storyrainthejournal: (catscream)
My Ideal All Hallows and Day of the Dead Film Fest – to run between Halloween & Dio de los Muertos

First night, Chinese ghosts:

A Chinese Ghost Story and A Chinese Ghost Story II

Two of my favorite films with creepy things in them--ghosts, tree demons with epic, hungry tongues, reanimated corpses, empty, corrupt shells of government officials and religious figures actually animated by devils--are A Chinese Ghost Story and A Chinese Ghost Story II. When I first saw A Chinese Ghost Story at the Dobie back in 1990, it was a revelation to me (even with its chop suey subtitles) in terms of having the lush supernatural creepy stuff that's the coolest thing about horror (to me) in conjunction with actual story, humor, wonder, and characters who don't all die in the end. A combination I'd been pining after, it seems.

Second night, space:

Alien and Aliens

Alien was the first horror movie I ever voluntarily lined up to see (on opening night in Philadelphia); I was 15 (yes, children, I am old). A friend had dragged me to see Jaws a few years earlier, and I never forgave her. So not my thing. But space! If it was going to be in space, I was in.

And for the first time, I got the appeal of horror movies--that total engagement, edge of the seat screaming thrill. Your attention on the edge with your body, totally in the moment, riding the roller coaster. Exhilarating catharsis. I discovered that a)I love horror in space, and b)if the cat survives, I'm okay with everyone else but the final girl dying. Plus, all those good things--a carefully built narrative and a well-built world peopled with real-feeling characters you can care about. Spaceship! (I'd been loving on spaceships since kidhood.) Very alien alien monster.

Where Alien is a horror movie in space,
Aliens is really an adventure movie with horror elements--in space. One of my favorite recipes. Extraterrestrial planets (another thing I've been loving on since kidhood) and terraforming and cranky unfinished ecosystem, intrepid band of interesting/engageable characters--and not everyone dies! Win! Of the two,
Aliens is actually the one I've viewed more often. I'm sure it's the source--even though I haven't watched it in a long while--of a recent dream in which I learned that when Sigourney Weaver is driving, you can park the car wherever the fuck you want.

Third night, those prints don’t go together:

Teeth and The Frighteners

These two movies don't really go together. Teeth is a biting, dark (also hilarious) indie tale of mutation and the evolution of vagina dentata as a survival response--which really, when you think about it, makes some sense. I really like the mordant intelligence of the movie.

The Frighteners is just fun. Peter Jackson directs Michael J. Fox and a cast of supporting goofballs; the story has a shadowed, sorrowful heart but wears an impish coat of dread whimsy. Plus, I love The Mutton Birds rendition of "
Don't Fear the Reaper."

Fourth night, del Toro:

The Orphanage and Pan's Labyrinth

These are both Spanish language films, the first 'presented by' Guillermo del Toro, the second written and directed by him.

I like The Orphanage because it's dark, creepy, set by the sea and partakes of the Gothic with some good scary stuff, but has compassion--albeit a somewhat twisted compassion--at its heart.


Pan's Labyrinth is, for me, a wonderful dark (dark) fairy tale--as fairy tales properly were. I love the narrative's eye for detail and that so much of it is in the little girl's POV. I love that she's a reader, and faces her monsters--both worldly and otherworldly--with tenacious resilience. It doesn't matter if the otherworldly is real or imagined--the dread figures of the fantastical underworld and the brutal would-be father figure above are equally chilling. I like this movie because it's ambiguous but utterly satisfying just the same. It pricks your sense of wonder with a sharp, terrible claw.


Fifth night, zombie laughs:

Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland

Not sure there's much to say about these. Over-the-top black comedy silliness and fun. Shaun of the Dead is happily British and awesomely funny. Zombieland is mucho Norte Americano and lots of fun. Both movies are funny and dark with zombie violence, but with gooey hearts of sweet caramel. Sort of.

