eumelia: (Default)
Brilliant movie, it was like coming home after a decade, especially seeing as I went to see it with my brother who forced me to read the books back in the day.

I saw the "Lord of the Rings" back in the day and loved them too.

Though unlike LotR, the Hobbit was like watching a Viking mash-up of the book of Exodus and the Seder Hadaga (as I mentioned on tumblr), the Jewish metaphor was strong.

I'll be seeing it again in a few weeks.

I highly recommend it.

Yeah, I know, usually I have more to say about this sort of thing, but I feel like a proper review will have to wait for next year, because then I'll see how it ends.
eumelia: (Default)
Went to see "Skyfall" last night.

ALL THE Spoilers )

I enjoyed it, but I have many many misgivings. I'll go see it again, because I'm addicted to the franchise and love the character too much.

I missed Jeffry Wright as Felix Lieter though. No CIA in this movie, alas.
eumelia: (catwoman)
Talking about The Dark Knight Rises on Twitter, has enabled me to flesh out my thoughts regarding the movie.

Here they are along with spoilers )
eumelia: (erik smoking)
So, whereas the majority of you have seen The Avengers twice or three times by now, I saw it for the first time last night.

In a word.

*SMASH*

In More Words and Spoilers )

In my next review, I'll get into the feminism, the slash, how Phil Coulson is all of Fandom and why I prefer the X-Men. Because I'm so original.
No, I'm not.
eumelia: (erik and his hat)
So, like, I know I'm the party-pooper when it comes to the fun of Fandom.

I know I'm Waldorf to someone else's Statler (or vice versa), but I am irked.

It irks me when things like this are received with a *squee* and nary a side eye.

As per the link, there was a panel at SDCC on X-Men and the subject of LGBT themes came up. Zack Stentz, who was involved in writing X-Men: First Class is quoted:
[...]
Stentz basically confirmed Erik/Charles (he called First Class, “the tragic romance of Charles and Erik”) and went on to describe how if certain events/personal ideologies/chosen paths hadn’t forced them apart, Erik and Charles would most certainly be together. According to him, it’s one of those “they’re meant for each other, but fate refuses to let them stay together” situations.


That's nice.

Really it is.

About as nice as being told Professor Dumbledore was gay, two years (if IIRC) after he died.

The fandom went wild, as did I at the time, until I thought about the implications of outing him post-mortem.

And this, oh, the tragic love story of two men who have never ever in the canon shown any kind of evidence beyond subtext that we need to look for, that they loved each other in a way that went deeper than friendship, or even brotherhood.

That quote, right there, that feels like pandering. It feels like fan service. It feels like, there was a big loaf of bread somewhere when it came to who got the benefit of being represented in an honest way in a genre movie.

I don't want to have to have the "Word of God" confirm subtext they put in there so that they could be implicit, rather than explicit, about character development and desire. I don't want a panel at SDCC to tell me that the margins of the text are slightly wider than they were before.

I don't want to be happy about the fact that a movie filled with plausible deniability is a vindication of queer readings in a film, chock full of code and subtext that exists to make the aforementioned deniability hold strong.

The most we can say is "thank god no one is running for the hills due to queer implication" and no it doesn't really matter what the sexuality of the creators are - what matters is what is conveyed and while what is conveyed in the movie is brilliant, this is not a movie that has queer people in it. It is a movie that has queer themes and implications running through it.

Nuance is fun, ambiguity is one of my favourite things. But not at the cost of real, actual, honest to god, LGBT representation.

When am I getting my Batwoman movie?! Oh, never? Thought so. Is Northstar ever going to be something other than a gay Canadian Speedster? No, oh well.

Apollo? Mignighter? Maybe on HBO or Showtime? Yeah, maybe.

Crossposts: http://eumelia.livejournal.com/547114.html
eumelia: (get a job)
My Library is undergoing renovations.

As we speak my brain feels as though the drilling is actually happening to it, rather than the floor and plaster walls!

I do not do well with loud, continuous noises. Beyond mere irritation, it feels like my ears are bleeding, because once the noise gets to a certain pitch, my ear drums are telling me to GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM THE NOISE!

Add to that the dust, the schlepping and hauling of books in the general reading room (my job is in the reserved reading room, which is much smaller and more pleasant) and my general bitterness at having to work in these conditions and you may imagine what my mood is like.

Trying to get people to complain with me is no good, all they keep telling me is that it'll get worse before it gets better.

Has no one heard of any solidarity complaining!? Making the bad things appear worse so that we're ready for the truly gruesome nonsense to come?

And on top of that, I watched a truly depressing movie the other day and my appetite has still not returned. That's what I get for watching a movie about a hunger strike.

