Hi! I just thought it would be nice to have a general 'noticeboard' post at the top of my journal, but right now I can't think of anything particularly interesting to say. Isn't that always the way?
If you're looking for my fic/vids, the links are at the side of the page and/or in my memories. I've written a lot of fic in various fandoms, but the things that I've done that seem to have been most popular to date are both vids - namely Brokeback Hospital (House MD, House/Wilson) and Cat's in the Cradle (House MD, Sherlock, Fortysomething). The vid I wished more people watched is Last Day of Your Life (Third Star, Miles/James), just because I adore the movie and that particular relationship.
I attended Oz Comic Con 2014, and have had my picture taken with the 'batch, but it was a weird thing for me to do and I'm still conflicted about it. I have issues *g*. My transcription of his (Sunday) talk may be found on tumblr here.
I generally love chatting to people on lj - feel free to drop me a comment if you think we have interests in common :)
26 May 2012 - After five years, I thought I might actually try HAVING a tagging system. Update (slowly) in progress. My memories are still the best index, for now. I'm now also on AO3.
Shows I'm currently fannish about: Sherlock, Cabin Pressure
Also currently fangirling: Benedict Cumberbatch, JJ Field, Mark Gatiss, Chris Barrie, Philip Quast
Shows I watch regularly but not fannishly: Almost Human, Drop Dead Diva, Elementary, Hannibal, Hawaii 5-0, Luther, Survivor, The Amazing Race, Celebrity Apprentice.
Finally saw this on DVD, and all I really have to say is that it was charming. Two young girls move to the countryside with their father to be nearer the hospital where their sick mother currently resides. They quickly get to know their human neighbours... and their more magical ones, like Totoro. Miyazaki portrays children so accurately, it's uncanny. It did not have the same personal appeal to me as Spirited Away, The Wind Rises, or Ponyo, but it was still gorgeous in every way :D
White House Down
Saw this on DVD, mainly for James Woods, who I still like despite his political affiliations. Police officer John Cale (Channing Tatum - oh, so that's who Channing Tatum is) applies for a security position at the White House, but is refused on character grounds. He's brought his young daughter along for some convoluted reason and can't bear to disappoint her so tells her that he won't know the outcome for a little bit. Before they can leave, terrorists storm the White House and take hostages, including his daughter. It's up to Cale to Rescue The President (Jamie Foxx) and Save His Family. Can He Do It? Yeah, no prizes. I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to the movie (I was exercising), but it hit all the right notes, and had a satisfying resolution that was one notch above where it needed to be, which was nice. And as always I did enjoy James Woods (playing Walker, the head of the Secret Service), doing all the menacingly stern things he does best.
The Girl on the Train
I actually saw this a few days before Doctor Strange, but didn't feel it was fannish enough to justify a post on its own *g*. Read the book a little while ago, and enjoyed it for what it was, but I probably wouldn't have seen this except that I got a free pass for it. (I ordered a book of discount tickets a little while ago, which they decided not to bother sending me, and I had to chase them up. Then I received the pass in the mail a couple of days after I finally got the tickets, which was a nice gesture.)
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This forms the basis for what is basically a mystery combined with character studies of three women - Rachel, Anna, Megan - which I found unusual and very engaging, although perhaps it's just that I don't watch much in the genre (whatever it is). I felt very strongly that it was a "feminine" murder mystery, in the sense that it centered around character as much as plot, and also took a strong feminine perspective in the subjects and themes it was concerned with. But it wasn't what I'd call a "chick flick", either; it was a regular mystery with a different emphasis, where the resolution is every bit as much concerned with character development and the women's stories as "what happened". Which was an excellent combination, for me.
All the performances were solid, but Emily Blunt (Rachel) in particular was amazing as a woman slowly drowning in a bottle and trying desperately to drag herself out again. There was also surprise!Lisa Kudrow in it, which made me happy - as much as for her character as for the actress - and the glorious Alison Janney (CJ from The West Wing) as a suspicious cop. It's not something I would particularly want to watch again, but I do recommend it.
