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.
petronia: (Default)
Not much this week since I'm mostly writing stuff and/or sick. :P Theme: concerted strategic attempt to clear the shelves results in exposure to girlfriend near-fridging.

What are you reading/watching now?

Previously in-progress stuff plus John Sundman's Cheap Complex Devices (one of two metafictionally linked books I bought from the author at SXSW '11 -- and I've read the first, so I want to strike it from my list XD)

What did you just finish reading/watching?

Books/comics:
Jo Nesbø, The Snowman (lent by a workmate, needs to be returned)
Winter Soldier #10-14 (finishing the Brubaker run so I can archive it)

Movies/TV:
Finished the LotR extended DVD featurettes. I know, right?

What will you read/watch next?

Will see once I finish the in-progress stuff...

BONUS QUESTION: what books/movies did you acquire?

None! Wow!
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!

petronia: (Default)
I was supposed to do this on Monday, wasn't I? Oops.

What are you reading/watching now?
Bentham on Torture. It's kind of dry, so I read other stuff for a while, then came back to it. It's short, though, so am likely to finish it this week.

What did you just finish reading/watching?
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby. )

Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking. )

JRR Tolkien, Leaf by Niggle. )

George Bataille, Sacrificial Mutilation and Vincent Van Gogh's Severed Ear. )

The movie guide and art design compendium for The Hobbit (I'm too lazy to look up the actual titles). These are mostly picture books, anyway. I could go on about them but I ought to get off the computer. XD I will say -- because I've been meaning to -- that I tend to use "Peter Jackson" or "PJ & co." as shorthand for the process of collaborative creation behind these movies. Jackson's role is curatorial, often enough: nothing gets into the finished product without a yay/nay from him, but the answer to "who came up with this idea" can be quite different (and to everyone's credit, attributable). It's not at all the same as talking about Moffat, say, or JJ Abrams. The former writes, doesn't direct; I'm not actually certain how much the latter does, beyond the fact that he obviously doesn't have enough hours in the day to micro-manage all the projects he's signed up for. But the shorthand creates unintended implications. For one thing, I feel like people (myself included) talk about these movies without really digesting the fact that they're written by women. Like, do you think Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens are less card-carrying fangirls than anybody? Like Peter Jackson made Thorin sexy in order to pull some sort of con on the ladies' quadrant? You'd be nuts.

I'm still fantasizing about the LEAPS AND BOUNDS in performance-capture technology that will ensue from this trilogy, insofar as it relates to dragons. By the time Peter Jackson gets around to filming Temeraire they could cast every actor/actress beloved of Tumblr and just shoot them Masterpiece Theatre-style pretending to be dragons, and on the little viewer screen they would be dragons, real time. I have a dream, ok.

FINALLY watched Beasts of the Southern Wild. Liked it, but not as much as I thought I might.

What will you read/watch next?
Kon-Tiki I... guess!? Also, the massive comics backlog. This question has not been a good predictor of my actual future activity.

BONUS QUESTION: what books/movies did you acquire?
Good question! The answer is, aside from the movie guide, a box set of Iain M. Banks' first three Culture novels. I doubt I'll read Consider Phlebas again, but I'm tired of The Player of Games never being in the library. Plus, nice new reissue.
petronia: (postcards from Italy)
I was supposed to do this on Monday, wasn't I? Oops.

What are you reading/watching now?
Bentham on Torture. It's kind of dry, so I read other stuff for a while, then came back to it. It's short, though, so am likely to finish it this week.

What did you just finish reading/watching?
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby. I'm hardly likely to spout forth new insight on this book, but the more I think about it the more I'm aesthetically dissatisfied with the "well turned" ending. It's just so... Saturday Evening Post pot-boiler cum Agatha Christie. They switch cars! They switch drivers! On the other hand, I do very much see the appeal. Furthermore, I can see now why Buhrmann cast Leo -- though I keep circling back to this feeling I have, that it would be more interesting to do a modern-day adaptation with an all-POC cast. Not to come over all SJ; it would just be truer to the actual tensions FSF was trying to work out of himself, rather than 120 minutes of Jazz Age Tumblr/Pinterest visual nostalgia pr0n. Probably my favourite passage is toward the end, when Nick describes his Christmas train rides back to the Midwest.

Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking (halfway -- but since I didn't buy it it's not officially "on the list"). I mentioned at some point that this inspired "A Proof by Contradiction," but of course I didn't mean I read it at the time. I get more writing inspiration from books I don't read -- only half-imagine -- than books I did. It's very good, of course; in a way, a book one reads to educate oneself -- as Didion read others to understand what had been written about grief. I didn't imagine it completely wrong. XD;

JRR Tolkien, Leaf by Niggle. It's just a short story, and someone on Douban had posted the whole thing. It's rather moving, if you know anything about Tolkien; and -- if you share somewhat in Tolkien's creative temperament, which I do -- squirm-inducing, in that way Chesterton did so well. Like the Big Finger came down from the sky and poked you in the shoulder blades.

