Yesterday, I did 838 words on "The Maltese Unicorn," and found myself much nearer THE END than I'd expected I would. I'd thought I'd be at least Monday getting to the conclusion. Now, I'm planning today to make a big and merciless push towards that last word. I've been working on this story much too long. It's time to be done with it.
Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Also, The Ammonite Violin & Others is still available in the trade hardback edition.
Last night, after dinner, I watched a new Nova documentary on Mount St. Helens (I was only 15, almost 16, when it erupted on May 18th, 1980). And then we watched Joe Johnston's The Wolfman (2010), which was actually quite good. It was refreshing to get an old-school werewolf film, instead of all the nonsense about clans, otherkin, "lycans," and such (and for that, I blame White Wolf's werewolf rpg, the Underworld films, and a host of crappy paranormal romance novels that have reduced werewolves to "shifters"). Though ostensibly a remake of George Waggner's 1941 The Wolf Man (scripted by Curt Siodmak), Johnston's grandly atmospheric film pays homage to both the classic Hammer films and Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992). A great score by Danny Elfman (again, very reminiscent of Wojciech Kilar's score for Coppola's Dracula), and the cast is excellent through and through. It doesn't hurt that Benecio del Toro bears an uncanny resemblance to Lon Chaney, Jr., and Anthony Hopkins is nicely creepy. The transformation sequences are excellent, though I didn't find the end result nearly as menacing or otherworldly as the old-fashioned werewolf makeup effects from (again) Bram Stoker's Dracula. In fact, if I have any single gripe with Johnston's film it would be its reliance on CGI. Why was the trained bear in the gypsy camp done with CGI, and the stag that's used as bait for the werewolf? In both those cases, the sfx fall flat, though they usually work with the monster. The actual makeup was done by Rick Baker, by the way. Anyway, yes, I strongly recommend this one.
Afterwards, we watched a Dutch film, Ole Christian Madsen's Flammen & Citronen (2008), which was also excellent, and there's a lot I could say about it, but I've gone on so long about The Wolfman that I really need to wrap this up.
Yesterday was the birthday of the father of sociobiology*, E. O. Wilson (born in 1929). Today is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
The platypus is ready for the home stretch.
* Yes, I know that John Paul Scott was likely the first to use the term sociobiology, but it was Wilson who brought the field into its own (and took so much flack early on).