The dialogue on Star Wars continues with a discussion over the influence of D.W. Griffith and silent cinema on George Lucas’s films.
My Star Wars dialogue with Neil Bahadur, Isiah Medina, Chelsea Phillips-Carr and Isaac Goes continues on MUBI Notebook.
“As a graduate student, some stories in Darkest Hours hit a little too close to home. The story ‘Sabbatical,’ for example, offers a wonderful look into the agony and anxiety that accompanies the thesis writing process. This particular story shows the brilliant craftmanship behind this collection.”
Huge thanks for this!
“I’ve spent a lot of time thinking and writing about George Lucas’s work, especially his Star Wars films; I hold this six-part series in extremely high regard, especially the prequel trilogy. In my Bright Lights Film Journal article Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith: George Lucas’s Greatest Artistic Statement?, I discuss the breadth of Lucas’s extratextual reference and his brazenly unique sensibility. In George Lucas’s Wildest Vision: Retrofuturist Auteurism in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002), I pay serious mind to Lucas’s interest in cinematic form and his avant-garde background, unpacking the ways in which his early experimental projects inform his later work.
For the purpose of this dialogue I wanted to hear input from several of my favorite film critics. I categorize Disney’s spin-off entries separately from Lucas’s work, given the corporation’s decision to disregard his existing outlines, but some of the contributors acknowledged the new films’ relation to (or distance from) the existing saga. I decided to pose broad, open-ended questions about these films, hoping to open up the possibilities for conversation as much as possible.”
“I had never heard of Mike Thorn before reading this collection. He has a bright future in horror and I can’t wait to read his forthcoming work. The pages are filled with tentacles and other monstrosities. The stories are clever and witty. The characters are all too real. The monstrosities are smart. The dialogue is great.”
Art by Alex Landers, 2018
For her website One Critical Bitch, visual artist, critic and playwright Alex Landers wrote the most in-depth review of Darkest Hours yet. Read it here. Some of my favorite excerpts:
“As an opener, the short and sweet ‘Hair’ provides the special kind of hook that makes you afraid to continue, but somehow calls for multiple readings of its beautifully grotesque sentences. We are often made to believe that the unimaginable is the most terrifying, but the images Thorn conjures up are so horrifically imaginable that they’ll give you pause. And if you’re a true fan, you’ll probably push on.”
“Think again on Theodore’s desire: his hair lust is, in itself, horrific. But its his genuine, honest excitement as a lust-driven human that is both relatable and totally unmanageable. As hair grows on Theodore, so does our want for more: more grotesquerie, more cringeworthy vocabulary, more dunks in the hair-laden tub. It’s ingenious, really, in its metaphor for the genre itself. Horror can be an acquired taste – one that has the tendency to grow on you.”
“Darkest Hours is horror for horror people. For the ‘confirmed ghost story and horror film addict,’ if you will. But It’s also for people with strong emotions and a desire for philosophical thought. Funny, how horror often is.”
Huge thanks to Alex Landers! If you enjoy insightful and beautifully written criticism, hers is a site to follow.