Favorite Science-Fiction Films of the 1920s: Metropolis

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

Metropolis is a brilliant science-fiction film (1927) directed by Fritz Lang. This movie, recently restored to its entirety, is a disturbing look at the world of the future through  the eyes of visionaries in the 1920s. It is based on the novel of the same name by Thea von Harbou (1925). The book deals with a city created on the backs of exploited workers and run by the capitalist upper-class. It is also a love story, and it is set in the year 2026.

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

Metropolis offers a powerful and damning social commentary on the effects of the ruling class, the capitalist industrialists who rule the world by using and crushing the ordinary people who build and fuel their wonderland. While the workers live underground in squalor and destitution, the upper-class live literally in palaces high above the ground. There they explore and indulge in numerous amusements including those sexual and athletic. This film is not a simple polemic but drives its message through a compelling story that shows the love between the Master of Metropolis’ son Freder and Maria, who lives in the underworld and serves as a kind of saint to the oppressed.

Frankenstein, 1931, owes a cinematic debt to the mad scientist in Metropolis, Rotwang, and his equipment. There he creates a robot woman, using the life force of Maria. Clearly the novelist, Mary Shelley and her book, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, first influenced this movie.

Lang’s cinematic vision is exquisite and deeply influential to filmmakers who followed him in exploring the idea of future cites. His soaring towers and buildings, high bridges with fast cars, and aircraft flying near the buildings are based on the designs of the modernists and futurists, and this concept is a clear model for Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Certainly an argument can be made that Metropolis is a foundation for many other science-fiction movies.

This film is extraordinary, and the full version is now available on DVD. It is an important piece of cinematic history, and I give it my highest recommendation.

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(https://commons.wikimedia.org)

What is a Book You are Currently Reading?

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I am always interested in hearing what books other people are reading, and the blogging world has many interesting, intelligent, and engaging people in it. I am lucky to have met many of you through this blog.

I usually have several books going at one time, so I will mention that I am rereading Stephen King’s Hearts In Atlantis, which I am teaching in my Contemporary Fiction class at the Wescoe School of Muhlenberg College. I am also reading The View From the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman and Aggravated Momentum by Didi Oviatt.

So, what are you reading?

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Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

Favorite Science-Fiction Films: A Trip to the Moon (1902)

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

I teach a course for the Wescoe School at Muhlenberg College: English 255 Literature & Film, which makes me very happy, because I am able to look at both literature and film, both media which I love. In one of the lectures for the class on film history, I speak to the earliest examples of cinema.

One of the first movies is also a science-fiction film: A Trip to the Moon (La Voyage Dans La Lune). Georges Méliès, one of the innovators of cinema, was the director, and he based the film, at least loosely, on Jules Verne’s novel From The Earth To The Moon (1865).

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

This movie is revolutionary not only in its being an early example of cinema but also in the treatment of science-fiction. Human beings have been explorers for the entirety of our existence, and this movie suggests that it was possible to move our journeys from the Earth to other worlds, a concept that informs our science-fiction cinema from the beginnings to our current films.

The plot shows scientists explaining how to get to the moon, the trip there, including a spaceship being shot out of a cannon, landing on the moon, being chased by inhabitants of the moon, and finally escaping back to Earth. This film explores adventure, imagination, advances in technology, and human potential.

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(https://commons.wikimedia.org)

This movie is usually considered by critics to be one of the most important in film history. It can be seen at https://archive.org/details/ATripToTheMoon1902 . If you are interested in the history of film and science-fiction, you should see this important historic and artistic film artifact.

The film runs, depending on the print from about 10-15 minutes.

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

 

wp-1476386546701-maledicus

 

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

A New Review of Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

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“I highly recommend the book Maledicus by author Charles French. I found it riveting and excellent! Can’t wait for the next one!”

                                                          Kathi Christman Janton

I want to thank Kathi Christman Janton for her wonderful review of my book, which she posted on Facebook.

wp-1476386546701-maledicus

 

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview

Liebster Award!

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Thank you very much to Angie Dokos for nominating me for the Liebster Award! It is always an honor to be recognized by other bloggers, so I am happy and humbled. Please visit Angie Dokos at https://angiedokos.wordpress.com and you will find a lively, intelligent, and entertaining blog.

