Art Matters—Because It Does

Art Matters—Because Your Imagination Can Change the World by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell book cover
Art Matters—Because Your Imagination Can Change the World by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell

Art Matters, by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Riddell, is a short, beautiful book. It consists of four parts—Credo, which is bout ideas; Why Our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading and Daydreaming, which is about why all of those things are important; Making a Chair, which is a fun little anecdote; and Make Good Art, which is, to me, a rallying cry, as well as some good advise for creatives. I think my favorite piece of advise is, enjoy it, the whole ride. Don’t not enjoy it because you’re so worried about the future you fail to appreciate the present.

Anyway, it was a short book, one you can read in an evening and I greatly enjoyed it. Now go forth and make something.

Hellboy (2004 Movie)—Over the Top

Hellboy (2004) movie poster
Hellboy (2004)

Hellboy, based on the comic book series of the same name, and directed by Guillermo del Toro, follows the titular character as he tries to save the world from Nazis and Rasputin, who are trying to summon eldritch abominations to bring about the apocalypse.

1—Setup

In 1944, Nazis open a portal to another dimension off the coast of Scotland, led by Rasputin. They’re foiled by Allied soldiers and young scientist who’s also versed in the occult. Before destroying the portal though, something gets through—a baby demon, whom the group dub Hellboy. Continue reading “Hellboy (2004 Movie)—Over the Top”

The Man Who Knew Too Little—Stupid but Fun

The Man Who Knew Too Little movie poster
The Man Who Knew Too Little

The Man Who Knew Too Little is a sendup of spy films. A hapless American on vacation in London gets wound up in an caper after inadvertently taking a phone call meant for a spy.

1—The Setup

Wallace Ritchie (played by Bill Murray) goes to visit his brother in England but his brother has a business meeting that night, and so arranges for Wallace to spend the evening at an interactive improv theater. But due to a mix up, instead of taking the theater’s phone call, he takes the phone call meant for a real spy. While trying to do “scenes” he accidentally foils plans to restart the Cold War. Continue reading “The Man Who Knew Too Little—Stupid but Fun”

Saving Mr. Banks—The Story of a Story

Saving Mr. Banks movie poster
Saving Mr. Banks

Saving Mr. Banks is the tale of how Walt Disney came to acquire the rights to make the movie Marry Poppins. Marry Poppins was created by P. L. Travers, a quirky and hard to get along with woman who doesn’t like animation, or Walt Disney. The movie also covers Mrs. Travers’s childhood and the events that shaped what would become Marry Poppins.

1—Two Stories

The two stories—of how Walt Disney convinced Mrs. Travers to let him make the movie, and the story of the experiences that young Mrs. Travers took to make Marry Poppins—are intertwined skillfully. The conceit is that Mrs. Travers is remembering her childhood, that dealing with Walt Disney and his team as they go over the story is bringing up memories both wonderful and painful. Mrs. Travers is to an extent unlikeable because she is so demanding and exacting, and I love that about her. Part of the movie seems to be about how life scars us, and how that’s ok. Continue reading “Saving Mr. Banks—The Story of a Story”

Monty Python and the Holy Grail—A Silly and Perilous Quest

Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie poster
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is the Legends of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as told by Monty Python . It is a fountain of memes for good reason. Like all Monty Python, there’s plenty of absurdist humor.

(Though do be warned if you react to quickly flashing lights that part of the beginning credits are really flashy.) (Also make sure to read the beginning credits subtitles.)

1—The Quest

After being given a quest from God, King Arthur and his knights set about seeking the Holy Grail. On the way they encounter an accused witch who undergoes trial by duck, Tim the Enchanter, a killer rabbit and many other weird things, most of which would take too long to explain for me to do so here. Some of the scenes are unconnected to the others—though still funny—and some come back into play in later scenes. This is definitely a sit-back-and-enjoy-the-ride kind of movie, at least it was for me. Continue reading “Monty Python and the Holy Grail—A Silly and Perilous Quest”