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: (haircut)

Finally answered the Malheurs' question about podcasts we listen to ('finally' - it was only yesterday morning). Left a few off because didn't want to flood, though. Mainly SF Crossing The Gulf, science news series like the Nature magazine podcast, and the story magazines like Escape Pod and Podcastle. And some I just can't recommend like Skeptic's Guide to the Universe partly for the often confrontational tone (and associated ablism) but especially what stands out is one of the host's periodic parodies of Asian accents.So, nope, however much I may enjoy I can't recommend at least pre-2008 version of the show.

Got the day off, so all that prospect of wide open day to fill and be diligent in. But we never manage that in the actuality. It's a nice dream.

Not been able to exercise in a while because of my leg, but that's healed now and was surprised at how easily the routine went this morning. First thought on the treadmill was that I really need to get a sports bra as the bounce was quite unpleasant. And then spiralling a bit of self-hate because it seems no one in the country makes sports bras sized for women as large as me with such small breasts. Going to have to wait for the regular bra I ordered to arrive and see how well that fits. And then most likely follow Ami's advice of getting a smaller size and an extender for the strap.

Hope that works. Been waiting on getting a bra sorted so I can fix up the rest of my wardrobe for nearly half a year now.

Last night on the drive home listening to Science Friday episode from 2015-02-06 they covered the final instalment of the show's bookclub reading The Lost City of Z. They'd been discussing that the past few episodes, a retracing of a British explorer who long ago went missing in the Amazon searching for a lost city. This had me wondering if and how such tropes as explorer's clubs and celebrity explorers might be used in RPGs, and whether this could be done in a non-colonialist way (the short answer I came to is probably no, and on my head be it if I insist on including them anyway). Ideas such as cross-planar exploration, seeking out unknown worlds and planar regions for establishing contact and trade or relations with, and possibly the world of narrative focus being but newly created and consequently not in a position to exert force outward. But that latter is less of a help than the details of motives in seeking outward and celebrating news brought back.

Alternatively or perhaps also, having characters be of non-European-derived societies, exploring into the ruins of a lost European-style society. Good excuse for lots of castle dungeons and monster-infested ruined townships. Could be explained as plague-depopulated (or some other catastrophe), much as what actually happened in the Americas and Australia when European settlers arrived (except of course no real monsters), although what I'd been thinking in that idea was not so much to make that parallel as more Kim Stanley Robinson's The Years of Rice and Salt to make a conveniently depopulated Euro-fantasyland. And the fact that it does make a parallel to the real world creates problems in using such an idea, because there is an implicit association that if such a depopulated land is suitable for guilt-free exploration and ruin-romps, then it must have been similarly okay for Europeans to go through Australia and those Americas after disease had drastically reduced the populations and ability to sustain existing societies there.

As was pointed out in the much more interesting (and far too short) following segment in which they had as guest an archaeologist to talk about actual Amazonian ruins and how they were laid out in a style of city distinct from any that I had been aware of.

Getting to the point where soon new stereo in car will hopefully mean can start over the list ordering and go into the big and hopefully final catch-up project. Especially since recent investigations and external developments will make that more possible than before.

Something on the drive home reminded me of my grandmother and, as ever, I wanted to tear my throat out so I wouldn't have to deal with it. I think I thought of aiming for a collision again but of course I won't, I wouldn't. But how am I supposed to make sense of her being gone? I wish I could cry, for her, for my cousin. Even for Terry Pratchett whose words meant so much to me growing up (she once bought me one of his books as a child and I don't think she ever knew how much I loved that book). But I can never seem to grieve properly. There is always something taking precedence - maintaining a good face at work; school; getting home without killing myself. I fear that someday I will have time to grieve and the window will have passed, I will not feel it any more or need it.

Again and again and again.

Today is always wasted.

I watched some things. Part 3 of the Doctor Who serial Marco Polo, I think. Did not pay a lot of attention to it or follow what was happening, so what was the point in watching that again when I could have been doing something useful? Episode 38 of Galaxy Express 999, of which I wanted to say something about how repetitive that show is but this time it actually did something a bit different, showing a bit more of the workings of the interstellar railway line. Some episode of Scott & Bailey in the background, which I suppose I keep up more by inertia than anything else. I wish I had the time and the will and the focus to - if I am going to watch something - actually watch it and pay attention and think about it. I pressure myself too much to get through things and so cannot appreciate them.

