Indeed, books are still being banned in this country in the year 2017. This, Shakespeare’s never-ending influence, and more – all here in our Daily Blunt.
The furor over a Mexican American Studies course expunged by schools in Tucson, Arizona, has finally landed in court, and the books to which they have tried to prevent students’ exposure have become a matter of public record. At the heart of this skirmish are titles like Rudolfo A. Anaya’s Bless Me Ultima, Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street, and Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Though a majority of the district’s students are Latino, schools are forbidden from teaching them about their heritage due to laws imposed in 2010 banning material that might “promote resentment toward a race or class of people” (in this case, white people). The books are currently available to classrooms by special request, though the curriculum has been scrapped — pending the outcome of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Shakespeare remains evergreen not just because of his themes and genius with words, but because of the authors who keep creating new works inspired by his plays. The Guardian has drafted a list of ten Shakespearian stories in modern fiction, somehow omitting Margaret Atwood’s The Heart Goes Last (a dystopian tribute to A Midsummer Night’s Dream) but making up for it with a nod to Jane Smiley’s King Lear update A Thousand Acres, which is responsible for getting Jessica Lange, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Jennifer Jason Leigh on the same screen together.
Neil Marshall has huge shoes to fill as the heir to the Hellboy movie franchise, and is doing his best to appease Guillermo Del Toro fans with assurances that the new film(s) will be headed in an altogether new direction. In addition to confirming his version will be rated R, on a recent podcast, Marshall disclosed: “It’s definitely going to be as practical as we can possibly make it. I love to do stuff in camera whenever I possibly can, and use CG as the amazing tool that it is, to enhance or expand upon the world, but not to use it to replace reality, when you can do it (for) real.” That’s no slam on Del Toro’s version, which was creative and effective in its deployment of computerized special effects, but should hopefully signal to fans that an entirely new experience is headed their way.
Having racked up a kajillion movies (and introduced nearly as many characters), the time has come for Marvel to actually let some of them die. The studio has announced that their upcoming “Infinity Wars” movie will be the last dance for some central figures in their cinematic universe, and Nerdist is already taking bets, ranking heroes by their “killability.” Iron Man and Captain America are at the top of their list, for reasons related to narrative impact; what’s the point of killing characters that fans aren’t terribly invested in? Why pick on Vision, just because the writers don’t know what to do with him? It will be interesting to check back here in a year or so and see if any of these predictions have borne fruit.