hazelk: (Default)
There was a list of songs the writers and other people thought were S8 songs. This is mine for issue #40. I made this vid 5 years ago and it finally came true. Go me.

Download link (with fixed aspect ratio) Right click and save.

She wears the name. It does not wear her. )
hazelk: (just faith)
There’s a James Tiptee story (there’s always a James Tiptree story) called The Man Who Walked Home. It starts in a post-apocalyptic world with a preternaturally barren crater and slowly, as centuries pass and a new civilisation grows up around it, the mystery of the annual disturbances at its centre becomes clearer. Added together like the pages of one of those flicker books the annual happenings reveal the image of a man stumbling and grasping for something. This man was the first and last chrononaut who, sent too far forward, somehow, impossibly found a way back and in doing so triggered the explosion that ended his world. The strength of the story lies in Tiptree’s evocation of the time traveller’s thoughts in his final fatal moments. Exiled beyond reason, consumed by longing for the home he had lost, reaching for it with every cell of his failing body.

Generals, snakes and seahorses  )
hazelk: (just faith)
Really I want to post vid recs but that would need code and this is easier for the html challenged.

Once upon a time in the west )
hazelk: (Default)
Talking about Buffy and thinking about fashion are two of my favourite things and at some point this is going to turn into a short post about costume or the relative lack of it in BtVS season 8. However, it’s my journal and if I want to begin with a massive digression about some random Fred ‘n Ginger movie then I can.

Said movie, Roberta, came out in 1935 but the whole thing (god bless the internet) has been posted on YouTube. In common with many films of the era it has its share of, to modern ears thankfully jarring, forthrightness on social topics. Foreigners are funny unless they’re aristocrats, both xenophobia and class prejudice get a good airing. On gender, however, it’s not quite what you might expect given that it’s a musical about the fashion industry, which makes it sound dreadfully serious and it really isn’t. It’s a piece of candy-floss complete with singing (tolerable if you like that kind of thing) dancing (you like that kind of thing) and fabulous bias-cut frocks (to die for and many small animals probably did). There is, naturally, a makeover sub plot but for once the makeoveree is a male ingénue, the Randolph Scott character (technically Randolph Scott and Irene Dunne are the leads in this movie). Unlike those undergone by his female equivalents, Scott’s metamorphosis from dowdy frump to bird of paradise has almost no discernible relevance to either plot or characterization. This can either be read as re-enforcing the idea that men are not to be judged on mere appearances or as evidence that slicking back his hair and squeezing him into beautifully tailored, form-enhancing evening dress was done purely for eye candy purposes.

More central to the movie is the plot twist revolving around Scott’s ability to see, where none of the female designers could, that one particular black satin creation is in fact a ludicrous piece of skanky tat. Ginger wears an almost identical gown for the final dance number (what a difference a halter neck makes) but the point is elaborated explicitly well before that happens. Scott’s character inherits the eponymous couture house and when asked to explain men’s taste in women’s clothes claims that “men prefer clothes to clothe.” Also that men like pockets and dislike change but the interesting point is his first one. Even apparently simple things such as fulfilling the demands of the male gaze, cannot be easily stripped down to “naked good, more naked more good.”

What men want is more complicated, they want power and so do women. Fashion is a complex signaling system as well as a vehicle for self-expression. Reimagining yourself, flaunting or concealing it, dress and undress are all part of an arms race (or maybe a cold war) between observer and observed each desiring control over the other. Somewhere along the line in Western society conventional male apparel became restricted to a narrow palate, suit and tie or jeans and t-shirt and is that men winning the game by refusing to play? Except that they still play, two buttons or three, Levis or Lee, so maybe it’s more like changing to a new set of secret rules that only initiates can read? What do men wear when only they are looking? Tartan trews and hideous hats in the golf clubs. Spandex and muscles on the pages of a traditional superhero comic.

On not wearing the cheese )
hazelk: (Default)
Since darkness seems almost certain to fall when the counts come in tonight I distract myself with geekiness and comic books.

Imagine there’s no heaven )
hazelk: (buffies)
Damn comics. I may have inadvertently written my very own Buffy/Angel manifesto. I think I need to go and exfoliate until it bleeds. Or watch Spuffy vids as a penance, although most of them are really Spike vids in disguise. The unholy combination of the camera’s male gaze and the creator’s object of desire. There are some honourable exceptions. This one in particular is Buffy through and through:

One Last Time by [livejournal.com profile] dualbunny
Turbulent and self-excoriating but with occasional moments of grace and not a flaming hand in sight. It ends with the “Does it have to mean anything?” scene, which is pretty much my philosophy on love. I feel better now.
hazelk: (just faith)
When the preview covers for part three of the Retreat arc came out I thought the Jeanty one looked especially interesting.
Kraft durch Freude )
hazelk: (Default)
For me Buffy Possible was a scoobidooification too far for this issue to be love at first sight. But considered as a coda to Time of your Life it was serviceable and the return of Jeanty’s Buffy with her ability to convey several contradictory emotions in a single frame was very welcome.
Read more... )
hazelk: (Default)
It bears remembering that this is the first Joss penned four-parter since A Long way From Home. I mean that would explain the deja-vued compulsion to go flicking back through the issues to see how it all adds up. Then it was what? This time it’s who? And clearly this circular crypticity is contagious.

Mirror mirror  )

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May 2012

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