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insufferable know-it-all
I thought it would be fun to keep track of the movies I watch so at the end of the year I can remember what they were and to see how many I actually go through. What happened alongside this endeavor is that my decision-making process and my behavior immediately changed. I started trying to watch more to make the list longer. This week it occurred to me to switch from a numbered list to bullets. We'll see how that goes.

Here we are for Jan. 1 - Feb. 6:

24 moviesCollapse )

(For the record, 6 of those were for vid research)

+ TV seasons: Mozart in the Jungle 1-2


Thanks for your feedback yesterday on Pride & Prejudice & Zombies. I decided to bail and picked up The Golem and the Jinni instead. Three pages in and it's already a pleasure to read. In fact, I'm debating whether to sit on it for a week and a half and bring it on the plane to/from Vancouver.

Speaking of which, went on a quest today for an outfit suitable for a gallery opening. Found this very pretty dress but it fit like a box, alas. Oh, haha, there was also a collection of dresses suitable for Star Trek cosplay. Will probably wear what I wore to [personal profile] cinco's wedding, then, or my gray plaid skirt + black top if that's not too casual; hard to tell. The trip was not entirely in vain, however; I got a green and blue gradient sweater.

We had a beautiful snowfall on Friday -- storybook icing on the tree branches once the winds died down, followed by a pink and orange sunset. All of our million inches of snow last winter was powder; none of it stuck like this. Boston Globe curated some shots. More forecast for tomorrow. Good luck to every one of us trying to get home from work in the middle of it!

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/328763.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
insufferable know-it-all
06 February 2016 @ 09:21 am
Seemed high time to try reading Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, and I have to say, so far I'm not impressed.

The opening line was great, but about 35 pages in, it feels like Grahame-Smith siphoned out all the biting (pun intended) social commentary of P&P, the feminism and the irony, and then inserted the zombie gimmick but didn't make the two parts comment on each other. What do zombie tropes illuminate about the original story? What does P&P have to offer to zombie genre conventions? There have got to be clever answers to these, but I'm not seeing them in the narrative so far. It reads more like a single joke on repeat. Like horror scenes that for no reason other than playing with unexpected genre mashups interrupt a lesser version of a comedy of manners.

Friend of a friend at dinner last night described a plot point later in the book that makes use of the zombie conceit to explain why little sister wanted to marry Mr. Collins. That sounded good. Just not sure it's enough to pull me through ~300 more pages....

From the sound of the few reviews I've read, the movie suffers from similar shortcomings.

Have any of you read it? Does it get better?

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/328586.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
insufferable know-it-all
04 February 2016 @ 09:01 pm
My memories of this round will be:
  • Impressive vids of atypical source material (comics, paintings, theatrical performances, social movements)
  • Lots of space-centric vids -- at least 14
  • Being happier with the vid I received than with the vids I made
There are some I haven't watched for spoiler reasons (Pride, Push, Gone Girl), and some I didn't get far into for purely subjective reasons like music choice and cut/transition style. But in general here are my top 20.

Behind the cutCollapse )

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/328259.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
insufferable know-it-all
30 January 2016 @ 10:21 am
Festivids is live, and I'm sure there are lots of fabulous vids in the collection, but it almost doesn't matter, because my wonderful amazing like-minded anonymous Festividder made me the vid I was most hoping for of all my requests, and life is beautiful.

It is for the 1992 movie A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia, in which Alexander Siddig (Prince Faisal of Syria & Iraq) and Ralph Fiennes (T.E. Lawrence) engage in intricate post-WWI politics while sharing gorgeous smoldering gazes.

(You barely need the "sub" in subtext, seriously. Look, even Wikipedia acknowledges: "The film goes further than its predecessor in showing the effects of revisionist historians. It demonstrates contemporary concerns about British and international politics and ethnic conflict. It also explores further Lawrence's enigmatic personality and suggests more openly his alleged homosexuality.")

Go go go: They Are Afraid of Us Together

And how perfect is that title, when Lawrence & Faisal are a powerful team who also threaten British/Western/white hegemony by crossing racial boundaries? How perfect and beautiful is the Persian love song -- poem, really -- Anonymous selected?

Aaaah, it just makes me so happy. Look at those two. Look at Lawrence looking at Faisal in those film reels. Look at them so utterly in love with each other and tearing themselves to pieces over their choices and the bigotry of & backstabbing by those around them. Look at those eyes and those hands and that intensity.

