May 8th, 2004

key to the kingdom

(no subject)

Do you ever have one of these back-to-the-future type moments where something happens, and you remember thinking about that very thing several years back?

Okay, that doesn't make sense. Let me back up. Since Hannibal is on CBS tonight, I'm going to tell what is basically the story of how I got into running a movie site. No, before the part where Valerie said (September 2001), "With all the movie news you read, you should put it on a site." That's the reason I usually give, and it's the immediate reason. This is about a year before that.

At some point, Corona Coming Attractions (an excellent site which no longer exists, as its staff has been absorbed by ... you know, actually, I don't know if they ran the article in French or if I found it first and sent it to them. The point is, there was an article about filming Hannibal--one of the scenes in Verger's mansion, which is that nice touristy mansion everyone goes to in North Carolina. The name of it escapes me at the moment, which is always great when you're trying to tell a story. So. It's in French. Brilliant. (ETA: From the mists of my memory, the idea emerges that French-speaking tourists sent a set report into Corona, and Corona was looking for a reader who could translate it. Maybe this is how it happened. I can't remember, really.) Well, I had just graduated as a Spanish major/French minor the previous May, and I was sort of interested in keeping my translator skills up, so I translated it into English and sent it in. And Corona posted it and credited me and everything, and as this was the year 2000, I thought myself very accomplished indeed: my name was posted on the internet. And it wasn't even my real name, mind you--I'd started going by Cleolinda by this time.

I forget exactly how it went from there, but I ended up getting all my dictionaries out and looking for more articles to translate--since they were filming in Italy, after all, and I can hack a little Italian on paper--and sending them in to a fansite. The fansite was--and is still, as far as I know--run by a very nice guy named Chris. (ETA: Holy shit, the site is still running. As in, updated today. I'll be damned.) At least, I think it's a guy. It could be a girl, for all I know. Anyway. I basically became an unofficial news finder for the site in my spare time, and it was... fun. Really fun. So that went on through fall or winter of 2000, I can't really remember, until the movie came out in February 2001, and maybe a bit thereafter. And so when I was sort of casting about after graduation, looking for a new identity, I guess, now that I no longer had "college student" to my name... I ended up setting up the Digest. I basically did exactly the same thing I'd done for Chris's site, only all by myself and for movies in general. But helping that fansite out was how I knew I'd enjoy it. Valerie made the suggestion on a Friday that September, and by Saturday night I had signed up for a Geocities site, put up the initial pages, and written the first news update. The earliest layout basically cribbed Dark Horizon's previous layout of all the day's news on one page, somewhat by category, and over the next year or so I refined it into a system that worked for me. Except for the part where I got into grad school, and between school and my writing, the site suffers frequent outages. Like this last six weeks or so. Shut up, I feel terrible about it. But I've been on fire this last week, as far as Black Ribbon goes, and I'm afraid to put it down and pick up something else. Grrrr.

Anyway. To bring this back to the beginning of the story, I remember reading at the Palace way back in 2001 that CBS had bought the rights to air Hannibal in 2004, which seemed like a thousand years away at the time. That's what this is mostly about--the way you think something is so far away, and then one day you wake up and realize that you're there, and you get this strange whooshing feeling, like you can literally feel time flying. And my thought at the time was, "Network TV? Heh. Good luck with that." Seriously, once you make it network-appropriate in this Post-Janet age, what part of this movie is left? But here it is--and they're running parental discretion warnings after every single commercial break.

P.S. I'm not saying you can legitimately interpret the movie this way, but I will say that you will enjoy it a lot more if you pretend it's all a really, really tripped-out dream Clarice is having. Imagine her waking up and telling her friend Ardelia from the first book/movie, "Oh my God, I just had the weirdest dream--Lecter was running around Florence eating people and he kept sending me letters and shit and then he came to get me and there was this guy with no face and I was Julianne Moore. IT WAS SO WEIRD."

P.P.S. HP fans who are starting to dig Oldman!Sirius: Take a pass on this one. Trust me, you'll thank me later. (Holy crap, they kept most of the bit with the broken mirror and the dogs in. My dinner is delicious, thanks for asking.)