Two ‘Solo’–themed posts now on Medium

In honor of the theatrical release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, I’ve posted two relevant blog posts on Medium.

The first is “Other ‘Star Wars’ stories yet to be told,” a humor article detailing speculative treatments of other potential Star Wars spinoff films.

The second is my review of Solo: A Star Wars Story: “With ‘Solo,’ Star Wars rediscovers its offbeat sense of humor.” In this post, I explain how Solo follows a Star Wars tradition of placing tropes from the cultural zeitgeist through the warped mirror of the Star Wars universe.

As always, thanks for reading!

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Featured photo by Mohdammed Ali on Unsplash.

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Read “In ‘Barry,’ tragedy masquerades as comedy” on Medium

As an assassin-turned-aspiring actor, Bill Hader ‘killed it’ in Season 1 of HBO’s new comedy series, ‘Barry’.

If you watch or are interested in ‘Barry’, check out my review on Medium.

For more of my reviews and blog posts, visit https://medium.com/@harrisonblackman.

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Featured Image: Photo by Paul Garaizar on Unsplash.

 

 

 

 

 

Earth science history exhibition featured at Princeton Research Day on May 10, 2018

On May 10, 2018, I had the pleasure of presenting a poster entitled “Rocks all the way down: The earthshaking history of Princeton mineralogy” at the 3rd annual Princeton Research Day event.

Charting the history of Princeton mineral and earth science from the early American republic to today, “Rocks all the way down” showcases how mineralogy both formed the foundation and ongoing continuity of earth science at Princeton. And given Princeton’s place in several scientific revolutions over the course of the 19th and 20th centuries, it is a fundamentally important story that explains how and why we came to better understand the natural world.

The effort is part of a project funded by the Princeton University Department of Geosciences, to be eventually published in article form.

At “PRD,” it was wonderful to connect with so many members of the Princeton community in discussing the University’s rich history in the earth sciences.

You can view the poster below; featured photo is courtesy of Georgette Chalker.

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Read “‘Taos 2010’ dreams revisited” in The Taos News

In 1989, The Taos News asked residents to predict what Taos would be like 20 years into the future. Nearly three decades later, I asked them how it all turned out—and what they now hope for in the years to come. What emerges is a startling portrait of a community’s transformation over the years, and a new vision of what may be on the way.

Read my feature story in The Taos News, an all-too-brief sketch of a unique community in the Southwest.

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Image courtesy of the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives.

 

Read “The manipulative storytelling of ‘The Avengers: Infinity War'” on Medium

The Avengers: Infinity War is projected to gross $240 million nationwide its opening weekend, making for the second U.S. highest box office debut in history.

As such, it’s the movie that everyone is talking about—and so I’ve added my voice to the mix. Critics don’t always write from a screenwriting perspective, and so my take considers the storytelling challenges of a film that boasts more than 40 recognizable characters.

Check out my review of The Avengers: Infinity War on Medium. Be sure to check back here for more articles, reviews, and updates.

Thanks for reading!

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Photo by Bryan Goff on Unsplash.

Read “Westworld’s storytelling challenge” on Medium

Westworld, HBO’s sci-fi Western TV series, returns for a second season on Sunday, April 22. But Westworld has a particular problem among television dramas—the first season was structured like a puzzle box—and the same format might not be as effective the second time around.

In anticipation of the season premier, my latest post on Medium explores the storytelling choices showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy may have had to consider while writing the second season.

In doing so, I’m not trying to preemptively critique Nolan and Joy’s storytelling decisions. I’m merely laying out the storytelling challenge of Westworld to appreciate the difficult job such storytellers have. As one of my writing friends has stated—if this job was easy, then everyone would be doing it.

Check out the article here. Thanks for reading!

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Featured image by Wellington Rodrigues on Unsplash.

Read “The ‘First’ Winter Olympics: How Chamonix 1924 iced out a rival Nordic competition” on Medium

The Olympic Games.

Out of all international sporting events, those three words possess the most fanfare. They evoke tradition, history—and the symbolic flame.

But if the Olympics are inspired from an ancient Greek tradition, then how did the Winter Games—featuring hockey, skating and curling—come to be?

The answer is complicated, and it’s the subject of my latest essay on Medium: “The ‘First’ Winter Olympics: How Chamonix 1924 iced out a rival Nordic competition.” In it, you can find out about the origins of the Olympics, the Olympics’ early rivalry with the Nordic Games, and of course, the ‘first’ Winter Games.

To read more of my stories on Medium, please look at my Medium profile. You can also see an extensive list of my published stories on the “clips” page.

As always, thanks for reading.

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Image: Poster for 1901 Nordic Games. (Author unknown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)