fantasy

Beasts and Saints: environmental drama at Sundance 2012

Beasts and Saints: environmental drama at Sundance 2012

Environmentally-themed drama generally takes one of two directions: the apocalyptic horror (think THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW) or the docu-drama (i.e. ERIN BROCKOVICH). In other words, if environmental issues are going to play a role in a fictional film, they’ve got to play a big, central role. Two films in competition this year at the Sundance Film Festival play with that dramatic tradition, and incorporate “the environment” into the story in either genre-bending, or even mind-bending, ways.

PAN'S LABYRINTH – On Sundance Channel April 18

PAN'S LABYRINTH – On Sundance Channel April 18

PAN’S LABYRINTH, Guillermo del Toro’s award-winning, critically acclaimed 2006 film has been praised across the board ever since its debut. Besides “brilliant” and “imaginative,” it’s been called a “fairytale for grownups,” a qualification del Toro gladly accepts, though he is quick to point out the differences between his fairytale and the other, more common kind. “There are two kinds of fairytales,” he says. “The morality tales, which are like little pamphlets for children on good behavior, and then there are those that are a little more anarchic and intangible.”

Up close and fantastical: An interview with director Terry Gilliam on THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS

Up close and fantastical: An interview with director Terry Gilliam on THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS

For 35 years, critically acclaimed director Terry Gilliam has introduced audiences to the fantastic and the bizarre with films such as BRAZIL, THE ADVENTURES OF BARON MUNCHAUSEN, THE FISHER KING, and 12 MONKEYS. His latest film, THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS, follows its characters through a new world of dreams and desire, but was not…

Truth or Dare for grownups… really lazy grownups

Truth or Dare for grownups… really lazy grownups

There’s a reason why Truth or Dare is mostly played by high school kids — because they’re the only ones who are willing to spend hours coming up with creative truths or dares to get their peers more naked, either figuratively or literally. After a hard day at work — or, worse, after a hard day of trolling the help wanted ads in the middle of a recession — who can be bothered to be that creative? Especially when the sex is a sure thing.

Terry Gilliam's THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS

Terry Gilliam's THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS

Terry Gilliam next fantastical foray comes in the form of THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS starring Heath Ledger, Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell, and Christopher Plummer as the titular character. Doctor Parnassus, the leader of a traveling theater troupe that offers audience members a chance to go beyond reality through a magical mirror in…

Harlan Ellison: Who is He and Why Should We Care?

Harlan Ellison: Who is He and Why Should We Care?

Harlan Ellison is easily agitated. You can’t really be sure of what will set him off on a tirade – but you can be sure that his reasoning will be sound.

So we will introduce him as a writer/author – and occasional hell raiser. Hopefully that cautious and broad intro will not incite a verbal attack from him. To the literati, Harlan Ellison is the author and/or editor of countless, much lauded short stories, novels, novellas and anthologies. To the couch-potato clickers of the world, Harlan Ellison matters to you because he served as creative consultant for the 1980′s version of The Twilight Zone, as conceptual consultant for Babylon 5 in the 1990′s and wrote one of the most popular episodes of Star Trek (The City on the Edge of Forever) among his vast body of television credits.