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insufferable know-it-all
02 July 2018 @ 11:29 am
31 moviesCollapse )

~18 TV seasons or specialsCollapse )

That's low for me on movies and high on TV because of the auction vid. Will be interesting to see how the rest of the year goes.

As always, happy to talk about any of these. Posts pending on Barry, Westworld & Longmire.

Next up: more Zahn McClarnon in the form of Longmire S5 & S6, Fargo S2, who knows what else.

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/372043.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
02 July 2018 @ 11:18 am
11 novels, 5 novellas, 5 batches of comics/graphic novels, 4 memoirs & diaries, 2 nonfictions, 2 short story collectionsCollapse )

Currently reading: An Unkindness of Ghosts - Rivers Solomon
Up next: Trail of Lightning - Rebecca Roanhorse

As always, happy to talk about any of these.

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/371785.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
01 July 2018 @ 01:56 pm
A commenter on "The Greatest" turned me on to Métis in Space, a podcast hosted by two Métis women from Calgary and Alberta who analyze representations of indigenous cultures and themes in sci fi, fantasy and horror visual media. The hosts, Molly Swain and Chelsea Vowel, are (or recently were—I've been listening to episodes all out of order) graduate students in Native Studies at the University of Alberta.

I am loving this podcast. It's entertaining and educational: a perfect combination. I started with episodes that focus on the movies and TV shows I know best, and, man, I thought I was pretty okay at spotting this particular set of stereotypes and problematic tropes, but a few minutes into the first episode it became clear how much more sophisticated the conversation is. I'm so grateful to have access to these discussions and am delighting in—and humbled by—the enriched understanding of people and texts.

So far, I've listened to episodes about:

(-) Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Pangs"
(-) Star Trek: Discovery episode with the planet Pahvo
(-) Apocalypto (Mel Gibson)
(-) Dune (David Lynch)
(+) Lilo & Stitch
(+) Thor: Ragnarok
(+) What We Do in the Shadows

Next up is Westworld 2x8, "Kiksuya," a.k.a. the Ghost Nation episode, and I cannot wait.

FYI for those who are interested, there are also installments about the movie Avatar; episodes of Farscape, SG1, SPN, Star Trek: TOS, TNG & Voyager, Futurama, Highlander; and a Muse music video, among many others. They just wrapped up their fourth season.

IMO the podcast is at its best when criticizing somethingCollapse )

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/371629.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
The Black Cat (1934)

Five years after [personal profile] thirdblindmouse vidded it for Festivids, [personal profile] disgruntled_owl and I watched this gem of a horror film in which a pleasingly eyelinered Boris Karloff runs a Satanic cult in the dungeons of an Art Deco castle in Hungary, Bela Lugosi plots his revenge after 15 years in prison, and a mystery writer and his fainting new bride try to find their way out alive. Also there are black cats that may or may not embody the spirits of a bunch of sacrificed ladies, and Lugosi's phobia of them remains mysterious. Need to read the Poe short story the movie was loosely inspired by; clues may lie within.

Great fashion, great cinematography, great one-liners (say it slowly: "Even the telephone is dead"), great—if much too short—scene of sinewy Karloff stripped to the waist and handcuffed to a St. Andrew's cross. We… may have watched that part twice. Here's a nice fan art version by SeizureDemon.

The whole thing runs a compact 65 minutes. Two thumbs up except for a yellowface character.

ETA for reference: moviediva

Ella Enchanted

A movie about the importance of consent! Who knew?

The gleefully anachronistic language, attitudes and music put this movie in the same category as A Knight's Tale. There was a lot about it that wasn't to my taste, and parts that were actively offensive, but I was pleased by its feminism, particularly its depiction of use and abuse of power over other people.

More on that. No major spoilers.Collapse )

ETA: LOL, if you, like me, have ever confused Ella Enchanted for another movie, or have questions about Anne Hathaway roles in general, check out [personal profile] seekingferret's amazing disambiguation flow chart below.

