selenak: (Orson Welles by Moonxpoints5)
Smart, wonderful review of Cleopatra, 1963 version, too often dismissed as campy extravaganza. ([profile] amenirdis, this one is for you!) It was, of course, scripted and directed by Joseph Mankiewicz, who in this most recent list of 100 greatest screenwriters of all time makes it to No. 23 ("Says Phyllis Nagy: “There may be a more endlessly quotable screenplay than All About Eve, but I’ve yet to find it.”).

About that list: as per usual in such lists written in the English language (US edition), what they mean is "100 Greatest American Screenwriters", with the odd foreigner thrown in. They also confess right at the start: It’s worth noting that Hollywood’s traditional exclusion of women and people of color makes it extraordinarily difficult to truly qualify the best in the craft, but acknowledging today’s urgent need for more inclusive storytelling doesn’t negate the contributions of these 100 pioneers.

That said, it's very satisfying to see pioneer Frances Marion (first scriptwriter, either male or female, to win the Oscar, twice) acknowledged at No.20), and the (imo deserved) number 1 spot goes to an immigrant to whom the English language was something he only learned as an adult (which turned out to be one of the all time successful love stories between a writer and an adopted language), the late, great Billy Wilder. Some of the other choices (even keeping the US pov in mind) are bewildering, no pun intended, but such is always the case.

In terms of Hollywood history, though, it amuses me that Joe Mankiewicz' brother Herman only makes it to No.56 while Orson Welles lands at No.41. Pauline Kael would roll in her grave. As the list writers themselves put it: Once upon a time, a small firestorm might have ignited over placing Orson Welles on a list of great screenwriters. For years, his co-authorship of Citizen Kane was in dispute, with many claiming that the credit belonged almost entirely to the great Herman J. Mankiewicz. (Pauline Kael even wrote an explosive, brilliant, deeply problematic essay arguing so, only for much of her research to be discredited later.) But even if he hadn’t co-written Citizen Kane (which he absolutely did), Welles would have been one of the great screenwriters of the 20th century. He was certainly one of the great adapters, able to take everything from the most acclaimed classics (think The Trial) to the lowest-brow pulp (think Touch of Evil) and make it his own. His Shakespeare adaptations are gems of concision and imagination, balancing respect for the text with a willingness to innovate. Look at the incredible Chimes at Midnight, where he takes pieces of several of the Bard’s plays and turns them into something completely modern.

I'm totally with them in terms of Orson as an adapter. (Which, btw, Welles biographer Simon Callow argues is what he did with Citizen Kane, too - Hermann Mankiewicz' original script - with some imput from John Houseman - was over three hours long, and Welles did what he did with Shakespeare, Kafka, and whoever wrote Touch of Evil - he cut, edited, added, rewrote, until the script had the shooting shape.) It's what makes his version of The Trial infinitely more interesting than the far more literal, bland and justly forgotten version of Kyle McLachlan as Joseph K. much later, and makes Chimes at Midnight show up later adaptions of the Henriad such as The Hollow Crown as deeply conventional and pulling their punches by comparison.

On a book-to-film note, thanks to [personal profile] chaila I've discovered Fall Equinox, a vid-athon wherein the vids in question are using book-based source material. I've only just started to watch my way through it, but check out Wherever I Go, a breathtaking exploration of the Gods in American Gods!
selenak: (rootbeer)
Confessions of a Trekker: I really don't like ST VI - The Undiscovered Country. Which is, I've discovered, something of a minority opinion, for at least the vocal part of fandom holds this last cinematic outing of the TOS crew in a fond light. However, now and then the dissent becomes vocal, too, as in this rewatch post about the movie in question .

In more fun Trek news, check out this vid about everyone's favourite Cardassian tailor-plus-spy:

Dedicated Follower of Fashion

(Every now and then I wish the movies instead of going for the nth version of Wrath of Khan (with or without a villain called Khan) would tackle the Cardassians instead. And then I conclude the movies would probably mishandle the Cardassians as badly as they did the Romulans, and am glad the Cardassians so far have been reserved for tv.)