George Bataille, La Mutilation sacrificielle et l’oreille coupée de Vincent Van Gogh. I forgot to include this bit of frothy fun in the list of books I bought last time, so I ended up reading it first. I find dude's 1930s ethnography fucking dubious, but if the point is simply to point out a common compulsion over time and space (schizoids sacrificing bits of themselves to a solar deity, or some variation thereon) and its greater or lesser acceptance by "normal" society, well... yeah, that's a thing, I guess. And as art criticism it's not bad. Also, while I don't think Bataille was even aiming for prose fiction effects, he works up quite the crawling horrors just by treating the subject matter with a sense of academic intrigue.

The movie guide and art design compendium for The Hobbit (I'm too lazy to look up the actual titles). These are mostly picture books, anyway. I could go on about them but I ought to get off the computer. XD I will say -- because I've been meaning to -- that I tend to use "Peter Jackson" or "PJ & co." as shorthand for the process of collaborative creation behind these movies. Jackson's role is curatorial, often enough: nothing gets into the finished product without a yay/nay from him, but the answer to "who came up with this idea" can be quite different (and to everyone's credit, attributable). It's not at all the same as talking about Moffat, say, or JJ Abrams. The former writes, doesn't direct; I'm not actually certain how much the latter does, beyond the fact that he obviously doesn't have enough hours in the day to micro-manage all the projects he's signed up for. But the shorthand creates unintended implications. For one thing, I feel like people (myself included) talk about these movies without really digesting the fact that they're written by women. Like, do you think Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens are less card-carrying fangirls than anybody? Like Peter Jackson made Thorin sexy in order to pull some sort of con on the ladies' quadrant? You'd be nuts.

I'm still fantasizing about the LEAPS AND BOUNDS in performance-capture technology that will ensue from this trilogy, insofar as it relates to dragons. By the time Peter Jackson gets around to filming Temeraire they could cast every actor/actress beloved of Tumblr and just shoot them Masterpiece Theatre-style pretending to be dragons, and on the little viewer screen they would be dragons, real time. I have a dream, ok.

FINALLY watched Beasts of the Southern Wild. Liked it, but not as much as I thought I might.

What will you read/watch next?
Kon-Tiki I... guess!? Also, the massive comics backlog. This question has not been a good predictor of my actual future activity.

BONUS QUESTION: what books/movies did you acquire?
Good question! The answer is, aside from the movie guide, a box set of Iain M. Banks' first three Culture novels. I doubt I'll rea Consider Phlebas gain, but I'm tired o The Player of Games ever being in the library. Plus, nice new reissue.
petronia: (Default)
What are you reading/watching now?

The Great Gatsby (fiction) and Bentham on Torture (non-fiction, French translation - Allia edition). The latter because of Zero Dark Thirty. So, yanno. MOVIES.

Didn't actually manage Beasts of the Southern Wild last week, but did re-watch quite a lot of the LotR extended edition featurettes -- and am still not done. Somehow I managed to miss all this time that the Lorien elves' lament for Mithrandir was sung by Liz Fraser??? This... makes a lot of sense tbh...

Also watched the Youtube compendium of all the cut scenes from the LEGO Lord of the Rings video game, which I can promise you is a profitable use of 90 minutes. (In fact I watched various dudes play through 2/3 of the game on Youtube. Mostly for 1) Gimli being picked up and thrown repeatedly, 2) Sam setting fire to stuff. It's a puzzle platformer for 8-year-olds in which you can't die, i.e. I can almost imagine playing it myself successfully.)

What did you just finish reading/watching?

Started but didn't finish any books this week. Watched Zero Dark Thirty.

What will you read/watch next?

Kon-Tiki! Picked it up along with the Bentham.** I have always sort of wanted to read this, since my childhood days poring over stacks of old National Geographics. XD I swear until just now I hadn't realized there was a movie and it's nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar.


** By which I mean: along with the Bentham, a collection of Anna de Noailles' poetry, the first tankoubon of Tezuka's MW, and two volumes of essays and commentaries on Bertrand Russell.
petronia: (Default)
Adapted to my own purpose.

What are you reading/watching now?

D&D game is cancelled so going to watch Beasts of the Southern Wild at the Dollar Cinema tonight, methinks. Haven't picked next book yet (see below).

What did you just finish reading/watching?

Finished Beowulf on Saturday, during a four-hour hairdresser's appointment. (Felt really pretentious, which is not something I normally care about, but well.) Wrapping that up with some critical essays. I've been advised to look up the Seamus Heaney translation for comparison, which is serendipitous because I coincidentally fetched a Heaney lecture series from the house (one of the pieces is on Dylan Thomas; the other book I bought in the same lot as Beowulf is a Dylan Thomas collection). Will keep an eye out for that.