The Rules:

  • Say thank you to the person who nominated you for the award.
  • Answer the 11 questions you have been asked.
  • Nominate and notify 11 bloggers for the award.
  • Ask those you have nominated 11 questions.

The Questions:

1. Why did you choose book blogging over something else?

Actually, I blog about books, writing, film, tv, quotations, and anything else that comes to mind!

2. What is one thing you’re really passionate about beside books?

I love to learn about the world, in a myriad of aspects. This includes philosophy, art, physics (although I do not have great math skills), and many other areas of exploration.

3. Have your reading tastes changed over the years?

Not counting being very young, I have always loved reading a wide variety of kinds of books.

4. What is your favorite vacation spot?

Either going to a lake or for a vacation of the future–going to Italy!

5. Do you collect anything (other than books)?

I have a collection of odd knick-knacks related to books, superheroes, and fishing.

6. What has been your favorite book so far this year?

I reread The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, and it remains one of my favorite books!

7. What is one law you would change if you could?

I would have all states have immediate voter registration as people turn 18. Voting should be inclusive not exclusive.

8. If you had to donate money to a charity, which one would you choose?

To Teddy Atlas’ foundation — The Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation — which serves the needy in New York. It is not well known,  but he does extraordinary work with this charity.

9. What is your favorite genre to read?

This is difficult, since I love so many, but if I had to choose, it would be Gothic.

10. What is your dream car?

A reconditioned 1967 Volkswagon Beetle!

11. What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?

I finally finished my Ph.D. in English Literature several years ago.

My nominees:

K. D. Dowdall   https://karendowdall.com/

Sarah Higbee  https://sjhigbee.wordpress.com/

Chape  https://chapeblog.com/

Shehanne Moore  https://shehannemoore.wordpress.com/

Yinglan  https://yzhengblog.wordpress.com

David Prosser  https://barsetshirediaries.wordpress.com

Jeanne  https://seasonsapoeticjourney.com/

Annette Rochelle Aben  https://annetterochelleaben.wordpress.com/

Esther  https://femiiesther.wordpress.com

pjlazos  https://greenlifebluewater.wordpress.com/eco/

KSBeth   https://ididnthavemyglasseson.com/

The Questions:

1.) What is your favorite, or one of your favorite, movies?

2.) What is your favorite breakfast?

3.) What was the last live performance of a play that you attended?

4.) Are you a day or night person?

5.) Are you writing something now? If so, what are you writing?

6.) What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

7.) Is there a book that you reread?

8.) Where would you like to visit that you have not yet gone to?

9.) Do you have a historical time period with which you are fascinated?

10.) What is your favorite season of the year?

11.) Do you prefer coffee or tea?

 

Again, I thank Angie Dokos for nominating me for the Liebster Award.

 

 

Stephen King’s Quotations on Writing

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(https://en.wikipedia.org)

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.”

 

“Let me say it again: You must not come lightly to the blank page.”

 

All quotations from:

King, Stephen On Writing: A Memoir Of The Craft 10th Anniversary Edition. 

Writing Progess: An Update

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It has been a long time since I have done a post about my writing progress, so I thought I would mention what I am doing. I self-published Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book I last October. Since then, I completed what I hope is a very good draft  — draft 4 — of my YA novel, The Ameriad: The Monastery of Knowledge, which I am in the process of submitting to agents and editors.

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I am close to being done with draft 1 of Gallow’s Hill: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book II. My goal is to have the initial draft done this coming week, and then I will do heavily focused revisions, one after another over the next couple of months.  I hope to release it in October.

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I also should be able to release a Spanish language version of Maledicus: The Investigative Paranormal Society, Book I  in October. And I am looking into an audible edition.

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When I am done with these projects, then I will work on one of two books I have already drafted and need revisions. Plus, I have many other tales waiting their turns to be written.

 

wp-1476386546701-maledicus

 

Please follow the following links to find my novel:

ebook

Print book

Thank you!

The book trailer:

Maledicus:Investigative Paranormal Society Book I

My radio interview:

interview