Since Hot Toys won't make one, I'll settle for this. So cute with that umbrella! XD
Since Hot Toys won't make one, I'll settle for this. So cute with that umbrella! XD
(Question: is the young man in one of the photos a fan is holding out to be signed truly Cranston some decades ago? Yikes, I wouldn't have recognized him.)
The director of Wakefield, one of his movies which are shown this year in honor of him (and yes, of course several Breaking Bad episodes are s hown as well), Robin Swicord, joked that both she and Cranston have German grandparents, and: "I don't know why they left, but you know, I think the fun is over. Might be a good idea to come back now, and I think you all know why. So thank you for welcoming political refugees." Former opera director Sir Peter Jonas outed himself as a Breaking Bad fan, complete with Heisenberg t-shirt, and held a speech praising the glories of narrative arc driven television. My only irritation with that one wasn't the series he singled out (other than BB) for being exceptionally good at this - The Sopranos, Oz, The West Wing and The Good Wife - , but the one he didn't mention. Babylon 5 still doesn't get as much credit in breaking ground with its narrative arc tellng format as it deserves.
Anyway, Bryan Cranston's own speech was lovely, mostly about the way being a storyteller is the best vocation (I agree), with both wry humor and sincerity. After the ceremony, Wakefield was shown, but due to an unshakeable real life obligation, I could only watch the first hour. Mind you, I had mixed feelings anyway. Because I could see why Cranston was cast (excelling as he does in playing dislikeable characters whose pettiness isn't air brushed away who are still interesting to watch) , and I enjoyed seeing Jennifer Garner again (playing his wife), and found the concept something of a suburban Hitchcock satire without crime (Howard Wakefield, lawyer, due some circumstances ends up disappearing into his own attic, watching his wife and family carry on without him with the bickering zest of a true voyeur while literally reduced to eating garbage) in a clever way, it still made my skin crawl. Because in the hour I watched, most of Howard Wakefield's voyeurism and assholery was directed against his wife, and while I knew the narrative was absolutely on the same page with me here, it still felt very disturbing to watch, and so it didn't exactly break my heart that I had to leave early. (Otoh I missed the Q & A with Cranston afterwards that way, alas.)
On to movies I could watch completely:
La Familia, a movie from Venezuela, directed by Gustavo Rondón Cordóva, currently stuck in Caracas and thus unable to make it to the festival, though he might make it to the Latin American directors general Q & A on Monday. This was a taut, intense story starting in the poorest quarters of Caracas. Our two main characters are Pedro, a twelve years old boy, and his father Andres, who works several jobs at once to make ends meet and thus hardly sees him. The introduction sequence has Pedro (Reggie Reyes) playing with some other children, and the playing has that edge of violence, those moments when shoving at each other suddenly threatens to become more, which has you sit up already. And sure enough, various scenes later, which establish Pedro's day with best friend Jonny and minus his father (who sleeps like a stone on those rare occasions when he's home), violence does explode, as a child threatens Pedro and Jonny with a gun and Pedro ends up seriously hurting the other child. His father Andres understands the implication at once because the child in question has revenge hungry people, and goes on a run with his estranged son, which is the plot line for the rest of the movie. "Going on a run", however, doesn't mean what it might were this a US film, because Andres still needs that money for Pedro and himself to survive, so he takes Pedro with him to his various jobs on the other ends of the city - they just don't go back to their own quarter, though Pedro urgently wants to because he's worried for Jonny, which makes for a big confllct with his father.
This is a movie which trusts its actors (Giovanni García plays Andres), because the dialogue is terse and rare, and you experience the shifting father and son relationship mostly through physical interaction, looks, gestures. Andres doesn' have a "killing is bad" conversation with his son, or a "how do you feel about what happened?" conversation - that's just not how they interact. And yet you can watch them becoming closer throughout the film, and at the end they truly understand each other, and even in their desperate situation have some hope for the future.
Clair Obscur, a Turkish-German-French-Polish coproduction (yes, these do exist) directed by Yesim Ustaouglu. With a female Turkish director and two female main characters, this movie explores, among other things, various ways of what it means to be a woman in Turkey. Our two heroines live completely different existences - Shendaz is a psychiatrist with a seemingly good relationship with her boyfriend, living in very well off circumstances at the Meditterranean coast, while Elmas is still a teenager imprisoned in a marriage to a much older man who revolts her, serving him and his mother in their small flat in a skyscraper. The two storylines eventually connect when due to various spoilery circumstances Shendaz becomes Elmas' therapist; by that time, the cracks in Shenaz' own life have been revealed, but refreshingly for therapists who tend to be either demonic or incompetent when presented in a fictional story, she's still able to truly help Elmas (especially once she figures out how young Elmas really is), and eventually finds away to escape the mess in her own life as well.
