cimorene: (call ikea)
Actually, the media I've most enjoyed consuming recently was The Prisoner, the classic British weird/genre series from 1967. I had never heard of it until an anniversary post came across my Tumblr dashboard, and I looked it up and was intrigued by the article's comments about its seminalness and aesthetics, so I watched it (it's all on YouTube, and it's only got 17 episodes).

I mean, what little [personal profile] waxjism saw she couldn't even stand, because of the changing television conventions since the 1960s - everything that old seems hokey to her. I like things from that period, though - I grew up on second wave sff that was mostly written in the 60s-70s and watched a fair amount of Nick at Nite for a while. And seeing it and recognizing its seminal quality from the bits of it I'd seen elsewhere was really cool, but it was also SO AESTHETIC (which was hilarious enough to have entertained me all on its own, but it actually was nice, too) and SO CONCEPTUAL (another thing that's very characteristic of the period, but at the end it goes even further off the rails than late season 3 Star Trek TOS, which is really saying something, and then goes even more Allegorical and Symbological in the final episode than CS Lewis) that it was fully worth watching on that basis.

My favorite part was how much the SUPER 60s interiors could have basically come right off a present day interior design blog. That, and how within the context of 60s mid-century modernism, Finnish & Scandinavian bleeding-edge modernist design from the 1930s is associated with the most sinisterly ~high-tech~ Bond villain stuff (when it's actually older than mid-century modernism, I mean).

That was more than a month ago, though. I was just thinking about it the other day when we were talking about all the things we've watched in the past few months - other than the hockey, it's been mostly filled up with [personal profile] waxjism's horrible movies and my rewatching Lewis when she's not around. When I finish that and the rest of the Morseverse I still need to finish my Poirot rewatch too.

Although! We forgot to mention that we watched Kinky Boots! It was good and I did really enjoy it, but the shoehorned in heteronormativity was very disappointing. I mean, even in a landmark drag queen film with the beautiful and talented Chiwetel Ejiofor - and a film that is about adulthood, father figures, finding oneself, and plotwise about creativity and a struggling small business - what about this said to anyone that it would benefit from, or needed, a het romance stuck into it? Or any romance, actually? Like, there were two main male roles, and they like each other and work together, but they didn't really have a dangerously romantic interaction or anything that needed to be leavened??? And it's not like the whole thing was boring and they needed another B-plot. On the contrary, there was barely time for the romance.
cimorene: (yo)
TV
  • The Mindy Project: [tumblr.com profile] witchshaming has been posting stuff about this show for a few years and I kept meaning to get around to it. Noticed it was on HBO streaming recently and watched the first season. I like it a lot, although it does do some of those American Sitcom Genre things that I usually can't stand and it's not as politically righteous and emotionally healthy as Brooklyn 99, my previous sole exception. I do worry that if the 'ust' keeps up, it will get really old fast.


  • Westworld: Been over this with Dollhouse. You couldn't pay me to watch it. [personal profile] waxjism and her brother evinced interest though.


  • World Cup of Hockey: We watched most of it. I think we only skipped the games that were going to be too depressing, like Finland being crushed. A lot of knitting got done. I always cheer for the goalie - whichever goalie is onscreen at the time, so I'm incapable of actually not cheering for both teams in a match, ultimately. I'm surprised people aren't writing Auston Matthews/Connor McDavid yet, which seemed plausibly like the whole reason Team North America even existed. I'm also utterly charmed by Halak (THE HERO WE NEEDED) and Kopitar and angry that their regular teams are ugh. Halak, Price, and Bobrovsky were the real MVPs, obviously.


Movies
  • Inside Out: it was funny and enjoyable, but it was ruined for me because I just couldn't let the metaphor go, and the metaphor really doesn't make all that much sense. I kept shouting questions at the tv like "SO IF SHE'S SADNESS, IS SHE SAD OR HAPPY ABOUT THINGS BEING SAD???" and "Wait, the entire value structure of her personality was destroyed at age 8 by one unfortunate conversation????" and then Wax would be like "Stop asking questions!"


  • Finding Dory in the theater. Loved it. I cried at one point, which I haven't done in the theater since ROTK. Hilariously, it is actually set BEFORE my Finding Nemo slash fic, so it doesn't completely get jossed even, although it would need some tweaking to match up.


