fialleril: [all the movies should be about mothers and daughters] (Brave)
So I saw Brave for the second time yesterday, and it is still the greatest. I won't really spoil it here, for those who haven't seen it, but I will say this (at risk of being called a fandom heretic):

I've enjoyed some Pixar movies before, but I've usually found them predictable and, while enjoyable despite that, not nearly up to the hype they usually get. Brave is the first Pixar movie I have ever really liked, as in liked enough to purchase and watch again and again and show to all of my friends. It's just a gorgeous story, not only visually rich but also incredibly nuanced plotwise. It's a coming of age story that makes sense to me, that treats all of its major players with respect and care and depth.

I am darkly amused by the fact that the only Pixar movie I've ever found truly innovative and deeply moving is the same movie that most Hollywood critics are saying isn't up to Pixar's usual standards. Darkly amused, but not surprised. It's not up to snuff because it's about mothers and daughters instead of fathers and sons, because ladies and their relationships with each other are just not universal stories, etc, etc, ad nauseum.

Personally, I think all the stories should be about mothers and daughters. ALL OF THEM. All the Pixar stories, too. Give me more movies like Brave, and I might actually start to understand what all the Pixar hype is about.

Happy March 25!

Sunday, March 25th, 2012 11:56 pm
fialleril: [I am glad that you are here with me] (here at the end of all things)
Well hello there internet. Very long time no see! Um. Sorry about that?

See, I have been trying to think of a non-awkward way to come back for a while, but finally I just decided there's nothing for it, and so! It is still March 25 over here (although just barely), and this is a FRODO BAGGINS APPRECIATION POST.

'Well, this is the end, Sam Gamgee,' said a voice by his side. And there was Frodo, pale and worn, and yet himself again; and in his eyes there was peace now, neither strain of will, nor madness, nor any fear. His burden was taken away. There was the dear master of the sweet days in the Shire.

'Master!' cried Sam, and fell upon his knees. In all that ruin of the world for the moment he felt only joy. The burden was gone. His master had been saved; he was himself again, he was free. And then Sam caught sight of the maimed and bleeding hand.

'Your poor hand!' he said. 'And I have nothing to bind it with, or comfort it. I would have spared him a whole hand of mine rather. But he's gone now beyond recall, gone for ever.'

'Yes,' said Frodo. 'But do you remember Gandalf's words: Even Gollum may have something yet to do? But for him, Sam, I could not have destroyed the Ring. The Quest would have been in vain, even at the bitter end. So let us forgive him! For the Quest is achieved, and now all is over. I am glad you are here with me. Here at the end of all things, Sam.'

a wild meme appears

Monday, June 27th, 2011 02:18 pm
fialleril: [still my favorite film Holmes] (Basil of Baker Street)
Stolen from [livejournal.com profile] elle_white, because it's about time I do something not Loki-related on this journal I guess.

Give me a top 5 (any top 5) and I will comment with my top 5 with reasons.
fialleril: [someday perhaps I will write that AU about warrior!Sif and fosteredJotunPrince!Loki] (Sif/Loki)
Welp I finally saw that Thor movie. And I'mma talk to you about it, but first, there are some things you should probably know about me. 'Cause if you're expecting a balanced account of this movie, well I'm sorry, but you're going to be disappointed. Be warned: you are gonna hear a lot about Norse mythology, as well as the Marvel characters. I'm sorry; I just can't help myself.

So the first thing you should probably know is that I love mythological Loki the most. I know I've mentioned this before, but you don't even understand, internet. If I had to narrow all of the most foundational narratives in my life down to two - two narratives that have been with me for as long as I can remember, that I keep coming back to always, that have pretty much shaped who I am as a person - they would be these two characters/narratives: Persephone, and Loki. I met Loki as a kid, long before I knew words like genderqueer or ambiguity or even trickster, but he caught my imagination instantly. He knew all about the power of stories, and he had a quick tongue and a sense of fun and adventure and he could get out of anything. Loki's defining characteristic is this: when presented with an either/or choice and told that he has to choose, Loki says no. Both hero and villain, both Jotun and one of the Aesir, both man and woman, both mother and father, both human and horse and fly and seal and whatever the hell else Loki wants to be. For a kid who saw herself as fundamentally non-gendered, but who was constantly being pressured to be female (and to be female in a certain way), Loki's ambiguous, gender-fluid narrative was ridiculously powerful. Still is.

