If you've been keeping up with their terrific series on Agnès Varda, you'll probably already be aware that something alarming and wonderful happened to Not Coming to a Theater Near You today. They've launched "the second in our series of Favorites, our semi-annual canonizations of particular cinematic genres, movements, themes, and geographies." It's on Time Travel and it's thrown their very site into a delightful loophole in the space-time continuum.
Introducing this round of Favorites (it follows The Action Movie and six Octobers' worth of 31 Days of Horror), Leo Goldsmith notes: "By the time Albert Einstein published his theory of relativity in May 1905, the mutability of space and time — their ability to be stretched and collapsed and easily traversed — was already a familiar concept.... HG Wells had been proffering the idea of for a couple of decades."
Which prompts me to point you to Claire Harman's review of Michael Sherborne's HG Wells: Another Kind of Life for the Times Literary Supplement. The Time Machine, she writes, is "a story as gripping in its way as Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde had been earlier in the century. From the discursive opening in which the Time Traveller expounds on the nature and meaning of the fourth dimension to the climactic showdown between the gentle Eloi and brutish subterranean Morlocks, Wells's revitalized form of Gothic had a powerful appeal, addressing contemporary fears about scientific materialism and new technology with an almost dizzying freedom from the usual constraints of realistic narrative. Five more full-length 'scientific romances' appeared in the next four years (along with seven other books), including The War of the Worlds, The Island of Dr Moreau, The First Men in the Moon and stories like The Invisible Man. At a stroke, Wells had both invented and almost saturated a new genre."
As it happens, this evening, Adam Weiner, author of Don't Try This At Home! The Physics of Hollywood Movies, will be giving a presentation at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Los Angeles in conjunction with the Academy's series, Out of This World: The Science of Space Movies. Susan King asks him about the event for the Los Angeles Times.
IN OTHER NEWS
"Movie, the legendary film magazine (1962-2000) published and designed by the late, and much lamented, Ian Cameron (1937-2010) and source of some of most brilliant and influential writing on film ever, has inspired the beautiful birth of Movie: A Journal of Film Criticism, an online and openly accessible scholarly periodical, with a website hosted by the University of Warwick," Catherine Grant happily announces. "Many of the same people central to Movie's earlier incarnation are involved this time around (Victor Perkins, Douglas Pye, Jim Hillier, Charles Barr, Deborah Thomas, Ed Gallafent, Michael Walker) together with a whole host of some of the best and brightest younger film writers (Andrew Klevan, James Macdowell, John Gibbs, Kathrina Glitre)."
Image: Via Doug Drexler: "1936 — A positively amazing picture of HG Wells on the set of Things to Come. That's Raymond Massey and Margaretta Scott. A classic, and the 2001 of its day. It provided the design ethic for the 1939 New York World's Fair."
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