Films I am teaching in 2017-18

DeadSlowAheadAll That Heaven Allows (Sirk 1955)
Alphaville (Godard 1965)
The Apartment (Wilder 1960)
Bamako (Abderrahmane Sissako 2006)
Bicycle Thieves (De Sica 1948)
Black Mirror: ‘The Entire History of You’
Blade Runner: The Director’s Cut (Scott 1991)
Body and Soul (Micheaux 1925)
Boyz N the Hood (Singleton 1991)
The Bride of Frankenstein (Whale 1935)
Bush Mama (Gerima 1979)
Casablanca (Curtiz 1942)
Cleo from 5 to 7 (Varda 1962)
Cronos (Del Toro 1993)
Daughters of Darkness (Kumel 1971)
Daughters of the Dust (Dash 1991)
Dead Slow Ahead (Herce 2015)
Dirty Pretty Things (Frears 2002)
Do The Right Thing (Lee 1989)
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Mamoulian US 1931)
The Emperor Jones (Murphy 1933)
Fast & Furious (Lin 2009)
Friday Foster (Marks 1975)
Gamer (Neveldine + Taylor 2009)
Get Out (Peele 2017)
Ginger Snaps (Fawcett 2000)
Hallelujah (Vidor 1929)
His Wooden Wedding (McCarey 1925)
I Am Legend (Lawrence 2007)
Imitation of Life (Sirk 1959)
Just Another Girl on the IRT (Harris 1992)
Killer of Sheep (Burnett 1979)
King Kong (Cooper and Schoedsack 1933)
Limbo (Sayles 1999)
The Long Good Friday (Mackenzie 1980)
Losing Ground (Collins 1982)
M (Lang 1930)
Maltese Falcon (Huston 1941)
Man with a Movie Camera (Vertov 1929)
Memento (Nolan 2000)
Modern Times (Chaplin 1936)
Moonlight (Jenkins 2016)
My Beautiful Laundrette (Frears 1985)
Nothing But a Man (Roemer 1964)
Pillow Talk (Gordon 1959)
Purlie Victorious aka Gone Are the Days (Webster 1963)
A Raisin in the Sun (Petrie 1961)
Sankofa (Gerima 1993)
Singin’ in the Rain (Kelly and Donen 1952)
Splice (Natali Canada/France/US 2009)
The Spook Who Sat by the Door (Dixon 1973)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams 2015)
Stingray Sam (Cory McAbee 2009)
Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (Van Peebles 1971)
Taxi Driver (Scorsese 1976)
The Thing (Carpenter 1982)
The Thing (from Another World) (Nyby 1951)
Under the Skin (Glazer 2013)
The Watermelon Woman (Dunye 1996)
The World, the Flesh, and the Devil (MacDougall 1959)

Plus a selection of Lumière and Méliès shorts and The Bride Retires, The Gay Shoe Clerk, The Great Train Robbery, Life of an American Fireman, Photographing a Female Crook and A Voyage to the Moon.

Plus a dozen brand-new arthouse releases selected on a weekly basis in semester 2.

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Holiday reading 3: what I read on my holiday

books2books1

What I didn’t read on my holiday:

books

Poor Caine Mutiny has now traveled over 20,000 miles in my luggage since December and is still unread. Maybe next time.

What only got as far as Manchester because the case was too heavy when Andrea selfishly packed her stuff in it:

books1

And, okay, the books I bought in Malta:

books2In my defence, they were both remaindered, I’ve never seen a copy of the Lotz, and the Winslow was because when we were mis-sold bus travel credit, they refused to refund but would exchange, then mis-sold us different bus travel credit but on leaving the shop we checked online what they’d straight out lied to us about, and still they refused to refund, so we bought the correct bus travel credit and then spent ages finding a bunch of things we did not really want for them to have to ring up on the till (though, that said, the Winslow sounds like a great piece of trash, and so no doubt it will find itself packed in the luggage for another trip some time. But not until I’ve finally read The Caine Mutiny).