  • The recent remake of Total Recall. So bad that we had to pause it a few times because I was so loudly incensed. It's been a long time since I saw such an egregiously inadequate movie. Wow. Somewhat curious about the original now.


  • Wax decided to watch all the terrible movies (of the right kind of terrible) she could find so she watched a bunch of things with ghosts including the movie where Daniel Craig met Rachel Weisz, which was awful but no doubt fun to make, and one thing where Paul Bettany is some kind of rogue angel in the zombie apocalypse. And then she decided to watch all the ones she could find about the financial crisis, and one of those had Paul Bettany too.


Books
  • Golden Age Detective Fiction: Continuing my project to explore the less-well-known contemporaries of Christie and Sayers. I already tried Patricia Wentworth (thumbs DOWN) and S.S. Van Dine's Philo Vance (enjoyable but a bit airporty) and Margery Allingham's Campion (I got through 1½ books, then tried to start 3 other ones, including later and highly-rated ones, but I just couldn't keep going). Next up was Ngaio Marsh's Inspector Alleyn stuff: I read about five of them and found them very readable, but I got tripped up on the book where she introduces her detective's future wife. It's not that her writing is sexist or gender essentialist in the same way many of her contemporaries sometimes were, because the character is interesting and all... it's just I am really tired of heteronormativity and I would prefer it to not show up in the book at all. Maybe I'll be able to come back to it some day.


  • Early fantasy: I downloaded a bunch of public domain works by William Morris the textile artist, and also by early horror-fantasy writer William Hope Hodgson. Hodgson's The House on the Borderland was entertaining and amusing, a precursor to Lovecraft that wasn't quite so obsessed with race but was way way more terrified of pigs for some reason. I've started several of his others, but not really gotten into them yet. Same for Morris's - they're more Lord Dunsany than Lud-in-the-Mist, contrary to my preference.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (hay gurl)
So we just watched The Eagle. Channing Tatum is a Roman legionnaire and it's a big cauldron full of simmering slavefic clichés when he falls in love at first sight with Jamie Bell, the captured son of a Pict warrior chief. A recap made of tweets and IMs )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (batman)
These were thoughts I was having that didn't really fit on Twitter. I was all baffled and frustrated until I remembered I have a blog specifically for longer thoughts.

Anyway, this post is not a review, and not spoilery, because I haven't actually seen the new X movie (I don't watch Holocaust stuff; it's a thing), and that's not really my point anyway. But this morning I read the much-linked E! online movie review, Magneto and Professor X Had Sex at the Movies This Summer—Did You See It?. (That is a review. And it is spoilery.)

Basically the review contends that:

  1. X-men has always been an allegory for American race relations and civil rights, with Xavier representing Martin Luther King, Jr and Magneto representing Malcolm X (not going into a debate, but suffice to say I'd include the Black Panthers on Magneto's side of the allegory);
  2. and

  3. the new movie deliberately shifts the allegory to the struggle for gay rights instead.


I think she's right about the movie and its intentionality. She's also probably right that Xavier's "idealistic" position aligns with wanting to live in the closet, although obviously not exactly since he doesn't want to explicitly keep the X-men's powers a secret, while Erik's cape and helmet do certainly argue for her comparison to drag.

The thing is, the movie's set in the 1960s, when closeting was a not-unreasonable life choice, but it's speaking to today's civil rights struggle. And today the argument that out and proud would be harmful to the gay agenda our cause is a bit ludicrous.

I've seen state after state legalize gay marriage in the last 10 years; I'm out and I've gotten gay married in the state where my mom spent ½ her childhood. In a world where polling shows more than half of Americans support gay marriage and nobody but the Pentagon and McCain supports Don't Ask Don't Tell, the administration has just gone to bat against DOMA, and it was Republicans who pushed through New York's new gender-neutral marriage laws, the idea that we need to sit down and shut up and put away our Rupaul's Drag Race and our pride parades and prove we're just like them to get equality is not just obsolete; it's offensive. And Professor X is nothing but one giant tone argument.

So today Magneto's out-and-proud looks a lot more reasonable than Charles's quiet collaboration (admittedly 'kill them all' never looks reasonable, but 'full equality now or fuck you' probably shouldn't really be equated to 'kill them all'). Today, it's the Charleses in the Finnish government who were willing to sit down and coalitionize with the Christian Democrats at the price of promising no new rights for gay people who have dirty hands and I hope guilty consciences. They're the ones I couldn't see my conscience clear to working with or living with, not the Eriks who throw glitter on Newt Gingrich at book signings.