I haven't seen the movie in more than 10 years. Need to track down a copy and rewatch, in order to better appreciate the nuances of the story here.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/328002.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
insufferable know-it-all
27 January 2016 @ 08:37 pm
January has been a month of media consumption in many forms. Somehow without rushing and despite losing most of a week to a head cold, I have as of today read 5 books, seen 16 movies and a TV show, and attended a play. That is a lot for me. Probably in part because I decided to choose relaxation over attempting a third Festivid, and had two bus rides and a snow day last weekend when visiting friend S. in NYC.

For a while there I found myself in a pattern of accidental creepiness. Hugo winner The Three-Body Problem by Liu Cixin (translated by Ken Liu) turned out to have scenes set in this spooky, dreamlike world in a computer game that, while beautiful and fascinating and arguably the most enjoyable parts of the book, were not an excellent choice to read before bed.

Kelly Link's collection Get in Trouble, which, like [personal profile] nightdog_barks, I loved, was advertised as science fiction but really mingled SF with fantasy and horror and magical realism (and modern literary fiction); at least three of the stories involved ghosts or fairy folk that were downright unnerving. Still: a ghost story on a spaceship! That was new and neat.

And then third, although I was braced for difficult material in The Pearl Button (El botón de nácar), Chilean documentarian Patricio Guzmán's (inferior, IMO) follow-up to the beautiful Nostalgia for the Light (Nostalgia de la luz), because it addressed ongoing repercussions of the Pinochet regime, I did not expect the sequences that lingered on photographs of indigenous people of Patagonia lost to history after extermination by Westerners. They were the very definition of haunting, the ghosts of these unnamed people whose faces and bodies were shown in black and white beneath the sound of Guzmán's friend droning a throat-singing tune, and, later, as an elderly woman named Gabriela shared a memory in the nearly extinct Kawéskar language. Some achingly beautiful shots of body paint representing the cosmos—and some f*cking terrifying, hoods with tiny holes for eyes and mouths, still and staring, the meaning of the costumes and rituals now eternally a mystery. I know those images are going to stay with me even longer than the brutal reenactment of Pinochet prisoners' last hours before being dropped into the sea.


It hasn't all been creepy. The Diary of a Teenage Girl with Bel Powley, Alexander Skarsgard and Kristen Wiig portrayed adolescent female sexuality in a frank, wry, ebullient way that isn't seen nearly enough in film. I was 100% on board with the unconventional first-time story and the way the beginning of the movie served as an unabashed fantasy fulfilment for any lady-type who's been attracted to ASkars. It's hard to describe the tone and style other than that it's full of unique yet sometimes universal details (which stems from the fact that it's personal/semi-autobiographical), and great fun, and rooted in 70s San Francisco, and it weaves together sexual and artistic and feminist awakenings to great effect. The whole thing felt like Fish Tank and Ghost World in a blender, but that's not giving it enough credit.

I was surprised and delighted to find upon visiting Rotten Tomatoes that the movie wasn't panned by male critics poo-pooing a story about a girl drawing lewd comics and screwing her way around town.

Between that and Carol, I'm wondering if there's been a spate of indie films lately that recall those from the late 90s/early 00s or if I've just been away from them for a while and they've been like this the whole time. It's nice.

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/327834.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
insufferable know-it-all
09 January 2016 @ 04:21 pm
Finished Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho. Overall charming, although as I was saying to one of you a few days ago, it took a while for me to realize I'd been mixing it up with The Goblin Emperor (still on the to-read list). Lovely to read another recent SF/F book with non-white, non-aristocratic protagonists, who, through intention or accident, upend societal norms regarding race and class and gender against opposing powers; and whose themes, although set in a fictionalized past era, apply just as much here and now. I enjoyed the little moments when Zacharias found himself outmaneuvered by a lady or otherwise developed a crack in his composure. Damerell had some great lines toward the end, too.

Also, it taught me some new words, as well as a smidgeon of history about the Kingdom of Mysore and the siege of Seringapatam. Yay learning!

Vocab for posterity:Collapse )

Next up, The Three-Body Problem, spurred on by this month's book club selection.

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/327325.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
insufferable know-it-all
08 January 2016 @ 04:34 pm
Starships! is going to be in a museum exhibit next month!

The Vancouver Art Gallery is doing a four-floor exhibition on the recent history of mashups, and Starships! will be one of seven vids by six vidders included in a section on vidding curated by Francesca Coppa.

