19 Feb 2014
Tags: culture, drama, Evgeni Plushenko, figure skating, misc, miscellaneous, nature, Olympics, weather
1. This morning I went out into the world and found it a winter wonderland of white, where every twig stood out beautifully coated with snow….all just waiting to plop down on you, except for the places where the snow was already showering down in spots. Beware those who think just because the sun is out means their heads don’t need to be covered! It was quite a thing.
2. My work computer continually informed me that I was creating records at 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, 1969. Clearly, I have become a time-traveler and the computer’s slowness is simply a sign it’s compiling energy for our next adventure!
3. I know I’m late to the game on this, but I need people to stop citing the way Plushenko’s coach got cameramen to emphasize Evgeni’s distress and back scars as a reason to think it was all a scheme. Your top and only skater pulls out-in a homeland Olympics-in Russia-of COURSE you immediately do everything in your power to emphasize the reasons why he couldn’t go on and how it’s a real injury. That’s not premeditation, that’s just good sense. Evgeni Plushenko is the Tsar on Ice-you don’t just expect people to watch him retire and not try to explain why as much as you possibly can, even if it’s just for fans, and Evgeni’s got the government to deal with, too.
4. This February seems to be lasting a long time. *eyebrow raise*
11 Feb 2014
in Movies, Serious Thoughts, Uncategorized
Tags: celebrities, culture, death, drama, film, gender issues, historical, misc, miscellaneous, movie stars, movies, news, politics, Shirley Temple
Shirley Temple Black, Screen Darling, Dies at 85 – NYTimes.com.
The link not only talks about Shirley Temple’s death, but gives an encapsulated biography that includes not only her film and political successes, but also several anecdotes and more nuanced experiences of her life. For example:
“After winning an honorary Academy Award at the age of 6 and earning $3 million before puberty, Shirley Temple grew up to be a level-headed adult. When her cancerous left breast was removed in 1972, at a time when operations for cancer were shrouded in secrecy, she held a news conference in her hospital room to speak out about her mastectomy and to urge women discovering breast lumps not to “sit home and be afraid.” She is widely credited with helping to make it acceptable to talk about breast cancer.”
Hats off to you, Shirley. Thank you for showing everyone that even the most iconic little girl could grow up into a tough and intelligent diplomat more than capable of holding her own as an adult:
“When she was appointed ambassador to Ghana in 1974, some career diplomats were outraged, but State Department officials later conceded that her performance was outstanding…Mrs. Black succeeded beyond almost everyone’s expectations, winning praise during her three years in Prague from, among others, Henry Kissinger, who called her “very intelligent, very tough-minded, very disciplined.” Although she may always be best remembered as America’s sweetheart, the woman who left the screen at 22 saying she had “had enough of pretend” ended up leaving a considerable mark on the real world.”
06 Feb 2014
in Serious Thoughts, Uncategorized
Tags: analysis, culture, entertainment, film, misc, miscellaneous, movies, news, romance, television
Divorce Rate Cut in Half for Couples Who Discussed Relationship Movies : Top Headlines : MD Connects.
Hah! This study which says that couples that simply took the time to discuss the relationships in movies a few times a month lowered their divorce rate just as far as couples that take anger management or couples therapy type workshops (which were much more time consuming) makes me very happy. It means that watching movies and discussing the couples in them as if they’re real people isn’t just hanging out or a distraction from what you’re supposed to be doing-it is highly important relationship work! We absolutely must take time out for couple movies! I like anything that makes movie-watching sound productive, but this makes them almost essential. Go forth and have movie nights.
01 Jan 2014
in Fairy Tale Versions, Movies, My Tales, Mythical, Poetry
Tags: 2014, Aurora, beauty, Briar Rose, Disney, fairies, fairy tale retellings, fairy tales, fantasy, holidays, literature, New Year, poems, poetry, Sleeping Beauty, writing
The swell of newness
Fills like a new dawn
And spirals out and away as life stretches through each day
New rises like an Aurora,
Who may sleep through her dreams
Or puncture them,
Or even face the cold stone face of death,
But even in these fates there is beauty and there may be magic.
Bright and sharp as a briar rose,
The dawn shows ways to care
And ensures us surprises, both royal and small.
For life congregates like a ball, every so often,
And others come together round you, from far and wide
And all we may do is smile or pass the time dreaming,
But we know these friends as we don’t know our fates,
And we taste these magics of games, lights, and fun,
As the colors and shapes of our wishes keep changing.
These storied times when newness meets old,
Keep us spinning round and get our stories told.
We’re free to walk in dreams and know futures that may or may not come to pass,
To put old cares to sleep and reunite our true loves,
To replace the steps and trod no more spindles,
But spin us the wheel and breathe in the life it kindles.
So christen this day, with its precious gift
And let no one deny you any change you can lift,
For any dance in this year can bring you to joy, so long as you step into the dawn and you try.
Serenity and good energy go with you in 2014.
18 Dec 2013
in Fairy Tale Versions, Movies, Reviews, shows
Tags: analysis, art, beauty, culture, Disney, drama, Elsa, entertainment, fairy tale retellings, fairy tales, fantasy, fiction, film, Frozen, gender issues, movies, review, reviews, romance, Snow Queen, villains, visuals
I finally got to see Disney’s “Frozen” and I love it! This is the kind of empowering movie that “Brave” claimed to be and fell short of!
