Also, I have been told that I can announce I will be a Guest of Honor at the 2009 H. P. Lovecraft Film Festival in Portland, Oregon (first weekend of that October), which is one of the coolest things I have ever been asked to do. Details TBA, but this is very far in the future, so don't expect them too soon.
Thanks to those who have bid in the latest round of eBay auctions. Right now, we have copies of the trade hardbacks of To Charles Fort, With Love, Alabaster, and Frog Toes and Tentacles up, and yes, all these collections are long sold out. Please have a look. I will note that I am holding back on offering the last two paisley platypuses, as eBay sales have been a bit sluggish of late. Also, if you haven't already preordered Tales of Pain and Wonder, today would be a fine day to do so.
Anyway, we actually managed to get up and out of the house in time to make the 1 p.m. matinée of Cloverfield, and my thoughts are behind the cut, as they do contain spoilers:
On the way home from the theatre, I kept trying to settle on one word to describe this film, and finally I settled on "magnificent." Which is to say, yes, I liked it a great deal. I think I would say that Matt Reeves' Cloverfield has now unseated Joon-ho Bong's The Host (Gwoemul, 2006) as the Citizen Kane of "Big Bug" films (leaving aside, for the moment, Alien and John Carpenter's The Thing, which I would argue don't actually belong in the same category). So, yeah, I found Cloverfield to be a magnificent, superbly executed film. Suspense, terror, awe, and existential shock in all the right proportions. The creature design is amazing, and, for me, the narrative device of the discovered videotape worked wonderfully (but I have a very soft spot for storytelling via "found artifact"). Of course, I also loved The Blair Witch Project, and I can already see those who didn't lining up to damn Cloverfield. Whatever. I have only two minor quibbles (here we get into spoiler territory). I would not have had Rob, Lily, and Hud actually save Beth (though I did not find the fact that they did implausible), and I would not have, in the end, revealed such a clear and prolonged view of the creature. But that's just me. All in all, I found this to be one of the most intensely visceral sf/horror films since Zack Snyder's remake of Dawn of the Dead (2004). Both thumbs way up. This one did not disappoint, and I am especially grateful that it was permitted the grim ending demanded by all those moments leading up to the ending, unlike, say, I Am Legend.
And here's a bit from the "SciFi Japan" review I wanted to quote, because it's spot on:
Among many particularly impressive things of Cloverfield, one thing still disturbs me. Even after watching (experiencing, to be exact) the film, I could not do away with fear and terror that the monster brought. The origin of the Cloverfield monster was not revealed at the end of the film. And it neither was killed nor avoided. The audience does not know what the true identity of it is. To me, the monster is like metaphors for ever-present fear and uneasiness in the whole world, in this year of two thousand and eight, that we could never know their cause and symptoms.
Cloverfield is a film that lives up to its overhyped promotion. The monster succeeded in standing on its own. On our very backyard. It’s one hell of a ride.
So, here I am at 4:42 p.m. (CaST), trying to fight back a migraine that I woke with so that I can attend to the final-pass page proofs for Tales of Pain and Wonder. Right now, my money's on the headache.