Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Ray Bradbury: From Science to the Supernatural

Ray Bradbury: From Science to the Supernatural is a film screening event taking place in Bloomington, Indiana, from 24th-29th March 2015. For the last few months, I have been working with Indiana University Cinema and the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies on the programme of events, and can now reveal the contents of the screenings.

The images below are taken from the Spring 2015 programme book from IU Cinema. Click on them to enlarge, and you will see the full blurb for each of the events.

All being well, I will be attending all screenings - introducing some of the events, and participating in disussion panels for some of them. Jon Eller, author of Becoming Ray Bradbury and Ray Bradbury Unbound will be co-hosting. Jon and I collaborated on the basic "wishlist" for the screenings, and IU Cinema's Jon Vickers has done the real work in sorting out screening rights and securing prints and recordings of the films and TV shows in the programme. (No mean feat, especially when Jon Eller and I desperately wanted to include the extremely rare "A Sound of Different Drummers".)

According to the IU Cinema catalogue, all screenings in the Bradbury series will be FREE, but you will need tickets to attend (IU Cinema is limited to 260 seats). Details of how to book are included in the images below. 

Monday, December 01, 2014

Ray Bradbury and THE TWILIGHT ZONE

Marc Scott Zicree, the writer-producer, and author of the excellent Twilight Zone Companion,  is working on a book about his ten-year-long friendship with Ray Bradbury. The working title is My Ray Bradbury.

When Zicree was working on The Twilight Zone Companion, he attempted to interview Bradbury about his involvement with that classic Rod Serling TV series. Bradbury wrote just one completed episode of the series, "I Sing The Body Electric," but also wrote a couple of unfilmed episodes. Bradbury also claimed a significant contribution to the very existence of the series: he reportedly introduced Serling to the writers Richard Matheson and Charles Beaumont, each of whom would write many episodes of the series.

Zicree's attempt to draw information out of Bradbury was thwarted back in the 1980s, but the two later became friends. Long after The Twilight Zone Companion was published, Zicree finally heard  Bradbury's account of how the relationship between Serling and Bradbury soured. Zicree recounts all of this in his latest "Mr Sci-Fi" video on YouTube.

Zicree slightly overstates things when he claims that none of this has been discussed before. In fact, much of Bradbury's account of events is given in Sam Weller's biography The Bradbury Chronicles. Nevertheless, Zicree's encyclopedic knowledge of Twilight Zone and Serling, and his friendship with Bradbury, make his telling of events fascinating and compelling. You can see the entire 24-minute video below.

There is, in fact, yet more to the Serling-Bradbury conflict. The Zicree video presents the Bradbury interpretation, but I have seen correspondence from the time which suggests an entire other dimension to the argument between the two great writers. Indeed, Jon Eller's new book Ray Bradbury Unbound (chapter 28) reveals much more of the Serling-Bradbury relationship, based on both the surviving correspondence and his own extensive interviews with Bradbury, giving the most detailed and insightful account yet published.

One day, perhaps, a fuller version of the story may emerge - but for now, Zicree's recounting of Bradbury's view is one of the best you will find.

(This blog post has been updated to include the reference to Ray Bradbury Unbound - 7 January 2014.)