Colossal

What an odd yet compelling little magical-realism movie. Reviewers were right that marketing it as a comedy about a white New Yorker (Anne Hathaway again) who finds out she can control a Godzilla-like monster 12 hours away in Seoul did poor justice to what the story was ultimately about: the terror of becoming the target of a Nice Guy who doesn't get his way. More on that. Spoiler for the ending.Collapse )

Manchester by the Sea

Okay, I know this isn't really a fair critique of any piece of art, but this is one of those cases where I wish the whole thing had been about someone else. Mini-rant. Includes discussion of death and grieving.Collapse )

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/371240.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
My thing for Paul Bettany took a nosedive a couple of years ago when he started defending Johnny Depp, and I stopped seeking out movies with him in them. Then he appeared in these two franchise tie-ins back to back, and it seems I'm still not entirely dead to his charms.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

It was… fine. No major spoilers, I think.Collapse )

Avengers: Infinity War

It was… fine. Spoilers.Collapse )

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/371192.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
26 June 2018 @ 09:51 am
City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

GRRAARRR, I thought this was a standalone novel! Instead, it is another 500-page START to a story, which I did not know until facing down the last ~25 pages and realizing with a sinking sensation that there was no way everything could be wrapped up in that space. There are no references to a series on the book cover or in the title pages. Was not told by the person who recommended it to me (former grad program advisor).

...Of course, now that I Google it, it says "(Daevabad Trilogy #1)," so my fault, I guess.

More thoughts, no spoilers.Collapse )

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/370735.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
24 June 2018 @ 04:26 pm
Remember that post from January about how our bus-mates came together to support substitute drivers who didn't know the route? Rinse and repeat 25 times, toss in some other transit shenanigans, and finally I had to change my commute in order to get to and from work on any sort of reasonable schedule. The new method is much more consistent but requires transferring and only provides a 50/50 shot of snagging a seat, which cuts into my reading time.

That said, I'm still on track to have read an average of a book a week for January-June this year. Hoping that continues.

Some reads since last we spoke!

Bear in a Bookshop by Zoe Chant (friend)Collapse )

Descender vols. 1-5 by Jeff Lemire & Dustin Nguyen et alCollapse )

Autonomous by Annalee NewitzCollapse )

Artificial Condition by Martha Wells (Murderbot book two)Collapse )

In Other Lands by Sarah Rees BrennanCollapse )

The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay (reread)Collapse )

Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/370516.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
Tags: , , ,
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
04 June 2018 @ 08:35 pm
(1)

"The Greatest" did really well in its first week, and that's both a joy and a relief. Many times over the more-than-a-year while I was watching or skimming shows, or cataloguing clips, or processing footage, or not working on the vid but thinking about it, I asked myself what I was doing—whether it was worth spending so much time on a single vid—whether its "value" diminished with each month if you compared hours worked to amount of original donation—and how much I was deluding myself that consuming and transforming media content about characters of color was going to make a difference in the world, compared to more concrete forms of assistance and activism.

So, first, I am over the moon that people accepted the invitation at the bottom of the vid posts to donate to organizations that help at-risk groups. We are now up to almost $700, or about $500 more than the original amount donated for my vidding services. Thirteen donors, thirteen organizations, three countries and counting. That's more than I'm able to give in my standing monthly contributions, for sure. I hadn’t thought before about how a fanwork could serve as an amplifier in that way. This translation of fannish love into real-life support makes me really, really happy. Thank you to everyone who weighed in on that decision.

Second, there have been a handful of commenters on various platforms who've expressed what the vid means to them personally, and those have gone straight to my heart. People saying they'd been down in the dumps about current events and the vid lifted their spirits. People describing the depth of their response to the vid as fans of color and/or children of immigrants. I can't describe the meaning this has added to the vidding experience. Of course, all credit to Sigrid for asking for this vid in the first place.

Tens of hours of editing and re-editing meant I had almost zero emotional response to the vid by the time it was done, but making friends and strangers happy, and having resonance, and raising those funds—that has brought tears to my eyes. It proved to me after those months of angst that vidding isn't always or only a frivolous hobby.

(2)

It didn't occur to me until I was chatting with [personal profile] sanguinity after the vid was posted, but there could easily have been a third captions track naming the people who helped find certain clips.

When I watch the vid, there's not only the meaning of the sequences paired with the lyrics, and not only the second layer of meaning/emotion that comes from knowing the context of the original sources being highlighted, but also this series of memories of corresponding with people about who to look for and which episodes to try and which plot points were the best and worst for those characters, and taking notes on printouts of their cheat sheets with the TV remote in hand, and the flash of triumph when landing on moments that would make just the right clips.

