Conventional Happiness

Becoming really impressed with the organisation of this year’s Eastercon to be honest, and that’s before it even happens. Not only have they released a smart phone app that allows you to keep track of everything that’s going (and even reminds you about programme items you really wanted to see if you ask it nicely), but they’ve made serious inroads into reinstating a substantial film programme.

When I first started going to Eastercon there was always a room somewhere that showed movies or TV episodes – old SF favourites, cult classics and selected rarities that in the pre-internet days, were genuine rarities. My first Eastercon in 1994, I remember being at a loose end sometime after midnight one night and taking a chance on whatever was just about to start in the film room. It turned out to be the awesome Cast A Deadly Spell (you know, the one with 1940s private eye called Lovecraft… it’s still one of my favourite movies).

Over the years, possibly due to issues of broadcast rights or possibly due to the ease with which punters were suddenly able to download whatever they want to watch on a whim, the media programme seemed to dwindle in popularity, but this year it seems to be back with the proverbial wallop. The programme offers a nice spread of media offerings, from blockbusters to more select curios, including a selection of short films presented by Sci-Fi London, the film of Steve Aylett’s Lint (starring Aylett, Alan Moore, Josie Long, Stewart Lee … and Jeff Vandermeer(???)), and–the reason all of this has got me excited enough to blog about it, because I’m sure this is going to be someone’s Cast A Deadly Spell moment–the upliftingly joyful, all-singing, Japanese zombie musical, The Happiness Of The Katakuris.

For me, this is what conventions are for. If you’re feeling a bit talked out on Sunday night, grab a couple of beers and join me.

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