calliopes_pen: (lost_spook Mina covets the ring)
([personal profile] calliopes_pen Sep. 19th, 2017 06:35 am)
The rest of the nominations have been approved for Yuletide.

✔ Count Dracula (1977)
✔ Renfield (Count Dracula 1977)
✔ Jonathan Harker (Count Dracula 1977)
✔ Dracula (Count Dracula 1977)
✔ Mina Westenra Harker (Count Dracula 1977)

✔ Dracula (TV 1968)
✔ Jonathan Harker (Dracula TV 1968)
✔ Mina Harker (Dracula TV 1968)
✔ John Seward (Dracula TV 1968)
✔ Lucy Weston (Dracula TV 1968)
shadowkat: (Default)
([personal profile] shadowkat Sep. 18th, 2017 08:46 pm)
Been reading reviews of Darren Aronofsky's allegorical film mother!, including finally the director's explanation of his intent behind it. Aronofsky - "Requiem for a A Dream, Black Swan, Pi" is sort of similar to David Lynch in that he's an acquired taste. People either like his movies or really hate them. I actually always found them to be rather interesting, nightmarish, but interesting. Like Lynch, Aronofsky delves into a sort of psychological/allegorical sense of horror or notion of it.

Cinemascore and the mainstream critics, such as Owen Glieberman with Entertainment Weekly despised the film. Cinemascore gave it an F, but Cinemascore also gives things like Batman vs. Superman high, you can't really go by them. And film like all art or so I'm finding is in the eye of the beholder. For example? Some people love the Kevin Costner film Wyatt Earp, others despise it. I've had friends rank on me for loving Pretty Woman and LadyHawk. We are a culture that has a tendency, like it or not, to foist our opinions onto others as if they are gospel. Which may be why we're in the culture wars?

On one site, people were ranking on the actress Jennifer Lawrence, stating she was a horrible actress in everything but one movie -- I'm guessing Winter's Bone. (Having seen her in just about everything but Passengers, which I skipped, I strongly disagree and wonder what drugs they've been imbibing or what they consider good acting? See, there I go flinging my opinion at you.) While one respondent to the site stated that the film had made them scream laugh with absolute delight...and they felt it was a marvel to behold. What turned everyone else off turned on this guy, for some reason.

And well here's the most recent, and rather fascinating review I read about the film

his film is also not for everyone.

As I said, it’s not a horror film, but horrific things happen, which are harrowing to watch. There are two scenes in particular toward the end that are immensely disturbing. If you don’t do well with violence (specifically against a woman, or against children), this is not the movie for you, and you should know that.

However, you should also know that the violence I’m talking about very much has a purpose that is integral to the film, especially if looked at through a particular lens. If you can stomach filmed violence at all, so long as it isn’t oppressive in nature (ie: against marginalized people), gritting your teeth through it might be worth it to you for the greater overall experience with the story.

That said, it’s also not for people that don’t want to have any kind of thinky-thoughts when they go to movies. This film isn’t escapism. There’s nothing wrong with escapism; I’m a huge fan of escapism, but I don’t believe that every film has to be, or should be, escapist. While very often, something being “confusing” is indicative of faulty storytelling, it’s equally the case that sometimes people don’t want to have to think that hard when watching something, and get angry when they’re required to look past a surface and don’t know what they’re looking for.

Then they provide a link to Aronfsky's explanation of the film, which wasn't exactly what they saw in it. But close.

As for the writing, that’s where I found it less successful. I saw mother! before reading Aronofsky’s explanation of what it’s about, and came up with what felt like an air-tight explanation for the goings-on in the film … that was not what Aronofsky set out to convey. While the film certainly can be read his way, there are a couple of things that muddy the water just enough to seem like failures in execution.

THIS is what Aronfsky explained. Which I found rather interesting. The whole film is an allergorical essay on our relationship with Mother Earth. Jennifer Lawrence's character sort of represents mother earth and is relentlessly tortured throughout the film in her octagonal house that she lovingly built.

Aronofsky considers Mother!’s final 25-minute sequence—a deeply disturbing crescendo of violence—“one of my best accomplishments, just because it’s a nightmare. It just builds and builds on top of documenting the horrors of our world, and throws a pregnant woman into it.”

