Archive for March, 2014


Matt Miklic

The keen observer may have noticed the change of masthead on this blog, and while I’m not typically prone to public introspection, I recognize that a name change outside of marriage (and for a man, in any circumstance) is an unusual enough event in our culture that the matter deserves a bit of explanation.

I was a strange child — this should not come as a surprise to those who know me to be a strange adult. I like to think of myself as inwardly eccentric; I present a fairly reserved public face because I’m not naturally inclined to draw attention to myself (though I admit my addiction to Twitter belies this claim). While I’m a happy introvert these days, my personality stems from a social anxiety I developed as a child and that persists in my adulthood. For years I was unable to recognize the source of that anxiety, which…

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atelier emily

Momoko, Youko Nemu, 3am Dangerous Zone manga

My father lost his job this past January, coincidentally while I was paying them a short visit. It did not come as a surprise to him and – although I wouldn’t put it past him to hesitate discussing his emotions with his daughter – he seems pretty happy about retiring for good, puttering around the house playing Myst or Riven for the 15th time or reading The Hunger Games.

One of the reasons he cited for being fairly happy was that he hadn’t liked how his workload had continued to increase in the latter part of his career. He had felt pressure to be on-call at hours outside of his scheduled work time, and had seen others’ personal lives slowly assimilate into their office lives until they were nearly one and the same. Specifically, he had seen this in his younger peers, and assumed that they would hire a…

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National Media Museum blog

I love the way Chris Harrison used backdrops and drapery to dramatic effect in Copper Horses. He used a sheet of canvas to hide parts of the machine he was photographing which he didn’t want us to see. That way he broke the machine down to fragments.

From Copper Horses, National Media Museum, Bradford © Chris Harrison From Copper Horses, National Media Museum, Bradford © Chris Harrison

The result is a complex visual metaphor for his thoughts and feelings about his relationship with his father and the many people who work hard to make ends meet in British industry.

From Copper Horses, National Media Museum, Bradford © Chris Harrison From Copper Horses, National Media Museum, Bradford © Chris Harrison

As devices, backdrops and drapery have been used for as long as photographers have been taking photographs, as a fine bit of drapery gives an artistic air to the image.

19th century studio portrait photographers used painted canvas backdrops to mimic parlour settings in two dimensions, while a…

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One Room With A View

PSA: this piece isn’t an argument over whether Stone, Mori, or even Ripley do or don’t pass this or that feminist reading. Whilst this writer’s opinion is that they do, that particular discussion is already well-covered from all angles (and to be honest, I’ve gone over my word count). For the curious, there’ll be recommended reading at the end. No – what we’re looking at today is that elusive idea of the multi-faceted female sci-fi lead…

Ripley's successors

It’s 1979. Unknown actor Sigourney Weaver has just been cast in Ridley Scott’s next film, a low-budget sci-fi horror called Alien. What follows is unexpected commercial success, cult status, and the lasting impression that Ripley is something different. Something new. Something better.

Through the 1960s and 70s, Western sci-fi didn’t do too well by its women. Alien‘s casting directors were working with a script full of generic male characters they could…

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