The best and worst things about the Malta/Gozo holiday

 

36727174431_5d0d97ab38_zBest: The 4000 year-old mummified crocodile; the lizards, the gecko and the flying fish; the cheap buses that always run on time even though the clocks on them are always wrong; the Neolithic, Bronze Age and Phoenician sites; the ridiculously bad films introducing various sites (especially at Gozo’s citadel and the Hypogeum); the sausages, the seafood and the cheeselets.
Worst: The crazy-ass Catholic shit that rapidly goes from being ‘local colour’ to ‘oppressively ubiquitous’ without parking long enough in ‘hilarious tat’.

bearBest: The refreshing complete absence of seagulls.
Worst: The ominous complete absence of seagulls.

Best: Starting a long walk at 6.30am before the sun comes up at 7.30am and the day gets too hot.
Worst: The killer humidity from 6.30-7.30am.

Best: The ten minutes from 7.30-7.40am when the sun first comes up and burns off all the humidity.
solarisWorst: The killer heat from 7.40am onwards.

Worst: The reluctance of dog owners to clean up dog shit.
Best: The speed with which the sun dries out dog shit.

Best: The locals’ refusal to queue for buses.

mocktudor
When mock tudor is beyond mockery

Worst: The psychotic glee with which ex-pats and tourists abandon the practice of queuing for buses. (Seriously, when the Brits have to return to the UK after Brexit, they will threaten the very fabric of our ordered and orderly society.)

Worst: The widespread inability to move down the bus to allow more passengers to board.
Best: The road-to-Damascus light of revelation in the eyes of passengers when they finally grasp the concept of moving down the bus to allow more passengers to board.

Best: How cheap the wine is.
Worst: How far our apartment was from the off-licence.

malta1
When Malta itself…
malta2
…is not enough

Ballard’s Cinema: Notes for a Retrospective – Carry On Getting It Up (Gerald Thomas 1977)

JG-Ballard-photographed-i-006Following the disastrous performance of Carry on England (Thomas 1976), pulled from cinemas after just three days, producer Peter Rogers decided the long-running series of tepid sex comedies needed a change of direction if it was to survive.

For the 29th instalment, he turned to Jack Trevor Story, then enjoying all the notoriety a weekly Guardian column about his disastrous domestic and romantic entanglements could bring.

An occasional and peripheral figure in the British science fiction New Wave, Story rapidly produced a screenplay parodying Ballard’s High Rise (1975). Despite the scepticism of director Gerald Thomas, Rogers took the plunge, in the hope that they could cash in on the publicity for Nicolas Roeg’s official adaptation, then in production.

Kenneth Williams, in his 25th Carry On, is the only series regular to appear, albeit in little more than an extended cameo. He plays Queen, an effeminate architect presiding over a newly erected but already crumbling apartment building, while struggling to finance further ‘erections’. Elke Sommer, in her second Carry On, plays his perpetually aroused but sexually frustrated wife.

Rogers and Thomas turned to a pair of up-and-coming sex comedy stars for their leading men. Martin Shaw, so effective in LWT’s late-sixties Doctor in the House series, was ideal as the dishy doctor Prang, while Lewis Collins, briefly glimpsed in Norman Cohen’s Confessions of a Driving Instructor (1976), proved his perfect foil as the thuggish, proletarian Nobby. The two actors, however, soon fell out.

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Suzanne Danielle, in a role reputedly intended for Mary Millington, plays the unnamed air hostess displaced from Prang’s bed when his sister – Judy Geeson in her second Carry On – appears. Other familiar faces in minor roles and an extended, if utterly innocuous, orgy scene, include Yute Stensgaard, Valerie Leon, Vicki Michelle, Carol Drinkwater and Koo Stark.

Carry On Getting It Up broke even in just one week, which was as long as it lasted in British cinemas before being withdrawn in the face of legal action – but not from the uncredited, and unpaid, Ballard.

