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Tag Archive: fandom


Room 237 biking

More so than Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey, or The Shining, writer/director Rodney Ascher’s documentary Room 237 seeks and finds the heart of obsession and insanity.

But that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Documentaries often feature thought-provoking, intelligent, smart people with some appropriate credentials espousing new theories.  You will likely walk away from Room 237 thinking your own descriptive words about the participants in the film.  These may include:  Eccentrics.  Crackpots.   Batshit crazy.  Although the film gives these participants ample opportunity to prove their theories, and despite some obvious effort on their part, no rational person would likely use these words to describe them by film’s end:  Geniuses.  Visionaries.  Lucid.

The title Room 237 comes from the numbered hotel room in the Kubrick film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining, where a lot of the terrifying horror plot is centered.  (King reportedly hated Kubrick’s adaptation of his book).  The documentary is predominantly the voices of five fanatics who have watched The Shining far too many times for their own good, who we never actually see in the film.  The voices are carried over clips of a variety of Kubrick movies that serve to attempt to prove the theories being discussed.  Room 237 was acclaimed by a number of critics and was named an official selection at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and nominated for several other awards.

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John White Star Wars Age 9 art

When does the creative spark begin, and when do you follow through with it?

We chat at borg.com each week about some of the best artists, authors, writers, actors, makers and doers around.  Every creator is at a different place in a spectrum between wanting to do something and accomplishing their goals.  Some may want to be the best out there.  Some may want to get that first project in the hands of readers and viewers.  Whether you’re trying to get that first comic book published, the first novel in the hands of an agent, the first movie playing on the big screen, everyone has to start somewhere.  One route many people take is creating fan versions of existing properties.  Some succeed by starting with fan fiction–either by writing a short story with the further adventures of a popular character, making a full comic book story, or a full-length novel.  For legal reasons these won’t make you money, but they will allow you to work on the creating process.  If you’re really successful at fan fiction you may just end up being noticed–noticed by someone who may give you more opportunities to do what you like to do, or better yet, your big break.

We found four fan works you might not have seen before that we think are worth taking a look at.  First up, a long time ago in a small village in Ireland… there was a nine-year-old Star Wars fan named John White.  Today John has two one-of-a-kind websites, one focusing on a 200-page comic book he wrote as a kid adapting Star Wars to comic book form in Star Wars: Age 9, and the other adapting Alien to comic book form in Alien: Age 11.  Before you brush off the idea as “yeah, my kid does stuff like that” actually take a look at John’s knowledge and talent with layout, color, and design at such a young age (like the panel of the Millennium Falcon above).  John has also filled in the gaps as a grown-up with new work and his new work could easily be found in the pages of today’s DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Dark Horse, etc.  Check this out from one of what I’ll call his “special edition” pages from Star Wars: Age 9:

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Wagner & Me poster

Wagner & Me is a documentary about a fanboy and fandom, and about whether you can separate an artist from his art.  It features the British comedian and actor Stephen Fry as he investigates his favorite musician, the 19th century German composer of the famous Ring Cycle, Richard Wagner.  What you may or may not know is that history has documented Wagner as an anti-Semite, and that Fry is Jewish.  Why does this matter?  To some Wagner is the greatest composer of his day, if not of all-time.  Yet as we learn in Wagner & Me, his works of good vs evil took on their own life under the reign of Adolf Hitler.  Hitler would whistle Wagner amongst his friends and troops and the very rousing works of Wagner were often played to inspire his men.