I didn't realise America always votes on a Tuesday (and only because I saw John Oliver's video on the subject *g*). Wow, it sounds like an enormous PITA for those who work regular hours, on top of everything else. Good luck, guys :)
As far as non-spoilery things go, I will say that the visuals are amazing^3 and far and away the most impressive thing about the movie. Think Inception on LSD. So I did very much ooh and ahh at all the spinny-sparkly-pretty, and the international locations, and the gorgeous costume design and fabrics, but at other times almost nodded off from the clunky dialogue. Honestly, some scenes were like someone had done a Burroughs cut-up on the Big Book of Cliches, and called it a script. There were moments of "humour", but I'm putting it in quotes for a reason. I think I may have laughed once. Maybe twice. Oh, and Doctor Strange was officially brought to you by Jaeger-LeCoultre, Adidas, and Yakult *eyeroll*.
Anyway, the best things about the movie were:
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I'm really trying to think of something more substantial to say than "wow, pretty", but coming up blank. There were certainly story elements, but it was mostly run, fight, run, jump, talk, run, fight some more, with some obligatory quasi-romance and quasi-philosophical musing on the side. It was worth seeing, I guess, but a movie clearly not designed for my personal enjoyment, and I never emotionally engaged with most of the characters. As such, it really only left me with a whole host of vivid sensory impressions, and the vague memory of dialogue that contributed very little, and was funniest when it was trying to be profound. How about you?
Oh, and for anyone who hasn't seen it, evila_elf very kindly pointed me to Doctor Strange's appearance on Jimmy Kimmel, which I did quite enjoy :)
Saw Liza's Back! (is Broken), which was a Minnelli tribute show by Trevor Ashley, star of the comedic revues Fat Swan and Little Orphan Tr(Ashley) (quickly renamed after the original title did not go down well). He's a good performer, and the other shows were great fun, but I was wondering whether a rather good Minnelli impersonation was enough to keep me entertained for almost two hours. The answer was no. There was a sizable band - maybe ten people or so - who added class and energy to the show, but this suffered from being a solo performance rather than an ensemble one, and didn't really have a story to speak of, just Ashley-as-Liza telling anecdotes from her past, and singing show tunes.
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Also saw the NT Live screening of Richard III with Ralph Fiennes (woo!) - I was so thrilled to at least get to see a filmed version of this. It was good, but not amazing - his performance in Man and Superman blew me away, but this was just another Shakespeare production, really. It may be that I have no great love for this play, or for the histories in general - the first time I saw it was actually the Cumberbatch version, so that's literally all I have to compare it to. The play itself has a handful of great moments, but it's one of those ones I still don't get all the fuss over. Anyway, Richard the III plots to become King of England, kills a few people, and succeeds. I do hope that wasn't a spoiler.
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Don't Breathe - weirdly enough, I saw this with my mum, who likes thrillers, but had no one to go with, so I thought it'd be fun. Within about thirty seconds of the movie starting I suddenly remembered why I don't usually see this kind of thing, and ended up shutting my eyes a lot of the time and watching a great deal of the rest of it from behind my fingers. My mum was perfectly fine, by the way.
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Presto! (Penn Jilette) - I bought this one through iTunes - couldn't find it at the library, and I didn't think it was one I needed a physical copy of. I'm a big fan of Penn and Teller, but I don't quite know whether I like Jilette or not - he's kind of an asshole, but an entertaining asshole? I don't know. I do totally relate to the jumpy, slightly defensive way he talks/writes, though, like he knows you're judging him, and he wants you to know he knows - I feel like that when I write opinion posts *g*. Anyway, the book is about his massive 100-pound weight loss and How He Did It. ( spoilerCollapse ) There, I just saved you from buying the book. What was more interesting to me is probably the glimpses into his life - his family, his relationship with Teller, his work, his opinions. He is a great storyteller, despite the massive amounts of name-dropping, and I enjoyed reading it. Once.
