Tag Archives: vampire

10 Manic Pixie Dream Girls From Film Adaptations of Novels

5 Jul
This post was inspired in part by Laurie Penny’s amazing article from the New Statesman earlier this week, and the equally thought-provoking response from Hazel of Freaky Trigger.

The MPDG is, by very definition, the girl of your dreams. She first became a trope thanks to Nathan Rabin’s review of Elizabethtown, in which he defined a Manic Pixie Dream Girl as “that bubbly, shallow cinematic creature that exists solely in the fevered imaginations of sensitive writer-directors to teach broodingly soulful young men to embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures” – but she has existed in one form or another long before he ever coined the phrase.

We saw her in the fifties, when she manifested herself as Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief, and Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot. In the sixties she was Jean Seberg in Breathless. As the decades roll on, see also: Maggie Gyllenhaal in Stranger than Fiction, Natalie Portman in Garden State, and every character Zooey Deschenal has ever played – ever. Kate Winslet’s character Clementine in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind acknowledges the archetype and kind of rejects the label (“Too many guys think I’m a concept, or I complete them, or I’m gonna make them alive. But I’m just a fucked-up girl who’s lookin’ for my own peace of mind; don’t assign me yours“) – but ultimately, she’s MPDG incarnate.

If you want a better definition of what exactly a Manic Pixie Dream Girl’s role is, this Feminist Frequency video sums it up pretty succinctly:

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Ten Books that Should Have be Written

17 Jun

I’m always saying how authors should be writing less alienating female characters, or improving their inclusion of minorities, or just generally writing, say, better vampire fiction. For his 100 Days project, graphic designer Tyler Adam Smith has come up with his own concepts for books that should be, or should have been, written. I’ve put together my top ten – publishing houses, take note.

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Top 5 Fictional Fathers in Literature

19 Jun

Happy Fathers’ Day! To mark the occasion, I have compiled a list of five of the greatest fathers in literature. Here they are, in no particular order. [May contain spoilers]

1.Myron Krupnik – Anastasia Krupnik series, Lois Lowry

Myron is a bearded poet and professor who likes nothing better than a New York Times crossword or conducting classical music in his living room with his eyes closed. He keeps his manuscripts in the fridge (so they won’t burn down if the house does), and if that’s not bad-ass then I don’t know what is. He is an excellent father to his children Anastasia and Sam, and a loving husband to artist Katherine.

2.Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee

Atticus is incapable of acting against his convictions, and conducts himself with a quiet dignity while imparting important moral lessons to his children Jem and Scout. When his sister wants to fashion tomboy Scout into a ‘proper young woman,’ Atticus reassures her that “he didn’t mind [her] much the way [she] was” and proceeds to buy her an air rifle for Christmas. What a dude.

3.Saetan SaDiablo – Black Jewels Trilogy, Anne Bishop

For a father, Saetan SaDiablo is one sexy mutha. In Bishop’s Black Jewels Trilogy, which many of you may be unfamiliar with but which I cannot recommend enough, he is the High Lord of Hell, High Priest of the Hourglass, and Warlord Prince of Dhemlan. One hell of a CV, amirite? Saeten is Jaenelle’s spiritual and adoptive father, teaching her in earnest, and is also Daemon and Lucivar’s dad. Though he is one of the most powerful men in the novels, Saetan is happy to serve in his daughter’s court.

4.Calvin’s dad – Calvin & Hobbes, Bill Watterson

Initially criticised for being too sarcastic, Calvin’s father evolved to become somewhat more demonstrative of his love for his son as the strip progressed over the years. Because after all, in his own words, “Being a parent means wanting to hug and strangle your kid at the same time.”

I love Calvin’s dad for his ability to explain away every harrowing experience as ‘character building,’ and for his outlandish answers to his son’s simple questions — like why babies come from (Sears, obviously), or where the sun goes when it sets.

5.Lestat de Lioncourt and Louis de Pointe du Lac – The Vampire Chronicles, Anne Rice

Like many couples who find themselves in a failing relationship, vampires Lestat and Louis decide to have a child to stay together. Lestat ‘fathers’ young Claudia, which in Anne Rice world means ‘biting her neck til she dead.’ They play happy families for about 60 years, which isn’t really bad at all… but then little Claudia tries to kill him, which is kind of an ungrateful trade considering he bestowed her with eternal life and all.

Perhaps these two are not as moral and upstanding as the rest of this list, but they are Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise so who really cares?

And here are some dads that didn’t quite make the cut:

  • The Comedian, Watchmen. ‘Cause Laurie’s father’s a dick.
  • King Hamlet, Hamlet. Don’t tell your son to avenge your death, that boy has no clue what he’s doing and he’s going to go to the Elephant Graveyard anyway beside.
  • Lucius Malfoy, Harry Potter series. Give the elf a fuggin sock already.
  • James Piper, Fall on Your Knees. Not cool to father your own granddaughter, James. Noooot coool.
  • Nathan Price, The Poisonwood Bible. “oh hai let’s all move to the Belgian Congo and be missionaries lol”

Have I missed anyone? Let me know in the comments section!