3 Things

Aug. 1st, 2016 06:17 pm
emma_in_dream: (bobby)
1, I saw the latest *Star Trek* on the weekend. I really really loved the way the characters were part of a non-military organisation dedicated to exploring, rather than a military. I liked the characterisation, the action and the themes. The only thing I did not like was the tendency to use shots that looped through space. Even though I saw it in 2D it made me feel seasick and gave me a splitting headache which has persisted to the next day. I think I am getting to the point where I can no longer watch movies on the big screen because the cinematography is too much for me. At least this will save money.


2, I’m up to Act II of *Harry Potter and the Cursed Child*. I am enjoying it more than I thought I would, given that my least favourite part of all the books is the prescriptive final chapter which outlines exactly what happens to all the characters, down to the middle names of their children, but does not address the *massively important* theme of the need to fundamentally restructure wizarding society to integrate the rights of all magical, sentient creatures. Still, more HP is more basis for fanfiction.


3, My children were exemplary on the weekend, allowing me to lie down after the movie. This fixed the troubles with my vision and made me feel cheerful enough to play super heroes with them. In this iteration, I was the villain (as I always am) but was thwarted by Hermes with her power of running so fast she makes whirlwinds and Nay-Nay whose secret power is the ability to control small ponies.
emma_in_dream: (otp)
My favourite costuming ever in a TV series would have to be *Blake’s Seven*. I read the costumer’s book about working on the show. She borrowed a lot of the costumes from the BBC existing stock and spent virtually all her allocated budget on buying leather bondage gear from a dodgy shop. Kudos for the bold decision to dress the main crew solely in impractical and tightfitting leather.

Servalan’s costumes were, of course, the pinnacle of camp, making even the seven look like they were wearing sensible everyday gear. What other woman is shows in an evening gown and heels while tramping down a beach and killing her enemies in cold blood?
emma_in_dream: (bucky)
Some thoughts about costuming in 2000s television shows…


I think the costuming in *Dark Angel* was excellent. It was a near future dystopia and most of the characters wear jeans and hoodies most of the time. This pre-dates the popularisation of hoodies and in the show it is a way of acknowledging the desire of most characters to evade the ever-present Police drones. And, of course, they live in post-disaster Seattle so warm clothes make sense.


Likewise, I loved the costuming for *Jeremiah* which consisted of contemporary fashions subjected to 17 years of wear. The premise was that most people died in a specific year and everyone lived by scavenging, so it makes sense that a show set in the future featured the fashions of 2002.


Here are some shows where the costuming made no sense to me. *Veronica Mars* in which the broke Veronica dressed way above her station. I can only assume that Neptune had a great second hand shops scene as the rich 09ers discarded their vastly expensive clothing with every change of fashion. *Buffy* always puzzled me in that the different characters seemed to inhabit different climate zones. One person on screen would be wearing jeans and a thick jumper while talking to someone in shorts and a halter top.

Star Wars

Jan. 4th, 2016 06:11 pm
emma_in_dream: (bobby)
I watched *The Force Awakens* and I love it. However, I am confused about Storm Troopers, probably due to not paying proper attention to the dud movies 1-3.


My own theory is that Storm Troopers in 4-6 were under Force control, thus explaining their extreme incompetence when left alone. They are kind of ambling about, under a fog of brain washing. The green-clad Army guys in 4-6 seem like an officer class, left to make decisions without Force control. Which would make sense, because they would be the remnant of career military left from before the Empire overtook the Republic. (Just to lose the internet competition, like the career military who continued under Hitler.)


But there may well be something to contradict this in movies 1-3 because I only saw them the once and then tried to scrub them from my mind. I remember something about clones? And a massacre perpetrated by brain washed Storm Troopers? Could someone explain it to me?

Cut for spoilers


Read more... )

Please people, I need more information to make any kind of sense of the ethical universe of Star Wars.

