aesmael: (haircut)
Went clothes shopping with my mother and sisters. Ended up getting a couple of shirts, a skirt, and a big woolly sweater, 3 items of which am currently wearing. Family had wanted to go see a movie, specifically Absolutely Fabulous, but it was no longer showing. I'm a bit relieved by that as it's quite not my thing although I would have gone for the sake of being social. Siblings also got some clothes, as did my mother, but the latter turned down a lot of things we thought would have looked nice on her.

Been worried about taking the time out away from school when I'm in such dire circumstances, but it's rare enough to get some non-awful social time I chose to take the time and opportunity.

aesmael: (haircut)
Saw some folk talking about the forgiveability or lack thereof of Darth Vader, particularly wert the murder of children.

The prequel films had not been made at the time Return of the Jedi had been released, and I don't believe Lucas' claims of having planned the whole thing out from the beginning, so usually I am not interested in judging the first three Star Wars films on the basis of actions or emotions depicted in the prequels. I also don't recall Luke saying at any point that he forgave Vader for his past actions, prequel or otherwise. What I remember is Luke saying he still senses good in him, which I interpret as the potential or desire to turn away from evil and to do good.

My feeling is the idea of Vader being redeemed is not that his single act of casting down the emperor, but that it represents an internal change and a commitment on his part. That, had Vader survived, he would have devoted himself to doing good and to make what restitution he could for the evils of the empire. But his single act in the throne room doesn't make him good in itself, doesn't undo the evils of his past. It is a symbol of the change in the character and the new path he is taking, as is his ghost's appearance as Anakin later on.

I don't think it's a matter of having been forgiven and I don't think the evil Vader did in the past is or can be undone.

I do think there's a potential term collision between redemption as in 'how fans feel about a character' and redemption as in 'character internals reflected in externals'. I also suspect these opinions of mine are strongly influenced by the surrounding Christian cultural context; certainly I've had to work at not using Christian-sourced terminology in the writing of this post and probably missed some nonetheless.
aesmael: (Electric Waves)
Last week I had occasion a couple of times to be shelving and tidying near where a small group seemed to be studying medicine. As far as I could tell, this group was being led by a black man and something about his voice reminded me of the character Jar Jar Binks from the Star Wars prequels. I couldn't say in what way, as I can't think of any particular detail to pin that on.

I had known that that character was acted and voiced by a black man, but being reminded of the character 'out in the world' put me thinking about how that role was essentially caricaturing and putting up as comedy the speaking voice of many black men. It was not a wise design decision, I reckon.

Originally published at a denizen's entertainment. You can comment here or there.

Watching the movie Next starring Nicholas Cage. Have decided prescience is memory theft. We see an exchange between people happen, come to a conclusion, then the film jerks time back to show it has not happened yet and our protagonist takes a different path so what we saw never happens. So, he's stealing memories from the people around him, he remembers what no longer will happen and they don't get to.

Clearly the theft of future memories is what powers his abilities. There is no other logical conclusion.

aesmael: (Electric Waves)
Avatar, that's a show I have been wanting to watch for a while now. Just lately [ profile] lost_angelwings has informed me a live action film is to be made from the series and, as appears to be something of a tradition, many of the characters have been cast as white in stark contrast to their original depiction.

So, um, yay? I have not even been paying attention or looking and I can name a few off-hand this has happened to, like Dragon Ball, Speed Racer and Earthsea, so it is not hard to see a trend. Because we all know white people need as many breaks as they can get in the film industry, right? If race does not matter there should have been no problem casting to match characters' original conception, surely not such a thorough problem unless we want to pretend white people are just plain better actors. And if it does matter, well, there's even less excuse then.

Icon (plus others) from here, thanks again to [ profile] lost_angelwings for the link.
aesmael: (haircut)
    Righto, here are some things I have meant to mention over the past month or so but let slip away for various reasons. If you do not happen to enjoy reading my rambling self-indulgent thoughts on storyish things, now is your chance to escape.
longdull post of dooom )

    And that I think is that.
aesmael: (nervous)

    Worse, I think I actually understood most of that.
aesmael: (sudden sailor)
    Yes, it is (past) that time of year again when I ask for recommendations. Anything you think I should read, watch, play, listen to, whatever, suggest it in the comments. It can be fiction or non-fiction, just name name something(s) you think I (or everyone) need(s) to be exposed to.
aesmael: (Electric Waves)
    Everyone and their monkey has seen this by now, right? I saw it yesterday and it was amazing and I could make a list of a hundred little (and big) things they did wrong. Somewhere between those, yes and, oh, there were tears in my eyes in parts and I cringed at the corniness in parts and please let me see the action next time please?
    The explanation for their Earth forms is much improved over the original series I think. Oh, oh, and the scene where autobots fell to Earth... oh, it reminded me of the end of the world, so beautifully.
    'Review' stops here to prevent spoilers.

