I've been loving True Blood so far this season. It's doing what it does best, being a ridiculous show that I still find myself looking forward to as if it's awesome. I saw an interesting comment on this week's show that made me think about what seems to link back to the ongoing discussion of fandom about storytelling vs. being responsible. I'll put it under a cut for spoilers for the lastest ep, "If You Love Me, Why Am I Dyin?" The comment involves the folks in Hot Shot and potentially offensive portrayals thereof...More inside. )
I was talking today about a thing on Pop Culture Happy Hour last week where there was this theory put forth that in order to have cool kids, you ought to not be cool parents. The idea being that cool parents produce dull kids and vice versa, since kids rebel. This is echoed in a Wired piece this week about geeks needing a wider, blander culture to react against or else you don't get creativity.

And I thought a lot of the appeal of these ideas is that it gives you a formula for creativity, a way of ensuring you can be cool, when in fact creativity and talent is often innate, unearned and unfair. Which is not to say that you either get sprinkled with the creativity dust at birth and you’re a prodigy and if you aren't you should just shut up and there's no hope for you and hard work means nothing--could not disagree with that more. I just don't think it's wholly created by your environment, doesn’t always fit in with your personality, at least not in a way that makes it easy. So I started thinking about my own tastes in things and whether I got them from my parents. )

Anyone else have relevant experiences in this area?
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (WWSMD?)
( Feb. 5th, 2008 01:06 pm)
I'm one of those people who watches my favorite movies over and over. I also listen to all the commentaries on DVDs and watch all the extras. And all last week I was in the mood to watch The Omen--so you can imagine my distress when I went to my shelf on Sunday and discovered I had somehow LOST MY COPY! I have no idea how I did it. I'm going to have to talk about the Omen as a poor substitute )
I can't believe how long it's been since I posted. That wasn't intentional. This weekend I was staring at the screen thinking I'd like to write something and couldn't think of anything I wanted to say. This is what I miss about Potter fandom--there were always conversations going on that made me want to join in.

I just read a review of Sweeney Todd that was really good and made me very happy about this movie--it's my all-time favorite musical so of course I've been paranoid about anything going wrong. I've seen it three times--once a production done at UMass when I was in college, once with Elaine Paige at Lincoln Center and then the most recent revival with Michael Cerveris and Patty Lupone—each one was really great. I was not taken to the original on Broadway with my parents despite repeated requests and am still complaining about that.:-)

Speaking of serial killer heroes, I have been watching Dexter and reading the TWOP forums, and while it's not rampant I am beginning to take more interesting in the "woobifying syndrome" now that I'm watching that show. Some spoilers for Dexter, seasons one and two, inside, and one little one for Psycho. )
So last night I started watching The Village. This is a movie whose basic twist I figured on back when I saw the original commercials, so I never saw any reason to see it. I still didn't, really, but I had an hour to kill before Madmen and I found it totally absorbing visually. It's really beautiful--I love anything shot in the mid to northeast in the fall. And part of the creepy beauty was in the fake-ness of it. I didn't believe for a second this was an actual 19th century village, but it looked like some lone re-enactment village in the Pennsylvania woods where you'd go on a field trip to learn how to dip candles and church butter and such. And I loved those field trips.

Anyway, I'm going to totally spoil the movie within just to talk about one thing that seems the strangest thing to me out of all the strangeness. Total spoilers for The Village within. )

Meanwhile, I read this Christina Dodd book Touch of Darkness where sadly, I found myself impatient with the porn and wanting more shape-shifting assassins. Also, I rarely read these kinds of trashy books (not that I have any problem with them at all!) but I have to say—for all we’re hard on fanfic writers who turn male characters into women…that is so not a problem if this is a best–seller. If you ever wanted to know what the male version of a Stepford Wife would look like, look no farther than the love interests here.
Sounds like a hyperbole, but it's really not! I finally saw it--the most important movie. It took me a long time to find out exactly what movie it was, and then to find it somewhere.

