All posts tagged: Fiction

Does science fiction shape the future?

Does science fiction shape the future?

Behind most every tech billionaire is a sci-fi novel they read as a teenager. For Bill Gates it was Stranger in a Strange Land, the 1960s epic detailing the culture clashes that arise when a Martian visits Earth. Google’s Sergey Brin has said it was Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash, the cyberpunk classic about hackers and computer viruses set in an Orwellian Los Angeles. Jeff Bezos cites Iain M. Banks’ Culture series, which unreel in an utopian society of humanoids and artificial intelligences, often orchestrated by “Minds,” a powerful AI. Elon Musk named three of SpaceX’s landing drones after starships from Banks’ books, a tribute to the role they played in turning his eyes to the stars. Part of this makes sense. Science fiction widens the frontiers of our aspirations. It introduces us to new technologies that could shape the world, and new ideas and political systems that could organize it. It’s difficult to be an architect of the future without a pioneer’s vision of what that future might look like. For many, science fiction blasts that vision open. Yet these tech titans …

Stephen review – fact blurs with fiction in powerfully raw study of addiction | Film

Stephen review – fact blurs with fiction in powerfully raw study of addiction | Film

The line between fact and fiction is thin to vanishing in this Liverpool-set experimental docudrama, a study of addiction and how it rumbles down through generations. It’s directed by visual artist Melanie Manchot and is being shown as a multiscreen installation in Cornwall as well as screening in cinemas. Manchot worked with a Liverpool recovery group, hiring members, with lived experience, as actors. At its worst the result has a bit of a workshop feel, stilted and a bit studied; there’s also expressionist dancing. But at its best, this is a painful, raw study of addiction, with a powerful, committed performance by Stephen Giddings. Giddings plays himself (or a version of himself), a recovering alcoholic and aspiring actor up for the lead in a film; the character is called Tom, a bank cashier who had problems in the past with gambling. Tom has made a fresh start with girlfriend Sarah, who’s pregnant, and together they’re buying a flat – but Tom has started betting again, and alarmingly, he’s dipping into the bank funds at work. …

‘Pulp Fiction’ Cast Reunites and Reminisces on Film’s 30th Anniversary

‘Pulp Fiction’ Cast Reunites and Reminisces on Film’s 30th Anniversary

The TCM Classic Film Festival kicked off Thursday with a 30th anniversary screening of Pulp Fiction at the TCL Chinese Theatre. Original castmembers John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman and Harvey Keitel reunited to celebrate the film, along with support from Bruce Willis’ wife, Emma, and daughter Tallulah. After making waves this week with news that he was changing course on his final film, writer and director Quentin Tarantino was absent from the event.  During a panel before the screening, Travolta described how when he first met Tarantino to discuss the film in the director’s Hollywood apartment, they bonded by playing board games from movies and TV shows that Travolta had starred in.  “He was so adorable. He had the fantasy of wanting to play the games that were associated with the films I was in — like the Saturday Night Fever game, there is a game, the Welcome Back Kotter game,” the star remembered. “He said, ‘If we play, just once in a while, just throw out a line that you would say, …

Pulp Fiction: Quentin Tarantino’s backstory of film’s most mysterious character

Pulp Fiction: Quentin Tarantino’s backstory of film’s most mysterious character

Get our free weekly email for all the latest cinematic news from our film critic Clarisse Loughrey Get our The Life Cinematic email for free Pulp Fiction fans have long wondered about the story behind the film’s most mysterious, and controversial, character. But in a 2020 interview, Quentin Tarantino, who has just scrapped plans to make his 10th – and final – film, shone a light on the backstory of the Gimp, the silent character dressed in nothing but leather bondage. His brief moment in the 1994 film, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, arrives after Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) and Marsellus Wallace (Ving Rhames) get captured by the owner and security guard of a pawn shop after their fight spills into their place of occupation. The Gimp is revealed to be a prisoner kept in their basement. Speaking to Empire, Tarantino revealed his line of thought in relation to the Gimp’s origins. “It doesn’t quite play this way in the movie, but in my mind when I wrote it, the Gimp’s dead. Butch knocked …

In Jane Smiley’s ‘Lucky,’ does good sense make good fiction?

In Jane Smiley’s ‘Lucky,’ does good sense make good fiction?

Book Review Lucky By Jane SmileyKnopf: 384 pages, $29If you buy books linked on our site, The Times may earn a commission from Bookshop.org, whose fees support independent bookstores. Toward the end of Jane Smiley’s new novel, “Lucky,” its narrator takes a moment to flip through her mother’s record collection. It’s got a lot of ’60s folk-rock, including, she notes, “the four J’s.” Presumably she means artists like Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Judy Collins and Janis Ian. But maybe one of the J’s is the narrator herself — Jodie Rattler, a moderately famous singer with a knack for writing melancholy love songs. “Lucky” is framed as a rock ’n’ roll novel, but it’s a tricky and surprising one. Smiley seems determined to upend the conventions of the genre. Rather than a tale of outsize fame and fortune — or vice-induced failure — the Jodie Rattler story is about how she … does OK, rising from backup singer to ’60s and ’70s solo act who enjoyed modest success. She rode the folk-rock boom to hit the …

