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Fantasia Festival and so on. As per usual, these are not by order watched, more by order of writing inspiration. I'm also not done -- there's maybe 4-5 more blurbs to go. XD;

Spoilers to varying degrees, of course.

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OK -- let's try this!

Read:

Since the last time I posted I did end up reading Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal, and speed-tachiyomi-ed Hannibal Rising in Chapters with one eyebrow lifted. Hannibal reminded me a lot of The Honourable Schoolboy, actually )

I liked Hannibal better than tHS. It has an Anne Rice-ish "fuck the mortals" open ending, whereas in tHS the wrong side wins no matter how you slice it (emotional, ethical, political). Of course, Le Carré kept going -- Le Carré stories move forward in time as wholes, pretty much, whereas one suspects Harris's texts will blur but the characters and tropes look to live on independently. Once you've taken your best shot and potted that position, a valid choice is simply to hold your fire and avoid fucking it up. Which of course leaves me with no more series to read. XD; I've been plugging at George Bataille's La part maudite and Habermas: A Very Short Introduction by James Gordon Finlayson, and am halfway through Borges's Dream Tigers (El hacedor in Spanish). There's also another Kathy Reichs in the picture. Probably I'm gearing up to write.

Also bought a whole bunch of books but mostly of the previously-read, shelf-stocking variety (Angela Carter, Lawrence Durrell).

Watched:

3 out of 5 Harris movie adaptations, Valhalla Rising, Pompeii, Kaze Tachinu )

I'm following Hannibal-the-TV-series, of course, which gives me pleasant flashbacks to watching The X-Files late on Friday nights. I'll write about that separately, probably? Like thematic meta, on Tumblr.
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Haven't posted on DW for a while! (Did make a couple of posts on LJ.)

Not holding myself to this on a weekly basis, clearly, but it's still a useful exercise when there's something to report.

Read:

* Close to finishing The Old Ways: A Journey On Foot. This was my main reading during the holiday season -- an Indigo staff pick obtained on a whim while buying presents. ("Oh, this is Glen's pick," said the cashier. "I want to read Glen's pick!" "Is Glen very outdoorsy?" I asked. "Well, he's one of our managers and a bit of a hippie.") Highly recommended, though if you're as sedentary as I am it will make you feel like pre-Adventure Bilbo Baggins. In fact it makes one realize Tolkien didn't just make up all that mysticism of the road going on and on, he was writing a value set he would have expected his original readers (adult, if not child) to be able to contexualize easily... Tezuka Kunimitsu would enjoy this book.

* Read Red Dragon, since I've never watched either of the film adaptations. Actually, I've never read any of the Thomas Harris novels. )

I will probably read Silence of the Lambs after? I did watch the movie, but I never felt like I got it. Like there seems to be some "holy shit" thing that people get from this story or character interaction that never struck me. Regular people treat this canon in a really fannish way, yanno?

Watched:

* Her. This is one of those movies where you will quite likely watch a different movie from the person who accompanied you into the theatre, depending on your respective attitudes toward gender relations, technology, alternate visions of LA that look more like Shanghai (+commuter trains -black people), and so forth. I will say that a full decade after Lost In Translation, one finally feels like one has both sides of the Spike Jonze-Sofia Coppola marriage story.

* Sherlock S3. Cut for vague spoiler. )

* Hannibal, earlier in the month, obviously. I keep thinking, maybe once they finish season 2 or whatever they'll publish a cookbook. XD;;; Someone on Douban wrote one of those insta-classic reviews that was just a massive cookery treatise on the preparation and consumption of the longpig, in traditional Chinese. (Rather, classical references are to the "two-legged goat". #themoreyoulearn)
petronia: (postcards from Italy)
1) Other than wrapping "20/20", I uploaded the rest of my Prince of Tennis fic to AO3, reorganizing them somewhat in the process. The first of the lot is fully 10 years old. Good grief. I was 23 writing stories about what it might feel like to be 33. Now I am nearly 33, but it's less help than you might think since I've had a very different life from what I envisaged for the characters, who meanwhile in the ever ongoing manga are probably still about 15 (behaving in most respects like 18-20, but still).

