oursin: Photograph of Stella Gibbons, overwritten IM IN UR WOODSHED SEEING SOMETHIN NASTY (woodshed)
[personal profile] oursin

I daresay most people that may be reading this will probably have heard about the really dire projected Peeple app: which lets people rate people. Any ol' people rate any ol' people they know, where 'know' means they have their mobile phone number.

Apart from the whole UGH factor of treating people like businesses or gadgets...

There is a good deal of guff from the founders of this misguided enterprise about 'positivity', but, really:

It's massively and possibly data-protection breaching misconceived, in that people can put other people into the app, whether they consent or not.

Even if you acc-en-tuate the pos-i-tive:

a) it sounds quite disastrously stream-crossing (a good part of the LinkedIn sexist comment hoohah was because, inappropriate for a professional-dealings site).

b) As I have heretofore remarked, even compliments may be backhanded, inappropriate, or downright offensive.

Also, these proponents of lovely transparency have apparently been taking a machete to adverse tweets and FB comments, stomping their feet and going, 'tis too a good idea!!!'.

The cod stocks are in danger, folks.

I'm over here with Robert Frost's neighbour, both pointedly ignoring one another if not actually making with the bricks and mortar.

Peter Pan (2003) still rules

Oct. 5th, 2015 09:45 am
selenak: (Peter Pan by Ravenlullaby)
[personal profile] selenak
Last week in the cinema I also watched a couple of trailers, including one for the impending Peter Pan prequel, Pan. Which doesn't look promising. Orphan boy? Hook as the Artful Dodger? This isn''t Oliver Twist, Hollywood! It's not Star Wars, either, so what's that about Peter having "a destiny"? Him being destiny free is part of being Peter Pan and not growing, is that so hard to grasp? (Probably. It reminds me how horrible the "sequel" Hook was. A case of "I like everyone involved, and so much dislike what they were doing". Grown-up Peter Pan needing to rediscover his inner child is both against the core of the character and removes all and any Barrie darkness in favour of Spielberg at his most mawkish, of all the manchildren Robin Williams played this is the least convincing and most embarassing, for all that he's the title character, Dustin Hoffmann's Hook isn't compelling at all, and worst of all, it's the most clichéd version of a father-son story imaginable. Bah.

Otoh it inspired me to rewatch the 2003 Peter Pan, which is my favourite screen version so far. (Not counting the clever darkside twist Once upon a Time did in its third season.) Here's why, in utterly random order:

* Making it a coming-of-age story for Wendy was inspired. There's potential for this interpretation in the Barrie books and play, but here it's really the focus without being sledgehammery about it. Wendy's decision at the end to return and grow up isn't just because she misses her parents (though that plays a part), but because she wants more from life than Peter's eternal childhood could provide.

* While we're talking Wendy, the film plays up her role as storyteller in an active way - the first time we see her, she's telling a pirate story to her brothers via acting the part of the pirate - and follows that up in Neverland (Wendy can fence as well) without losing Wendy-as-pretend-mother, or Wendy having feelings for Peter; being a girl in the traditional white dress and wanting a kiss and wanting adventure isn't treated as mutually exclusive anymore (no juxtaposition between tomboy and romance-loving girl here!)

* Peter Pan the novel (though not the stage play) heavily hints that Neverland as the Darlings experience it is formed by the wishes of the Darling children; this movie version makes that "formed by Wendy's wishes", with Hook embodying both the dread and the allure of adult sexuality, and yet avoids being inappropriate; Wendy herself is never fetishized, it's Hook who gets introduced bare chested before getting into costume, and since he's played by Jason Isaacs, he can bring the required mixture of menace and charm (Isaacs also has a ball as the hapless George Darling, since the film follows the tradition of the double casting of Hook/Mr. Darling.)