Which rather makes me even less sympathetic to Charles's position than I already was thanks to a) his enormous privilege, b) his douchiness, c) his moral flexibility combined with sanctimoniousness, and d) the fact that in the past movies Magneto's position was always the one aligned with observable reality and events.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (kinky!)
I went to the movies with my wife [personal profile] waxjism and our Luddite Dr. of Theology buddy Sofia to see The Social Network, and we discussed the psychology of religion over coffee tea and determined that she feels about the Abrahamic God the way I feel about Spock (ie personally offended when other people mischaracterize him).

The Social Network, having been written by Aaron Sorkin, was full of angsty homoerotic tension and sharp banter and was very funny.

On our way out of the theater I accidentally punched a guy in the face while putting on my scarf because he was tall and walking immediately behind me.

Somehow on the way home my wife and I got into a loud argument about whether Bondage Pants are just bondage-inspired, or potentially of use for kink (I maintain that they can be used to hobble, even if not for actual suspension, so they still count, but Wax thinks they're not hardcore enough). While we were at a crosswalk yelling over each other on the subject Sofia had to sort of wave her arms to get our attention in order to tell us she was deviating from course to go to the grocery store.

When I got home I said, "They're already slashing this movie, I know. Let's check it out." (I always do that when I know someone's already slashing a movie I've seen, regardless of how much I liked the movie; I want to see what everyone else in fandom thought of it, you know?) So I sat down with my tea and pulled up AO3 rather than delicious for a change, navigated by fandom, and the first story to come up in the list was THIS:

It might have had a name by Sharksdontsleep
The Social Network

16 Oct 2010
Tags: No Archive Warnings Apply, Mark/Eduardo, Mark Zuckerberg, post-apocalypse, Time Travel
Summary: Mark travels through time, one minute per minute. 99 percent gen. Warning for mentions of violence, and the post-apocalypse.

Title from John Cheever's The Swimmer. Apologies for the pretension.
Words: 1,299 Chapters: 1/1 Comments: 4 Bookmarks: 1 Hits: 186


Okay. Okay.

FIRST HIT. TIME TRAVEL AND THE APOCALYPSE. APOLOGIES FOR PRETENSION.

I - like I SERIOUSLY LOVE YOU, fandom.

So that was my night. Spock/God?, Sorkinslash, punching tall people in the face, vociferous bondage debate, and the Magic Eight Ball of fandom turning up the AMAZING combination of Facebook/time travel/gay sex/the Apocalypse.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (lesbian)

Continued from last week!

the belles of st trinians

an actress picspam featuring the stars of St Trinian's (clockwise from TL):

Juno Temple, Paloma Faith, Lena Headey, Talulah Riley, Mischa Barton, Gemma Arterton, Caterina Murino, Lily Cole, & Tamsin Egerton (in the center)

The Final Part: Mischa Barton, Caterina Murino, and Lena Headey

This week's picspam features The O.C. star Mischa Barton (a guest star in the film, playing a recently graduated former Head Girl); Casino Royale Bond Girl Caterina Murino (she's the other one he sleeps with besides Eva Green - the ambassador's wife) as the Spanish teacher whom we first meet coaching her class with "Esos no son mis maletas!"; and the kick-ass, the sublime, the smoldering Lena Headey - in fandom no less beloved for her awesome portrayal of Sarah Connor in the just-cancelled Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles than for her classic turn as a lesbian florist falling for Piper Perabo in romantic comedy Imagine Me & You - as the geeky new English teacher who talks everyone into doing Quiz Bowl and favors Tamsin Egerton's Chelsea with a stirring pep-talk at the film's dramatic climax.

100+ images )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (princess)
Continued from last week!

the belles of st trinians

an actress picspam featuring the stars of St Trinian's (clockwise from TL):

Juno Temple, Paloma Faith, Lena Headey, Talulah Riley, Mischa Barton, Gemma Arterton, Caterina Murino, Lily Cole, & Tamsin Egerton (in the center)

Part 2: Supermodel Lily Cole, Singer/Scene Queen Paloma Faith & Actresses Juno Temple and Tamsin Egerton
with minute guest appearances from Amara Karan, Antonia Bernath, and Kathryn Drysdale, who seem to have some sort of inexplicable aversion to being photographed! (Seriously, you can find more pictures of me on the internet I bet. Under my real name!)