Rather, Ernő Goldfinger, apparently unaware that Ballard’s Royal was partly based on him, took umbrage at being depicted as a poor architect and worse heterosexual.

Deciding not to risk a court case, Rogers suppressed the film, and immediately began work on Carry on Emmannuelle, with Kenneth Williams, a handful of series regulars and, in her first named role, Suzanne Danielle.

What – if anything – Ballard made of Carry On Getting It Up remains a mystery. We have been unable to trace any mention of it by him. We are, however, delighted to bring it back to the big screen for the first time since Morph debuted on the telly and Star Wars was a hit.

Other films in the retrospective
Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola 1979)
The Drowned World (J. Lee Thompson 1974)
The Drowned World: The Director’s Cut (J. Lee Thompson 2015)
El Dorado (BBC 1992-93; 156 episodes)
Gale Force (Val Guest 1967)
Jodorowsky’s Burning World (Frank Pavich 2013)
Track 12 (Joseph Losey 1967)

My top 26 films of 2016

In 2016 I watched 308 films – less than usual, in part because I taught less film this year, in part because I was reading too much.

Top 26 films seen in 2016 (not including films I’ve seen before)
Evolution (Hadzihalilovic 2015)
The Neon Demon (Winding Refn 2016)
He Never Died (Krawczyk 2015)
Mænd & høns/Men & Chicken (Jensen 2015)
Bush Mama (Gerima 1979)
Arsenal (Dovzhenko 1929)
Two Year at Sea (Rivers 2011)
Dutchman (Harvey 1967)
Kraftidioten/In Order of Disappearance (Moland 2014)
Kotoko (Tsukamoto 2011)
Arrival (Villeneuve 2015)
The Last Winter (Fessenden 2006)
Amigo
(Sayles 2010)
girlfight (Kusama 2000)
Creed (Coogler 2015)
Lost River (Gosling 2014)
Le Capital (Costa-Gavras 2012)
Diary of a Teenage Girl (Heller 2015)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
(Edwards 2016)
Vertigo Sea (Akomfrah 2015)
Losing Ground (Collins 1982)
Welcome Home Brother Charles (Fanaka 1975)
The Sacrament (West 2013)
The Flying Ace (Norman 1926)
Shooting Stars
(Bramble and Asquith 1928)
That Demon Within (Lam 2014)

The 308 films of 2016
Adventures of Robinson Crusoe (Buñuel 1954)
Ah! La Barbe (de Chomón 1905)
Ai no Korida (Oshima 1976)
Albert Nobbs (Garcia 2011)
All That Heaven Allows (Sirk 1955)
A maison ensorcelée (de Chomón 1908)
Amigo (Sayles 2010)
Anita and Me (Hüseyin 2002)
À nous la liberté (Clair 1931)
L’antre de le sorcière (de Chomón )
Army of Darkness (Raimi 1993)
Arrival (Villeneuve 2015)
Arsenal (Dovzhenko 1929)
Astérix & Obélix: Mission Cléopâtre (Chabat 2002)
Attack of the Giant Leeches (Kowalski 1959)
Attack the Block (Cornish 2011)
Austerity (Gavris 2015)
Autómata (Ibáñez 2014)
Avengers: Age of Ultron (Whedon 2015)
Azur & Asmar: The Princes’ Quest (Ocelot 2006)

Baise-moi (Despentes and Trihn Thi 2000)
Barcelone – parc au crépuscule (de Chomón 1904)
Barcelone, principale ville de la Catalogne (de Chomón 1912)
Belle (Asante 2013)
Betrayal of the Dove (Hamilton 1993)
Better Off Dead (Holland 1985)
The Big Knife (Aldrich 1955)
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Iñárritu 2014)
Blood Ah Goh Run (Shabazz 1982)
Bloody Mallory (Magnat 2002)
Blue Ruin (Saulnier 2013)
La boîte à cigars (de Chomón 1907)
Boyz N the Hood (Singleton 1991)
Brave (Andrews, Chapman and Purcell 2012)
Bret Maverick (Margolin 1981)
Bride of Frankestein (Whale 1935)
The Brothers Bloom (Johnson 2008)
Bullet Boy (Dibb 2004)
Bunny Lake is Missing (Preminger 1964)
Burning an Illusion (Shabazz 1981)
The Burrowers (Petty 2008)
Bush Mama (Gerima 1979)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Hill 1969)
By Right of Birth (Gant 1921)