Oh my god, I've only been at work an hour and the noise will never end!
eumelia: (fangirl)
This seems a bit of a silly reason to break radio silence - but man, I have to say my piece. My life is so freakin' hectic at the moment, but fandom is a place of rest of relaxation - so what if I'm a *squee*-harsher.

I'm in the midst of writing a fic in the universe of "X-Men: First Class". I am slogging through it because I have a kink for being as historically accurate as possible when it comes to the portrayal of characters - yes, I do love "Mad Men". I haven't finished it yet, but I will.

This post contains very slight spoilers for "X-Men:First Class", you were warned.

The fandom for this movie is very sweet, I must say. Everyone is *squeeing*, there are fanmixes galore and the well, these young versions of Magneto and Professor X are very pretty indeed. It helps that the actors seem to enjoy fan service and go out of their way to cater to the subtextual narrative that is on everyone's mind.

And really, it is on everyone's mind. And article that came out yesterday titled Magneto and Professor X Had Sex at the Movies This Summer - Did You See It?, in which the author goes on to lay wide open that which slashers see on an almost automatic level - the homoeroticism as homosexual - the emotional ties as romantic feelings.

It feels nice to have that reading acknowledged by the mainstream. Really it does. The queer and racial narratives of X-Men has existed since they began being published back in the Silver Age's Hey Day of the early 60's. Back then, it was much more subtle and the clues were there to find if you knew how to crack at that code.

Nowadays it seems as though the actors are given carte blanche to play as gay as possible... without any acknowledgement of the fact.
I see it in "White Collar", I see it in "Sherlock" by Moffat and "Sherlock Holmes" by Ritchie and now in "X-Men: First Class".
The queer is part of the narrative, by virtue of many of the main/title characters being set apart from other characters who view them as different and differentiated.
Neal from "White Collar" is outside the law.
Sherlock Holmes is outside human thought.
The mutants are beyond humanity itself.

A queer reading is practically mandatory, but in the way homosexuality is constructed in the media today, plausible deniability, in which the straight viewers reside, is built in.
Homosexual desire is hinted at, allegorised or played up for fan service rather than be showen (rahter than told, no one needs to "say" they are "gay". Okay!?) as genuine desire between people in a mainstream cinematic or television event.

The clues in "X-Men: First Class" can be read, as I mentioned, if you know the code.
"I thought I was alone", Erik says to Charles. So did the majority of queers until they met someone else like them later in life.
The tears the two men share, it is a heart wrenching scene, in which the pleasure of using their powers with each other (their so-called deviancy) and together is palpable.
On their so-called "Divorce" on the beach (a term I find extremely distasteful, considering the state of same-sex marriage around the world, the happy News from NYS notwithstanding, and especially considering the idea of queer sexuality being framed into the structure of marriage), they cry and embrace, but do not kiss, which would have happened between a man and a woman.

It being 1962, that makes sense, because public displays of affection between two men was highly ill advised when not in a specific queer place.
Edited to Add: And it's not as though it's that safe for us these days (these of so progressive days) either. Or that specific queer places are in fact safer than most. they're not (link may be triggering). I'm somewhat shocked at myself for neglecting to say this, but I'll blame it on being focused on media rather than experience.

But the subtext that is being brought to the surface all the time, because it is being played up off-screen by James MacAvoy and Michael Fassbender (much like Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law two years ago) gives the illusion that queer representation in mainstream blockbusters is actually on the rise, when all it is, is badly concealed *wink-wink-nudge-nudge-say-no-more* titillation of the idea of gayness.

Say no more indeed.
God forbid that instead of the phallic chess pieces between them, we saw an actual erotic embrace with a PG-13 appropriate fade to black.

But who needs actual gay superheroes?

Oh, and I hated the article linked above.

Yes, that was sarcasm. Now, I'm going back to fixing the Cuban Missile Crisis. It's gonna be a gas!
eumelia: (get a job)
I'm at the Library and we just came back from a pretty useless anti-missile exercise.

Let me tell you, if we are bombed at some point, I'm running outside and making sure that if I die, at least it's in the fresh air.

The Library is going to be undergoing renovations starting next month or so. Thus, what I had hoped would be a relaxing time at my third job (seeing as working at the Pharmacy and being a Nanny allow me no time in which I can do nothing), is pretty much shot.

Hauling crumbling dissertations in over flowing carts is not a relaxing time. Especially not considering my cart actually fell over due to the weight of all those books. Lucky for me, they all fell in a straight line and kept their order. That would have been a nightmare.

In what little spare time that I have, seeing as most of the time if I'm not working, I'm studying, I am world building an "X-Men: First Class" fix it. I loved that movie. A lot. But there was so much wrong in it, in so many ways.

Darwin Lives! And Angel isn't a Sociopath (seriously, wtf?).

Fandom has, and quite correctly, exploded. I like that I'm seeing a huge overlap between "Inception" authors and "X-Men: First Class" authors. That really is lovely.