2) Saw Catching Fire, American Hustle, and The Desolation of Smaug when they respectively came out, but little else in the way of new movies over the holidays. (Links are to Tumblr reviews.) Watched Steve McQueen's Hunger and a bunch of Netflix randomosity while catsitting for my sister.

3) Caught up on Hannibal-the-TV-series; will probably be done with the first season by tonight. It still operates with a weird believability gap, for me -- too many OTT serial killers for realism (or Baltimore), too much psychiatry and forensic work for outright phantamasgoria -- but if I give Bret Easton Ellis a pass as horror-fantasy this certainly deserves the same. I suspect I would be more comfortable if the series were supernatural, like if the evil deer were a shikigami, Sakurazukamori-style, rather than a metaphor/Victorian brain fever. Then I would know where I was at. XD;;

...CLAMP, eh. In retrospect, few people have written as fine a sociopathic serial killer story as Tokyo Babylon, if you choose to take that perspective on it. Young ladies and ultra-violence etc.

4) Sororial unit did a wizard thing with Chrome add-ons and Apple TV so we could hack into the iPlayer, and have accordingly watched S3E1 of Sherlock. Enjoyed it with the usual quibbles, spoiler cutting all other commentary as I know what's good for me. XD )

5) Watched the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, which makes me only drastically behind rather than unutterably behind. Enjoyed but thought it worked better as setup for upcoming plot than as fan-service candyfloss, which is what multi-Doctor stories are supposed to be IMO. Furthermore it was awkwardly obvious that this was envisaged with Nine as part of the story (imagine how much better Billie's role would have worked). Must confess I do not umm actually understand how *spoiler* is supposed to differ from the status quo delineated in Ten's last couple of seasons, but agree that this is the right time in the arc of NuWho-as-a-whole to do *spoiler* regardless of what the nonsense explanation is. Now watch Moffat not actually delve into the obvious plot in S8 just to spite me. I maaaay cover off S7 if I find the time.

Read/watch

Nov. 22nd, 2013 03:31 pm
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The Canyons, on sororial unit's Apple TV. Through the first scene you're like "Wow what have I gotten myself into," but then you keep watching. It's completely ludicrous and morbidly compelling, which I guess makes it a successful Bret Easton Ellis movie -- actually, of the ones I've seen, probably the best at conveying the mood of a Ellis novel (it never was a novel). It must be said that Lindsay Lohan is one of the greats.

I've wondered why I give Ellis the time of day, given complete ludicrousness etc. and came to the conclusion that dude basically writes non-supernatural horror. I mean, sometimes I have thoughts like, maybe the acting is terrible because the ppl dude writes about really are that stunted IRL, how would I know, but it's like asking The Cask of Amontillado to be sociological commentary on 19th-century Venetian nobility.

***

Twelve Years a Slave. I don't find Steve McQueen clinical and frankly kind of judge people who do; that suggests to me that you require some sort of Vaseline smear between yourself and reality, because McQueen is simply intensely present, in both senses of the word. It's been said that Hell is an eternal present, and so McQueen happens to be very good at portraying inventive flavours of Hell, to add to his obvious interest in the exercise. Allotment of spoons being what they are, it's OK to not see this movie because you don't want to squat in Hell for two hours. But he's also good at, I dunno, creeks. Creeks are very present things too, as Annie Dillard noted.

As McQueen's career continues I look forward to plotting his Hells on a matrix. XD; This one is decidedly non-self-made, meaning it is political. The mainstream reviews have combined into a mega-slab of Liberal White Guilt(tm) but none of the ones I read captured how McQueen digs to the heart of the horror; it's not that the protagonist is relatable, but that the story is correctly Kafkaesque. Slavery is absurd -- a terrible and absurd thing to do to a person. The main character falls into his situation absurdly and abruptly, and falls out of it just as absurdly and abruptly (OH HAI CANADIAN BRAD PITT). Alice in Wonderland, Odysseus and the Lotophagi -- you're never more intensely present than when you're stuck in a nightmare you can't wake up from, and for some reason Benedict Cumberbatch is there too.

