I often wonder if I would have enjoyed living in medieval England as much as I do writing about it.
Obviously the answer to this question depends upon a few considerations. For example, does medieval me look the same as modern me? There’s no reason to expect she wouldn’t, in which case, I’ll defer to comedian and social critic Louis C.K. for a response:
SOMETHING I LOVE MOST about historical fiction is the opportunity to contemplate the lives of little and lesser known people – those who weren’t among history’s winners whose story and version of events have been codified into what mainstream society accepts as The Way Things Actually Happened.
When I blogged about my favourite media of 2014, I included the movie Belle, which I watched during my plane ride home from Australia.
By now, most people have heard about the plan to reboot the movie Ghostbusters with an all-female cast.
Some people are really excited about it.
Others are really upset.
Like really upset, to the point of borderline self-righteousness, with words like “gimmick” and “pandering” receiving a thorough workout.
Maybe I’m just splitting hairs over semantics, but in and of itself, I don’t consider a gimmick to be a negative thing.
All marketing and media uses gimmicks or “hooks” to attract a target audience, in this case the hook being the casting women where previously there’d only been men, ostensibly to attract – at least in part – a target audience of female viewers.
Having recently watched the latest Transformers movie in theatre – perhaps against my better judgement – I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the character Optimus Prime.
Because the movie, in my humble opinion, made his personality almost completely unrecognizable.
Optimus Prime – right up there with Xena, the Warrior Princess – has long been a favourite character of mine. For those unfamiliar with the Transformers franchise – of which there have numerous incarnations via cartoons, movies, and comics – the main, unchanging premise is that of a race of giant alien sentient robots who are gripped in an eons-long war of good against evil.
Optimus Prime is the long-standing leader of the heroic Autobots against the ruthless Decepticons led by the tyrant Megatron.
Samuel L. Jackson as Mace Windu, the first black Jedi.
There’s been a lot of talk lately within the corners of the blogosphere I frequent about diversity of characters in genre fiction.
First fantasy author Chuck Wendig blogged in favour of book and movie characters being more representative of the world around us.
Then, indie fantasy author Ksenia Anske wrote about writers – diverse writers included –writing their true art – whatever shape or colour that may be – rather than being obliged to meet quotas of diversity – a compelling piece I neither fully agree nor disagree with.
This topic is hardly new within the writing world, with numerous other arguments out there both for and against the inclusion of more people of colour, of different sexual and gender orientations, and different physical and mental ability levels in genre fiction.
The “against” argument I despise the most is the concept of something I repeatedly saw in the comments trail of Chuck Wendig’s post.
So today, on St. Patrick’s Day – a day of parades, parties, and green beer in North America – I’ve decided to write about Lent.
I’m not Catholic, or even especially religious. Yet Lent is a ritual I practice regularly.
For those even less religious than I, Lent is the 40-day period preceding Easter and running roughshod right over St. Paddy’s Day during which, among other things, it’s customary for people to temporarily give up on indulgent habits.
It’s a period of penitence, self-denial, and reflection corresponding with the 40 days Jesus Christ spent alone in the desert prior to the start of his ministry, fasting and enduring temptation from the Devil.
The purpose of Lent is to prepare Christians to rejoice at the resurrection of Jesus at Easter.
As I mentioned above, I’m not especially religious.
I opted to give this movie a pass when it came out in July, believing it to be just another dumb summer blockbuster involving robots, a la Michael Bay’s Transformers franchise.
(I loved the original 80s Transformers cartoon, yet there’s so much to hate about those movies.)
As a reader at heart, I tend not to like most movies I watch, especially those that come out in the summer. If I watch a summer flick at all, it’s usually on video, and for the benefit of some mindless entertainment after a tough week at work.
But Pacific Rim surprisingly gave me a lot to think about, particularly with regards to its characters.