Doing the right thing
Generation messed up fighting wrong war
Socially aware and politically engaged, Vietnam veteran-turned-flmmaker Oliver Stone is one cool dude. Born on this day (September 15) in 1946, Citizen Stone remains the Boom Generation's Boomer, a man of conviction who refuses to stand down and accept the dominant historical narrative. He made his reputation with films that challenged the official "truth" on such subjects as Salvador (1986), Wall Street (1987) and Talk Radio (1988). He courted controversy with his presidential "counter-myths" in JFK (1991), Nixon (1995) and W. (2008). Though out of favour in the new, corporate Hollywood, Stone continues to speak out on the issues of the day (he supports embattled WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and opposes the growth of the U.S. military presence overseas). In what he calls "the most ambitious thing I've ever done," he co-wrote, produced, directed and narrated the 10-episode Showtime documentary Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States (2012). Released on DVD in March (with two additional episodes), the series channels that combination of angry skepticism and investigative journalism that characterized the best of the 1960s counter-culture. If the new series draws upon a lifetime of learning, it was foreshadowed as early as 1986, the year that Stone drew upon his own experience as in an infantryman in Vietnam to tell the story of a Platoon.
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Far Northern Mythfires
Native magic lost in melodramatics
Because she grew up on Vancouver Island, we think of Jennifer Tilly (and her sister Meg) as Canadian. Born on this day (September 16) in 1958 in California, she made her first Canadian feature, Shadow of the Wolf (1992), in Quebec.
Jungle girl no film queen
Three-step plan guaranteed failure
The first female character featured in her own comic book, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle made her American debut in September, 1938. A movie adaptation — 1984's Sheena — was a long time coming, and fell far short her success on the printed page.
The Queen in question
Wearing crowns, wielding power
Today (September 7) is the Queen's birthday — Queen Elizabeth I, that is — and to celebrate the 1533 arrival of Anne Boleyn's daughter, Reeling Back offers a quiz to test your knowledge of those Canadians who have played history's Lords and Lovers in the movies.
Kittens on the Internet
My Blog; Your Guide to What's New
While I realize that there are many more important issues — threats to world peace, the plight of the environment and the growing possibility of a global pandemic — I find myself haunted by the question of why small felines are everywhere in cyberspace.