When I was six my parents went to Europe (or California maybe?) for a week or two, and a friend of my mom's came to stay with us. One night this horror movie was on TV so I of course stayed to watch. I can remember her sitting in a chair, and me sitting behind her in the chair, watching over her shoulder. It just...well, it freaked me out. I didn't know what it was called, didn't think I really understood it, but it always stayed very clear in my head and showed up in my dreams. At times I even wondered if I hadn't made it up because it seemed so much inside my head, but I knew very well I didn't.

Anyway, I did finally figure out what it was and saw it again, and now I have to babble about it-quite a lot of babbling, it turns out. Spoilers within for The Beast In The Cellar--dun dun DUNNNNN )
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Blah blah blah blah blah)
( Sep. 28th, 2006 12:33 pm)
Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] kaiz! And happy belated birthday to [livejournal.com profile] willow_wode--and probably more. I suck at birthdays.

I saw a movie. Yeah, not the most exciting thing, but it was a movie I keep thinking about and that's exciting to me. It was one of those "Since Netflix charges me a flat fee I can stick stuff on my queue that sounds vaguely interesting." I did that with two movies at the same time, and one sucked ("The Nameless") and the other...well, I am really wary about recommending movies, especially horror movies, because they're so subjective. You never know what's going to creep you out or just bore you. But I quite liked this one--Session 9. This is odd because there were a lot of things as I was watching the movie that made me think it wasn't that good. For instance, I'm not really into slasher movies and this movie has a slasher element. The killings weren’t very interesting to me, nor was the big reveal a big surprise. But I think what I like about the movie is that the reveal and the killings weren’t, imo, the point. I’m going to try to avoid too many spoilers, but some spoilers for Session 9 inside... )

Probably this long meditation is of interest to nobody but me--unless someone else has seen this and liked it!
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Huffy)
( Aug. 5th, 2006 11:26 pm)
A friend sent me a link to this article on the *gag* remake of The Wicker Man here and not that I'm surprised, but I'm already annoyed by it. )

p.s. I find it fitting that I'm reading this about The Wicker Man after this week's re-read HBP chapter made me think of Britt Eckland's naked dance of temptation in the movie. (If you know the movie and the book HBP, it's the scene where Harry's trying to get into the RoR and feels a wonderful sense of power thinking of Draco on the other side of the wall.)
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Yum!)
( Jul. 23rd, 2006 05:34 pm)
Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] pluraliatantum and [livejournal.com profile] t0ra_chan and [livejournal.com profile] wordplay!

My big present will be answering the meme I was tagged for by [livejournal.com profile] t0ra_chan. Once you've been tagged, you have to write six random facts about yourself, then choose six other people to tag. Consider them more "if you care to" tags.

Six random facts about me... )

Btw, last week I went to an art show my cousin had some photographs in which was really cool in Brooklyn. Not that I'm biased, but his pieces were the best. More exciting is we were both looking at this other piece that featured a priest buggering a small boy from behind under the words CHOOSE ROMANCE. There were all these pink flowers around the border. We were discussing the possible Deep Meanings of this painting and my cousin said, "I keep trying to relate the pink hawthorns to Proust somehow." There is nothing like suddenly discovering you know another Proust-phile. Squeee!

Movies: The Legend of Hell House and Burnt Offerings )
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Rant!)
( Jun. 4th, 2006 12:50 pm)
Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] ptyx!

I've been watching movies like a mad movie-watching thing. Yesterday I made my first Netflix mistake. My bad review/rant/spoilers for Wolf Creek within. )

Speaking of movies, there's an interesting article about movie reviews here--really a review of a collection of movie reviews. Article is here. Hopefully it doesn't require a login or anything.
Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] go_back_chief!!!

I hope you're having a wonderful one. I'm celebrating it by being a meme sheep. I figure I can do this meme because none of the things on it are very negative.:-D

Fill it out if you are so inclined. And get your own! All the kids are doing it.

