quinara: Illyria looking serious in bright light. (Illyria shine)
I think I missed the boat on this films-wot-define-you meme thing, but I'm having a go at listing a bunch anyway. Because I exist! And am intrigued to see what they become. OK, here goes...
  1. Legally Blonde (not 2) - this is the greatest fable about self-identity and knowledge institutions ever made for the cinema and if you can see how that works you probably have some idea how my mind functions.
  2. The Mummy + The Mummy Returns (not that other pile of crap in the series) - because pulpy pastiche with great dialogue, great scenery, quest narratives is one of the best ways to roll. And I am apparently a massive fan of Rachel Weisz, because she will reappear and she was apparently cognisant enough to realise that the series was dead after Returns and got out while she could.
  3. A Knight's Tale - not least because there was one family holiday where this was at length the only DVD we had. The epic, epic director's commentary made me sad for how serious the rest of them usually are. It gets dull in the second half, but again with the pulpy, anachronistic irreverence. I think he's getting worse ... He is getting worse.
  4. About a Boy - might as well rattle through these Rachel Weisz films. This and the Bridget Jones films are the only good Hugh Grants. This is one of those films I got out as a video(?) rental for a week back in the day and watched it too many times. Then there was a spate of showings on the telly and if I start watching ten minutes I always get through to the end. Not sure why, but it must say something about me!
  5. The Constant Gardener - different from the book and I am tempted to say not as good, but then Ralph Fiennes brings Justin alive in ways that Le Carré never quite manages. It's a shame that Tessa is not as clever in the film, but then everyone in films is stupid. Arnold isn't as interesting either, but Ghita is better. Bill Nighy is aces too. It's so evocative of a place and a mood, and the feel good better ending with Ham is what I always want from the book.
  6. The Fugitive - I only remembered recently how much I love this film and miss it being on every Christmas, and I haven't even got it on DVD yet, but the whole thing is so well crafted. Every line of dialogue is shaped to perfection and the plot rattles along at exactly the right pace with exactly the right balance between realism and heightened reality. I suppose it is even more girl in a refrigerator than The Constant Gardener, but I'm basically willing to put up with that in isolation.
  7. St. Trinian's (not 2) - this is the moment I have to start trawling through my DVDs for inspiration, so here is some. Girls' school culture amuses me; inevitable makeovers as an expression of personal evolution amuses me; Rupert Everett and Colin Firth amuse me; Lily Cole's inability to act amuses me; Sophie Ellis Bextor + Girls Aloud amuses me. It's complete trash built entirely on in-jokes and it's great.
  8. The Hole - finding this makes me want to watch it again. Keira Knightley before she was famous (hmm, Bend It Like Beckham could have been on this list as well), but she's nowhere near as good as Thora Birch, who was doomed on the principle of never being likely to fit into a Hollywood costume, but who is brilliantly psychopathic. This is the film that made me love unreliable narrators and re-dos from different perspectives and always try to trace that line between fantasy and reality and how the two frame and re-frame one another. The moment that line comes round again, This is how it works at Brabourne; the creeping realisation that you've been completely had - it just kills me.
  9. Brick - I forgot how much I love this film as well. Watched it enough times I don't know if I need it again, but I love the clash of Noir and High School. The dialogue has so much style.
  10. Moulin Rouge - I've never got round to buying this on DVD, but I used to have a VCR copy. Saw it again quite recently and remembered how much I liked the circularity and inevitability of the narrative. Tragedies are always the best when you know they're going to happen. And I seem obsessed with dead women (+high school???), but I suppose what I like here, as in The Constant Gardener is how much the film seems to flag up the fact that we are seeing Satine completely from Christian's point of view and are in fact living in an opium-laced fantasy. I've often wanted the juicy, lengthy fic version of the story from Satine's point of view, probably in French; I just think it would be gorgeous and nasty and witty and everyone would swear a lot more. But still it would have El Tango de Roxanne.