School is stress. I am sure I am going to fail. I am always sure, and always sure that this time I really am. Of course last time, over the summer, I actually did, which means I am on academic probation and definitely have to pass this class to escape penalty. And I am doing so badly with it. I very much need to focus and not be social, to push through being tired when not at work. Today I tried to get progress on my assignment, the last one that will determine my grade, and mostly ended up wrestling with bibliographic tools before giving up and doing it the old-fashioned way. Insofar as using style settings in a modern office suite can be considered old-fashioned.

But at least I have done something. I have made some progress on the readings and entered some information into the document, so that is technically progress. I need to make this into my life somehow if I am to succeed, but I hate it already and thoroughly.

Been leaving lots of journal entries unpublished of recent, as the day escapes me. I wonder if I will ever publish them?

aesmael: (sudden sailor)

When I read this post on ghosts and zombies immediately I thought it could potentially make a really interesting story, if only I could think where to go with it.

Start with a zombie apocalypse scenario sweeping across the Earth, leading to almost the entire population of the world ending up as ghosts and... then what? The whole species having to decide "we've been wiped out, we're extinct but we're still here, now what do we do?"

Visualising plot strands of despair, would-be suicidal reactions, religious crises, some maybe want to zoom off to explore space, or persuade the ghost-species to adopt a frame of philosophical contemplation, ennui over being and observing but inability to affect any thing in the world. Interactions with the elder ghosts of humanity's past and trying to negotiate a place in / replacement for whatever society they had constructed. Maybe side-strands with the living who are still trying to survive and the question of whether they could eventually prevail, if humanity might re-emerge as a living species.

Don't know where the story would go. My own inclinations probably take it as a quest for understanding with ghost-science and exploration and a lot of people wanting to find ways to interact with the world again, or maybe to cease existence entirely. I keep being drawn to the possibility of vistas on other worlds and mysteries and discoveries that could be made out there (ghost aliens? non-ghost aliens who can or cannot detect the ghost humans?).

aesmael: (haircut)

I know I made a post just recently about my wish that adapting sff genre works from prose to television would become commonplace, but now news is going around about one such adaptation that I'm skeptical about, the Foundation series.

The Foundation stories are so much a bundled set of short stories with cast and time period changing what seems like every few thousand words, I wonder how they're going to manage any sense of continuity. At that rate I'd expect a cast turnover every couple of episodes.

Then again, Asimov's writing was so distant and sparsely characterised for the Foundation stories, maybe it would be a great opportunity for writers to dive in and explore character drama at length. Not as if there is much pre-existing material for them to conflict with here.

aesmael: (haircut)

I'm sure I have said this before, but I think I would rather love if it became commonplace for sff novels or series of any note or moderate success to receive some ~faithful audiovisual serial adaptation.

I don't think that having a television adaptation is some higher level of 'having made it' that stamps its recipients with a seal of worthiness. But, the prospect of having an additional format-shifted version of stories I enjoy delights me.

It would be neat to see such a trend take off in a plethora of visual styles, various animations or live action takes according to what ever style best suits the source material (really it would be wonderful to see more understanding that an animated story is not necessarily a trivialised story or strictly 'for kids').

Sometimes I'd rather watch something than read, or vice versa. Or sometimes watching something together is an easier way to share a story than thrusting a book into eir hands. But really, really, I want to see our narrative culture expanded to include such story translations as a commonplace of the landscape.
aesmael: (tricicat)

On the other hand, a string of stories at Podcastle left me feeling alienated, being centred as they were so strongly on US self-mythologising. A very distinct sense, which I have the privilege of experiencing relatively rarely, that I was not and never could be the audience for these stories.

The Ant King: A California Fairy Tale by Benjamin Rosenbaum is as the title suggests a fairy tale of California. More particularly of capitalism, California, and self-identified geekdom. Self-conscious quirkiness blended with corporate surrealism; there is a trans woman and a genderqueer kid in the story for what appears to be ‘people do gender non-normatively in California’ reasons. Support groups and mercenary hackers and monetising all the things.