The Lady in the Van (Alan Bennett) - This was recently made into a movie (which I've not yet seen), and it was seeing the trailer that made me want to read it. As its name implies, it's the (true) story of the elderly lady who lived in a van that ended up permanently parked in Bennett's driveway. I would class this book as an extended character study - a portrait of her habits, her appearance, her relationship with Bennett, the neighbourhood, and the world. I don't think it really goes much deeper than that, but it's enough to be fascinating. I did really enjoy Bennett's eye for detail, and that he mostly keeps himself and his parallel middle-class life out of it - she is very much the focus of the memoir, and so she should be. In some ways she lived in terrible conditions, but on the other hand she fiercely maintained her independence and her dignity by doing so - I'd class it as melancholy rather than sad. A very short, easy read - more novella than novel.
Sugarbabe (Holly Hill) - an Australian memoir of a woman's time as a "sugarbabe". Having just broken up with a wealthy (married) boyfriend, and needing money to pay her rent and write her book, Hill (not her real name, although it's out there now) advertised online for a sugar daddy arrangement. This book is an account of the replies she got, the people she met, and how well the arrangements did - or didn't - work out. While the book is "fictionalised" - names changed, elements compressed or altered, it's a thoroughly entertaining read anyway. She does sound like tremendous fun to be around, and is very frank about sex and money. (I believe she went onto a career in erotic fiction, and as a connoisseur of porny fanfic, she at least passes muster *g*). I really enjoyed the Sydney setting of this book - I'm so used to reading as an outsider that it's nice to be intimately familiar (haha) with all the places she describes and get that thrill of recognition. Good fun, although something I think very few people would be able to pull off (...and suddenly everything turns into sexual innuendo). An interesting footnote is that this is the book she ended up writing rather than the book she became a sugarbabe to write *g*
The Watchmaker of Filigree Street (Natasha Pulley) - I read this due to a rec from flywoman, and it was absolutely worth it. I don't think my summary could do the book justice, so I'll settle for the official one.
London, 1883: Thaniel Steepleton returns to his tiny flat to find a mysterious gold pocket watch on his pillow. When the watch saves his life from a bomb blast that destroys Scotland Yard, Thaniel goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori - a kind, lonely immigrant who sweeps him into a new world of clockwork and music. Although Mori seems harmless at first, a chain of unexpected slips proves that he must be hiding something. Meanwhile, Grace Carrow is sneaking into an Oxford library dressed as a man. A theoretical physicist, she is desperate to prove the existence of the luminiferous ether before her mother can force her to marry. As the lives of these three characters become entwined, events spiral out of control.
What is not to love? There is some serious genre-bending here - it's Victorian magical realism (steampunk) that has a mystery at its heart (who set the bomb?) and also touches on history, science, feminism, travelogue, and romance. And to digress slightly... you know, over the years I've seen the expression "just like fanfic" as a bit of a double-edged sword. It's often used disparagingly, especially in reference to canon, but I think it can have positive connotations, too. To me one of the greatest things about fanfiction is that many of the usual rules of "literature" are up for grabs, leading to some amazingly inventive work. So I'm just going to say that I would bet that the author has read (and/or written) fanfiction in her time, and while this book is firmly "literary", in the sense of meeting all traditional established criteria for a novel, for me it also replicated a lot of the imaginative and emotional feel of first-class fanfic. And I mean that in its most positive sense. Highly recommended.
The Girl on the Train (Paula Hawkins) - another read prompted by a movie trailer. I suppose I tend to reason that if someone wanted to make it into a movie, it's probably at least a half-decent read *g*. The biggest initial surprise was that it's set in the area around London, because I was sure the trailer I saw was set in the US - and sure enough, it is. They changed it for the purposes of the movie. So the UK setting was a plus for me. A woman catches the train into London every day, past the house in which she used to live with her ex-husband, and makes up stories about the people and things she sees on the way. She's an alcoholic, and prone to blackouts and lost memories. So when a woman in her old neighbourhood goes missing, a woman she's only seen from the train window, she thinks she might know something about her disappearance, but she can't quite remember what it might be.