The Caller (Seidelman 1987)
Le Capital (Costa-Gavras 2012)
La caporal épinglé (Renoir 1962)
Carol (Haynes 2015)
Casablanca (Curtiz 1942)
Les cents trucs (de Chomón 1906)
Chappie (Blomkamp 2015)
Chappie (Blomkamp 2015)
Chigger Ale (Llansó and Seoane 2013)
Child 44 (Espinosa 2015)
Child of Resistance (Gerima 1973)
Cloud Atlas (Wachowskis and Tykwer 2012)
Cobra Verde (Herzog 1987)
Coiffures et types de Hollande (Machin 1910)
Comedown (Huda 2012)
The Company of Wolves (Jordan 1984)
Conspiracy: The Trial of the Chicago 8 (Kagan 1987)
Contagion (Soderbergh 2011)
Le couple témoin (Klein 1977)
Le courant électrique (de Chomón 1906)
Création de la serpentine (de Chomón 1908)
Creed (Coogler 2015)
Crimson Peak (del Toro 2015)
Cry of the City (Siodmak 1948)
Cthulhu Regio Entropy (Carvalho 2016)

Dallas Buyers Club (Vallée 2013)
Dark Mirror (Siodmak 1946)
Dead of Night (Cavalcanti, Crichton, Dearden and Hamer 1945)
Diary of a Teenage Girl (Heller 2015)
Dick Barton at Bay (Grayson 1950)
Dick Barton: Special Agent (Goulding 1948)
Dick Barton Strikes Back (Grayson 1949)
Diggstown (Ritchie 1992)
Dirty Pretty Things (Frears 2002)
District 9 (Blomkamp 2009)
Divergent (Burger 2014)
Dog Eat Dog (Shoaibi 2001)
Don’t Look Now (Roeg 1973)
Dracula Untold (Shore 2014)
Drive Hard (Trenchard-Smith 2014)
Ducks and Drakes (Campbell 1921)
Dutchman (Harvey 1967)

Edge of Tomorrow (Liman 2014)
Electric Hôtel (de Chomón 1908)
Elf (Favreau 20003)
Elysium (Blomkamp 2013)
En avant les musiques (de Chomón 1907)
Entr’acte (Clair 1924)
Evil Dead II (Raimi 1987)
Evil Roy Slade (Paris 1972)
Evolution (Hadzihalilovic 2015)
Excalibur (Boorman 1981)
Une excursio incohérente (de Chomón 1909)
Ex Machina (Garland 2015)

Fahrenheit 451 (Truffaut 1966)
The Fall (Tarsem 2006)
Fantastic Four (Trank 2015)
Fauteuils d’orchestre (Thompson 2006)
The Flying Ace (Norman 1926)
Fording the River (Smith 1910)
Frankenstein (Whale 1931)
Frida (Taymor 2002)
Frozen (Buck and Lee 2013)
Fury (Ayer 2015)
Future Shock! The Story of 2000AD (Goodwin 2014)

Galaxy Quest (Parisot 1999)
Gazon Maudit (Balasko 1995)
Gérone, la Venise espagnole (de Chomón 1912)
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Jarmusch 1999)
Ghosts with Shit Jobs (McCawley, Morrison, Munroe and Young 2012)
The Gift (Edgerton 2015)
Ginger Snaps (Fawcett 2000)
girlfight (Kusama 2000)
The Girl on the Train (Taylor 2016)
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night (Amirpour 2014)
The Gold Diggers (Potter 1983)
Le goût des autres (Jaoui 2000)
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Anderson 2014)
Green Room (Saulnier 2015)
Grosse Point Blank (Armitage 1997)
Growing Up (Cole 1971)