Hotel Astarte by M. K. Hobson is a broader anthropomorphised mythology of the Three Americas - the Rural Midwest, the Business of the East, and the upstart Hollywood of the far west - and their deep magical conflicts with each other for pre-eminence or survival in the early 20th century.

These are not necessarily bad stories. Hotel Astarte especially I thought well done. But they are very much of the USA, stories told by that people of its history and its nature. ‘America’, talking about itself to itself, no space in the telling for an audience that is not on the inside, not so soaked in this mythology of the great and human nation.
aesmael: (tricicat)
Sometimes, listening to podcast fiction is a good way to find new authors. Hearing in fairly close succession For Fear of Dragons at Podcastle and then especially Amaryllis at Lightspeed Magazine, both by Carrie Vaughn, draws her to attention so that I will be keeping an eye out for her name in future as a signifier of good story.
aesmael: (transformation)

Tell Me Who to Kill by Ian Rankin

Originally published 2003 in Mysterious Pleasures; this edition 2004, 2005 printing

Publisher: Allison & Busby Limited

Collected in: The Best British Mysteries 2005 (ed. Maxim Jakubowski)

 

PG

Parental Guidance recommended for audiences under 15 years of age

(D, V)

Drug Use {PG} (G: pre-story beer consumption; coffee; paracetamol. PG: viewpoint character smoking cigarettes; whisky (on-screen, plus POV character's consumption of the listed items adding up); acquisition and drinking of a lager 4-pack)

Violence {PG} (set-up is accident victim; no sense of ongoing threat or menace, but surrounding character portrayal invites us to regard the victim and the driver's humanity, a personal rather than abstract tragedy)

 

Representations

Gender:

Women present in relationship roles - distraught wife, non-distraught wife, absent girlfriend. Tension of the "husband angry at idea of wife spending 'all his money'", 'passionate relationship' sort.

(had thought a woman was present as a nurse, but checking back that was my presumption, not Rankin's. although the surgeon is gendered male.)

Sex:

Only heterosexual relationships depicted and driving the story

Race & Ethnicity:

A black couple (male-female relationship) play a role later on, described "Not just coffee-coloured, but as black as ebony" to emphasise their blackness. POV character thinking his visit as a police officer may have unintended negative social consequences for them due to neighbourhood prejudice. The man in this relationship is a star soccer player.

One character marked as white, but seems safe to assume all others were also.

Disability, Physical Diversity and Health:

Only in that a character was a physiotherapist.

Awards

Not found

Notes

Detective Inspectors with business cards. I keep being surprised, but it makes sense when I think about it.

Hadn't read any Inspector Rebus stories previously, but had been meaning. Since this opening tale was one of my favourites of the entire collection I've definitely no changed my mind on that. Nicely detective-oriented short piece, despite several moments toward the end when details noticeably kept from the reader to drag it out a little longer.

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

On the way home from work I somehow had an idea for a role-playing campaign. The concept is rather simple: the villain has stolen the abstraction of narrative imperative and is using this to reshape global civilisation to her vision with the force of historical inevitability. The task faced by the player characters is to succeed in sufficiently extravagant and difficult endeavours that they convince the setting it is actually they who are its primary heroes and narrative drivers, this being the only way to wrest control of narrative imperative from the villain.

The idea is that in aggregate the population must bow to statistics and cannot escape the forces the villain wields, but individuals could be outliers. (at which point we stop pretending to make mathematical sense, but that's okay because we're using a setting where narrative is a force of nature)

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

For a while I have taken to tagging as 'a zombie story' any story in which defeat means being transformed into the enemy. Typically where defeat is something as difficult to avoid as being touched. This seems to be a common trope in the new series of Doctor Who, including The Empty Child / The Doctor Dances, somewhat implicitly in Tooth and Claw, 42, Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead and The Waters of Mars. Which does not even include all the other episodes in which characters are transformed into enemies or used as components thereof.

Seems to be rather a strong strain in the series, and I have been wondering if that might carry over into other fiction, if it is somewhat a 'fear of the times'. Certainly there is the explosion of zombie-themed media in the past decade, and I am writing this post because an episode of The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes reminded me of the trend. In that episode a villain called The Leader [1] is using a machine to generate a sphere of gamma radiation that transforms all within into powerful monsters [2], so the villains focus on damaging the heroes' radiation suit integrity rather than defeating them outright.

