“Cinema is fragile. It is—or was—physically fragile. And the memory of cinema is fragile as well, the very framework of our understanding of all these flickerings, the secret story that we’ve been following from Lumière and Méliès on. These titles are precious, illuminated fragments of that story. It was an honor for us to be able to restore them, and—to quote Dickens—to help recall them to life.”
“What the new study didn’t find, notably, is an association between lifespan and aging. It turns out that some species with pronounced aging (meaning those with mortality rates that increase sharply over time) live a long time, whereas others don’t. Same goes for the species that don’t age at all. Oarweed, for example, has a near-constant level of mortality over its life and lives about eight years. In contrast, Hydra, a microscopic freshwater animal, has constant mortality and lives a whopping 1,400 years.”
“Young Mark Twain’s lost gem, the universe in illustrated dioramas, Maurice Sendak’s posthumous love letter to the world, Kafka for kids, and more treats for all ages.”
“Murray and his team want to make sci-fi that dreams of new possibilities, that eschews the dark cynicism that has dominated that genre in recent years. They want to get back to the bright, garish promise of strange new worlds, and away from the gray, broken cities and the gruff space-marines.”
If Smaug were an allegory, if he represented fear or avarice, he might be something that a warrior of old could conquer. If he were a one-note fairy tale creature, like the ogre in “Puss-in-Boots,” he might be brought low by Bilbo’s flattery. But the expansion of Smaug beyond the outlines of Beowulf’s dragon or Fáfnir, into a character with a personality and intelligence makes him something more fearsome than Bilbo could ever hope to defeat. And perhaps his death is a great consequence for such a little Hobbit, but it’s something in which the readers who are thrust into the world even when they would rather be home curled up with a pipe (or their copy of The Hobbit) can find inspiration.