Look Ahead: August 2016


Believing that readers might gain more benefit from my blog if I let them know what’s coming, I decided to begin each month with a summary of what I’m working on and what blog articles to expect in the coming weeks. It is my intentions to post new content on Wednesdays and Sundays. Lately I’ve been neglectful and haphazard with this schedule, because I’ve been working “behind the scenes” to alter how I write blog articles and organize the necessary research. I won’t say much about that, except that it involved reimagining my writer’s journal, to turn it from a diary into a working tool for recording initial thoughts and ideas.

Since I want some surprises, I won’t tell you everything I’m working on. But in the future, along with writing reviews, I’m going to start writing critiques. In my mind, and for the purpose of this blog, a review posits a reader unfamiliar with the work, be it book, movie, or television series, who wants to know more about it to decide whether to read or watch it. In contrast, a critique posits a reader familiar with the work, who wants to know more about it, who wants to read an analysis of its plot, characters, themes, and other elements of story craft. When writing reviews, I avoid spoilers, but when writing a critique, writing spoilers is unavoidable.

For that reason, I believe it is important to give my readers advance notice, so they have time, if they so choose, to become familiar with the work. Not all readers want to dig deeper into material, and that’s fine, but for those readers who do, I hope this blog will become a resource to help them. I don’t have all the answers, and I might even have the wrong answers, but that is the beauty of quality fiction–whether it comes to us in prose, film, or television episodes–it’s subject to interpretation and individual analysis.

So let’s Look Ahead…51IAt89XZML

Ben-Hur: A Tale of Christ

A remake of this classic story is due for release on August 19. Starring Jack Huston as Ben-Hur, and directed by Timur Bekmambetov, this is the lasted adaptation of one of the most adapted novels of all times. Lew Wallace, a Civil War general, published the novel in 1880. It had been filmed multiple times, most notable in 1959, starring Charlton Heston.

In anticipation of the new movie, I’m reading the novel. Look forward to my review of it on Wednesday, August 10. The following Wednesday, the 17th, I will review the Charlton Heston movie. I’m trusting (hoping) that the remake will play in Olympia its opening weekend. If so, you will find my review of it on Wednesday, August 24.

Breathless (1960)

Breathless is a 1960 French film directed by Jean-Luc Godard. It stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg. (That’s a lot of Jeans!) Since it is considered one of the most important films of the French New Wave (La Nouvelle Vague), I wanted to see it and judge it for myself. I plan to write a critique of it on Sunday, August 14.

Game of Thrones (Season 1)Got-eddard-poster

Since everyone else is on Season 6, it might surprise you to know I’m still trapped on Season 1. But I’m not just watching the series; I’m also reading the books, George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire series. Earlier this year, I reviewed the first novel, A Game of Thrones. Now I’m ready to write about the first season. As I work my way through the HBO series, my focus will be character arc. How has the events during the season changed characters like Jon Snow, Arya Stark, Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, and others. Look to my article on Sunday, August 7.

Harry Potter Movies

I had never written about Harry Potter, neither the books nor the movies, but I had enjoyed both. Since I like to write about what I enjoy, I decided I will write about the movies. My thoughts about this project are still gathering, but I plan on publishing an article about the movies on Wednesday, August 31.

Arkham cover D finalAugust Reading List

This month, along with Ben-Hur, I’m planning on reading The Diary of a Chambermaid, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and The Natural. The Diary of a Chambermaid was written by French writer Octave Mirbeau and published in 1900. This begins my planned survey of erotic literature. The Picture of Dorian Gray, written by Oscar Wilde and published in 1890, had been on my reading radar for a couple decades now. It is time to finally read it. The Natural by Bernard Malamud is an American novel about corruption in baseball. I’m reading this as part of my on-going (but sadly neglected) American Novel series. Please look forward to my review of these novels in the coming weeks.

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