GABBLER RECOMMENDS: ‘Representation Without Transformation: Can Hollywood Stop Changing Cartoon Characters of Color?’ by Andrew Tejada

‘For me, the image of an unarmed biracial teenager with his arms up immediately evokes the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” chant. It’s a phrase that some Black Lives Matters protestors are still using in 2020 to call out police brutality. But even if audience members don’t make the same connection as I did, they can still recognize how unfair it is that Miles is held at gunpoint for something he didn’t do, and how terrified he is in that moment. Whether viewers are aware of what real-world connections the scene evokes or not, they are still exposed to an important lesson. It’s an image that simply wouldn’t have carried the same weight if we didn’t see Miles’ true face.

I could go on forever about all the subtle touches that made the story of Miles Morales such a beacon of representation when it was released…but the film’s many accolades speak for themselves. Into the Spider-verse won the Academy Award for Best Animated feature film. And it did so without turning Miles into a spider (or a verse, or anything else) in telling his story. Audiences watch him defeat supervillains and earn the respect of allies, seeing him as a biracial teenager for the movie’s entire runtime. It’s a sentence that bears repeating: Miles is himself the entire time.’

[Via]

BookTuber Tuesday – The Old Guard Official Trailer

 

“The film is based off of a comic book authored by Greg Rucka (published in 2017 — you can read the first issue online here) and is directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood (Beyond the Lights). It also stars Marwan Kenzari, Matthias Schoenaerts, Luca Marinelli, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Harry Melling, and Veronica Ngo.”  [Via]

 

Hmmm. Needs more Automata. At least these immortals don’t suck blood or something.

GABBLER RECOMMENDS: Neither Allegory Nor Lion: Aslan and the Chronicles of Narnia by Matt Mikalatos

‘Lewis is not particularly interested in us knowing for sure that “Aslan equals Jesus.” He always plays it slant, and never once mentions Jesus by name. Lewis believed that myth prepares us for “true myth.” He loved the story of Balder, for instance, and believed that the love he had for that story, with the god’s death and resurrection, prepared him for the true and (by his estimation) historical myth of Jesus’s death and resurrection when he finally came to accept it. As he told his friend George Sayer, he wasn’t looking to convert people through Narnia so much as prepare them to meet Jesus in the real world. “I am aiming,” he said, “at a sort of pre-baptism of the child’s imagination.”’

[Via]

GABBLER RECOMMENDS: On the Cult of Originality: What Byzantine Literary Culture Can Tell Us About Fanfiction by Arkady Martine

“And yet: we are surrounded by literature which is not original and which is successful, enjoyed, and persistent.

This literature is described as flawed, insufficient, not morally improving nor useful to the scholar; self-indulgent, archaizing, written by un-scholarly or un-imaginative persons, or worse yet, by members of marginalized groups; literature which is full of tropes, of expected emotional beats, of Happy-For-Ever endings; literature written using someone else’s characters, for no monetary gain, merely social pleasure and social currency. Literature which insists on being unavoidably present: produced by both the most-educated and the least-privileged—and unequivocally enjoyed (and reproduced, traded, invoked) by both these groups?

You think I’m talking about transformative fanwork here. And I am. But I’m also talking about Byzantine literature from the 9th-12th centuries. What’s interesting is how similar the problems are in evaluating whether some piece of writing is good if we use the criteria of originality to make that determination … both for Byzantine literature and for modern transformative works.”

[Via]