Podcast Dreadful, episode 12 of 12

Today on the CCLaP Podcast, it’s the conclusion of A Podcast Dreadful, the center’s 12-part serial-fiction audiobook anthology taking place every Monday this autumn. Today’s episode includes: “Steamhouse,” part 12 of 12, by Davis Schneiderman; “The Pool,” part 8 of 8, by Jim Ruland; “The Gothickers,” part 12 of 12, by Keith McCleary and Sophia G. Starmack; “Cure,” part 4 of 4, by Ben Tanzer; and “Dr. Lazarus Faust and the Anarchist Masquerade,” part 12 of 12, by Karl Wolff. Continue reading Podcast Dreadful, episode 12 of 12

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80sSFF: Apocalypse Now (1979) and Apocalypse Now Redux (2001)

The first part in a series dedicated to examining the science fiction and fantasy films from 1979 to 1989.  The series will investigate whether these films possess certain ineffable qualities missing from today’s films of the same genres. Kurtz: I expected someone like you. What did you expect? Are you an assassin? Willard: I’m a soldier. Kurtz: You’re neither. You’re an errand boy, sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill. Why are we beginning a series devoted to the science fiction and fantasy films of the 1980s with Apocalypse Now?  Francis Ford Coppola’s epic Vietnam War film holds the … Continue reading 80sSFF: Apocalypse Now (1979) and Apocalypse Now Redux (2001)

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Critical Appraisal: The Landscape of Hell

The representation of Hell as a cartographic region has its origins in Dante’s Divine Comedy.  Dante adapted the imagery already present in medieval painting and sculpture to comment on his political situation and his own scientific and theological beliefs.  He populated it with real people, including political heroes and villains, good popes and bad popes, adulterous princesses, and monsters human and mythological.  On Dante’s spiritual journey, he traveled with the Roman poet Vergil down the various circles of Hell and then up Mount Purgatory.  Finally, led by his beloved Beatrice, he journeyed through the heavenly spheres until he was in … Continue reading Critical Appraisal: The Landscape of Hell

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Critic’s Notebook: Unpopular Causes, Part III

Reappropriation: Camp, Kitsch, and Sincerity “When something is just bad (rather than Camp), it’s often because it is too mediocre in its ambition.  The artist hasn’t attempted to do anything outlandish.” – “Notes on Camp” [1965], Susan Sontag “Need more clarification? To his fans Liberace was the epitome of cultured taste, but of course we know he was kitsch. However, unlike the not-quite-weird-enough musical stylings of ABBA, say, or the Village People, Liberace-style kitsch is so weird, so outré, that hipsters find it impossible to appropriate as cheese. Liberace didn’t make his work inappropriable on purpose; others, however, have. The … Continue reading Critic’s Notebook: Unpopular Causes, Part III

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