Christmas

Dec. 15th, 2015 06:32 pm
emma_in_dream: (bobby)
I have begun my Christmas re-watchings.


I always watch the X Files *Ghosts who stole Christmas* episode in which Mulder gets accused of paramastabatory narcissism and Scully of having her only pleasure in life be proving him wrong. Mulder replies: ‘When have you ever proven me wrong?’


And I adore the Supernatural *Very Winchester Christmas* episode. It manages to combine cynicism, humour, staking the pagan spirits of Christmas with a limb of their tree, and a really good back story that explores their characters and upbringing. It was on a Christmas Eve that Sam first discovered what his father did, and first articulated the wish to be safe. Plus, there they are in the world’s grimmest motel, abandoned on Christmas Eve while Dean tries to get Sam some Christmas presents by stealing them – pretty much the story of Dean’s life. And, you know, the story behind the medallion that he wears, given to him at Christmas time by Sam as a sign that he is his favourite person in the whole world.


I am about to watch *Die Hard* which features a family torn apart and reunited on Christmas Eve, the very essence of the Christmas story.
emma_in_dream: (Methos)
Months after everyone else, I have watched *Jurassic Park*. I hope the surviving guests sue the corporation forever. Imagine having a system of command and control which is entirely dependent on the presence of one person and on the day things go wrong she goes off to rescue a subset of two of the thousands of people there.

I did like the mad scientist though. Unusually he had very neat hair and I believe he has survived since the first movie. Kudos.

Yuletide

Oct. 19th, 2015 06:38 pm
emma_in_dream: (Leia)
Hello –


I feel like the last kid at the school to become aware that there is a cool party going on, but last year was literally the first year I realized what the purpose of Yuletide letters was. I saw them on my LJ feed and I even wrote them *but I did not realise they were aggregated centrally*. I thought people just went looking for the person they were writing for, checking if they had an LJ account and if they had left a message. When I found out last year that there was a central list – after participating for about a decade - I was so excited! I wrote several stocking stuffers!


So, right of the bat, you will realise you are not writing for the brightest or most tech savvy of people. Cough, moving along.


Things I like: people working together as teams! Loyalty! Friends becoming family! People being competent! And communicating vital information to each other in a sensible manner! Also, slash!


I had heaps of trouble deciding on the fandoms I’d like to request this year because I am all about the most obscure pairings of the most tiny fandoms.


First and foremost, I would love pretty much any story around Rosemary Sutcliff’s *Simon*. This is one of her lesser known, non-Roman historical works. It’s set in the 17th century and inspired 13 year old me to try to read about that century. I managed to get a biography of Thomas Cromwell rather than Oliver Cromwell and was rather confused. But I wound up with a doctorate in early 16th century history, so the book had its impact.


It’s classic Sutcliff, with loyal best friends separated by being on opposing sides in the civil war. Yet still loyal! Anything about Simon and Amias’ friendship would please me, from their boyhood days, their time at school, up to post-war slash (or pre-war, or during the war which, after all, went on for a really long time). Other things that would make me happy: I’d like to know more about Zeal-for-the-Lord’s life; what kinds of secrets did Mouse find out with her spying habits; how did they celebrate Christmas when Christmas was outlawed (because of the actual, literal Puritans).


Zombieland is that rarest of jewels – a satisfying zombie apocalypse comedy. I’ve got to say that I really want any fic written in in this fandom to be equally light hearted and happy. No one is to be eaten in a bad way!


I have to admit to really just wanting happy fic in this fandom. I’d like anything about their created family being competent and kicking ass. And I’d be very happy to read smut about Columbus and Wichita, Columbus and Tallahassee or (ideally) both Wichita and Tallahassee sharing Columbus like the little bond-creating, anxiety ridden moppet he is.


Since this is 2015 I think it’s an appropriate time for a whole lot of Back to the Future fic. Here we are! In the future! Though sadly without flying cars or self-zipping shoe laces.


