MT VOID 05/19/23 -- Vol. 41, No. 47, Whole Number 2276

MT VOID 05/19/23 -- Vol. 41, No. 47, Whole Number 2276

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05/19/23 -- Vol. 41, No. 47, Whole Number 2276

Table of Contents

      Co-Editor: Mark Leeper, Co-Editor: Evelyn Leeper, Sending Address: All material is copyrighted by author unless otherwise noted. All comments sent or posted will be assumed authorized for inclusion unless otherwise noted. To subscribe or unsubscribe, send mail to The latest issue is at An index with links to the issues of the MT VOID since 1986 is at

Mini Reviews, Part 23 (film reviews by Mark R. Leeper and Evelyn C. Leeper):

This is the twenty-third batch of mini-reviews, all films of the fantastic:

MASTER (2022): MASTER is a surprisingly effective story with high production values. We start out wondering, "Is this a ghost story? A polemic? Or what?" The answer is gradually revealed, with some surprising turns. While "Master" may make people initially think of slavery, here it refers to the position in a fictional college (Ancaster, "The College on the Hill") that is filled by one of the three Black women who form the primary characters. (The three actresses--Regina Hall, Zoe Renee, and Amber Gray--give excellent performances.) And the Master in the film is discovered to be very different from the Master in slavery. [-mrl/ecl]

Released theatrically 18 March 2022. Rating: low +2 (-4 to +4) or 7/10

Film Credits:

What others are saying:

M3GAN (2023): M3GAN is about a robot in the form of a young girl that's almost human. Mark was reminded of DEADLY FRIEND; I thought of the "Twilight Zone" episode "Talking Tina". There's a nasty high-tech boss, and some other additions, and this is clearly science fiction rather than fantasy, but it really is nothing new. [-ecl]

Released theatrically on 6 January 2023; available on DVD. Rating: +1 (-4 to +4), or 6/10.

Film Credits:

What others are saying:

AI LOVE YOU (2022): AI LOVE YOU is a United States/Thai science fiction film which predates the current A.I. craze by about a year. It has elements of HER, but the basic premise is not that of a robot imitating a human, but that of an AI somehow downloading itself *into* a human. This film is set in a city where AI controls all the buildings, and one AI falls in love with a human and manages to download itself into a human AI tech so that he can try to win her. Most of the humor is the AI trying to learn how to be a human; one can see influences of Data from "Star Trek" (and even Mr. Spock). Interesting more as showing a world in which AI is ubiquitous and for the humor than as a look at a relationship between a human and an AI.

(One should distinguish between a relationship between a human and a disembodied AI, and one between a human and a robot or android AI. HER is the former; EX MACHINA is the latter.) [-ecl]

Released streaming on Netflix 22 February 2022. Rating: low +2 (-4 to +4), or 7/10.

Film Credits:

What others are saying:

Similar Words (letter of comment by Gary McGath):

In response to John Hertz's comments on Vladimir Nabakov's comments on the difference between a thing's cosmic significance, and its comic significance being a single sibilant in the 05/12/23 issue of the MT VOID, Gary McGath writes:

Much like the difference between the Italian words for winter (inverno) and Hell (inferno). [-gmg]

Evelyn adds:

The worst typo in English may be "now" for "not" (or vice versa), though dropping a letter from "public" is right up there. [-ecl]

THE WICKER MAN (letters of comment by Paul Dormer and Scott Dorsey):

In response to Evelyn's comments on MIDSOMMAR and Britt Ekland in THE WICKER MAN in the 05/12/23 issue of the MT VOID, Paul Dormer writes:

Apparently a body double was used for Ekland. [-pd]

Scott Dorsey responds:

Whoever that body double is, they deserve an Oscar. [-sd]

Paul replies:

According to the IMDb, it was a stripper from Glasgow. [-pd]

Evelyn notes:

The IMDb also claims she is Lorraine Peters (II), who is credited as "Girl on Grave". She is *not* the Lorraine Peters with many acting credits to her name. [-ecl]

This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper):

I've been re-listening to John Searle's UCB course on the philosophy of language, available through Open Culture.

Early on, Searle describes the five types of "illocutionary acts": assertive (statements), directive (telling the listener to perform an action), commissive (committing the speaker to an action), expressive (expressing the mental state of the speaker), and declaration (brining into existence the state of affairs to which it refers). And for each of these Searle gave several examples of common verbs or sentences in that category.

But Searle seems to have run afoul of Catholic theology at least twice.

For example, for declaration, his examples included, "I now pronounce you man and wife," "I declare this meeting adjourned," and "You're fired". But when Searle went to speak in Italy, he was firmly warned *not* to use the first example, because serious Catholics believe only God can marry people, and so saying "I now pronounce you man and wife" has no effect. (Similarly, the Pope does not make someone a saint; he merely recognizes a person's sainthood, which is determined only by God.)

When Searle spoke at Notre Dame University, a listener asked which category prayers fell into. Searle's first reaction was that they were directives ("Give us this day our daily bread"). But the listener was adamant that this was wrong; one couldn't direct God to do anything ("Give us this day our daily bread ... or else"). [-ecl]

                                          Mark Leeper

Quote of the Week:

          This will never be a civilized country until we expend 
          more money for books than we do for chewing gum.
                                        --Elbert Hubbard

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