Folklore Mondays: The ISCLR

If you’re interested in seeing what some contemporary folklorists and related scholars get up to in relation to everybody’s favorite topic (legends), the International Society for Contemporary Legend Research is a pretty cool thing. And they have a WordPress blog. Who knew.

The International Society for Contemporary Legend Research

Bright Falls (2010)

I mentioned some time ago that there was a prequel film series to Alan Wake, the pretentious but very fun video game homage to Twin Peaks and Stephen King. My sense is that the majority of readers of this blog are not gamers, so you may not have had the pleasure of marathoning (marathonning?) that game with your over-educated literarily-inclined homies like I did. That’s cool, though, because this is a prequel. So you don’t need to know anything about the game to enjoy it (at least, I don’t think you do–but do play the game, it’s pretty great).

Bright Falls is set in the eponymous Bright Falls, a fictional town in Washington State that is pretty much my idea of heaven, what with the beautiful coniferous forests, the huge tranquil lakes, and the seething demonic presence lurking in the darkness (you know, dreams, right?). It tells the story of–well, like any good prequel, it sets things up for the main event. Here’s the web series in its entirety, courtesy of YouTuber Bleeding Chips.

If you like this, definitely consider playing the game. It’s bursting with Twin Peaks goodness, and actually is fairly creepy, but in a way that totally sidesteps the horrible claustrophobic awfulness of games like Silent Hill and Fatal Frame and manages somehow to impart a weird sense of freedom and openness–probably something to do with the wide open forest setting, the judicious use of comic relief, and some damn fine coffee.