I also really liked the gazebo. (It's hard to explain without spoilering the structure of the entire thing.) This movie seemed more museum-piece arty to me than Shame, actually; there were a lot of highfalutin' arty choices, like how the white supporting cast is a rampaging horde of "name" actors doing accents and how the slaves spoke to each other, not in the language that 20th/21st historical fiction might put in the mouths of slaves, but... something else. Maybe an early 19th-century novelist who had never been to the South and/or had no interest in simulating it. Maybe this was the language that Northup's memoir attributes to these people (I haven't read the book).

***

Switching gears, Thor 2: The Dark World, which I wrote up on Tumblr and in Kristin's LJ comments. Probably not going to do it again here. XD I will say in addendum that I liked the "Ta-da!" bit. That felt really Comics Loki.

***

Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red. Read this probably more quickly than I should have -- it's a long prose poem, but a short novel. If I had to specifically pin it to a genre I would call it a present-day non-superpowered m/m AU of Greek myth, but... yeah. It is not technically wingfic because the character had wings in the canon too. It was just a thing.

DON'T GIVE UP: YOU, TOO, MAY LIVE TO SEE YOUR PRESENT-DAY NON-SUPERPOWERED M/M AU TECHNICALLY NOT WINGFIC OF GREEK MYTH PRAISED BY ALICE MUNRO AND MICHAEL ONDAATJE ONE DAY. NOT SUSAN SONTAG THOUGH BECAUSE SHE IS SUPER DEAD.

As with Bret Easton Ellis, everyone returns in a later book, older and not wiser!

Read/watch

Oct. 28th, 2013 08:29 pm
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Aeon Flux season 3, Deleuze/Guattari's Mille Plateaux. Possibly these are the same things! For extra credit I'll listen to a Knife record.

I think I may never have seen Aeon Flux season 3. I have no memory of it. I have no memory of, uh, this stuff containing dialogue or a semblance of linear narrative. Google is not doing well at coughing up pretentious cultural studies essays other ppl must have written in the 1990s. I don't mean like Freud 101, I mean like explain why you should cry tears of sadness that George Bataille didn't live to watch late-night MTV. Geocities is dead, yo, repost that shiz.

Other TV: watching Agents of SHIELD -- it has the same mystery plot as my dumb fanfiction, but less sex pollen. Watched a few eps of Elementary S1, a few eps of Attack on Titan, and a couple of eps of Adventure Time just so I know what is what.

Movies: Gravity was very good. Wanted to see Prisoners but it fell through. Going to see The Counselor tomorrow.

Also picking up Pilgrim at Tinker Creek again, since the seasons have turned.
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Left out a couple of items from last week's, actually:
  • Also watched the Rurouni Kenshin movie at Fantasia, finally. Loved it. It was better than the anime. And it's not even the Kyoto Arc! (Reality check, guys: by your 2013 standard, the first season of the Kenshin TV series is not good.) The condensed plot and action choreography were smartly executed, but the performances were what did it for me -- Satoh Takeru really nailed that combination of physical grace and weary gentleness that I think of as primordial to the Kenshin character (these days; I'm not sure I picked up on it in my callow youth). There's a transparency to him, like an old item of clothing that's spotlessly laundered but worn so thin it's nearly see-through, though you can tell the material was good quality once... Kaoru was very good, Sanosuke was very good, Saitou was very good -- though you have a little more leeway with Kaoru and Sano, and none at all with Saitou XD so I didn't expect they would screw up those characters, actually. But Kenshin himself is a tough one, both to cast and to act.