And lastly, a BSG fanfic rec:

Rippling Light: tender and heartbreaking take on the friendship of Felix Gaeta and Anastasia Dualla, two characters for whom the phrase "they deserved better" might have been invented.
selenak: (Peggy and Jarvis by Asthenie_VD)
...and I've now inhaled the 35 great results of the [community profile] ssrconfidential ficathon. Here is a preliminary list of recs (beyond the story I got as a gift, which is fabulous, I repeat, and which I linked several entries earlier):

Staring off with a vid:

Bad Romance: Dottie/Peggy being best enemies with UST to a song made for them. The way they mirror each other was never clearer, or more musical fun.


Out of the Cave follow-up on Whitney Frost that doesn't ignore what happened to her and takes it into account but also provides her with a new beginning as Dottie, for reasons of A Cunning Plan, teams up with her. I'd watch that episode - or spin-off!

Not your fairytale princess: Dottie and Peggy (do we sense a theme here?) being their frenemy selves. All the writers manage to get Dottie so well because they don't downplay how dangerous she is, obsession with Peggy not withstanding.

Redacted: Four kisses from Dottie that never made it in Peggy's reports. This one spans decades, and the last one is heartbreaking in the best way.

Four times Peggy tried to run away (and the one time it finally worked): Peggy and her brother Michael. I have a soft spot for sibling dynamics, and this is a beautiful take on them.

Teamwork Peggy and Jarvis fighting crime together was by far my favourite aspect of Agent Carter, and the story captures their dynamic exactly. Love it!

Like a house on fire: more of the original Jarvis, this time exploring his take on Howard. (With plenty of Peggy as well.) Funny and touching in turns.

Rose in the Spring Rose Roberts between seasons 1 and 2. The bigger role Rose had in s2 was such a delightful surprise, and this story additionally fleshes her out.

My own story is, I think, a bit less obvious than usual, but still guessable.
selenak: (Henry and Eleanor by Poisoninjest)
So, last year, I signed up on this small endearing historical fiction exchange ficathon, which would have allowed me to post a text just consisting of 500 hundred words, and managed to end up writing an entire novella about Eleanor of Aquitaine because using the "Five things which never happened" concept for her just seemed irresistable. This year, the History Exchange ficathon is open for nominations again, and this time, I am resolved. Only a brief text. That's going to be it.

Meanwhile, if someone should volunteer to write me that "Juana the Probably Not Mad marries Henry Tudor" AU I've been speculating about now and then, feel free to make it as lengthy as you want. :)

Star Wars:

All interested parties probably have already watched this by now, but just in case: Formerly known as is a fabulous vid about the women of Star Wars.

Orphan Black:

ditto: the one where Beth is an actual ghost. Sharp and wonderful.
selenak: (Ashoka and Anakin by Welshgater)

In the Twilight of Memory: Rex and Ahsoka, finding closure.

Anakin and Ahsoka vid "You are a memory" : break my heart, why don't you, vidder:

selenak: (Vanessa Ives by Sakuraberries)
Fighting rage and depression about rl politics (both on a national and global level), I turn to fandom(s). Rewatching some Penny Dreadful s2 in preparation for s3 which starts in May reminded me that my disgruntlement with aspects of s2 notwithstanding, there were some aspects I adored. Ferdinand Lyle getting fleshed out and becoming a character showing up in every episode, for example. He could so easily have come across as a caricature, but instead both Simon Russell Beale and the writing make you feel for him, adore his flamboyance, his default flirting with the male regulars, his dignity even while being blackmailed. Spoiler for s2 ensues. ) I really must remember to ask for Lyle this Yuletide - how I could I have forgotton?

Meanwhile, a trip to the AO3 introduced me to this great Vanessa character vid:

Opheliac (0 words) by LithiumDoll
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Penny Dreadful (TV)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: Mina Harker/Vanessa Ives, Ethan Chandler/Vanessa Ives, Dorian Gray/Vanessa Ives
Characters: Vanessa Ives, Ethan Chandler, Sir Malcolm Murray, Mina Harker, Victor Frankenstein, Joan Clayton, Dorian Gray
Additional Tags: Spiders, so many spiders, Embedded Video, Video

How could you possibly think you had the power to know how to keep me breathing

selenak: (LondoGkar)
Babylon 5:

A Good Death: G'Kar and Londo, after. It reminds me how much I love the two of them in the best way. (Time shall not wither, etc.; just because I don't talk much about B5 these days doesn't mean I adore it and its characters any less.)


Wolf Like Me: Natasha character vid using all her appearances in the MCU to draw a fantastic portrait.