Supermodel Lily Cole has been in the public eye since she was a wee teenie, but it was only after St Trinian's that she started having an acting career as well. A couple of these images are stills from Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus. Paloma Faith is a burlesque performer, musician, and generally awesome alternative model-type person, so there are many pictures of her as well.

100+ )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (friends)
This is a follow-up to my recent post, Girls' Schools: St Trinians with a dash of Cat Among the Pigeons: A Themed Picspam. I thought: I have almost enough pictures of Gemma Arterton, Talulah Riley, and Lily Cole out of character to make its own picspam! (The "almost" was quickly remedied!) Therefore,

the belles of st trinians

an actress picspam featuring the stars of St Trinian's (clockwise from TL):

Juno Temple, Paloma Faith, Lena Headey, Talulah Riley, Mischa Barton, Gemma Arterton, Caterina Murino, Lily Cole, & Tamsin Egerton (in the center)

Part 1: Gemma Arterton & Talulah Riley

Gemma Arterton has exploded into greater prominence since St Trinian's, starring onstage in Love's Labour's Lost at the Globe, then becoming a Bond girl in Quantum of Solace and now starring in Clash of the Titans. Also, she's one of my biggest girl crushes - that picture with the bruise on her thigh!! - so there are a lot more of her. Talulah Riley seems to be blonde, engaged to one of the founders of eBay, and living in Hollywood with him and his 5 kids these days, although she did star in the St Trinian's sequel which came out last December.

Around 100 images )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (bend it like beckham)
I was watching things and noticed that the same actress, hot Sri Lankan British Oxford graduate Amara Karan, was in both 2007 campy British school comedy St Trinians and episode 11.02 of Agatha Christie's Poirot, "Cat Among the Pigeons" (the latter also includes the gorgeous Katie Leung, who played Cho Chang in the Harry Potter movies).

So I said to myself, "Coincidentally, self, both these things are delicious to watch because they are set in British girls' schools."

Now, never having been to a boarding or British school of any kind, I am nonetheless certain that I wouldn't like to. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy watching them, though. And reading about them. (If you've got any favorite Girls' School book or story recs, throw them my way! The more lesbian potential the better!) So I decided to use my screencaps for good and not evil by creating A PICSPAM!

Girls' Schools: St Trinians with a dash of Cat Among the Pigeons: A Themed Picspam







Image-heavy; let it load )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (vampires)
I think I forgot to mention here, though I did on Twitter, that I really really enjoyed The Wolfman.

I actually expected it to be kind of sucky. I'm a big lolfan of the gothic in general, but I'm not especially moved by horror. In fact, it was one of those movies that I saw because when a movie has Hugo Weaving, Benicio Del Toro, Emily Blunt, and Anthony Hopkins, even if it sucks you'll always have something awesome to look at. WELL, it totally did not suck! It's a remake of an old-school film of the same name, and all the cheesiness is totally on purpose. I laughed almost as much as during I Love You Phillip Morris. In fact, at one point I laughed so hard (and so desperately not to be really loud about it!) that I briefly stopped breathing.

Also, this movie contains the funniest fight scene I have ever seen. (My dad asked if it was funnier than the Wesley-Inigo duel in The Princess Bride, but it's the wrong sort of question - TPB is a parodish high fantasy comedy and the fight scene there is a polished swordfight filled with witty banter. Obviously an Old Hollywood style werewolf movie is not working with the same box of tools. Also a deliberate send-up, but of a completely different sort of thing. That said, though, the slapstick ratio is higher.)
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (yes)
You may have noticed that "They're not gay, they just love each other" is one of the most enraging political pet peeves that ever enraged me. [personal profile] torachan linked to this post where [livejournal.com profile] izzardwizzard posted scans of a new OUT interview where Ewan had this cheer-worthy sentiment about it in the context of I Love You Phillip Morris:

"I'm very keen that it's a gay movie," McGregor insists. "There was quite a lot of talk at Sundance that 'Well, it's not a gay movie. It's a film about guys who happen to be gay.' And I was thinking, it's nothing but a gay movie. It's about a gay couple, about a man's sexuality, and he comes out. It's not the point of the film, but let's not pretend it's not a gay film."

cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (hay gurl)
Apparently thinking somewhat like the distributors who didn't pick the movie up in America for more than a year, the local theater showed the sneak preview of I Love You Phillip Morris in one of the smaller rooms, and when we ordered our tickets 2 days in advance it was already nearly sold out.