Well, that's it! I dunno if I like being she of the fridges and high schools. But I suppose there are few other real models in Hollywood for psychological turmoil. Oh well. Bring on the turmoil, excellent dialogue and some shiny things!
quinara: Tara walking in the Slayer's desert. (Restless desert)
The hot day yesterday has left me massively craving salad and fruit, yet all I had was chocolate and noodles. But now I am literally working my way through a punnet of tasty only-worth-it-from-the-UK goodness. (Because Waitrose, where even basics become luxuries. I should write taglines. But seriously, the premium is so worth it; these are like confectionery they're so perfect.) All I want is a decent milkshake recipe and these things in one of those giant diner glasses... Or just more of them. They're on 3 for 2.

But I shouldn't let the tastiness distract me from the fact I also wrote fic! For this week's [livejournal.com profile] sb_fag_ends prompts 'Land Rover' and 'A Sudden Sandstorm', but it all got a bit long. If you happen to remember the sort of stuff I wrote in the early-mid 2000s, you'll realise that this shamelessly pulls from the same wellspring - we have Buffy post-Chosen, deserts, dreamscapes, cameos from the First Slayer, Spike in one way or another and a certain ambiguity of whether it's angst or fluff. It was fun!

Here on the [livejournal.com profile] sb_ashtray, soon to be on AO3 or else below! AO3 will get a summary when I can work it out; post-Chosen Buffy can't work out whether she wants to grieve or not, whether she is grieving or not; drives around and has a dream. She's hearing Spike's voice, but that's probably not him. PG-13, because there's swearing and it's a bit sad; c.3500 words. Boom, plz enjoy!

Sunstroke. )

quinara: Little cartoon girl from the Devics' Distant Radio EP cover. (Devics Distant Radio)
Hello! So, I may or may not return at the end of this week, or something, but for now, on the back of my last post, I have this to share: after remembering how catchy Relax is by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, I went looking for the Welcome to the Pleasuredome album on YouTube to see if it was any good... Didn't find it, but I did find a mega-long forty-minute mix of Welcome to the Pleasuredome itself!!! I don't think I want the album anymore, this is too unyieldingly entertaining.

Obviously I'm sure you'll all love it too...???? Or else be Bogwitch and tell me this was some limited release with Melody Maker Jan '85 or something.

(Still got the last ten minutes to go, but it's great.)

ETA: Hey, look, here's the actual source of it: https://soundcloud.com/m-ward/frankie-goes-to-hollywood
quinara: Profile shot of Olivier from FMA:B, mostly of her hair. (Olivier profile)
But I thought I should check in again! Thanks for all the birthday wishes last weekend. Life continues, and I have got into jogging and (bizarrely) Beauty (at least in terms of spending ages browsing shit and then buying nail varnish) as ways of destressing.

But on a shopping trip today I also bought this album, which made me very happy:

Electronic 80s 2 from the Ministry of Sound's Anthems series

I don't know what crap they had on the first version - this just keeps giving. I didn't even realise when I bought it that New Order's True Faith was on it, nor White Wedding!

I also have some Deep House Euphoria and a Maison Kitsune compilation of 'new faces'. But those are to think about later!

I also bought fruit. *is anticipating the nectarine season*
quinara: Tara walking in the Slayer's desert. (Restless desert)
A friend of mine shared this on facebook - and it's so cool! The BFI have uncovered and digitalised some footage taken with the first ever colour video camera in 1927. I can't get over how new and clean it looks:

Even cooler, some whizzkid went out to shoot the same scenes and then made a side-by-side comparison video. The trees have all grown in! There is also a strikingly similar ratio of buses on the roads.

(My favourite bit is the stuffed toy rabbits on the market stall of Petticoat Lane.)
quinara: Owl from Meg and Mog driving: 'Who let the owl drive?' (Meg and Mog Owl drive)
Sometimes I think Laurie Penny talks completely out of her backside (or more likely on three coffees at three AM before a deadline when she actually can't think of anything to say), but sometimes she's great and this was nice:


Sherlock spoilers(ish) ) All of these things are significantly less plausible than gay sex. I’m just saying.

