Octavia Spencer/Photo © Helga Esteb/Shutterstock
Editor's Note: Octavia Spencer in mystery, Donnie Darko in horror, Jonahtan Franzen and reverse-adapted comics -- all in today's roundup!
Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer ("The Help") is the latest in the wave of big names to take over the small screen, succeeding Angela Lansbury in a reboot of "Murder, She Wrote." Funny, Lansbury was already considered an older woman back in the eighties when the series first ran, and now she's eighty-eight years old and still performing in films and theater. Clearly they're going to have to find a different angle for Spencer's version, since she's only forty-three.
"Donnie Darko" was so effective as a dark comedy that it's easy to overlook that it was essentially a horror movie, and set during Halloween to boot. Read and watch along as the Internet Film School column dissects one of the early scenes, showing how Richard Kelly's creepifying camera techniques set the tone for every bizarre thing that follows after. If you don't, I'll totally doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion!
Jonathan Franzen gave a characteristically soul-baring interview to Scratch magazine this week. This also served as an opportunity to remind Silicon Valley of the changes they've wrought in the lives of people who work as writers and journalists -- he compares tech companies to "nineteenth-century coal magnates," despite their professed humanitarian interests. You march, Franzen, and I'll follow!
In the seventies and eighties, blockbuster films would often be reverse-adapted into comics, occasionally featuring art by legends like Jack Kirby. The Comics Alliance has gathered up five stellar examples -- with plenty of illustrations -- that provide alternate visions of movies like "Alien" and "Dune," exactly the way they must have appeared to children at the time. Incidentally, they also perfectly demonstrate why some of us are still scarred for life. You're welcome!