Has anyone ever spoiled the ending of a book to you and it made you so mad you wanted to kill them? Well, a Russian scientist at a remote Antarctic outpost tried to do just that. According to the New York Post, researcher Sergey Savitsky, stationed at Bellingshausen on King George Island, stabbed his colleague in the chest because the man kept telling him the endings of books before he had read them.
The Russian Bellingshausen station in Antarctica | Image Via The Irish Times
It was apparently the first ever attempted murder of a human being in Antarctica, and it’s not immediately clear what books Sergey was reading the endings of which were so precious to him that spoilers led to extreme violence. The victim is expected to survive, and has been flown to a hospital in Chile.
The two men had worked together for four years in the hostile Antarctic conditions, and the close working conditions probably didn’t help their relationship. Sergey himself was taken back to Russia and arrested. Presumably, he’ll have plenty of books to read in prison, hopefully this time spoiler free.
You may already know all about David Morrell, the legendary bestselling author of First Blood(the 1972 novel that the entire Rambofranchise is based on.) What you may not know, however, is that Rambo actually had a pretty big part in dissolving the USSR.
David Morrell and Sylvester Stallone | Image via IMDB
Now, Morrell (AKA: Rambo’s Father) hadn’t actually set-out to achieve something so historic; he never could’ve known the power his words might hold while he was putting them on the page. And he didn’t actually learn about Rambo’s involvement in the dismantling of the Soviet Union until about fifteen-or-so-years after the initial Rambo adaptation was released.
At Thrillerfest this past weekend, Morrell recounted the story of how Rambo‘s influence in Poland came to his attention.
During the early 2000’s, Morrell was visiting Poland on a book tour and noticed straight away that he was being treated, well, differently…
Image Via davidmorrell.net
The flag that maybe things weren’t exactly as they seemed was that Morrell was visiting Poland at the same time as then-President Bill Clinton, and they happened to be staying in the same hotel. Despite the fact that the literal President of the United States was currently staying there, David Morrell was the one the hotel staff decided to place inside the Presidential Suite; Bill Clinton stayed in the second-best room, the suite usually left for authors.
Morrell thought that this was strange, but assumed that maybe there was a glitch in the system or something, so he didn’t really think too much about it…that is, until things got even stranger…
The next clue was that, like clockwork, journalists were lining up to interview and speak with him, just one after the other in a seemingly-never-ending cycle:
It seemed like fifteen minutes would go by before a new journalist approached me…it got to the point where, eventually, I was being interviewed by this nice Polish woman, about thirty-five years old or so…and I just asked her, ‘what’s going on? why is everyone so excited to meet me?’
The woman informed Morrell that, during the late eighties and early nineties, while Poland was struggling to cut-ties with Russia, the Soviet Union had banned the Rambo film from entering the country. So, the people did what any citizens trapped within the confines of a fascist-ruled state would do; they smuggled copies of the film into the country, hosted illegal viewings, and soaked up every bit of activism, justice, and rebellion they could, before taking to the streets.
In fact, demonstrators speaking out against the USSR found Rambo so inspiring that they drew from his speeches, wardrobe, and the entire energy he encompassed to make their protests that much more powerful.
The journalist looked at Morrell and stated,
So, you see, people love you here because Rambo helped dissolve the USSR.
It’s incredible just how powerful books and films can be, and the influence art can have on us; people have used music, novels, artwork, poetry, and more to protest injustices since the beginning of time.
So, let’s all take a piece of advice from David Morrell by creating the things we feel compelled to create, fearlessly and without a second-thought; we never know just how important they may turn out to be.
Saoirse Ronan is going from strength to strength these days. After getting her big break as Bryony in the 2007 adaptation of Ian McEwan’s Atonement, the Irish born actress has gone on to star in numerous critically acclaimed book adaptations, most notably Brooklyn, based on the novel by Colm Tóibín, for which she was nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards. She received the nomination again this year for her role in Ladybird, but that wasn’t an adaptation, so nevermind. Up next for her is an adaptation of Russian playwright Anton Chekhov’s play The Seagull, which honestly looks like a lot of fun.
As Variety notes, The Seagull is a “period piece set in the 1800s that follows the comically intertwining love affairs between family members and their visitors at their lakeside Russian estate.”
It also stars The Handmaid’s Tale Elisabeth Moss, Billy Howle, John Tenney, Mare Winningham and Brian Dennehy. Aesthetically, the piece looks beautiful, as well promising to be funny, moving and a little over the top.
The author of Crime and Punishment, The Idiotand The Brothers Karamazov, among others, kicked the bucket many moons ago, but his words are immortal and thank goodness for that. My favorite quote of his is “Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment.” I will try to rid myself of my constant sense of bewilderment in your honor, Fyodor.
1. If there is no God, everything is permitted.
2. To live without hope is to cease to live.
3. The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
4. The soul is healed by being with children.
5. Beauty is mysterious as well as terrible. God and devil are fighting there, and the battlefield is the heart of man.
6. What is hell? I maintain that it is the suffering of being unable to love.
7. Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.
8. Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid.
9. Men do not accept their prophets and slay them, but they love their martyrs and worship those whom they have tortured to death.
10. We sometimes encounter people, even perfect strangers, who begin to interest us at first sight, somehow suddenly, all at once, before a word has been spoken.
I love a technicality, and technically, Anastasia has become a Disney princess. On Thursday, Disney announced it had struck a deal to acquire Fox for $52.4 billion. Following the deal, most people have focused on the steps towards a Disney monopoly like no other: the merger means all the characters within the pages of Marvel Comics are finally under one cinematic roof. The merger also means that Anastasia, the heroine from the 1997 film of the same name, is officially a Disney princess.
Despite always feeling like she should be a Disney princess, the movie came out of 20th Century Fox’s animation studios and could never really be on your list of favorite princesses, until now. I’m psyched to add her to my list of favorites, but the issue now is exactly where on that list she’ll land. She’s kind of a badass, you know.
Image via HelloGiggles
My favorite Disney princess has always been Mulan, but with this news, I’m not sure how solid that ranking is. Mulan and Anastasia have a lot in common, they’re two of the earliest examples of self-sufficient princesses who seek out their own adventures rather than just search for a prince to marry or stumble into trouble and expect a man to save them. These are the princesses that paved the way for stories with strong role models like Tiana, Rapunzel, Merida, or Moana.
Gif via We Heart It
If you’re still on the fence, let’s talk about our newest Disney prince, Dimitri. As a child, he selflessly saves Anastasia and her grandmother. As an adult, he’s a con man with a heart of gold who looks damn good in a tux and can waltz with the best of them. Oh yeah, and did I mention he was voiced by John Cusack? Oops, probably should’ve mentioned that first.
And then there’s the villain of the story – Rasputin! He’s such a creep in such a lovely, historically accurate way.
Gif via College Humor
Seriously, this movie should be working its way to the top of your list, if it isn’t already.