Fandom has, incorrectly, decided that the Holocaust is the be all and end all of Erik Lehnsherr. Fandom, please stop. Fandom has also, incorrectly, decided that Charles is super-sensitive, fuzzy and empathetic. Fandom, what movie were you watching.
Fandom is also using Raven is a sex doll. Please stop, Mystique would kick your asses for this and not bother to learn your name while she steals your identity. I know this is BB!Mystique - but she's nobody's sex toy!

All of the above is a gross generalisation of course, but these are trends that I'm seeing.

Hopefully, I will have something to show for my fix-it soon. Would there be anyone willing to beta me? And kick my ass for encouragement?
Thanks in advance!
eumelia: (diana disapproves)
I'm not a Marvel fan, so you'll have to live with the Wonder Woman icon.

I am, however, greatly appreciative of "X-Men: First Class", seeing as it was a Hero's Journey and that hero was Magneto )

For the TL;DR people among you. It was awesome, I really really liked it. It is full of slash. It has problems with the way it portrays gender and race, it could've been better.
eumelia: (flog it)
I don't know why, but ever since I saw Caster Semenya run and win that, now, historical 800m track, I've tried to stay on top of the story, which has not been easy because eventually people got bored with speculating whether she is or isn't female.

Note that I use sex rather than gender, because Semenya herself asserted time and again that she is a woman, she was never treated by anyone else as anything other than a woman and it was only during the gender testing she had to undergo was she ever treated as anything other than human.

I can't recommend hard enough the documentary about her time after she was banned from racing: Too Fast To Be a Woman?. To hear her own voice, her own opinion about what had happened after the 2009 World Championships in Berlin was amazing.
She's a very strong person, I regret the fact that my admiration for her comes from anything other than her ability in sports.

One of the things that was really emphasised in the film is the double standard between male and female athletes when it comes to ability. It was really fascinating to hear people who deal in sport talk in dismay about Semenya being singled out, because it wasn't as though she had broken any speed records and her body wasn't any more "freakish" than other athletes.
As is said in the movie:
"All athletes are freaks of nature, it's what makes them good".

That echoed in my mind for a long time, because take Michael Phelps, the record breaking Olympic Swimmer. His feet are enormous. His arms and legs are longer than is proportional to his torso. No one said he had an unfair advantage over his competitors, on the contrary, he was said to have been "built for swimming".
Or Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive. No one speculated whether he was too fast for a man.

But women, ah, women. They can't be too good, otherwise they're simply not suitable for competing with other (not as freakish?) women.

It drives me up the fucking wall.

There is no limit to what men should be able to do. In fact, the faster, the higher, the more challenging, the better.

No, women, who have an "unfair" biological advantage (like more than average androgen hormones flowing) need to be controlled. They can't be too good, because then, well, what makes them so different from the men we admire so much.

There needs to be enough arbitrary difference so that women who are females with hyperandrogenism can be curtailed and not threaten the status quo of femininity on the field.
The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) have published new regulations to deal with the issue of hyperandrpgenism.
The article linked above says:
Hyperandrogenism causes abnormally high levels of androgens [testosterone] and a female athlete with the condition could, under the previous regulations, be prevented from competing, as was the case with Semenya.

She has since returned to competition, but the episode lead to the IAAF Council commissioning a review which has taken 18 months to complete.

It's nice that they call the singling out, media frenzy and utter disaster in treating a female athlete with respect, an "episode".
The problems with implicating that there are "abnormally" high levels of testosterone in women are myriad, starting from the fact that it is hormones that dictate ability, rather than be a part of the body-machine. As well as the implication that these hormones dictate gender and thus the differences of gender.
Also, the only time androgens are too high, is when there is a life threatening issue of hormone regulation like with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (one of the better known cases of intersexuality).

But okay, some female athletes have higher levels of testostorone than the, say, non-athletic woman, why this insistence on doing a comparison to men?
Testing levels for men and women differ because males naturally produce more androgens. A female athlete will be permitted to compete in women's competition if their androgen levels are below the male range.

I'm pretty sure, though please correct me if I'm wrong, that male athletes will most likely have on average, higher levels of testosterone than non-athletic men.

As I said, women will be tested for hormone levels, to make sure they're not, you know, too "masculine", or on the contrary, just "feminine enough". While men will continue on their hyper-masculine merry way.
If a female athlete has androgen levels within the male range, they may compete if they have an androgen resistance, which would reduce any competitive advantage.

Remember "ladies", if you're too close to male level athleticism, you're too good to compete.

Suck on that.
eumelia: (little death - thinking)
One of the most wonderful things about Swan Lake is the music. Tchaikovsky is my favourite classical composer, and besides the 1812 Overture, very likely his most well known melody is that damn theme:



It was that theme and of course the entire story of the ballet that accompanied the gruesome story of suffering we are put through when we watch Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan.

