Last Friday I came home to a trifecta of exciting news. Firstly, that Sense8 was being given the chance to wrap things up with a final two-hour special. Secondly, that the covers for Philip Pullman's La Belle Sauvage had been released. Thirdly, that the first trailer for The Changeover, an adaptation of Margaret Mahy's novel and one of the seminal books of my early years was out.
I went to sleep that night feeling very satisfied – and woke up with the flu, one that I'm only now just starting to shake off.
So let's go through everything one by one. By now you've probably already read Lana Wachowski's letter to fans about how their commitment to Sense8 ensured a final two-hour special to wrap up the plot. Is it as good as a renewal? No. But it's certainly better than nothing, which is what we were faced with just a week ago.
The cover art for Philip Pullman's La Belle Sauvage has been released, and it certainly looks intriguing. Knowing that it covers periods of time both before and after the events of His Dark Materials, I get the feeling this depicts the prequel aspect of the story. Though it's sure to have a double-meaning, La Belle Sauvage clearly refers to the boat (you can see the name on the prow) and daemons will be involved in some capacity.
(And Pullman would hate this comparison, but the figures in the boat somehow remind me of C.S. Lewis's The Horse and His Boy – you know, when Shasta is brought ashore by one of his father's men).
Finally, The Changeover is starting its promotion! It's hard to understate what exactly this book means to me: Margaret Mahy is one of New Zealand's seminal writers, and The Changeover was not only published in the same year I was born, but set in my own suburb (in the book it's called Gardendale, but it's a pretty blatant facsimile of Bishopdale).
It's about a fourteen year old girl whose brother comes under psychic attack by a demonic creature who drains away his life-essence to sustain his own immortality. To help her fight such a creature, Laura enlists a boy at school that she suspects is a witch – this hunch turns out to be correct, and his mother and grandmother convince Laura to undergo a changeover: a ritual that will awaken her own latent abilities.
What's so compelling about The Changeover is that it's quite a simple story (to save her brother, the protagonist unlocks her own power) but Mahy's incredible prose turns the whole thing into a beautifully complex journey of self-discovery. I've done essays, blog posts and articles on the novel, and it's something I can recommend to almost anyone.
And from the looks of it, the film has captured the tone of the book: that of normal suburbia with the supernatural lurking beneath. Even better, they haven't white-washed Laura, who is described in the book as having a strain of Polynesian blood in her. Can't wait!
As has come up frequently on my Tumblr, Anastasia has recently been adapted into a Broadway musical and the soundtrack is now available. I've been listening to it over the past two weeks, and – wow. It's a real trip getting new songs and story material for an OTP that pretty much defined my tween years.
It's hard to really describe what this movie meant to be when I was younger, as so much of my love for it is wrapped up in my vivid memories of anticipating it. It's almost like there are two versions of the film: the real one that I loved to bits, and the one in my head that I looked forward to for so long: making up head-canons, getting my friends excited, searching for any scrap of promotional material in the days before the internet was freely available...
There was something so inherently magical about this movie, so you can imagine that going to see the musical is now at the top of my bucket list.
So if you're following me on Tumblr, you're about to get hit with a lot of Anastasia stuff. My queue is piled high!
Here's a great video essay entitled: Sherlock is Garbage and Here's Why. Now I wouldn't link to something that was just mad ranting – this is a very detailed and concise look at why Sherlock was bad storytelling on a number of levels.
My favourite part would have to be when he mentions the conspiracy theory the fans came up at the end of season four, one that postulated a secret fourth episode would be released under the codename Apple Tree Yard and retroactively make season four suck less. Naturally it didn't happen, but it's another fascinating look at how the hive mind can lead people to truly extraordinary conclusions.