And to finish this round of links with something hilarious:

The Hunger Games:

The Hunger Games Trilogy if Percy Jackson had named the chapters: you don't have to be familiar with the Percy Jackson series (I wasn't) to find this a riot. (Hunger Games movie only people, otoh, should probably stay away from the last third of chapter titles, since even in their parodied form, they contain spoilers.)
selenak: (Equations by Such_Heights)
I was on the road the entire day, but some delightful fanworks were awaiting:

Doctor Who:

Pompeii: fantastic vid about Clara and Twelve. This last season clicked for me in a way no other Moffat season has done, and the relationship between the Twelfth Doctor and Clara is a big part way, along with Clara (present day Clara) coming into focus for me and gong from generic Companion to highly individual unmistakable CLARA. This vid captures a lot about Clara and the Doctor, and why I'm looking forward to the new season starting in a few weeks!

Once upon a Time/Once upon a Time in Wonderland:

The White Queen's Quest: what really happened with Will and Ana post -Wonderland and during the fourth season of OuaT. The way Will was (not) used and there was zilch explanation about Ana, when their story had been my favourite storyline of the spin-offs one season, wasn't my only issue with s4 of OuaT, not by far. But it's one fanfiction can fix, and this is a great example.

(BTW, I've aquired the third season of OuaT on dvd and am looking forward to a rewatch. Because I still love the first three seasons, and am curious to find out whether the third season, which during broadcast I thought was best and should have been the conclusion, still feels that way going back.)

Black Sails:

The Sundering Sea: novel-length, amazing fanfiction which can't be described in an unspoilerly for season 2 way, since it's set afterwards. Spoiler cut. )
selenak: (Six Feet Under by Ladydisdain)
This is a song with obvious Six Feet Under associations, but it still works beautifully for this show, its ensemble and the way their connections with each other form:

Breathe Me (9 words) by Butterfly
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Sense8 (TV)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Graphic Depictions Of Violence
Relationships: Capheus/Kala/Lito/Nomi/Riley/Sun/Will/Wolfgang, Amanita/Nomi Marks, Hernando/Lito Rodriguez
Characters: Capheus (Sense8), Kala Dandekar, Lito Rodriguez, Nomi Marks, Riley Blue, Sun Bak, Will Gorski, Wolfgang Bogdanow
Additional Tags: vid

I am not just a me. I am also a we.

selenak: (Three and Brig by Ellisbelle)
LJ really seems determined to drive everyone away, doesn't it? Sigh. I hate the new "feed" design.

From the trivial to the infuriating: Jeb Bush won't rule out the use of torture should he become president. Well, naturally. The amazing thing is that he admits it. But this reminds me again that Dubya, Cheney & Co. are all walking around free and wealthy and not ever threatened by being treated as war criminals, and despite of all the years of getting used to it, it's as infuriating as ever.

Oh, and some of them even are lined up to create more misery and disaster in the next administration: Paul Wolfowitz takes a swim.

Real life politics being that depressing, it's always good when fandom comes through. Have a vid rec:

Doctor Who: Survivors: joyful vid about the Companions and their post-Doctor lives and connections. Yay!
selenak: (Peggy and Jarvis by Asthenie_VD)
RL business makes for haste:

Amusing especially if you know your Elizabethan history:

21 Things only kids who grew up in the 1590s will understand

Agent Carter:

hey good looking, what's cooking (12363 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Agent Carter (TV)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Peggy Carter & Angie Martinelli
Characters: Peggy Carter, Angie Martinelli, Edwin Jarvis, Anna Jarvis, Jack Thompson, Daniel Sousa
Additional Tags: Female-Centric, Feminist Themes, Period-Typical Sexism, Undercover, Bechdel Test Pass, Espionage, Domestic

Dottie Underwood has been spotted again. Now they just have to find her.

Case fic! With Jarvis in it! And Anna! At last! (Not that I'm against case fics involving Peggy and the SRR team solely, but to really love it, I need my Jarvis(es) included.

The Hunger Games:

Vid: In the 99 (48 words) by cosmic_llin
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: The Hunger Games (Movies)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Katniss Everdeen & Effie Trinket
Characters: Effie Trinket, Katniss Everdeen
Additional Tags: Video, Fanvids, Social Justice, Inequality, Female Friendship, Epiphanies

Effie, Katniss, the Districts and the Capitol.

