Friday, August 27, 2010

Where's Phil?

This blog has been a little quiet of late, due to a combination of foreseen and unforeseen circumstances. The foreseen was my trip to the US, combining a stay in Las Vegas with attending Ray Bradbury's 90th birthday party in Glendale, California. The unforeseen, a matter of days before the trip, was a pair of deaths in the family.

My free time is quite limited at present, so it is unlikely that I will be posting anything substantial for the next week or so. I have, however, found time to upload some photos from the Glendale events - not my own photos, but some taken by Cornelia Shields, who I had the pleasure of meeting for the first time. (My own photos will appear at some unspecified future time...)

Click here for Cori's photos!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Many Happy Returns

Ninety years ago today, Ray Douglas Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois.

Happy Birthday, Ray.

And: Live Forever!

Here's a birthday card I made:

Many thanks to Brian Sibley for permission to use his photo of The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Bradbury associates

Every July the web is awash with reports from Comic-Con, many of them mentioning Bradbury. TOO many, in fact, so I don't usually bother recording them here. One that caught my eye, though, was Matt Thorn's report in which he describes the meeting between Bradbury and leading manga artist Moto Hagio. She apparently once did an adaptation of R is for Rocket - something I must track down, although it is only available in Japanese. You can the basics about Moto Hagio here., but for a full account of her work and career I recommend another article by Thorn, here.

The podcast Slice of SciFi has an interview with Roger Lay Jr, producer of the Bradbury films Chrysalis and A Piece of Wood. More news on Chrysalis can be found on the official blog, here.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

On the Blogs

It sometimes seems that blogs were made for lists, since so many blogs give you the 20 best or 10 worst of a given item. Well, here's another one: a list of ten books you were supposed to read in school but didn't - with a suggestion of why you really ought to read them now you're all growed up. A Bradbury title is listed - and for once it isn't Fahrenheit 451.

Less listy is writer Sierra Godfrey's post on what makes for a scary story. Naturally, Stephen King gets a mention, but so too do H.G.Wells and Ray Bradbury.

This next item is a review of Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes, but of an audiobook version rather than the print version. What interested me about this is the reviewer's reaction to the dialogue in Something Wicked, and their assumption that they would have taken the dialogue differently if they had seen it written down. Bradbury's dialogue is often criticised for being unrealistic - this was one of Rod Serling's excuses for not doing more Bradbury on The Twilight Zone. But Something Wicked is a fantasy AND a period piece, so what would count as realistic dialogue? And why does dialogue that works on the page become unrealistic when performed? Read the review here.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Storytelling, Stage and Movies

In October, Ray Bradbury's hometown will again play host to the Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival. I've never been to this annual event, but it sounds like fun. Full details of the current plans can be seen here.

Speaking of Festivals, summer (or what passes for summer in this cloud-shrouded UK) brings the Edinburgh Festival. Another event I've never been to...

This year, there is a Bradbury-inspired performance in Edinburgh, Steven Josephson's production of Ray Bradbury's 2116. Read the Scotsman article which quotes Bradbury here, and view the official website for the production here.

Here's Bradbury himself to explain the origin of this musical:

Finally, some audio. Here's Movies on the Radio: Ray Bradbury at the Movies, from WQXR in New York. David Garland presents soundtracks from Ray Bradbury-based movies such as Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, Something Wicked This Way Comes, and The Illustrated Man, by composers Bernard Herrmann, Stanley Myers, James Horner, Jerry Goldsmith, and others.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

10 (and more) Things

Reading Listen to the Echoes has prompted one reviewer to compile a list of "10 things you didn't know about Ray Bradbury"... most of which I did know, and some of which are a bit inaccurate. But let's not be picky! The list is here.

CNN also has an article
inspired by Listen to the Echoes. Nothing terribly new here, but well put together - and with a decent photo (reproduced above).

The LA Times has an article about a season of Disney screenings taking place in the city, including Something Wicked This Way Comes. It includes a decent overview of the film, quoting Roger Ebert. It also includes images of a couple of props from the film. Read all about it!

Better still is this excellent account from Jim Hill of how Something Wicked went from film idea to novel and back to film - a quite detailed history of Bradbury's inspirations and the people who were tentatively associated with the "property", including Gene Kelly, David Lean, Steven Spielberg and Sam Peckinpah.