Yesterday we visited The Astor Theatre in Windsor for what is likely to be the last time. We saw Lawrence of Arabia and while it was a fabulous movie, with stunning scenery and great acting it’s not what’s really important to me today.
The Astor was first opened in April 1936. They did some absolutely beautiful work with the building and it became an institution, but all good things come to an end and it closes in a few days. You can read more on The Astor’s page about Friends of The Astor.
As it’s a heritage building the structure can’t be knocked down but the company that leases the building and provides us with movies in all sorts of formats will close. They have around 600 movies in their collection and with only one movie showing at a time attending a movie there is an event rather than just something to do. They’ve shown old movies and new movies and you could even hire out the area to show a movie of your choice (so long as they have it in their collection), a friend did exactly that and showed us Casablanca for his birthday…it was wonderful.
Now come some photos I’ve taken and if you want more you need to visit their website as they have many more and better photos.
As a bit of change of pace I’ve browsed the web and found some interesting articles for you.
Bookseller YA book prize goes to feminist dystopia I was interested by this headline and even more intrigued by the article. The book is about girls in boarding school vying for the chance to be chosen by a boy for his bride to look after him and have his babies until such time as she’s not capable any more. I wondered what this has to do with feminism until I came to this sentence
But, in the final year, it all starts to unravel.
and I started to be interested. All very well, but the article gives no more details so I hope it really is feminist literature.
Anything Harper Lee is bound to catch my eye at the moment and I found this one rivetting, totally rivetting. Lee is approached to write a novel about a man who insures family members then kills them and gets away with it. Apparently she joins the family for some time, does lots of research, takes the files away with her, starts writing it and then strings the family along finally completely forgetting about them. It’s a wonderful story waiting for an author to write it.
Another author who caught my eye. Having recently read Salinger’s most interesting novel The Catcher in the Rye it became a must read and I found it less salacious and a case of DRM.
One writer’s view of how writing is challenging.
Matt Sumell’s novel-in-stories Making Nice is one of the funniest (and best) books of the year, featuring the self-destructive but well-meaning Alby–a “loser,” according to his sister. Here, Sumell talks about the agonizing process of writing, pushing through the pain, and why it still remains necessary.
Sumell talks, in part, about how autobiographical a book can be.
Another fascinating article about Amazon. I thought I’d written enough about them but this one looks to be reasonably balanced. It talks about how Amazon made the ebook market. Certainly, it’s always taken a big company to start something new as you have to have the deep pockets necessary to take the plunge and start a brand new project no-one’s thought of before, or in this case, make it big.
The comments make interesting reading and kudos to you if you make it all the way through to the end of them.
Very excited as I’m going to Sydney for the latest Discworld Convention but rather sad as there’s an awesome exhibition on and I probably won’t have time to get there. It’s about pulp fiction published in Australia and the State Library of NSW very kindly sent me the publication they put together for it.
Running in the Exhibition Galleries of the State Library of NSW, Macquarie Street, Sydney until 10th May 2015 it looks to be just up my alley. It’s curated by Peter Doyle who is a crime writer.
Now, a few words about the book as I can’t talk about an exhibition I haven’t seen. Although, there is a Behind the Scenes page so you get to see a little bit about how they put it all together…fascinating stuff!
It’s a short book with only 53 pages so I was able to read the whole thing last night and not get to bed too late. As usual there isn’t enough detail for me but there is enough to tantalise and tease.
In 1965 the State Library of NSW bought a collection of papers from the estate of the late Frank Johnson, a Sydney publisher. Johnson published a lot of pulp fiction in the last two decades of his life and did his best to publish Australian authors and illustrators rather than those from overseas.
He showed his Australian bias fairly early on as he was publishing pieces about Jimmy Little and Chad Morgan alongside pieces on Elvis Presley and Tommy Steele.
Johnson was rather ahead of his time. We had superheroes with rather more modest powers than those in the USA but he would give artists a free hand to invent comic stories or even give them instructions regarding a story’s general direction and allowed them to fill in the story and dialogue, a system Stan Lee adopted in the 1950s. The inference is he saw Johnson using this system and thought it looked useful so he adopted it too.
This was not a small enterprise, “each week dozens of titles rolled off the presses.” As with international pulp fiction they were small enough to fit into a pocket and the paper was fairly cheap so copies are rare today. This meant having enough writers and artists who could churn out work fairly quickly, sometimes Johnson employed teenagers still at school for their art work.
Yes, the books and comics were racist and sexist but is that a product of the times or is that how Frank Johnson thought? I don’t know as this is not discussed in this book. I didn’t expect that here as it’s a much larger question. We did have the White Australia Policy which still informs much of what we do despite many people trying to change the system.
Anyway, this book is what I was trying to write on my blog a few years ago albeit from an Australian perspective. If it’s representative of the exhibition then I really wish I could have another day in Sydney in order to take the time to see it. If you get there please get in touch as it’d be awesome to publish someone’s perspective of this exhibition.
You’re probably looking at the title of this article and wondering what’s happening what’s happening in the Star Trek Universe and what exciting movie/book spin off/ merchandise is available now. This is not really official Trekkie stuff but some unofficial fan movie type stuff. They’re at the end of their Kickstarter campaign and would like more support.
They emailed me as their rewards are more for writers as you put in your money and then write up your story outline. This would be a fabulous chance for someone who has some ideas but don’t think they would be heard by the big studios. Have a look at their website to get some idea of what they’re about and then take a trip over to their Kickstarter campaign to put your money down.
I see this as being a great training ground for people to then springboard onto bigger things. Just like Channel 31 which has proved to be the springboard for some famous names such as Hamish and Andy I see Star Trek Anthology doing the same for other people in the future.
If you’ve got a Star Trek idea in your head get on over to Kickstarter and get the process started. You never know where it will lead.