quinara: Owl from Meg and Mog looking a bit scared. (Meg and Mog Owl eyes)
So I've been busy and failing to be online and not receiving comments on some posts and not paying attention and nobody told me, ultimately, that someone on [livejournal.com profile] seasonal_spuffy made art based on a passage from a fic I'd written years ago, To Apprehend Air. Namely the amazingly talented [livejournal.com profile] boiiko!!!




Go and see!! As I say on it: I love the colours and how stark it is, as well as the way that Buffy is looking at Spike's head and Spike is looking at his hands, as though Spike can't recognise himself while Buffy can't do anything but see who he is. It's all just perfect.

I feel like such a cad for not seeing this when it was posted nearly a week ago. :( I fail.
quinara: Spike smoking on a crate. (Spike crate)
Yes, it's a post that's not about me! Now, I am a very bad lapsed gen reader, through the fault of my own Spuffyism and some sort of years-old border conflict or something or too many fics that at one time seemed to decide it was OK to have Spike and Buffy post S5 in the same locale and never have a conversation and/or forget everything that had ever happened.

Anyway, such are my issues - but! More fool me, because you should all go and read this fic:

Green Smoke and Empty Mirrors by [archiveofourown.org profile] apprenticebard

I saw familiar faces in the kudos, because I am behind the times, but I am reccing it anyway!! It's a long Spike and Dawn story, set just at the end of Angel S5, when Dawn gets wind of what's going down and Andrew knows Spike's there, so they head off to figure stuff out. Amazing cameos from Angel and Illyria; Giles is kinder than I've ever managed to write him post S7 (and so lovely for it); all these ace Spike-Dawn flashbacks which give you a Dawn who is cleverer and more cynical and appropriately younger than often she gets portrayed. And obviously Buffy would have got in the way, but she's off and unreachable somewhere, so the fic makes sense and gets to not be about Spuffy without any chinks in the characterisation. And Spike is all Spike-like. It's great, basically. And did I mention there were flashbacks and a dragon and Illyria?
quinara: Wishverse Buffy in a white frame. (Buffy Wish white box)
So, because YouTube has everything, I've been watching the opening run of Eastenders from 1985:


It's actually bloody epic. Heaven knows if it is, but it seems a hell of a lot more accurate about East End life than Eastenders has been for a long time. Everyone's all cold and the houses are all run down and if people aren't worrying about social change they're worrying about where their next bit of cash is going to come from. And you can just feel the creaking joints of the underclass where even if they don't like each other, they're all in it together (and living on top of each other) and no one likes the police because there's no one who isn't touched by something that isn't just a little bit shady. And Nick Cotton's bloody trousers!

Just finished episode 4 and my Eastenders knowledge is a bit patchy, so I can't quite remember the fallout of Den and Angie... But at the moment they're the most amazing thing ever.

It's all a bit stagey in the way of vintage Beeb, but I would just lap up the contemporary equivalent of this. Plus I think the ratio of minority characters to white characters is the same as it is now, which considering thirty years has passed says something about something. (Definitely can't help but feel "What's pease pudding anyway?" "Some kind of English dhal." is far more interesting dialogue than that time six months ago or whenever that Shabnam was ranting on eternally about how Masood couldn't get with a white woman.)

Anyway, like a lot of stuff from the 80s, it just feels like it's been made by people who have something really important to say and who won't rest until you listen. I love that stuff. Watch it!! /Reminisce!!

ION my stupid wanker internet keeps dropping for no other reason than TalkTalk are bastards.
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: Heads Will Roll: Whiskey from Dollhouse in blue light (Whiskey blue)
So, if you have Netflix... Watch this show!!!!! If you don't, um, ...

This is the only non-spoilery video I could find. But meet Piper Chapman! She's a well-off, liberal, self-involved party girl who just wants to keep her line of artisanal soaps in Barney's. She has a nice fiancé, who's a writer who's going to make it big one day (though his Upper East Side parents can cover for him in the meantime). The statute of limitations on the money trafficking Piper did that one time ten years ago is twelve years, but unfortunately she just got named in the bust on her drug-importing ex-girlfriend Alex (who, by the way, is played by Donna from That 70s show... You can't say that you never wanted to see her again in another role), so now she's in prison. Sad times.

But that is only the beginning! What follows is the long and lengthy deconstruction of someone who lives in their own little narcissistic world who is finally and consistently forced to face consequences for every single action they take in a bubble/fish-bowl like environment. I'm not a huge fan of novelistic television, but for a drama this has all the best elements of sitcom - a small world, a slightly heightened reality (just enough to stretch everyone into distinct characters), with tight and well signposted plotting. And Alex is brilliant. And this is exactly the sort of plot I love - because it's not just deconstruction; it's also transformational. But I don't want to ruin it by telling the whole story, though the great thing is that you can see it coming anyway. Just enjoy watching it play out! Because everyone's great - every single character has a good side and a bad one.