Today's bonus, the zombie apocalypse, Teddy bear style: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61RJGQcG_sM&feature=share


Final night, from Sweden to Heian era Japan:

Let the Right One In and Onmyoji

When I saw Let the Right One In with friends we had a lot of discussion as to whether it was really a horror movie (of course many of the movies in my ideal fest here have not technically been horror movies--but it's my ideal fest for the spooky time, not a horror film fest). I think it is, by the definition that what's implicit by the end of the movie is quite a horrible, chilling prospect. The Swedish are very good at well-constructed narrative, pacing, and matter-of-fact-dread coupled with everyday life and haunting beauty. Many people have praised Let the Right One In and it deserves the praise.

Onmyoji is a Japanese movie that tells the story of a court Onmyoji--which translates as the 'Yin Yang Master,' an occult master and fortune teller--in the Heian period, who safeguards the kingdom in a time when the land is plagued by evil forces. It's a costume epic full of the supernatural, sorcery, demons, ghosts, heroes, servant gods, metamorphic creatures, political intrigue, and betrayal. In short, awesome.



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Thanks for coming to the fest. Please put your liquor bottles in the recycling and your popcorn tubs and candy wrappers in the trash.  And leave a tip for the help.

Pleasures

Apr. 3rd, 2015 10:52 am
storyrainthejournal: (colette'shandw/cat)
Speaking of guilty pleasures, or not terribly literary or art-filmic pleasures for which I don't really feel any guilt, I give you the Fast and Furious movies. This little paean addresses some of what it is about these movies that gets me. Though I'm not young and didn't "grow up with them," I took the Fast and Furious movies to heart right from the first. Nope, don't love cars or car culture, either. But diverse, found family, adrenaline-fueled capers, crazy stupid adventure (and let's not leave out the lovely lovely potential subtextual slash of Dom/Brian), yeah, it's a sweet spot. I'm so there for that, that I already have a ticket for the seventh movie on this, its opening weekend.

My enthusiasm for these movies generally surprises my friends when they come upon it.

I'm complicated.

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Between these hubs of human life, there was only sea and the web of float tracks on an endless beading of amber bladder bubbles, stretching in all directions. The sectors—they had names, but I generally couldn’t remember one from another—were strung like gaudy baubles on the lace ribbon of tracks around the world. Except where there was no sea at all, just dust and the empty; they say there’s towns there, too, and nomad bands, but it’s just what they say.

-- from "The Chambered Eye" in Rayguns Over Texas

Come hear me read from this story, E. J. Fischer read from his recent Asimovs cover novella, "The New Mother," and Janalyn Guo read from her work tomorrow, Saturday April 4, 7-8pm, A Speculative Evening at Malvern Books, 613 West 29th Street.

Here's a flyer!

storyrainthejournal: (catscream)
For TBT, seestra and mother in 2008, reflected in my mom's glasses, something scary. I don't remember what it was, so our memories were probably wiped by some terrifying supernatural visitation.



On the recommendation of this same seestra, I recently watched the film LUCY, directed by Luc Besson and starring Scarlett Johansson. Another movie that was previewed and sold misleadingly, and wrongly. I liked it a lot. Thanks, seestra!
storyrainthejournal: (fable)
No spoilers beyond what you get in a preview or blurb.

Snowpiercer
I saw Snowpiercer with an excited crowd of Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow attendees. We’d all ridden on the Hill Country Flyer steam train (I was in the Silver Pine car and my seat mates turned out to be very fun young women, one of them friends with Genevieve Valentine, whose new book I actually happened to be reading at the time, more about, below*) to the screening site in Burnet.

One of the coolest things about seeing the movie this way, besides the very gracious, funny, and informative presence of director Bong Joon Ho for Q&A, was the way the outdoors managed to augment the film at key moments, with a brief cooling and rise of the wind, a well-timed blowing of train horn, the arc of stars above as the night darkened.

