Orphan Black 5.03

Jun. 26th, 2017 07:58 am
selenak: (Allison by Spankulert)
[personal profile] selenak
And my show love is back! Woo hoo! That was a fantastic episode.

Read more... )

Munich Film Festival I

Jun. 25th, 2017 10:53 am
selenak: (Breaking Bad by Wicked Signs)
[personal profile] selenak
Aka what consumes my days these days, as every year around this time. Of course, every year doesn't have Bryan Cranston as one of the guests of honor, so there was this additional perk.:) (Here's an article about the award ceremony he was there for.)


 photo 2017_0623Filmfest0003_zpsgy9vaotd.jpg

(Question: is the young man in one of the photos a fan is holding out to be signed truly Cranston some decades ago? Yikes, I wouldn't have recognized him.)


The director of Wakefield, one of his movies which are shown this year in honor of him (and yes, of course several Breaking Bad episodes are s hown as well), Robin Swicord, joked that both she and Cranston have German grandparents, and: "I don't know why they left, but you know, I think the fun is over. Might be a good idea to come back now, and I think you all know why. So thank you for welcoming political refugees." Former opera director Sir Peter Jonas outed himself as a Breaking Bad fan, complete with Heisenberg t-shirt, and held a speech praising the glories of narrative arc driven television. My only irritation with that one wasn't the series he singled out (other than BB) for being exceptionally good at this - The Sopranos, Oz, The West Wing and The Good Wife - , but the one he didn't mention. Babylon 5 still doesn't get as much credit in breaking ground with its narrative arc tellng format as it deserves.

Anyway, Bryan Cranston's own speech was lovely, mostly about the way being a storyteller is the best vocation (I agree), with both wry humor and sincerity. After the ceremony, Wakefield was shown, but due to an unshakeable real life obligation, I could only watch the first hour. Mind you, I had mixed feelings anyway. Because I could see why Cranston was cast (excelling as he does in playing dislikeable characters whose pettiness isn't air brushed away who are still interesting to watch) , and I enjoyed seeing Jennifer Garner again (playing his wife), and found the concept something of a suburban Hitchcock satire without crime (Howard Wakefield, lawyer, due some circumstances ends up disappearing into his own attic, watching his wife and family carry on without him with the bickering zest of a true voyeur while literally reduced to eating garbage) in a clever way, it still made my skin crawl. Because in the hour I watched, most of Howard Wakefield's voyeurism and assholery was directed against his wife, and while I knew the narrative was absolutely on the same page with me here, it still felt very disturbing to watch, and so it didn't exactly break my heart that I had to leave early. (Otoh I missed the Q & A with Cranston afterwards that way, alas.)

On to movies I could watch completely:

La Familia, a movie from Venezuela, directed by Gustavo Rondón Cordóva, currently stuck in Caracas and thus unable to make it to the festival, though he might make it to the Latin American directors general Q & A on Monday. This was a taut, intense story starting in the poorest quarters of Caracas. Our two main characters are Pedro, a twelve years old boy, and his father Andres, who works several jobs at once to make ends meet and thus hardly sees him. The introduction sequence has Pedro (Reggie Reyes) playing with some other children, and the playing has that edge of violence, those moments when shoving at each other suddenly threatens to become more, which has you sit up already. And sure enough, various scenes later, which establish Pedro's day with best friend Jonny and minus his father (who sleeps like a stone on those rare occasions when he's home), violence does explode, as a child threatens Pedro and Jonny with a gun and Pedro ends up seriously hurting the other child. His father Andres understands the implication at once because the child in question has revenge hungry people, and goes on a run with his estranged son, which is the plot line for the rest of the movie. "Going on a run", however, doesn't mean what it might were this a US film, because Andres still needs that money for Pedro and himself to survive, so he takes Pedro with him to his various jobs on the other ends of the city - they just don't go back to their own quarter, though Pedro urgently wants to because he's worried for Jonny, which makes for a big confllct with his father.