I suspect the theme of this sort of thing is something of body horror, but if there has been an increase in it as a theme in recent years, it probably relates to other aspects of the recent human world. I notice a lack of Captain Planet and The Planeteers, and a prevalence of stories in which humans are transformed into monsters against their will and the rest must survive. Presumably it says something about where we are, culturally and politically.

[1] Who, thanks to The Simpsons, I have difficulty taking seriously.

[2] I know, but this is a Marvel Comics series. One must accept these things if one is to enjoy it.

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

Looked in on ABC3 a few nights ago, which I had not done in many months. They had some show on called Vampire Knight, and from the description I was thinking it would be similar to The Worst Witch so I decided to try watching an episode. Surprised to find it is actually a dubbed anime series as I hadn't thought that to be the sort of thing they air.

Seems to star a girl called Yuki who attends Cross Academy and works as a guardian protecting the Day Class (humans) from students in the Night Class (vampires). Even though the plot I think doesn't much resemble either it kept putting me in mind of a Harry Potter x Twilight situation. Mainly, I suppose, because we have a supernatural sort of school with a changing roster of mysterious teachers, and a girl as protagonist who is constantly being attacked and seems entirely incapable of protecting herself, needing an assortment of male characters to step in and save her.

I had a very hard time believing she is really supposed to protect other students at that school, since she seemed barely able to protect herself from a papercut, and my announce was compounded by other characters needing to explain to her what seem to be very basic aspects of the setting. Maybe my expectations were badly set, but I had been kind of hoping for some sort of active, clueful protagonist. Would be tempted to dismiss it as badly written, but perhaps it is a well-written example of something I don't like? From what little I've seen so far, the story feels claustrophobic and emotionally dangerous, in ways that make me think I might be better off avoiding it in future.

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

Last night I read a blog comment in which someone claimed ey otherwise enjoys reading A Song of Ice and Fire, but are frequently thrown out of the story by too-modern word use on the part of the characters. Specific example used being the word 'fuck'.

I would be all on board with this except that:

(a) According to the sources I've checked, including the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word dates back to at least the 1500s and

(b) A Song of Ice and Fire is not actually a series of historical novels, nor even historical fantasy. It is a fantasy series set on a fictitious world with no connection to ours, and is under no obligation to be period accurate in the words used by its characters. I would say 'period accurate' is a nonsense phrase when applied to such settings, unless one is referring to a historical period within the setting.

This is, yes, a pet peeve of mine that some people seem to believe fantasy fiction set in fictitious settings is under some obligation to conform to the history of our Earth in whatever specific details they nominate. Presumably, the bits that don't have sorcerers, dragons, non-human peoples, unearthly deities, continents that never existed on this planet, political units that never existed on this planet, languages no human has ever spoken (sometimes no human could speak), or climatic arrangements that would be unbelievably improbable if not impossible in the real world. But most of the characters live under a feudal system of government and haven't discovered steam power yet[1], so they better not say 'fuck' when they cuss, 'cause that's unbelievable.

So long as the setting is consistent with itself, it is probably fine.

[1] I don't recall any, although it has been about 10 years since I last read the series.

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

(trying to sleep. maybe letting some words out will help. no longer the case, having fallen asleep then and finishing now days later.)

Worlds have to come from somewhere. Either you start with something from nothing - divinity or not is detail - or your world is eternal, infinitely old.

Most of my worlds do not have their origins decided. Some do. Others ought to, unless they're for something like a self-contained short without room for that to matter, so long as the setting is. Sometimes the story of the world is the story, like the story of our world is physics and chemistry and contingent biology and history - no over-arching metaphysical dictation or plot, just a bunch of stuff that happens. Of course I may be biased like a fish because this is default. Other worlds, their story is strongly shaped by their origin, their nature - or vice versa - enough to trivialise telling other stories there. Middle Earth, for example, always felt too filled up by its stories to me to have room for others.

I should not complicate this too much with tangents. Mostly I was being struck all over again by the thought that a world's origin and history are probably very important parts of its present. Don't seem to see that often addressed in stories, but usually the characters don't have access to that information either so perhaps it's only to be expected.