SAFE-TO-READ Reasons Why:
1. It’s gorgeous. Even with obviously disproportional heads, eyes, etc., Disney has mastered this newer style of animation. Paired with the spectacular visuals of Elsa’s ice creations, this is pure eye candy.
2. The characters not only are complex, but the entire movie owns those nuances, bringing out more and more reasons to invest in these protagonists as it goes along instead of trying to smooth everything neatly into a tidy ending box.
3. The music! The last few movies Disney made caused me to wonder if they’d forgotten how important their soundtracks are to making things compelling, but clearly they have remembered! I almost cried at the end of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”
4. They actually came up with a good reason to have a goofy, talking snowman running around. I’m impressed.
5. This is a fairy tale treatment that explores the real folklore material of “The Snow Queen” and comes up with a valid interpretation, rather than simply turning it on its head in one simple way like through modernization or completely reversing the blame.
6. Even the comic relief characters have wisdom and a level of emotional resonance.
7. Romance was important, but put nicely in its place.
8. There is a credit for “Caffeination” with only one name-”Carlos Buenavidos”, aka “Carlos Good Life.”
Long live the Queen!
15 Dec 2013
in Fairy Tale Versions, Movies, Serious Thoughts, Uncategorized
Tags: analysis, culture, Disney, Disney fairy tale, Disney Family Reunion Tips, Disney movies, entertainment, fairies, fairy tale retellings, fairy tales, family, fantasy, fiction, film, holidays, humor, lists, misc, miscellaneous, movies, reunions
As many people will be reuniting with family members soon for the holidays, let’s take a look at how these reunions could be just like a Disney fairy tale. Disney movies offer a lot of advice about this topic, but it may or may not be worth anything.
Disney Family Reunion Tips:
1. Bring a sword.
2. Get a private train car.
3. It’s okay to argue over pets.
4. It’s totally okay to ignore your family for a guy.
5. Don’t bring up any legal matters, like contracts.
6. Don’t try to sell anybody on anything.
7. Bring your own cup.
8. Realize there’s probably a long distance between you and parental approval.
9. Don’t get stuck in bottles of alcohol.
10. It’s helpful to build a fire.
(20 points for every reference.)
Here’s hoping your holidays need no such advice.
13 Dec 2013
in Movies, Mythical, Reviews, shows
Tags: analysis, art, barrel-riding, beauty, Bilbo, books, culture, drama, entertainment, Erebor, fantasy, fiction, film, Gandalf, Gold, language, Legolas, literature, lonely mountain, movies, news, Peter Jackson, review, reviews, Smaug, spoilers, The Desolation of Smaug, The Hobbit, Thranduil, villains, visuals
I saw the midnight opening of this and…it was MARVELOUS! It’s shorter than its predecessor, the pacing is tighter and smoother, the humor feels more precise and balanced, and the self-references to Peter Jackson’s other works felt purposeful and like a good joke between old friends rather than spin-offy. Also, I cannot wait until Thranduil’s headpiece becomes a common look. Go forth and enjoy!
Other thoughts (SPOILERS for those who haven’t read the book):
-I’m definitely going to need the barrel-riding to become a theme park ride.
-Lee Pace’s Thranduil turned out every inch as glorious as I wanted him to be, and I desired Excessive Glory.
-Many in my midnight theater yelled “sshh!” at the dwarves’ exclamations when Bilbo released them from Thranduil’s prison.
-Gandalf’s entrance to the Necromancer’s domain can be perfectly timed to “I always think everything could be a trap, which is why I’m still alive.”
-Does anyone else think Thorin’s sword on reaching the Lonely Mountain is shaped suspiciously like that of Theoden, King?
-Bilbo’s face when Smaug fully rises from the gold and he kneels down to hide is utter perfection.
-Isn’t it marvelous gold that doesn’t melt in dragon flame even though it’s historically been shaped by forges that can be lit by dragon fire? Perhaps intention can somehow be read.
-Yet more evidence that “But no one withstands the machine!” can only keep criminals down for a short timespan.
-Can we all take a moment to bask in the beauty of Smaug, particularly when shaking off gold?
-Isn’t it interesting how Legolas’ character seems tougher in this timeframe than when he’s actually fighting for the fate of the world? Perhaps that’s maturity, for you. He goes from “Step off or I will kill you!” to “I’ll have to kill you anyway, so step wherever, enjoy your short life while you can.” Or perhaps that is exhaustion and he was showing signs of it more than we knew.
-Stephen Fry is working his wig.
-Gandalf’s visit to the tombs immediately made me think, “See, this is why we miss Erebor so much-it’s the only cavernous place that has real stairs!”
-Really, all these Tolkien films are a cautionary tale about what can happen to a society with no professional librarians or archivists. Archivists would keep up these tombs and let people know if spirits escaped, so wizards wouldn’t have to abandon other quests to do this research work. They would also curate the history books that explain Sauron’s One Ring reveals its secret through fire so they wouldn’t be so dusty and make a research guide so Gandalf wouldn’t have to spend time paging through the memoir to find the right information and maybe the hobbits could have got a head start on the ringwraiths. Just think how much smoother everything would have gone if all wizards had a librarian/archivist working for them, to do their research side-trips and settle questions about which evils are and aren’t abroad in the world in a timely and efficient manner. They would have staged outreaches reminding everyone to check all magic rings in fire, too, so Bilbo might have avoided some possession. I’m just saying.
Huzzah for “The Hobbit”!