As for the movie, despite the presence of some fairly large and hard to swallow world building and narrative leaps, I very much enjoyed it and was thoroughly engaged throughout. The world of the train is fantastic, and the performances are all around extremely fine--the presence of the two main protagonists from The Host very welcome. The entitled vs. marginalized/have vs. have-nots/grueling struggle with violent, psychopathic social injustice embodied in the film is one that easily finds traction for me, but it’s also one I think Bong Joon Ho dramatizes to devastating effect.


*The Girls at the Kingfisher Club
Very much enjoyed this, and read it compulsively fast. The Twelve Princesses is beautifully transposed to prohibition era New York. It's one of the more compelling fairy tale on its own, but The Girls at the Kingfisher Club makes something much darker, realer, and emotionally truthful of it. It rings true the way the best fairy tales do, while also being historical fiction with a PBS/BBC-like quality costume drama factor.


Child of a Hidden Sea
Just out, this is the first book in A.M. Dellamonica’s Stormwrack series, a very different feeling kind of portal fantasy set, largely, in an age-of-sail world somewhat like ours might be, someday--but then again, not. The world building, on an environmental, natural world scale, is phenomenal, detailed, and endlessly interesting; the magic system, deeply entwined with an equally complex and well-articulated legal system, reveals a great deal about the world and the many cultures inhabiting it. There’s swashbuckling adventure, moral quandaries, and a lot of fun.

(Full disclosure, the author is one of my dearest friends, and I read early drafts of this book, and the next in the series, a while back. The world and its characters have stayed with me, vivid and loved.) 
storyrainthejournal: (rainpunkgirl)
Poem by Patricia Lockwood, The Rape Joke.
*
Pretty much sums up the situation. PSA on "Gynoticians"

*
That was the heavy, here's some light.

Snippet from Martha Well's upcoming new Raksura novella.

Sweet & Salty Roast Chickpeas

What I like abut this trailer for the long delayed 47 Ronin movie, is that, stylistically, it calls back to one of my all time favorite Hong Kong movies, A Chinese Ghost Story, and that makes me happy. A little iffy on the white guy (Keanu) hero, but still.
storyrainthejournal: (wolfinthehood)
...Witchhunters! So, I went to see a matinee of this yesterday at the Ritz (a nice 35 minute walk from my loft). No, of course, it's not a good movie (I'd say it isn't aiming for good). It's tongue-in-cheek, silly, over-the-top gory, ridiculous. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. Exactly the escapism I was looking for. Cause it's also Gemma Atherton and Jeremy the arms Renner being sweetly profane and lovely while kicking ridiculous evil witch ass in the woods. It's forming a little alternative family of witch hunters ridiculous. It's fun. The jokes aren't subtle, but they're delivered in good humor. Did I mention the arms? And the pretty? And Gemma Atherton kicking ass but being also kind and compassionate? 

For me, the very definition of popcorn movie. (For the record, though, I had a salt caramel milkshake.) 
storyrainthejournal: (samtv)
Often I really don't agree with offical venue top ten lists; it's a subjective thing. My criteria for the best of lists below is enjoyability, lasting impression, and heart.

Best films of 2012:
Argo
The Avengers
The Hobbit
Cabin in the Woods
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Moonrise Kingdom


Best television of 2012:
Justified
Game of Thrones
Doctor Who
Christmas special
The Legend of Korra
The Walking Dead
Archer
Louie
Community


(...and the Snow, Emma, Mulan, and Aurora all-together-in-the-woods-with-swords scenes on Once Upon a Time, though not the rest of the show)

The Hobbit

Dec. 23rd, 2012 04:02 pm
storyrainthejournal: (snowy)
A brief word on the first installment of The Hobbit, in response to the negative reviews...look, it was never going to be minimalist, lean and mean, with a modern, post-modern, or post-post-modern sensibility or edge. It's not urban fantasy. It's old school, epic, nature fantasy. And it's a little more whimsical and unironic than even the Lord of the Rings trilogy, because it's set in an earlier Middle Earth, when the return of the great darkness is only a rumor and a rumble and dead hedgehogs in the wood. While it's not strictly true to the source material of the book, it's quite true to the spirit of epic nature-based fantasy, and to the the world created by Jackson's first three films. If you're not the type to like overlarge speedy rabbits pulling sleds or giant eagles or dwarf singing, well, it's not a movie for you.

