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: (Default)
Caprica has been cancelled and the final five episodes delayed until 2011. It’s sad in one way but I do think it’s the kind of show that could work best as a single season story. Like Fawlty Towers or the original, Ricky Gervais version of the The Office. They were both comedies and Caprica really isn’t but something they do have in common (I think) is that the incentive to watch is not to find out what the characters do next or what happens to them. Which is not to say Basil Fawlty or David Brent or Daniel Graystone aren’t compelling but what’s compelling about them is who they are, not who they might become. If anything their inability to change or grow is precisely what makes them funny/tragic (and yes, Basil Fawlty is tragic). But they think they can, they think they are, none of these characters are passive victims of circumstances, they work at creating their own hells. Which is to say I liked this last episode of what is now the current run. It was one of those where all the threads finally came together.

False consciousness )
hazelk: (vidding)
Hello. And thank you for making me a vid! All of these fandoms are ones I’d love to see vidded. The suggestions (below) will hopefully give you some feel for how I know these shows (and movies, lots of movies) but so much of what I love about vids is to see things I have loved through other people’s eyes. So if you have your own, completely different, ideas that will be wonderful. Everything will be wonderful.

Blackadder [TV] I'm easy but something about Queenie and Nursey or the characters played by Hugh Laurie would be really cool (Lord Percy is the main reason I can never take House seriously).

The Cat People - 1942/The Curse of the Cat People - 1944 [Movie] It's been a long time since I saw either of these movies but they haunt me. The original Cat People I remember as being all chiracuso shadows and the follow up all preternaturally bright. Something crossing over between them would be awesome but really anything that captures the mood of either film.

Finding Nemo [Movie] I wanted to suggest "women of Pixar" as a fandom but I think the rules don't allow it. So Dory. A Dory vid. Or a Dory/EVE/Ellie/Roz crossover vid.

Heathers [Movie] Another movie I remember loving but not much else. Apart from falling in lust with JD (I loved Scottie in Vertigo too, right up until the ending) and then being delighted by him turning out to be such a psycho and Winona Rider pwning him... Maybe a JD Lord King Bad Vid is what I deserve.

Luther - 2010 [TV] Something focusing on the good parts. Idris Elba, Alice and London looking cool. Not all the dead women.

The Wire [TV]
 I've only caught odd episodes. It’s on way past my sleepy time (I grow old) but there were episodes I did see that were so good I think seeing what led up to them would feel like déjà vu. So spoil me rotten. Show me your show.

The Young Ones - 1982 [TV] Go easy on the Rik. That is all.
hazelk: (bunnies)
This weekend I did ALL the laundry AND signed up for festivids ([personal profile] fan_eunice explains what and why) AND realised that the UK rights for the LXD dancing/superhero/web series had come through and I could download it from iTunes. Yay!

LXD thoughts: Like dolphins can swim )
hazelk: (glee cheno)
Summer’s over and Glee is back. Confession. I don’t watch that much TV. Even when there was more time I’d have one or two things I’d watch religiously and ignore pretty much anything else (movies are different). This summer was pretty much a TV desert apart from Luther (disapointing) and then Sherlock (entertaining but problematic). I still wish they’d cast Idris Elba as Sherlock. It would have forced it to become a very different show and Watson might have struggled to make much impression but Stringer Bell as Sherlock? Think about it. Anyway Glee…

I’m more talented than all of you. I see that now. )
hazelk: (bunnies)
It’s been so long. As ever there was much goodness these are just some I have something to say about.

The Addictive

Bad Romance by [livejournal.com profile] sisabet[livejournal.com profile] obsessive24’s Merlin vid Red does a thing where by drawing attention to the lyric a tragedy waiting to happen she infuses a thoroughly campy and largely cracktastic show with all the weight of Arthurian legend (which is pretty cracktastic in its own right). This does for DC comics what Red did for Mallory. Smallville’s Clark Kent becomes the once and future Superman at the mercy of Lex’s inner Gaga. Also monkey! And random cows.

Tightrope by [livejournal.com profile] sweetestdrain – I really want to love Janelle Monae but she has an ethereality that can be difficult to connect with. Putting her together with Adam Lambet like this is inspired. He gives her sex, she gives him class. Altogether it’s a marriage made in heaven (I’m in heaven).

The Infectious

Music Again by [livejournal.com profile] anoel - the show everyone loves to hate but I still love it and so does this vid.

Dance Across the Floor by [livejournal.com profile] littleheaven – so many dance vids rely on quick cuts to mash all the clips together and this just lets everyone do their thing and it’s amazing (although some are more amazing than others).

Mickey by [livejournal.com profile] redina – pure sparkly, slashy, gender-bending fun.

Take Me Home by [personal profile] such_heights - the vid to make anyone who’s ever thought they were gay “not so you’d notice,” sit up and take notice.

Hold on Tight by [livejournal.com profile] gwyn_r - Manifique. Seriously with the francais it reaches a whole other level of awesome.

