kiki_eng: Breakfast at Tiffany's - Holly Golightly - Audrey Hepburn (woman in evening wear & sunglasses stands before shop window) (breakfast at tiffany's)
[personal profile] calvinahobbes and I decided to watch Fried Green Tomatoes the first week in February and then I kind of watched a bunch more films that feature queer women - I go through phases with media. (It's a thing.) I started writing this post after watching Jenny's Wedding and not really having the reaction I was expecting.

I also saw Deadpool opening weekend here, and I do not think I have ever been made so happy by a cartoon boner in my life; boners for everyone is pretty unambiguous. I feel it might actually be less ambiguous than a scene containing something along the lines of "Hello, my name is Wade Wilson and I am pansexual," because I feel like there is a strong desire within certain subsets of the comic book community to erase that sexuality, and that while someone might go "Ha, ha, what a funny word, 'pansexual', what a kidder, that Deadpool," that is basically the audience who's gonna get the message about his sexuality in the film's ending. So: yay, cartoon hammering home the queerness, and yay representation. ♥ The film lived up to expectations for me, going beyond in some ways, and was enjoyable if not a favourite.

The F/F films I watched in February were kind of hit or miss.

Fried Green Tomatoes 1991, USA (English) - "A housewife who is unhappy with her life befriends an old lady in a nursing home and is enthralled by the tales she tells of people she used to know."
Comments )

Jenny's Wedding 2015, USA (English) - "Jenny Farrell has led an openly gay life - except with her conventional family. When she finally decides to start a family and marry the woman they thought was just her roommate, the small, safe world the Farrells inhabited changes forever. They are left with a simple and difficult choice - either change with it or drown."
Comments )

I Can't Think Straight 2008, UK (English) - "A 2008 romance film adapted from a same name novel about a London-based Jordanian of Palestinian descent, Tala, who is preparing for an elaborate wedding. A turn of events causes her to have an affair and subsequently fall in love with another woman, Leyla, a British Indian."
Comments )

The Perfect Family 2011, USA (English) - "A devoutly Catholic wife and mother has been nominated for one of the church's top awards. She then goes about trying to prove she has the 'perfect' family, refusing to accept them for who they are."
Comments )

The Baby Formula 2008, Canada (English) - "Two adventurous women in love are desperate to have their own biological child. They take a chance on an experimental scientific process and make sperm from their own stem cells. Pregnant with humor and unexpected twists, their journey ultimately confirms that all life is a gift and all families are crazy."
Comments )

Bessie 2015, USA (English) - "The story of legendary blues performer, Bessie Smith, who rose to fame during the 1920s and '30s."
Comments )

Vic + Flo ont vu un ours 2013, Canada (French) - "Vic + [Flo] Saw a Bear is a darkly mysterious tale of [two lesbian] ex-cons, Victoria and Florence, trying to make a new life in the backwoods of Quebec. Seeking peace and [quiet], the [couple slowly] begin to feel under siege[...]"
Comments )

Show Me Love 1998, Sweden/Denmark (Swedish) - "Two teenage girls in small-town Sweden. Elin is beautiful, popular, and bored with life. Agnes is friendless, sad, and secretly in love with Elin."
Comments )
kiki_eng: Bones and Jim on the shuttle, text: "you had me at 'I may throw up on you'" (Star Trek 2009) (you had me at "I may throw up on you")
[personal profile] sinesofinsanity prompted me to write a post on "minor character(s) that stood out to you. Was there ever a minor character that you invented a backstory or future or side adventure for because you needed/wanted to see more of them than was ever intended to be in canon?"

Oliver Wood.

Allow me to tell you about how he and Percy Weasley are married with children.

We'll start at the beginning. You know how Oliver and Percy are the only two male Gryffindors mentioned in their year in the books? You know how they're captain of the quidditch team and head boy. Leadership qualities, both of them, I am saying. I feel like they would have kind of got each other.

...and then you had the films come out and I feel that it was made very clear just how well those two fell into some base fannish predilections, shall we say? Ooh, Oliver, you're so Scottish and athletic and adorable. and Ooh, Percy, you're slender and ginger and bookish and here to enforce the rules... yes, please so there's actually a decent amount of fic that got written for these two.

...and that's fine, all of that is fine and totally normal, and I read in a fair number of Harry Potter ships. There were so many characters in that series and it was essentially a game in fandom to ship everyone with everyone and everything. I have a lot of HP ship feels in a lot of different directions because of that.

...and then the seventh book came out. It was the final piece of canon, a lot of ships got sunk in that - in that they're never going to be canon possibly because someone died - and some you know, happened. I haven't actually read the final book since it came out, but, I kind of remember Percy and Oliver showing up at the final battle together. (Clearly Oliver helped Percy pull his head out of his ass.) ...and then they both survive the final battle, which is great. No one in this ship dies. Amazing. ...and then a funny thing happens in the epilogue: "Harry thought he heard Percy discoursing loudly on broomstick regulations..."