It's been in the works for a while, but it finally feels real now that the gallery has put up its web page for the exhibit. It's hard to convey how excited I am to think of a screen playing Starships! hanging on a gallery wall. And to have created something that someone thought worth including in this collection. And for the vid to be considered on a level with works by Kandy Fong and obsessive24 and here's luck and Lim and Shadow Songs. And, OMG, to see my screen name and theirs listed among global big-name artists, architects, musicians, choreographers—I'm dying a little inside with joy and disbelief. (Check it out at the bottom of the page at the link above, then do a tiny happy dance with me!)


I thought that would be that, but a happy confluence of finances means I will be able to go see the exhibit in person when it opens in mid-February. Hopefully others I know will too. (???)

I didn't have a chance to see Cut Up when it showed at the Museum of the Moving Image a few years ago (the only other mashup- and remix-related exhibit I've heard of that includes vids), so this will be doubly pleasurable. Besides the personal connection, the collection and the story it promises to tell look fascinating.

None of you live in Vancouver, do you? For hangout purposes while I'm in town.

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/327069.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
insufferable know-it-all
02 January 2016 @ 05:23 pm
Between revisions on the Beauty & the Beast fic, I went looking for other adult-rated stories in the fandom on the AO3 and found a few that I really liked. Glad to rec them now that they won't give anything away about what I wrote for Yuletide:

Learning Humanity by imaginary_golux (Belle/Adam, 660 words, explicit) – Very similar story, although at the same time somewhat the inverse; much more concise; quite sweet and sexy.

Belle has to learn to love the Prince all over again.

Book Learning by Missy (Belle/Adam, 1,000 words, explicit) – Super cute. I like this characterization of Adam a lot, so accepting of Belle's quirks and wanting to make her happy (in bed and in general).

When Adam married Belle, one little question popped into the back of his mind as they swept across the ballroom floor, surrounded by their servants and family – how in the hell would he be able to separate her from her books long enough to kiss her?

Winding Days by imaginary_golux (Cogsworth, semi-Cogsworth/Lumière, 400 words, mature) – Poignant vignette about changes in Cogsworth's body and the mechanics of his arousal during the enchantment.

So he goes to Lumiere once a month in private, and Lumiere winds him up again, and no one else ever has to know.

A Different Story by Minutia_R (Beast/Gaston, 2,000 words, explicit) – OMG, so wrong and yet so great. Gaston gets captured by the Beast, and things don't go quite the way you'd expect. Or maybe they go exactly the way you'd expect. Lively and funny narrative voice. Note: dubcon.

"You're trespassing," rumbled the beast in a deep and sexy voice—Gaston meant a deep and scary voice—which is to say that the voice had no effect on him whatsoever. "And you shot at me."

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/326603.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
insufferable know-it-all
01 January 2016 @ 04:17 pm
(cont. from here)

15 books, 4 of them re-readsCollapse )

Happy to talk about any of them if you like.

And that was that. We'll call it a baseline to compare 2016 to, since I hadn't counted books before. In any case, the last couple of years have been better than those preceding, since I moved & started taking the bus to work instead of driving.

Expected reads for early this yearCollapse )

Maybe some audiobooks, too. Recommendations always welcome for fem-positive SF/F (particularly SF).

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/326189.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
insufferable know-it-all
AO3 | DW | LJ

Title: Which alters when it alteration finds
Fandom: Beauty and the Beast (1991) (Disney)
Pairing: Belle/Adam, Belle/Beast
Rating: Adult
Word Count: 5,700
Summary: Belle fell in love with the Beast. What if she isn't as into him as a human?
Content notes: Kink Negotiation, Xenophilia, Married Life, First Time, Magic, Body Modification, Kink Acceptance, Relationships, Size Kink, Size Difference, Overcoming Shame, Animal Play, Animal Transformation, Fairy Tale Retellings, Disney, Communication, Consensual Kink. Or, in the words of the requestor: "Xenokink, woo."

Acknowledgements: Thanks to [personal profile] stultiloquentia and [personal profile] synn for beta work, [personal profile] thedeadparrot for couch space and live feedback, [personal profile] marginaliana et al for convincing me to check out the requests spreadsheet, and [profile] cherryice, who in trying to help with the leg description taught me the word "digitigrade."

A/N: A Yuletide treat for [personal profile] boywonder, whose prompt caught my imagination. Let's also consider it a fill for the body alteration square on my old Kink Bingo card. Title from Shakespeare's Sonnet 116.

Who is this elegant stranger with his athletic profile and neatly tied-back hair?Collapse )

Comments and concrit are always welcome.

Originally posted at http://bironic.dreamwidth.org/325899.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.