Author: Matt

Media Consumption 2016

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books / comics / film / sitting in the dark with strangers

Here’s a list of the media I consumed in 2016. Let’s start off with “Sitting in the Dark With Strangers”, which is a list of movies I’ve been doing for like ten years now. While I technically watched 122 movies this year (according to letterboxd) these are the ones that would count as being 2016 films, although a few of them technically came out in at festivals in 2015. My list, my rules. 1. High-Rise (dir. Ben Wheatley) 2. Hail, […]

Media Consumption 2015

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books / comics / film / sitting in the dark with strangers

Here’s a list of all the media I consumed in 2015. First off, Sitting in the Dark With Strangers, my yearly list of movies in order of how much I liked them. I saw most of these in theatres in regular release, but I’ll mark off ones that I saw on VOD or at a film festival. Some of these would be considered 2014 movies, but they didn’t make their way to Edmonton in time […]

Followup Questions: An Interview with Kier-La Janisse, editor of Satanic Panic!

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books / film / role-playing games

Last month I reviewed Satanic Panic, a collection of essays examining the decade-long freakout over supposed Satanic influences across American media. It’s a fantastic introduction to the social mores of the period, and sheds light on a lot of the country’s Puritannical tendencies, and how they’ve continued on. Kier-La Janisse, author of House of Psychotic Women and co-editor of the collection, has agreed to answer some questions about how the book came to be: Short […]

Review: Satanic Panic: Pop-Cultural Paranoia in the 1980s (2015)

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books / film / role-playing games

While it may have laid down roots in the late Sixties and Seventies, with the blockbuster success of films like Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and The Omen (1976), or with the resurgence of interest in occult matters after the founding of Anton LaVey’s Church of Satan, the “Satanic Panic” is really a relic of the Eighties. It was a time when such seemingly innocuous things as rockstars prancing around in tights and big hair, half hour toy […]

Late to the Party: The Shining Girls, by Lauren Beukes (2013)

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books

In 1989, a university student and aspiring journalist named Kirby Mazrachi is horribly attacked and mutilated by a would-be killer while walking her dog on the beach of Lake Michigan in Chicago. Her attacker seemingly disappears into nothingness, and by 1992 Kirby finds herself slowly becoming obsessed with tracking him, using the resources available to her via an internship at the Chicago Sun-Times, and her friendship with a retired crime reporter named Dan Velasquez. Meanwhile, […]

Late to the Party: Flashman, by George MacDonald Fraser (1969)

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books

Musical Accompaniment: “The Rake’s Song”, by The Decemberists Harry Paget Flashman is basically a real asshole, but he’s an entertaining one to say the least. After getting kicked out of Rugby School in the late 1830s for “excessive drunkenness”, the young, rich and completely cowardly Flashman joins the army in relative peacetime with the hopes of getting a nice easy job with a pension (the uniform’s attractiveness to the opposite sex is a nice bonus). Unfortunately for […]

Review: The Mystics of Mile End, by Sigal Samuel (2015)

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books

The study of the Tree of Life is one of the most hallowed and important facets of Jewish mysticism. The allure of “climbing” the tree, of learning more and more and eventually ascending into another form, is so enticing, that the study of this branch of Kabbalah is for the most part only allowed to be undertaken by married men over the age of forty. Such is the danger of losing oneself to the beautiful […]

Review: Consumed, by David Cronenberg (2014)

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books / film

Musical Accompaniment: “The Purple People Eater”, by Sheb Wooley “Electronic stores in airports had become their neighborhood hangouts, although more often than not they weren’t there at the same time. It got to the point that they could sense traces of each other among the boxes of electric plug adapters and microSD flashcards. They would trade notes about the changing stock of lenses and point-n-shoots at Ferihegy, Schiphol, Da Vinci. And they would leave shopping […]

Review: The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan, by Robert Hough (2015)

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books

Musical Accompaniment: “Bully in the Alley”, one of the sea chanties in the Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag OST (Nils Brown, Sean Dagher, Michiel Schrey and Clayton Kennedy.) “As I said, it was a pretty little place, with no way to fend off the unwashed likes of us. Still, every man amongst us believed the people living in that pretty little Spanish town had it coming. We believed it because we were filthy and hungry and to […]

Review: Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway, by Sara Gran (2013)

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books

“I hugged myself against the cold. The fog of the Kali Yuga. Paul deserved so much better. He deserved a grand theft, a jewel heist, a murder by a crazed fan. Paul deserved to die in a duel, to tumble down the Himalayas, to be mauled by wildcats on the Serengeti. Instead, some asshole wanted his guitars, shot Paul, and took them. He should have been killed in a high-speed chase in a Lamborghini, poisoned […]