The director and several of the actors were there, though not the two leads. The actress who plays Elmas' mother-in-law said whhen she read the script, she thought that this was the best discussion of female sexuality in a Turkish movie. The sex scenes aren't just surprisingly frank in the case of Shenaz (with Elmas, who does not want to have sex, the camera stays on her agonized face, and later goes with her to the restroom because the aftermath is also very painful to her), but always make a character point. In the Q & A the director was asked whether the movie could be shown like this in Turkey, and she answered she had to cut around two minutes for the general release version (though she was allowed to show the full length in Turkish festivals), which since she knew this would happen in advance she could do without taking away the meaning from the scenes in question. Mostly the general release cuts avoided the full nudity of the complete version. Since the only Muslim women showing up in Western media tend to wear headscarfs and/or hijabs, in short, live Elmas' life, I suspect the fact that Shenaz is sucessful in her profession, has unmarried sex and enjoys wine when dining with her boyfriend (who does the cooking) would be as startling as the sex and the nudity if this movie gets a release in the US or Europe. At the same time, there's the awareness that Erdogan's government and party is doing its best to make Elmas, not Shenaz' life more common again in Turkey, and that subtext is also there if you're sitting in the audience watching this film.
Shenaz is played by Funda Eryigit, Elmas by Ecem Uzm, and they're both delivering terrific performances. In the Q & A, Ms. Ustaoglu mentioned that the incredible scene in which Shenaz gets Elmas to roleplay a dream she has (which finally allows Elmas to vocalize the pain in her life) needed only two takes, one for Elmas, one for Shenaz, that the actresses were that good. And having seen this movie, I believe it.
(because if the finale was this weekend, then it will not be safe for me to check out FB until I've caught up since half of my friends watch the show)
strange/interesting how things ferment at the back of one's mind until quite a while later, AHA so that's the answer/meaning/whatever.
This little doodle I did years ago... alchemia.dreamwidth.org/31325.html
Bug and I have been writing, and we are wrapping up a specific scene, and while I was searching for something else, I came across this entry via journal tags and thought, 'holy crap, we just wrote that'. Not, you know, Snape and Harry naked on a bed, 'cause we and plenty of others have written that in many delicious ways. But specifically, this exact pose, the mood, even Harry appearing 'aged down' (there's a wee spoiler for anyone interested, but I can't imagine that revealing anything of importance at the moment; afterall, he's a shapeshifter, and he's aged himself up in previous books, so why not the other way around?). The only thing missing in the image is a the **** lol, ;-)
Even Bicrim's comment about it looking more parental than romantic is, just... at first I thought, wow, she picked up on that so early, but then realised i didn't say the image was ABP related so it musta just been the image speaking to her, and my unconscious thru the picture (no, don't worry (or hope, if the case may be), ABP does NOT turn into a Severitus fic.) For those wondering, no HP is not wanking for Snape's entertainment (or potion ingredients, or anything else), but feel free to consider it independant of ABP, or some character's fantasy or something.
The current unfinished book, and the one right after it, might actually get smooshed into one (not positive yet), and this scene is in the one after the current one we left off on, unless they are combined, in which case, it will be in the current book. I am really eager to get to it. It had some really horrible stuff to write in it, but totally necissary if they're going to ever heal / move forward.
So new goal for the rest of this month: finish up my fffc June special card. Hopefully if I try to make my fics more bite sized I'll actually manage to finish. ;3;
I don't know what I want to do for next month. Camp NaNo is a thing but I don't know if I really want to participate this year. At least not in any official capacity, haha. Maybe I'll do the same thing as I did this month and just shoot for blacking out a card. I have enough of them!
The silence of the lambs -- are Protestants concealing a Catholic-size sex-abuse scandal? I wouldn't be at all surprised.
The far-right endgame -- a suppressive oligarchy. Very Randian, and I mean Rand Corporation as well as Ayn Rand.
There are two farmers markets locally that we go to; the SU goes to the one by the railroad tracks with the good meats, and I sometimes go to the one downtown (locally, not DC), which has good veggies and fruit. I got ready to go to that one today. I got less than a mile away when my stomach said, loudly, "I don't feel well. I may give you back what you've eaten if you keep going."
What could I do? I took the next cross-street, which is a fairly direct route home, and came home and took something to settle the stomach, which continued to grumble.
I had put down my glasses for some reason; when I picked them up, one side piece fell off, behind the hinge. We went to Kaiser; no, they couldn't fix it, but they recommended a shop some distance away that was going to close in about 90 minutes. It took half an hour to get there, but we did. The cost isn't bad -- $65 is a lot better than ordering new glasses and going without for two weeks because the old ones hurt to wear -- and I can pick them up Monday.
The guy who does the repair also does lenses, replacement and new prescriptions, and I may take my very old Bausch & Lomb sunglasses there to get polarized lenses for them, or maybe even the distance half of my prescription so I can use them in situations where I'm at an angle to the sun that puts light on the *back* of the glass (which means I see the glass surface or dust or smears and not through the glass).
