The title says the important bit, but it is not the full story. Worldbuilders let people who donated money vote on what would be read. In this instance, the author/reader was Neil Gaiman, and Jabberwocky won the toss (the also-rans included Goodnight Moon, Fox in Socks, and Where the Wild Things Are). Thanks to everyone who contributed, we got this excellent rendition of a master writer reciting a masterpiece. This particular contribution took place back in 2014, but the work continues; be sure to visit Worldbuilders and see if you can’t find a current project worth your own contribution.
Normally I do music on Saturday night’s, but normally Saturday is not Halloween. So this time around, a couple of classics in honor of the holiday. To make up for the schedule, music will be along very shortly, in honor of the new Abney Park album. The first Halloween video:
This is part of Disney’s Silly Symphonies series: The Skeleton Dance is a classic from 1929, not long after the Steamboat Willie era, and perfect for Halloween. In those days, this stuff was experimental state of the art, which tends to explain why Walt himself directed this one. The entire Silly Symphony collection was created from 1929 to 1939, and totaled out to 75 separate short animations, most of which were mini-masterpieces for their time. As evidence of this, the series won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film seven times, including the first 6 times that award was ever given out. It was also a Disney test bed for new technology, of which the single most important piece (to my mind, at least) was Technicolor, a technology nobody else in the industry would appreciate until decades later.
The second Halloween video is a more modern classic: The 8 Bit version of Army of Darkness. It may have been the third film in the Evil Dead franchise, but it became the definitive horror comedy film of its time very quickly. It didn’t have a serious contender for that title until Shaun Of The Dead hit the big screen quite a few years later. I do kind of wish I could have played the game instead of just watched it, though. These CineFix virtual remakes are quite the hoot.
This week we get a shot of pure silly with the movie Pixels, and a whole new take on Space Invaders. I am still debating if this one needs the big screen or would be just as good streaming on a tablet, but however I see it I am looking forward to it.
This time Movies have Ex Machina, a cybernetic tale of the birth of AI as haunting as it is thought provoking. While not as relentlessly kill crazy as the Terminator series, you do get a glimpse into the birth of that attitude among the biologically challenged, and the kind of events that might provoke it. X-Men: Days of Future Past: the Rogue Cut started with 17 minutes of additional footage we have never seen before. Some of the new footage centers around Paquin’s Rogue, who I don’t feel we saw enough of in the theatrical version. In order to make the story line changes the new scenes bring to the film work they also have modified some of the original footage with either re-edits or alternate takes. The end result is as much of a different movie as some of the Blade Runner remakes, so it will probably have to follow me home. The 1959 French classic Hiroshima, Mon Amour is being re-released on Blue Ray off of a 4K master for the first time ever this week. No, it isn’t genre, but it was one of those films that changed the way people made movies from that point on, the way Indiana Jones did. This is one of those films you need to see at least one time in your life, or you will have missed something amazing and paradigm changing.
I didn’t find any TV entries this week, but there is one contender in a much older episodic story telling tradition. Beowulf is performed in the original Bardic style by Benjamin Bagby, Anglo-Saxon harp in hand and voice in full throat, singing in Old English. He has given this performance at the Smithsonian and at Carnegie Hall, to name a few. This is as close as most of us can ever hope to get to experiencing one of the tales that shaped our last few thousand years on Earth the way it was meant to be heard.
In Anime, Familiar of Zero: F is Season 4 of the series; ever since she first accidentally kidnapped him from Earth (yep, she did that by accident; she is just a tad clueless about how to get her magic to work), their relationship has been growing. But so has the list of powerful beings trying to take them out… permanently. In Recently, my sister is unusual Mitsuki is trying to adjust to her new life and brother, when an amnesiac ghost girl needs her help to pass on to the next world.
Is the Order a Rabbit? is a very kawaii show involving a cafe, a mysterious rabbit, one heavily armed girl, and some possible telepaths. One Piece is releasing both Collection 13 with Episodes 300 through 324 and One Piece: Season 7 Voyage 1 with episodes 385 through 396. I find it interesting that the one with 24 episodes is $2 cheaper than the one with 11 episodes, probably because it is about a year older.
This video is what you would get if you built the philosophy of Nietzsche as an 8-Bit Video Game. Maybe not what you might have expected, but certainly something that was a logical extrapolation of the process.
Archive Dot Org has a great assortment of X-1 episodes which you can listen to online, or download for your own collection. The show was one of the better presentations of science fiction radio plays, built from stories that appeared in Galaxy magazine, written by some of the best authors of the era. This program has been in the public domain for quite a while now, which kind of surprises me, as I would have thought they would want to hold on to it. Here are a few episodes to get you started; there are quite a few more available.