Spectacular Attractions Update

Ghost in the Shell Matoko KusanagiRegular readers, or anyone who has stopped by expecting some recent posts, will have noticed that things have been slow around here this past year. This is for a number of reasons: last summer, my second daughter was born, and having two young children around the house is very distracting, and leaves little time for thinking coherent thoughts, let alone writing them down (kudos to all the writers who do actually manage this – it’s not as if all parents stop being able to write). I’ve also been working, teaching courses at Webster University, a graduate seminar at Leiden University, and last month I started a new job as a projects office for LIBER Europe, the Association of European Research Libraries.

No Known CureBut I have still been writing and researching whenever time will permit. Last year, I contributed a chapter to James Leggott and Jamie Sexton’s excellent book No Known Cure: The Comedy of Chris Morris, the first ever collection of scholarly essays on the work of the creative force behind Brass Eye, Blue Jam, and Four Lions. My next published work will be an essay on the Ghost in the Shell franchise (hence the image at the top of this post) to be published in East Asian Film Noir: Transnational Encounters and Intercultural Dialogue, edited by Chi-Yun Shin and Mark Gallagher. It should be available in a couple of months’ time. This will be followed by a chapter on Scorsese’s Hugo for inclusion in Stan Beeler and Karin Beeler’s Films for Children, which McFarland will hopefully put out later this year, too. I’m also in the final stages of co-editing, with Bob Rehak and Michael S. Duffy, Special Effects: New Histories, Theories, Contexts, which is due out with BFI/Palgrave as soon as we’ve finished it. I’ve written a chapter, about representations of Georges Melies, that I’m rather happy with. I’m currently completing an extended chapter about Steven Spielberg and special effects for NIgel Morris’s mammoth collection, A Companion to Steven Spielberg, that Blackwell’s will be unleashing on the world in 2015, plus a chapter on special effects from 1895-1928 for Behind the Screen, a multi-volume edited collection from Rutgers University and AMPAS. Finally, there’s an article on Czech puppetry for a special issue of Theatralia/Yorick, due out in Autumn 2015, for which I get to break out the Svankmajer boxset once again. After that, I can get back to the book on cinema and puppetry that I’ve been promising for years, and which I like to think of as “half written”, when really its still an epic mountain of notes that need to be distilled to something concise but monumental to justify the length of time I’ve spent chipping away at it.

Now that I list those publications end-to-end like that, it sounds like a lot of work. You can find many of my earlier publications at my Academia.edu profile page. In the meantime, though, things may continue to be a little slow on this blog, but I will try to add the occasional review or continue some of the long-running series whenever I can possibly manage it.

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