The Harvest (Smith 1908)
The Hateful Eight (Tarantino 2015)
The Haunting (Wise 1963)
Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Mitchell 2001)
He Never Died (Krawczyk 2015)
L’hereu de can pruna (de Chomón 1904)
Los Heróes del sitio de Zaragoza (de Chomón 1903)
High-Rise (Wheatley 2015)
hors d’ouevres (Potter 1971)
Hot Fuzz (Wright 2007)
Hour Glass (Gerima 1971)
How I Live Now (Macdonald 2013)

I Don’t Know You, But I Need You to Change the World (Libre Films 2016)
L’inaugurazione del campanile di San Marco (1912)
Independence Day (Emmerich 1996)
Innocence (Hadzihalilovic 2004)
L’insaisissable pickpocket (de Chomón 1908)
Inside Llewyn Davis (Coen brothers 2014)
In Time (Niccol 2011)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Siegel 1956)
The Invisible Man (Whale 1933)
It Follows (Mitchell 2014)

Jerk (Potter 1969)
John Wick (Stahelski 2014)

Kill, Baby…Kill! (Bava 1967)
Ki ri ki, acrobates japanois (de Chomón 1907)
Kiss Me Deadly (Aldrich 1955)
Kotoko (Tsukamoto 2011)
Kraftidioten/In Order of Disappearance (Moland 2014)
Krampus (Dougherty 2015)
Kung Fury (Sandberg 2015)

The Last Winter (Fessenden 2006)
Lee Scratch Perry’s Vision of Paradise (Schaner 2015)
Life and Lyrics (Laxton 2006)
The Lion in Winter (Harvey 1968)
The Lobster (Lanthimos 2016)
Locke (Knight 2013)
The London Story (Potter 1986)
The Long Good Friday (Mackenzie 1980)
Losing Ground (Collins 1982)
Lost River (Gosling 2014)
Love (Eubank 2011)
Les lunatiques (de Chomón 1908)

The Machine (James 2013)
Mad About Men (Thomas 1954)
Mad Love (Freund (1935)
Maggie (Hobson 2015)
The Maltese Falcon (Huston 1940)
Mænd & høns/Men & Chicken (Jensen 2015)
The Maze Runner (Ball 2014)
Mea Culpa (Cavayé 2014)
The Mechanic (West 2011)
The Medusa Touch (Gold 1978)
Métamorphoses (de Chomón 1912)
The Mistletoe Bough (Stow 1904)
Mix Me a Person (Norman 1962)
Moon (Jones 2009)
The Movement (Antoine 2015)
The Mummy (Freund 1932)

Naked Lunch (Cronenberg 1991)
The Neon Demon (Winding Refn 2016)
Night in the Wild Garden (Llansó 2015)
Noah (Aronofsky 2014)
Nosferatu (Murnau 1922)

One Million Steps (Stotz 2015)
Only Lovers Left Alive (Jarmusch 2013)
OSS 117: Le Caire, nid d’espions (Hazanavicius 2006)
Les ouefs du Pâques (de Chomón 1907)
Les papillons japonais (de Chomón 1908)

The Passion of Remembrance (Blackwood and Julien 1986)
Paul (Mottola 2011)
Peau d’âne (Demy 1970)
Le petit poucet (de Chomón 1909)
The Phantom of the Opera (Lubin 1943)
Pitch Perfect 2 (Banks 2015)
Pirates are the Best Customers (Lungu 2015)
Play (Potter 1970)
Plotono nuotatori della III divisione cavalleria comandata da S.A.R. il conte torino (Comerio 1912)
Plongeur fantastique (de Chomón 1906)
Poison (Haynes 1991)
Pool of London (Dearden 1951)
Post Grad (Jenson 2009)
Prête-moi ta main (Lartigua 2006)
Pride (Warchus 2014)
Pride and Prejudice (Leonard 1940)
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (Steers 2016)

