Welcome to The Afternoon Read.
What a morning. I've already suffered one heartbreak today, and I'm not even done with my e-mail. I can't believe it's already August. Hopefully you guys checked out The Travis McGee Book Club this morning, which was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon here at the house. There's so much going on this morning that it's worth diving right in to share it all with you.
For example, I love that Twitch has been giving the trades fits lately by publishing scoops before the trades can. There have been a few public fits as a result, and the response from Twitch has just been to get better and better and to publish more. Today's story about the possibility of a "Doctor Strange" film in 2013 from Marvel is an exciting one. Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer have evidently turned in a draft of the film that has gotten Marvel confident enough to now go out and pick a director for the film. I love "Doctor Strange" precisely because it's so weird to see them drag magic and demons and other realms into the "reality" of the Marvel Universe. And since this will be one of the Marvel Studios movies, expect to see the character layered into the exact same cinematic world that the Avengers already inhabit. There have also been rumbles lately that "Ant-Man" is finally picking up steam, with Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish still attached as writers.
I'm intrigued by the descriptions of the new Lars Von Trier film that won't even shoot until next year, "Nymphomaniac," and I guarantee whenever it's released, there will be plenty of controversy attached. It's movie that follows the sexual development of a woman from birth to the age of 50, and Von Trier said over the weekend, "I can't make [that film] without showing penetration." Von Trier is said to be deeply rattled by the revelation that Anders Behring Breivik, the lunatic behind the Oslo bombing and the attack on the youth camp that left 77 dead last week, was a big fan of "Dogville," a Von Trier film that features a harrowing ending that must have made Von Trier deeply uncomfortable as the Breivik story was breaking.
Speaking of which, it appears that Pam Geller is determined that when she gets to Hell, she's not just going to have a good seat, she's going to move straight into a management position.
I love blog projects. It's one of the coolest things about Internet publishing, and it's amazing to see the way people take the basic idea of blogging and then redefine it any number of different ways. For example, have you seen "Dear Photograph" yet? It's where people take a picture from the past back to the original location and photograph it now. The execution of that basic concept is heartbreaking and emotional and beautifully-handled. Another one I love that I was just recently turned onto is the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project, where a blogger decided to watch the movie "Julie & Julia" once a day for an entire year. His slow descent into madness has become amazing to witness, and the guy's so sharp and funny that he's turned this bad idea into a way to explore pretty much anything. And there is also the unusual case of the beans that went 'round the world.
I don't understand this, but I find it hypnotic anyway:
Cinemetrics, eh? Grooooooovy.
This interview about humiliation and a new book on the subject is illuminating, and it makes me want to pick up the book and check it out. We have become a culture that is driven almost entirely by a desire to watch the misfortune of others, and it's important that we dig in and try to understand why.
It's going to be a huge year for Ernest Cline with the upcoming publication of his novel Ready Player One. He's living the geek dream right now, and the best external example of how is the DeLorean that he drives. I'm excited to check out Ernie's book, and it sounds to me like it's already allowed some of his dreams to come true. Geeks with money are entertaining in a way that almost no other rich people are.
We may have finally killed the Space Shuttle program, but we haven't abandoned space completely yet, and this upcoming Juno Mission is fascinating to me:
"Arrietty" is about to be released in the UK, so Empire decided to do a major look back at the work of Hayao Miyazaki that is worth your time this morning.
I don't even know what to make of this. It's disturbing to me because of the huge betrayal of trust it represents and because of the systematic corruption of something that is meant to be a solace to people. It's unreal how widespread this has become, but at least it seems like it's harder and harder to cover this sort of thing up.
I wish I'd been able to attend the "Hudson Hawk" screening at the Aero in Santa Monica, if for no other reason, just so I could see the Q&A. As it stands, at least I got to read this breakdown of the event from Peter Peel.
I never got a chance to meet the great Polly Platt, one of the largely unsung heroes of '70s American cinema, and I was sorry to hear of her passing last week. From the way people wrote about her, it's obvious that her contributions to some of the great movies of one of the great eras of film are appreciated and understood, and I have a feeling history will be kind to her. I thought Alonso Duralde's piece about his encounter with her was a particularly great way to pay tribute to this quiet giant, and worth a look.
I love the documentary form, and I've been impressed with the selection of docs on Netflix Instant, but it looks like that might be changing soon.
The thing I love about fandom is just how laser-focused fans can become on the strangest things, and in the case of Chuck Klosterman's recent love letter to Edgar Winter's "Frankenstein," I can't imagine anyone else ever even contemplating a piece like this, but that's what makes it so wonderful.
I used to have a fantastic collection of '80s novelizations, but I got rid of them near the end of college, and I deeply regret it now. They were always such a strange piece of movie collectible ephemera, and there were some truly great ones out there for the most unlikely films. This piece totally speaks to me. If nothing else, I wish I still had all of my Fotonovels.
I was a big fan of Lucky McKee's new film "The Woman" when it played Sundance, and now there is a distinctly NSFW trailer for the movie. I warn you… it is strong stuff, and not for the easily upset:
Did "TRON: Legacy" convince you that there's more life in the franchise, or did it turn you off to the world? For those of you still onboard, there's a trailer for the upcoming Disney show "TRON: Uprising," and I have to say… it's a really slick introduction to what they're doing with the series:
Finally, while I love and respect geek art, I have a mortgage to pay and I don't have the money to spend on custom-designed posters or tribute pieces. It's obvious that the guys over at /Film are head over heels for this stuff, and Germain Lussier just put up a piece about a new documentary that looks at the entire scene around this sort of work right now.
On that note, I've got some reviews to write and post, and it's going to be a busy week overall. We're just a month away from Toronto and Fantastic Fest, and I can't believe the year's racing by this fast. See you back here Wednesday for more of what's going on around the Internet, and hopefully I'll be a little less rusty at putting one of these together.
The Morning Read appears here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Except when it doesn't.