(1) CONTAGIOUS THINKER. The Outline’s Michael Huguenor recalls “That one time Felix Guattari tried to sell a script in Hollywood”.
By 1987, French philosopher Felix Guattari had already changed the world. He’d invented a new form of psychoanalysis, fought against the Algerian War, physically constructed part of the University of Zagreb, and pioneered the existence of pirate radio. At 57, his entire life was defined by tumult and surprising leaps of faith. Yet the most surprising of all came that year when he approached the French Centre National de la Cinematographie with a request for state funding for an unlikely project.
“I am a writer and psychoanalyst, as well as a director of a psychiatric clinic that employs methods of Institutional Psycho-therapy,” he began, in his Preamble. Then came the curve-ball: “Now I would like to direct what, at least in appearance, will be a science fiction film.”
Attached was a screenplay….
(2) WHERE IT ALL BEGAN. Timothy the Talking Cat supplies “Timothy’s Alternative MCU Running Order”. Reader, I LOL’d. You might not have known all these movies were part of the MCU.
The important element of Marvel films is not just that they are long and have pee breaks between films (sometimes lasting several years) but each film is an improvement on the last. Have we reached peak Marvel film yet? Oh no, not by a long chalk matey! That’s not how a shared universe works. You introduce pieces piece by pieces until you have all the pieces and WHAM perfect film probably with an interval like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
(3) THE MARVEL BRADY UNIVERSE. For The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the Avengers: Infinity War Cast Sings “The Marvel Bunch”
(4) TONY AWARDS. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child received 10 Tony Awards nominations.
(5) GOODREADS & HUGOS. Goodreads 2019 Hugo recommendation lists split into differing categories. Open to public votes and contributions.
(6) PRIX TIME. Europa SF reports the winners of a pair of French sff awards:
During the 2018 Intergalactiques Festival of Lyon, the Barjavel Prix was awarded to Céline Maltère for her new short-story “La Coupole”. The story will be available shortly (digital format) by Actusf Publishers.
The Planète SF Prix was awarded to Jo Walton for her novel “My Real Children”, 2014 (Nos vrais enfants) published in translation (Florence Dolisi) by Denoël Press.
(7) ROCKET QUEST. At Doctor Strangemind, Kim Huett asks “Hugo, Where Art Thou?”
While writing about the Hugo situation in 1955 the other day I mentioned that Ron Smith won a Hugo in 1956 for his fanzine, Inside. This particular award is of special interest to me because as far as I’m aware the rocket Ron was awarded is the only one that has had a long-term residency in Australia. I’ve read that it was displayed in the window of Merv Binns’ Space Ago Books in Melbourne for many years after Ron Smith moved to Australia in, I think, the early sixties. I can’t vouch for that because I only managed to visit Space Age a couple of times while the store was still a going concern and was too eager to get inside to be concerned about what might be in the window display. Space Age Books is of course has long been a thing of the past now and presumably Ron Smith has passed away too so that makes me wonder what happened to his rocket? I’m assuming that when Space Age Books stopped being a bricks and mortar establishment the rocket went back to Ron (if not before that) but I can’t be certain. Hopefully somebody living in Melbourne reading this will know the answer to my query or perhaps be able to dig an answer out of Merv.
Anyway, having begun this line of thought I started to wonder if anybody has made any attempt to track down the location of the various Hugo statues that have been handed out in the past 65 or so years….
(8) GIDLEY OBIT. Pamela Gidley (1965-2018): US actress, died April 16, aged 52. Genre appearances include the title role in Cherry 2000 (1987), Highway to Hell (1991), Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992), Strange Luck (17 episodes, 1995-96), Aberration (1997), The Little Vampire (2000), Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces (2014). She also directed and co-scripted a short drama in 2004, I Just Forgot.
(9) ANDERSON OBIT. The director of the Logan’s Run movie died last week:
Michael Anderson, a British director whose 1955 film ‘‘The Dam Busters’’ became one of the most popular wartime dramas ever made and launched him to a filmmaking career that included the all-star Oscar-winner ‘‘Around the World in 80 Days’’ and the sci-fi fantasy ‘‘Logan’s Run,’’ died April 25 at his home on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. He was 98.