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I grew up with this show, and still enjoy inflicting "sweetie darling" on people. I have no interest in fashion whatsoever, but Eddie and Patsy (and Saffy and Bubbles) were just thoroughly entertaining at the time. So I went in wanting to be pleased, and I was. Although to be fair, were it not for the promised Mark Gatiss, I might not have made the effort *g*. So the storyline is completely bonkers, but fun - washed-up publicist Edwina "Eddie" Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) is held responsible for killing Kate Moss in a terrible accident at a fashion gala, and goes on the run with best mate fash mag slag Patsy (Joanna Lumley) and Saffy's rebellious daughter Lola (Indeyama Donaldson-Holness). Hijinks ensue, while Bubbles (Jane Horrocks) parades around in a series of increasingly improbable costumes (the inflatable hashtags one is a gift to the ages, I tell you). Silly and fun, with a melancholy edge in Eddie and Patsy's refusal to grow up and/or grow old. I also adore Saffy (Julia Sawalha) and I swear she's barely aged at all.
Dozens of cameos, but Mark gets an entire scene as the editor at a publishing house, who has some rather unkind things to say about Edwina's biographical manuscript. He looked as though he were thoroughly enjoying himself. Lovely :)
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Songs for a New World
This is a musical by Jason Robert Brown (he also wrote The Last Five Years) and I think he actually called it a "song cycle" in that all the songs are self-contained and separate, but are connected thematically, and one will sometimes call back to the others. It's about moments from people's lives when they're on the brink of something life-changing - such as discovering America, or deciding to leave their partner, or discovering they're pregnant. So it didn't have the narrative structure of a normal musical, but at the same time it was consistently engaging because each song brought a completely "new world" to the stage.
I really liked the main theme ("The New World"), which was just as well since it was repeated quite often. "Stars and the Moon" was the only song I'd heard before, about a woman who meets various men offering her new lives with them, but she holds out for riches and security. I adore the song - even though if you think about it, it's like a much less cheesy version of "I've Never Been To Me". Particularly hilarious was "Surabaya Santa" which was like the Brecht/Weill parody to end all parodies - the opening chords alone are hysterical. It's the farewell lament of Mrs Claus as she prepares to ditch her loveless marriage *g*
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Literally the only thing I knew about Seth Rogan is The Interview, which I loved beyond reason, and come on, the premise of Sausage Party is pretty awesome. See all the innocent food in the supermarket. See how it reveres the Gods who walk among it, picking and choosing the righteous (shades of "the Claw is my master! I have been chosen!") and taking them away to paradise in "The Great Beyond". The food even sings a hymn to this concept every morning. Of course what actually happens to said produce when it gets to said paradise is a horror movie of being peeled, boiled, sliced into bits, and in some cases, eaten alive. There is no escape. I was amused, anyway. How could it miss?
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I'd heard this wasn't all that great, but went to see it anyway. And yeah, I didn't love it, but then I'm not a superheroes type anyway. I will say that I did enjoy the focus on character rather than action, but this movie needed some serious cutting and pasting. The beginning is basically one big info-dump, which I didn't mind, but nothing actually happened. And then having worked up some momentum, everything comes slamming to a halt for some more flashbacks (that scene in the bar was absurd), and never properly gets going again. My personal theory is that this movie is actually a sequel that doen't realise it should have been a sequel. I can't believe I'm saying this, but what it needed was a previous movie where one by one, all of the characters live out their backstories (which were great) in real time, and successively go to prison. Then that movie ENDS with some disaster, and the first inkling that someone in the government is contemplating, hey, it might be a good idea to put all these criminals into the Service of Justice. And then we get this movie, which starts with us already knowing the characters and their pasts.