    And I must must must see Stardust. I do believe it shall be what I want to call a real fantasy film. Like Howl's Moving Castle.

    Also I bought a camera.
aesmael: (haircut)
When they started talking about Byzantium in Nochnoy dozor the first person I thought of was of course [profile] 12_21, though as it turns out there is nothing specifically pertaining to Byzantium in the film, it is simply a convenient old civilisation in which to set the legend. But it has me wondering what place Byzantium has in Russian culture. Is it something like the way we think of Rome? I imagine that the Byzantine Empire, since I think it was a Christianised nation longer than Rome, and I am given to think of Russians as a relatively religious people, is looked upon more favourably in Russia than Rome is in the West. But that is all uninformed guesswork.

Reading a little of the Wikipedia article on Night Watch (before stopping for fear of having too much tasty information revealed), the structure of the world reminds me very much of the way the world of Berserk is layed out. So I think I will enjoy the novel very much.

The title is a quote from the film, of course.
I am filled with fire, words of silver flow from my fingertips and burn on to the page. At least in my imagination.

Saw Superman Returns today. it was... what is the word I am looking for? Happier than I was hoping for. Always found Superman himself fairly boring as superheroes go. But at least the first half of the film was telling a good story about his isolation from the world. The whole 'world needs superman/saviour'  was annoying. But still somewhat powerful (so disappointed in myself). It was a long movie but still too short. I think it was better than X3 but V for Vendetta is still by far the best I've seen all year.

Continuing with tradition I picked up a couple of new books after the show. Today it was Neil Gaiman's Coraline and Century Rain by Alastair Reynolds. Almost grabbed a four-in-one of Le Guin's Earthsea novels too but held off because I thought they might be part of the fantasy masterworks line (they aren't). See, if they just had the decency to have the book I was after one of this would have happened. Oh, and I read the back cover blurb of Eragon again and now I have another novel to write (it was the final straw).

Evening is still my favourite time of day, the sky dusted with colour and the air chilling. Roads twinkle and shine after rain and the cloud-wreathed moon had a glowing halo, winter bare trees stark against the sky looking like branching fingers of coral.

(too much? yess)
Watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show my sister says: "I betcha christians hate this movie - it has a rainbow in it".
[Figured I may as well repost this since X-Men came up again]

Out and about yesterday and – oh! - what fantastical adventures I had. Haven't been clothes shopping for ages so I collected some much needed new skirts and, as is becoming my habit, a new book. This one was for my younger sister rather than me, The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays by Oscar Wilde, though she's offered to let me read it when I get the chance (I think I'm free sometime next May).

I did have some fun wishing people a 'happy.end of the world' in honour of the date. Too bad no one seemed to notice. And to cap it all off I saw X-Men III – The Last Stand (it is kind of like a pointy rock). A very inadvertantly themed day punctuated by reading the short story Coccoon (part of my Egan reading kick) while waiting for the movie to start (that'll show me for buying tickets early and then finishing my business soon after)

The movie might well have been the least of what I got up to but it also seems the easiest to talk about so that is what you are going to get. It seems to help to go into the theatre expecting disappointment; I think this one was not as good as the second and probably not the first either but I still enjoyed it (weep for poor Summer Snow, tragically born without taste). I lost a fair bit of respect for Magneto in this one. Even if he is the villain I had (mistakenly?) thought he was intended to be an intelligent and sympathetic one. He clearly should have expected plastic weapons and he could have organised his forces in a more effective manner (Why would anyone voluntarily take unnecessary losses? For the sake of a clever line, apparently). I blame one of my pet peeves – characters behaving inconsistently to force the story into the desired shape.

My favourite character is still Mystique (watch X2 to see what a minion should be). If I could choose the power of any of the mutants to have for myself it would probably be hers (though Wolverine's healing is pretty neato too). I wonder if those two things are related? Too bad she's barely in this one. Still can't decide if I'm angry with the filmmakers or the characters for some of the things that happen in this one. Depends if I come down on the side of 'in character' or 'out of character' really. I'm no fan of the comics so I may well come down on the wrong side.

Weird narrative deja vu thingy (not mentioned here previously, no need to look) struck again – when I saw the final shot before the end credits there was a strong feeling of having seen it before. Time to go now and try to solve my new problem; now that I have new skirts I have no tops to go with them. The saga continues...



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