Cut for spoilers, deep thoughts and possibly scathing reviews )
eumelia: (catwoman)
I don't think there's a person in my little circle who isn't aware that Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy will be Catwoman and Bane (respectively... though it would be a hilarous gender bend!) in the third Nolanverse Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises.

When the story broke a few days ago this was my reactions:
OMG! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE YAY!!!!!!! Clever Catwoman Backflips Hurray! Scary Psychotic Gonna look HUGE BANE HUZZAH!

Yeah, that was my first.

My second, was this:
"Huh? Wait a mo'! Isn't Bane Latino?" which I admit is based on the racially charged Mexican wrestling mask he wears. And I admit on the Hebrew sites I mentioned this, but you know, I was waiting for the Anglo-Speaking world's reaction and Racialicious never disappoints!

In the short post titled: Race + Comics: Is Bane Getting Racebent? and there's a picture of Tom Hardy as Bronson (his most physical role to date as far as I'm aware... Warrior hasn't come out yet, right?) and a picture of Bane pumped with Venom and wearing his trade mark mask.

There's a short discussion of Bane's heritage as shown in the comics, and I was partially correct in my assumption of Latin heritage as Bane comes from the made up Caribbean Republic of
Santa Prisca and has a fictional history of Spanish Colonialism.
While Bane's father is a British National and his mother is a Santa Prisca National, so at the very least he's biracial, but you know what... I don't that's the point.
So many black Latin@ actors play African-Americans, hell! Black Brits play African-Americans!

Yes, the dynamic is different, obviously it is. If Bane was established as a non-white character, rather than a character with a post-colonial ethnicity, I'd be up in arms against the white-washing of Bane.

But Bane has always been white in the comics (at least the ones I've read, please correct me if I'm wrong) and the fact that he's not a white Anglo doesn't mean that his portrayal in a live action movie by a white Anglo is white-washing.

Bane has a heritage of Spanish Colonialism. He speaks Spanish. Tom Hardy is really good with accents, like, amazing! I don't think, really, that there's an intention of erasing any kind of ethnic heritage. But then, these things are rarely intentional and I don't think Nolan intended making Rachel (that girl who died and both Bruce and Harvey wanted) into a Refrigerated Woman (despite her being blown up).

Though if Nolan changes Bane's history (because dude, he grew up in prison!) I'll be annoyed! However, Nolan portrays the world very realistically and he may change some things in order for everything to fit in with his vision of "Batman".

And that's what I have to say about that.
eumelia: (jack is still my hero)
OMG!

My excitement for Torchwood has renewed!

Mekhi Phifer is in the cast!

YAYZ! I love him, he's such an amazing actor and I can't wait for the "I don't like you" glares to happen between him and Jack/JB because he does them so well!

I took a step back from Torchwood since the summer, mainly because other fandoms took my fancy and also because, well, I needed a break. I'd been into reading and commenting quite a bit (for me) in that fandom more than any other and frankly, it was exsausting, especially since the Dun-dun-duuuuuuuun shcism that followed 2009 - I'm actually impressed that I kept on full speef for nearly a year.

Then came Inceptiom and honestly, Eames and Arthur and Ariadne are totally my "replacements" for Jack and Ianto and Gwen. There's an interesting parallel between the Torchwood five man band and the Inception.

Huh?

I may talk about that later.

Speaking of which... guess who is hugging her Inception DVD as she writes this.

Hells yes!

So Happy!

I didn't get the new-fangled, special super duper Blue-Ray edition. I just wanted the movie dude.

Now I have it and I will be watching it.

Laters!

*Is devoured by the fangrrl monster!*
eumelia: (ravenclaw)
Yesterday was a bust.

I had plans, y'all.

I was going to meet with friends and eat Sushi.

Alas.

Now I'm at work and work is slooooooow. I didn't bother to forward my current writing project (yes, I'm committing fic! Or I'm committed to fic? I don't even know) because I'm usually running around and doing stuff in the Library.

However I have complete internet access and my own spanking desk to sit at when I'm not running around making sure books are tidy and in their place.

I haven't even gotten around to starting to write about all the stuff I said I would. Why? I suck, I know. I break promises left right and centre sometimes. But those subjects will be written about eventually I swear!

In the meantime know that I've finally seen Scott Pilgrim Vs the world. Which was cute and sweet, but I wasn't Wow'd by it. The elements of Magical Realism were really well done, though. The over all design of the world was cute, but the characters themselves were a bit... not enough development on anyone's front really. Even Scott; yes, don't be an ass when you break up with someone. Good message, hardly profound or life altering as they make it out to be.

