feel for life during the Roman period in particular.
The details on the development of the eastern town wall is particularly well explained, the main gate shows evidence of centuries worth of cart traffic as indicated by grooves worn in the stone threshold and the Roman forum is impressive, although the columns surrounding it seem to be reproductions. The artifacts found on the site during the archaeological excavation have largely been transferred to the Alicante Museum of Archaeology, but still left in place are a massive counterweight for an olive oil press and two rounded stone missiles intended to be fired from a crossbow-like catapult.
Ned Kelly and his gang are still folk heroes to many Australians, but few know that four Victoria policemen were sent into the bush to track down Kelly and his brother Dan in 1878, and only one of them returned.
The policemen—all of them Irish immigrants, who made up a majority of the force in the early days—are the subject of a large exhibit at the Victoria Police Museum. As a foreign visitor especially, it’s revealing to learn about the modern crimes that shook the state of Victoria, including the Russell Street car bombing in 1986, and the Hoddle Street massacre the following year.
A gun and a set of the instantly recognizable metal body armor used by Kelly’s gang is here among the expected artifacts like uniforms, badges, weapons, and a vintage police motorcycle, as well as a look at notable acts by past officers and the rise of women in the force.
There are also some unusual finds, like a 19th century vampire slaying kit that was confiscated in a drugs raid in 2004, and the death mask of Frederick Deeming, a notable killer who murdered his wife and four children in his native England, and another wife in Melbourne. Hanged at Melbourne Gaol in 1892, for a long time he was considered to be a candidate for Jack the Ripper, the serial killer who haunted London in 1888.
Back on the streets of Melbourne, large, square concrete bollards are the latest weapon in the fight against terrorism, though locals responded by decorating them with art work, posters, graffiti and designed coverings.
And now for something completely different. Many of the writing staff here at ScreenAnarchy have different careers outside of their movie enthusiasms. Myself, I have a degree in Chemistry, and work as a materials scientist. So when the opportunity to talk to the pair of nuclear fusion physicists presented itself, I was excited to get a bit more scientifically technical than is the norm when talking movies. I hope you enjoy the discussion, which is not dumbed down, with the two principals in the current excellent primer on creating the worlds first operating fusion power plant, Let There Be Light. With all the alternative energy options slowly encroaching on the fossil fuel majority, the least discussed energy source in the 21st century is one...
There's no dampening the enthusiasm from fantastic cinema around the world and one of the newer events to get in on the act is the Maskoon Fantastic Film Festival, which is the only festival that introduces genre cinema to the Arab world. The Lebanese festival opened its 2nd edition with Tarik Saleh's The Nile Hilton Incident on September 13th and wrapped up four days later, when it handed out the awards to its first ever Lebanese short film competition, which seeks to encourage local filmmakers to tackle genre cinema. Taking the Maskoon prize among the 12 competitors was Mike Malajalian's Reprisal, which gives the film an automatic invite to the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival next month. The Cinemox Prize, worth $1500, went to Elie...
Yesterday, the key art for Joe Lynch's horror flick Mayhem was released. The flick has a few more stops on the festival circuit here in North American before it will be released in theaters and on VOD and Digital HD November 10, 2017. Derek Cho (Steven Yeun) is having a really bad day. After being unjustly fired from his job, he discovers that the law firm’s building is under quarantine for a mysterious and dangerous virus. Chaos erupts throughout the office as the victims of the disease begin acting out their wildest impulses. Joining forces with a former client (Samara Weaving) who has a grudge of her own, Derek savagely fights tooth and nail to get to the executives on the top floor and...
While most horror films of today struggle to out-shock one another, thankfully there are still auteurs like director, Brian O'Malley (Let Us Prey), who delight in a slower, more gracefully paced approach to eeriness. Like a rich work of gothic literature, O'Malley's The Lodgers weaves a tale of dark ancestry and a damning heritage inflicted upon two innocents, nestled in the woods outside the view of prying townsfolk eyes. Set in rural-Ireland of the 1920s, The Lodgers coops two twin teenagers, Rachel and Edward (played by Charlotte Vega and Bill Milner) inside an awe-striking mansion, withering with decay and neglect. Gone are the caretakers and parental figures who bestowed life and education onto the enfants-terribles. All that remains is a sinister presence that haunts their...
Larry Cohen is a legend. When you hear the name as a genre fan, you usually think of such classics as Q, The Winged Serpent, It's Alive, God Told Me To, and The Stuff. Now, through Steve Mitchell's fun documentary King Cohen, you may learn a lot more about this legendary writer/director/producer. Hot off the Fantasia world premiere, Fantastic Fest hosts the U.S. premiere of King Cohen on Friday September 22 at 5:45pm, with Cohen himself in attendance. (An encore screening will play on Monday, September 25 at 11:30 am.) I was able to speak to Cohen and learned a great deal about making indie films. Read on and catch the film at Fantastic Fest or a festival near you. You can check out the trailer to this...
Oh boy, you’re not ready for this one. No sir, no ma’am. Nothing on earth can prepare you for the pure outrageousness that is this new Peter Rabbit trailer. So you better steel yourself, because you’re going to watch it anyway. You know you are, I know you are, so let’s just stop dancing around this and […]
Hello, /Film readers. It is I, Chris Evangelista. You may (or may not!) be familiar with my writing here, as I’ve been contributing to /Film since April. But now I’m part of the staff, and I’m very excited about that. I’m also very excited to tell you my 15 favorite movies. Some of these movies […]
On the September 22, 2017 episode of /Film Daily, Peter Sciretta is joined by Ben Pearson to talk about the latest news, including a three-hour cut of Superman: The Movie, Jordan Peele’s new tv series, and A Christmas Story live casting. At the Water Cooler, we’ll talk about Murder on the Orient Express and Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Disneyland, and in The Mail Bag we’ll take […]
Even after decades of toy-based movies, it still seemed impossible that the 2014 animated film The LEGO Movie could ever work. A movie that uses the minifigs that cause kids delight and parents frustration when they fall underfoot? Ridiculous. And yet, The LEGO Movie was a surprisingly, gleefully anarchic story that managed to rise above […]
The Simpsons are reviving their collaboration with renowned science fiction and horror writer Neil Gaiman for the show’s annual “Treehouse of Horror” episode in a positively purr-fect partnership. But instead of a cameo from an animated version of the author himself, Gaiman will be voicing a character from a familiar story of his. “Treehouse of Horror” […]
Black Heart Sutra is the exciting new group featuring Jessica Pimentel of Orange Is The New Black and her band Alekhine’s Gun, Earl Maneein of Seven)Suns, and Kenny Grohowski of Imperial Triumphant and Secret Chiefs 3, and many more. Together … Continue reading →
Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images Metallica wrapped up their North American tour last month, and are currently bringing the “Worldwired” trek across Europe. While the stage isn’t as big as what they had here in the States, it’s still interactive, … Continue reading →
As promised, Mastodon‘s Cold Dark Place EP hit stores today thanks to the good people at Reprise Records. Brent Hinds previously said this on the new material, “One is an album I wrote myself, and recorded with Brann and Troy … Continue reading →
Check out all of today’s new releases in the heavy metal world! Acephalix – Decreation – 20 Buck Spin (Buy) Archspire – Relentless Mutation – Season Of Mist (Buy) Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun – Sargent House (Buy) Circa Survive … Continue reading →
Following weeks of teasing, Asking Alexandria have finally released their first new song since reuniting with frontman Danny Worsnop last year. The track, ‘Into The Fire’, premiered on SiriusXM Octane yesterday morning, and you can now watch the official video … Continue reading →