Coulld also be called "The Education of Effie Trinket". The movies, both due to Elizabeth Banks' performance and the script giving her more to do and to react to than the novels, made Effie from comic relief/symbol of Capitol glamorization of the Games into someone I really care about. Here in this vid, the contrast between Effie doing the reading of names at the start of the story and Effie reading Katniss' one and a half movies later is especially startling.

Harry Potter

So there will be a prequel theatre play about James and Lily Potter? More about the Lily-Petunia relationship sounds promising, and otoh I just know this will restart dozens of fannish wars....
selenak: (Best Enemies by Calapine)
I had a terribly busy week, haven't hat the chance to watch the latest Elementary, had the depressing rl experience of reading lots of hate mail for the first time - not directed at me, I hasten to add, directed at an organization I'm part of, but was no less disturbing to read, had the more trivial but none the less bothering experience that when I did manage to go on the internet, some of my fandom pet peeves (in various fandoms) showed up again, so it was really good to go on the internet right now and find an awesome new work:

Doctor Who:

Blank Space: a Doctor/Master vid covering all the Master's regenerations and all of the Doctor's who had on screen interactions with him - and even some who didn't, like the Ninth Doctor. Brings out the parallels and the messed up dynamics beautifully. Err, spoilers for all of DW, just to be on the safe side.
selenak: (Breaking Bad by Wicked Signs)
The assigned Yuletide story is posted, now to see whether I can manage the treat I want to write. Meanwhile, here are other people being creative:

Torchwood/Doctor Who:

The mind is its own place The on-going adventures of Toshiko Sato, because Missy never spotted the little things.

Tosh in the Nethersphere, poetically written, quietly saving the world. Absolutely canon compatible with both shows, and heartbreaking in the best way. Also the Owen cameo is perfect. (Err, spoilers for the most recent season of DW, of course.)

Breaking Bad/Frozen:

Do you want to build a meth lab? : one of the most hilarious vids ever, which I found via [personal profile] ffutures. I dare you to keep a straight face.
selenak: (Tony Stark by Runenklinge)
I was busy writing my Yuletide story these last few days and just sent off the rough version to be beta'd, plus tomorrow I'm on the road again, hence, once more, belated reviewing.

However, I had the chance to watch a fabulous new character vid about Tony Stark:


Go and do likewise, gentle reader!
selenak: (Malcolm and Vanessa)
Penny Dreadful:

Furnace Room Lullabye: the Vanessa and Malcolm vid of my heart, and [personal profile] d_generate_girl made it. (BTW, am very thrilled so many Penny Dreadful requests were written for Yuletide - surely that means at least some will be fulfilled?)
selenak: (Raven and Charles by Scribble My Name)
Briefly, re: multifandom news:

1) New Twin Peaks: Do not want. Leave well enough alone, I say. The second season has been pretty shaky already, and although the ending was great (in a completely mean way, of course), I can't see what a follow up would achieve that would improve on it. I'd rather not know for sure one way or the ther whether SPOILER ever managed to get rid of SPOILER. Or whether SPOILER survived. And that's leaving aside that a lot of what made Twin Peaks so charming and original back in the 1990s has been copied, quoted etc. ad infinitum ever since.

...Otoh, what do I know? I'd have said "do not want" about a Shining sequel, too. And Doctor Sleep turned out to be Stephen King's best book in years (not least because he ditched the first person narration of the last few again), which I wouldn't wanted to have missed.

2.) MCU does Civil War rumor: I'll believe it if it's a bit more substantial than, well, rumor. For starters, the whole Civil War premise makes no sense in the current MCU as it is - only a few superheroes who, after Captain America: The Winter Soldier, had their identities revealed to all and sunder. And that's before we get to the part where the emotional content of Civil War depends on these people having been friends for eons, not being a couple of new aquaintances who just started to get over hostilities.

And a vid rec from the X-Men films: A beautiful portrait of Raven/Mystique!
selenak: (Bruce and Tony by Corelite)
Worn out and very tired due to struggling with Darth Real Life. Just one link, therefore:

Oh No: a very good Tony Stark character study of a vid.
selenak: (Eva Green)
Casting news (in one case older news for most people, I'm sure) that made me realise my priorities and double standards:

a) Bradley James is in the fourth season of Homeland. Sorry, Bradley James, I loved your Arthur Pendragon in Merlin, but there were a lot of reasons why I quit watching Homeland in early s3, among them loss of quality and questionable ideology, and I'm not going back.

b) Lucy Lawless is the the second season of Agents of SHIELD. Now this is a show I haven't watched so far; my flist/circle had about two third naysays, one third (all the more enthusiastic) yaysayers about it, there were so many other interesting shows to watch, and also I'm so fond of the MCU I didn't want to risk dampening the emotion by disgruntlement should I dislike AoS. However, Lucy Lawless in the Marvelverse? Must have! (Unless she's only in one episode, I should acertain that first.) (If you recognize where the quote titling this post comes from, you might feel similarly.)