What is significant about fan fiction is that it often spins the kind of stories that showrunners wouldn’t think to tell, because fanficcers often come from a different demographic. The discomfort seems to be not that the shows are being reinterpreted by fans, but that they are being reinterpreted by the wrong sorts of fans - women, people of colour, queer kids, horny teenagers, people who are not professional writers, people who actually care about continuity (sorry). The proper way for cultural mythmaking to progress, it is implied, is for privileged men to recreate the works of privileged men from previous generations whilst everyone else listens quietly. That’s how it’s always been done. That’s how it should be done in the future, whatever Tumblr says.

But time can be rewritten. Myths can bend and change. Something new and exciting is happening in the world of storytelling, and fans are an important part of it. All kinds of fans, from obsessive cupboard-dwellers to the shouty social justice crowd to livejournal perverts who just want to know what Sherlock would have to say about the chemical composition of personal lubricant.

On this and other matters, it doesn’t do showrunners any harm to pay attention to their fans. We are living in a world of stories where thousands of new voices from diverse communities are speaking up, sharing ideas and creating new worlds out of the shadows of the ones we knew as children - but so far, a handful of professional chaps still get to make the decisions. Now, where have we heard that one before?

(To put my cards on the table, I haven't been watching Sherlock this series, but I wandered through a few times when my parents were watching it over Christmas to see the bit I quote LP's description of and thought it was dead cringe + just an insult. In general I went off Sherlock last season and haven't heard anything to make me think it's got any better/any less like Doctor Who... But the piece is still nice.)
quinara: Little cartoon girl from the Devics' Distant Radio EP cover. (Devics Distant Radio)
I'm never here; I'm not up to date with anything; my last Seasonal Spuffy fic was written in an even bigger unbeta'd rush than usual; I'm not entirely sure I've managed to address the criticisms I got on a version of this eight years ago - but how could I resist, nonetheless? Please bring out your concrit and anything you've ever thought but didn't want to say at the time!

my thread here

Or just say it here. I'm going to try and think of things to say for other people, though I might leave it a little while so the timestamping doesn't give it away...

*nomnomnom crit*
quinara: Mog from Meg and Mog swimming in a diving suit. (Meg and Mog Mog underwater)
Sorry; should have said that ages ago. Suffice to say the second of half of term was very busy and various things were/continue to be quite stressful. Currently I'm dealing with it via profligate online spending... :/ But given we live in times of miniscule interest rates and moderate inflation there's naff all point saving anyway, right? And my job hunt for next October might be successful...

Not much news otherwise. Main bit of spending was on a beautiful new work laptop, because my old one was held together by sellotape and tended to crash all the time anyway. Technically it was mostly bought with the money I earnt teaching this term, though I sort of went over-budget after getting seduced beyond my means... Also, I didn't factor in that in the last three years Microsoft have changed their licensing on Office to make them all single-use unless you already have Office365. Since my PC just has normal Office 2013 I also had to put up another hundred quid for that. :( But I'm writing on it now and it's lovely!! I continue to be the only person in the world who actually likes Windows 8, and now I've got to grips with SkyDrive, I quite like that too.

I have also decided I'm going to try growing the dye out of my hair (which has been henna'd red for at least the last seven years and with a box before that), because I decided the red was making my face look even redder. I'm hoping with age and experience what I remember as mousey brown might read as ash blonde this time around, or else I might help it along a bit anyway. The plan is to look pale and interesting, rather than an angsty teenager, which the red reminds me of being. We shall see.

My fandom output has been minimal, continuing to be limited to javascript web doodles for [livejournal.com profile] sb_fag_ends - but do make sure to check out our advent calendar! Especially tomorrow, if you get a chance, or before the end of December. Such javascript plotting is indeed relevant for something else [livejournal.com profile] bogwitch and I are working on, but that's still officially unannounced, so don't watch this space.

