Yesterday, Spooky and I took the morning off and caught a painfully early matinée of Tim Burton's Dark Shadows. I honestly wasn't sure I'd like it. For many reasons, it could have been a train wreck. But I loved it. It's a delightful film. It's fun! Dark Shadows manages to balance camp and a cockeyed sort of earnestness in a way that far too few films do. Think Burton's own Edward Scissorhands (1990). Like that. The script and casting are both superb. The soundtrack and Danny Elfman's score are both wonderful, spot on (even if I can't get the Carpenter's out of my head today). The casting...okay, screw it. There's nothing I can think of offhand about this film that I didn't like, right down to the intentional continuity flaws. It won't break any box-office records. It might not even break even. But it's gonna be a great cult classic. I suspect the studio had no idea what to do with this film. It doesn't "fit" into any of the marketing folks' tidy little caskets. It's too busy being what it is, disregarding expectation. It's an homage, but it's also a parody possessed of an unexpected core of sincerity. I think lots of people take the original series far too serious, and miss its absurd, unavoidable campiness (which the cast never did). Melodrama, kittens, melodrama! I'd say see it, but you might hate it, and then you'd blame me. But it's bow tie. Top to bottom, stem to stern. I will add that you ought recall the surviving cast members of the TV show were very pleased with the film, and that Kathryn and I are both fans of the original. Very nice that it was dedicated to the late Dan Curtis.
A paltry ten days stand between me and -08, which pretty much blows my goddamn mind. Who'd have ever thought I'd live this long. Should have seen me in 1991, or 1996, or even as recently as 2010, and you never would have believed it. Anyway, it seems I shall. I've been trying, very hard, not to think about it, so have neglected to post the usual link to my Amazon wish list.
However, should it come down to gifting me with this or that distraction, or, instead, picking up a copy of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir or preordering a copy of Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart, I'd prefer you buy one (or both) of those two books. It's a lazy and neglectful author who does not put her work ahead of birthday fripperies. And these two books have been woefully neglected, as I struggle with all the ins and outs of Alabaster: Wolves. However, if you're remarkably flush and desire to do both....
I assume subscribers have received Sirenia Digest #77. I'd love to hear reactions to it (or 76, or 75...). It's a lot easier to keep this up every month if I hear thoughts on the stories. And it's best if they're posted here, not emailed. Let's stimulate discussion!
Yesterday, after the movie, I came home and worked on this major revision of Alabaster: Wolves #5, and also went over cover copy (and rewrote a bit of said copy) for Blood Oranges, as Danielle, my bow-tie editor at Penguin has marketing nipping at her heels for copy on a book we've not even begun editing. Today, I have to sign signature sheets for Joshi's Black Wings II, which reprints my story "John Four," and proof the text for The Yellow Alphabet (the hardback chapbook that comes FREE with the limited of the aforementioned Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. Tomorrow, it's back to Alabaster: Wolves #5 (which I need to finish by Friday evening).
Last night, Spooky and I finished reading The Two Towers. I hope we can begin The Return of The King tonight. I'd forgotten what a fine chapter is "The Choices of Master Samwise."
And now...word mines!