Lawrence herself said that after seeing the images unspool on the big screen at the Venice Film Festival, she was “shaking” and wondered whether they had “gone too far.” Though Lawrence has said she is proud of the film, and hopes that it will inspire audiences to exhibit more empathy, Lawrence also told Toronto International Film Festival moviegoers, “I don’t know that I would make a film that made me feel that way again.”

As for Aronofsky, he clarified: “I think it’s important for people to recognize I am not condoning the violence in the movie. Some people might think, ‘Hey, it’s messed up.’ But we wanted to show the story of the world and how it feels to be her. And what we as a species do to her . . . We also wanted to make something that would floor people.”

Aronofsky said that he edited out a few scenes that “went a little too far,” but did not make any major changes in post-production. Because the film is such a carefully engineered climactic build, taking out one on-screen atrocity would have been like upsetting a game of Jenga.

Some critics have called the final sequence—particularly what is done to Lawrence—misogynistic. Entertainment Weekly even titled its review “Jennifer Lawrence Gets Put Through the Torture-Porn Wringer.”

But Aronofsky has a response for those people: “They are missing the whole point. It’s misogyny if it says that this is good . . . I think [any spit-take revulsion is] just like an initial reaction to being punched. We are telling the story of Mother Nature turning into a female energy, and we defile the earth. We call her dirt. We don’t clean up after our mess. We drill in her. We cut down her forests. We take without giving back. That’s what the movie is.”

The reason I felt the need to post about well it touches upon various things that I have been discussing lately online, often with a great deal of aggravation as if we are circling around the elephant in the room, but from another angle.

I think art, regardless of how well it is done or how well we like it, is a reflection of our society and world. Sort of the shadow we cast in the mirror. I don't like mirrors. Never have. They unnerve me. In part because the reflection is never the same, it always shifts and changes depending on the light and the angle of the cast. Similar to photographs, which are similar to mirrors. They capture an image inside them via light. But unlike mirrors hold on to it. Art, painting, television, film acts like a mirror -- it takes on and often distorts the images thrown at it, depicting what lies beneath the surface.

Oscar Wilde's brilliant book, The Portrait of Dorian Gray, is a psychological horror tale about a man who stays beautiful while his portrait ages and becomes ugly, taking on all the ravages in his soul, depicting the true man beneath the surface. Instead of being a beautiful portrait, it's actually
ugly and gross and horrifying. Aronsfsky's films like the portrait of Dorian Gray, show us the bits we don't want to see.

Mirrors also lie to us, they show us what we wish to see. Just as art can lie and show false truths.

The artist's intent may not come off as intended, it may get lost in translation or be misinterpreted by the viewer. Many viewers and critics saw "mother!" as either torture porn or misogyny. And I read similar reactions to Black Swan.

While the artist intended an allegorical tale of what we're doing to mother earth. The gut-wrenching pain of it. Yet, oblivious to it, blind. Until faced with the consequences.

I find the interactions between the audience with the art and the artist with the audience and work to be fascinating. I remember my brother, a conceptual artist, telling me once that all art regardless of the medium was interactive, or risked being self-indulgent. That people interact with the art, and the art is representative of our culture, ourselves and society at large. If we hate a work of art, we should dig deeper and ask what it is reflecting of our society...and what is our relationship to that.

I haven't seen the movie "mother!" and from what I've just read about it? I don't think I'll be able to watch it. Not a huge fan of allegory, and graphic torture isn't something I can watch easily. But, knowing and overall being fascinated by Aronfsky's work...I'm admittedly curious and might rent it on On Demand or Netflix.
calliopes_pen: (lost_spook Lucy's throat Dracula's ring)
([personal profile] calliopes_pen Sep. 18th, 2017 10:11 am)
My nomination list for Yuletide has partially been reviewed. So as of right now, I can confirm this one. I'll let people know when the others make it through.

✔ Dracula - Bram Stoker
✔ Golden Krone Innkeeper's Wife (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
✔ Jonathan Harker (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
✔ John Seward (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
✔ Dracula (Dracula - Bram Stoker)
petzipellepingo: (more links by eyesthatslay)
([personal profile] petzipellepingo Sep. 17th, 2017 03:11 am)
Better Cover Up , Faith/Dawn by [personal profile] katleept.

The Holiday Punch , Giles/Buffy by [personal profile] littleotter73.

No Better Way to Spend an Evening , Anya/Darla by [profile] the_wiggins.

