Elen sila lumenn omentielvo!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sentential Links

Linkage...but first, a cartoon clown named Binky.



If you actually played that clip...yeah, I'm sorry.

Anyway:

:: But this movie... It's not great. I know everyone saw it when they were kids and loves it to pieces, but it is so long, and frequently so, so boring. (What movie is he talking about? Click through to find out...let's just say that I could not possibly disagree more.)

:: What is heartening about Persepolis, and challenging to western assumptions about the lives of women in places like Iran, is the level of accommodation and subversion with which the rules are approached. The veil, for example, does not guarantee meek feminine submission, although its enforcement on a state level clearly seeks that; nor are decisions about how and why it is worn remotely simple (or always coerced) on an individual or even a community level. (It's been several years since I read Persepolis; I should probably do so again. And watch the movie.)

:: My fantasy rider would include grapes, pistachios (natural, roasted & salted,) a gallon of spring water, camomile tea, a fresh pillow with a clean pillowcase, a Snuggie, flowers, and, why not, 4 new hand towels. And peanut m&ms, all colors included, especially the brown ones. Basically I would consume the food stuff, turn on my nature sounds, snuggie up and take a nap.

:: If you are using dialogue—say it aloud as you write it. Only then will it have the sound of speech. (Writing advice from John Steinbeck, which is always welcome. I don't follow this particular piece of advice, though. I just feel goofy reading my dialogue out loud. I do something kind of along the same line, though: I play the scene in my head, like a movie. I have no idea if this helps or not, but I just can't bring myself to say my own dialogue out loud. Even when I'm writing alone.)

:: Seeing this movie now, you'd never know this was such a big hit, because honestly, it is just terrible. Just... not offensively bad or something I hated, but just an aggressively mediocre movie full of misstep upon misstep. (What movie? Click to find out! I never liked it all that much to begin with, but it does have some kind of odd reverential status in geek circles for some reason. Or maybe it's not 'reverential' status, just...looked back upon with greater fondness than is warranted?)

:: Okay, now I’ll say it, I’ll dare to state the unthinkable… St. Patrick’s Day is the worst freaking day of the year. And I’m Irish!!! (I've always wondered what bartenders think of St. Paddy's Day.)

:: We stand fixated on the man who directed Star Wars.

Why? The reasons are beyond number and impossible to mention in geek company without causing a riot: the special editions, the prequels, the re-edits. The betrayal and heartache as thousands of fanboys and girls took up the cry “Han shot first!” We’re furious. We’re mourning. We’re hoping that the next generation doesn’t think that Anakin Skywalker is cooler than Han Solo.
(I only link this to highlight how sick I am of this whole mindset. Now we're trying to psychoanalyze George Lucas, in our quest to understand how it could possibly be that he made something that a bunch of people don't like that much. Seriously...give it up. And allow me to renew my objection to anyone who thinks that Han Solo's story is utterly, completely changed by Greedo getting off a shot in the cantina. All that does is neuter a big laugh in the movie, not a character. Stop, people. Just...stop.)

More next week!

6 comments:

Ben Varkentine said...

You're right about Superman, but utterly, utterly, utterly wrong about Greedo shooting first not ruining Han's character.

Kelly Sedinger said...

Nope. Sorry, but I'm standing by my opinion. The Greedo scene is such a small piece of the puzzle that is Han Solo that it amazes me so many people ascribe so much importance to it. As it is, it still establishes that Han's major trait is his desire to shoot his way out of any situation, and the movie abounds in examples of this -- and it's left intact anyway, by virtue of Han calmly and coolly getting his blaster in position. Nothing is 'ruined'. Han doesn't suddenly become a softie, a panty-waist, or anything else. He's the exact same guy he always was. As I said, the change to the scene ruins a moment in a movie, and a pretty good moment in a movie at that. But ruining an entire character? Absolutely not, and I have yet to hear any kind of argument that even begins to convince me otherwise.

Jason said...

I know the "Han shot first" thing is a peeve of yours -- I'm sympathetic to the argument that the edit changes his character, but honestly my biggest issue with it is that the re-edited version just looks lame, and each little tweak only seems to make it lamer -- and I agree the Lucas-bashing has gotten very tiresome. But I think this piece actually is trying to get at something interesting, which is why fans are still so upset with Lucas, years after the fact. Not in the sense of which nitpicky details generate the rage -- yeah, yeah, Jar Jar, Han shot first, whatever -- but the larger psychology/sociology behind it, and why George himself has only made it worse. I agree it's a bad idea to try to psychoanalyze a public (and yet very private) figure... but he does come across as being utterly dismissive of the concerns of his fans in a way that his peers who also have tinkered with their landmark movies -- Spielberg, Coppola, Ridley Scott -- are not.

I myself am very ambivalent in my feelings toward and about him. It's not easy to accept that your heroes not who you imagined them to be, and (in this case especially) that they don't feel the same way about their creations that you do. It's kind of like realizing your parents are fallible human beings. And I think acknowledging that and examining it is valid, even if the specifics have indeed gotten old.

I just wish he'd stop being so damn stubborn about suppressing the pre-97 cuts of the OT. I think putting out a good version of those on BluRay or whatever would dispel a lot of this nastiness.

Kelly Sedinger said...

You're sympathetic to the idea that Han's character is changed...why? HOW is he changed by not getting the first shot? I despair of ever hearing a clear argument on this point.

And ultimately, what is interesting about this? Frankly, I see something very human about Lucas's reaction to everything: when naught but calumny gets heaped upon him, I'm sure it wears on his ability to continue trying. Over time it's gone from the reaction to everything he does being "We hate it" to being "We hate it and we kinda hate YOU too." If I was in his shoes, I'm not sure I wouldn't tell the 'fans' to get bent.

These specifics just aren't interesting. It's just dragging out the same old complaints, ad infinitum, no matter what your particular complaint is. I, for one, am totally sick of it...and yet, it's a topic that will never go away.

Roger Owen Green said...

On another matter, you're welcome.

Ben Varkentine said...

It'll never go away...because there's something to it.