Annihilation, a film review

Image result for annihilation

For someone who absolutely loved the intelligent, slow burn that is Jeff Vandermeer’s Annihilation novel, I had a hard time swallowing Alex Garland’s film version which recently hit theaters. I spent the better part of two weeks thinking over the similarities between the two because, let’s face it, they are almost two different stories with only a couple of shared aspects between them. Garland had intended Annihilation to exist as its own entity which almost begs the question, why not call it something else…and well, make the last couple of changes that it needed to be its own unique entity. While I spent a solid week being kind of upset that it wasn’t a screen adaption of what I’d read, I have come to the acceptance that as its own film, it did some really amazing things and I do understand why so many people have given this amazing reviews. Now…where do I begin?

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD

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Night Time, Dotted Line: On the Set!

Night Time, Dotted Line Film

It always amazes me the people that I meet during my day job. Last week before I went on vacation, I ended up helping a couple of guys with hiking boots for a trip to go hiking up north. Both were students from Maine Media, which provides workshops and college courses for anyone interested in film, photography, multimedia, writing, etc. While at the register, one of them noticed my book, “Night Time, Dotted Line” on display, read the back blurb, and commented that it looked like a fun idea to film. Two days later, he came back, bought the book, read it in one night, and asked if he could film a scene from it for his five minute film class project.

It’s always an authors dream to inspire someone else through their work. While I had my dream cast and dream locations, and dream everything else in my head when I wrote the book, I never thought I’d actually get to see it acted out with real people. I visited the set today and watched for about a half an hour as they fixed the lighting, rehearsed the scene, and seemed to have lots of fun doing it.

I’ll be excited to see what happens in editing and what the finished product looks like in a few weeks.

Thank you, Jeff Bienkowski, for being inspired to do this for your project and thank you to your team for having fun with it and doing such a great job so far.

Literary Cooking Adventures will return next week with a special Harry Potter-themed adventure!

Stay tuned!

~KSilva

Inspiration Through Music: Johann Johannsson

A couple years ago, I was introduced to a short animated film called Varmints. This 24 minute film covers themes of deforestation and urbanization in a touching and inspiring narrative. While I was impressed with the film, its music, composed by Icelandic composer Johann Johannsson, was what I truly enjoyed about it. The kind of music that is subtle and dark and lovely in its composition because it’s not trying too hard to be noticed. It complimented the imagery on screen and hinted at the darker themes that the film was highlighting. I kept an eye on his other projects and was excited to see that he composed for the film, “Prisoners”, a thriller starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman. Both protagonists in their pursuit for justice and understanding, begin to slide down a blurring path or morality and find themselves doing things they never thought they’d be capable of. As of late, Johannsson has won a Golden Globe Award for his work on the Stephen Hawking biopic, “The Theory of Everything”.

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Joss Whedon, Could You Please Do ‘The Tempest’ Next?

Pretty, pretty please!?

Pretty, pretty please!?

 

So, I had the pleasure of watching the newest adaption of “The Tempest” this past weekend, directed by Julie Taymor and starring an ensemble cast of Helen Mirren, Chris Cooper, Alfred Molina, Djimon Hounsou and others. I’ve regarded “The Tempest” as my absolute favorite of Shakespeare’s plays because of the interesting range of characters, of human emotion displayed, and the story itself. I was pleased with Taymor’s adaption of the play. The cinematography was breathtaking, the action sequences terrifying and realistic, and the acting superb. I thought the cast all did a wonderful job getting into their characters heads. I especially liked the turn of changing Prospero’s character into a female version. During my brief stint at college, the theater department put on a production of “The Tempest” using a woman to portray ‘Prospera’. I thoroughly enjoyed this aspect of the play, putting a woman in that position of power. It made the performance fresh and put a new spin on the character’s relationships  with one another, most notably the dynamic of a mother/daughter relationship with Miranda versus a father/daughter relationship.

Even more recently, I re-watched Joss Whedon’s brilliant film adaption of “Much Ado About Nothing” again and fell in love with it even more. Being a fan of most everything that Whedon does, I was delighted to see actors from several of his projects show up in this fabulous film. Each actor in each role was absolutely perfect. I don’t know how else to describe it.  I particularly loved seeing Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker play off one another. Being a fan of “Angel”, I was a little more than upset by the way things ended with the show and took this matching, in spirit, of how things should have really ended. The idea of setting the play during modern times, having it’s actors be so easy-going and having so much fun only made me crave more of this. I’d also really like to see what he could do with a play that’s got a little more of a darker tone, like “The Tempest”.

So, please, Mr. Whedon…please do a rendition of “The Tempest”?

*puppy-dog eyes*

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