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

Forgot to add this last night - also in The Hungry Earth Amy suggests to the Silurians that if they want to live in harmony with humans there are several abandoned places they could inhabit, listing the Australian Outback, Nevada plains and Sahara.

But... people live there. And we already have a pretty bad history with taking land from some people and declaring it to belong to others, including two of the specific places listed. Australia, for example, having been declared terra nulllius in the past as a justification for occupation and colonisation by quite possibly my ancestors. It upset and, yes, outraged me last year to see it so casually suggested that this behaviour be perpetuated, especially when in context of the show there was no hint this wouldn't be a perfectly fine thing to do.

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

ABC is replaying season 5 of the new Doctor Who series. As much fun as the show can be, plenty of the episodes of that season annoyed me, possibly more than any other season of that show I've watched. Possibly.

The weeping angels double, for example. Despite being written by the same person who originally devised those creatures, the story comes off as a betrayal of the concept when we see them moving on screen and the ploy of someone pretending to be able to see successfully keeping them frozen until the ruse is revealed. Granted we learn in the story that the Doctor's information on the angels was incomplete in their previous appearance, but the angels' freezing being volitional rather than automatic and unresistable really seems a violation of the whole creature concept. Where the angels were perfect for Blink, I don't see why just about any other creature couldn't have been substituted for them in The Time of Angels and Flesh and Stone. Which is a shame since the first episode did a good job of adding some new, frightening twists to them before it fell apart.

But what I really wanted to right about was the current double (first part last week, second part in a couple of days), The Hungry Earth and Cold Blood. Mainly how enthusiastic the Doctor was in his praise of the Silurian doctor Malokeh, for his curiosity about humans. Which struck me as very jarring because at least one human in the story expressed terror of him on account of being dissected and examined while still alive and conscious. That the person in question survived apparently unharmed seems beside the point - any time humans do something similar to aliens, the Doctor has a tendency to verbally eviscerate them, if not worse. Incidents like that contribute to my view of the Doctor as having a disturbing madonna / whore sort of relationship with humans.

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

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

Published 1994, copyright 1993

 

Recommended Rating: R18+[NDVLH]

Nudity

Drug Use (cigarettes, alcohol [underage])

Strong Violence

Language

Religious References

 

Restricted to persons aged 18 and over

 

Representations:

Although there are sections with female characters, their concerns all seem to revolve around men in or absent from their lives.

So far as could tell, everyone in the story is white English, French or German. There were some Jewish characters cameoing to connect this story with The Girl at the Lion D'or.

No noticed representations of queer sexuality.

Disability seemed present only to evoke pity or horror; while reading I also wondered if Jack Firebrace's young son might have been intended as having a developmental disability, based on descriptive commonalities.

 

On personal note, the part of the story I found most affecting was the Battle of the Somne. Apart from that, I felt disinclined to read the third in Faulks' French Trilogy and glad I managed to avoid it. Not only did I not enjoy much of the reading, and not I think in the way one might expect not to enjoy a war novel, but I also felt affronted by the abrupt convenience of the ending. But I suppose Faulks can be considered to have succeeded, since I left with an interest in reading more contemporary war accounts.

This was all written some months after the reading; may no longer accurately reflect contents.

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

Some weeks ago the British series Misfits started airing here. It seems to be another in a line of attempts to show 'how superheroes would be in the real world', like the series No Heroics. The characters in this one are certainly convincing enough; I've been meeting people like them all my life. But, I don't like them and in the two episodes I watched there wasn't either any plot or drama that made me want to keep watching in spite of the characters.

For me, perhaps the problem is these interpretations starting with the idea 'realistic superheroes' and going from there to 'superheroes are petty, vain, selfish, and often bullies or bullied losers of some sort', and there's nothing left in it to hold my attention. Without the SF elements it would be a comedy or drama I wouldn't be interested in, and despite my interest being as biased toward SF as it is, nothing is done with those elements that might overcome my disinterest with the rest of the show. And the obsession with rape does not exactly help my interest (Timebomb on No Heroics, being gay and 'dark', sometimes threatens to rape people; one of the characters in Misfits has the uncontrolled power that sometimes skin contact with men compels them to try and rape her [no indication in the two episodes I saw if that works on women too]).