This is a movie which trusts its actors (Giovanni García plays Andres), because the dialogue is terse and rare, and you experience the shifting father and son relationship mostly through physical interaction, looks, gestures. Andres doesn' have a "killing is bad" conversation with his son, or a "how do you feel about what happened?" conversation - that's just not how they interact. And yet you can watch them becoming closer throughout the film, and at the end they truly understand each other, and even in their desperate situation have some hope for the future.


Clair Obscur, a Turkish-German-French-Polish coproduction (yes, these do exist) directed by Yesim Ustaouglu. With a female Turkish director and two female main characters, this movie explores, among other things, various ways of what it means to be a woman in Turkey. Our two heroines live completely different existences - Shendaz is a psychiatrist with a seemingly good relationship with her boyfriend, living in very well off circumstances at the Meditterranean coast, while Elmas is still a teenager imprisoned in a marriage to a much older man who revolts her, serving him and his mother in their small flat in a skyscraper. The two storylines eventually connect when due to various spoilery circumstances Shendaz becomes Elmas' therapist; by that time, the cracks in Shenaz' own life have been revealed, but refreshingly for therapists who tend to be either demonic or incompetent when presented in a fictional story, she's still able to truly help Elmas (especially once she figures out how young Elmas really is), and eventually finds away to escape the mess in her own life as well.

The director and several of the actors were there, though not the two leads. The actress who plays Elmas' mother-in-law said whhen she read the script, she thought that this was the best discussion of female sexuality in a Turkish movie. The sex scenes aren't just surprisingly frank in the case of Shenaz (with Elmas, who does not want to have sex, the camera stays on her agonized face, and later goes with her to the restroom because the aftermath is also very painful to her), but always make a character point. In the Q & A the director was asked whether the movie could be shown like this in Turkey, and she answered she had to cut around two minutes for the general release version (though she was allowed to show the full length in Turkish festivals), which since she knew this would happen in advance she could do without taking away the meaning from the scenes in question. Mostly the general release cuts avoided the full nudity of the complete version. Since the only Muslim women showing up in Western media tend to wear headscarfs and/or hijabs, in short, live Elmas' life, I suspect the fact that Shenaz is sucessful in her profession, has unmarried sex and enjoys wine when dining with her boyfriend (who does the cooking) would be as startling as the sex and the nudity if this movie gets a release in the US or Europe. At the same time, there's the awareness that Erdogan's government and party is doing its best to make Elmas, not Shenaz' life more common again in Turkey, and that subtext is also there if you're sitting in the audience watching this film.

Shenaz is played by Funda Eryigit, Elmas by Ecem Uzm, and they're both delivering terrific performances. In the Q & A, Ms. Ustaoglu mentioned that the incredible scene in which Shenaz gets Elmas to roleplay a dream she has (which finally allows Elmas to vocalize the pain in her life) needed only two takes, one for Elmas, one for Shenaz, that the actresses were that good. And having seen this movie, I believe it.

Doctor Who 10.11.

Jun. 25th, 2017 08:55 am
selenak: (Missy by Yamiinsane123)
[personal profile] selenak
In which whoever did the trailer after the last episode should not do so again, since it already gave away the two key twists, but even so, this was a suspensful and good first part - may the second one live up to it.

Read more... )
reynardine: (sleepy_pusheen)
[personal profile] reynardine
Seroquel haze continues. I think I need to start taking it earlier in the evening so that I can sleep and not lose my mornings like I have been doing. Especially since I have at least two appointments in the morning next week.

They have me on the generic, which is not extended release, so it is like night and day when the stuff starts wearing off in the mid-afternoon. I'm like a zombie until then. Afterwards, I can get a few things done, but nothing very ambitious. Dishes, laundry, that sort of thing. My reading has slowed to a crawl because I keep nodding off.