Pulp Fiction cast honour Bruce Willis amid actor’s dementia diagnosis

Pulp Fiction cast honour Bruce Willis amid actor’s dementia diagnosis

Get our free weekly email for all the latest cinematic news from our film critic Clarisse Loughrey Get our The Life Cinematic email for free The cast of Pulp Fiction have honoured Bruce Willis as they reunited at an event celebrating the 30th anniversary of the cult film. The film’s stars Samuel L Jackson, Uma Thurman and John Travolta gathered at the Hollywood screening but Willis remained at home as he lives with frontotemporal dementia. His daughter Tullulah, 30, and his wife Emma Heming Willis, 45, were there to represent the actor’s involvement in the 1994 cult film, in which he played boxer Butch Coolidge. The stars in attendance at the TCM Classic Film Festival on Thursday (18 April) posed for a series of photos celebrating the Tarantino film. They were joined by other cast members including Rosanna Arquette, Phil LaMarr, Julia Sweeney, Frank Whaley, and Eric Stoltz. In Willis’s absence, his daughter Tallulah honoured him by wearing a black baseball cap with “Bruce” embroidered in white letters. Emma, who has been married to Willis …

Uma Thurman Reacts to Reuniting With ‘Pulp Fiction’ Cast 30 Years Later (Exclusive)

Uma Thurman Reacts to Reuniting With ‘Pulp Fiction’ Cast 30 Years Later (Exclusive)

For Uma Thurman, being in the same room as her Pulp Fiction co-stars 30 years later feels momentous.  Talking with ET’s Cassie DiLaura from the 30th anniversary screening of the cult classic at the TCM Classic Film Festival on Thursday, the 53-year-old Kill Bill actress shared her excitement and gratitude at reuniting with her cast members from the Quentin Tarantino flick, including John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson.  “It’s fantastic,” Thurman said on the carpet, where she also snapped pictures with Travolta, Jackson and Harvey Keitel. “It’s a historic and a totally moving and touching thing.” Uma Thurman and John Travolta at the TCM Classic Film Festival on April 18. – Getty Images Thurman — who played the iconic character Mia Wallace in the 1994 release — added, “It’s wonderful to have the movie remembered and thought of tonight.” The film — which scored a total of seven Oscar nominations, including a nod for Thurman in the Best Supporting Actress category — also starred Bruce Willis who was not in attendance but was represented by his wife, Emma …

JOURNEYS TO HUMANISM | Dissecting Truth from Fiction through Music

JOURNEYS TO HUMANISM | Dissecting Truth from Fiction through Music

Journeys to Humanism, theHumanist.com’s regular series, features real stories from humanists in our community. From heartwarming narratives of growth, to more difficult journeys, our readers open up about their experiences coming to humanism. Kevin McKinneySalunga, PA I just want to give heavy metal music the props it deserves. As a kid, I only saw my father every other weekend and stopped going to church after my parents divorced when I was ten years old. Music became my role model and father figure. During this time, in the 1980s, a lot of that music was being banned and shunned. Music helped me open my eyes to the rest of the world’s views on religion. To me, there were a lot of religious teachings and more that didn’t match up to the reality of the world. Music dissected the truth from fiction. Some of the more “out in left field” music—like satanic bands, death metal, etc.—were a perfect balance to the outright uptightness and aloofness of most of the religious ways of thinking about modern life. The …

How Much Of Netflix’s Scoop Actually Happened? Separating Fact From Fiction

How Much Of Netflix’s Scoop Actually Happened? Separating Fact From Fiction

The aftermath of Prince Andrew’s infamous Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis reverberated around the world when it first aired in November 2019. Almost five years later, the saga was recently adapted for a Netflix film starring Sex Education’s Gillian Anderson, Rufus Sewell, Keeley Hawes and Billie Piper as the key players. The first frame in Scoop is a text disclaimer that reads: “This film is based on real events – however certain events have been fictionalised for dramatic purposes.” Because it’s based on recent real events, many viewers have been left questioning which details included in the film are based on fact, and which have been dramatised. Read on for the truth behind the film’s biggest talking points… Prince Andrew’s teddy bears Prince Andrew and his teddy bears as depicted in Scoop Did Prince Andrew really have a teddy bear collection? It’s such a bizarre detail in the film, that it has to be true – which it apparently is. Two years ago, former Buckingham Palace maid Charlotte Briggs told The Sun that she was …

60 Best Podcasts (2024): True Crime, Culture, Science, Fiction

60 Best Podcasts (2024): True Crime, Culture, Science, Fiction

Podcasts are to radio as streaming services are to television, and we are lucky enough to be living through the golden age of both. You can find a podcast about almost anything these days, but with great choice comes great mediocrity—you might need a helping hand to find the podcasts worthy of your ear. Our expertly curated list will entertain and educate you, whether you’re doing the dishes, working out, commuting, or lazing in the bath. For more advice, check out our guides on how to listen to more podcasts and the best podcasts for kids. If you’re feeling entrepreneurial, read our recommendations on the gear you need to start a podcast. Updated April 2024: We added several podcasts, including Ologies, The Food Chain, and Bandsplain, plus a new music section. We’ve also removed links to Google’s recently shuttered podcast app. Table of Contents Special offer for Gear readers: Get WIRED for just $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com, full Gear coverage, and subscriber-only newsletters. Subscriptions help fund the work we do …