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Lastly, I have now started watching Once Upon a Time, years after it started It's great so far - love Robert Carlyle and it's even nice seeing Jennifer Morrison again. Lana Parrilla is fun, but totally Housewives of New Storybrooke (and I haven't watched a single one of those shows, but I still think that *g*). And I may have squeed a little at surprise!Nick Lea :)
Originally posted by kimberlyfdr at It's Our Content Now - Fan Vidding Research Survey Now Open
The IRB approval / exemption just came through today, so it's time to make the survey active! As many of you know, I'm currently completing my thesis for a Masters degree at UNC-Chapel Hill in the area of fandom research, specifically fan vidding. I am conducting a 1-month survey within the fan vidder community in regards to fan creators' identification with entertainment media in visual storytelling. There will be an option to take part in a later follow-up survey to expand upon certain answers within the survey, but that is voluntary. I will be posting reminders about the survey on a weekly basis until the close date of September 13th.
I would greatly appreciate if you would redistribute this survey to your social media circles, friendslists, fellow vidders, etc. I am happy to answer any questions you might have about the study or the survey. Thank you!
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Project Title: Fan Creators’ Identification With Entertainment Media In Visual Storytelling
Principal Investigator: Kimberly Lynn Workman
IRB Number: 16-1907 (This submission has been reviewed by the Office of Human Research Ethics and was determined to be exempt from further review according to the regulatory category 2.Survey, interview, public observation under 45 CFR 46.101(b).)
Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this research study is to gather information about fanvidders' engagement in fandom as a result of their fanvids, the vidders' interactions with media owners, the extent to which vidders align their identities with the media they are vidding, and what reactionary steps vidders take when identification with media goes astray.
Overview: You will be asked your opinion about the target areas listed above, as well as completion of a section to self-identify and/or consent for follow-up questions.
Duration: This survey will take 10-15 minutes to complete.
Statement of Confidentiality: Your participation in this study is voluntary. You may cease completion at any time and your answers will not be saved until your final submission. You have the option to provide an email address for follow-up questions, but this section is not a requirement for completion of the survey. All data collected from this survey will be reviewed by the principal investigator only, accessible through a password-protected site where all survey data will be stored. The information will be summarized for use in infographics as part of a Masters thesis project, as well as later utilized for academic publication. No identifying information will be used without consent.
Qualifications: In order to participate in this study, you must be a fanvidder above the age of 18. Fanvidders are defined as those who have participated in the act of vidding, creating music videos that combines source content from popular media through video and audio materials and re-purposes it in a new way.
Questions: You are welcome to ask any questions about this research, the study, or the follow-up interview questions at any time. Please contact Kimberly Lynn Workman through her official UNC-Chapel Hill email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) or her fandom email address (kimberlyFDR@yahoo.com).
Survey Link: https://unc.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV
Characters/Pairings: Mycroft Holmes/John Watson
Word count: 9,100
Warnings/contents: missing scenes, slash, d/s themes, dinner
Notes: I started this over eighteen months ago and got stuck, but I really wanted to finish it as best I could, even if it is a bit, um, random. Pure self-indulgent fluff, because I really do want Mycroft to be happy once in a while. Honest.
Summary: Mycroft consults John on the outcome of the Irene Adler case, and then invites him to dinner. In all senses of the word. Sequel of sorts to Resolutions, but the backstory is pretty obvious.
Read at: AO3.
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For the rest of you, here's Philip having a bath on Play School, and Javert looking unimpressed.
Coincidentally, we were actually IN Canberra (the capital of Australia, and seat of government) over the weekend for family stuff, nothing to do with the election. But we did visit Parliament House on July 3rd, where the guides studiously avoided talking about politics, at least in that sense. I did the obligatory school visit as a kid, but that was to what is now known as Old Parliament House, so hadn't seen the shiny new one.
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Also visited the National Gallery. I really liked this sculpture - I can't remember the name of it, but I think it was meant to evoke the idea of 'empathy'. I just think of it as 'man with blobfish'.
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I made a special pilgrimage in the rain sans umbrella just to see this plaque, which is outside a shopping centre *g*. And yes, DAAS are originally from Canberra.
