The Bobby Fischer biopic Pawn Sacrifice implies that a brilliant mind obsessed with chess is at risk for madness: the threat is that closed system of logic with a massive amount of possibilities can bring you close to some kind of edge of sanity, a rabbit hole towards a maddening peak at the true vastness of the universe. Peter Sarsgaard’s Fr. William Lombardy ominously predicts Bobby’s unraveling by recounting a story about 19th century American chess legend Paul Morphy, who also had a short and illustrious chess career followed by a life of personal failures and mental illness. But, while Bobby Fischer’s antics were highly documented, extreme and political, Paul Morphy’s supposed madness is a bit more of a myth grown larger in the shadow of Bobby Fischer’s rocky life.

Ariel is grand, but you don’t know the tale of the little mermaid until you’ve read Hans Christian Anderson’s version. His decadent and mournful twist on mermaid lore has shaped our imaginations for centuries, and shines a searing light on the pains of growing up, identity crises, and, of course, unrequited love, which can snap an indescribable place in the heart. Cloaking this particular hurt in a macabre mythological tale gets this feeling precisely right, especially if you throw in the problems of bisexuality in an especially unaccepting time.

A shadow of clowns have been haunting the pop culture landscape of late, with pranksters using social media to render real-time urban myths in Wasco, California, and American Horror Story: Freak Show featuring a dingy, murderous clown locked in a masked sardonic grin of terror. Clowns, whose main function is to amuse and entertain, didn’t always have such horrific baggage, but they have always had a bit of a dark side.
A shadow of clowns have been haunting the pop culture landscape of late, with pranksters using social media to render real-time urban myths in Wasco, California, and American Horror Story: Freak Show featuring a grim clown incarnation nodding to both real life terrors like John Wayne Gacy, and the fiction and mythos of Stephen King’s It and a urban legend about a murderous clown posing as a statue to murder a babysitter. Clowns, whose main function is to amuse and entertain, didn’t always have such horrific baggage, but they have always had a bit of a dark side.