What this means, among many other things, is that I can and will love all versions of Loki I come across, regardless of mythological accuracy or actual portrayal of ambiguity. There are more than enough narratives out there that portray him as flatly evil, but whatever, I just reinsert the ambiguity myself.

So pretty much what I'm saying is that this review is gonna be all about Loki. Also possibly about how Odin is the worst ever. Seriously. I once held a contest for myself to see whether Zeus or Odin was the greatest tool of all time ever, and it was a close thing, but Odin won.

So, you know, just clearing up expectations. By this point you know whether you want to read this or not.

Probably some spoilers under here. Also lots of feelings. )
fialleril: [my favorite shapeshifting genderqueer trickster] (Loki)
So hey there internet! Uh...long time no see? Yeah, sorry about that.

Someday soon (really!) I will make a legit, f-locked tighter than Alcatraz post about the incredible hornet's nest of ridiculousness that has been my life in the last couple of months, but right now I do not have the emotional energy to do that, so we'll just say that the semester is over and graduation was yesterday and today and I gave the invocation at yesterday's ceremony so that was good.

Anyway there will be more later but for right now I want to talk to you about Thor.

I have not actually seen Thor yet. In fact I'm still unspoiled about it at this point, and my knowledge of the comics is pretty minimal, so. BUT. I am totally going to see it soon, and I am definitely going in with some expectations, because I love mythologies the most (THE MOST, OKAY), and I have so many feelings about mythology of all kinds, but especially Greek and Norse.

So this post is gonna be a rambling list of my expectations going into this movie, and all my feelings about Norse mythology. You can already tell the kind of rambling this is going to be, so I'm just gonna make a cut here and you can skip this nonsense if you want!

all kinds of feelings under here )
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (Default)
Because I am apparently determined to be a one-woman fandom for hundred-year-old plays no one has cared about since long before the advent of the internet. Whatever. I can accept that.

This is the first of what will probably be several posts about various Barrie!plays. "But Fia," you say, "no one cares! Who even reads Barrie on your f-list?" To which I reply, "Quite possibly no one, but the revolution must start somewhere!"

Okay, enough of that. In all seriousness, let's talk about Mary Rose. As much as I love Peter Pan, I think that Mary Rose is really Barrie's best work. Like most of his plays, it's by turns clever, amusing, cute, snarky, sentimental, and small-scale tragic. It's also deliciously creepy.

I admit I was not expecting that. True, there's unnerving undertones in some of Barrie's other work, especially Peter Pan, but they're always just that: undertones. I made the mistake (or perhaps not) of starting Mary Rose as my read-before-bed story the other night, and let me tell you, I was not about to go to sleep until I'd finished it and found out what happened. It's not frightening, though, just delightfully eerie. And Barrie's almost-novelized stage directions have the effect of actually bringing the play to life in your imagination as you read it, which is not something I've experienced when reading drama before. The eeriness was tangible.

Here's the basic plot: There's an island. (Pay attention, [livejournal.com profile] starfoozle, I think you'll like this one.) It's in the Outer Hebrides - a small, beautiful, contained-within-itself sort of place that the locals call "The Island That Likes To Be Visited." Mary Rose visited that island once when she was eleven, and simply disappeared. Twenty days later, she suddenly reappeared there again, thinking only a few hours had passed.

The story goes on into her later life and even beyond that, but I don't want to give anything away, because it really is gloriously eerie and genuinely suspenseful. I'll only say this: in the early drafts of the play, the island was actually intended to be Peter Pan's island of Never Land. Although this was changed, and the story took a rather darker turn, it's still evident that Mary Rose is something like a female Peter Pan. The difference is that this is a play for adults, and we see the child-who-doesn't-grow-up theme from the point of view of the child's family and friends who don't understand, and for whom she is lost.

I could say a good deal more about this, and about how asexuality plays into the story, but I think I'll save that for my Peter Pan post.
fialleril: [the fires and the black river of loss whose other side is salvation] (pro patria mori)
I'm slowly savoring my way through Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, a novel that reads like a sacrament, and at the same time I'm working on my thesis and applying to PhD programs in theology and literature, and so I've been thinking a lot lately about stories.

It seems to me that there are certain stories that stick with us, for whatever reason, and we spend our entire lives retelling those stories. Maybe it's one constant story, or a few, or maybe we retell different stories at different points in our lives.

For me, right now, there are two.

More meandering reflection under here )

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