    I'm not sure why they lost Aoshi and Misao, though? Unless the idea is a straight swap for Saitou being introduced here as opposed to the Kyoto Arc, which leaves both storylines cleaner and, well, lets them introduce Saitou in the first movie. *checks wikipedia* Hey, I was right!
  •  

  • Re-watched Prometheus with my family. I liked it better the second time around, actually -- the part of it that's classic SF is very strong. The Weyland-Meredith-David relationship, and then the David-Weyland-Engineer relationship: immortality of the body, dissolution of the body, genetic immortality, memetic immortality, relationship versus one's creator, relationship versus one's parent... The part of it that's Hollywood space action monster movie is still full of people doing inexplicably dumb shit. It pains me to say this, but even Idris Elba's and Charlize Theron's characters having sex was in context a really dumb thing to do.
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Books:

Tanith Lee, The Book of the Dead (Secret Books of Paradys #3). Found used, chowed through these stories in short order. Going for, I don't know, not Poe but Poe as translated by Baudelaire back-translated into English, or some of the weirder efforts by Maupassant or Wilde or Henry James. Uncritical wholesale adoption of 19th century racial imagery makes Joseph Conrad look like Jean Rhys, but otherwise a good read.

Marta Acosta, The She-Hulk Diaries. Read about half of this in July; it was the only book I was up for. If you Google it, the first hit that comes up is The Mary Sue's review, which seems roughly to be the intended audience. Is a well-written genre exercise that, well, exists in its entirety as the reification of a Borgesian one-liner joke ("female attorney lives in NYC, has adventures with wacky friends, used to date character played by Robert Downey Jr. -- Ally McBeal, AMIRITE"). I like how Marvel occasionally greenlights corny genre exercises, though ("Spider-Man from Mary Jane's perspective is basically a shoujo manga, AMIRITE"): one thing I like about the universe is that it's shaggy and riotous enough to potentially swallow or be shoehorned into any genre. It shouldn't actually matter that the genre is ostensibly "female-oriented", because girls also like these character, right? Right? I did wander away from it halfway through, though, because I like Jen Walters considerably more than I like chick-lit.

Marguerite Yourcenar, Sous bénéfice d'inventaire. Critical essays published in 1962. One is on Cavafy, which I should probably read again with the poems in hand. The best one is the Red Violin-esque history of the château of Chenonceaux. And from the essay on Piranesi's Imaginary Prisons: the image of Piranesi sleeping rough in the ruins of Hadrian's villa, sketching by sun and moonlight and surviving on cold rice, catching malaria and ensuing fever dreams of endless enclosed architecture... The nonexistent Escher drawing that was De Quincey's (opium-addled) report of Coleridge's (faulty) memory of said engravings. Morpheus's realm... Got a used copy of The Memoirs of Hadrian in the same lot.

Movies:

A whole list from Fantasia I'll address separately. Also went down to the Bryan Singer event for a lark, as I passingly mentioned on Tumblr. That moved me to actually go see The Wolverine, which... I'll also address later since I have to get out of here. XD; I will say that I liked the scene in Nagasaki when the obasan came around the house and was like, Mariko-sama! A tree fell over and is blocking the road! But word went around that you brought a superpowered gaijin lumberjack down with you from Tokyo! I mean, that is what Wolverine-in-Japan should be about, what it would actually be about to the Japanese, rather than what comic writers keep trying to make it be about. Tragically however there is no scene of Wolverine in a yukata eating odango off his adamantium claws, which is all I ever wanted out of the operation. Close, but still no cigar.
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Still no books. Like I maybe read three Cavafy poems. Went to see Pacific Rim, which was very exciting but also disappointing. Part of that is me: I have watched a scientific amount of This Sort Of Thing, can call the reveals before they show up, so as far as I was concerned all that could be hurried along in favour of some non-predictable characterization beats (arguably I liked the Charlie Day/Ron Perlman sequences best). Which Del Toro is capable of; it's not like I'm asking Michael Bay to eke out Oscar-winning performances here.