Queen Kong (Agrama 1976)

The Raid 2 (Evans 2014)
Rapsodia Satanica (Oxilia 1917)
A Reckless Rover (1918)
Red Riding Hood (Hardwicke 2011)
Repo Chick (Cox 2009)
Repo Man (Cox 1984)
Repo Man (Cox 1984)
Rio Bravo (Hawks 1959)
The River (Renoir 1951)
RoboCop (Verhoeven 1987)
RoboCop 2 (Kershner 1990)
RoboCop 3 (Dekker 1993)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Edwards 2016)
Le Roi des dollars (de Chomón 1905)
Rollerball (Jewison 1975)
Rollin’ with the Nines (Gilbey 2006)

Sabotage (Hitchcock 1936)
The Sacrament (West 2013)
Les Saignantes (Bekolo 2005)
Les Saignantes (Bekolo 2005)
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (Wright 2010)
Sculpteur express (de Chomón 1907)
Seven Songs for Malcolm X (Akomfrah 1993)
Shank (Ali 2010)
Shooting Stars (Bramble and Asquith 1928)
Sicario (Villeneuve 2015)
Sightseers (Wheatley 2012)
Silent Country (Wren 2016)
Silk Stockings (Mamoulian 1957)
Sin Nombre (Fukunaga 2009)
Slow West (Maclean 2015)
Snowpiercer (Bong 2013)
Song of Freedom (Wills 1936)
Son of Frankenstein (Lee 1939)
Southland Tales (Kelly 2006)
Southland Tales (Kelly 2006)
Southpaw (Fuqua 2015)
South West 9 (Parry 2001)
Space Station 76 (Plotnick 2014)
Le spectre rouge (de Chomón 1907)
Speed (De Bont 1994)
Stalag 17 (Wilder 1953)
Stalker (Tarkovsky 1979) and here, too
Star Wars (Lucas 1977)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Abrams 2015)
Step Up (Fletcher 2006)
Stormy Weather (Stone 1945)
Streets of Parliament (O’Connell 2015)
Sucker Punch (Snyder 2011)
Superstition andalouse (de Chomón 1912)
Sur un air de Charleston (Renoir 1927)

Take Shelter (Nichols 2011)
Taxi Driver (Scorsese 1976)
That Demon Within (Lam 2014)
Le théâtre électrique de bob (de Chomón 1906)
The Thing (Carpenter 1982)
The Thing from Another World (Nyby 1951)
Thirteen (Hardwicke 2003)
This is My Land (Rivers 2006)
Thriller (Potter 1979)
Throne of Blood (Kurosawa 1957)
The Time Machine (Schellerup 1978)
Tomatoes Tree (Mobasseri 2016)
Tomorrowland (Bird 2015)
A Touch of Zen (King Hu 1971)
The Transporter (Letterier and Yuen 2002)
Tree (Zare 2016)
Tropikos (Akomfrah 2014)
Les tulipes (de Chomón 1907)
Two Nights of Vaudeville (1915)
Two Year at Sea (Rivers 2011)

Under the Skin (Glazer 2013)

Le Vampire (Painlevé 1945)
Vertigo Sea (Akomfrah 2015)
De Vierde Man (Verhoeven 1983)
Villain (Tuchner 1971)
Le voleur invisible (de Chomón 1909)
Le voyage sur Jupiter (de Chomón 1909)

The Walk (Zemeckis 2015)
Welcome Home Brother Charles (Fanaka 1975)
Werewolf of London (Walker 1935)
What a Carve Up! (Jackson 1961)
The Wicker Man (Hardy 1973)
Wild Card (West 2015)
The Wolf Man (Waggner 1941)
The Wolverine (Mangold 2013)
Written on the Wind (Sirk 1956)

