John Evans' Blog

Tag: marathon

I return!

by on Jan.29, 2007, under Uncategorized

Best…Marathon…EVER.

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I’m off!

by on Jan.27, 2007, under Uncategorized

I’m off to Boston for the weekend! Take care, all!

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The Annual LSC Sci-Fi Marathon!

by on Jan.19, 2007, under Uncategorized

That’s right, it’s time once again for the LSC Sci-Fi Marathon held at MIT! The lineup looks great this year!

* Fantastic Planet – Well, actually I have no idea about this one, but we’ll see.
* The Fifth Element – Yeah! Now this is a fun movie!
* The Dark Crystal – I’ve loved this one for years. Jim Henson does fantasy, how could you not?
* Delicatessen – What a strange and somewhat gruesome movie, but I enjoyed it when I saw it. This will be fun to watch with a college crowd.
* Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – Oh yeah, one of the best Trek movies. Kind of dark and tragic in tone, which makes me wonder why they leave it for the end. I would switch it with The Fifth Element. Ah, well.

If anyone’s in Boston and looks vaguely like a college student, I’m sure you can sneak in. I’ll be there, with my old college ID if anyone asks, but they never have.

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The Marathon

by on Feb.02, 2006, under Uncategorized

So I suppose I should write some stuff about what I did last weekend, before I forget…like how I forgot to write about meeting Jason Carter…oh well.

Anyway, I took the Fung Wah Bus from New York City’s Chinatown to Boston’s Chinatown (well, South Station, but it was pretty close to Chinatown). I rode the T to Harvard Square and wandered around a bit…It turns out Pandemonium Books (also known as pandemonium_bks) is moving from Harvard Square in March. Good timing, that; I would have been totally crushed if I had arrived at an empty storefront. It also turns out that, while Tyler Stewart knew about Vericon, a Harvard sci-fi convention, he did not know about MIT’s Sci-Fi Marathon. Odd, that.

Tokyo Kid was still there, replete with cosplayers (probably because of the aforementioned convention).

Anyway, I decided not to stop in Dado Tea, instead going to Harvest Co-Op in Central Square. Then I walked to the Student Center and took some time wandering around the basements of MIT. (It turned out the Assassins’ Guild was running some sort of game set in ancient Rome, which involved place markers taped up all around the aforementioned basements. Neat. My camera ran out of batteries taking pictures of them all…) And then it was time for the Marathon itself!

First was E. T.. I hadn’t seen it since I was very small and it gave me nightmares. From an adult perspective, I was able to appreciate it a lot more. I was surprised to see that the scientists, while somewhat sinister, were actually pretty sympathetic. It really seemed like nobody in the film was acting on base motives. (I also was able to overhear something that really amused me: “He’s got DNA! Six bases, which means 216 codons!” I felt rather pleased at knowing exactly why there would be 216. 😉 )

Next…hm, at one point there was the short film Horses on Mars, though I don’t recall if that was before or after E. T.. Oddly, that was the only short film shown; all the standard ones I was looking forward to weren’t shown. Strange. Maybe they’re trying to get everything on digital instead of actual film? Anyway, Horses on Mars is a slow-paced, thoughtful, somewhat tragic short film done with computer animation. I think it was someone’s college project. The fact that it’s tragic will be important later.

Next up, Serenity. I was completely unfamiliar with this franchise, but found it easy to understand; the film had good characterization and didn’t really seem rushed. Given the conflicting pressures of trying to create a film that people who aren’t familiar with the show would understand, I was impressed with how well it turned out. A well done film all around, though with a certain amount of violence and death. A satisfying resolution, but it came at a heavy cost. (My favorite moment: One character is trying to comfort his mentally unbalanced and currently in tears sister, as well as trying to figure out why she says the word ‘Miranda’ at odd times. “Am I…speaking to Miranda now?” She gives him a great ‘Are you a moron?’ look.)

After that was the first of two Red Dwarf episodes. After hearing that some Red Dwarf would be shown, I immediately had a guess as to which episode would be shown. I was correct. Or, perhaps I should say I was tcerroc.

After that was Twelve Monkeys, which I had seen before…in fact, I’d seen it at the Marathon before. The story starts out with the idea that 5 billion people die of a disease in 1996 and 1997…and it goes downhill from there. Well, not exactly, but it is a very dramatic and difficult movie to watch. Very well done, though, highly recommended. One thing that was new to me here was seeing how it was in Philadelphia, a city I’ve had occasion to visit several times…of course, for all I know they got it all wrong (my parents watched National Treasure and said its treatment of geography was egregious).

More Red Dwarf. “The Last Day” – Kryten’s operational lifespan runs out and his replacement comes to send him off to Silicon Heaven. The others throw him a party to celebrate his last night, which is a great scene. So that was fun.

Finally, The Empire Strikes Back. I’ve seen this before, of course, several times…I didn’t really get anything new from it, but I certainly enjoyed it. This was the special edition, which meant more CG vistas of Bespin, near as I could tell, but that was hardly invasive. The two things I came away with: The Rebels have a great talent for running a war effort on a shoestring. And, Frank Oz makes anything better.

And that was the Marathon. If you were watching closely, you’d realize that everything shown was kind of a downer. From >90% of the human race dying in Twelve Monkeys, to the large amounts of violence and death in Serenity, to Han frozen in carbonite…mmyep.

Fortunately, I was then able to spend some time recuperating at my uncle’s house in Reading (Reading? I think so, anyway it was a town north of Boston). Then on Monday I got an early bus back to NYC Chinatown…of course, I was carrying a backpack loaded down with books, so I couldn’t very well take the subway. So I walked up to Union Square, got a pecan pie at the farmer’s market (near the triskelion)…walked up to Neutral Ground on 26th St., wandered around in there for a bit, then finally walked to Penn Station and caught a train for home.

The one great thing about walking around in NYC, though…it’s well-nigh impossible to be depressed when surrounded with so much life and energy. Or maybe it was just getting exercise in the sun. Anyway, I completely recovered from all the depressing movies and felt quite good about things.

And that’s that.

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