In fact, I kind of suspect Del Toro worldbuilt for a 24-ep TV series, wrote for a 6-ep OAV, shot the equivalent of two movies, then edited it down to a Hollywood-acceptable one. That's the sort of vaguely dissatisfying perfunctoriness the result has: like watching the glossy big-FX-budget movie version of a really great TV anime. Then you're left explaining to your friends after the Fantasia Film Fest matinee showing that no, actually, in the manga those pilot teams that LITERALLY HAD NO LINES were really cool personalities and had their own backstory chapters and everything.

Mild spoilers. )

And yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, KAIJU VS GIANT ROBOTS. I'm not even much of a monster movie fan, but dude is an auteur when it comes to creature design.
petronia: (postcards from Italy)
Haven't updated the read/watch log for a month, but yesterday I was almost able to think about reading a book, so figured I'd do that. XD I mean, I'm still following all the same comics, and I went to see Man of Steel. It has its problems (most of which fall under the rubric of "that shit was dumb, write better draft pls"), but I sort of... don't care? I always wanted Superman to be a sad SF story about dead parents and lonely aliens, and here it is a sad SF story about dead parents and lonely aliens. Also, Lois. Like really I don't remember much about the third act, it was just this white noise crescendo of I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE SOUND OF MY NINETIES HET SHIP REACTIVATING.

You know, it has finally come to this: Clark Kent's glasses are hip. Maybe I'll write a fanfic.

In seriousness, I would have liked it better if it were more "metaphor for immigration experience" and less "metaphor for Jesus," but that's asking a bit much maybe. But I do feel like DC's put themselves in a quandary: how are they going to manage a "dark", "gritty" Wonder Woman in this vein without it coming over all scorched-earth feminist?

Like, there is an Alternate Earth out there in the Multiverse where Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman adaptations are executed as explorations of the complexities of class struggle, the immigrant experience, and feminism respectively. But it's not this one, right at this moment.

...Oh and also I watched Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters on the plane. As G. said, it just misses out on so-bad-it's-good. But actually, the movie works so hard to mitigate the dodginess of basically being all about, yanno, killing women, that it feels quite progressive. The obvious solution of having male as well as female witches seems not to have occurred to anyone. (This would have changed nothing w/r/t the plot.)
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Look, this month I've... )

My point is, there has been no reading. My books are in boxes. I have been writing in snippets, with the goal of posting the new chapter before I take off. I went to see Now You See Me, which is basically a meta Vegas magic show, and fantastically entertaining as long as you go in 1) unspoiled, and 2) in the same frame of mind you'd bring to a Vegas magic show, meta or not. The script becomes terrible as soon as it ventures into "dialogue" or "characterization." Cut for mild spoilers. )

Also watched three episodes of Hannibal. The storytelling is weird? Eg. sense of time is farked -- I couldn't tell if two days or two months has passed between episodes 1 and 2. Supporting characters and antagonists are not intro-ed in the way you'd expect of a procedural, somehow, even a mystical and impressionistic one. And so forth.

Further initial thoughts. )
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Books:

Not much this week. Got through a few more chapters of the Mark Atherton since I posted last, IIRC; am about halfway through that one now. My best reading experience this week was actually an interior design photobook called New Small Apartments, in a nice thyme-scented bath with a campari soda. XD I've never wanted a big house -- it feels ridiculous to walk and walk just to get from kitchen to bedroom, and I hate cleaning floors. My current place is 375 sq.ft. without the balcony, enough to qualify as Officially Small, but the apts in this book are in NYC and HK and Tokyo and Paris, where if you're dropping a cool million on a 2 1/2 you may as well hire an architect to renovate it.

New place, by the way, is 892 sq.ft., which is all the space I will ever need in my entire lifetime. Any bigger than that and it'd have to be because I decided to start a wine cellar or take up metal welding as a hobby or something.

Anyway, this reminds me that I keep a mental list of "stuff I would be incapable of explaining to Captain America," and second on that list is theworstroom.tumblr.com. (First on the list is that Lana Del Rey video where A$AP Rocky is JFK.)

Comics:

Chiho Saito's Dangerous Liaisons manga. Whatever you are thinking right now: yes. It is exactly like that.