* This gives Hook temporarily the emotional upper hand in his final duel with Peter; the ability to taunt Peter that Wendy WILL grow up, there will be a husband in her future (read: sex, but this is still a children-aimed movie, so "husband" is as explicit as even the villain can get), and it's something Peter by his choice of eternal childhood won't ever be a part of; making Peter thus vulnerable in the final duel heightens the suspense instead of treating Hook's defeat as a given from the get go

* Which brings me to Peter: played by Jeremy Sumpter (whatever happened to him?), and really good in the part. This Peter has the cheerful heartlessness (except re: Wendy and Tinkerbell in the later's most famous scene), the joy and the casual bravery; the movie also gives him the costume not of the Disney cartoon but of the book illustrations and of Michael Lwellelyn Davies in the photo Barrie took of him that he wanted to be used as the model for the statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens (it wasn't), and he's compelling enough that you understand why Wendy (in addition to wanting to stay a child for a while longer at the start of the movie) runs away with him and Hook is obsessed with him, not to mention that movie trickery, actor and stunt people (I assume) really sell you on the idea that this boy can fly (and there's a difference between the way Peter does it and the way the first time trieers, the Darlings, later do)

* not kidding about the "heartless" part (which was important to Barrie): Peter's inability to recall the names of Wendy's brothers and indifference to their fates being a case in point

* "To die would ben an awfully big adventure": young Sumpter sells the iconic line, and it's fitting that the one thing Peter fears isn't death, it's adulthood, but only in this movie is this both the reason why Wendy eventually leaves and why Hook temporarily is able to bring him down (literally, which makes sense, since flying is connected to happy thoughts)

* Which provides the movie with a pay off for Wendy's previous longing to give and receive a kiss which book and stage play don't have beyond the "thimble" gag; it's the fairy tale motive of a kiss giving/returning life used in a way that also connects with Wendy's transition-from-child-to-adolescent arc

* The mermaids are suitably dangerous and eerie

* While Tigerlilly and her tribe still are fantasy Indians, the film tries its best to avoid the Edwardian racism by letting them speak solely in a Native American language (John translates) instead of Pigdin English, and nobody calls Peter "Great White Father"

* speaking of John, while Wendy's brothers play a more minor role here than in other adaptions, he gets one of the best lines, to Peter, after Wendy has woken her brothers up: "You offend gravity, sir - I should like to offend it with you!"

* one of the most famous moments of the original stage play, the "I do believe in fairies" scene, requires the participation of a live audience, so both Barrie when writing the novel later and any film version has a problem there, but what this film offers instead has its own magic

* it's also prepared not just by Peter's explanation to Wendy earlier but by a black humor gag involving Hook which it would spoil for new viewers to explain, since it's unique to this film

* Edwardian rl background gags: Aunt Millicent, a character not in the novel or the play, reads H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds" at one point and talks about novelists as bad husband material (certainly true for both Barrie and Wells, though for different reasons); Mrs. Darling is
made to look very much like Sylvia Llewellyn Davies does in the photographs

* The twist of connecting Neverland weather with Peter's moods and state of being makes me suspect someone's read Neil Gaiman's Sandman, and Morpheus certainly shares a few similarities, though certainly not the brooding, which is given to Hook instead.

Culinary: + virtual celebration

Oct. 4th, 2015 09:25 pm
oursin: Frontispiece from C17th household manual (Accomplisht Lady)
[personal profile] oursin

Saturday breakfast rolls: basic buttermilk, 50/50 strong white and white spelt flour. Nice.

Today's lunch: quail, halved, marinated in teriyaki sauce and rice wine with ginger, fennel seeds and a little sugar, smoked over mesquite chips (this was rather loosely based on a recipe for tea-smoked chicken: last time I tried smoking over tea as described in the recipe there was a Great Smog reenactment in the kitchen); served with okra roasted with red and yellow bell pepper strips in pumpkin seed oil, splashed with wild pomegranate vinegar, padron peppers, and sticky rice with lime leaves.

No bread made: maybe during the week.


And have the traditional [personal profile] oursin natal day celebration of virtual rich dark ginger cake (including non-gluten version) and madeira (carefully strained to remove any bits of dead duke).

Vivre la life am good

Oct. 4th, 2015 09:55 am
fresne: Circe (Default)
[personal profile] fresne
 This week, I went to see the CTO of America at the Commonwealth club, she was amazing. Bright bundle of energy bouncing ideas into the forward future. 

I wrote 11k words of a comedic take on Henry VI from the French POV. It's ridiculous.

I am now at a hotel in Solvang, which looks like a medieval village complete with loft rooms. Ah, kitch. Soon I shall be wine tasting.

This moment I making a tiny post so I do, before I dive back into the edit. Before I blink into the world in my blinged out shirt of wine tasting.

and on a more depressing note

Oct. 4th, 2015 03:05 pm
selenak: (Frobisher by Letmypidgeonsgo)
[personal profile] selenak
I seem to have done something wrong with my Yuletide nominations. I just checked whether or not they were accepted, and they came across as unsent altogether. :(

ETA: Thankfully, I worried for naught. I was instructed on how to look properly, and lo, the nominations were sent. PHEW.