Finally, many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] curiouswombat and [livejournal.com profile] speakr2customrs for the Christmas card! It did indeed manage to traverse the far reaches of space and time; I was very impressed. Merry Christmas to you (glad to hear everyone's OK) and extra merry Christmasses to everyone who wants one!
quinara: Little cartoon girl from the Devics' Distant Radio EP cover. (Devics Distant Radio)
So, last week I posted a fic for [livejournal.com profile] seasonal_spuffy. There a four chapters: one, two, three, four.

It's called In Remission, and this is the summary I posted with it at the time:

In the five years Spike's been missing, the world around Buffy has irrevocably changed. The general population has woken up to vampires' existence and the kill count has dropped way down. She's sharing a house with a soulless vampire, still going by the name of Faith. But what does Spike have to do with it? And what does it mean for their future?

The thing is, I kind of came up with this summary a while before I'd written the ending and really worked out what the bloody heck I was babbling on about. I may have slightly written the whole thing in a forced rush. But I'm quite happy with it, all told, so I would love for you to read it! I do not know what title and wankier, more characteristic summary I would have come up with had I had more time, but I did realise eventually that the whole thing is a Foucault love-in. I don't even know where to begin explaining, but may I at least offer this quote from a conversation with Gilles Deleuze:

The other day I was speaking to a woman who bad been in prison and she was saying: "Imagine, that at the age of forty, I was punished one day with a meal of dry bread." What is striking about this story is not the childishness of the exercise of power but the cynicism with which power is exercised as power, in the most archaic, puerile, infantile manner. As children we learn what it means to be reduced to bread and water. Prison is the only place where power is manifested in its naked state, in its most excessive form, and where it is justified as moral force. "I am within my rights to punish you because you know that it is criminal to rob and kill . . ." ... What is fascinating about prisons is that, for once, power doesn't hide or mask itself; it reveals itself as tyranny pursued into the tiniest details; it is cynical and at the same time pure and entirely "justified," because its practice can be totally formulated within the framework of morality. Its brutal tyranny consequently appears as the serene domination of Good over Evil, of order over disorder.

Brutal, n'est-ce pas? I want to paste some more quotes, to encompass a bit more social theory/theory of human nature, but I can't find anything specific enough. But basically everything he says is gold. And dangerous. And what happens when Buffy is older and wiser and stops believing Chomsky and has to face this shit?

... That's basically it. And the quote really isn't that appropriate anyway. But stuff happens!

quinara: Mog from Meg and Mog swimming in a diving suit. (Meg and Mog Mog underwater)
But we had a great Halloween challenge on [livejournal.com profile] sb_fag_ends, not that I was much help with it. (Still not... *waves at co-mods feebly*) [livejournal.com profile] seasonal_spuffy is back again, so make sure you catch up with that too!

My SS day, of course, is Sunday... I was basically stuck on things to do, then came up with an idea during my walk to and from the faculty or maybe when I was reading Seuils in the shop and eating porridge (neither of these things bear relevance to the idea). Unfortunately there is now limited time to produce this idea, which is still possibly without a point and will almost certainly want to be longer than I can possibly produce. Sigh face! Also, I'm so out of practice for writing fic that I keep shifting tenses into the present. I used to wonder how the heck anyone did this because it seemed like such an unnatural pattern of thought, but it turns out that if you are very much in the habit of writing in the present tense then your ideas start coming out that way even though you don't mean them to. I think my problem is that the plot I want to do isn't really a medium for dealing with the theme I think I'm writing about. I have no idea what a plot would be for that. Especially to make sure it's a Spuffy plot. Why does everyone else seem to be able to come up with stories when all I ever come up with is puzzles!

Blergh. Ill. Might got to bed now. Tired.

Although one ETA: Housemate and I watched The Fugitive last night and it was excellent. I miss that film's prevalence in Christmas schedules.
quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)
I love John Lydon. But you knew that. I also love John Hurt, and am still sad about the time my brother had me convinced for three minutes that he was dead. This was a post I meant to do, but didn't have time, so I'm doing it now.