He also directed the adaptation of 1984 released in 1956, starring Edmond O’Brien.
(10) PUT ANOTHER CANDLE ON. Don’t miss a one: Steven H Silver has posted “Birthday Reviews: April Index” at Black Gate.
(11) IMPOSSIBLE PODCAST. Into the Impossible, the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination’s podcast, in episode 18 discusses the “Internet of All Kinds of Things”.
How is the internet changing our humanity, and what can we do about it? We explore these questions and more with Antonio Garcia Martinez (author of Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley) and Douglas Rushkoff (author most recently of Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus and host of the fantastic podcast Team Human).
(12) FASHION NOTES. Yes, this shirt is loud enough: “Outer Space”.
(13) NO MATTER WHAT ELSE YOU MAY HAVE READ. The net is flip-flopping on flipping – now an Ars Technica headline says “Earth’s magnetic field may not be flipping”.
Going back millions of years into Earth’s history, our planet’s magnetic field has frequently gone its own way. The magnetic north pole has not only wandered through the north, but it has changed places with the south magnetic pole, taking up residence in the Antarctic. Going back millions of years, there’s a regular pattern of pole exchange, with flips sometimes occurring in relatively rapid succession.
In those terms, our current period of pole positioning is unusually long, with the last flip occurring nearly 800,000 years ago. But the magnetic field has grown noticeably weaker since we started measuring it more than a hundred years ago. The poles have wandered a bit, and there’s an area of even more dramatic weakening over the South Atlantic. Could these be signs that we’re due for another flip?
Probably not, according to new research published with the refreshingly clear title, “Earth’s magnetic field is probably not reversing.” In it, an international team of researchers reconstructs the history of some past flips and argues that what’s going on now doesn’t much look like previous events.
(14) ROUTE 66. Steve Vertlieb invites people to read “Two for the Road: Traveling ‘Route 66’”. (Another show I was too young to stay up and watch. But a few years after the show went off the air one of my English teachers who knew co-star Maharis got him to visit the class.)
The “Golden Age Of Television” lasted from the late nineteen forties until the early nineteen sixties where it thrived and flourished, presenting mostly “live” dramatic and musical presentations that captured the exhilaration and essence of fresh theatrical Broadway productions, staged and created expressly for the newly experimental format of the small home tv screen. Television was a brand new medium, daring in its provocative concepts and artistic explorations, while revolutionary in its groundbreaking originality. Everything was fresh and new, as this voracious, visionary monolith consumed original productions as rapidly as they could be produced. Into this ravenous mix, and at the tail end of the medium’s legendary golden age, came a weekly television series produced by CBS (the famed Murrow “tiffany” network) concerning two friends (Martin Milner and George Maharis) from the often-cruel streets of New York, seeking meaning, value, and definition in their ongoing dramatic sojourn across the highways of America. “Route 66” launched nationally on Friday night, October 7th, 1960, taking the country by storm. Filming on location in virtually every state of the union until its final episode on March 20th, 1964, the powerful series introduced some of the finest anthology drama that television has ever witnessed, while showcasing stunning conceptual poetry by principal writer Stirling Silliphant, original music by composer Nelson Riddle, and ensemble guest performances by many of the finest actors and actresses in Hollywood, and from the New York stage. The weekly series effectively changed the course and direction of my life when the program filmed two episodes in Philadelphia in the Fall of 1961. This is the bittersweet story of the cultural evolution and significance of the iconic series, as well as its profound, transformative effect upon my own life, direction, and career.
This was the episode of the “Route 66” television series that forever changed the direction and “route” of both mine, and my brother’s lives. We were there on location with the cast and crew when they filmed this classic episode on the mean streets of Philadelphia and, with George Maharis and Martin Milner, together crossed that “Thin White Line.” The program aired as Season Two, Episode Eleven, over the CBS Television network on Friday evening, December 8th, 1961.
[Thanks to Beth in MA, John King Tarpinian, N, Steve Green, Cat Eldridge, JJ, Martin Morse Wooster, Carl Slaughter, Chip Hitchcock, Mike Kennedy, Steve Vertlieb, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories, Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]