Picnic at Hanging Rock (2018)

Australian film heresy: I’ve never seen Peter Weir’s 1975 adaptation of Picnic at Hanging Rock. I’ve read the novel, by Joan Lindsay, several times, but mostly because I like boarding school fiction. The movie has always been on my “one day I’ll watch that” list.

But I was intrigued enough by Foxtel’s new six-episode adaptation that, to my flatmate’s dismay, I signed up for a Foxtel Play trial to stream it.

(Sidebar: Foxtel Play’s streaming quality is quite good, but every time I opened the app on our TV, The Bolt Report would come blaring out. No one needs Andrew Bolt and Peta Credlin in their living room. In future, I think I’ll just get my Foxtel-made series on DVD from the library.)

Unfortunately, the new adaptation is a bit terrible. The good news is, it’s terrible in some interesting ways.

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Star Trek catch up: The Next Generation (part 2)

Part 1 can be found here.

We’re now into season 5, which along with season 4 was TNG’s creative peak. We’ll cover its final years and the four TNG-era movies.

Which is to say, I watched Star Trek Nemesis so you don’t have to.

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The Norah Satie Discourse

“The Drumhead”. Star Trek: The Next Generation, season 4, episode 21: the discovery of a spy aboard the Enterprise, along with possible sabotage of the ship’s engines, triggers an investigation led by retired Rear Admiral Norah Satie (played by veteran British actress Jean Simmons) which quickly turns into a witch hunt.

“The Drumhead” is one of those iconic TNG episodes. There’s an ethical dilemma which serves as a metaphor for real world issues, external forces trigger polite disagreement between members of the main cast, Patrick Stewart gives an inspirational speech, and then it’s never spoken of again.

I don’t say this as faint praise. TNG was a great series, which suffers now because its episodic storytelling style is no longer fashionable. And this is one of the best episodes, representing the series at its peak. Though it was conceived as an allegory for McCarthyism, “The Drumhead”‘s exploration of justice, paranoia and the value of civil liberties is particularly relevant in the hellscape of the first two decades of the twenty-first century.

Nevertheless. I have a lot of feelings about Norah Satie, the way she was written, and her treatment in-universe.

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Star Trek: Discovery 1.11 – “The Wolf Inside”

Okay, first of all, hands up everyone who’s relieved this didn’t turn out to be a prequel to “Wolf in the Fold”, the TOS episode where Scotty is possessed by a non-corporeal serial killer and brutally murders a bunch of women? This was a lighthearted romp by comparison.

I mean.

Sort of.
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An incomplete list of media I’ve enjoyed in 2017

Honestly, although it’s been a trashfire for the world at large, and also for many of my friends, 2017 was … okay for me. Not outstanding, but fine. And one thing which has helped has been escapism through media.

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Star Trek: Discovery 1.09 – “Into the Forest I Go”

Originally posted at No-Award.net.

I can’t believe it’s been eight weeks since this adventure started. Or that we have to wait another eight weeks for the final six episodes of season 1, because apparently “fall season finales” are a thing the world needed.

This week: Michael Burnham is extraordinary; Lorca gonna Lorca; white women are immortal; Ash Tyler’s still probably a Klingon; and more.

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