However, the rat-scrabble in my mind is beginning to slow down. It's still there and very uncomfortable to deal with, but better. Seroquel is awful stuff, but it works, and that's why I put up with the side-effects.

I see the psych doc on Tuesday and we can discuss how long until I can get back off of this med.

Links

Jun. 23rd, 2017 01:10 pm
selenak: (rootbeer)
[personal profile] selenak
Confessions of a Trekker: I really don't like ST VI - The Undiscovered Country. Which is, I've discovered, something of a minority opinion, for at least the vocal part of fandom holds this last cinematic outing of the TOS crew in a fond light. However, now and then the dissent becomes vocal, too, as in this rewatch post about the movie in question .


In more fun Trek news, check out this vid about everyone's favourite Cardassian tailor-plus-spy:

Dedicated Follower of Fashion

(Every now and then I wish the movies instead of going for the nth version of Wrath of Khan (with or without a villain called Khan) would tackle the Cardassians instead. And then I conclude the movies would probably mishandle the Cardassians as badly as they did the Romulans, and am glad the Cardassians so far have been reserved for tv.)

And lastly, a BSG fanfic rec:

Rippling Light: tender and heartbreaking take on the friendship of Felix Gaeta and Anastasia Dualla, two characters for whom the phrase "they deserved better" might have been invented.

Obiter Dicta: Maybe Maybe Edition

Jun. 22nd, 2017 10:33 pm
reynardine: (cooking_goddess)
[personal profile] reynardine
Slow start today, but got some thing done. Made chicken fajitas and pico de gallo. We haven't had that in a long while and it was good.

I want to put together my slopers for the Cornificia dress and chemise so that I get get help with adjustments at the Barony Sewing Night on Tuesday. I haven't had the energy to do much lately so I need to push myself on this. I also need to take pictures, since the gal who is running the project would like me to document the work.

I tend to forget to take pictures when working on something, but now I need to. Blogging is almost the only way most people will see what I do, since even when I go to events, I'm so quiet.

I also need to start washing some of the silk that I've recovered from picking apart meisen silk kimono. My plan to wash them in the guest bathroom sink will not work--the sink tends to clog. So I will get some buckets to handwash the silk, and then set up a drying rack in the guest bathroom tub (or else on the deck?).

I still need to work out my new kosode pattern, too. I have some spare thrift-store cotton fabric that will work for that. The only way to tell if the panels are wide enough to look right is to just put something together and see how it works. There's a way to fold the sleeve-seams in a bit at the shoulder so the arms do not look too short--an issue when the body is so wide. Again, I'll need to play with it.

I want to do some practice camping at smaller events later this summer and autumn, because I want to try to attend Gulf Wars next March. My cousin Lisa has given me an open invitation to visit (her family lives in Mississippi about 40 minutes from the Gulf Wars site--we were roommates after college and I was a bridesmaid at her wedding, so we're close), so I would have a nearby place to retreat if things get too intense for me. I still need to get a CPAP battery and a few more camping things.

If I start working on things now, it might be doable. The trick would be to talk Bob into it (we'd have to get another cot/pad, though). Otherwise, several local people go to Gulf every year (Calontir as a Kingdom has a huge presence), so it isn't like I wouldn't know anyone if I go alone, and I would have family nearby if there is trouble.

It would be more fun to go with Bob, though. He used to be stationed in Mississippi (at Keesler AFB in Biloxi), so he likes the area. He just hates camping.

American Gods 1.08

Jun. 22nd, 2017 01:42 pm
selenak: (Illyria by Kathyh)
[personal profile] selenak
Getting this done before the Munich Film Festival starts tomorrow (guests of honor: Bryan Cranston and Sofia Coppola, who brings her parents along!).