Meanwhile, further news both on the Lewis & Tolkien and the solo Tolkien biopics in planning demonstrate someone's (be the publicity people, the reporters, or, heaven forfend, the scriptwriters) lack of actual knowledge re: Tolkien and Lewis, as is entertainingly pointed out here.

Penny Dreadful:

We have a Penny Dreadful vid! And a good one, covering the ensemble and the relationships between same - with one unfortunate exception. Which, sadly for me though not for the vidder and the vid, happens to be the relationship I'm most interested in. There is a complete lack of Malcolm in the vid (and hence also no Vanessa and Malcolm). Which reminds me that last week when someone at last posted Penny Dreadful icons, I was delighted...until I saw there were no Malcolm and no Vanessa and Malcolm icons. Alas. Anyway, back to the original point, which was: a shiny vid about a lovely twisted Victorian Gothic show:

A Shot for the Pain (11 words) by Franzeska
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Penny Dreadful (TV)
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Author Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Additional Tags: Fanvids, ConStrict 2014

X-Men: Days of Future Past:

Missing scene type of fanfic covering how old Erik and old Charles reunited, which is just what I need when the angst elsewhere gets too much:

Rescue Me (2492 words) by Unforgotten
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Erik Lehnsherr/Charles Xavier
Characters: Erik Lehnsherr, Charles Xavier
Additional Tags: Pre-Movie(s), jailbreak, Reunions

Against all hope, Charles and Erik reunite at the beginning of the Sentinel War.

And lastly, not completely unrelated to the beginning of this post, something only funny if a) you know German, b) have a vague idea about what the Bavarian dialect sounds like, and c) are familiar with a certain 1990s fantasy show made in New Zealand: Xena auf Bayrisch.
selenak: (Allison by Spankulert)
No new Clone adventure to contemplate today, so a few thoughts on why season 2 as a whole - while offering many good things - didn't work as well as s1 for me.

it's all about the focus or lack of same )

Other fandoms:

Penny Dreadful:

Short but very interesting interview with Timothy Dalton about a certain scene in 1.05 and the Vanessa-Malcolm relationship in general.

Star Trek:

We learned the sea : beautiful love declaration to the various shows (TOS, TNG, DS9, Voy), their captains, and their relationships.
selenak: (Money by Distempera)
Why Twitter is useful: someoene asked Vince Gilligan whose idea the fantastic Ozymandias promo for Breaking Bad had been, and he replied:

Shelley's "Ozymandias" came up a lot this season, as my writers and I are nerds who never see the sun... However, the idea of cutting the poem into a promo was the idea of the brilliant director Rian Johnson.

Thank you, Rian Johnson. In other Breaking Bad news, this article defending Skyler White is well-intentioned, but leaving entirely aside the obnoxious comments (seriously, don't read those, they make you despair of the human race, as comments about unpopular female characters sadly tend to do), this made me somewhat facepalm:

Article quote containing spoilers for the entire show )

Meanwhile, another article also made me rise my eyebrows: the sixteen worse things Walter White has done on Breaking Bad. Some of these are self evident, but how come the season 1 spoiler )makes the list and Walt's doing a season 5 spoilery thing ) do not? Also, if I read one more description of Gale as "the most innocent person of the show", I'll scream. The man was a spoilery thing for season 3 ) Being a clueless geek does not make one innocent. You know who is a good equivalent for Gale? Andrew Wells in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Andrew has that same geekness, crushing on a villain and believing himself to be in a comic book story. This does not, as the show makes very clear, negate his responsibility for theft, murder and attempted rape.

Lastly, and not related to Breaking Bad (since Walt didn't, as Jesse once wished he would, create robots): a very cool multifandom vid about A.I./Human interactions - If a machine. Lots of Sarah Connor Chronicles and Terminator footage, but also the Alien films and Prometheus as well as Battlestar Galactica.


selenak: (Default)

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