Jul. 3rd, 2012

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: (bunny)

Recently I heard most of Watership Down on audio book while roadtripping. I first read Watership Down when I was nine (the year it came out, as a matter of fact), and reread it about a bazillion times shortly thereafter.

Listening to it all these years later (and then rereading the last couple of chapters, as my sojourn on the roadtrip ended before we'd finished the book) I realize that a lot of what's important to me in fiction came from it. Characters you truly root for and care about, a sense of both this world's realities and of some extra or otherworldliness--of the fantastic, hand in hand with the wonder of the natural world. All of that, but most strikingly, I think, is how deeply this book spoke to and deepened a love of nature and the naturalist’s eye in me.  

From near the end (but the novel is so rich in such observations of nature): Along the edge of the wood a sheet of wild clematis showed like a patch of smoke, all its sweet-smelling flowers turned to old man’s beard.


That's writing, wonderful writing.

*
I'm working toward establishing an actual blogging schedule for myself, with a loose rotating set of topics. I have a bunch of ideas I'm refining, but if you have requests, toss 'em at me. I'd especially appreciate any thoughts on a guest post format, what you'd want to hear about from any future guests here.

*
Jay Lake states here a lot of what disturbs/scares/drives me crazy about the conservative party in this country. Add to that that Mitt Romney clearly--based on his own words and actions--does not care about the wellfare of ordinary (that is, anyone not ultra wealthy or a corporation) people at all, and the idea of the man as president is terrifying. That isn't hyperbole. It hollows me out with shuddering dread. For this country, for the people who live here.

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This, btw, is what corporations as people, unregulated financial and industry sectors, and the greed is good motive of business have gotten us.


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