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Occupation: Girl

Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

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Okay, I just saw Maleficent and I kind of loved it so if you would like to discuss it here, go for it, but I have to warn you, I'm also finishing Penny Dreadful tonight, and my thoughts are already so scattered that I'm considering doing voice posts just because I let text entries sit here for weeks at a time and constantly re-edit them to keep them current then don't post them anyway. In other news, my Zoloft reduction is actually going a lot better than this paragraph would lead you to think.

Previous entry! I forgot to actually link to the e-book anthology containing my Black Ribbon short story, which is a ghost story about 1) Rose's mother and 2) making life decisions and 3) thus I kind of wanted people to feel a little changed after they read it. You'll have to tell me if it works. Also I will have another short story coming out soon, although this is fantasy-themed.

Eyeshadow! The last three colors in the This Is My Design collection have been decided and named, so we'll be finishing up in the next couple of weeks, with a total of 30. For #28 this past Friday, champagne and something pink:

PERSUASION: "This shade is a a lustrous pink champagne with a vibrant antique rose iridescence." We discussed a number of possibilities for this one, but Kristen seized on the idea of champagne and connected it to her lip color, much the way Phoenix is a more coral-toned, Freddie-themed lip/blush/eyeshadow combination. And yet, it was only after Persuasion had actually gone up on the site that the exchange about "something pink" even occurred to me. Please proceed to the inspiration post if you would like to see the pictures it matches, because that's my department and my favorite thing to do each week.

I've really liked that we've had bold, experimental colors--things I wouldn't have tried except for the show theme--but also colors that are pretty everyday-wearable, while still interesting. I think I'm going to try this one with Cygnus. On the other hand, this week's color will be the one we discussed in the comments of the previous entry, the one where I explained why I thought we shouldn't do it, then promptly turned around after that discussion and said that maybe we should. I threw out a name, and Kristen immediately thought of a new way to do it. So we'll see how that turns out.

Meanwhile! Here's A Matter of Taste's discussion of Alien; I am currently prepping to record the Aliens episode with them tomorrow. Later in August, I will return... for reasons.


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I really enjoyed Maleficent, I liked the subversion of the "True Love's Kiss" from romantic to familial love. I also liked how the "real" "villains" in the story are hubris and obsession with domination/conquering, which destroy both Stephen and the older king, and which Maleficent sets aside when she defeats Stephen. At the same time I sort of lament Stephen's "Disney Death", like we can't have a hero who directly kills someone.

I read some criticism of the scene where Stephen cuts off Maleficent's wings as being basically equivalent to a rape scene or similar, and while there's definitely merit in discussing how female heroes seem to be defined by the abuses heaped on them (as opposed to male heroes, who tend to be defined by abuses heaped onto their female partners), the Roaring Rampage of Revenge against King Stephen is wholly cathartic.

I also found the dramatic irony of Maleficent's wings being recoverable interesting and speculate on AUs where Stephen and Maleficent conspire together to put Stephen on the throne or similar.

My sisters and I basically walked out of the theater gleefully going "that movie was pure MISANDRY" (in the ironic tumblr sense).

What I thought was really interesting was how they seemed to frame cutting off her wings as a rape or assault, but it was so much more about taking away her power and agency than, say, purity. It was a sexual metaphor (he literally gave her a roofie) yet not sexual at all, in the way that rape isn't really about sex either, but power. And then the story turns into this exploration of how hatred and vengeance can eat you up so bad that you might lash out at everything around you, everything you loved, and you start nurturing the thing you want to destroy just so you can have the pleasure of destroying it. It was really funny when Maleficent was like, oh my God do I also have to RAISE the kid so she'll even BE THERE for the curse, but you stop and think about it, and... wow. And in the end, it was a motherly/sisterly (in the sense of a greater sisterhood) love that brought her back to herself, but also learning to love someone she saw as being like the self she lost (specifically referenced in the second mud fight), and that daughter/self gave her the wings back, and she recovered her power. Somehow it transcended the "abused heroine" trope, for me, with the way that played out. You can view it as Maleficent developing a mother's true love for Aurora, but also a true love for a symbolic version of herself, kind of reawakening that younger, joyous, hopeful, "happy all the days of your life" self and reaffirming that it can still live.