EDIT -- went to the comic book store, so chowing through serials, only stopping to comment on All The Freakytrigger Posts. XD; That's Avengers Assemble 12-13 (Natasha story! ft. Chekov's karmic marker and surprise Pizza Dog), and the very Whovian 15AU (I am... missing a 14 I guess?). New Avengers 5 (backstory and cliffie), The Enemy Within #1. Dunno if I'm plowing through all of these tonight.

Movies:

Went to see Kon-Tiki. Eh, all right I guess -- felt like the script worked hard to generate interpersonal conflict for ~drama~, whereas tbh the book didn't give one the impression there was any. Read more... )
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Books:
Plugging away at the Borges interviews. The interviewer dude is très French.

EDIT -- back to the Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish thing. (A boring Saturday morning spent in queue at the walk-in clinic.) Of the three main "paths," I'm most enjoying the exophilosophy series -- unsurprisingly as it falls in line with the Carson, etc. The same names crop up, except instead of the topic being love, or God, or time, it's aliens. (Man, after all that Borges I was dying to know what Berkeley thought about aliens!!!) The story path starts slow but eventually goes off in an interesting direction. The porn path... is not for the easily triggered. XD; Personally, I'd've preferred less conflation of "exophilia" with exploitation, but the link is wrapped up in a logical argument. Can't fault the writer for imaginativeness, anyway.

Comics:
All the Captain Marvel I had lying around (up to #11), one of Erin's volumes of Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. (so... lots of Monica Rambeau), the first Avengers Assemble hardcover.

I'm not a hate-reader, but I gotta say, when I see ppl complaining that they don't like Filipe Andrade's or Emma Rios's art I'm like, YOU ARE WRONG IN A COMMENT SECTION! ON THE INTERNETS!

Movies/TV:
I've been getting an attack of sore throat/randomly spiking fever, sometimes exacerbated by other bodily dysfunctions (lower back pain, inflamed gums...), every month or two. The least-bad thing this could be is a recurrent sinus infection, in which case it's a pretty special one since my nose doesn't get stuffed up, and also I thought the antibiotics for the root canal infection that gave me stomachache (the drugs, not the infection) had taken care of the sinus issue, but that shiz keeps coming back like Ultron. The latest new symptom is tinnitus. :D :D :D So no, it was not a good winter, and this is starting to bum me out. In the meantime, I was afflicted with the inability to brain and so watched an evening's worth of JoJo. Think I'm on episode 11 now? 12? JOSEPH. Why are you flawless.

EDIT -- went and saw The Great Gatsby with the family, for Mother's Day. Spoilery for moviemaking, not for plot. But you know the plot. )
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Still on the Borges -- 2/3 of the way through the before-last essay, a comparatively long and dense "refutation of the existence of time." Yeah. XD; Then there are the interviews.

I'm pretty broke right now and for the few upcoming months, due to Soon To Be Announced, so I'm not buying any new books for a while; and we have reached the time of year when my reading productivity takes a steep dive anyway, due to alternate options such as listening to very loud live techno, drinking on sunlit outdoor terrasses with friends, watching movies about superheros and Japanese ghosts, and so forth.

Still trying to sum up what I think about Iron Man 3. I'll need to watch it again, but I don't think I'll be compelled to rewatch it an embarrassing number of times. XD; It may be the best of the three, with the caveat that they stop the series here.

SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS )
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Should be fairly light (last week was heavy).

What are you reading/watching now?

Started the Mark Atherton. Extraterrestrial Sex Fetish arrived so started that as well. More Greek philosophers, in the opening salvo at least (perhaps it's just that it was the first golden era of leisurely, intelligent people giving dinner parties where they theorized about sex? I was saying to [personal profile] ayalesca that someone ought to try marketing Plato's Symposium as m/m RPF, see where that goes XD;). Then I got bored and bought a few current issues of Iron Man #4-7, in which Tony Stark... tries to sleep with a space princess from a civilization that is roughly the galactic homologue to the ancient Greeks. Whom he picked up at a dinner party.

...Huh.

What did you just finish reading/watching?