Hypable podcast talks Entropy & Double or Nothing .

BeepMePod podcast talks When She Was Bad.

Redemptioncast podcast talks Salvage & Release .

CBR asks "Where Are They Now?".

Hypable talks to JM about Seeing Red .
shadowkat: (Default)
([personal profile] shadowkat Sep. 16th, 2017 09:20 pm)
There's apparently a Syfy app now on Amazon Fire Stick, where you can watch all the Syfy shows for free. Does have commercials. But not as annoying as on demand. But you do need a cable provider to access it.
shadowkat: (Default)
([personal profile] shadowkat Sep. 15th, 2017 08:12 pm)
1. Iraq + 100 is an anthology of science fiction stories by Iraqi writers regarding the Iraq war.

The editor of the anthology, Hassan Blasim, asked a simple question–how could you imagine your nation 100 years from now?

The question posed to Iraqi writers (those still in their homeland and those who have joined a world-wide diaspora), has produced an amazing project, a roadmap of what their country might look like following the disastrous foreign invasion of 2003.

2. The Chicago Newberry Library is looking for people who can translate ancient medieval spells from 17th Century archaeic Latin and English

Do you love libraries? Have a penchant for casting spells? Particularly well versed in 17th century archaic Latin and English? Well the Chicago Newberry Library might have the perfect job for you!

Crowdsourcing for spells is probably one of the coolest techno-magic surprises that 2017 has bestowed upon us, and Christopher Fletcher, the project lead, says you don’t even have to be an expert to get involved. “[The initiative] is a great way to allow the general public to engage with these materials in a way that they probably wouldn’t have otherwise,” Fletcher told

The three magical manuscripts are called The Book of Magical Charms, The Commonplace Book, and Cases of Conscience Concerning Witchcraft. You can explore them at the research library’s online “Transcribing Faith” portal.

3. Cassini's Greatest Saturn Discoveries and Photos

Some really amazing photos from Saturn. Cassini is the probe that they sent to Saturn.

4. People keep raving about The Shape of Water on various entertainment and cultural cites, so I watched the trailer and okay, I get it

Guillermo del Toro‘s latest film is shaping up to be one of the year’s best. The Shape of Water has already won itself the Best Picture award at this year’s Venice Film Festival before going on to be quite the crowd-pleaser at TIFF. I’m honestly pleasantly surprised and optimistic about the buzz surrounding del Toro’s fantastical drama because the combo story of woman-meets-fishman romance and Cold War thriller is not one I thought audiences would gravitate towards. As this new red-band trailer for The Shape of Water shows, however, the story is in good hands with del Toro and Fox Searchlight.

The new trailer lays a lot of the plot out for viewers, but it’s told in such a way as to keep things from getting too spoilery. Folks who have already seen the movie may disagree, however, so if you’d rather go see The Shape of Water fresh, feel free to pass. For the brave, this red-band trailer features a lot more interaction between Sally Hawkins‘ Eliza Esposito and Doug Jones‘ creature character known only as “The Asset.” It also shows Michael Shannon losing his cool, which is always a treat. Rounding out the cast are Richard Jenkins and Michael Stuhlbarg, who you can also glimpse in this new trailer. Keep an eye out for The Shape of Water in theaters on December 8th.

It's about a death/mute who rescues the creature from the black lagoon from the CIA.

5.Someone finally asked Harrison Ford about his affair with Carrie Fisher, which she disclosed in her book before her untimely death

His response?

Now, Ford has commented on Fisher’s book and the news of the affair.

In a lengthy profile with GQ, the actor’s asked, “How strange for you was it when Carrie Fisher put out her ‘Star Wars’ book?”

“It was strange. For me,” he replied.

Ford recalled that he was given advanced warning “to a degree,” but he didn’t go much more in-depth on his thoughts.

“Oh, I don’t know. I don’t know. You know, with Carrie’s untimely passing, I don’t really feel that it’s a subject that I want to discuss,” he said.

The interviewer, Chris Heath, still pressed a little more:

GQ: Can I ask you whether you’d prefer that it hadn’t been written?

Ford: Yes. You can ask me.

GQ: Do you want to answer?

Ford: No.

GQ: Can I ask you whether you read it?

Ford: No. I didn’t.

That’s likely all we’re going to get from the actor on the subject.