I just watched a movie called Little Otik, one of those "so bizarre it's hard to describe" movies. Even if I hadn't read that the director of this movie also did Alice, which I saw years ago. Nobody likes close ups of mouths, especially the mouths of little girls reading, as Jan Svankmajer. In a nutshell, this couple can't have children, until Dad digs a stump out of the ground and shapes it to look like a kid. Only the stump/kid's got to eat--milk, porridge, pork, hair, cats, postmen...it becomes a bit of a problem. Definitely worth checking out if you're into that sort of thing.
Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] shadowfax!!

It's almost Halloween--wee! I had a nice choice of horror movies on TV last night, all of which I already owned, and decided to go with IFC's showing of The Wicker Man. I was hoping to get the longer version, which legend has it is better, but I got the version I've already seen. Not that this is a bad thing. The Wicker Man is one of the most wonderfully weird horror movies ever, with Christopher Lee in a truly groovy zone. Also, it's essentially a musical--how many horror movies can you say that about?

The thing about the movie that makes it memorable rather than just plain silly, imo, is that like many great horror movies it takes a simple idea and follows it to its logical conclusion. In this case, it presents you with an extreme religious situation, and yet never really sides with one side or another. I can't help but make you think. That's why I never regret it when I decide to make an appointment with the Wicker Man--spoilers within. )
Of course now that I declared October scary movie month I'm looking at my DVDs thinking, "Huh, what do I have something to say about?" I was thinking about the things I wrote about The Shining, and the connection between the main characters' imagination and the house, and realized that two other classic haunted house movies use exactly this same idea.

That's as good a reason as any to watch The Haunting and The Innocents again-spoilers within. )
Happy October! October is my favorite month, not only because it contains my favorite day of the year, Halloween, but that's part of it. Maybe that's why I was inordinately interested and pleased two weeks ago when my mother revealed I was born a month early. I knew I had been medically induced early due to this RH-negative thing. My mother had once mentioned talking to a woman who did astrological charts and she asked her about my being induced because I guess for her she'd always thought my sign should be Libra--which is interesting since I've never read a single horoscope in my entire life that was ever remotely accurate for me. The astrologer said whatever day I was born was the day I was "meant" to be born so it didn't matter, but this seems to have been something that stuck in my mother's head (maybe she just wanted all her kids to be Libras). Anyway, so I always knew I was induced early but I always assumed it was, like, days early, not a whole month. So although I've got no problem with my real birthday, I sort of like the idea that my "phantom birthday" is in October.

It being October, [livejournal.com profile] slippyslope had mentioned doing a sort of theme month for those of us who love horror movies and just don't get to talk about them enough. I've done posts here and there where I talked about some I liked, but I love the idea of a special month for October. I can't promise any regular horror movie or horror-anything posts, but as it happens I finally picked up the DVD to The Shining and was watching it this weekend. It spurred a lot of thoughts, which I will now spit out here.

The Shining--a horror movies about writing--spoilers within for the movie and book )
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Boo.)
( Sep. 14th, 2005 09:44 pm)
In case I don't get a chance tomorrow, happy early birthday to [livejournal.com profile] xnera!!

I got a mouth full of bling! *flashes new gold tooth* Finally I got the damn crown put on, and I've been promised it should last until I'm old and grey or dead.

I rented four movies over the past few days, and will now speak a bit about all of them. Possible spoilers for Crash, Jules et Jim, Deadbirds and Wishing Stairs within. )
I just came across this fabulous quote from [livejournal.com profile] teratologist about analyzing the Re-Animator movies. Re-Animator being a movie that contains such classic dialogue as, "Who's going to listen to you? You're a talking head."

Teratologist says:

Re-Animator, Bride of Re-Animator, and Beyond Re-Animator are arguably the films most likely to cause a prominent American author to spin violently in his or her grave. They're based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft, but they contain very little by way of Deep Thoughts About Man's Place in the Universe and a whole lot of the sort of zombies that Shaun of the Dead was sending up. They are close to the epitome of dumb entertainment. I love them, and the reason I love them is because I can readily dissect them.

