“There’s a reason J.K. Rowling’s publishers demanded that she use initials instead of “Joanne”: it’s the same reason Mary Anne Evans used the pen name George Eliot; the same reason Robert Southey, then England’s poet laureate, wrote to Charlotte Brontë: ‘Literature cannot be the business of a woman’s life, and it ought not to be.’” [...]
Andrew Nette writes about the trial and death of Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary.
“In essence what Fleming was proposing was a team of authorised thieves and looters – mavericks who would operate ahead of the forward troops and who were instructed to do whatever necessary to capture enemy intelligence, equipment or personnel.” James Bond creator, Ian Fleming also created a special unit a commando unit for British Naval [...]
“As a Black man in American, I brought something to the screen that hadn’t really been there before.”Jim Brown talks about his film career, making the transition from football to film and producing films in two parts of a documentary by Spike Lee. Here and here.
Dion Fortune and the Fraternity of the Inner Light protected Britain from Germany’s occult attacks during World War II. Read more here. (via @mattstaggs)
Tor.com reports on one of the largest space battles in the history of EVE Online: “A space battle kicked off entirely by accident. A space battle so big it could not be simulated, it had to be crafted and pushed forward by human ego, so big it cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and yet [...]
Ghost Wars: The Secret Wars of the CIA author Steve Coll writes of Zero Dark Thirty: “Zero Dark Thirty was constructed to bring viewers to the edges of their seats, and judging by its critical reception, for many viewers it has succeeded in that respect. Its faults as journalism matter because they may well affect [...]
Patricia Hernandez talks about the reasons she doesn’t talk about video game violence much. “They’re recollections of things, sometimes games I know for certain go together somehow, amount to a small piece of some puzzle that’s supposed to help me understand where violence and death fit in my life.”
“It was the dawn of World War II when [Jack] Parsons, who’d also co-founded the missile manufacturing firm Aerojet around the same time as [the Jet Propulsion Laboratory]’s inception, took to the Ordo Templi Orientis….But soon enough the young explosives guru was running with another OTO buck, a young writer named L. Ron. Hubbard. ” [...]
Animator of Sita Sings The Blues, Nina Paley, has a new short, “This Land Is Mine,” concerning, “a brief history of the land called Israel/Palestine/Canaan/the Levant” set to, “This Land Is Mine” sung by Andy Williams. (Via Cartoon Brew)
Napoleon’s invasion of Russia was a gruesome historical tragedy; or, a colossal act of hubris that cost the lives of 400 000 soldiers. Sounds like the perfect milieu for a vampire feeding frenzy! Jasper Kent’s Twelve is an odd mix of historical novel, horror, and, of all things, a somewhat too close examination of torture.
Comics creator, educator and founder of The Kubert School, Joe Kubert has died. The Beat has an obituary. NPR’s Monkey See has an appreciation with links to many others, including a gallery of Kubert’s comics covers. The New York Times has a slide show including pictures of his workspace and his original art. Here he [...]
LEGO Vikings attack in the animated “Battle of Maldon”, and with Old English subtitles. (Thanks, Kate Laity!)
Just in time for Eiji Tsuburaya’s birthday, here’s a brief video documentary on his career in special effects for films ranging from Godzilla and War of the Gargantuas to Throne of Blood and Chushingura.
At Slate, Campbell Roberston reviews Joe Sacco’s Journalism and discusses in comic form Sacco’s journalism in the medium of comics.
A trailer for the documentary Golden Slumbers, which looks at the Cambodian film industry from 1960 to 1975, when the Khmer Rouge seized power and declared Year Zero.
John Huston’s rarely seen and controversial documentary about what was called “shell shock,” “psychoneurosis,” and “neuropsychosis” among returning World War II veterans, Let There Be Light, is now available for free online viewing. Read more about the film and its history at Keyframe and view it at the National Film Preservation Foundation. (Thanks, @FOURDK)
Director and screenwriter Kaneto Shindo has died. He lived past 100 and made masterpieces including Onibaba, Kuroneko, Children of Hiroshima, Lucky Dragon No. 5 and The Naked Island. He also wrote the screenplays for Seijun Suzuki’s Fighting Elegy, Yasuzo Masumura Irezumi, Kinji Fukasaku’s Under the Flag of the Rising Sun, Seijiro Koyama’s Hachi / Hachiko [...]
“In the very first Dan Dare adventure, which began to be serialised weekly in the Christian boy’s comic Eagle in 1950, we were introduced to the ‘ … Inter Planet Space Fleet some years in the future.’ It’s an odd organisation, in that it’s clearly meant to be Earth’s ‘Space Fleet,’ but it’s clearly really [...]
Fascinating article on thriller writer Dennis Wheatley’s role as a planner of deceptions for WWII British Intelligence and his influence on Ian Fleming and James Bond. (via @driveinmob)
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