When I watch the vid, it's not only Allanon --> Ozzie --> Kaia --> Penny --> Grant, it's lurrel & no_detective & serenade_strong --> sol_se --> aurum_calendula & kiki_miserychic & sisabet --> (fan wiki) --> dr_glam & cathexys. It's not only Dorian --> Fernando --> (Bobbie) --> Glenn, it's mific --> sdwolfpup --> (me) --> violace. Those Supergirl clips are overlaid with the memory of sanguinity's emailed descriptions of what was going on in the show. The 100 took a village. Legends of Tomorrow is enriched with sholio's enthusiasm, American Horror Story with Sigrid's request and dr_glam's willingness to guide me in writing through three seasons while I peeked through my fingers. Over there is thedeadparrot finding me a replacement dance scene; over there is nicasio_silang and lurrel recommending swapping out the original shot of Gabourey Sidibe in AHS for a better one. The fannish resonance comes from further out and longer ago, too: Advantageous is eruthros and thingswithwings pitching the movie for Festivids; The Magicians is par_avion sharing her disappointment/fury at where the first book and season took certain characters; Abbie and Lincoln and Darwin are fandom in an uproar.

It's my hope that those who volunteered along the way feel those moments of personal connection when they come across the clips and characters they helped make possible. But it's also sad that no one person will have that complete experience—like seeing a communal quilt and knowing who stitched each square.

tl;dr It is a multifan vid as well as a multifandom one.

...

(a) Er, I really hope I don't sound full of myself; I am just having some feelings.

(b) After this post, we return to our regular programming!


Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/370185.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
A year ago January, [archiveofourown.org profile] resolute won a vid from me as part of the [tumblr.com profile] FandomTrumpsHate charity auction. Her most intriguing request:
a multi-fandom vid set to Sia's "The Greatest" reveling in the bad-ass wonderfulness of characters of color in SF/F/horror TV and movies of the last 3-5 years.

I don't watch a lot of TV shows, but the music and concept called to me, and I couldn't resist the challenge. Fifteen months, a ton of help and approximately 75 new or new-to-me sources later, I'm proud to present:


Title: The Greatest
Fandom: Multi
Music: by Sia feat. Kendrick Lamar (edited)
Length: 4:27
Content notes: character deaths (2:38, 3:14, 3:20-3:31), zombie beheading (:25-:26), characters being shot at (but not harmed), character briefly being choked, character played by the late Nelsan Ellis
Physical notes: lightning/electricity flickers (:46-:52), shaky cam
Spoilers: The 100, Agents of SHIELD, Doctor Strange, Gotham, The Magicians, People of Earth, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Sleepy Hollow, Star Trek: Discovery, Supernatural, Timeless, X-Men: First Class, Z Nation


AO3 | Tumblr | Twitter | Vimeo | YouTube | download at Mediafire (60 MB .rar) + subtitles (.srt) + character/source IDs (.srt)




THANK YOU

To [archiveofourown.org profile] resolute for donating, originating the concept and song, and working with me to shape the final product.

To the [tumblr.com profile] FandomTrumpsHate auction team for providing the opportunity to vid for charity.

To [community profile] wiscon_vidparty for granting an extension that allowed this to be finished in time for the con.

To the army of fan friends who honed the character list, advised on key episodes for dozens of the shows I hadn't seen, provided source, helped me think things through (and sometimes helped me stop thinking so much), recommended software, reviewed drafts, and more: anoel, arduinna, bonibaru, cathexys, cherry, cinco & R., deelaundry, disgruntled_owl, dolorosa_12, DrGlam, elipie, eruthros, ghost_lingering, happydork, kiki_miserychic, laurashapiro, llincathryn, longwhitecoats, lurrel, merisunshine36, metatxt, mific, monanotlisa, NicasioSilang, no_detective, par_avion, purple_fringe, rionaleonhart, sanguinity, scribe, sdwolfpup, seekingferret, SerenadeStrong, sholio, sisabet, sol_se, stultiloquentia, synn, thedeadparrot, thingswithwings, topaz_eyes, trelkez and violace. Other people I've inadvertently left out. Half of Twitter for support and encouragement. I couldn't have made this vid without all of you.


