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Month: July 2018

Film Essay: Harlan Ellison Tribute

Harlan Ellison RIP: The Writer on the Edge of Forever

Essay by Lee Hill

Given that most of his books were out of print when he died, the widespread outpouring of love and admiration for Harlan Ellison belies the writer’s own cynicism about modern popular culture. During the heyday of his career in the 60s and 70s, Ellison dragged science fiction and fantasy (and legions of wallflower-like fans) kicking and screaming into the ferment of counter-cultural upheaval and experimentation. He did this not only as an award-winning short story writer, but through the anthology, Dangerous Visions, where he commissioned established and emerging writers, from Theodore Sturgeon and Robert Bloch to Samuel Delany and Philip K Dick, to explore themes such as sex, race, politics, the environment, the limits of technological progress, etc. with a revolutionary fervour that many in the parochial world of SF fandom were uncomfortable with.

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Film Review: The First Purge

Reviewed by Linda Marric

Back in 2013, James DeMonaco’s The Purge presented us with nightmarish vision of America in a near future in which crime has been made legal for 12 hours every year, leaving people free to commit the most unspoken atrocities without suffering the consequences. After two more lucrative sequels which failed to live up to the original film’s brilliant high concept premise, this week sees the release of a The First Purge, a prequel which is surprisingly far more engaging and politically sound than one might expect from a franchise which was in danger of losing its purpose. 

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Film Review: Time Trial

Reviewed by Lee Hill

Time Trial is a mesmerising documentary portrait of Scottish cyclist David Millar. He competed in the Tour de France and other world class cycling events with success through much of the late 90s to early naughties. His career coincided with the period when the consensus culture surround doping was coming under greater scrutiny from the press, whistle-blowers and legal investigators. In August 2004, he was banned from the sport for two years. Like many a top cyclist, Millar did not exactly suffer from low self-esteem when he was accused of taking EPO, the illegal performance enhancement drug. He went through various stages of denial and self-reckoning before reinventing himself as the anti-Lance Armstrong.

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