I also saw Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows part 1 and dudes! I actually enjoyed it! I actually thought it was good. I was not expecting that! The Half-Blood Prince was a stinking pile of shit compared to this, really. I hated that movie. This one, this one actually made me feel good about the characters and the plot! Jesus, Malfoy looked sick, it was awesome. And Snape's hair, it finally looked like how I'd always thought it should look - swept back and sinister - not floppy and unkempt.

The story sequence was possibly the best "Movie within a Movie" I'd seen in years. It touched all my aesthetic buttons and was actually a very compelling and moving sequence.
Emma Watson should do Audio Books.

The trio did a very good job holding the movie together, I must say. Is it just me, or did Daniel Radcliff totally queer Harry this time around? I dunno.

Cut not for spoilers, but for rambling thoughts about HP )
eumelia: (oh snap!)
Due to a lot of circumstances, I went to see The Social Network last night, while with a head cold, a heavy heart and weary bones which I will tell you about at a later date.

I didn't listen to the hype, or tried not to, and went to see it because of the reason I generally go see movies in which I don't know any of the actors (other than Justin Timberlake, who a real turn off for me, I find him so unappealing as a persona) is the director.

David Fincher, he who did Fight Club, which was a work of sheer brilliance and in a funny way almost an antithesis to The Social Network when you think about it.

In any event, my reaction to the film was "Excellent script, awesome music, okay movie".

The script, by one Aaron Sorkin is possibly the saviour of this movie and could get the Oscar nod, because like all of his writing, it is witty, fast, funny and entrenched with double-triple meaning and force - the words are very much the driving force of the movie - with good reason, as the movie is about a bunch of boys writing code - think Hackers only without the 80's get up and nefarious 80's greed.

Start-Up Greed is the protagonists right, don't you know.

A bunch of boys writing code, making money and getting (or trying to get) laid. Can't say I've never seen it before, but because it's a biopic and based on a True Story and all that, it is supposed to give it an extra edge. Maybe.

I wasn't moved by the film, as I've read others who were. It was funny in parts, the music - as I said - was awesome, but hey when you've got Trent Reznor on board it can't be all that bad.
I wasn't moved because I felt absolutely no sympathy, empathy or one iota of identification with any of the main characters. No one. Certainly not Zuckerberg who, as portrayed by Jesse Eisenberg has one expression to his name... apathy (and skeeviness, yikes).

Total and utter apathy and I must say that's the feeling one get throughout the movie he simply does not care about anything, other than showing his superiority over anyone and everyone, something I would normally be all for, because I myself am a pretty condescending ass-hole when I want to be (or inadvertently) but as a characteristic of the main character I was less than moved, not to mention that he was just boring to watch.
(I was also less than impressed with the fact that we were supposed to sympathise with him at all, especially at the end, when he's shown to be "just another lonely nerd holding on the girl who got away". No, it's creepy)
I haven't seen Zombieland but was told by my friend, with whom I went to see the film and had seen Zombieland that Eisenberg had pretty much the same expression and inflection here as he did there.

I'm not impressed.

Andrew Garfield was by far the most entertaining, also the most sympathetic character, which isn't saying much really. I got the feeling that Eduardo Saverin was no less of an ass-hole than Zuckerberg, but simply had better face-to-face people skills.

The less said about Sean Parker the better. Seriously?

I'll conclude by saying that this movie is much ado about nothing. I went to see it because it does encapsulate a part of culture in which I am entrenched, but the story it tells is a boring one. The hype is about the subject matter, the execution was not bad, but I've seen much better movies when it comes to this type of drama. I've also seen much much worse, but really now? Oscar buzz? As I said, maybe for the script, the editing, the technical stuff etc, because those really were good and they really do save the film.
As the performances were pretty much... meh.

As a piece of fiction it was derivative, as a piece of social commentary it falls flat and as for its quality of entertainment... I might download the soundtrack.

Thanks Sean!
eumelia: (leaving)
Pre-Ordered Inception.

Huzzah!!!!!!!!

Now I need... a DVD player.

You guys! I have five seasons on New-Who, six (not seven, I know) seasons of Buffy, five seasons of Angel, movies containing Robert Downey Jr., Fawlty Towers, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and ALL OF TORCHWOOD... and no actual DVD player to go with our smacking new 37" HD LCD television screen.

This is just not on.

Not on.

I know, First World... I can't even call them problems can I? It's just too shallow for words. I'm too shallow for words.

I'm a horrible, terrible consumer of television and movies, aren't I. I should also get a portable hard drive. I'm really tempted to splurge on the 1TB, because damn! I could back up my entire computer onto that with room to spare. Room for more hours of movies and teevee! Hells yes!

Terrible. Have I mentioned?