I’d like pretty much anything that focussed on the fact that Doc and Marty (and to a lesser extent Jennifer and Clara) have become cut off from the rest of their timelines. They’ve got different memories to pretty much everybody else. Anything featuring them being a group with special ties would be great.


Also, having just rewatched the movies, they are a lot darker than I remembered. They are played for comedy but the ‘happy’ 1985 that they end up with is the direct result of taking stuff (and people) away from Biff Tannen and giving it to George McFly. Not that I want date-rapist Tannen to get his horribly dystopian Trumpesque happy end, but it is still creepy. So if you wanted to go dark that would be fine.


That’s a lot of information but here is the take away message: Thank you for writing to me. Whatever you give me is fine.

Archive of Our Own name - Emma_Oz

Back to the Future (Movies)
Zombieland (2009)
Simon - Rosemary Sutcliff

Technology

Oct. 8th, 2015 06:19 pm
emma_in_dream: (Default)
So I got Netflix to work and watched *Dare Devil*. However, there's nothing else in there that tempts me so I have turned off my membership until there's something else I want to watch.
emma_in_dream: (bucky)
I wanted to make a vid from Bucky's point of view, so what we see is what he got... the fall, the brainwashing, the work as an assassin for the USSR, going rogue in 1973 in Brooklyn, the fall of the USSR. Then, incredibly, his life took a turn for the worse and he was picked up by Hydra.

The vid has a *lot* of shots of Bucky assassinating people, all fictional and lifted from various movies.

It is set to the most tragic (and Russian) of all music, Tchaikovsky's *Swan Lake*.

You can see it here:

https://vimeo.com/140273816

Or here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7aol37Y2Bg&feature=youtu.be

Oh noes

Sep. 23rd, 2015 02:10 pm
emma_in_dream: (Default)
I have just realised that Donald Trump looks *exactly* like the evil Biff Tanen in the evil 2015 version of *Back to the Future*. I mean, exactly! And their policies are not dissimilar.


I see now that we are living in the not-so-nice alternate future.

Selfie

Sep. 1st, 2015 02:31 pm
emma_in_dream: (Singin')
OK, I just signed up to Netflix and yet I cannot find any of the shows I'd like to watch (viz, Selfie and Marvel movies). Is this the way Netflix works?

Also, any suggestions on how I could legally watch these, given that they are not in my local library and Selfie is not at JB?
emma_in_dream: (steve)
Anyone interested in providing improving feedback on my very odd Bucky Barnes vid?
emma_in_dream: (Default)
I am amazed to learn that in WWII the American army had a fundraising/morale boosting show written by Irving Berlin – “This is the Army!*. It did Broadway and was made into a movie starring Ronald Reagan.


Actual members of the armed services performed it all over Europe and the Pacific for the course of the war. AIt featured lots of drag acts. The army decided that it WACs and WAVEs should not contribute, so all the female roles were played by men. Cough. What an odd decision.

Linking it back to my current obsession with Captain America – This sounds like basically his show, except that in the fictional universe Steve is backed by dancing girls. This is certainly much easier to imagine than what is described in *Coming Out Under Fire* which includes details on how bull dozers built giant fox holes that served as theatres and a description from one drag queen of how they were strafed mid-performance and he had to leap down into the fox hole with the regularly dressed soldiers.

Also, there was a version for the segregated African-American troops called.... I can barely bring myself to type the words... *Uncle Sambo*.
emma_in_dream: (X Files)
I am all excited about making a Captain America songvid. At first I planned to do a romantic Stucky vid to a Florence and the Machine song, and then I figured that this has been done before. And better.


So I am working on a Bucky-centred vid, using footage from his POV. There are some tiny scraps of the movies which are shot from his POV, usually when he was being tortured. Naked. And oiled.


So much fanfic and so many fanvids assume that Bucky’s life story is an add-on to Steve’s and that he is the sidekick in his own life. Which I get, because the source material you have to work with generally follows Steve.