I have recently discovered more music and shit. One track of which is Group Rhoda, who do like tropicana post-punk, which is the best. The track I want ain't on YouTube, so you'll have to trust me. But in other news, I also like Frankie Rose's Street of Dreams:

Naturally this is a cover of the Damned song from 1985, which is basically the same but with Dave Vanian and saxophones. The funny thing is, though, swapping in guitars for the saxophones, it's quite easy to recognise that the chord sequence and beat are essentially Billy Idol's White Wedding.

It's almost like The Damned and Billy Idol came from the same scene. Which they did. But fuck knows they don't want people to think it...

This is the end. It's not that interesting. But it is anyway!
quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)
I seem to have been nominated at the Sunnydale Memorial Fanfic Awards, so just wanted to say thank you to whoever nominated me - you're a peach! I'm up for gazillions of things on behalf of the Spikeid, which is lovely of you, and also a drabble I wrote years and years ago, which is also extremely flattering.
quinara: Yoshi from Mario Bros. (Yoshi)
So, people will tell you to watch this show because it's deep or a thriller or the acting's great or whatever. All of these things will make it sound a bit heavy and hard work and slightly worthy and you'll think, hmm, maybe if there's time on a Friday evening and, hmm, I suppose it's on BBC3... But I will tell you to watch this show because it's BLOODY HILARIOUS. The accents are dodgy as heck; the science is more than a little bogus; we yet again face the myth that PhD students lack any and all commitments so are essentially free to do whatever the narrative requires based in their luxe accommodations. It's also thriller-tastic. But that does not take away from the sheer jokes which meant I had no regrets when I caved last Friday and watched the whole lot from ep 3 to ep 10 in one sitting. There are clones! That pretend to be other clones! And are really sarcastic about the other clones' choices! And there's Felix. Who is just a boss.

Watch it and talk to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...
quinara: Spike smoking on a crate. (Spike crate)
This really doesn't make up for how dry wot my pen haz been all year, but never mind. Story! Spike in S6; bit of swearing, not really much violence. Moody bollocks about ethics. Etc.

Here on Fag Ends, or else below.


"Morality is not the doctrine of how we may make ourselves happy, but how we may make ourselves worthy of happiness." - Immanuel Kant

Spike could never really get his head around the point of Angel’s soul curse. All those shiny morals, heaped on the baddest of the bad to keep him down the way no chains ever could… But then that ridiculous little get-out clause. Perfect happiness? In conception the whole idea was a walking pile of bollocks, let alone a worthy guardian for the depths of depravity turning and slithering in that wanker’s heart.

But then maybe that was the point. ... )
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
Libertine: For Interested Women

There was a link to it on the New Statesman and the bits online are good when they aren't elementary. Looking at the team behind it it looks as though there could be a lot of interesting articles about technology in the future. And investments! *haz no money but finds money interesting* ... *also power*

The only sad thing is that when it says it eschews the standard fare of women's magazines, that probably means no fashion. :( Why can't we have semiotics and Alexander McQueen???
quinara: Owl from Meg and Mog driving: 'Who let the owl drive?' (Meg and Mog Owl drive)
Buffy in S6, for an [community profile] sb_fag_ends prompt that I picked specifically from the poetry wot I like on my shelf, so I didn't really have any excuse anyway. This is the link, or below the cut:

Flashblind )

In other news, it's been a while since you've had a Nigel Kennedy video, so have another:

Sound quality's ever so slightly better on the Radio 3 website - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01g9vvg - but the embed doesn't work because the BBC have never fixed that...
quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
Windows 8's native music-playing software is the shittest thing ever seen. If you tell it to play a bunch of songs, it seems to have no concept of (a) track numberings, nor, more significantly and ridiculously (b) file order, alphabetic order or anything resembling the order you might want a list of selected songs to be played. I feel like I must must must be missing something, but the native video app seems to have the same problem... It's just bizarre. I'm actually one of those five people who like Windows 8, but I feel like it's actively trying to make me hate the thing.