X-Men (Singer 2000)
X-Men: Days of Future Past (Singer 2014)
X-Men: First Class (Vaughn 2011)
X-Men 2 (Singer 2002)
X-Men: The Last Stand (Ratner 2005)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Hood 2009)
Xtro (Davenport 1982)
Xtro II: The Second Encounter (Davenport 1990)

Young Soul Rebels (Julien 1991)

Stuff what I done in 2016

So the big thing this year was receiving the Science Fiction Research Association’s Pilgrim Lifetime Achievement Award for Critical Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction and Fantasy. I am still a little freaked out by it.

Other honours this year included being asked to join the advisory board of the soon-to-be-launched Miskatonic Journal of Horror Studies and being invited to give three keynotes and a couple of research papers/talks:

  • ‘The Afrocyberpunk City’, The City of the Future symposium, Universität Hamburg, Germany 29–30 January 2016
  • ‘Afrofuturism Archive Accrue Artefact’, King’s Fantastic Talks series, King’s College, London, 27 February 2016
  • ‘Robots on the Streets, Icebergs in the Skies: London, Austerity, Anthropocene’, Fantasies of Contemporary Culture, Cardiff University/Prifysgol Caerdydd, 23 May 2016
  • ‘Afrofuturism, Archive, Anthropocene’, Global Fantastika, University of Lancaster, 4–5 July 2016
  • ‘Things Above, and Beyond: the Anthropocene Unconscious of Miéville’s ‘Polynia’ and Llansó’s Crumbs’, Fantastic Material(s): Things and the Workings of the Non-Real, Institute of English Cultures and Literatures, Uniwersytet Śląski w Katowicach, Poland 7–8 July 2016
13245270_10209622339946050_5386051050193209390_n
In Cardiff, with Billy Proctor, at a conference only slightly populated by balding middle-aged white men

Good times were had in Germany, Wales, England and especially Poland – though clearly I am getting old as I was forced to retire sick at the end of the first day of Global Fantastika, which I still feel guilty about. I also examined 4 PhDs: two in the UK, one in Australia (though they never fly you down there) and one in Sweden – where a good time was also had.

[In Katowice, where Karolina, knowing I don’t really like having my photo taken, ensured I existed only in fragments. More on Poland here, here,  here, here, here and here. {More on Sweden here, here, here and here.}]

There was also the launch of the monograph series Studies in Global Science Fiction, for Palgrave, which I am coediting with Anindita Bannerjee and Rachel Heywood Ferreira. Our first volume, Ritch Calvin’s Feminist Science Fiction and Feminist Epistemology: Four Modes, is already out. Send proposals.

The nearest I got this year to publishing an article in a refereed journal were an immensely long interview:

  • ‘Not Just the Viggo Mortensen of Desolated Left Politics: An Interview with China Miéville’, Paradoxa 28: Global Weirding (2016), edited by Gerry Canavan and Andrew Hageman. The introduction to the issue is here; the other interview, between Andrew, Timothy Morton and Jeff VanderMeer is here; and the contents page from which China and I are mysteriously missing – I assume it is a complex metafictional gag  that will make sense when you read the interview – is here

and a chapter in an edited collection:

  • ‘Paying Freedom Dues: Marxism, Black Radicalism, and Blaxploitation Sf’ in Ewa Mazierska and Alfredo Suppia, eds, Red Alert: Marxist Approaches to Science Fiction Cinema (Wayne State UP 2016), 72–97

But I did manage some essays, reviews and blogs:

I also gave a talk on ‘Why Are So Many Robots Female?’ for the We, Robot event at the Being Human festival, finished an article on Afrofuturism, Robots of Brixton and Crumbs, wrote four book chapters (on cult sf movies, dystopian sf movies, sf between the wars, and afrofuturism in the 1960s and 1970s, all but one of which still need revising and polishing), a review essay and two book reviews.

I am knackered.