Hm. I was going to use My Hero as a comparative example where I like both the comedy and the superhero aspects, but I can't really imagine it without the superhero component, while I can imagine No Heroics without that, despite us seeing more direct heroing in the latter.

I don't think I opposed to the idea of 'dark' television treatments of superheroes, but I am annoyed that the concept of people being idealistic and heroic seems increasingly to get treated as an obstacle to putting superheroes on television.

Well, most of my annoyance is directed at No Heroics; Misfits I mainly don't like the characters and aren't interested to see more of them. It could be that I am reading them both wrong and they aren't superhero shows, but rather the former is a sitcom whose cast happens to be superheroes and the latter a youth drama featuring a cast who suddenly gained powers and has to deal with that. In which cases, I'm still not enjoying them enough to keep watching.

aesmael: (haircut)
In conversations with [livejournal.com profile] lost_angelwings one of the topics she has talked about, especially in relation to Star Wars (and criticism of same), is conveying narrative through fight scenes and how this can be done well or poorly.

Last night I had this in mind as I was watching a movie presented as The Protector (or more properly, Tom-Yum-Goong according to Wikipedia), which features a man named Kham who is of a line of guards protecting the King of Thailand's war elephants and who pursues poachers to Sydney, Australia when the two he is closest with (Por Yai and the calf Kohm) are kidnapped, trying to rescue and return them home. Along the way he is troubled by corrupt white Australian cops who try to kill him and large numbers of people who arrange to be beaten up him, or occasionally to beat him up.

I was not paying especial attention to the plot since most of the movie is in Thai and subtitled and I was busier with my laptop for most of the time. One part which did catch my attention is very relevant to the first paragraph of this post. About halfway through the film Kham has tracked the the people responsible to a restaurant and I was amazed to see a single shot go on four about four minutes following Kham as he fights his way in a spiral up to the top floor. He bursts into the top floor of the restaurant and demands to know where his elephants are. A small group of people come out from the back and mock him about it, shots from around the restaurant and the service counter imply the elephants have been killed, cooked and are being eaten right now. We see his despair as he takes this in and as the lead of the group, wearing white, knocks him down decisively a couple of times while he is still too stunned to defend himself, taunting him with the elephant Kohm's bell. At this we see Kham recollect himself with anger and determination, wrap the bell around his hand and beat down his opponent and others, pushing his way to the back of the restaurant where he finds numerous smuggled animals ready to be killed and served (and the elephant calf Kohm who is alive).

That scene had me rapt all the way through.

There is another somewhat similar scene toward the end when Kham finally finds Por Yai's skeleton mounted on display. He is overcome by this and knocked around helplessly by his roomful of opponents for several seconds. When he recovers himself he takes out his anger by methodically breaking the bones of each of them in turn, leaving behind a floor covered in people groaning in pain.

These are I suppose simple things to communicate in fight scenes (although I did not do them justice, I think), but seeing them so well executed helped me to appreciate the power such sequences are capable of having. It has definitely inspired me to think about how I might apply such craft to my own work.

I said I was not paying much attention except to scenes which especially caught my attention so unless I was watching the US cut (which edited this out among many other changes, and which seems likely at this time) that probably explains why I did not realise until looking it up on Wikipedia that one of the film's main villains is a transsexual woman played by a transsexual woman.
aesmael: (haircut)
Was watching the Doctor Who special The Waters of Mars earlier. Since the rest of this post contains my thoughts about that, it goes behind a cut in case someone who wants to watch it unspoiled is reading this and hasn't done so.

This is that cut )
aesmael: (haircut)
In the currently playing episode of Poirot he [Hercule Poirot] is complaining of a play he saw, that it is unfair because the resolution depended on information not available until the end.

Depending if he means 'was discovered at the end of the story' or 'was not revealed to the audience until the solution was expounded on to the audience', I think maybe he is being unfair. The latter case I would agree is cheating, but in the former, is it not how detective stories go that they are a process of uncovering the information which indicates the solution? And therefore that the story typically ends once we have all the facts in hand because those facts indicate the answer and thus our mystery is solved?

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