Clearly this means that Percy and Oliver end up together. There is no other reasonable explanation, obviously. The SCUSA ship name is Bedknobs & Broomsticks, okay?

So, yeah, I have historically thought about that a bit and how that would have gone down, and I think it is a damn shame that Rowling apparently never did, because I feel it would have been so easy for her to explicitly write about a Wood-Weasley or Weasley-Wood kid and that there would have been a lot of triumphant fists raised if she did. it was, it was just me, basically, I sort of feel, and some of my fellow shipmates, and we are not, proportionally, a really big part of the whole of HP fandom.

This ship, I am telling you. I feel like a lot of the fic for it is pretty fanon, but: Percy Weasley spends a lot of the books being kind of a pompous ass and trying so hard to follow the rules and succeed and Oliver Wood is a reasonably chill dude but Quidditch-obsessed and a bit tactless. How can you not want to toss all of that at each other? They would get each other. They would be good for each other. They would be beautiful and hilarious and Oliver would be so into Percy's broomstick regulation discourse.

So into it.
kiki_eng: two bats investigating plants against the night sky (Default)
[personal profile] lucifuge5 prompted me with that, and that book is Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone for me.

Someone gave it to me as a present, and I was so offended to have been given the best selling children's book. Had they thought through this gift at all? Seriously, did they just think, this is popular, [personal profile] kiki_eng likes to read, let's get her this children's book. Done.

They gave me the best selling children's book. I was so offended. I was a young adult, and what was this book doing anyway, making the protagonist a wizard, had they not read The Enchanted Forest Chronicles? Didn't they know wizards were evil? Apparently not.

I didn't read it. It sat on my shelf, and sat, and sat.

...and then I read it, and I loved it, completely against my will. ...and I read it again, and again. I read the other books.

All of my family did. We shared copies. It was a whole thing. I remember going into the kitchen late one night for a drink of water or something and someone had left a book on the counter for the night; I ended up hunched over the counter, reading for who knows how long, sucked in.

Eventually I read Harry Potter fanfiction, and I read a lot of it. There was this thing called Fiction Alley, and I made an account there, and I became "kiki-eng". I reread Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone again, and I took notes. I got a livejournal account and I wrote a lot of drabbles about Remus and Sirius - characters I met in a book series I hadn't wanted anything to do with.

I don't think I've ever been more wrong about how I'd react to a book.
kiki_eng: whale wearing headphones that connect to a heart (whale music)
"Something about them in their own world and how it works for them"

[personal profile] sinesofinsanity, what is this thing you do to me?

Right. Okay. So you've got your woodland creatures carving out human lives. Stuff like Redwall and Disney's Robin Hood and William Horwood's Duncton Wood, which totally looks like some adorable Redwall shenanigans on the cover, but is some serious Game of Thrones shit inside and I am pretty angry about that cover, still. It's fine.

So, yeah, a lot of the time when humans tell stories about non-humans they're basically doing humans dressed up as animals and there's some furry stuff going on there, I feel. Sometimes there are more animal behaviours incorporated into the characterisation, like The Jungle Book (it has been such a long time since I have read or seen that thing) or Anne McCaffrey's Dragons of Pern, but everything is very much through a human lens. It's a really human thing to do, I feel; we draw faces on everything and see them everywhere and anthroporphise and personify everything.

Sometimes we create new creatures - instead of tucking human minds into rats and trees we tuck them into something new, something alien. Some imagined monster, like in Monster's Inc. or some kind of alien life, like Pilot and Moya on Farscape.

The Goa'uld and Tokra of Stargate are good examples of our striving to find something truly alien, but they're basically angry humans in tiny little snake-let bodies who put on human suits. That same universe also has the crystal entities (SG-1 S1E07) and energy entities (SG-1 S4E20) that do a bit of a better job at the alien thing. I feel like we're always going to relate to other life in human terms, though, I don't think that there's really a way of getting away from that. I do think it's cool, how we look for and find life in different places.

We dream about it in computers, and the robots we make tend to be very human even if they're not humanoid, like the robots of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Often we get sentient computers who lash out because of some bit of programming - glitch or no - or in order to ensure their own survival. There are so many episodes like that. Farscape's bots were dog-like maintenance robots, which is actually a pretty cool deviation from making everything human-like.

The Daleks are really great - angry jellyfish creatures in metal shells. I feel kind of cynically that their motives are still pretty human, though - the quest to destroy everything not of their tribe. ...and then there was Oswin, who was a Dalek who had been human. I really do not feel that Daleks and humans are that far apart.