Books/comics:
  • Jason Wilson, Boozehound: cut for reading notes. )
  • Ruth Padel, Darwin: A Life In Poems: will probably post some of this? It's not National Poetry Month in Canada, I don't think, but. XD
  • Guardians of the Galaxy #0.1 and #1: see above, also here.
  • Young Avengers (2013) #1-3: series emphasis on "young" i.e. supernatural/superheroing/etc. as a metaphor for YOUTH i.e. (per end notes) Heinsberg's idea of What Sixteen Means vs Gillen's idea of What Eighteen Means. Changing role of authority figures, lampshaded. "I'm Tyrion!" #blessyourheart If I were prone to worrying about stupid shiz in the middle of the night I would worry about the as-yet nonexistant 2020 storyline in which Billy decides he wants kids with Teddy and recapitulates Wanda's eff-ups again such as moving to suburban New Jersey.
  • Fashion Beast #2: Alan Moore and Malcolm McLaren...... look for this in trades, methinks.

Movies/TV:
  • The Eagle: Friday girls' night out -- Erin and I went for pub food, came back to my place, I mixed a batch of Singapore Slings and we watched a Channing Tatum flick. Well. It wasn't quite Magic Mike. XD Meditatively slow, Gaelic dialogue, and dead kids (though Meg always said the book was a YA adventure). Also, the colonialist question. )

What will you read/watch next?

Whatever's on the list? Probably not much reading this upcoming week tbh, want to get some writing done.

BONUS QUESTION: what books/movies did you acquire?
  • Jason Wilson, Boozehound
  • Deb Perelman, The Smitten Kitchen
  • The Eagle (2011)
  • Incendies (2010)
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As previously noted, I'm going to start doing this on Mondays.

What are you reading/watching now?

Anne Carson, Eros the Bittersweet: the follow-up to Marguerite Yourcenar's The Crown and the Lyre in an impromptu graduate course I seem to have devised for myself. XD; There is also a link to be drawn between Carson's remarks on oral versus literate mindsets and some of Ruskin's writings (see below) exemplifying the latter. Some skippable notes on this. )

EDIT -- I totally forgot because this is an e-book: "Supervert," Perversity Think Tank (download can be found at the link, knock yourselves out, perfectly work-safe unless someone is reading closely over your shoulder). I'm nearly done with it. The nature of the work is not dissimilar to Carson's, if you ask me: but that's a whole other graduate course.

What did you just finish reading/watching?

Books/comics:
  • Jeremy Bentham, On Torture: finally got through this. See notes on movies below.

  • John Ruskin, On Genius: a collection of quotes, essentially. I've never actually read Ruskin, weird considering how long this dude and his opinions have loomed over my consciousness (I'm kind of a Pre-Raphaelite stan). I mean, objectively everyone should probably read Ruskin? He was the Ur-privileged white male critic. He could well have been the Ur-Victorian. He embodied everything good and bad wrapped up in those two statements.** Sometimes he is so spot on, still, and sometimes you want to scream FUCKKKKYOUUUUUU at him over the intervening century and a half. And then drag him forward in time.***

  • Hawkeye (2012) #1, 3-6: still missing issue 2. Wrote a post about this and, uh, Pantone colour trends here.

  • Young Avengers, uhh... the first series, a few individual issues after that, then Children's Crusade. Re-read, of course; I have a better idea now of what I'm missing, continuity-wise, though it's really Journey into Mystery that I have to read before I can start the current series. XD; Also, I read the letters pages re Billy and Teddy dating, because I roll hardcore. )

  • New Avengers (2012) #3-4: with regard to note 3 below, it has not escaped me that there are no women in the Illuminati, and yes, I do think this is one of their problems. (In-story, I mean.)


Movies/TV:

  • The Gatekeepers: in practice, my Bentham reading was bookended by this and Zero Dark Thirty, which I couldn't have planned better if I were actually taking a course. Worth watching even if you don't have a good sense of why the Middle East is a mess. Worth watching, if frivolity is permitted, just to see someone do the Alex Guinness-as-George-Smiley I-am-bespectacled-and-mild-mannered-until-holy-shit-I-am-not thing in real life, which is as scary as it sounds.