And if you've seen it, talk to me about it!! Although I have to stop my head reading everything in the way most of the characters talk. It makes the me inside my head sound ridiculous.

PS. It's also rated 18 (I think?) for a reason. Most of the graphic sex is in the first few episodes presumably to hook people the same way HBO does. Judge your company?

PPS. Also, how did I fail to recognise that Red is CAPTAIN JANEWAY? Also much missed. But found again!
quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)
aka the latest Simon Pegg-Nick Frost venture.

I actually really enjoyed it, a hell of a lot more than Hot Fuzz and probably a lot more than Shaun of the Dead. Should be asleep, so this will be short. Read more... )

Oh, and we saw a trailer for the new Sandra Bullock buddy movie with Melissa McCarthy. It looked absolutely aces. Miss Congenality 2 is the most underrated two women buddy cop film ever, but I think this should be pretty excellent too. And earlier today I watched half an episode of Orange is the New Black. That seemed quite good, and I was promised somewhere good characters. The lead seems a bit of a cliché, but I'm hoping she grows into it a bit and the show doesn't keep her forever as a poor little misled flower.
quinara: Profile shot of Cassie from Skins, with lots of hair and a hat. (Cassie hat)
Go, go, go: [livejournal.com profile] moriwen1's What is This, a Joke?

Spike and Aslan walk into a bar. Or, more exactly, Spike's on the hunt for his soul and ends up with a bloody terrifying lead. Cue a breezy-fresh short story with solid metaphysical credentials nonetheless. And chapter one has a twist that keeps on giving. [livejournal.com profile] brutti_ma_buoni already linked it, but I'm linking it again, because I don't want you lot to miss it!

In other news, which should probably get its own post so as not to sour the proceedings, I've been sucked back into The Voice? I think it must say something for the rejigging of the format, because it was about this time last year that I abandoned it. It's just a fact, though, that neither Danny wotsisarrogantface nor Tom Jones have any clue about production, which is such a shame, because Jessie J and will.i.am's people are the only ones who end up giving proper thought-through performances.

Everyone's clear favourite, as it should be, is Leah... Because this is just aces! I can't bear pop, but modern covers of disco I apparently like. Also, the vast heaps of sarcasm she pours over the lyrics are great.

But I also like Leanne, who got kicked off. I think she dreams of being Christina Aguilera, but she really needs to be on the dance circuit. That icy high register of hers is dying out for pounding electronics. As they started getting to with this:

Soz; I iz proper hyper on curry and Hotel Chocolat chocolate wot I couldn't resist on the way home.
quinara: Wishverse Buffy in a white frame. (Buffy Wish white box)
Suffragette sitcom! http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b02108p1/Up_the_Women_Episode_1/


It's sort of actually a bit crap by several objective criteria, but I lolled pretty much all the way through. Margaret's epistle to Ovid is a thing of beauty.

Fave quote: "Does your husband know you've been cavorting with skirted anarchists?!"

quinara: Mog from Meg and Mog swimming in a diving suit. (Meg and Mog Mog underwater)
New sitcom on BBC2: The Perkins! Joanna Scanlan doing some sort of wacky Fry/Laurie character! Excellent.

Did think there was something off about the production design, though. Couldn't work out whether it was the lighting, camera angles or music, but I think it needed a bit more so as not to look like you'd just tuned into a standard Perkins documentary. Hmm...
quinara: Rinoa from FFVIII watching petals fly. (Rinoa petals)
It wasn't shit. I actually liked it a lot! There were many delights to be had and I might actually go and watch it again now (at least the first bit, not the parade, nor the goo later, though that was pleasant enough at midnight). Macca ruined it at the end, as is his way, but the first section was very clever - I've been made to sing Jerusalem in school in my time and it was quite something to see it played out against the irony of history. With Branagh!Brunel and The Tempest, no less!

And I liked the bouncy beds and the GOSH children's stories. And all the music!! It was so nice to feel like there were people at the helm in the Boyle-Underworld team who knew where to go for a recent history of British music. I'm not even a big fan of Dizzee Rascal, but you can't really have a house party without him (and help me for recognising Tinie Tempah too). There nothing like the Pretty Vacant riff as a siren call...

And I thought the 7/7 memorial firey section was very well done (Emeli Sandé has a lovely voice), and I loooved the cycling birds. (Especially to the sound of the Arctic Monkeys! Not who I expect to pop up at an event like this, and so refreshing. Take note, you bookers of Gary effing Barlow.)