Meta about my thoughts regarding Inception Fandom and the issues of fetishisation, issues of consent and sexual violence )
eumelia: (leaving)
I am still not a huge participant in Inception fandom, I comment little and read much, but I read practically everything there in my preferred characters (which honestly it's almost all of them, so I end up reading a lot).
But I lurk, it's easy to lurk and avoid the fail. Of which there is lots let me tell you, of the sexist kind, the hetero-normative kind, the constant use of Magical Healing Cock, dear god and... the racist kind.

However, there is a lot to chose from and as per usual I tend to skip stories I perceive as to be written when the characters are OOC - Out of Character - as in, do things I don' think they'd do or do things I'm particularly uncomfortable with.

Such a story exists and it is currently the topic of debate in this monster of a baby fandom.
The fic is Metaphores as mixed as you can make them by [livejournal.com profile] halflinen, which is about, according to the Author's Note summery: Eames tries to incept Arthur. A story of forgiveness, family, fancy suits, and ~feelings.
I didn't read it, because I don't think or I am uncomfortable with the idea, that Eames would ever do something like that to Arthur.
My perception of Eames doesn't fit with his characterisation in this fic and so I didn't read it.

Another thing that apparently happened in this fic is that Eames is casually racist towards Yusuf - one of the only two non-white characters in the movie - and well, readers have said so to the author.
And have expanded upon what they said to the author
There's another example of a different fic (that I liked) that has begun to be discussed, but it's somewhat different as it isn't a character being racist towards Yusuf, but more a use of the stereotype in the narrative to make a joke about something else entirely, but because it is tied to Yusuf and his Desi heritage it can be construed as an unfortunate combination in the material of the text.

Sorry, I went literature student there, be thankful I did say an "unfortunate metonymy".
There is Meta and a Point! )

And so my unpopular opinion is thus: exchanges, characterisations and textual proximities may be written in a casually racist way, but they too can be interpreted in a manner in which it actually suits the characters, narrative and don't necessarily mean that the author's ass is showing.
Critique of fic is necessary, good and should be a bigger part of fandom. The writing of issues race, gender relations, gender identity, sexuality, physical, mental and cognitive abilities is also necessary, good and should be done with more thought, rather than regurgitate the old stereotypes, however, things tend to be interpreted differently depending on one's standpoint and that also needs to be taken into account.

Now, after all that, I'm going to read some fic.

Edited to Add: I just found an older post of mine that discusses this topic (during the terrible incident of the Haiti SPN story) and I have found that I've contradicted myself in this manner.
So I'll add that I think there's a difference between writing a story framed in a manner that serves as nothing more than a convenient background for the written fandom at hand and thus appropriates and disenfranchises other characters (and the people reading) which are marginalised (holocaut fail comes to mind) and an incident of characterisation and narrative in a particular story.

Again, the line is fine and this isn't a pass/fail thing, none of the criticisms I linked above do that, but is can easily turn into one and that's my fear when critiques begin to deconstruct fics in this manner - not because the critics are being over sensitive or because I'm "all about the art", but because I sometimes feel there is no space left for ambiguity.
eumelia: (catwoman)
Holy Stock Actors Batman!

In case you haven't heard Tom Hardy is going to be in third Nolan Batman film.

Hells yes!

I'm currently watching the mini-series Tom Hardy was in 2009 The Take and once again, his range is amazing! Despite being type cast as a heavy and a gangster, the characters are different people! He doesn't look the same. He managed to change his body shape in every film that I've seen him in.

I get the feeling that he hasn't really given up on the whole self-destructive thing he had going on earlier this decade and has decided that in order to get the immortality rush he just puts his body through hell and Yo-Yo's his weight like... a Yo-Yo.

For batman though, it would actually be interesting to see him as NOT a villain. We all know he can do deranged (and we love him for it), but doing something a bit more demure, but not as morally ambiguous as Eames (ambiguous is simply my code word for Eames, his picture is there in the dictionary, yeah).

Unlikely, as there are far more morally ambiguous characters than not in Gotham, whether they're goodies or baddies.

Still, hells yes Tom Hardy in BATMAN!

Nolan, you keep doing that thing you do. Two women talking to each other about Batman would be okay, btw. Just sayin'.
eumelia: (brilliant)
I hate this female character flow chart with a passion I try to keep within me for causes that matter.

Luckily, this is one of them.

I am not the first to be irritated by it, no god no.

My main problem with the flow chart is that it reduces all female characters into foils of the male characters.
All of them.
It is especially irksome when Yoko Ono is there as well, being an actual person and all.

Sarah Connor, a heroine which we are afraid to see in this day and age, reduced to "Mama Bear".
Miss Piggy, one of my personal heroes, a performer of the highest calibre and one of the few regular female presence on "The Muppet Show", reduced to her mood swings, rather the hilarious comedienne that she is.
Lieutenant Uhura is useless?! In what freakin' universe!?!? A woman who held her own on the bridge of a Star Ship. I just... Ah!

