Monday, September 27, 2010

Inside Joss' Dollhouse Book Release Party

In just over two weeks, I will be hosting a release party for the first book to be published on Joss Whedon's latest television series, Dollhouse, in New York City!

Inside Joss' Dollhouse: From Alpha to Rossum is an anthology of 18 reflective and critical essays from Smart Pop Books and edited by Jane Espenson (@JaneEspenson), who has written for all of Whedon's shows as well as for Battlestar Galactica and Caprica.

On April 1st I found out that an essay I had written about the character of Claire Saunders in Dollhouse had been accepted into the book as a chapter. Yes, it was on April Fool's Day, but the publisher assured me that it was no joke and now I have the book in hand to prove it! My chapter is called "'I Like My Scars': Claire Saunders and the Narrative of Flesh" and speaks to the way in which Claire's identity is shaped and ultimately redeemed by the physical scars she endures within the television show. It sits amongst some really insightful works including one by Susan Quilty (@SusanQuilty) that uses the concept of negative space to trace the relationship between Caroline and Echo and Tami Anderson's (@witnessaria) chapter about various roles in the Dollhouse and how they fit into a larger, real-world context.

Event Details
The event will be held at Vig 27 at 119 East 27th Street (between Park Ave S & Lexington) in New York on Wednesday, October 13th between 7-10PM. Join us for free giveaways and a chance to socialize with other pop culture and Whedon enthusiasts. A limited quantity of books will be for sale (with cash) at the event. Event entry is FREE. Tweeting about the event? Use #SmartPopDollhouse. RSVP here.

Book Description
In only two short seasons Dollhouse captured the imaginations and of audiences all over the world, rewarding viewer loyalty with mind-blowing plot twists and an extended meditation on the forces that guide our actions and make us who we are.

Inside Joss' Dollhouse covers Dollhouse from anticipated start to explosive finish-from the complexities of identity to the triumph of the human spirit.

Smart Pop Books
Smart Pop is a line of smart, fresh, funny essays on the best of pop culture tv, books, and film, with a particular focus on science fiction and fantasy television and literature.

Our writers are New York Times bestselling authors, television writers, psychologists, philosophers...anyone with a love of pop culture and something worth sharing about it.

I hope you'll join us to celebrate!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

On Resident Evil

Earlier this afternoon, the ladies over at Zaxy tweeted a link to their blog post which debates the authenticity of the Resident Evil films. Resident Evil: Afterlife, the fourth film in the eight year old film franchise came to screens everywhere yesterday. The first film premiered in 2002, but the game on which it is based came out almost 15 years ago. I have not played the games, but I can comprehend the feeling one might get when playing them-the mystery, the puzzles, the extensive world-building, the slow-mounting tension. In the years since I saw the first film-a couple years later when it came to DVD-I have developed a great appreciation for these films.

The films, for me are the definition of a phrase I actually hate to use but here it applies, "popcorn entertainment." They first come across as disposable, but there is a certain fondness I have found as a result of the feeling I get that the creators have really embraced their roles in creating this world. Incidentally, Afterlife is the first film after Avatar to use the exact same 3D camera as developed by James Cameron. Regardless of your thoughts on Avatar, its implementation of this new technology was pretty radical and for Paul W.S. Anderson to craft a film with this specifically in mind is admirable rather than going the easy route of post-production 3D which so many genre films have done recently-to less than stellar results.

Last year, during Afterlife's production, I began following Milla Jovovich on Twitter (@MillaJovovich) and I enjoyed experiencing her excitement with every cast announcement, completed stunt, set description and cast and crew interaction. Anyone reading her tweets and seeing her in interviews about Resident Evil, can tell that she loves doing these films. Would she invest 8+ years of her life between raising a kid if she didn't? It soon became clear to me that there is a great passion that come to work on these films possess that later comes through clearly in the films.

Certainly, in different hands, the franchise might be a little more nuanced, but three movies in, I'm all for the fun, spectacle and a little story, which is more than I can say about a lot of sci-fi/fantasy action movies these days.

I'm looking forward to the Afterlife.

So, if you've seen the movies and/or if you've played the games, head on over to Zaxy's post and tell them what you think!

You can follow Zaxy on Twitter at @Zaxydotcom and me at @eincline.