They had some very nice picks on the flag carriers. Shami Chakrabarti looked like she couldn't believe she'd been asked, and I couldn't quite either, but, yeah, she's who you want carrying a flag!

And someone somewhere made some excellent choices about how to do the whole torch-to-cauldron bit. Not least on the copper (best metal). ;)

(Still not going to watch any of the sport.)

ETA: Seriously, I cannot stop re-watching the Isles of Wonder/Pandaemonium opening segment. I'm not sure what other national pageants I've ever seen for the UK, but this is so captivating. That molten steel running down the shape of the Thames; the pantomime-monster-sized industrial looms. Maybe I'm just easily bought by slick and ironic literary references, but this is spectacle.
quinara: Yoshi from Mario Bros. (Yoshi)
Caroline Quentin!!! (How did I not realise I missed you?)

"OK... Let's get this Glee Club started."

"Ooh! What's a Glee Club?"

"It's like a choir..."

"Why don't you just call it a choir, then?"

"... Why don't you just stop shoplifting from Dixon's?"


Best cliffhanger ever. Aaaaaaaaah!
quinara: Yoshi from Mario Bros. (Yoshi)
I've been watching the Transport for London accessibility videos about what's available in terms of accessible transport for the Olympics and more generally and thought it might be worth sharing the link around. If anyone's worried about coming to London, then it hopefully gives a good overview of what's available (come to London; it's great!) - but I think the videos are also worth watching just to see how the TfL network works, especially for anyone writing about the city. The one about taxis might be of interest to any of you who write about John in Sherlock, frex.

Here is someone taking a bus to the cricket:



10 May 2012 22:40
quinara: Little cartoon girl from the Devics' Distant Radio EP cover. (Devics Distant Radio)
Grandma's House was like dreams on toast tonight. So, so good.

In other news, I really want to finish the draft of my [community profile] seasonal_spuffy fic by the end of the weekend, so I can edit the first half for posting next Friday (in consultation with the [livejournal.com profile] bogwitch splitting it between my posting day and the free-for-all seems like the most sensible idea, rather than spamming the hell out of people). Given my rough estimate puts me at 16,000 words still to go, things could get interesting. Hopefully I'll hit the downhill slope at some point...

Lalala, fun times. I think I've discovered interesting, nay Good (TM) things about the text I'm working on, so PhD endeavours are looking up. (The answer, my friends, lies in Propertius 3.1 and 3.3, oh yes. This is why we are on a boat. /random)

Maybe there should be more stuff here...
quinara: No Kicking Penguins (Penguins)
I have been massively absent, mostly because I have been massively absent. Writing is slow, even though it is materially successful.

The question for today, however, is WHY, BBC, WHY did you not tell me that GRANDMA'S HOUSE IS BACK??? I've seen absolutely no advertising for it at all, either on the telly (not that I watch very often) nor on the website (which I'm on all the time), and this is really something I wanted to know about. Because it is wonderful!

Watch and love and watch...
quinara: Tara walking in the Slayer's desert. (Restless desert)
Can we please talk about The Mummy Returns? I'm not sure there's anything else I've ever seen on screen that exemplifies my taste in entertainment so well. It of course wouldn't be the same without The Mummy backing it up, but it just takes all the great things that film had going for it and runs, runs, runs - especially towards running gags (which I adore). I love how camp it is, I love its magic books and its silly flashbacks and its daft prophecies, I love its adventures in dirigibles, I love the costumes and the music and the shots of the sun, I love Ardeth Bay's love for tommy guns and that Rick's taught Evie how to beat people up, I love every single word and expression Jonathan produces, I love that half the film's in (probably terrible) ancient Egyptian, I love that Alex speaks American slang with his little Just William voice, I love Horus the falcon, and I love that there's a whole chase/fight scene on a Number 12 bus.


This is, erm, probably the reason why I never get into stuff like The Wire, isn't it?
quinara: Profile shot of Cassie from Skins, with lots of hair and a hat. (Cassie hat)
But I feel like I haven't posted in ages, so I am posting. Here is some stuff:

1) Just played Holst's The Planets in a concert. Venus was a shambles (at least for the viola section), but Jupiter was great. It's my favourite planet and my favourite movement and even though the big tune mostly sounds indulgent and overplayed whenever I hear it about the place, playing the viola part right in the middle of the suite is a wonderful and lovely feeling. Especially since our conductor was keen to have the first time through restrained and reflective - by the time we were in the upper register it was all sad and slightly hopeless, heading straight towards Saturn - before we were back in jollity again. Good stuff.

2) Am quite miffed that I can't yet watch the third episode of Melvyn Bragg's series on Class and Culture, which like The Tube series I mentioned last time(?) has become the closest thing to must-see TV I have at the moment. You may well ask when the last time I watched a drama series was, but I feel like documentaries that cover literary culture are so rare that I want to just gobble this one up (and all it's other culturey bits) with a big spoon.