Now that the season is over, I'm still not sure whether Fuller's decision to stretch the main plot out and pace it the way he does is justified. I mean, we STILL haven't reached the House on the Rock yet, and I assumed that would happen in the third episode, as it's this story's Council of Elrond scene, so to speak. Just think of a LotR tv adaption where they've barely made out of the Shire by the time the season finishes. Otoh, all that Fuller & Co. have added does enrich the story and I wouldn't have wanted to miss it, so.

And the moral of the story is... )

Happy Summer Solstice!

Jun. 21st, 2017 08:02 pm
reynardine: (festive)
[personal profile] reynardine
A happy Summer Solstice to all who celebrate!

A quiet day today. Ran some errands with Bob, paid some bills, answered a few heraldry questions. I'm getting better at blazoning, but there's a lot to learn. The Known World Heraldic and Scribal Symposium is this weekend--some people in Calontir got together and chartered a minivan to go (the meeting is in Knoxville, TN) but there was just no way I could justify the expense, not with a bunch of medical bills waiting.

That's the tough part--all the bills are still running through the two insurance companies. I still have no idea what I owe! Medicare is understaffed and takes forever to process claims, and then sometimes they'll refuse to pay on something, but insist that I should not have to pay since the primary insurance covered what they consider fair (the two insurances pay doctors at different rates). I of course do not want to suggest to the medical billers that maybe I owe something if the government insists that I do not. It's confusing!

And it's scary to see what the hospital/doctors originally charge vs what the insurance company will agree to pay. I think the doctors push up their charges so the insurance will pay more. I would feel bad about it, but we pay through the nose every month for insurance and have done for years. Now we are older and need it, and they are unhappy about that.

Saw some darling tortie kittens today. Bob said if we didn't already have two cats (that don't get along), he would have adopted the kittens and the mother cat as well. But we do have our two little brats, so that is that.

Orphan Black 5.02.

Jun. 21st, 2017 09:52 am
selenak: (Rachel by Naginis)
[personal profile] selenak
Still feeling listless (me, that is, not the series) and waiting for my enthusiasm for the show to come back.

Spoilery comments ensue. )
reynardine: (sleepy)
[personal profile] reynardine
Barely-there kind of day. I did some financial things and a little laundry. Migraine had me knocked out for several hours. It's better now that the sun has gone down. Kansas is too damn sunny, even in our dark little cave of a house.

Bob defrosted and cleaned-out the chest freezer. I'm trying to put together a grocery list so he can go to Costco (and maybe HyVee) tomorrow. The larder is just about bare. If I'm up to driving, maybe I'll send him over to Costco and I'll tackle HyVee?

We finished watching The Handmaid's Tale. Very chilling, and has given me nightmares. The book was a hard-enough read, but seeing it unfold on film (and very skillfully directed) makes it worse. In a world where women are only judged on their mothering or housekeeping skills, I would have no place whatsoever. It also made me painfully aware of how dependent I am on my husband and to a lesser extent, my father, even now, even at my age.

Today is World Refugee Day, and every time I see an article about refugees, it reminds me that no matter what problems I may be having, there are people out there who have lost everything through no fault of their own. People who just happened to live in the wrong place at the wrong time. It could happen anywhere, even here. Hell, it did happen here--remember Hurricane Katrina? For a while there in Dubuque, the rental houses down the street from us were filled with families from NOLA. (They didn't stay long--Iowa's winters were too mean, I think.)

The size of this crisis is hard to imagine, and I'm not sure what the best answer is. I majored in Middle-Eastern History, and it's true that part of the world has been unstable for centuries, with populations moving back and forth, although rarely at this scale.

Politically, it is a very difficult issue, and I don't expect my friends to agree on the best solutions to this problem. Wars, disease, and natural disasters seem to be a constant in this world of ours. But there are organizations like Doctors Without Borders who are out there helping people who have lost everything. Perhaps today would be a good day to donate to one of them?

Better Call Saul 3.10

Jun. 20th, 2017 04:22 pm
selenak: (Jimmy and Kim)
[personal profile] selenak
In which Saul takes a backseat to Jimmy again, and only some of my speculations turn out to be correct.