Personally, despite the length, I was enjoying Jackson's Middle Earth, and the characters, so much, that as I felt the end approaching I wished it would go on. Old school nature fantasy--and Tolkein--is long-winded and full of rich detail. In this case, the detail and rambling voice are worth it, because they're full of heart and sap. I'll gladly sit through another bunch of hours of adventures there.

For the record, I don't lack critical faculty; I sighed all the way through The Phantom Menace--it was a mess, and pointless, and did not succeed as the epic, thrilling science fantasy adventure it set out to be. Ditto Prometheus. But The Hobbit is not that kind of mess; it succeeds at what it set out to be quite admirably--and beautifully. It's just that what it set out to be is not everyone's cup of tea. It's not based on a Raymond Carver story, people. It's not the least bit interested in being modern or minimalist or edgy and ironic.

I may see it again.
storyrainthejournal: (fable)

I've been mulling my reaction to BRAVE, which is, briefly, that while it is a moving story gorgeously told, it's not the story I wanted—and it's not the story promised by the film’s title or preview campaign.

A story about a mother-daughter relationship is a fine thing, and a story arc which ends with Merida being free to make her own choice of a mate, and to maintain her physical engagement of the woods and wild—and also reengages her mother in that wildness—is lovely and welcome. And it's very gorgeous. But as the first and only, much anticipated adventure with a princess as hero story from Pixar, it was not the story I wanted.

BRAVE's story says, here, girls can be heroes of the home, heroes on a domestic scale, they can revolutionize romance and family—but they can’t have an adventure that leads to anywhere other than family and romance. Those are boys’ adventures. There’s nothing wrong with the story BRAVE tells—there’s nothing wrong with the domestic scale—but as Pixar’s long awaited first female protagonist story? There’s a little something wrong there. If it was one story among many, fine, but it wasn’t and, so far, isn’t, one among many. It's not the story I wanted, at all.

What did I want? Though it’s not as fine a movie in any other way, I prefer the arc of Burton’s Alice in his ALICE IN WONDERLAND—she’s a hero and in the end she sets out to have adventures, to explore, to live in the wider world.

Jenn Reese says it another way here
storyrainthejournal: (Default)
First, sale! Pleased to say that my story "Boneshadow" will appear in the second issue of the very cool Phantom Drift.
*

Second, more stuff about the Avengers...this pair of articles looks at the treatment of Black Widow in both the movie and by major critics in their reviews of it.

This article is just right on the money.

This one has some interesting points (it goes into some consideration of other things, like the HBO show Girls, and kind of explains why that show doesn't work for me--I'm not a fan of cringe humor, of any stripe, I guess). (Myself, I don't agree with this article about replacing Ruffalo or Johansen.)

I think Avengers is structured so that Black Widow is central to the film's motion; I also think Scarlett Johansen's performance was so quiet that this slips by a lot of people. I'm of two minds as to whether that's a plus or a minus. But I actually think it was purposeful and that Joss pulled off a subtle bit of sleight of hand with this movie (which is why I'm kind of obsessed fascinated). Rather than being up in umbrage about a girl sullying their action superness, Black Widow's centrality to the clockwork of the film slid right by a lot of critics and viewers, never really standing out to their conscious minds that it even happened. But it did, and maybe it got into the collective subconsciousness, snuck behind the wall on the tide of the movie's awesome--right into that sanctum where the real superheroes have always been men and women are just sexy decoration.

It's no accident that the non-super powered heroes on the team, Black Widow and Hawkeye--and Ironman, who without his suit is still pretty human--are the emotional heart of the movie's action and arc. And Banner, who is human when not hulk, is a close second. There's not really that much emotional arc for Thor or Captain America, one of whom never was and one of whom truly is no longer human.