3) Just signed up for [community profile] seasonal_spuffy, which means getting the third part of my alt S6 AtS crossover thing done in time. Even though it's apparently going to be long. But I'm looking forward to that; just need to write it.

4) Everyone should come and play Prompt Tag with us at [livejournal.com profile] sb_fag_ends, because bouncing off other people's ideas is highly amusing! I wrote a fic.
quinara: Sheep on a hillside with a smiley face. (Default)
I've had a really nice day today, for several reasons. It started with [personal profile] snickfic leaving some massively juicy feedback on As Good as a Rest, which I hope she won't mind me linking to over here, as part of the More Feedback Week she's running. I don't know if Snick's up for debate or anything, but I do want to take the opportunity to say that if you ever want to talk to me about thematic stuff in my fic, you can do it any time of ever. I overthink most stuff I write, so I'll always have something to say back!

Otherwise, I spent the day actually reading the text that I'm working on (believe it or not, this rarely happens) trying to make sense of how I was going to talk about it in relation to all the other reading I've been doing, and actually managed to develop some ideas. All preliminary stuff, natch, because we're only halfway through term, but I now have a notebook page with sections and passage references and questions to be answered. This is not the level of achievement I usually expect to perceive!

Also went out for a lovely meal with friends (only slightly scuppered by my high-waisted skirt and remarkably poor digestive system, which for some reason turned a cheesy pizza into enough pain that I felt nauseous for the whole journey home and a little while afterwards, but let's ignore that).

And then I watched this interesting slideshow on the BBC website about the history of British housing. For some reason I'm often drawn to documentaries about housing, so I knew quite a lot of what was covered, but I still thought it was interesting.

So there you go. It's rare that I look back on a day and really think 'well, that was pleasant, wasn't it?', so I thought it deserved a post.

ETA: Although, also, side note, just because it appeared above my post on my DW reading page and I think it's probably my turn to mention it, but - Mark Watches? Are we all agreed he's basically given up anything even vaguely resembling review-writing now? I think I might have to keep reading just to see how the heck he manages to spin this out for another four seasons of material, but, otherwise, yeesh.
quinara: Why Bird from Playdays with tea in front of the Whytech. (Why Bird tea and tech)
It's probably about time I posted something fannish again. So have a fic! This grew out of certain pressure from [personal profile] bogwitch and [personal profile] shapinglight when we were discussing this month's Baking-ish theme at [livejournal.com profile] sb_fag_ends. It's too long for the comm, but it does involve a glimpse into the life of domestic Spuffy (set around now, I suppose, and linked to Getting across the River and my Long Distance series), as well as The Great British Bake Off (which is an excellent baking competition programme thing) and Sue Perkins (who is an excellent comedian, broadcaster and person - as you obviously already knew).

~2200 words; PG; nothing needing an AO3 warning, but quite a lot of cake. And gingerbread.

Making the most out of her retirement, Buffy has made it to the final of The Great British Bake Off. Now Sue Perkins has come to interview her at home, but gets a little more than she bargained for.

A Quirk of Perkins. )
quinara: Little cartoon girl from the Devics' Distant Radio EP cover. (Devics Distant Radio)
This series of Rev has been a bit ropey, I've found - I was saying to Sue (Sue, was it you?) on Saturday that I've found it simultaneously more cartoonish, more dystopian and worse written, - but in isolation, I have to say that I thought this week's episode was very, very good! If only because it as an Archdeacon and Nigel episode. Although I imagine the fact that Richard is James Purefoy means we'll never see him again, a bit like Ralph Fiennes the bishop. :( Too much love for Adam and his iPod, though why has Adoha been completely sidelined this series?

It probably needs mentioning somewhere that I'm still in love with Misfits. Hooray for this series being the Kelly and Curtis series! I think the Nazi episode proved that the pair of them could save the world single-handedly. Right at the back of my brain I want a Buffyverse-Misfits crossover, possibly(?!) where Kelly and Nadira go waaaaay back to school or primary school or something (primary school maybe), and something happens with vampires. I dunno. That might be filed with the S7-Final Fantasy IX crossover that should never happen.

Now that I've packed up for the term and going home tomorrow, I'm procrastinating from cleaning the bathroom and buying Christmas presents (+ my mum's very urgent birthday present) and filing my paper bits by watching TV. Sigh. But The Thick of It Series Three remains as excellent as ever - Nicola and Terri and Robyn for three of the best middle-aged women comedy characters in recent times. And the Opposition!! Always.

Look, videos! Hopefully they might play outside of the UK, though they're off the BBC website, so they might not. Oh, and, um, NSFW, what with all the swearing...


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

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