Edited at 2014-07-01 02:55 am (UTC)

This. All the this ever.

Yes. I am so much in agreement with all of this.

(I *sobbed* at several points in the movie, pure cathartic "I recognize this feeling" sobbing. I can make a lot of criticisms of it as movie, as structure, but I'm not sure I've seen anything that more purely captures what it's like to experience and recover from trauma, especially as a woman.)

And a small, kind-of-frivolous but kind-of-not comment: every time Stephan opened his mouth I thought, "Couldn't they get David Tennant?"

That scene where Maleficent wakes up and starts screaming--keening--is going to haunt my dreams. That was just somehow incredibly real in the middle of this kids' fantasy movie.

Yeah, seriously. Jolie's performance was breathtaking.

What I really liked about the cutting of the wings as a metaphor for rape is that you could see it as alluding to the Basile version of Sleeping Beauty: Sun, Moon and Talia. Maleficent gets put into the position of Talia/Sleeping Beauty who was raped by the king while in an induced sleep, but she's also the king's wife/first love who takes revenge on the king's new lover and children. So they take this story about a woman who's been wronged by a man (whether because of infidelity or because he didn't invite her to the christening) but takes revenge not on him but on his daughter, and have her come to love the daughter and have her own happy ending.

Basically I really loved Maleficent as a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale, not just the Disney movie.

Plus, it's clear she made the True Love's Kiss condition as a reference to Stefan kissing her, but I think she made the curse 'eternal sleep' to refer to him drugging her. I wish they could have come up with a reason for the spinning wheel beyond 'she just happened to see one' but you can't have everything.

It's funny, I watch Once Upon a Time, where the Mother's True Love's Kiss thing has been used so many times that I was actually confused for a second when Aurora woke up without Ouat's trademark special effect!

God, I loved the wing scene; it had to carry the entire rest of the movie and it absolutely did. Well done, Angelina. I also loved Aurora, start to finish.

Their relationship was interesting to me, simply because Maleficent cursed herself when she worded the curse they way she did: she will be loved by all who meet her. Like, did you not know what you were setting yourself up for?

I may have liked Maleficent, but Enchanted was a better Maleficent movie. Yes, yes, motivations and reasons and whatnot, but it's fun to watch villains enjoy being cacklingly evil.

Also, apparently you need all the powers of Hell to revoke your own curses and turn yourself into a dragon.

Re: Penny Dreadful.


Also, I really hope they give Sembene a proper arc (or at least more than five lines) in season two. They keep dropping mentions of things that make me think they're going to engage with Victorian racial politics (the demon accusing Malcolm of raping women in Africa, Frankenstein accusing Ethan of "killing redskins") but then they back off and don't mention it again. If they don't want to engage with the topic then they shouldn't, but this half-assed acknowledgement really isn't working.

It's odd that somehow NBC's Dracula dealt with racial prejudice more than this show does (I'm not necessarily saying well, but it did address it).

Also, shut up, Caliban. I started saying that even when he wasn't talking. Shut up, Caliban.

"SHUT UP CALIBAN" is one of my most frequently-deployed phrases while watching this show. Second in line is "shut up, Sir Malcolm" followed by "this is a BAD IDEA, Victor."

There was a lot of "NO VICTOR" this last time. My only surprise was that the bride did not end up being Maud the actress with Brona's head on top, somehow. I was genuinely prepared for all kinds of horrors.


(shut up, Caliban)

I spent most of That One Scene with Victor and Caliban chanting "do it Victor. Do it for Brona. Do it for Proteus. Do it to redeem every single stupid ridiculous dumbfuck thing you've done all season- god DAMMIT, Victor!"

(alas, poor Mina; we knew her not at all, Horatio)

(God I hope Brona takes one look at him, cuts and runs, and then goes straight to Ethan and says "you would not BELIEVE what that Frankenstein twerp did to me." And then it can be Frankenstein vs. Wolfman!)

Edited at 2014-07-01 03:11 am (UTC)

(alas, poor Mina; we knew her not at all, Horatio)

I really enjoyed a lot of Penny Dreadful, but my God, I was not impressed with the vampires or their vampiring. Kind of a waste there.