Read more... )

Syrup on the Brain

Jun. 19th, 2017 02:06 pm
reynardine: (yume_kawaii)
[personal profile] reynardine
More seroquel haze. I had to up the dosage and that makes me so sleepy. I just drift through daily tasks. Someone else's hands are moving. I just watch, slightly puzzled. It's the oddest sensation.

I can feel the medicine working on me--it's like syrup being poured on your brain--but I can also feel the mania scrabbling against it like a rat in a trap. My brain DOESN'T WANT to slow down. No, it says, let me be free, there is so much I need to do, so much, ALL THE THINGS...!

It's the best feeling in the world, and the worst, because I know what happens if this whirlwind is left to run its course.

I'm tired of picking up the pieces after I run wild. Hence the seroquel, and the dark hallways where I linger so the sunlight won't kick off another migraine, and isolation so I won't disturb other people as I try to get my balance back.

Doctor Who 10.10

Jun. 19th, 2017 03:14 pm
selenak: (Tourists by Kathyh)
[personal profile] selenak
In which who penned the very last Classic Who adventure broadcast on tv in the 80s makes a comeback, lets Bill geek out over Rosemary Sutcliffe, and quotes Tacitus on us.

Read more... )

No, no, no!

Jun. 18th, 2017 03:22 pm
selenak: (Londo and Vir by Ruuger)
[personal profile] selenak
Now, universe, this is just not fair. Stephen Furst has died, whoh played the wonderful Vir Cotto in my beloved Babylon 5.

If Londo's and G'Kars intertwining stories were for me the core of Babylon 5, Vir was its heart. He defied the cliché that a character who is good, sweet-natured and kind is per definition less interesting than the darker characters around him. Vir going from seeming comic relief to Londo's protesting conscience to the Centauri's best hope for a better future was moving, funny, dramatic - all of it. And Stephen Furst was up to whatever JMS wrote for him, with fantastic comic timing (the waving at Mr. Morden, for example) and heartrendering expressions (for example, the scene where he tries to apologize to G'Kar and G'Kar replies, well, here's the scene itself:



If you're in a scene with Andreas Katsulas and still hold your own, in a situation where you're a part of the people who occupied the other man's home planet (again) and you still make the audience feel for you as well as G'Kar, then you're an artist. Stephen Furst was.

I would have loved to include the scene between Vir and Londo after Cartagia's death as well, because for me that's not just one of Vir's best scenes but one of the show's most memorable, but alas, it doesn't seem to be on YouTube. Suffice to say: that scene says so much about who Vir is, about the Londo and Vir relationship, and also about B5 as a show, because most other shows would not have bothered with the aftermath of killing a villain so completely evil as Cartagia was.

Babylon 5 would not have been as good a show without Vir Cotto, and Vir Cotto might have been a very different character if he'd been played by anyone but Stephen Furst. I'm so grateful the two, Vir and Stephen Furst, found each other.

Obiter Dicta: Seroquel Haze Edition

Jun. 17th, 2017 08:54 pm
reynardine: (dreaming_alice)
[personal profile] reynardine
The words aren't coming together tonight at all. This stupid drug is like glue on my tongue.

Old boyfriend did NOT seem to recognize my name, yay.

People coming home from Lilies today (they didn't schedule anything official on the last Saturday because so many people pack up and leave then). Some people loved it, some people had a bad experience, and yes, hella hot and stormy. And I missed it.

Bob wants me to sell my canvas tent that I got for my birthday. It's never been used, and probably would not be too difficult to sell, but I don't want to do it. It would be like giving up.

Some people mock "The Dream" concept of the SCA as being some 1960's hippy-dippy claptrap, but I'm a bit of an idealist myself. I believe in "The Dream", but I think "The Dream" is different for each person. Every person brings their own Dream into the Society and "The Dream" is what happens when all these smaller "Dreams" come together. It is not static. It changes, it evolves. I've seen the process first-hand over the past quarter-century.