The audience distribution was interesting too: a bunch of het people on dates, as well as bigger groups of friends. A few gay couples spottable, definitely more than usual, at least, but not actually all that many. The last people to come in were some lesbians - older ones than us, maybe late thirties, early forties? - who stood confusedly in the front of the room for a couple of minutes squinting at their tickets. Maybe they hadn't been to the movies there before and didn't know how to find their row. One of them was little and round and had veryvery short hair, and the other one had a blunt bob and bangs and a pissy expression. Frisson of recognition!

It reminded me of a post I read at The Hathor Legacy about the lack of willingness to use female protagonists in Hollywood:

There’s a question that comes up every time I tell my story about how I slowly realized that Hollywood didn’t want movies/shows for, by or about women to profit. To sum up that story, what tipped me off was that whenever film students pointed out how movies/shows for, by or about women had indeed profited, film professionals wouldn’t hear it. Those movies/shows were exceptions! Or it was really the alien/Terminator/Hannibal Lechter people wanted to see, not Ripley, Connor or Starling. Etc. It couldn’t be that people were actually happy to see movies/shows for, by or about women, because that was impossible – end of argument.

Why discriminate if it doesn't profit?
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (can he type?)
I loved I Love You Phillip Morris (we caught the sneak preview last night). It was a brilliantly made movie. And I laughed as much as I did during Sherlock Holmes! Or more, maybe. A lot both times, though. Anyway, I mean, I knew it was Jim Carrey in a romantic comedy, but they talked about, you know, the romance aspect so much in the press for it that I thought it would be one of his more serious roles! Which, I don't know, I mean, he wasn't doing his - typical Jim Carrey slapstick stuff, really, so perhaps you could say it was. But still, it wasn't remotely heavy.

Although as for They're Not An Issue Movie They Just Love Each Other syndrome, I definitely left the theater with a strong sense of WTF, Texas criminal justice system? with a side order of WTF, Finnish criminal justice system. )

The poster they're using for it in Finland is



AWESOME, but different from most of the ones we were able to find with Google this morning. Which is a shame, because most of the other posters are not as awesome:





1. Scottish?; 2. De-gayed; 3. Japanese; 4. free picture that comes when you buy a picture frame style?; 5. Sundance poster from '09

I remember the movies where Ewan is brash and/or kind of an asshole very clearly, so it was kind of surprising how disarming (and convincing!) his baby bunny eyes were when playing a gracefully aging twink. And weirdly - my wife agrees, although she is not American nor from the South so this may not carry much weight if you don't know how awesome she is at accents - his American accent was not as agonizing as it has been in the past! Big Fish for example - same accent, much more agonizing. The general wrongness was still there but the sprinkling of glaring actual slip-ups were absent, sort of.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (um excuse me)
The original Star Wars trilogy has more parental issues than Tim Burton's Willy Wonka, the most recent (Jason Isaacs) film of Peter Pan, and the back catolog of Parenting magazine put together. Thoughts on evil or dead parents )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (we're all mad here)
I know that Tim Burton wants to be Johnny Depp and all, but in terms of looking crazy-awesome, that's true of most of the other characters in all of his movies, particularly the new Alice in Wonderland. I mean, Alice is perfect, the Red Queen is amazing and dead creepy, etc etc.

SO, it would be nice, Total Film, if in a movie about a female protagonist - in one of the most famous works of literature about a little girl of all time - the promo poster you choose to include for free in the magazine was not of a dude.