  • Lost in Thailand: the Chinese mega-hit comedy from last year. My parents brought over a dodgy camrip DVD, which of course h0rked on the last 20 minutes. Read more... )

  • Samurai Champloo, ep.1-6: it was on Netflix, I was eating dinner. I watched this series so long ago I've completely forgotten large chunks of it. Still some of the best anime fight scenes ever, though.

  • Chaos & Order: an art film at the Technological Arts Society. The amount of time I've spent at the SAT over the years is kind of amazing; to the point where I hope it is my taxes financing the thing. I'd be getting my money's worth. Cut for crazy math. )


Cut for footnotes. )
petronia: (Default)
What are you reading/watching now?

I'm beginning to think I ought to do this meme on Mondays rather than Fridays; I usually start books on weekends. (The resolution for this weekend is to finish the stuff I've left hanging.) In any case, the actual answer today is An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, which has been my iPod reading project for a while now. Cut for stuff. )

What did you just finish reading/watching?

Books/comics:

A couple of first issues, in the bath -- a Sherlock Holmes one, the prequel to Star Trek Into Darkness...

Joan Didion, Slouching Toward Bethlehem. Notes. )

Movies/TV:

Stoker. It's Park Chan-wook, all right. I mean like "haha, weird to see an all-white cast in a Korean movie" obvious Park Chan-wook. It is dialled down some, but my personal opinion is that Park improves by dialling down (or "maturity," if you prefer). Cut for length and mild spoilers. )

The Incredible Hulk. I'm starting to feel a bit fandom-deprived (the good stuff starts coming out again in May), so I got around to this. Cut for notes. )

Also, I did indeed go see the Peruvian art exhibition at the MMFA. ARQUEBUSIER ARCHANGELS.

What will you read/watch next?

Maybe some comics? Maybe I'll pick up some more Star Trek comics. XD;

EDIT -- It is still Friday night, so I'll note here that I just watched Star Trek V: The Final Frontier on Netflix. Cut for... cut. )

BONUS QUESTION: what books/movies did you acquire?

None, but a whole lotta records!
petronia: (Default)
Blank slate for this week -- not going to bother to do questions -- I didn't read at all, I was trying to get something written for Clarion/Clarion West. Which I failed at, for the record. XD;; Like, very-last-minute, if-I-only-had-two-more-hours failed, which isn't very clever. On the other hand, the ending isn't quite there, so if I'd managed to submit it I wouldn't have expected to make the cut. I mean, surely they'll be able to meet their quota easily with short stories that have proper endings? XD;

Cut for frowny writing natter bit )

***

I did watch The Life of Pi, though! Parts of it were annoying, weirdly paced, or throw up ideas that are then poorly executed, but I suspect I'm taking issue with the book (which I haven't read) rather than with the film. The film totally deserves its Oscar for best achievement in large CG felines.

More to the point, this weekend I'll have birthday parties, and next weekend I'm headed to Cuba with my sister, where my only concern will be which book to read on the beach.
petronia: (Default)
Very quickly -- commentary to be added later.

What are you reading/watching now?

Bentham on Torture and Unfinished Tales still (both nearly done). Re-read a bit of Captive Prince when the books came, like everyone else in the known LJ-verse.

What did you just finish reading/watching?

Books:
David Wondrich, Imbibe!

Movies/TV:
Mama
Cabin in the Woods
Evangelion Rebuild 2.0 and 3.0
Princess Tutu 1-5


What will you read/watch next?

Who actually knows. XD; Finish the ones I've got, then I'll see.

BONUS QUESTION: what books/movies did you acquire?

S.U. Pacat, Captive Prince 1-2 (technically I bought these a while back, but the Amazon box only came this week)
JRR Tolkien, Unfinished Tales
Jo Walton, Among Others
David Wondrich, Imbibe!

June 2016

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