I am a fan of this thing where we explore the possibilites of life and what that means, that we look for sentient life in the deep ice or in black oil (The X-Files, and both of those are so creepy) and that we do actually find it in real life in such extreme temperatures and places where there is no oxygen, and we do find some incredible intelligence in creatures who are not human. Dolphins and octopi, man, I feel we should be treating them with a fair amount of respect, and, failing that, fear.

You know in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy* the dolphins leave us to be demolished along with the rest of the planet to make room for a hyper-pass. I am just saying. There is also the thing where we have primates, who would probably be classified as humanoid, but they are all these different species, and we do get tool-using primates and primates signing with us, which is very cool.

*which also has the mattresses, and the re-incarnated creature destined to be killed by Arthur Dent - there is some really great stuff in those books

I feel like any character we create is always going to be defined in human terms. ...and I think that's going to be true even after we find alien life. I really don't think we can get away from or change how we relate to the things around us; we are always going to be human. (Unless we become robots.)


Jan. 18th, 2016 09:02 am
kiki_eng: striped mug held by a woman wearing a sleeveless top (Hawaii Five-0) (mug held by Kono)
[personal profile] readbystarlight asked: "What do you consider your gateway fandoms?"

I didn't start with one fandom, like a fair number of people seem to do; I started multi-fannish, looking for fic with fantasy and sci-fi canons. The ones that pulled me more into the community were Harry Potter and Stargate: Atlantis.

Cut for length )
kiki_eng: Bones and Jim on the shuttle, text: "you had me at 'I may throw up on you'" (Star Trek 2009) (you had me at "I may throw up on you")
[personal profile] readbystarlight prompted me Hmmm...going back to your first fandom roots?, or, at any rate, I chose to interpret that as a prompt, and, oh am I going back to my roots. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles were my Larry Stylinson. They were my Twilight; Patricia C. Wrede had invented wizards and I was going to be a witch when I grew up. Okay, so, I knew that I wasn't going to be a witch when I grew up and I also had a sensible occupation picked out, but there was a time that I lived in these books and it was this amazingly intense experience, that I thankfully mostly kept to myself because I was already a weird kid.

I remember writing a story in this pink spiral bound notebook. I remember my letters on those pages and it was this thing heavily inspired by those books, especially the descriptions of the Caves of Fire and Night and her approach to fairy tales; I think a goblin ate a princess after, like, three pages of landscape description.

That whole phase is my earliest memory of being a fan and expressing that creatively. I had shipped things earlier, but I had never been that engaged with a canon before, and I'm not sure that I have been since, either. I think I've lost that kind of rawness that lets you tumble so hard for something like that. I'm okay with that.

I still remember that tumble, though, I remember reading that first page of my library book, and by the time I got to the end of that second paragraph I was gone. My fannish roots are in the Enchanted Forest Chronicles. Every once in a while I'll pick up one of the books - usually Dealing with Dragons - and read it; it's like coming home.
kiki_eng: GIF - Nikola Tesla of Sanctuary has eyes closed, text: "SCIENCE!", Tesla opens eyes, Text: "(with benefits)" (Nikola Tesla: Science!  With benefits!)
I tend to forget that I love sci-fi; it wasn't my childhood the way fantasy was and the roots are sort of less deep. I started getting into sci-fi in my early adulthood, which retrospectively feels like a good time for it, because of the exploratory nature of a lot of sci-fi.

The most recent sci-fi thing that I consumed was Star Wars Episode VII and my hands-down favourite thing about that film was BB-8. Yes, I know there are other cool things in that, but BB-8. BB-8! Brave toaster adorable loyal earnest robot having conversations with robots and people and being vulnerable and going questing and following directions. I love the beloved robot and BB-8 is now officially my favourite. Other examples of the trope would be Tony Stark's lab robots as sketched out by fandom, and John Crichton's 1812.

Farscape tends to be the series that I reference as my favourite, because they got so much right in it; it's so many of the things that I want science fiction to be. One of the things that it does, that is almost a nothing thing, but that I like, is with language: give me your alien swear words. I love alien swear words, partially because I can use them in RL without offending anyone, and the meta aspect of that with the show doing the same thing as I am amuses me a little bit, but it's also a tiny part of thinking about language and culture. A Clockwork Orange is really good for that. I'm interested in people exploring culture in science fiction and I like seeing that done through language.

I like myself a dystopia novel. I feel like that's my adolescence right there, but it's also important, I think. Dystopias are important for the ways that they allow us to examine aspects of our own culture. Welcome to Night Vale is fantastic for that and I love it to pieces for how it depicts terrible things in mundane, human, and absurdist ways. I find it incredibly comforting.