And like all dumb, 'it's just entertainment' entertainment, you arguably stand a much better chance of seeing where the collective head of some portion of society is really at by dissecting these works than by dissecting works that were written by self-conscious types with one eye on the critics. It's like observing critters in the wild instead of in a cage in the lab - if the (cue Marlin Perkins/ Mutual of Omaha Voice) Magnificent, Solitary Author is pursuing his or her life cycle blissfully unaware of the people hanging around in the background with lab coats and cameras, s/he will give us a truer picture of what material emotionally resonates with that portion of the public that thinks they just want to be entertained. If you dissect Umberto Eco and J.K. Rowling, you'll learn what Eco thinks from Eco (and that's fun), but you'll learn what's lurking in the hindbrain of Western society from ripping apart Rowling, precisely because she is under the impression that she is writing something that isn't very deep, and therefore isn't working to censor or fancy up the things she just assumes are true about society - and because we have evidence that these unfancied-up hindbrain thoughts resonate with millions of people throughout the world.

If that isn't absolutely fucking fascinating, and a real pleasure to figure out, I don't know what is.

Ah, it's beautiful, isn't it? )
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (WWSMD?)
( Mar. 6th, 2005 12:00 pm)
Had a great time--especially since I saw it for free. The friend I went with had a coupon. I wouldn't have felt cheated if I'd paid for it though. Spoilers inside. )
See, this is why it's dangerous for LJ to go down. Apparently when that happens I go out and spend a lot of money. But I feel accomplished, because I've been needing boots for a long time and now I have them--weee! I got polka-dot rain boots and a pair of Uggs (too trendy--I know. Sue me). Shockingly, neither of these boots are pink, which is what I went out to get. But I like them a lot.

**hugs boots even though the rain boots smell awful because they're rubber and the warm boots smell awful because of the waterproof stuff I just sprayed on them **

On Thursday night I went to see The Rivals by Richard Sheridan, at Lincoln Center. It's one of those 18th century plays that seems like it could have been written last month and just set in the 18th century. Dana Ivey was the one big name in the cast as Mrs. Malaprop. I have just found out, btw, that "Malaprop"the name is not a play on "malaprop" the word, but vice-versa. Go you, Richard Sheridan, getting into the dictionary! I enjoyed pretty much everybody in the cast, particularly Jim True-Frost as Faulkland, whose girlfriend just can't do anything right, and Jeremy Shamos as Bob Acres, country squire just arrived in the big city (Bath) and determined to do things right.

Went out for Mexican food last night--did you all know that it's possible to converse with people without use of an lj? I know--what will they think of next? Anyway had some thoughts there about Queer Eye for the Straight Girl )

Also, before I was felled by a splitting headache, I watched Invasion of the Body Snatchers. This movie gets overlooked way to often! )
sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Blah blah blah blah blah)
( Jan. 5th, 2005 04:50 pm)
I saw the weirdest movie this weekend that in its strange way said something about fanfic. It's impossible to really talk about it without completely spoiling it, so be warned. It's called A Tale of Two Sisters in English. Its Korean title is Janghwa, Hongryeon, apparently based on a well-known Korean folktale. If you're planning to see it and don't want to be completely spoiled, don't read, though being spoiled might help you know what's going on as you watch it. Spoilers within, based on my personal interpretations of wtf happened in it. YMMV. )
Happy birthday [livejournal.com profile] shadowfax8 (one day late). I hope you had a great one!!

Halloween, my favorite day. ::sigh:: It really smelled like fall today. Spring and fall have always had such distinctive smells for me and I love them both. Walking around here you'd think Hogwarts planned a day trip to Manhattan, there are that many kids in Hogwarts robes. Okay, I admit to keeping an eye out for a Gryffindor and Slytherin together, carrying golf clubs.

I've been watching horror movies on and off all day--The Bad Seed was on earlier, now it's The House on Haunted Hill (which seems to include more screaming than 8 movies combined) and then The Haunting. That's good programming.

But in between I rented a DVD which I really loved. Guillermo Del Toro's The Devil's Backbone )

Now I'm going to do a card reading for the coming year and hope for a long-shot good thing that might happen but might not so I'm not going to say anything else about it in case it doesn't.


sistermagpie: Classic magpie (Default)


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