Look at the flow-chart and judge for yourselves.

But judging is all that ever goes on when it comes to female characters, huh. It's all about whether they fit a paradigm of looks, abilities and personae.

Do male characters not fit that flow chart. You bet they do, but will there ever be a flow chart so demeaning? No, of course not, that flow chart will be critical and thoughtful and be about the characters as Characters, not the characters as "men".

The chart also demonstrates the notion that archetypes and tropes are a bad thing. I beg to differ, archetypes and tropes are what make a story work. If we look at the shortest form of a story, a joke, the comedy (and tragedy) of the tale works because we understand the history of the character as an archetype and we understand the situation the character is in because it is a common trope.

A horse walks into a bar, the bartender says, "Hey, why the long face"

Despite that joke being as old as the hills, it demonstrates my point - the characters, of which there are two, are in a common setting (a bar) and the funny is in the way is treated (as a human) by the bartender.

The joke wouldn't work without the archetype of the bartender and the trope of being sad in a bar.

Is a "strong female character" someone who manages to overcome the archetypes and the tropes? No, a strong character, regardless of gender, orientation, race, nationality, ability and more, is a person who works those things beautifully.

It is of course worth mentioning, that gender, orientation, race, nationality and ability do matter, because of the white-supremacist masculine-centric hetero-normative society we live in, those characters who do not fit well into the social paradigm listen above are scrutinised, because they have been more often than not been stereotyped, instead of archetyped and as such their stories are, at best, written in order to appease the long laundry list of hierarchies listed above.

The thing is, when it's the feminists (hi there!) who create that chart and continue to critique female characters as though they cannot stand on their own, as though they really are simply gender foils to male characters - well then, what exactly is the point?

Other articles to read regarding our loving and/or loathing of female characters would be Harridans, Harlots and Heroines: women of the classical world, all of which would likely fit in that chart as either Fickle Woman, Lady of War, Shrew, Suffering Wife or an Ideal Woman.

And Connecting with Female Characters in Geek Television which goes in quite a bit about the truly irrational hatred of Gwen Cooper of Torchwood and River Song of Doctor Who - two women characters which have garnered a lot of fandom hatred to the point where it seems to be almost a fetish to write fic that simply bashes them.

I will admit that I didn't like Gwen (though not to the point of murdering her in fic for the sake of calling her a whore and getting rid of her from the lives of Jack and Ianto... yes, I've seen it! *shudders*) in the beginning, but fandom taught me to love her and River is someone I loved from the moment I saw her.

When feminists participate in this kind of misogyny, not to mention racism, check this article out from Den of Geek that came out in July... Martha Jones. Martha "I walked the Earth for a year in order to save the Universe and all I got was a boatload of female Doctor Who fans who hated me for it" Jones.

This is me, giving that article and that flow chart the two fingered salute, the birdie and the request to stop perpetuating sexist ideas about what female characters are supposed to be like in order to be "strong".

Sometimes, being a feminist fangrrl is just no fucking fun at all.
eumelia: (dogma snape)
Will wonders never cease.

No, this isn't the Eames of Inception meta I've been threatening, alas, that will probably be on hold until I have my own copy of the movie so that I can analyse every scene he's in - because dude, it's all about the clothes, mannerisms and his turn of phrase and... yeah.

Any way, ever since I saw Inception I've been going over other movies I've missed due to having awful Hollywood taste and skipping a bunch of indie flicks that had Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ellen Page in them.

The films I'll be mentioning are: "500 Days of Summer", "Mysterious Skin", "Shadowboxer", "Smart People", "Whip It", "RockNRolla" and "Bronson".
This post may contain spoilers regarding some characters, but I'll be doing my best to keep plot out of it.

Don't say I didn't tell you!

In which I go on about Joseph Gordon-Levitt )

By the way, Joseph Gordon-Levitt covers songs by women and listening to him singing "Express Yourself", "Bad Romance" and "Natural Woman" is just fucking grand.
The man is scarily talented.

Watching all those movies made me appreciate him a whole lot more - There's barely an audience here for Indie Cinema and the Cinemateques are not very close by to me and I generally miss screenings and had no idea these movies even existed until I see a mainstream movie, go to IMDB and find out that whoa! These people are prolific!

Joseph Gordon-Levitt is awesome y'all!

Ellen Page is lovely. She really is. Obviously I'd seen Juno, because everyone had seen Juno and I saw her as Kitty Pride in the third X-Men movie and she was very sweet there as well.
I've yet to see Hard Candy and yes, I know, it's a huge cavern in my film viewing arsenal, but I saw other movies instead!
Now Ellen Page! )

Tom Hardy is a curious case. As it happens, except Bronson (which I will get to), I'd actually seen most of the feature films he'd been in! (he's acted in a few British mini-series and drama shows, which I've yet to see). Like Layer Cake - I've seen that a few times, because of Daniel Craig and Burn Gorman! And there he is on IMDB, Mr. Eames!
Not to mention Star Trek: Nemesis, which really, let's not mention it.