Yes, I am waxing slightly academic on a super hero movie.


storyrainthejournal: (yoruichi-light)
About the Avengers: thank you Joss for the central and nuanced portrayal of Black Widow and general acknowledgement of women as capable, serious, interesting people--heroes, even--making an already super yay fun movie more awesome than awesome sauce. I may actually see this movie a second time in the theater--first time in a loooooong time I feel like doing that.
*

To celebrate that the book's up on Amazon for pre-order, Martha has posted the first chapter of The Siren Depths, third book in the Books of the Raksura series, for your teasement. I heart this book, like the ones before it a great and satisfying fantasy read.
*

In conclusion: bioluminescent bloom like waves full of stars.
storyrainthejournal: (catscream)

So there's this movie Chronicle opening soon, in which, once again, "highschoolers" means boys. Characters with the interesting plot line means male characters. It's always about the boys. *yawn*

Just yawn.





storyrainthejournal: (Default)
If you're looking for a genre fiction writing class you really can't do much better than A.M. Dellamonica's Creating Universes, Building Worlds through the UCLA online extension program. Some info on it in her post here, with links to more info and to the syllabus. I know few writers who are as truly braw at plot and at conveying all the nuts and bolts of the process in a such useful way. (yes, I'm making another effort to get the work braw back into use)

*
Bunraku is a movie that went straight to DVD, and I guess I can sorta see why, but I really enjoyed it. It's stylized and beautiful in a dreamy, hallucinatory sort of way, a paean to samurai and western films, and to, er, pop-up art books. It also has Josh Hartnett, Woody Harrelson, Ron Pearlman, Kevin McKidd, Demi Moore, and some great fight sequences. If you like any of those things, you might like Bunraku.

*
Books read recently include the following, with brief review notes:
The Hum and the Shiver - erm...I can see why a lot of folks have really liked this book (glowing reviews abound, so take mine with grains of salt), but for me it was just okay. I never really believed in or was fully engaged by the characters and I don't feel like the ending was either fully realized or fully earned by what went before. I prefer Justified for my southern gothic, I guess. 

The Night Circus - Quite wonderful. Beautiful and intricate with a satisfying arc, engaging characters, and so much lovely world architecture one could happily wander it forever--which is part of the point. Wonders upon wonders, intimate and revealing. For me, a better book about magic/illusion than some others in that vein. 

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - I was more engaged in the first half of this than the last half, but it was overall well done and engaging, and ended promisingly. The use of old photographs is pretty great, and also pretty uncanny.

Currently I'm reading an ARC of Elizabeth Bear's RANGE OF GHOSTS and am so very into it--seriously, this book is good. Like, epic canvas, disappear into this world with these characters, deeply textured, good. Excited to be reading it. More when I finish.
storyrainthejournal: (cool)
I know you're all dying to know if was cupcakes, cocktails, or what for the birthday weekend, but first, wow, the Facebook HBs, thank you everyone! That is kind of an amazing phenom, the flood of bday wishes via FB.

So, there were both cupcakes and cocktails, also some good productive writing time, BBQ at a new place in my neighborhood, some thrift storing, farmers market, swimming and lolling in the shade of a towering pecan tree, and a movie, Attack the Block, which, as many have said, really is fantastic. One line review: excellent blend of a B movie with a Minette Walters mystery, specifically Acid Row, with humor and awesomeness in abundance.

All in all, an excellent birthday weekend.

Back to dayjobbing today, with lots to do both here and for upcoming trip to Maine, plus, as always, fiction to write.

Also, got sched for ArmadilloCon at the end of the month and, yay! looks great. Will post closer to the con.




storyrainthejournal: (youwhat?)
While I didn't quite get the novel draft finished by the end of the CW write-a-thon, I came very close, and should finish this week. Also raised some money for CW. Big thank you to everyone who sponsored me--you rock.