Throughout the rest of the profile, Heath consistently brought up how little Ford wanted to answer questions, especially ones like that.

At the time of Fisher’s death, Ford remembered his friend and “Star Wars” co-star in a statement, calling her “one-of-a-kind … brilliant, original.”

“Funny and emotionally fearless. She lived her life, bravely,” he added.

Which in a nutshell is why Ford has been successful in Hollywood. He's careful. Also to be fair, it happened over 40 years ago, in 1977-78.

6. Global Giving for Hurricane Irma Relief...I think this is a good one, was rec'd by Smart Bitches

* Adopt a Family in the US Virgin Islands

* Community Foundation for the Virgin Islands Fund for Relief

* List of Places to Donate for Hurricane Relief in the Virgin Islands

7. And now I'm following Amber Tamblyn on Twitter...more or less because of this, not so much James Woods, who frankly has always given me the creeps.

8. Ah, Found the GQ Interview with Harrison Ford, by Chris Heath that various sites keep quoting from. (I didn't look for it, it fell into my lap.)

Apparently Ford once punched Ryan Gosling in the face, accidentally on purpose and apologized by pouring him a glass of scotch. It's actually an interesting interview -- Ford hates interviews, which is why it is interesting.


Ford: “I've been accused, usually by women in my life, of being unreflective.” A short laugh. “It's just that there's enough going on right now. I just don't think too much about it.”

Heath: What do they mean when they call you unreflective?

Ford: “We're going down the wrong path,” he answers, as though appalled at the door he has inadvertently opened. “I just…I remember these things, but I don't remember them with very much emotional attachment. I think the reason maybe that you become an actor is that you see things from here.” He gestures to indicate a perspective from outside one's body. “From outside. Slightly above.” He laughs. “And a wider lens. And so you see life in a slightly different…askew…maybe a degree of separation. And so what's happening around you becomes more interesting, because you're only a part of it. It's not all about you. And so you can imagine yourself being somebody else. You can imagine knowing things other than what you know.”


Ford: “I punched Ryan Gosling in the face,” Ford confirms. Then he adds, by way of clarification, that “Ryan Gosling's face was where it should not have been.”

Heath: Explain further, if you will.

Ford: “His job was to be out of the range of the punch. My job was also to make sure that I pulled the punch. But we were moving, and the camera was moving, so I had to be aware of the angle to the camera to make the punch look good. You know, I threw about a hundred punches in the shooting of it, and I only hit him once.”

Heath: So he should be grateful?

Ford: “I have pointed that out.”

Heath: And the one that did connect—that's 100 percent his fault?

Ford: “No.” Ford makes as though he's carefully weighing this. “I mean, I suppose it's 90 percent his fault.”

And...for shapinglight, a snippet on Bladerunner. Unless there's someone else who loves Bladerunner like I do? (It's my favorite science fiction film of all time. Just perfect blend of story, character, theme, and world-building.)

Bladerunner )

I saw Bladerunner in a half-empty movie theater with my mother, back in the 1980s. We both loved Science Fiction and Harrison Ford. And we adored the film. Neither of us understood why it didn't do well. Actually, the best thing in Bladerunner wasn't Ford, but Rutger Hauer. Who was so compelling, Anne Rice had him in mind when she wrote her Vampire series in the 1980s and 90s.

Interesting, Ford and Scott have had an on-going disagreement over whether Deckard is a replicant in the film or human. Ford played him human and felt it worked better from an audience and story perspective if he was human, Scott strongly hinted and strongly believes Deckard is a replicant and that's the twist. What's interesting is that in the original Philip K. Dick novel, When Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Deckard is a replicant. Except that book is nothing like the movie. They have almost nothing in common, except possibly the twist that Deckard is a replicant but doesn't know it like the woman he's become involved with.

Because Deckard doesn't know it -- it actually works that Ford plays him as human. Because from Deckard's perspective, he is human, and you can't tell. And it pulls on the question - "what is human?" (Our emotions and ability to feel empathy and care for others make us human, according to the film and to a degree the novel. Cold rational thought -- is inhuman. Yet, in some respects, the replicants care more than many humans.)