I struggle with ambition, though. I think if I was free of ambition, I would enjoy my hobby a lot more, because I just would not care what people thought and how it could affect my chances of advancement in the future. I tell myself again and again that I DO NOT CARE, but that's a lie. I care. I care very much. If I could let go of that desire, things would be easier.

But OTOH, my desire for recognition helps drive my actions, gives me a purpose, a goal. So here we have a paradox.

There is more to this line of thinking, but the threads have tangled. Here I will leave it to another time.

Feud: Bette and Joan (review)

Jun. 17th, 2017 06:45 pm
selenak: (Kate Hepburn by Misbegotten)
[personal profile] selenak
Having watched „American Crime: The People vs O.J. Simpson“ some months ago, I moved on to this year’s Ryan Murphy endeavour, „Feud: Bette and Joan”, several episodes of which were scripted by Tim Minear, aka he who was largely responsible for most of Darla’s episodes at Angel, for which I’ll eternally appreciate him. Now I had actually read the book this particular miniseries draws much of its material from, “Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud”, and among other things, it was interesting to see how Murphy and his team shaped the same raw material into a different type of story. The book is very gossipy, but in a way that doesn’t favour either woman about the other, and does point out when there are several conflicting accounts. Narratively, though, it feels like a collection of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford anecdotes, without overall themes or specific conclusions. The miniseries, otoh, goes for the the Sunset Boulevard (btw: there’s a great little reference to it during an escalating Davis/Crawford argument) approach of witty, biting and ultimately tragic Hollywood on Hollywood; if Bette Davis comes across as the more “likeable” of the two women, it’s ultimately Joan Crawford whose tragedy it is, and who has the most clear cut narrative arc, from her decision to find a project for herself and Bette Davis in the series opener to her death in the finale.

You mean all this time, we could have been friends? )

Helmut Kohl

Jun. 17th, 2017 12:52 pm
selenak: (Sternennacht - Lefaym)
[personal profile] selenak
I was born in 1969, which means I was in school and just making the transition from child to teenager when Helmut Kohl became chancellor. By the time he was voted out of office, he’d been Chancellor for sixteen years. (Hence one of his nicknames: The Eternal Chancellor.) He died yesterday, the tributes haven’t stopped coming in, and as when Genscher and before him Helmut Schmidt died, I feel both a bit of history and a part of what formed my life when I was young has gone; I feel my own mortality.

Not because I was a fan. I never voted for him, not being a conservative. I disagreed with various of his policies. But when I look back, it occurs to me that growing up when I did, I internalized at least two of his core beliefs – that the European Union is our future, central to avoiding the horrors of the past (by which I don’t just mean WWII but centuries of European warfare), and that the French-German relationship is central for this. It’s no accident that probably the Kohl photograph included the most in the tributes both national and international was the one depicting him holding hands with Mitterand at Verdun. Of course, no post war German chancellor was likely to neglect France for obvious reasons, but Kohl, hailing from the Palatinate near the French border which during various French-German wars was always likely to be among the first regions to be devastated during those centuries of warfare, really made wooing the French personal. (And kept it up beyond office; till Mitterand’s death, they met at least once a month.)

(My favourite Kohl and Mitterand joke goes somewhat like this: Kohl during a state visit in Speyer inflicts his favourite dish, stuffed belly of pork, on Mitterand , who first looks appalled. Then Kohl whispers something into his ear, and suddenly Mitterand eats with all signs of enthusiasm and finishes the meal. Later, Kohl’s sidekicks want to know what he said, and Kohl reveals: “I said: If you don’t eat up, Francois, you’re getting the Saarland back.”)

