MWF opens with Whedon

Whedon under tsunami, image courtesy Wolf Cocklin

Whedon under tsunami, image courtesy Wolf Cocklin

The Melbourne Writers Festival kicked off with Friday night’s dual keynotes and the announcement of the Age Book of the Year. The big gong went to Alex Miller’s Lovesong, but if you were to believe the geeks on the web the night belonged to a man with thinning strawberry blond hair.

From the outset questions acknowledged sci-fi writer and director Joss Whedon as god though the man himself dodged the question with “I don’t believe in me, which is actually awkward.” His crowd loved every moment of it. Over at the Book Show blog, Foz Meadows thought he spoke “like a man for whom everyday conversation is just a different sort of script; the kind of thing you can work at in your spare time, so that it comes out as effortlessly in real life as it does on screen.”

Hoist - where art and poems meet laundry

Hoist - where art and poems meet laundry

Thuy Linh Nguyen agreed that Whedon’s speech is unique because he’s “one of those comedic personalities with full-formed quips flying out of their mouths” and enjoyed the way he answered questions about if he’d ever thought about making a Sundance-style arthouse movie by saying “‘I’m a Star Wars guy.”

For Martin Pedler, Whedon’s interest in superheroes was more intriguing. Whedon “wasn’t convinced you could do a true superhero film – but also that Hollywood’s now jumped far too quickly to films like Watchmen, Kick-Ass, and Dark Knight. He wanted to enjoy more examples of ‘straight’ superhero movies before we started deconstructing them, and tearing their poor heroes apart.”

But for Gizmodo the quote of the night came from the discussion about how the internet had been so helpful developing an audience for Buffy the Vampire Slayer. They report his response as “[Adopts mock-cool voice] I just took it in my stride: you know, they invented the Internet for me. Now they use it for other stuff too.”

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