Sources

The 100, 3%, The 6th World, Advantageous, After Earth, Agents of SHIELD, Almost Human, Altered Carbon, American Gods, American Horror Story (Coven, Freak Show, Roanoke), Annihilation, Ash vs. the Evil Dead, Black Lightning, Black Mirror, Black Panther, BrainDead, Captain America: Civil War, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Chronicles of Riddick, Cleverman, The Cloverfield Paradox, Continuum, Crazyhead, Crossbones, Da Sweet Blood of Jesus, Dark Matter, The Dark Tower, Death Note (2017), The Defenders, Defiance (TV), Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, Dirty Computer "emotion picture," Doctor Strange, Doctor Who, Emerald City, The Expanse, The Exorcist (TV), Extant, Falling Skies, Fear the Walking Dead, The Fits, The Flash, Game of Thrones, Get Out, Ghostbusters (2016), The Girl with all the Gifts, The Good Place, Gotham, Grimm, Humans, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Jessica Jones, Justice League, Killjoys, Krypton, Legends of Tomorrow, The Librarians, Life, Lucifer, Luke Cage, The Magicians, The Martian, The Originals, Orphan Black, Pacific Rim Uprising, People of Earth, Penny Dreadful, Power Rangers (2017), Powerless, Powers, Raising Dion (web), The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let's Do the Time Warp Again (2016), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Runaways, Sense8, Shadowhunters, The Shannara Chronicles, Siren, Sleepy Hollow, Snowpiercer, Solo: A Star Wars Story, Star Trek (2009), Star Trek: Beyond, Star Trek: Discovery, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Stranger Things, Suicide Squad, Supergirl, Supernatural, Thor: Ragnarok, Timeless, Travelers, True Blood, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, The Vampire Diaries, The Walking Dead, Westworld (TV), A Wrinkle in Time, What We Do in the Shadows, Wonder Woman, The Worst Witch, X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: First Class, Z for Zachariah, Z Nation


Who's that at [time]?

Good news! If you click the (CC) button on the Vimeo player and select "Interlingua," you'll get a subtitle file that identifies every clip in the vid. On YouTube, enable captions and then click the Settings gear icon to choose Interlingua.

Regular subtitles are also available in English. Lyrics can be found here, although the vid has extra verses because it's a combination of two versions of the song.


How did you decide who & what to include?

The inclusion criteria went something like:

- Characters of races and ethnicities that are underrepresented in the countries that produced the movie or show
- Countries = mostly U.S., also Canada, England, Australia, New Zealand, a few scattered others
- Characters got struck from the list if they were played by someone the U.S. would generally consider white
- Live-action sources
- I wanted to see the performer's face. No green-face makeup or whatever (e.g. Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy), full-face masks (e.g. Klingons in Star Trek: Discovery) or CGI/motion capture characters (e.g. Maz Kanata in Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
- "Badass" does not mean "pointing and shooting guns"

Also, FWIW, inclusion in the vid does not always imply endorsement of the original source or how a character was treated in it, *cough* Slipknot *cough*.


Note

This vid began life as a way to raise support for at-risk groups in the United States and as an artistic act of resistance and celebration. If you are so moved (and able), perhaps you will consider extending the reach of [tumblr.com profile] FandomTrumpsHate, within the U.S. or beyond, by donating as well. If you're looking for ideas, here is the auction runners' current list of charitable organizations at the U.S. national level. ♥

Drop a line about your donation at https://goo.gl/forms/Pz5HLrxsvYWJFKaM2, anonymously if you like, and it will be added to the tally!



ETA: Fandom is amazing. ♥ Organizations who've received support include: American Civil Liberties Union, Border Angels, Canadian Women's Foundation, ConPRmetidos, Council on American-Islamic Relations, Flippable, Higher Heights for America, Life After Hate, National Immigrant Justice Center, Southern Poverty Law Center, The Refugee Council (UK), Trans Lifeline, The Trevor Project, We The Protesters/Campaign Zero, Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights


Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/370022.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.
 
 
insufferable know-it-all
19 May 2018 @ 01:06 pm
Hello! Guess what? The vid is DONE!

Sources: ~105, depending on how you count
Characters: ~230
Characters played by Tessa Thompson: 3
Character with the most appearances (4): Anissa Pierce from Black Lightning
Vids of this magnitude I am likely to ever make again: 0

One last question as I put together the vid posts for next weekend, when it will show at Wiscon.

This was a vid made for charity, and I'm wondering if it would be appropriate to include a note at the bottom inviting people to donate to extend its impact. I've never seen it done before, but there's a chance this vid will be popular, in which case it would be cool to take advantage of that opportunity to raise some more funds for charity, given the amount of work that went into it.

What do you think: COOL IDEA or SUPER TACKY?

The wording I've been playing with:
Note

This vid began life as a way to raise support for at-risk groups in the U.S. and as an artistic act of resistance and celebration. If you are so moved (and able), perhaps you will consider extending the reach of [tumblr.com profile] FandomTrumpsHate, within or beyond the U.S., by donating in the vid's honor. If you're looking for ideas, here is the auction runners' list of charitable organizations. ♥

Drop a line about your donation at https://goo.gl/forms/Pz5HLrxsvYWJFKaM2, anonymously or not, and it will be added to the tally!

[some sort of counter, currently at $210]


Originally posted at https://bironic.dreamwidth.org/369832.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments.