How Green Was My Valley (1941)

  • Posted on: 10 February 2017
  • By: Noah Brand

Let’s just get this out of the way right now: nobody actually thinks this was the best movie made in 1941. Nobody thought it back then either. It is a truth universally acknowledged that Citizen Kane is better than How Green Was My Valley, but that William Randolph Hearst was a vindictive sonofabitch who owned half the newspapers in the country and had Louella Parsons on permanent payroll. It simply wasn’t safe for voting members of the Academy to support Kane, so they went with a safety.

How The World Ends: a short story

  • Posted on: 6 February 2017
  • By: Noah Brand

“It’s called dermatillomania,” explains Gary’s agent. “There’s, like, support groups for it, I think. Point is, do what you need to do to keep from popping them. Let the makeup guys handle it.”

“No prob,” Gary says, but he can feel the zits on his face, their hot infected pressure. If he were a normal 15-year-old, it’d be normal acne, but his is worse because of all the makeup he has to wear for work.

Rebecca (1940)

  • Posted on: 27 January 2017
  • By: Noah Brand

In beginning this review, I had to double-check the date. Rebecca was seriously released in 1940? Weird. It feels later than that, like maybe 1950, give or take a couple years. The product of another ten years of the development of film as a storytelling medium, in other words. That may have been what tipped it over to victory; it’s not just emotionally compelling and visually gorgeous, it has a level of nuance and emotion in the structure of every shot and scene that one just doesn’t see in other films from that year.

Happy Holiday 2016

  • Posted on: 21 December 2016
  • By: Noah Brand

Today’s December 21st. There’s a cluster of holidays around this date for a reason. It’s the shortest, darkest, and often coldest day of the year. For our ancestors, this time was death. Little light, little food, no way to survive outdoors, and you’ve been stuck inside the same smelly hut with the same dozen people for months.

A poem, with an introduction providing cultural context

  • Posted on: 3 December 2016
  • By: Noah Brand

Every sentient species is wiped out by its own evolutionary heritage. War, climate change, and resource depletion are the most common ways this happens, obviously. There are some interesting outliers, though, as in the case of a species called the Bolants. They avoided most of the common traps, being sociable enough to cooperate, clever enough to be careful, and individualistic enough not to all charge off the same cliff. Their doom was a single recessive gene and an unfortunate cultural position.
 

Pages