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"You can't have my heart."

I woke to the news of Ray Bradbury's death. I'm not going to say much about it, because this is something that hits me in the gut and the head and the heart. I need time to allow it to sink in. I've said too many times that I might never have become an author without Ray Bradbury. He showed me how to rub two words together and make a spark that could become a glorious and terrible inferno. One of the greatest honors of my life thus far was being asked to write an introduction to the P. S. Publishing edition of Bradbury's The Day It Rained Forever (id est, A Medicine for Melancholy). But...that Ray Bradbury died during the 2012 Transit of Venus, that's poetry.

Stuff your eyes with wonder...live as if you'd drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It's more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.


A series of bad days, and I can work on some of them, and on others I cannot. Too much worry, pain, pills, indignation, and cold weather. I have no time to be wasting time. But the world, and my brain, think differently on this matter. A weird and shitty time in my career, but I'm going to observe all due decorum. You are not meant to see what happens backstage. You're paying to see what happens from the theatre's seats, after the curtain opens.


Yesterday, after a white-hot rage on Monday, I gave myself a time out (as I told my editor at Penguin). Spooky and I went to a matinée of Rupert Sanders' Snow White and the Huntsman. I went in having loved the trailer, but fearing I wouldn't love the movie. I was most emphatically wrong. Now, if you can't accept that it's a fairy tale, and that fairy-tale shit happens in fairy tales, or if you can't accept that "Snow White" should go all Angela Carter on you and place the true power of a tale in the hands of female characters, if these are the sorts of things you can't handle, stay home. Or if you don't know these old tales often came with intimations of child abuse, incest, pedophilia, and rape. Oh, and maybe there should be a "trigger warning" (hahahaha) to the effect of "If overt references to the story of Erzsébet Báthory squick you out..." But, if you want "breathtaking," see this film. I figured, hey, at worst, it'll be nice eye candy. But it's more than that. It's fucking powerful. It packs a wallop I never saw coming. Here is the power of myth, all shine and rust and filth, all blood and light and darkness.

It is not necessary to say the film is visually beautiful; that's self-evident. What truly amazed me, visually, is that it has given me hope that cinematography might yet survive the abomination of 3-D. Snow White and the Huntsman is stunningly filmed, and hardly a frame seems ill-conceived and/or ill-executed. The script, very good. The casting, spot on. Chris Hemsworth and Kristen Stewart? Booya. Every time Kristen Stewart turns in a good performance, it's a grand "fuck you" to the Twilight franchise and her (by her own admission) farcical role in it. And Charlize Theron was as wicked as any wicked stepmother ever dreamt of being. And hot. I should probably mention how hot Charlize Theron is in this film, lest someone fail to notice. The climactic battle between Snow White and Queen Ravenna? That was fuck-me sideways sexy. As is Kristin Stewart in plate mail. And, despite that, I still almost cried at the end. Oh, and you even get Ian McShane! If you want my opinion, see this movie. But I'm the sort who wants to see pixies riding rabbits and the shattering of obsidian soldiers and sadistic evil monarchs all rolled up in a single film.

Gods, if someone would make a Beowulf even half this good.

Wishing for a Glass of Dandelion Wine,
Aunt Beast


( 15 comments — Have your say! )
Jun. 6th, 2012 05:42 pm (UTC)
...I sat there for five minutes going, "That's Ian McShane, isn't it? It's GOT to be, but he's not a small person!"

I was extremely impressed with it. Snow's speechless emoting at the very end is pretty amazing, too. Not ever liking the emo "Twilight" character but enjoying Stewart's turn as Joan Jett, I was glad to see her given such range here.

Nechtan :)
Jun. 6th, 2012 05:44 pm (UTC)

"That's Ian McShane, isn't it? It's GOT to be, but he's not a small person!"

Same here.

All your other points, yes.
Jun. 6th, 2012 05:58 pm (UTC)
Your post was where I saw the news of Ray Bradbury. My dad knew him in the days of early Los Angeles fandom. Thanks for the reminder that he died during the transit of Venus.
Jun. 6th, 2012 06:31 pm (UTC)
I can say nothing when such a giant falls, other than that I wish Mr. Electrico had made good on his word, back there in 1932. Although perhaps it is selfish of the rest of us to want more. Bradbury gave us plenty.
Jun. 6th, 2012 06:33 pm (UTC)

Bradbury gave us plenty.

Times ten.
Jun. 6th, 2012 09:21 pm (UTC)
He'd just had a piece in The New Yorker, too. Lovely writing, as always.
Jun. 6th, 2012 06:43 pm (UTC)
I saw Snow White over the weekend with a friend of mine. Agreeing with you on all point.
Jun. 6th, 2012 07:17 pm (UTC)
A sad day indeed. I was heavily into Bradbury when I first started reading SF. Of all his books, The October Country and Long Past Midnight remain my favorites.

Snow White and the Huntsman was suprisingly enjoyable many levels. Ye gods, Charlize Theron was hot in this film. Maybe even hotter than Kristin Stewart in plate mail.
Jun. 6th, 2012 08:13 pm (UTC)
But...that Ray Bradbury died during the 2012 Transit of Venus, that's poetry.

Oh damn, I did not know Ray Bradbury had left us until I read your post. Sad news but fitting to read it from you instead of on generic news. Thank you.

His passing during the transit of Venus is rather poetic and just jumping off point.

Jun. 6th, 2012 08:26 pm (UTC)
I also found out the news of Mr. Bradbury's passing via your post. Thank you.
I don't know what to say or think, or anything. All I know is that I haven't been able to keep the tears from my eyes.

He will live forever.

Edited at 2012-06-06 08:28 pm (UTC)
Jun. 6th, 2012 09:45 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the movie review; like you I knew it would be pretty but have been unsure about the story. Now, I don't have to feel like I'll be dragged to see something I might not want to see.

A sad day it is. I was working when I heard about Ray Bradbury's passing. Another one of my heroes is gone, yet he left me with fond memories and my imagination.

All the best
Jun. 6th, 2012 10:02 pm (UTC)
Like many others I am saddened by Ray Bradbury's death. His stories have brought me much joy,and I'm glad he was writing and inspiring others to create for so many years.
Jun. 7th, 2012 05:35 am (UTC)
Much, much, MUCH sadness over Ray Bradbury's death. I'm teaching a summer literature class right now and I'm re-organizing our reading list so we can read some of his stories. I was going to post the link to his "New Yorker" essay (which, as far as I can tell, may have been the last thing he ever wrote and which, to me, serves admirably as his epitaph) but I notice it's been posted above.

Bradbury died on the same day that my first love died 18 years ago...to me, that's poetry as well. The kind of poetry that makes me want to cry for about a lifetime, but poetry none the less.

RIP Ray Bradbury.


Edited at 2012-06-07 05:35 am (UTC)
Steven Barritz
Jun. 7th, 2012 01:48 pm (UTC)
I know you don't pay attention to reviewers, but it might interest you that Roger Ebert gave Prometheus his highest rating of four stars, and calls it "a magnificent science-fiction film".
Mark Murata
Jun. 9th, 2012 03:34 am (UTC)
The Long Rain
My favorite Bradbury piece is The Long Rain. I read this short story as a teenager, and I still remember it.
( 15 comments — Have your say! )