I was so pleased to see a genre film win Best Picture at the Oscars this year. Usually genre films are maligned as being just for profit, without any artistic merit, even though that’s not true. And that’s particularly true for the horror genre. In fact, I can’t think of any other horror film that’s even been nominated for any Oscar, let alone Best Picture, Best Director and the whole host of ‘em The Hurt Locker got.
Erotic re-imaginings of classic fairy tales have been done before – Anne Rice’s Beauty series is an extreme example, Moore and Gebbie’s Lost Girls a graphic one. Often they retain a hint of adolescence or address issues of adolescent sexuality, which follows the folk-and-mythy analysis of these stories. They are allegorized warnings to children of what is to come. The fully adult versions, therefore, nod to the informed reader. The Twilight series, while it does toe the line of propriety by depicting adolescent sexuality, feels no need to intellectualize its smut or provide redeeming social importance, although the intensity of allusion stretches them to gothic proportions. They mash up mythology in a way that’s either entirely original or perfectly clever to any Campbellian, but which is ultimately somewhat hackneyed.
The writer Augusten Burroughs is back with another of his childhood memoirs of his strange family. We might remember him as the young boy with a box on his head from Running With Scissors, but in A Wolf At The Table: A Memoir Of My Father, he’s got a darker (though in the other way, considering his box didn’t even have eyeholes so he had to rely on the seams and peeking out of the bottom of the book to provide enough light to see what little he could) tale.
Cover of Sirens of Titan
The Sirens of Titan is Kurt Vonnegut‘s first foray into young-adult fiction — perhaps a genre he should have spent more time with, considering the success of this book. His skill at characterization is in full-force, particularly this time considering the non-humanness of his protagonist.