[GUEST POST] Alex Graham Offers a Behind-the-Scenes Look at His Cyberpunk Film “Life and Death in the Valley”
Alex Graham is a filmmaker pursuing both fiction and commercial work while enrolled in film courses at San Diego City College. He is a graduate of the University of Chicago and can be contacted at email@example.com.
The cyberpunk world of Life and Death in the Valley was inspired by a strange place called Mission Valley in San Diego, California, that is one of the city’s most densely populated areas, and maybe its least welcoming. There are no schools, few parks, no real destinations, just a vast intersection of artery roads and freeway ramps linking stacks of condominiums to other places. People roll into Mission Valley’s hot concrete parking lots for football games or movies, but they don’t know each other and they don’t stay. So this place offered itself up as a vision of the future without my having to do very much besides photograph it.
The story is a simple one about a man who has to choose between doing his job and doing the right thing. And my goal, probably unattained, was to revisit this classic old template, and to do so well, by focusing my very limited directorial abilities on getting the best performances possible and creating a hero the audience likes, a villain the audience hates, and an outcome that is uncertain.
Read the rest of this entry
REVIEW SUMMARY: In the vein of Spook Country, William Gibson melds the form of the thriller with the observations of science fiction to create an always readable and often enjoyable, if occasionally too glib, examination of the end of the new century’s first decade.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Under the employ of Hubertus Bigend, former pop star Hollis Henry and ex-drug addict Milgrim join forces to search for the creator of the designer brand Gabriel Hounds.
PROS: Insights, ruminations and details of life in the twenty-first century; deft chronicling of life in twenty-first century Europe; engaging characters; ironic sense of humor; strong prose and generally elegant pacing; a breathless and body-count-free thriller about…
CONS: …jeans? Really? And its ending teeters dangerously close to standard thriller plotting.
- Interviews & Profiles:
- John Scalzi turns the Whatever mike over to Malinda Lo, author of Ash.
- Agony Column podcast-interviews Peter S. Beagle, Karen Joy Fowler, Michael Swanwick, and M. Rickert.
- War Rocket Ajax podcast-interviews Jess Nevins.
- The latest BookBanter podcast features Seanan McGuire (Rosemary and Rue).
- AWARDS NEWS: Pawel Dembowski writes in to tell us that the Polish Janusz A. Zajdel Award for 2008 was awarded on Saturday at Polcon in Lodz. The winners are: Kameleon (Chameleon) by Rafal Kosik (novel), and “Swiaty Dantego” (“Dante’s Worlds”) by Anna Kantoch (Short story).
- Over at Dear Author, Heather Massey makes the case for Steampunk Romance.
- Wired: Why E-Books Look So Ugly. [via MobileRead Forums]
- @Centauri Dreams: Science Fiction and Interstellar Thinking: “…science fiction’s clout doesn’t come so much from prediction as much as from the ability to try out new ideas by remodeling the world so as to accommodate them.”
- David Langford has posted Ansible 266 for September 2009.
- Lena Headey (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) lands the last major part in HBO’s Game of Thrones pilot.
- Nicole at Geekend is on a quest for the ultimate geek movie.
- Stan Lee (and … Jack Kirby?) on the Marvel/Disney deal.
- Real Science: Mike Brotherton is Rethinking Pluto.
- Not Real Science: New Species Of Lobster May Have Come From Outer Space.
- Look at This has a handy graphic on how to tell the difference between swine flu, bird flu…and zombie flu.
- A Venn Diagram of Mythical Creatures. [via MonkeyFilter and Cynical-C Blog]
- It’s back to school time. And what better way to celebrate your inner geekness than with these Star Wars Text Book Covers. Of course, doing so means it’s no longer “inner” but “outer” which may subject you to extended periods of time inside a locker. Cover you books at your own risk!
- Cyberpunk Review lists Cyberpunk Movies by Decade. (Old list but still useful.)
- @Magical Words, Misty Massey lists 5 Things You Ought To Know About Writers.
- @SciFi Scanner: The 10 Most Dastardly Supervillain Quotes.
- Interviews & Profiles:
- @Dark Wolf’s Fantasy Reviews: an interview with Ekaterina Sedia, author of The Alchemy of Stone.
- The always-awesome Fast Forward has video reactions from Chesley Award winners John Picacio and Lou Anders.
- Guardian looks at the myth-making genius of Hugo winner Neil Gaiman. “His Hugo award doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but it’s supremely well deserved.”
- Orbit has a video interview with Joe Abercrombie, as well as an excerpt of his novel Best Served Cold.
- Bibliophile Stalker has an interview with Aliette de Bodard.
- @Strange Horizons: David Weber. [via Bibliophile Stalker]
- Shat alert! Time interviews William Shatner.
- @Subterranean Press: Joe R. Lansdale interviews Hap and Leonard. Yes, they’re his fictional creations. What’s it to ya’?
- Wired says the Hugo Awards are overdue for a videogame category. [Thanks Pawel]
- At Barnes & Noble, author Paul DiFilippo on Cyberpunk and its legacy while he discusses John Shirley’s Bleak Histoy, Rudy Rucker’s Hylozoic and Bruce Sterling’s The Caryatids. [via Enter the Octopus]
- Underwire looks at Vintage Mexican Sci-Fi. [via Boing Boing]
- “The relentless cacophony that is life in the 21st century can make settling in with a book difficult even for lifelong readers and those who are paid to do it.” So says the LA Times in their article about the lost art of reading.
- Book View Cafe’s 4th Twitter Fic contest is being held from August 11 through 13.
- The Onion illuminates us on the fine art of sf writing with the revelation that one Sci-Fi Writer Attributes Everything Mysterious To ‘Quantum Flux’. [via Bookninja]
- Now this is an idea I can get behind: Wizard of Oz Remastered And Returning To Theaters!