So, I can't drive till Monday after we pick the repaired glasses up, since I need them to drive (legally). I was going to get tickets for a local play - I know one of the actors - but the computer glitched on me and blew the sale, and I'm too frustrated, so it will be next weekend.
(I am very glad that I did not agree to be in the Second Life fundraising event today -- which took place about the same time we were driving along the six-lane looking for the address for the glasses repair place.)
(Oh, yeah, I got locked out of my credit union account on Thursday -- their new 'security system' sent my passcode slower than their time limit for entering the passcode, so I had to repeat the process, and then it said that was the wrong passcode... I got in this morning, no problem.)
And I discovered one of the two soprano coyotes -- it's the collie that belongs to what must be new people in the house behind us (none of the people look familiar and the others had a beagle.) It was listening for the *real* coyote in the park and singing replies. The baritone coyote is still out there being a coyote somewhere, I suspect.
But the contractor who bid on the masonry work we need looks very good and we said yes. And the garlic and onions I planted seem to be doing fairly well; I need to trim back lemon balm from shading the garlic, but that's all.
So the world is slightly fuzzy around the edges, but it's not that bad.
It's been ages since my last proper update. Highlights!
I got a camera for my birthday back in March...
( obligatory kitty pics )
( obligatory I-can't-stand-my-face selfies )
Then the current round of Holmestice began, PRECISELY when the Livejournal TOS fuckery hit the fan. I will not say that this round has been a clusterfuck, because I think it mostly hasn't been? But pulling off this round has been more effort and cursing than any of us planned for. Happily, I have great co-mods, and there is wonderful satisfaction in looking at ALL THE THINGS and knowing we facilitated that happening. Even if we're still trying to finish backing up the damn comm.
In early May we went to Colorado and Wyoming for a week to visit grrlpup's family. Not half an hour out of the airport, we got caught in an impressive hailstorm; Grrlpup is still wrangling with the rental car and insurance companies over how many thousands of dollars that storm is or isn't going to cost us. The rest of the trip was pretty good, but socially taxing. As always, it was wonderful to see her friends and family; as always, I was very happy to get back home again.
In June, grrlpup had her birthday. We have become my parents' generation: when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday, she asked that I actually do that one home-improvement task I'd been promising to do for two years. So I spent a few days bolting and screwing bookshelves to the wall, while pretending I wasn't doing any such thing.
Her: What are you doing? Are you painting boards? Why are you painting boards?
Me: [flagrantly painting boards] Boards? What boards?
( front room shelves )
Later today, crazy_marcia, for whom we crewed the Badwater Ultra and with whom I used to climb mountains, is coming to visit.
(For those who didn't know me back then, the Badwater Ultra is a 135/143-mile footrace through Death Valley and up to the top of Mt. Whitney, always held during the height of summer. And by "height of summer," I mean 120-degree heat, woot! The two mountains I've climbed with her are both non-trivial: Mt. Whitney by the Mountaineer's Route, and Mt. Rainier, which involves glacier travel, and thus is a technical climb. Both mountains are near-abouts 14,500 feet high and Exciting Shit Went Wrong on both peaks.)
Anyway, I'm weirdly nervous about seeing Marcia -- it's been an age since we last spoke, and I got lazy and fat and don't have adventures anymore, and what if she doesn't like me now??? -- but scanning back over these old trip reports, I feel very silly. We're going to sit around and gossip, not pull one of our what-were-you-even-thinking-people-die-
(Actually, given that Marcia will be in attendance, I would not be the least bit surprised if we save someone from a close brush with death later today. FURTHER BULLETINS AS EVENTS WARRANT.)
In German this is a usually pejorative term to describe activities somebody (often people in a position of power but accountable to the public, more rarely subordinates under pressure from above) undertakes to be visibly seen as "doing something" to address a problem, but the actions are not well thought out, unlikely to really solve or improve the situation, but are (at least from the perspective of the speaker making the charge of something being "Aktionismus") done wholly or partly to provide cover against the accusation of inactivity or indifference.
Like when you hastily implement "security theater" measures against a real security threat, because you can't think of any actual solution to improve security for real, but not doing anything and admitting to having no solution would be politically very costly. Opponents then might accuse you of "Aktionismus".
So "Aktionismus" is a general term for hasty, thoughtless responses of this type, used by opponents of the actions. It is often coupled with "blind" as in "blinder Aktionismus" to emphasize the lack of plan or vision to arrive at a real solution.
It is similar to the accusation that something is merely a "symbolic action" but that implies more a deliberate gesture lacking concrete results, whereas "Aktionismus" is more of a harmful flailing around.
"Aktionismus" has also some sort of specialized meaning for some performance art movement from Vienna, and apparently the word "actionism" exists in English in the translation for that Austrian art, but it doesn't seem to be used in the colloquial sense. But clearly this is a common phenomenon (and accusation) in politics, so there ought to be an English term.