But I was thinking that while Steve spent seventy years sleeping, Bucky’s experience was being tortured, brainwashed, killing people, and being frozen (and repeat).


So I have been working on a vid which uses the approximately 45 seconds from Bucky’s perspective in *Winter Soldier* which show him being tortured and brainwashed. And then I’ve set it in the historical context that the graphic novels use. Which is a fancy way of showing him causing unrest and assassinating people under the Soviets and for Hydra. So lots of activities in the early 50s, the late 60s and the 80s as the Soviets tried to kill their way into retaining control. Also, the notorious part where he went off the grid in 1973 and wound up back in Brooklyn unsure what year it was. Steve was under the ice but he could have run into his mother at that point. God, the heart break.


Then he spent the 90s on ice, in a storage area until some enterprising General realised what he was and sold him outright to Hydra. Plenty of activity in the 2000s as Hydra aim to destabilise the world.


Making this has been a challenge. I began by thinking I would collect historical footage of major world events – the Vietnam war, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the American invasion of Afghanistan. But this was problematic because 1, I did not want to show identifiable people, 2, I did not want to show real people dead 3, the film qualities varied so enormously with the historical footage that I could not make it all fit together, and 4, almost all the footage available online is of Western events which seems unbalanced for a global war.


So then I decided to use footage from historical movies. This means I don’t have to worry about showing actual violence or dead people and the film quality is consistent. There’s still a bias towards the West, but I’ve done what I can with footage from movies set in Pakistan, Rwanda and Uganda, so as to imply a global sphere of activities. Though the biases in my own historical knowledge are clear – I knew the dates for Bloody Sunday, the Kennedy assassination, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Vietnam war off the top of my head. I’ve had to look up when anti-colonialist and other wars took place in the African continent.


However, it’s still interestingly challenging as I need to show him being a competent assassin but can’t show even distant footage of him in hand to hand or with a knife because of his mechanical arm. Also because Sebastian Stan has a very characteristic swaying walk, which is hard to find emulated. So I’ve wound up with a lot of shots of explosions (I’m going with these as disguised assassinations) and various battle grounds (I assume he was there picking off key peacemakers so as to escalate tensions).


I’ve set it to the most tragic music I know – Tchaikovsky’s *Swan Lake*.


I have been fiddling and fiddling with this. Especially as I can’t afford decent software so I am doing it in clunky old IMovie which is not really suitable.


And I’ve just found Lim’s vid which totally goes over the same ground, only better and in a compact way. You should all look at this vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gj-2bpF7XJM


But also, when I finish it, you should look at my vid.
emma_in_dream: (Singin')
I have just started reading a history of gay Americans in WWII. I am only up to early 1941 and the army has already had to invent the convoluted concept of a ‘reverse malingerer’, ie. a person who should be exempt from conscription but whose patriotism compelled them to sneak into the armed services. Steve Rogers, with his repeated attempts to enlist, was a reverse malingerer.
emma_in_dream: (Trek)
Do you remember that scene at the beginning of The Winter Soldier when Sam Wilson asks Steve how he finds the 21st century. He clearly expects a grumpy old man the grass was greener in the past answer, but gets a really positive answer. One of my favourite insights into Steve’s radical nature.


So a while back at church the Minister asked the congregation to talk about whether things were better now or worse than in the 1950s. I was mentally shuddering because the average age in the congregation is like the far side of 75 and I expected a fairly conservative response. I am one of the young ones and I’m in my mid-40s. I expected a whole lot of talk about how much better things were in the mythical 1950s in which there was vast economic prosperity and everyone knew their place.


But! The very first person said how wonderful the eradication of polio was. Like that was the top of mind comparison to the past for someone who remembered that disease. And the next person said how brilliant immunisation is and how children don’t die now of diseases which used to kill. Bear in mind that these people certainly saw their siblings and friends die and probably their children too.


