Notes from the Kraken: June

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Welcome again to We Have Always Live the Kraken, a pop culture blog transmitted directly to you from the belly of the beast. Here in the Notes we’ll show you this month’s posting schedule, but first here are some thoughts.

All hail the Wonder Women!

Wonder Woman has finally come and it is, for the most part, awesome. It is so nice to see a DC film actually deliver again after a long slog of films that were either bad or at best ironically good. More importantly, it is great that Patty Jenkins finally got her chance to return to directing movies, and killed it. It has long been ridiculous how she basically got relegated to TV directing after making Monster, a situation that highlights the film industry’s ongoing issues with women. Admittedly, things were different back in 2003, so it is not like any director back then, man or woman, would have been given the next Star Wars or Marvel film immediately after making Monster (unlike now, where, well, all of them would have probably turned down doing The Flash movie like everyone else), but you know, if a man had made Monster he would have at the very least gotten to make at least one if not more than addition God damned movies the last 14 years. Still, as great as it is that Wonder Woman is awesome, and that Patty Jenkins did an awesome job directing it, the real test going forward is when female-driven films are given the same right to fail that male-driven films are. No one blinks when a famous actor or male director makes a mediocre, or hell, even bad movie, but when a famous actress or female director does it’s a referendum on all female-driven projects as a whole. Jenkins herself even admitted this when talking about her involvement with Thor 2, which had loads of other issues and ultimately ended up being by far the weakest of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. Suffice to say, if she had been the director of that film and it had been as mediocre-to-bad as it ended up being, the chances of its issues all being blamed on her would have been 100%. So, yeah. Studios suck, and I look forward to watching Jenkins bleed Warner Brothers dry in negotiations for her directing Wonder Woman 2. Overall, I am just trying to say, it is great that Wonder Woman is here and awesome, and it is definitely something to build on, but we still have a long way to go, because this should be the norm and not the exception.

David Robertson


From the depths of the Kraken, here is what we are bringing you this month.

The Life in the Kraken Podcast classic edition continues as the wait for the return of Game of Thrones goes on.

  • In Episode 028, the gang tackle Marvel’s official recent entries, including Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and the Heroes for Hire themselves, Netflix’s Luke Cage and Iron Fist.

Meanwhile, David will continue his attempts to get caught up with the The Anticipated, Who is to say which film will appear? It is sure to be as much of a surprise to David as it is for our readers.


Catch of the Week:

Each and every week the residents here in the Kraken will offer one recommendation for the week that we think you all would enjoy. It might be a movie. It might be a book. Who knows? This is your… Catch of the Week Month.

If any of this month’s recommendations interest you, feel free to click on our Amazon affiliate links below. We get a small kickback on anything you buy at no extra cost to you, and that money goes toward sustaining and improving the site. Thanks!

Keskel:  For June, I recommend the manga Murciélago. While it starts as a generic “dangerous killer whom the police use to kill other killers” manga, it appears to be a Takashii Miike film in manga form: every plot development make the fights more absurd, the level of explicit sexual conduct more uncomfortable, and the violence, which begins as cartoonish, closer to farce.

I have to note that this rec is the most NSFW rec I have ever provided for this blog, and comes with the strongest possible content warnings.

 

Kyu:  I continue to read actual, you know, books. This month I discovered a harrowing metaphor for contemporary politics in an obscure 1970s British sci-fi novel by Christopher Priest (author of The Prestige). The novel, The Inverted World, begins as the bog-standard story familiar particularly with today’s YA fiction–a young man in a vaguely restructured-from-what-we-know society marks his growth to manhood by following his father’s footsteps into the mysterious Guilds that run his city. Apprenticing to each in turn, the young man begins to learn about his environment–including the fact that the city, somehow transported from Earth to an alien planet hundreds of years ago, is determined to traverse the landscape in an unending north-bound track through sheer bloody-minded effort. The young man assists in the efforts to move the city on a series of rails (which are planted in front of the city structure, traversed, dug up, moved around in front, and planted again ad infinitum) before he even knows the reasons why–where they’re trying to go, and more importantly, from what in the South they flee. The answers are as surreal as in any sci-fi story I’ve read. But equally disconcerting, and deeply relevant to our lives today, is that some of the city’s residents do not believe this threat actually exists, and demand an end to the city’s ceaseless journey. When two people operate on entirely different sets of facts, when they disagree on not just the solutions but the existence of the problems, dangerously intractable political divisions can result. The Inverted World asks you to contemplate what it would mean for everything you know about your life and your purpose to be a lie–and whether you should accept that new understanding, or fight for your truth with everything you have. No author is better than Priest, here and in his many other novels, at inventing an absurd duality of perception and then taking that concept to its utmost logical and emotional conclusions. In his dry, sparse prose, The Inverted World turns everything you think you know upside down.

 

David: So I am late to this party, but in case no one knows, there is a comic about The Flintstones, and more importantly, it is amazing. Mark Russell and Steve Pugh team up to create a comic that took a show that was nothing more than a cartoon parody of the Honeymooners, and make it into something full of real, biting social commentary. You will not go into this comic expecting the feels, but by God you will get them. This comic is a treat, and a must read for everyone.


That’s it for this month. June continues to be the weird month between the glory of May and the chaos of July, so enjoy the month that gets summer truly started.

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