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Fantastically Fun Fridays: July 8, 2011

Happy Friday everyone! 

In case you're not already familiar with it, The Interstitial Arts Foundation is an organization that supports art that falls and flourishes in-between the cracks of genre.  Many of the authors involved with this foundation write works that can be called fantasy, or that bump up against fantasy.  It's a wonderful organization, and it sponsors a number of exciting projects that support their mission of promoting interstitial art.

One of these projects is Interfictions 0, an online anthology of essays on interstitial texts.  Each month they publish a new essay--this month's essay on King Arthur is written by our own Kat Howard, and you should definitely check it out!

Here are some of the other fun things we found lying around the internet this week:

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We have a winner!

Thank you all very much to all who participated in our "Best Science Fiction Movie Ever" week--either as those who nominated contestants, those who commented on our choices, and perhaps most importantly, those of you who took the time to vote!

After a week of careful deliberation, we have a winner....

...drumroll please....

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Our Favorites: Re-Told Fairy Tales

Into the WoodsI was in about fourth grade when I saw Into the Woods on stage for the first time. This musical, written by Stephen Sondheim, intertwines multiple fairy tales--Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood, and several others--telling each story in its familiar version in the first act. At intermission, I bumped into one of my teachers, who had seen the show before. I told him how much I was enjoying myself, and he suggested that I go home and not see the second act, so that I continue to feel happy about what I had seen.

I stayed and saw the second act. And while I was a little shaken up at the time, I am so glad that I stayed. Sure, the second act of Into the Woods challenges the idea of "happily ever after," but in doing so, it provides a means for fairy tales to become more than familiar bedtime stories that fit in a comfortable box created by "once upon a time" and "they lived happily ever after." It provides a way for them to speak to the issues that we all deal with in everyday life.

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The Unexpected Fantastic: Slow Motion

The Darjeeling LimitedI am going to talk about a movie. Again.

 

In the opening minutes of The Darjeeling Limited, Adrien Brody runs after a train in slow motion. His long limbs devour the platform, but they do so with leisure and grace. He is an impossible creature, encased in a perfect grey suit, and he clambers through the air as if he has received a temporary reprieve from the normal obligations of gravity. His fingers unfurl from the handle of his suitcase, one by one, and each release is a moment of solemn and breathless delight.

 

Every time I watch it, I feel like I am witnessing a magic trick.

 

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Happy Independence Day!

We're taking it kind of easy today at Fantasy Matters since most of us are busy celebrating the 4th of July (read: grilling out and drinking beer), but we did think that today would be a good occasion to share with you some of our favorite science fiction/fantasy stories of freedom, independence, and liberty, so that you can have appropriately-themed reading suggestions for your holiday.  We'd love to hear your favorites, too, so make sure you post them in the comments!

Adam Miller:

Star Wars TrilogyFor me, the obvious choice is the original Star Wars trilogy.  I watched these movies over and over as a little kid, and the characters and stories just really resonated with me.  I think it's because it's more than just an epic story about the Rebel Alliance and their fight against the Empire, but it's also the story of several individuals who were key in making that fight a success.

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