In other news, have some exceptionally catchy early Human League that [livejournal.com profile] bogwitch has afflicted me with. Set to some sort of Sonic/Amy montage in the strangest twist of fate ever? (Although, Boggles, this album as a whole doesn't do much for me; it's a bit unfocused.)

quinara: Approaching Black Mage from FFIX. (FFIX black mage)
So, the sad news is that I had to take my spiky shoes back to the shop, because they were too tight and as it was I wasn't going to wear them enough that such discomforts in the name of IMPACT were worth it. However! The good news is that I have bought some other shoes instead... They are less exciting, generally, but intrigue me because they break a number of my general norms:

1. They are casual heeled shoes. I don't generally wear these, but I thought it was time to try (again, since terrible attempts in 2008). Because I'm grown up and shit / AW13 (which is looking very nice BTW) makes me think it's time to be a bit more dressy.

2. They have a big block heel like it's 1997. And a platform! (They are ankle boots, just for more horrors of such styling.) Now, when I was ickle and into the Spice Girls, I did indeed admire their stompy platform shoes. However, by the 2000s I like any sensible person realised that block heels are pretty bloody ugly, and never intended to find myself in anything that wasn't tapered nicely (don't like straight stick stilettos anyway... and that 2004-5 foray into sculpted heels that go in and out again is best left forgotten along with the T-bar brogues... yes; we can see why I don't really buy heels - and why I have to break rules if I'm ever going to buy anything.)

3. They aren't even real leather. And considering I was just harping on about this to Boggles, I think we can all appreciate how great a sin this is. Or how rarely serious my whinges are. Either way; they were the nicest style and they were cheaper, so I'll feel less bad if I banish them in the spring for being a huge mistake.

Anyway, I like them! And they do make my legs look very nice. The only problem is my skinny jeans - at least the burgundy pair I'm wearing now - are a bit obscenely tight, and while I usually just pretend that no one will notice that my bum and thighs are basically right there in people's faces, walking around with everything elevated off the ground a few inches seems a bit grotesque. Considering these four pairs of skinny jeans are (not even joking) the only bottom halves I have to wear on a day-to-day basis, I either need a lot more bum-covering tops, or some other trouser-based options. (But I tend to have issues with trousers, because my thighs are apparently large for the rest of me, so everything always clings awfully or I can't sit down or whatever... At least with the jeans it looks intentional - and they're stretchy.) I think midi/high-calf skirts are in and I kind of like the idea of them again. (Maybe a leather one. A vintage leather one!) But... Nowhere's selling them. Because apparently shops don't work out the implications of what they stock? Topshop have just got a bum-length jacket in, and if they had a nice material at some point I could probably live in that all winter. But there is danger ahead!

Oh, but they look really good with a coat I picked up on holiday that I may or may not have mentioned. So that is aces. :P

PS. I saw a teenager today doing the high-waisted-turned-up-baggy jeans with little trainers and a crop top (+ long sleeves) look today... She looked really great and I was jealous. :'( Not that I would have ever worn that look at 15 anyway. Although those jeans might well be the fashionable equivalent to big black Criminal Damage silly jeans...

PPS. The doctor reckons I have athlete's foot. :(
quinara: Wesley looking angsty. (Wes swirly)
About all the shit on Twitter as late.


Must go to bed now. Can't hide from the future forever!
quinara: Owl from Meg and Mog looking a bit scared. (Meg and Mog Owl eyes)
But I think I would have been too stressed travelling around this weekend, not least because I skived on Thursday to go to the Proms! We stood for the first one, but my mum managed to get some jammy tickets to the Nigel Kennedy who was aaaaaaaaaaaamazing. Check it out on iPlayer if you can! (It's Prom 34.) Was very excited to see in some publicity article for it in the Times (wot my Mum reads) that the Nige is doing a collaboration with Massive Attack on another version of the Four Seasons which is meant to be released in the Autumn. It's going to be epic.

I also just bought some shoes. They are... Characteristic?



quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)

March 2015

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