* Another quick note: the wonderful Mike Allen (a.k.a. time_shark) has initiated a Kickstarter Project to fund the publication of a new edition of the celebrated speculative fiction anthology Clockwork Phoenix: Stories of Beauty and Strangeness. He's offering some terrific rewards for support of this worthy endeavor. Check out the project here.
* Last but not least, Happy 1st Birthday to Mythgard Institute! To celebrate (through July 31), Mythgard is running a special offer: take 5% off all course enrollments at Mythgard Institute and Signum University for Fall 2012 (including my "Science Fiction, Part 1" course) and 5% off all course packs in the Signum University Shop (including the thirty-lecture download of my Spring 2012 "Taking Harry Potter Seriously" course). Just type the code BIRTHDAY when checking out to receive the discount.
The students in my "The Hunger Games and the Dystopian Tradition" summer seminar just finished discussing two very recent (2011) and fascinating dystopian animated movies by international filmmakers. I thought I'd post them here. Both are chilling and well crafted. (Warning: Please note that these two shorts contain dark and adult imagery. They are not suitable for all ages or some work venues.)
The first is D. On Ice by a group of Brazilian animators led by Ale McHaddo. (What a clever title!) A cryogenically frozen Walt Disney is revived to reclaim his entertainment empire, but will he recognize the "Disneyfied" world he left behind?
The second is Lucky Day Forever by Polish director/writer Alek Wasilewski. Here's the official synopsis: "Prole 514 dreams about winning the Great Lottery. The lottery winner is transformed and allowed admission into the elite White society, where everyone is beautiful, young, and happy, and people spend their carefree lives solely on fun and partying. One day, 514's wish comes true... but was this what he really wanted?"
“Most human beings have an almost infinite capacity for taking things for granted. That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.”
― Aldous Huxley