Among the many obituaries trying to sum up the man, from chronically underestimated hedgehog to everyone else’s hare outmanoeuvring all rivals to lonely giant incapable of admitting mistakes or accepting criticism, I think this one works best for me, not uncritical (unsurprisingly, since it’s by Der Spiegel, a magazine Kohl saw as the enemy, but also respectful of his achievements. (Whereas, say, the obituary in the Guardian felt downright mean spirited.) I’m still trying to figure out what I feel. Not sadness; both because there would have had to have been affection first, and because he was in a very bad physical state, and had been for years. It is more like what you feel when you see a giant glacier which had been melting for many years at last dissolving into water and earth, and only then you understand that the sight of the glacier, the awareness of it, had been part of the landscape that told you who you were.

Tomorrow, in a year (Fanfiction)

Jun. 16th, 2017 02:39 pm
selenak: (Bruce and Tony by Corelite)
[personal profile] selenak
Tomorrow, in a year (8124 words) by Selena
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agent Carter (TV), Captain America (Movies), Iron Man (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Peggy Carter & Howard Stark, Howard Stark & Everyone, Abraham Erskine & Howard Stark, Steve Rogers & Howard Stark
Characters: Howard Stark, Peggy Carter, Abraham Erskine, Werner Heisenberg, Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker, Konrad Zuse, Fritz Haber
Additional Tags: For Science!, Dubious Ethics, Ethics, Nuclear Weapons, Chemical Weapons, Computers, Morality, Historical
Summary:

Inventions, the consequences they have and the choices you make: Three encounters Howard Stark has with German scientists he does and doesn't work with.



This was my [community profile] ssrconfidential story for this year. The reason why I assumed it was patently obvious who authored it was that, well, who else among this year’s participants would write about Howard having debates with a bunch of German scientists?

The prompt had asked for Howard Stark recruiting, via Operation Paperclip, the top German cybernetics expert in order to meddle in artificial life. This to me sounded like it was going for a tale with a Nazi robot on the rampage, which yours truly would not have been keen to write (there were other prompts by my recipient I’d have then gone for), but at the same time, the phrasing left me just wriggle room enough to come up with something more interesting and challenging to me, on the subject of Howard and German scientists. Given that the MCU has Howard Stark as a participant in the Manhattan project, and that I’m a fan of Michael Frayn’s play Copenhagen about Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, I already knew there’d be a Howard & German nuclear physicists encounter in my story.

Canonically, Howard worked with Abraham Erskine who in the MCU hails from Augsburg (like Bertolt Brecht) and thus most definitely qualifies as a German scientist, so the first Erskine-Stark encounter was a given opener for the story. Now the MCU Wikipedia has them meeting in 1934 at a conference in Switzerland, which sounds a bit unlikely given the birth year the same entry provides for Howard, but Switzerland in 1934 was also where Fritz Haber died, which made it a must for me. Because if there is someone ideal to embody the two sides of science and to kick start the question as to what the responsibilities of a scientist are, it’s the inventor of fertilizers and weaponized chlorine gas. Also, given Erskine’s age it made sense to make him a colleague and friend of Fritz Haber’s whose WWI experience gave him the original idea for what became the supersoldier serum.
(BTW, having recently had Fritz Haber on my mind for this story made me go “so…does Haber not exist in the DCU?” when a certain character in the new Wonder Woman was introduced.)

But I still needed a computer genius which was what the prompt had asked for, after all. Did we even have those in that era, I wondered, researched a bit, and found out about Konrad Zuse, fascinating computer inventor with a sideline in painting, two of whose war time created computers even were in the city where I lived, Munich. Zuse’s memoirs were also available for reading and contributed such details as his fondness for Fritz Lang’s movie Metropolis, language difficulties and other personal details which made it into the story. I was tempted to call the Zuse section “Zuse and Stark”, after “Einstein and Eddington”, that, or: "Science Bros: The First Generation", but you might as well have called it Iron Man 0.1, because it’s also a riff on Tony’s origin story as well as a contrast – one of my betas, asked to guess the prompt for the story, thought it must have been “Why Howard Stark didn’t become Iron Man”, and while I hadn’t thought of it like that at first, yes, that’s also one of the themes. Father and son are very similar, but there are also differences, both in circumstance and reaction to certain situations.