Then there was an outpouring of positive statements. Nowadays women don’t have to quit work when they get married! They earn a lot more than they used to when jobs were listed separately! Aboriginal people are citizens (though obviously there are still problems there)! One of the most amazing statements was from a man who said ‘remember the excitement’ of the 1970s when almost every day a new nation appeared, with people seeking freedom in Africa and Asia (although also still problems there)!


My take away – people are basically nice! And also, eradicating polio is a really big deal!
emma_in_dream: (Default)
Being in the Captain America fandom has led me to Thomas Paine. Did you know that Roosevelt quoted from his Crisis when he made his great speech to rally the people against fascism after Pearl Harbour?


'These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.’


Bucky Barnes, future Winter Soldier, would have heard that.

June Books

Jul. 3rd, 2015 04:49 pm
emma_in_dream: (Default)
Lots of Captain America graphic novels and a very interesting book about the American civil war. I want to know more about what people thought they were fighting for.


Read more... )
emma_in_dream: (Trek)
Life continues to suck, so instead of talking about what is happening in the real world, let me rave about my latest obsession. I recently watched the Captain America movies. (I had previously avoided them after watching like five minutes of Iron Man and being horrified by the way the whole of the Afghanistan war was just background to the American hero.)


I love the entirety of Captain America. I approach the text through slashy eyes of course, and the great big love love of Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes through time thing really pleases me.


Plus I am thrilled to find a fandom with so much backstory. Like literally 70 years worth. This must be how new Who fans felt in 2005 when they realised there was such a mammoth amount of canon. I am currently working through the oeuvre of Ed Brubaker, the guy who brought Bucky back from the dead.


And there’s so much history in the canon. I love that Steve Rogers is grounded in a specific time and place. I would highly recommend the historicallyacurateSteveRogers tumblr for a cornucopia of information about life in 1930s and 40s New York. Want to know what kind of slang the military were using? What people ate? The typical layout of a tenement? What kind of handwriting taught in schools? What slang was used for genitals at the time? What people wore on the streets? It’s all there.*


I shall now rave about a particular aspect of the canon. Marvel fans and those with a deep knowledge of America history can feel free to roll their eyes about my ignorance.


I had thought the title Winter Soldier was well chosen. It hints that he was kept (literally) on ice. It reminds us of General Winter, the great force in Russia’s historical battles. It suggests that he is cold and emotionless because wiped of his memories.


What I had not realised until I started reading fics is that it is a specific reference to Thomas Paine’s letters.

THESE are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.


How fitting for a man who is like the longest serving POW ever.


Plus, it turns out that there was a famous Winter Soldier conference in 1971 In which veterans gave testimony about massacres and crimes they had witnessed in Vietnam, stating that they were the true patriots for calling the country on illegal war crimes. Some of their testimony eventually wound up being presented to Congress before the war concluded.


And then again veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have held similar hearings, with the information now available on Youtube.


I now appreciate the title Winter Soldier has layer upon layer of meaning, just like the fandom as a whole. I am really enjoying it.






· You remember how Steve calls Bucky a jerk and Bucky calls him a punk. Well, the modern meaning of ‘troublemaker’ was prevalent at the time but so was the meaning ‘effeminate guy’. It’s like Bucky is on the screen, ruffling Steve’s hair and calling him his twink.
emma_in_dream: (Default)
It has something for the marxist feminist – They are (literally) pursued by the embodiments of the military, patriarchal religion and big business, converging on them in three war parties. And they defeat the patriarchy through the actions of all the pursued working together.


For the psychoanalytical feminist – The entire movie is about precious bodily fluids and the need to radically centralise the female body.


For the liberal feminist – They free themselves by cutting off the chastity belts. And then the same bolt cutters are used to (literally) unfetter the men from the chains of the patriarchy.


All this, and it also has explosions! And car chases! And a guy egging on the warriors while flames actually jet out of his guitar! Truly this movie has something for everyone!


Many thanks to Short_Black for taking me to see it.

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