*
Finished Holly Black's Red Glove last week. This book follows White Cat, the first in Black's curseworker series. I have an odd experience reading these books in that while I find them engaging and compulsively readable, for the first two thirds of both books I had a regular impulse to stop reading because Cassel's family is so very very horrible and emotionally/psychologically abusive, and his situation vis-a-vis both them and the girl he loves so hopeless. I think that this is part of what makes these books such excellent YA, however; I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been so squeeged by these elements when I was a teen myself. As an adult I find them kind of insupportable. But the first person pov is so well done, and the books so well written that I was completely won over by the end of each.

In other book musings that also include gloves, Patrice Sarath's The Unexpected Miss Bennet looks wonderful, and there are a number of people on my flist who I think would like it.

*
Watched two movies over the weekend, both on Netflix streaming. The first, Dean Spanley, is a 2008 British/New Zealand collaboration set in Edwardian London and based on a story by Lord Dunsany. It has Jeremy Northam, Peter O'Toole, and Sam Neill and is an odd and truly lovely movie about the dog a man used to be and the man who used to be his master, among other things.  

Then I finally saw Winter's Bone, which, as many have said, is excellent. I haven't seen a movie that intensely well made for a long time, one that tells a story using  cinematic language as powerfully as the best literature uses the written word. Plus, the certain kind of tough young woman protagonist trope really works for me. Someday maybe I'll write an essay... or not.




storyrainthejournal: (onward)
Slightly off sched for having a ready-for-first-readers draft of Deep Terrain done by, eep, Friday, the end of the Clarion West Write-a-thon, but am close, and still writing the words. Four more days to sponsor! The race is on.

*
Watched Push over the weekend, a 2009 SF movie that disappeared pretty quickly and was, I think, pretty underrated. The plot is a little hoinky, but the movie is rich with atmosphere and character love--and the two main female characters have definite aspects of awesome realness. They're not sex-ified, they're just as human as the male characters, and one of them is played by Dakota Fanning. It also plays out and with its SF concepts intelligently and interestingly.

*
If you want to graze for your next novel read, the free ebook sampler, OPENING ACTS, Twenty-five First Chapters from Twenty-five Writers - a free ebook to download, isn't a bad way to go. It's twenty-five first chapters of current science fiction and fantasy novels from a whole bunch of very fine writers. eta: I've removed the link for now, but will update when it seems to be working; also with different e-book format specific links when they're live.

*
Alas poor LJ? Are these more attacks, or what?
storyrainthejournal: (froggyhashat)
Still feel a bit dodgy, but I reached the restlessness stage yesterday afternoon, so back to dayjob this morning.

Between the weekend and the ensuing sick days I finished three books and watched three movies.

Deceiver and Betrayer, #s 11&12 in Cherryh's Foreigner series (Jo Walton did an overview and then intro to a reread of the series at Tor.com). I almost always love C.J. Cherryh. Her deep third person pov, with a lot of psychological stream of consciousness wound through the action is not everyone's cup of tea, I guess, but I love it. And her worldbuilding...well, at this point, her SF universe(s) may as well exist for me. Also at this point, the characters and world of the Foreigner novels are a second home for me, one I love visiting. I always end up awaiting the next book, too anxious to bide until it comes out in paperback.

Moon over Soho, Ben Aaronovitch. This is the second in a new series, the first was Midnight Riot, (Rivers of London in the UK). These are well written, engaging, excellent fun. Mysteries set in a modern London that has river gods and a tradition of magic somewhat occulted by the loss of most of its practitioners during the war. London comes very much alive in the books, right along with Mama Thames and her offspring and estranged mate, magic as a sideline discipline written of by Isaac Newton, and the protagonist's family, his white Jazz musician drug addict father and black African mother. Good stuff.

True Grit, the Coen Brothers version, which I wanted to see in the theater but didn't manage to. I have a great love for ornery girl protagonist-heroes, and for a certain kind of western (the kind of western that's the antithesis of what appears in tv shows of the 70s and 80s). I loved this movie. Thoroughly good.