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Also visited the Royal Australian Mint, had dinner at a fabulous Japanese restaurant, and went to the Dinosaur Museum on the last day.
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En route, we also paid a brief visit to the Big Merino at Goulburn, which is part of an Australian fixation with "big" things. And people think we don't have culture...
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Read The Fireman by Joe Hill, which I was looking forward to, but it's probably the novel of his I've liked least to date. His earlier ones were quite compact, but this was a 700+ page epic that imo showed signs of needing a good edit. And this is an odd thing to say, because I don't think I've ever really said this about a novel before, but I didn't 'believe' his characters. I mean, I've read books with protagonists capable of virtually anything and everything and not turned a hair, but I've never read a protagonist I've found so... idk, detailed, yet internally inconsistent? ( Read more...Collapse )
But it was very readable, and engaging, so I guess that's still a good thing?
Saw a few things at the Sydney Film Festival, which has just ended. First there was High-Rise (Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons) which was visually stunning - in many ways - but otherwise not my thing at all. I thought it did quite accurately capture the spirit of the book in that I disliked almost everyone in it and found the plot both illogical and annoying. But it looked great, and stylistically did have that 70s groovy schlock-horror vibe to it, and there was a lot of sex and screaming and gratuitous violence if you like that kind of thing. Normally I would, but eh. All very arty, but not very satisfying if you want story rather than set-pieces.
Then Ten Years, which is a Hong Kong compilation where five young film-makers were asked to make a short film about what life might be like in Hong Kong in ten years' time, with most showing particular emphasis on life under Chinese rule. Unsurprisingly, the film opened in HK, and was then pulled from cinemas by the PRC Government, in the finest traditions of irony *g*. ( Read more...Collapse )
Also Under the Sun, which is an odd combination of film and documentary. A Russian film crew were invited to film a documentary about an 'ordinary' North Korean girl and her glorious journey towards becoming a member of the Children's Union on the Day of the Shining Star (Kim Il-Sung's birthday). However, this is not that 'documentary', but rather a combination of scenes that were filmed, coupled with footage of things that happened during the shoot. So it shows Korean handlers instructing the family what to say and how to act, and details how the father, who is actually a print journalist, is shown in the 'documentary' as being the brilliant head of an exemplary garment factory, while the mother, who works in a cafeteria, is shown to be a worker at a factory producing soy milk. ( Read more...Collapse )
Theatre-wise, saw the wonderful Philip Quast 'in conversation', which was such a joy. I think he has my favourite musical theatre voice in the world, but I haven't heard him sing live for years - he was based in London for so many years (winning a record three Oliviers for best actor in a musical), and then mainly did acting roles once back in Australia. He's getting on in years, but has retained both his amazing falsetto and earth-shaking baritone. Just incredible, especially at close range (we were in the second row). He had some fun stories, too, such as baking Ian McKellen a cake for his 70th birthday when he attended La Cage Aux Folles with 70 guests and complained that it apparently takes two straight guys to play a gay couple (Quast was starring in La Cage Aux Folles with Roger Allam - my god, the entire theatre must have vibrated with those two) *g*
Lastly saw Heathers (the musical) at the Opera House which I thoroughly enjoyed, much more than most of the musicals I've seen recently. Loved the movie - whatever did happen to Christian Slater? - but had forgotten just how dark the comedy was, and the 80s nostalgia was fun to visit all over again. The songs were well done - properly integrated into the story (for a change) and with some very clever and funny lyrics into the bargain. Good singing, great acting (admittedly tuned to High Camp), and interestingly pared-back but effective set design, with movable banks of lockers being used in versatile ways. Might need a movie rewatch...
Except for the book, that was all in the space of the last week and a bit, which was not ideal timing, but couldn't be helped. Now I just need to stop coughing *g* (In case you're wondering, I managed to not actually cough during performances - it seems to be triggered by changes in temperature and position, so as long as I'm warm and sitting still, I'm fine. LOL.)