And Rock N Rolla the underrated (and also not as good as previous) Ritchie film. The first Guy Ritchie film (correct me if I'm wrong) with a canon gay character! Tom Hardy, I knew thee before I knew of thee! )

Getting back to Rock N Rolla for a mo'.
When I saw it all those many moons ago I expected to go online and find a whole slew of fanfiction! A canon gay character! A canon gay character with a crush! A canon gay character in the same 'verse as Jason Statham! (*wink-wink nudge-nudge*)
And 'lo, there was none. Or more to the point, barely any.
What with Tom Hardy's sudden popularity, the movie is getting rewatched and there were at least ten new fics I've found since I'd seen Inception back in August.

I find that interesting. I'm not really all that sure what to make of it. Especially considering that Eames, as a character, most definitely put ambiguous vibes sexuality and gender wise, there's nothing in the actual text to suggest that he's queer in any way - he's just got excellent chemistry with everyone.

Handsome Bob (Ritchie, you love your Statham*, don't you?) played by Tom Hardy is very much not ambiguous, seeing as he comes out to the audience and protagonist early on and would appear to have been out to everyone else since before the events of the movie!

I'm wondering if it's because of this lack of ambiguity and the very real reaction that came from the character to whom Handsome Bob came out that there were barely any takers. I have a few fic ideas, but it takes me forever to write and I'm not very prolific, so don't expect anything from any time soon.
The more I think about, it really could be the fact that there was a reaction to the fact that here's a masculine bloke who likes the romantic and erotic company of other blokes, and the other blokes in the movie make it clear that being gay isn't as good as being straight in various and sundry ways - most of them are ambiguous in their malice, as in, clearly the actions were homophobic but it's unclear how much of it came from actual hatred of gay men and how much of it a part of macho gangster life.

That kind of ambiguity is rare. So often, you see a polarised split in reaction, not to mention the gay characters themselves are usually so stereotyped it's hard to watch... but in this film, the performances felt... friendly... a dangerously awkward moment in which I feared there would be yet-another-dead-queer-on-screen... but ended up being sweet and touching, throughout the film.

I think the fact that there was this reaction existed on screen, jostled the slash goggles a bit.

Your own thoughts on this?

Footnotes
* In case you weren't aware, Jason Statham played a character named "Handsome Rob" in the 2003 remake of The Italian Job, where he plays a fast driving British lady's man. Handsome Bob, is also the driver for the East End gang he's a member of - he's also referred to as a "lady killer" at a certain point... only, he's a gay man. Yeah.
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Eumelia

June 2015

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V and Justice

V: Ah, I was forgetting that we are not properly introduced. I do not have a name. You can call me V. Madam Justice...this is V. V... this is Madam Justice. hello, Madam Justice.

Justice: Good evening, V.

V: There. Now we know each other. Actually, I've been a fan of yours for quite some time. Oh, I know what you're thinking...

Justice: The poor boy has a crush on me...an adolescent fatuation.

V: I beg your pardon, Madam. It isn't like that at all. I've long admired you...albeit only from a distance. I used to stare at you from the streets below when I was a child. I'd say to my father, "Who is that lady?" And he'd say "That's Madam Justice." And I'd say "Isn't she pretty."

V: Please don't think it was merely physical. I know you're not that sort of girl. No, I loved you as a person. As an ideal.

Justice: What? V! For shame! You have betrayed me for some harlot, some vain and pouting hussy with painted lips and a knowing smile!

V: I, Madam? I beg to differ! It was your infidelity that drove me to her arms!

V: Ah-ha! That surprised you, didn't it? You thought I didn't know about your little fling. But I do. I know everything! Frankly, I wasn't surprised when I found out. You always did have an eye for a man in uniform.

Justice: Uniform? Why I'm sure I don't know what you're talking about. It was always you, V. You were the only one...

V: Liar! Slut! Whore! Deny that you let him have his way with you, him with his armbands and jackboots!

V: Well? Cat got your tongue? I though as much.

V: Very well. So you stand revealed at last. you are no longer my justice. You are his justice now. You have bedded another.

Justice: Sob! Choke! Wh-who is she, V? What is her name?

V: Her name is Anarchy. And she has taught me more as a mistress than you ever did! She has taught me that justice is meaningless without freedom. She is honest. She makes no promises and breaks none. Unlike you, Jezebel. I used to wonder why you could never look me in the eye. Now I know. So good bye, dear lady. I would be saddened by our parting even now, save that you are no longer the woman I once loved.

*KABOOM!*

-"V for Vendetta"

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