The Reflective

Wading Deep Water by [livejournal.com profile] barkley - still runs deep. I love this woman. I’ve never met her but I know her. The mother, the daughter, the lover and the worker of her.

Straight to Hell by [personal profile] mlyn - in Westerns the landscape is a character. I read that somewhere but in this vid I really can see it. I can feel it. Harsh and inhospitable - while men break themselves, the outback endures. It was there when they came, it will still be there when they’re gone. There’s a great stillness to the vid, it feels like a painting but too raw to be painterly.

Light of Day by [livejournal.com profile] thuviaptarth – the light at the end of the tunnel is a bomb. Biased, as I helped beta, but still beautiful, still heavy with meaning. The show I know but didn’t know I knew.
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: (vidding)
So Vividcon has happened. I haven’t watched ALL THE VIDS or even downloaded them but there is one I’d like to talk about.

On the Prowl by [livejournal.com profile] sisabet and [livejournal.com profile] sweetestdrain

Peeping Tara or this vid has ALL THE PAIN )

Glee vid

Jul. 16th, 2010 11:22 pm
hazelk: (kurt kick)
Title: I’m Yours
Artist: Jason Mraz
Fandom/Characters/Pairings: Glee/Original glee kids
Warnings: Slushie abuse and limelight flicker
Format: DivX
Size: 49.1 MB

Summary: There’s no people like show people.

Extreme thanks to [personal profile] anoel for being a fabulous beta

Download from here (Right/control click and save target as)

There’s nothing ironic about feedback

Notes )
Lyrics )
hazelk: (Default)
Having been following the open policy revision process being hosted by [personal profile] astolat and read a large number of other people's posts and comments about warnings and VVC accessibility I think my current, entirely non-authoritative and not very original position is this:

People at risk of being triggered by vids and requesting warnings are grown ups. They are perfectly aware that vidder or VVC or VJ supplied summaries of potentially triggering content are just someone else’s judgements. They don’t guarantee safety but they would make the con more navigable and feel more hospitable. An explicit warnings policy, however imperfect and far from comprehensive a guide it produces/makes available, also at some level acknowledges that they exist, they are visible.

People at risk of being triggered by vids who are not asking for warnings or are arguing against some of the more pro-warning policies are also grown ups. There may be different reasons for their stance but at least in some cases it may be that they have evolved strategies for balancing the risks that rely on convincing themselves that they don’t need to trust other people who are not them to figure out what they need to know. A very in your face pro-warning culture may make the attitude required to do this more difficult to maintain. Where the message one person gets from content notes and checklists is “you are seen” for someone else it might be “ you are being watched (over).”

I think compromise is possible and that several of the suggested models for the new warnings policy could achieve it, the main thing being that warnings/content information need to be kept as separate as possible from other types of information about the con that people might want to access. The need to make the con accessible to warning averse people would place certain restrictions on where information could be made available. For example, warnings should not be integrated in the programme notes or embedded in vids but could be supplied on separate printouts. Lists of which vids and or vidshows vidders, VJ’s or the concom consider may contain specified potential triggers would ideally be collated in one central place that can be linked to but (on request) not copied and pasted into unlocked journal posts. Private correspondence with the concom or VJs should be encouraged but with, if logistically possible, a way for individual attendees to opt out of being e-mailed about whether they need such information. And so on and so on.
hazelk: (vidding)
Reading the impassioned debates currently surrounding the Vividcon policy statement I’m reminded of previous discussion about whether a person’s online journal should be considered public or private space. I think the faultline creating some (but not all) of this VVC related discord is similar. Vividcon is a conference, anyone can register, as of now it has a policy statement. In those ways it looks like a public space but in many others and to many others I think it feels more like, not private space maybe but a homely one. Not family homely, at least not biological family homely but created family maybe. Like Scooby space for lack of an existing word and because, to a child of the seventies, Scooby is a prefix that makes things sound friendly.

Since much of the anger began around issues of disability and access, I’ll use a disability related analogy. My kids go to a special school. It’s a good special school that for the last three years is housed in a purpose-built building (of the kind the current Lib-Con government is busy removing funding for the construction of). The building makes things easier for ASD and learning disabled children. The classrooms can be easily sub-divided to allow small group or one-on-one teaching. There are special rooms where students can go to chill out, there are visual timetables everywhere. For those with physical difficulties all parts of the school are fully wheelchair accessible. The space, all by itself, does a lot to make the world an easier, more navigable place for the children there.

Our house is not purpose built. We don’t have visual timetables or a chill out room or many of the other facilities they have at the school but our house is not an institution, it’s a home and where the space can’t do the work needed to make things good the people do it instead. We do it or at least we try. Similarly when visiting places if they’re public places, zoos, museums, parks, amusement parks we read the information and the policies and if they sound like there might be a problem or it’s expensive and there’s no disabled discount we don’t go. We could contact the people in charge and make personal enquires but often it’s simpler just to go somewhere else. If we’re visiting someone else’s home for a party or a barbecue or a dinner, however, we don’t research its accessibility on the internet or ask to see their policies, we talk to the hosts with the straight forward expectation that they will be hospitable. Again, in Scooby spaces people do the work that buildings and best practice recommendations do in public spaces.