The Eclipse. Irish ghost movie set during a coastal town's annual literary festival; very quiet, it reminded me a bit of a story from Joyce's The Dead in tone. The supernatural element is subtle, until it's not, and then it made me jump off the couch. I admired the way the film was done, and the intensity and integrity of its presentation, but...not, ultimately, my favorite sort of thing.

The Ilusionist. French animated feature from an unproduced script by the late director and comic Jacques Tati, about a perpetually down on his luck illusionist and a girl who thinks he's actually got magic powers. Beatifully animated, though I actually preferred the scenic and environmental animation to the character animation. It's a lovely, bittersweet film, but a bit too heavy on the bathos of those left behind by time and change for me. In other words, a little too French.
storyrainthejournal: (yoruichi-light)
Or, Why those of you who didn't like it are wrong.

It's because of this: the female hero, one not sexualized at all for the male gaze, not conceived of or presented as a male wet dream--as compared to, say, the upcoming film Sucker Punch, in which the young women all look like male wet dreams (it's a young woman's inner fantasy world and that's how she chooses to look? yeah, right), or, basically, almost any other major Hollywood film that even comes close to presenting us with a female hero at all.

It's because the idea that to be interesting and worth our time, a young woman character must be cast in a sexually attractive context is a crock of hooey that nevertheless underpins virtually all representations of heroic female characters. And women are just as prey as men to this expectation, because, hey, we all imbibe at the same media fount growing up.

And I contend that one reason (aside from the heavy twee-ness--arguably entirely appropriate to the subject matter--and the lamentable dancing bit at the end) a fair number of critics (especially from within the SF/F genre) didn't really appreciate Alice in Wonderland, is that this Alice is not presented as at all sexually provacative. Her clothing is either ridiculous, too big, too small (but not in a provacative way) or, toward the end, sober and serious, the lounging togs of a young hero, not a sex kitten ingenue. And, then, of course, armor. (Which, frankly, was swoon-inducing for me, so perhaps I undermine my whole argument...)

But, the point is, your lack of interest in her as a main character, and your lack of love for the film--yes you--is a serious failing, is a mistake, is not good.

Not good at all.

Because? We need more alternatives to the kind of female hero we are most often and generally presented with, when we are presented with her at all.
storyrainthejournal: (eek)
Last day, final two movies:

Let the Right One In and Onmyoji

When I saw Let the Right One In with friends we had a lot of discussion as to whether it was really a horror movie (of course many of the movies in my ideal fest here have not technically been horror movies--but it's my ideal fest for the spooky time, not a horror film fest). I think it is, by the definition that what's implicit by the end of the movie is quite a horrible, chilling prospect. The Swedish are very good at well constructed narrative, pacing, and matter-of-fact-dread coupled with everyday life and haunting beauty. Many people have praised Let the Right One In and it deserves the praise.

Onmyoji
tells the story of a court Onmyoji--which translates as the 'Yin Yang Master,' an occult master and fortune teller--in the Heian period, who safeguards the kingdom in a time when the land is plagued by evil forces. It's a costume epic full of the supernatural, sorcery, demons, ghosts, heroes, servant gods, metamorphic creatures, political intrigue, and betrayal. In short, awesome. 

Thanks for coming to my film fest. Please put your liquor bottles in the recylcing and your popcorn tubs and candy wrappers in the trash.  And leave a tip for the help.
storyrainthejournal: (youwhat?)
Day five and it's time for zombie laughs. Our next two movies:

Shaun of the Dead and Zombieland

Not sure there's much to say about these. Over the top black comedy silliness and fun. Shaun of the Dead is happily British and awesomely funny. Zombieland is mucho Norte Americano and lots of fun. Both movies are funny and dark with much over the top zombie violence but with gooey hearts of sweet caramel. Sort of.

Today's bonus, the zombie apocalypse, Teddy bear style: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61RJGQcG_sM&feature=share

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