Lastly: I apologize for giving Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker my “Hydra makes no sense” rant. But Hydra makes no sense.

Wonder Woman (Film Review)

Jun. 15th, 2017 04:19 pm
selenak: (Abigail Brand by Handyhunter)
[personal profile] selenak
Wonder Woman was a very enjoyable comic book movie. I haven't read any of the WW comics or any others featuring her, so I had no other versions to compare this Diana to. What immediately struck me, though, was the difference to the other recent DC movies. Because it seems this particular director and scriptwriter (writers?) finally managed to chuck the moroseness that passes for depth out of the window and instead came up with, oh wonder, a heroine who enjoys what and who she is and is an unabashed, heart-on-her-sleeve do-gooder. Also, she's kind. Not many people in the superhero business are, especially after the 80s. She has a learning arc, and I thought the balance between naivete, learning about the darker side of the 'verse and keeping core beliefs regardless was well struck.

The trailers had me a bit worried because of the WWI setting, this war being not one prone to good versus bad stories, and I was concerned that they simply made it I instead of II to avoid the inevitable Captain America comparisons and completely ignore the bloody mess the "Great War" was. Turns out the script actually made WWI story and themes relevant. Mind you, it needed still a great deal of handwavium. DC geography and history is not of our world, clearly. )

The reason why I didn't mind all this is that Diana's big realisation moment could not have happened in WWII and was very WWI specific; to wit: It gets spoilery again. )

Other things: liked the cast and the ensemble, really liked that Diana being a warrior and Diana being kind and compassionate was never presented as paradoxical or in conflict with each other but as one driving the other, wished Snyder's lasting legacy, the slow mo fighting, would finally stop but wasn't bothered enough in this instance to mind, and was grateful that for all the "fish out of water" humor, Diana wasn't presented as childlike or somehow unaware of sexuality just because she hadn't been in contact with a man before.

In conclusion: a deserved hit.

P.S. Now I remember I did encounter Diana in the comics before, in a flashback. In Mike Carey's story about Lyta Hall post Sandman, The Furies, it's revealed Lyta is the daughter of Diana and Steve Trevor. (It's a single panel, a memory that haunts Lyta of her early childhood and her mother.) I suppose that makes Diana the grandmother of one of the Endless?
reynardine: (asoiaf_sansa_speaks)
[personal profile] reynardine
Bob was off today, so we went to see Wonder Woman. The movie was good and kept me entertained all the way through, but I guess I set my expectations too high, because it wasn't extraordinary.

The Olathe AMC continues its streak of wretched customer service. It's getting to where I loathe going to movies there anymore. They were already overpriced, and now they've moved their matinee time to before noon, rather than before four pm like it used to be. I wasn't that keen on the assigned seating, either. I can maybe understanding doing that on opening weekend (actually, NO, it should be first come, first served), but this on a Wednesday afternoon more than two weeks after the movie was released? There were some people there--maybe 15 tops--but certainly no need to assign seating.

Wow, I sound like a bitchy old person, don't I? I think it's the price that ultimately makes me cranky. Movie, popcorn, and sodas for two people on a Wednesday afternoon at 3 pm should NOT run almost $50! Grrr.

Yay, I have a new office chair. My old one has been in bad shape for awhile. The new chair is big enough to handle my weight and fairly comfy. The old one has been retired downstairs for now.

Seroquel is already messing with my appetite (omg hungry ALL THE TIME) and has made my knees and ankles swell up. I just keep telling myself that with luck, I should only have to deal with this for 4 to 6 weeks, and then I can get off of it again.

And I fell asleep at the keyboard. Yeah, seroquel does that as well, yay.

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Beth Winter

October 2014

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