Greetings and salutations! Here are my final recommended articles for 2018.
Ivan Burkta at 25YL traced Wes Craven’s journey from New Nightmare to Scream on the 21st:
“Back in 1996, Scream single-handedly redefined the slasher genre and revitalized horror—which was lagging at the box office in the early ’90s—with its metafictional, deconstructionist approach to the narrative. But it might not have happened without a film that came out two years prior and seemed to have flown under the radar: Wes Craven’s New Nightmare.”
Also on the 21st, Byron Burton explored the making of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm over at The Hollywood Reporter:
“On Dec. 25, 1993, it truly was Christmas with the Joker.
That day marked the theatrical release of Warner Bros.’ Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, an animated film with the voice talent and art deco design of the Batman: The Animated Series. It overcame a rushed production, a nearly nonexistent marketing campaign and its director losing her job title midway through to become what’s now considered one of The Dark Knight’s finest film entries.”
Another from the 21st. Jen Chaney looked back on the premiere Christmas episode of The Simpsons at Vulture:
“It was a watershed moment that felt like one while it was happening, and seems even more significant in retrospect. As Fox prepares to re-air the episode Sunday night in its original form as part of the network’s 30th anniversary celebration of the series, it’s worth pausing to remember why the yuletide premiere of The Simpsons was so important.”
On the 22nd, Darryn King took us inside the making of Home Alone‘s fake gangster movie for Vanity Fair:
“As far as beloved family Christmas movies go, Angels with Filthy Souls is an unlikely one: a gritty, noirish gangster flick in which a crow-voiced curmudgeon abruptly unleashes a blaze of gunfire on his unsuspecting victim.
Even more unlikely, since it doesn’t exist.”
Also on the 22nd, Corey Irwin chose the best song on every Pearl Jam album at Alternative Nation:
“While that landmark LP may be the barometer all other Pearl Jam albums are compared to, it’s far from the band’s only record with great songs. The group has been the model of consistency over its lifespan; the Pearl Jam catalog is filled with massive radio hits, sentimental fan favorites and even the occasional foray into experimental sounds. All of these factors make choosing the best song from each of their albums a difficult task.”
Karen Swallow Prior explained what Pride and Prejudice teaches readers at The Atlantic on the 24th:
“Throughout her novels, Austen satirizes both literary works and readers that represent two kinds of excess: those that are overly moralizing, and those that are overly romanticized. Shallow, pietistic, or narcissistic readers such as Isabella Thorpe, Mr. Collins, Sir Walter Elliot, and even, initially, Catherine Morland, are blind to the power of good books to offer both instruction and delight. Austen’s wisest, most admirable characters are those who turn to books for knowledge of things outside themselves—truths about the human nature common to us all. For these readers, among them Anne Elliot and Elizabeth Bennet, good character is cultivated in learning to read literature, other people, and oneself well.”
Finally, on the 27th, Anne T. Donahue asked why women on drama series have no friends over at Marie Claire:
“I get that isolation is part of the appeal. Amidst the genre’s stories about real problems and legacy hauntings and the end-of-days and the threat of constant psychological warfare, there isn’t a lot of time to cultivate a vibe with someone who exists outside the misery marathon.”
And a happy new year!