When I was on a Chinese discussion board for the show and trying to explain to someone that there were at least two male (and bald) vampires, Sir Malcolm killed one in the pilot and the other found his way to Vanessa's bedroom when she was off to see a play with Dorian Grey, I called them "the pale orcs".

Victor's undead projects

I almost screamed "FUCK YOU!" at my iPad2 when C killed Van Helsing.


I think that to date only "Caliban" had been true to the "original formula" (tell me if I'm wrong, the last time I'd read Frankenstein had been in junior high) with Victor piecing usable body parts he'd found from multiple graves, sewing then together and awakening by electricity. "Proteus" was a guy who'd drowned, his body had yet to rot too badly, and all Victor had done was putting his soul back into his body (against God's will, no doubt...) via electricity, and thus he wasn't born into pain and retained a bit of memory of his "previous" life. Victor was refining his methods with Brona, he'd hinted as much as he could that after euthanising her he'd bring her back to some semblance of life, and she'd consented more or less. I'm wagering Brona 2.0 to be Dr. Frankenstein's best result so far, whether she'd accept her "groom" is debatable, but I believe she'd be in less pain and fear than "Caliban", and also retaining much more of her past life than "Proteus".

Also, does anyone think that apart from being a Wolfman, Ethan is one of the abducted and "civilized" Native American children he'd been talking about? Then he'd be neither white nor "red" and also neither man nor beast...

Edited at 2014-07-02 11:54 am (UTC)

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Ooh, you've made me think more about why I didn't like Maleficent especially because I didn't like Avatar either. In fact, I fell asleep.

The main thing I took away from Maleficent is continued anger that computer animation can produce such beautiful living creatures and we still don't have a live action Pokemon film.

I loved Maleficent. I thought it was indulgent and got a little muddled in its own narration and that action set-piece, but in total I enjoyed it.

At first I could not for the life of me figure out why they cast Sharlto Copley as Stefan, but then started his spiral into insanity and I went oh, that's why. XD He does that so well.

Still looking forward to Hannibal recaps, btw. Whenever they arrive! :D

Edited at 2014-07-01 08:46 pm (UTC)

Since you're going to be on Fio and Ian's podcast again (yay!), I figure you'll appreciate this: http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelzarrell/domestic-goddess-makes-sinister-sweets

And as a warning for anyone STILL scarred from watching any of the Alien movies: this lady like to make creepy desserts, including a facehugger (full size!) from shortbread. I seriously got the wiggins from a couple of the photos. And yet, I can't help but appreciate her talent. I love to bake, but I would NEVER make anything that looked like that EVER!

Stuff like that belong to adult-only Halloween parties...

Edited at 2014-07-02 11:49 am (UTC)

How do LJ voice posts work? Do they show up on your page along with the text posts in chronological order? Do I only need to click and listen? Or does it link to another site? I may need proxies *again*... >_

Edited at 2014-07-02 12:19 pm (UTC)

I honestly don't know what I'll use-- I think actual LJ voice posts show up as text posts with the recording within it (I think there's also an option for someone to post a transcription, either you or someone on a friends list or anyone who wants to, depending on the setting you choose). There's also SoundCloud, which people use for both (their own) music and podcast-type recordings, if I ever wanted to do something longer or with someone else. I think I might have called in some LJ voice posts from New Orleans about ten years ago? I don't remember much else about it.

Actually I was sort of following your advice and griping in advance so as *not to* jinx my end of the deal, if I gripe enough of it now, once your voice mails get posted I might have no trouble listening to them. :)

Sometimes following the Internet stuff I admire can be a chore, for instance the AMoT podcasts have to be downloaded via proxies (because Google dot com is blocked over here and blogspot is a branch of Google) and sometimes the files come incomplete, but I try and try again because it's all awesome to me.

I'm actually checking your LJ archive at random, I haven't found any voice posts in the past; my current membership allows something like five voice posts per month, but your advanced membership might not have a limit for that. Whichever method suits your needs best, I hope they can work out fine for you.

Edited at 2014-07-05 02:03 pm (UTC)

So I've seen the new colour.

I'm actually crying. Thank you. All three of you. Just... thank you.

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