Stephen Fry is one of the best actors in England.  In his comedic career he often partnered with actor Hugh Laurie of later House, M.D. fame, and is known in the UK from his many series, such as a A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Jeeves and Wooster, and various Blackadder series.  He is well known as a good guy, an intelligent thinker, a philanthropist, and friends with actresses Emma Thompson and Carrie Fisher.  Fans in the States know him best from his movies.  His first film was a bit part in Chariots of Fire and from there he went on to act in A Fish Called Wanda, Peter’s Friends, I.Q., A Civil Action, Gosford Park, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, he voiced the Cheshire Cat in Tim Burton’s Alice and Wonderland, and narrated Harry Potter video games.  He also has a recurring role on the TV series Bones.  Most recently he played Mycroft Holmes opposite Robert Downey, Jr. in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and later this year he stars as the Master of Laketown in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.  He may be most famous to genre fans for his superb performance as a rebel hoarder of banned works opposite Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta.

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Since we just passed our 200,000th visit yesterday, I wanted to send a out a quick thank you to all of our readers, on behalf of the writing staff of borg.com.  Thanks for helping borg.com get to this benchmark so quickly!

Because of the positive response via comments and via your direct emails it makes it that much more fun for us to continue to provide daily updates of what we think is new and interesting in the world of science fiction, fantasy, pop culture, comics, movies, TV… but you already know what we’re all about.  If you haven’t given us feedback yet we’d love to hear from you–check out the comments linked at the top of each article and give your own public comment by completing the box at the the bottom of any article.  Recent comments are listed in the right column of our home page.  Or email us directly at borgeditor[at]gmail.com.

And by “you” we really mean YOU because you’re here checking up on the latest and greatest previews, artists and writers, commentaries and reviews, whether you’re from the USA or one of more than 75 countries around the globe that regularly visit borg.com, including (cracking knuckles): the UK, Canada, Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Spain, the Russian Federation, the Phillippines, India, the Netherlands, Argentina, Poland, Turkey, Indonesia, Sweden, Belgium, Greece, Hungary, Malaysia, Japan, Ireland, New Zealand, Thailand, Portugal, Norway, the Czech Republic, Chile, Colombia, Romania, Switzerland, Denmark, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Austria, Ukraine, Singapore, Serbia, Hong Kong, Finland, Israel, South Africa, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovakia, Peru, Viet Nam, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Venezuela, United Arab Emirates, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Iceland, Ecuador, Lithuania, Slovenia, Morocco, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Estonia, Malta, Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica, Georgia, Guatemala, Cyprus, Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Latvia, Lebanon, Algeria, Tunisia, Jamaica, Jordan, Iraq, Belarus, Bangladesh, Albania, Panama, Uruguay, Barbados, Syrian Arab Republic, Nigeria, Moldova, Paraguay, Armenia, Guam, Azerbaijan, Qatar, El Salvador, Maldives, Bolivia, Brunei Darussalam, Kenya, Mauritius, Montenegro, Nicaragua, Oman, China, Mongolia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Yemen, Cambodia, Dominica, Gibraltar, Jersey, Aruba, Honduras, Macao, Mozambique, Uganda, Belize, Grenada, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kyrgyzstan, and where the big-time climbers climb, Nepal… it’s like a Fandom Olympics here! 

If you’ve ever been to Comic-Con in San Diego, you know what can happen when more than 100,000 like-minded people get together to do something positive–have a great time!  It may sound a bit hokey, but it ties into part of our mission that we stated here last June… to pull together all science fiction, fantasy, entertainment–all pop culture–and certainly all fans of these things, in one place.  Here’s all of you on a map:

A special shout-out goes to our dozens of subscribers who read our updates each day (and if you don’t yet and want to join in and get daily updates check out the right column of the home page any time).  And a personal thanks to Elizabeth, Art and Jason for all the great ideas, input, and all-out work.

Thanks again!

And… because we know you didn’t come here to read about us, we’re sharing the trailer for the highly anticipated time travel cop flick Looper, starring the great Bruce Willis, Joe Gordon-Levitt (a fan favorite actor who not only ushered us all into New Years’ this year, but is likely to be the busiest working actor of 2012, with key roles this year in The Dark Knight Rises and the biopic Lincoln) and Emily Blunt (who we loved in The Adjustment Bureau and The Muppets).  And did I say it has time travel?

Looper opens in September.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

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