Also, come on. Every movie magazine fan has about 10 posters of Depp hanging around, at minimum. We weren't panting for the frizzy red hair.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (windswept)
Emma and Knightley in this version of Emma are both notably unique. There's a kind of deliberate staid and stateliness to older BBC productions which has been forcibly cast off here. Mark Strong's Knightley (the Beckinsale mini version) I have found to be closest to my mental book-based Knightley in the past, though Jeremy Northam was most infectiously charming: because Knightley's maturity and dryness seemed lacking in Northam, who played him too sunnily amiable. On the other hand, though, Strong's interpretation was too heavy. He seemed inwardly tortured sometimes, and had a slight air of Rochester about him. In short, he seemed too old, and not fun-loving enough, because Knightley has a great sense of humor, even though he is also very serious in matters of duty, manners, kindness, and doing the right thing.

But back to my main point, which is trying to explain why Jonny Lee Miller's Knightley is my favorite, and why I think he is actually the best of these three most recent versions. You see his dryness, sarcasm and humor with a peculiar clarity as the distancing mechanisms they so often are with this interpretation. Everything about his affectation of uncaring and distance, where really he is mentally engaged, is echoed in his body language, where a thread of tension underlies a constant series of elaborately lounging poses. His face is serious, and you see in his eyes when he is caught in thought, but he doesn't make the kinds of exaggerated and revealing facial expressions which Emma does, young and unguarded as she is. You can sometimes see his attachment to Emma, usually if you know what you're looking for, but it's not made too obvious so as to spoil the "mystery without a murder". The acting he does, and Romola Garai's too, build on a palpable chemistry, and are so convincing and so layered, that the connection between them is really intense and moving.

Good screenwriting and directing, too, though not flawless, contribute to keeping the tension more even and providing more of a window to what's going on for Mr. Knightley's side of the story - something that is almost entirely opaque in the book until you go back searching for clues, and which different productions try to handle in different ways, but usually don't alter very much. I appreciate the alteration, though, and think it works very well for the screen. The bits of his point of view build and come together slowly, until by the end of the 3rd episode a pretty whole picture has emerged. You really feel for JLM's Knightley, and Emma starts to as well, though she seems fairly unconscious of what/why; the confusion is very well-achieved.

And the result is probably the most romantic version of Emma I've ever seen, which I really like. And can't wait for the ending. :(
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (arrrgh brains)
Watched Spaceballs last night and was totally in the mood for a Mel Brooks fest. I brought Robin Hood: Men in Tights, but a rant about Bill Pullman on Wax's part captured her brother's attention, leading to Brother Windows, his bff Thos, and Wax anxious to watch something horror.

It's not just that I was very much in the mood for comedy, as that I actually hate the horror genre. I've watched humorous examples of it that I enjoyed, but I am annoyed and bored by its conventions, its storylines, and its underlying messages, as well as disgusted by its imagery.

After 10 minutes' uncomfortable indecision, Friday I caved to watching Doomsday, a horror/action piece, post-apocalypse, diseases, blah blah blah, on the grounds that it was absolutely hilarious how many other movies it borrowed from. It did contain a hot female lead, but mostly, I hated it, and was bored and uncomprehending of all the parts that Wax and her brother loved because of having never seen (and having negative desire to see) the other post-apocalyptic movies it referenced. There was a huge portion that was ripped off from The Lord of the Rings, but this didn't delight me the way it delighted them.

So then last night after Spaceballs was over, everyone wanted to watch some horror movie (After I put my foot down with "I HATE HORROR" Wax tried, "But it's got Bill Pullman, so he's funny whenever he's there even if he isn't being funny"), but when I insisted, we finally settled on Brazil. I was reluctant because my impression from The Brothers Grimm was that I probably hate Terry Gilliam's work in general and was unlikely to enjoy any movie he made, but on the other hand, I've been hearing about Brazil's seminal place in the SF canon for years, so at least I'd be able to say that I'd seen it. Plus, I remember my parents said that they liked it.

Well, Brazil felt like about five hours of pretentious, disjointed paranoid fantasy. On the plus side, Jonathan Pryce and Michael Palin were there and the visual design was interesting and clearly of historical import, while some of the dialogue was quite snappy, no doubt due to Tom Stoppard's co-writing. Also, I can say that I've seen it. On the minus side, I really hate Terry Gilliam's work, and spent most of the movie internally debating whether to leave the movie and go out into the livingroom and sleep on the couch (but didn't because it would probably have been too cold out there). If Brazil were a work of fanfiction, despite its points of interest, I would not bookmark it on delicious, because it left me vibrating with annoyance.

And in future, I will remember not to go anywhere without a book and an extra blanket.