Also I just returned from a great matinee celebrating Michael Ende (the writer) and his father, the painter Edgar Ende (the occasion is the 20th anniversary of Michael's death and the 40th of Edgar's), and while the matinee itself was fabulous, a great mixture of prose text excerpts and songs written by Michael Ende together with anecdotes by his illustrator and friend, plus an exhibition of Edgar's paintings, I learned something terribly sad. Now I've known ever since his original indignant interviews back in the 80s that Michael Ende despised and hated (the later term is not too strong in this case) the movie version of The Never-Ending Story, but I hadn't known until today there was an additional reason for this beyond "author despises film version of work due to it getting all he cares about completely wrong". Michael Ende and his wife, actress Ingeborg Hoffmann, lived in Genzano di Roma, and when the movie The Never-Ending Story hit the local cinema, Ende told his wife "you don't have to watch it" - he himself had done so at a preview in Munich, and had been vocally appalled - "but if you must, it's here now, it'll probably be your last chance". She went and watched. And got so upset that she got a pulmonary embolism and died. She literally got transported out of the cinema by the ambulance to her deathbed in the hospital.

There are a lot of authors who feel wronged by translations of their work into other media, and you might agree or disagree with this, but this event certainly sets a kind of morbid record for "author's life ruined by film based on his work"....

Doctor Who 9.02 Under the Lake

Oct. 4th, 2015 02:06 pm
selenak: (Nina by Kathyh)
[personal profile] selenak
Toby Whithouse! You're back - and despite the occasional objection to some of your Being Human narrative decisions, still my candidate from the currently involved writers to take over from Moffat. BH icon used in your honor.

Read more... )

Condemn'd to repeat it

Oct. 3rd, 2015 03:32 pm
oursin: Cartoon hedgehog going aaargh (Hedgehog goes aaargh)
[personal profile] oursin

Oft, my dearios, have I complained about reviewers greeting something as NEW! REVELATION!! when, really, not so much.

That new book on JtR that was mentioned in this post, is reviewed today in The Guardian Saturday Review: o dear o dear o dear o dear.

A new, deeply researched Ripper theory from the writer of Withnail and I centres on Freemasonry and identifies a masonic grand organist as the serial killer

(It also brings in a new solution to the Maybrick poisoning case - actually, isn't there a theory about that James Maybrick was Jack?.)

Deeply researched I think actually means: obsessively pursued beyond what any evidence will actually bear. I don't think it's necessarily 'impressive' just because it took 15 years.

I'm pretty sure that Masonic conspiracy has figured in previous 'solutions', though possibly in connection with the Prince Eddy theory?

But yet again, we see that the author of this farrago has fingered somebody who is already Known to History.


(no subject)

Oct. 3rd, 2015 11:32 am
oursin: Brush the Wandering Hedgehog by the fire (Default)
[personal profile] oursin
Happy birthday, [personal profile] quartzpebble!

More Links Than A Bag Of Sausages

Oct. 3rd, 2015 03:07 am
petzipellepingo: (more links by eyesthatslay)
[personal profile] petzipellepingo
The Ringmaster , NC-17 Buffy/Angelus by [profile] xspike4evax.

Just a few spots left over at [community profile] seasonal_spuffy.

Thinky thoughts on the last Season Ten issue by perpetual.

TheMarySue includes Let Me Rest in Peace in their "Be Prepared for the 13 Best Villain Songs Of All Time,You Poor Unfortunate Souls". "So, Spike is a character who starts out as a villain, becomes a reluctant ally, and then goes through a complicated set of transformations even after that. Marsters’ portrayal of Spike is one of my favorite villains in TV history. He’s weird, complex, alternatively depressed and gleeful in his villainy. And, of course, so is the song. One part passion, one part evil, and one part pure entertainment. Because that’s kinda who Spike is".

Buzzfeed talks SMG's role in Star Wars Rebels.


Oct. 2nd, 2015 06:23 pm
coffeeandink: (world domination)
[personal profile] coffeeandink
The Best of C.L. Moore is currently free at Amazon, and you should get it if for "Vintage Season" alone.

C.L. = Catherine Lucille. First publication "Shambleau," 1933.

But we all know women didn't write sf before like 2010, right.


shadowkat: (Default)

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