So what of Vividcon, public or Scooby? I think the problem is that the answer very much depends on who’s asking. From all I’ve read of the history it began (and not so long ago, 2004?) as a very “let’s put this show on in our barn” operation, in other words totally Scooby (Mickey and Judy = Shaggy and Velma or Fred and Daffny. Dicusss). But it grew and grew and vidding has grown and grown and while some people come to Vividcon the old way, through getting to know other vidders others get to hear of its reputation long before they (virtually) meet the people. It’s become an institution without maybe feeling like one and for those who don’t feel it being judged as an institution is as discomforting and hurtful as if the OFSTED inspector were to arrive on your doorstep to tell you you were a failing home. Meanwhile the response to that probably makes those who read the policy and quite reasonably judged it on its institutional merits feel like they’re being excluded from High Table or the Senior Common Room because their face (or body) doesn’t fit and they don’t know the right people and the right people don't want to know them, which is equally hurtful and discomforting.

Vid rec

Jun. 1st, 2010 11:05 am
hazelk: (Default)
Triceratops by [personal profile] quinara

A vid based on the 2009 RSC film of Hamlet (the David Tennant one). Powerful and visually striking use of the theatricality inherent in the source with jump cuts, repeats and ghosting effects all driven by the rhythm of the incessant jabber. Hamlet just won’t stop talking but it’s Ophelia’s story to tell.
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: (sarah)
The only thing I’m really watching on TV right now is Glee, which remains the show some one made just for me. The singing and the dancing and the way they tell the story, the big brassy emotions laced with delicious bile and, this week, the occasional thoughtfulness and moments of self awareness. Musicals are always about dreams, about “Maybe Sometimes.” Musical dreams are important even when they break people and “Rose’s Turn” becomes their epitaph, which made this week’s Dream On interesting read more )

Other than Glee, watching the detective with the new Idris Elba series “Luther” on the BBC. It seemed promising at first, great acting, fabulous credits, interesting cinematic references definitely vidable but the stories kind of stunk. I just don’t believe in genius serial killers or not when they’re supposed to be part of my city. It was one of the attractions at first, London noir, but I think that kind of not real only works in a foreign setting where the setting becomes part of the show. It’s like the way medieval thinkers were supposed to see the world around them as one big message from God, the shape of a fern not a thing in itself but a symbol, a sign, a representation of the chain of being. Fictional worlds are medieval, they talk to us in ways real places don’t, they can compensate for other unrealities in the story. London can’t do that for me so all I’m left with is sketchy writing and stock characters however well acted.

Finally, comics. I thought I’d try something by a female writer, bought the first two issues of the new Black Widow book by Majorie M Liu and quite liked them. It’s pretty straight female protagonist noir, the covers are off-puttingly cheesecakey, all catsuits and cleavage but the interior art avoids that and has a cool red and black chiracuso thing going on. read more )
hazelk: (vidding)
I want to be vidding now. It’s been months since I so much as opened Final Cut and that’s not right. Vidding takes time and work/life/work gets in the way. Still the worst of that is over and yet nothing. No one idea that’s compelling enough to force its way through the clipping barrier. Clipping is too much like work, the bad bits of work, the grading and the costing and the goddamn impact statements that everyone knows are lies, well not exactly lies but not truths either. Actually there’s no part of vidding that’s like writing impact statements. This is why it’s called fun not work. The fun parts of work are like vidding, the reading and thinking and the bench work, actual experiments. It’s odd really, I was never a VCR vidder but the editing part of viding has that feel of something you make with your hands. It has this sense of moulding the images even though all I’m doing is clicking and dragging and typing. It’s only pixels not clay or dough but there’s phantom tactility to the whole process and I miss it.
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: (glee cheno)
I had a Madonna phase in the 80’s (didn’t everyone). It never went as far as bleaching my hair with napalm but I did spend actual money on that Sex book (you can pretend you don’t know me). It started with a review of Desperately Seeking Susan (a perfectly OK movie) where the reviewer was a little damming with faint praise about Madonna’s acting (little did they know then what was to come) but described her as having one of those faces that belongs on a screen, back lit and blown up 30 ft high to be stared at longingly from the safe dark.

Or something like that but I fell for the idea and later the videos. Therein lies the big difference between her Madjness and the latest aspirant. Madonna wants to be a star not a Gagaist deconstruction of one. It’s one of nature’s great ironies that she’s no actress. She can pose and she can dance but she can’t act her way out of a paper bag. Sue Sylvester gives good pose but she still dances like a gym teacher and that’s just one reason why Jane Lynch is a genius.

Glee S01E15: The Power of Madonna )


hazelk: (Default)

May 2012



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