And on Star Wars

Read more... )

I think he's done with Star Wars. Personally, I'd rather have more Han Solo than Indiana Jones. I don't know why we need another Indy movie. (They are making one. Yes, seriously.) Star Wars, of his film franchises, was the only one that I felt required a sequel -- it had the world for it. The other two, I really didn't need sequels for, they felt self-contained and good in of themselves. Also the sequels to Raiders were...ahem, with the exception of Holy Grail, bad.
I found out what my computer model is. Until now, all I knew (since what was once written was lost to the mists of time, as the sticker wore off at some point) was it was just HP Compaq, since we hadn’t found the old paperwork for it as of yet. So I’m posting this mainly for my own sake, should I lose track of where I made a note of that.

HP Compaq dx2450 Microtower. I went to the support page for HP, and found the method for determining the type a particular model is.

So how did I find out? First, hit the plus sign around the Option 2 section. Their way didn’t work for me, and we never had HP Support Assistant in this computer, for whatever reason even back when it was still XP and would have had those original files. However, figure 1 mentions System Information. Typed in that, and the window that came up had everything, including a section for System Model. And there we have it.

Judging by this press release, it came out around April of 2008, if not earlier. Granted, my model was 32 bit, not the 64 bit they’re announcing. If that’s accurate, that means that the date I previously estimated is off by a few years. Should it make it another few months to 2018 prior to it being replaced, this one’s still going to have made it at least a decade. And should it still survive, we'll have it around as a spare, should its replacement have issues, or should Dad's laptop have problems down the line.
shadowkat: (Default)
([personal profile] shadowkat Sep. 14th, 2017 10:39 pm)
Should just go to bed these bits reading list:

1. Rebel Seoul by Axi Oh - is basically a sci-fi novel about girls who have been weaponized and operate robots. In short the writer combined Sailor Moon with Gundam Wing. (I vaguely remember both. I, ahem, went on an anime binge back in the 1990s when they were hard to get a hold of. People are spoiled now with Netflix and Disney and other venues. But back in the 1980s-90s, you had to look for them. Often in cult video stores (aka not Blockbusters) and on pirated VHS. So I was devoted...because I managed to find them comic book stores (which had them) and hole in the wall video stores. So I've seen Lupin, Gundam Wing, Akira, Ghost in the Shell, Vampire Hunter D, Sailor Moon, Battle of the Planets (which I loved), among many others that I can't remember. I also read Magna back then, which was also difficult to come by. So not that many.)

Anyhow this looks interesting. I may have to get it. I'm thinking I may need to switch from the romance genre to sci-fi soon. I'm getting bit irritated by the romance genre. (Although I probably should have thought of that before I went on a couple of book buying sprees a while back -- smartbitches had these .99 cent - 2.99 deals they were posting...and well...)

2. Discovery of Witches Television Show casts Game of Thrones and Sherlock stars -- so, hmmm, they are adapting Discovery of Witches as a television series? I admittedly couldn't get into the books. But the series idea sounds intriguing.

3. Television shows?

Teen Wolf? Would someone over the age of 45 enjoy this? Is it like Vamp Diaries or...more like
Shadowhunters? I liked Vamp Diaries, Shadowhunters got on my nerves and I gave up after episode one. Is this on Netflix? Or Streaming?

Killjoys? Is this on Netflix? Or Streaming? How many seasons?

Any others???
calliopes_pen: (lost_spook enough necromancy)
([personal profile] calliopes_pen Sep. 14th, 2017 08:38 am)
Thanks to a firmware update from HP that was pushed yesterday, I believe I can safely cross off HP printers from my list of potential printer purchases.

Basically, the update blocks all non-HP ink from functioning correctly. There weren’t that many from HP that I had included on my list just yet, thanks to everybody's recommendations and advice (thank you for it, by the way) along the lines of Canon, Epson, and Brother.

This merely narrows the field a little more for me.
calliopes_pen: (wolfbane_icons coffin Dracula fire)
([personal profile] calliopes_pen Sep. 13th, 2017 12:51 pm)
Next year, I will try to remember to nominate Dracula The Undead, by Freda Warrington. (Not the Dacre Stoker novel of the same name) I love that unofficial continuation of the novel, and I have a prompt I'd love to see written someday. I just never have room and/or never think to nominate it until I've already done my nominations.
jerusha: (Default)
([personal profile] jerusha Sep. 13th, 2017 10:21 pm)
I do have some thoughts on various things, but it's nearly bedtime, and I'm feeling lazy, so here: have a story about people being kind and good and wonderful.

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