Tragically, even though the first part of the evening combined Spaceballs with a really good red wine, most of the awesome quotes were overwhelmed afterwards by the state of Vibrating with Annoyance induced by Terry Gilliam. I'll have to borrow it and watch it again sometime.
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (:D)
Natalie Portman is my favorite actress. Oddly enough this doesn't mean that I want to have sex with her or anything - it's more that I want to be her. Or just think she's very cool, and want to be a lot of her characters, one might say.

My favorite two roles of hers are Alice in Closer and Molly in Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium. Regardless of whether Closer is a meticulously-constructed gem or pretentious bullshit (which I think is open to legitimate debate), I love her character and how she plays it - bohemian and whimsical, cheerful, and a combination of passionate investment and a curious emotional detachment that makes her even stronger.

And as to Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium - it's not a better-known role, from a smallish movie that took forever to actually get released. This is probably because the movie, while it has its compelling moments, isn't that well written. I mean, it's presented as a children's movie, but the story is about Natalie's Molly dealing with the death of her mentor and father-figure (the magical toy-creator Mr Magorium, played by Dustin Hoffman). I mean, come on. Read more... )

I also really love the visual design and Natalie's styling in both of these films which is also quite important to me, haha. So here is a screencapture-picspam. Or two, actually. Because I really felt like it.






80-something pictures )
cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (lesbian)
This is a post of actresses who are so hot that I will willingly watch movies which I fully know will be horrible just to see them. It doesn't necessarily mean I've seen all their movies or anything, because I'm not a complete movie buff, just that if the movie was in front of me I would watch it.

Beware the cut tags, because there are 10-30 large pictures of each actress.


Scarlett Johansson. )

Anne Hathaway. )

Amy Adams. )

Emily Blunt. )

Gemma Arterton. )


Then on the other hand there are a couple of actresses whom I will watch in practically any movie (although I am not a great lover of movies so occasionally I even miss ones that I want to see by not getting around to going) even though I don't find them sexually attractive personally. It's more that I want to be them. That would be Keira Knightley ) and Natalie Portman. )

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cimorene: A black-and-white vintage photograph of 1920s singer Helen Kane in profile, with a dubious, side-eye expression (bend it like beckham)
'Philip Morris' is MIA at [livejournal.com profile] ohnotheydidnt: I Love You Philip Morris, the movie starring Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor as dudes who fall in love in prison, premiered at Sundance but failed to get picked up for distribution.

The article quotes no doubt well-intentioned people saying things like "I don't think it's a gay movie, I think it's a movie about humanity" (Jim Carrey) and "I didn't want to make an issue movie" (writer/director John Requa).

To me this is uncomfortably similar to "they're not gay, they just love each other" - which is bullshit. Newsflash! If they are men who are in love with each other then they are gay, and the real meaning of that phrase is, "They're not like those other gay people! These are the good kind of gay people, who are like straight people!"

Fuck. That. That's why there are hardly any gay movies. That's why there aren't gay characters in movies that aren't about being outed, being left by a partner who turns straight, being unable to come out, or dying of AIDS: because only people who want to make an issue movie are making movies, and even a guy who could make a prison romance based on a true story is willing to go on the record saying dumbass things rejecting issue movies, as if

  1. ISSUE MOVIES are BAD for the poor straight people to have to watch! After all, why would you care about gayness if you're not gay? and


  2. any movie about gay people must, by default, be an issue movie, even if it is in fact explicitly a romance, so that you have to stand there and write NOT AN ISSUE MOVIE! all over it.


This is why the media and society is such that the intended lesbian plot was cut from Bend it Like Beckham, and the secondary lesbian characters were cut from Watchmen, and the lesbian soap opera characters in the US haven't shared on-screen kisses until this season, and the gay characters in chick flicks are always the protagonist's neutered Magical Gay Guy who provides fashion tips and never has a boyfriend, and they break up at the stupid ending of Kissing Jessica Stein, and even the sympathetic lesbians on CSI are always evil or dead, and Tara is dead and Willow is simultaneously evil, and the only onscreen gayness in the Star Trek universe is the evil Mirror Verse versions of Kira and Dax and the producers of TNG shut down all Whoopi Goldberg's fighting to have some guys just holding hands in the background in one of her Ten Forward scenes.

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