Bits of Film, Adventures with a Highwayman, and Dystopian Fiction

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Website: Crossframed.com:

This website is a real gem. An anonymous cinema fan from Portugal created a website where he provides hundreds of selected film clips from classic, to foreign, to popular movies. There are clips from Star Wars, Dr. Strangelove, Fellini’s 8 1/2, and Requiem for a Dream among many more. At the bottom of the page you’ll find a link that randomly ques up one of the bits. The clips are short and sweet, some lasting up to five minutes while others are only a few seconds. This is a fantastic way to spend a minute or two, get a quick dose of cinema, and maybe find a film you didn’t know you needed to watch.

– Jessica Webster

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Book: Captain Lightfoot by W. R. Burnett

One of my good friends once told me how she spent an entire summer going to dollar book sales and filling up her bookshelves with all sorts of genres. Sometimes she would have heard of the book before, sometimes she thought the cover just looked interesting. And it was only a dollar, so it didn’t really matter. That’s what this book was for me.

Captain Lightfoot is about an Irish boy who stumbles into the life of a highway man. It’s a quick, light, adventurous read about growing up, the struggle between being a successor or your own person, and light hearted romance. If anything, you’ll at least get a few laughs over Michael and Aba’s friction. –

– Richie Gowin

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Book: The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood:

Set in a future dystopia where money is scarce and many Americans struggle to find cars to make into homes, a couple finds refuge in an experimental facility named Positron. While in Positron, individuals can lead perfectly normal lives, doing normal activities for one month, but the next they are put into a prison and switch back and forth every month thereafter. As our couple escapes the cruelty of the outside world, they believe themselves blessed to have found such ‘safety’ in Positron. However, as they discover the true intentions of the facility they begin to realize the substitution of morality for obedience. Stan and Charmaine are ‘forced’ to make decisions that beckon the reader to consider the value of comfort and whether the price paid is for pleasure or just the abstinence of pain.

Atwood’s inspection of sexuality is raw and insightful; it appears nihilistic but there is overtone of ‘carry on’ that seems indicative of the normalcy of dysfunctional relationships. The author is willing to wrestle with ‘common uncommons’ and certain scenes within the book exhibit an imaginative exercise of human depravity that is not excessive. The work is often dark and even at times repulsive but it provides a geography that tests the characters like a Honda Civic off-roading. They are broken, bent, dismayed and even tortured by circumstance but by that test become the perfect setup for what I think is Atwood’s primary question of the work: How comfortable are you willing to be?

It was a good read and there are so many great sentences and paragraphs that even if the story was not compelling it would still be worth a pass over. Enjoy 🙂

– Christopher Rodriguez

 

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