Friday, February 1, 2013

Pantomime Blog Tour: Laura Lam Talks Movies

Thanks to the lovely Kenda for a great button!

I'm very, very excited to be a part of the blog tour for Laura Lam's 2013 debut Pantomime, which releases February 5.

For anyone not in the know about this book (which should change now - go read the blurb on Goodreads!), Pantomime centers around a circus. It also has other great themes, like gender and societal roles. And Laura Lam was awesome enough to talk to us today about some of her favorite movies that share similar themes with Pantomime.

Below is a list of ten films I’ve enjoyed that tie into Pantomime’s themes. Some tie in quite clearly and others are a little more obscure, but I wanted to make sure I chose films I liked :).


1. Water for Elephants. This one probably has the most overt similarities to Pantomime. It's set in a circus, though in Depression Era America versus my secondary world. The ringmaster can be unpredictable. Everyone's hiding from something and the circus is a magical but at times brutal place.
2. Wings of Desire. A German film about two angels who watch over Berlin. One falls in love with a trapeze artist and desires to be human so he can be with her. It's been called a modern fairy tale about the nature of being alive. Pantomime is all about finding one's place in the world, and though I have no angels, I do have aerialists.


1. As You Like It (2006). I had to include this as the pantomime woven through R.H. Ragona's features crossdressing characters and some of the lines are in iambic pentameter. This version is also set in a Japanese Victorian era, with a diverse cast. Also, I love that the movie poster looks a little bit like my cover.
2. Boys Don't Cry. A sad, heartbreaking film about a FTM trans teen trying to fit in small-town America. Beautifully done. My book is not quite as dark as this, though it has its dark moments for certain.
3. Shakespeare in Love. This film also embraces similar things, from gender to the lives of the actors behind the theatrics.
4. Mulan. The first film I saw with a girl disguising herself as a boy to prove that she can do anything a boy can. I haven't watched it in years but it used to be one of my favourite Disney films.
5. Let the Right One In (Swedish version). This is a dark coming of age tale. I love both the book and the Swedish version. The American version is all right, but I'm dismayed that they completely left out the gender exploration which was an important plot point.


1. The Breakfast Club. At first glance, a 1980s John Hughes movie doesn't seem to have that much in common with a book about a circus set in a pseudo-Victorian society. But the disparate group forced together in the confines of the library for detention reminds me a bit of the circus. Bender is a clown and Claire a pampered star performer, for instance. They're all forced together in the outskirts of society (the circus), and learn to get along (after a period of hazing each other).
2. Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth Bennett stands out in society, and doesn't seem overly concerned about marriage. Take Elizabeth Bennett and make her a tomboy, and you get a bit of Gene. But while Elizabeth eventually finds true love and settles down into her role in society, Gene doesn't.
3. Fingersmith. This is a mini-series as opposed to a film, but I really enjoyed this one. It's set in the Victorian era, and both of the main characters are wrapped in hidden identities and secrets, and changing their social station and finding love in unlikely places.

Thanks for the awesome guest post, Laura! Doesn't it make you guys all want to read this book EVEN MORE?!

Make sure to pick up a copy of Pantomime when it releases on Tuesday! And you can check out Laura Lam online at the following locations:

Laura Lam was raised near San Francisco, California, by two former Haight-Ashbury hippies. Both of them encouraged her to finger-paint to her heart’s desire, colour outside of the lines, and consider the library a second home. This led to an overabundance of daydreams.

She relocated to Scotland to be with her husband, whom she met on the internet when he insulted her taste in books. She almost blocked him but is glad she didn’t. At times she misses the sunshine.