Brief thoughts: strong open, strong close. Arguably gives the lie to the chestnut that English passive tense is weak (how much of that is the original?). Recognizably British sense of humour (unexpected but disarming). Do not much care if something is defined as an epic or not and why, possibly because I do not have the value system of a classics translator. No leopard print bikinis. Tumblr thanks you, anonymous 8th century author, for indirectly causing there to be thirteen dwarves in The Hobbit, and also for Smaug, who really is fanfiction with the serial number filed off.

Speaking of Tolkien -- rewatched The Two Towers and Return of the King, extended editions, plus some of the featurettes. Am not convinced I have ever watched the extended RotK, actually. Have mellowed with age and am not actively enraged at the changes anymore, but they still disagree with me. (I don't think -- nor have ever thought -- that PJ & co. didn't have the right to make said artistic decisions in translating the novel to cinema; only that I didn't happen to agree; whereas eg. I agreed with almost all the changes to FotR.)

What will you read/watch next?

Good question? Will decide and update later tonight.
petronia: (Default)
And that's the last of this round of Hobbiting in theatres, I fancy, unless Erin and I do one of our very late dollar cinema coupon runs. XD; (This IMAX screening was also on points.) Verdict: motion blur was shockingly bad. I don't usually notice it in 3D movies being that I have trouble tracking fast movement with my eyes IRL anyway ahaha orz, but some of the shots here were shaky to the point of unwatchability. I suppose they blocked for 48fps, seeing no reason not to push the limit, and so the pan speed was too aggressive for 24fps 3D to handle. The same shots in 48fps were as smooth as butter. But on the bright side, in 24fps 3D Bag End and Rivendell no longer look like a Weta set visit undertaken on psychedelics, so you win some, you lose some.

I'm genuinely interested in the technology, what can I say.

I wrote up my dissatisfaction with the movie reviews here, which bafflingly got me followed by like ten journalist types on Tumblr. Verdict: everyone is a closet Tolkien nerd. [livejournal.com profile] dubdobdee then linked me his meta on Freakytrigger (plus discussion), which goes into much more detail. Though I now sort of want to do a poll: how many people think of The Hobbit as a "direct translation" of the Red Book of Westmarch (eg. that Bilbo wrote his story in a drily ironic/twee 3rd person omniscient)? Cut for length. )
petronia: (Default)
I kind of wish I were at all able to read Tolkien fanfiction,** because most of the Hobbit meta/reviews/etc. strike me as wrongheaded and it's ticking me off. :/


** I can't. I mean, I can, obviously, I am made of stern stuff XD, but I don't take to them in the normal fashion (apart from a few clever AU parodies). This is a decade-long recurrent complaint, since Jackson started making his movies, and if we've known each other online that long you're probably bored of me kvetching about this. IIRC my 2001 solution was to read lotrips but I was aware even at the time that what I really wanted was gen fic. But Sabina, you say, what the hell is gen lotrips? Wouldn't that be, like, text transcriptions of fake Weta production video diaries?

YES.

EXACTLY.

TALK TO ME ABOUT MIRRORED 3D CAMERA RIGS AND SELECTING BETWEEN 2,391 CONCEPTUAL ARTIST RENDITIONS OF DWARF BEARDS.

Anyway. Thank goodness for Tumblr and Pixiv I guess. You know who is really into hobbit food pr0n and chibi versions of Kili and Fili? The Japanese. Who is surprised? Nobody.
petronia: (Default)
Really belatedly: I received andata e ritorno, which is Armando/Vittorio out of basso's Orso e intelletuale series, which I'm going to shriek about now because THIS SERIES! which I never expected to get matched on ever! To be fair it is also a Lazio-biased football story so there are maybe three of you (YES YOU) this could be, and I cast so broad a net only because IDK who signed up for Yuletide. XD;

Nota bene: Alessandro Nesta currently plays in Montreal. I DON'T KNOW EITHER.

Mine should be easy to dig up, should anyone want to bother: medium-sized fandom for Yuletide, multiple medias, recent (past year or two), not very long or spectacular. Kara said she guessed it from the author's notes. XD;

***

Silver Linings Playbook: #insert imaginary gif of PSY screaming at Jennifer Lawrence’s butt

#believe me if it had not been imaginary I would have found it

review CPed from Tumblr )

***

Les Misérables: idem )

***

The Hobbit (the inevitable post, as [personal profile] labingi put it): 3D HFR )

2D 24FPS )

I've written more about the movie, in comments here and there, but I'm too lazy to compile them right now. Instead I'm going to write the AU in which Bilbo works as a code monkey for Palantir, Belladonna Took was a famed MIT hacker, Benedict Cumberbatch Smaug is a notorious cyberterrorist, Erebor is a failed state, Radagast used to kick it with Timothy Leary, and Galadriel is Hillary Clinton. Sorry I'm not sorry.

June 2016

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