I also really like what TV Tropes refers to as the Patrick Stewart Speech for the same reason. I love that speech that embraces both the flaws and possibilities of humanity. I love how The Doctor is so in love with humans, like, he picked a species that wasn't that fantastic, objectively, and just fell in love with them. ...and I love John Crichton's place in Farscape and the episode Crackers Don't Matter where he is the least advanced species on board; I really like that reversal and how it flies in the face of our common conception of our own importance.

The X-Files was kinda good for that, too, like, humanity is facing this overwhelming force, and, within the circle of people in the know Fox Mulder is kind of the shining light. Fox Mulder. The X-Files also has the whole giant conspiracy thing that I am a fan of, like, yes, give me Area 51, give me people in aluminum foil hats with poor hygeine, I would like a traveling mobile home and a bad sweater vest. (I would also like this in conjunction with the Avro Arrow, but that is a side tangent.) That just makes me happy.* The lone gunmen made me happy. Give me your paranoia and possibly some early 90s hacker aesthetic and I am pleased as punch.

*I feel Men In Black was good for this.

Hackers. Hackers was great. Give me your bicycles and skateboards. (Dark Angel) Give me your ridiculous visualisations of computer systems. All of the visualisations of computer systems all of the time. Rogue Computers. (There's a MacGyver episode with that - the 90s were great, and you've got kind of, The Matrix as one of the ultimate evil computer things, spinning out nicely with the evil AI.) Give me your technology aesthetic - the 1980s era TARDIS and Nyssa, fantastic. Give me your painted dragon fruit. I feel like there is, in any respectable alien fruit arrangement, a painted dragon fruit. I want to see the painted dragon fruit still lifes. I want to see how it is all put together. I actually really liked the 2009 Syfy production, Alice for that reason, like, there are all these little tiny universes that we see - Hatter's trading house and the whole resistance in the library and there are all of these different things going on in that world; it's nice.

I like tropes in general, and I find episodic sci-fi can be really good for me for that, because there are trope plot lines or themes that they will tackle. So, like, there's SG-1 and SGA that'll do things and, like, Sliders was great, because every single episode was alternate universe, doppelgangers, and something else. The X-Files had some really slick trope episodes. Sanctuary had a lot of trope episodes, and also Nikola Tesla, Immortal Vampire, for which I may love it forever.

So, yeah, I like tropes in general and serial sci-fi tends to be really good for that. I also just like sci-fi in general; let's explore things and ask questions! It's nice.

(This entry was written for [personal profile] calvinahobbes' prompt for the Second-Half of January meme that I am doing.)

June Media

Jul. 1st, 2014 09:42 pm
kiki_eng: Laena Geronimo of The Like playing violin (Laena playing violin)
This is all of the non-fannish media content that I finished in June. (I did this in March and December, too.)

TV Episode: Book of Hours (White Collar S1E3, November 6, 2009) )

Comic: Young Avengers #11 by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Kris Anka, Mike Norton and Matthew Wilson (October 23, 2013) )

Podcast: Dana (Welcome to Night Vale, 30, September 1, 2013) )

TV Episode: The Election Agenda: Mike Schreiner and the Green Platform (The Agenda with Steve Paikin May 21, 2014 )

TV Broadcast: Ontario Election Debate 2014 (June 3, 2014) )

Comic: Black Widow #7 by Nathan Edmondson and Phil Noto (June 4, 2014) )

Comic: Witchling #1 by Renée Nault )

Short Film: Together Forever (2014) )

CD: Open Season by Feist (2006) )

CD: L'univers de Rajotte compiled by Claude Rajotte (2007) )

Film: Yes or No (2010) )

Podcast: A Blinking Light up on the Mountain (Welcome to Night Vale, 31, September 15, 2013) )

TV Series: Coffee Prince (2007) )

Book: Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (1962 )

Podcast: Yellow Helicopters (Welcome to Night Vale, 32, October 1, 2013) )

Comic: Captain Marvel #4 by Kelly Sue DeConnick, David Lopez and Lee Loughridge (June 11, 2014) )

Book: A Civil Contract by Georgette Heyer (1961) )

Podcast: Cassette (Welcome to Night Vale, 33, October 15, 2013) )

Podcast: A Beautiful Dream (Welcome to Night Vale, 34, November 1, 2013 )

CD: Mischievous Moon by Jill Barber (2011) )

Comic: Lumberjanes #3 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Shannon Watters and Brooke Allen (June 11, 2014) )

CD: Castor, The Twin by Dessa (2011) )

Book: The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (1895) )

TV Episode: The Dark Moon (Teen Wolf S4E1, June 23, 2014) )

CD: Sing to the Moon by Laura Mvula (2013) )


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