sqbr: Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Friday, January 13th, 2012 12:43 pm
Yeah, nobody cares about this movie any more. I just watched it, so you get my thoughts anyway. In the end I'm glad I watched it but I didn't have a super good time doing so. I can see why some people love it and others hate it.

Overall: A cheesy, clunkily written, exploitative film with some cool visuals and action overlaying a moderately successful story of women making a small but determined effort to fight back together against degradation and oppression while being kickass. I felt that the degradation was laid on a bit thick, I can see the film being pretty triggery for a lot of people.

I thought that might be the thing that put me off but actually my main issue is that there's scenes that are clearly meant to be symbolic/metaphorical where 90% of the stuff that happens doesn't actually seem to be symbolic/metaphorical for anything, it's just there to look cool. Which made them feel empty and meaningless, even if they did look pretty.

I thought it got some gender things right and some others wrong, it could have been much better and much worse in that respect. It did pretty badly on race, though (POC and non-Western cultures are very much the background to the stories of pretty blonde white girls), and I didn't like the treatment of mental illness. (Or fat people with skin conditions, what is it with stuff set in asylums…)

Also: There were no positive portrayals of romance or sex, except as ways of asserting power. All positive relationships were platonic and between women. That was interesting.

I've seen Sucker Punch compared to Madoka Magica and I can definitely see the similarities, though I liked Madoka Magica more.

Cam didn't like it at all, he thought it was voyeuristic and shallow.

And now, spoilers!
spoilery thoughts )
sqbr: Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Friday, June 10th, 2011 02:33 pm
Cleaning out my "ready to post" folder, I wrote this ages ago but I can see it being useful to link to at some point.

I just saw Pretty Woman for the first time. MY GOD SO CREEPY. It's one long male power fantasy of having enough money to make a pretty, sweet natured lower class girl fall in love with you, and do and be whatever you want without once having to make a commitment or say "I love you" (seriously, never. Not even at the end). Because you see she's a sex worker, so her standards are so low that not being a complete douchebag all the time is more than she would ever expect! You don't need to show her respect or care about her feelings, as long as you give her enough gifts and say the odd nice thing from time to time she will be blissfully happy.
Read more... )
sqbr: (dw!)
Wednesday, March 9th, 2011 05:40 pm
Pride and Possession: Magic Flowers, Hair, and Women (and the Kidnappers Who “Love” Them) Compares and contrasts Tangled and Beauty and the Beast, which reminded me of some discussions I've had with [personal profile] pippin etc.

Around International Women's Day there have been a bunch of interesting posts about the women who often get ignored by feminism.

On Being Feminism’s “Ms. Nigga”

Feminism For Real: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism All of the quoted essays look really interesting.

Decolonial Feminism & the Privilege of Solidarity
sqbr: (happy dragon)
Thursday, July 29th, 2010 09:51 am
Saw Fanboys last night. It's not a good film, but enjoyable enough as a geek road movie (and it's not like that's a large enough genre that one can afford to be too picky) It was VERY much the story of a bunch of white straight dudes, though, the writers clearly had no idea what to do with their one female character and the homophobia was pretty intense. That said, I think I liked it as much as the geek guys I've discussed it with, since the main problem with the film is that apart from the odd quite funny scene it just isn't very good!

Anyway, it was thus nice this morning to read ‘CAUSE I’M NERDCORE LIKE THAT: Toward a Subversive Geek Identity which then led me to Riot Nrrd, a very cute webcomic about "being LGBT nerds, female nerds, nerds of color, disabled nerds, and other kinds of nerds that don’t get as much love" which is like a cross between "Dykes to watch out for" and geeky slice of life comics like "Weregeek"(*). It even has a transcript, huzzah!

There's geeky female characters in lots of webcomics, often but not always done fairly well, but I'm having trouble thinking of any I've really liked in mainstream-ish films or books. Any suggestions?

(*)Not that "Dykes to watch out for" doesn't have geeky aspects and geeky webcomics don't have any female/LGBT etc characters. But this is more concentrated.
sqbr: Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Saturday, May 29th, 2010 12:55 pm
There's been some very interesting discussion of violence in fiction recently, in Militarism, pacifism, fandom [personal profile] naraht has some links and very interesting thoughts about pacifism.

My issue I guess with these posts is with the dichotomy between pro-military and pacifist. Because I love stories about violence, but my gut sympathies are very anti-military and while this is sometimes problematic, I think it's not inherently self-contradictory. This came up in the comments to [personal profile] naraht's post but I'd like to poke at it some more.
And now some examples )
sqbr: I lay on the couch, suffering an out of spoons error (spoons)
Sunday, May 2nd, 2010 09:29 pm
This is a somewhat expanded version of the presentation I made about Disability in Science fiction.

Note: Don't take my word for any of this! I'm still figuring this stuff out. Corrections and other input very much welcome!

I've reached a point where I Just Can't Think About It Any More, I may edit again later. Make sure to check to out the comments for other people's additions.

The fantasy examples are very much tacked on, I'm sure there's fantasy specific tropes I'm missing, plus links to the relevant Disability Tropes. Mental illness and cognitive impairments are underrepresented too.
Read more... )
sqbr: (train)
Saturday, April 17th, 2010 04:56 pm
So, on the whole, Kick Ass was exactly my sort of film. It's both a straightforward geek-becomes-superhero wish fulfillment and a subversion of it, and the violence was glorious (I quite like violence done right). I agree with those saying that the violence and swearing really aren't worth complaining about, and aren't even extra specially celebrated compared to many other films (the violence looks like it hurts, for good guys and bad). But.

I kept hearing it was good in an over the top puerile sort of way, and was ok with that, but just before watching it found out it was based on a comic by Mark Millar. As it started I was reminded of this, and of how I felt about Wanted.
Read more... )
sqbr: Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Thursday, February 4th, 2010 09:05 am
I don't pay much attention to the film industry, but I've seen a bunch of people complaining (rightly) about the way that when the media talks about Kathryn Bigelow, who is apparently really awesome and might end up the first women to win an Academy Award for Directing, they keep focussing on the fact that she's James Cameron's ex and also pretty.

So, inspired by this conversation: Name some directors who in your opinion are:

  • Male and attractive (regardless of talent)
  • Female and talented (regardless of attractiveness)
  • Not binary gendered and awesome in any way

Read more... )
sqbr: Apologises for the terrible prose it's probably accompanied by, reads an e e cummings poem (Default)
Thursday, January 14th, 2010 11:12 am
Various people have talked about the attitudes to disability in the movie "Avatar". Overall I thought it was middling, a mix of good and bad and much better at disability than it was at race omg. (EDIT: Though the moment the bad guy was introduced I thought "Oh, he has a scar. Well, I guess he must be the bad guy then"...)

But watching the movie I started wondering about whether or not the Na'vi were actually any better about disability than the military. Sure, Jake is treated a lot better by them, but his avatar is able-bodied. How would they have treated him if he was paraplegic in his Na'vi form too? (oh there's an interesting story idea)

During the dull patches of the movie I pondered how they might react to a Na'vi who lost their braid/queue and thus their ability to connect to the tree of souls. When I got home I was inspired to write a version of the story without Jake in it and in the process found the original script and in it is this deleted scene:
Lots of spoilery text )
sqbr: (bookdragon)
Sunday, July 26th, 2009 04:42 pm
These are two Marjorie M Lui "Dirk and Steele" supernatural romance novels.

So far there are two common themes in this series:
1)The love interests are soul mates and are drawn to each other pretty much the moment they meet, thought they tend to fight against it out of a mix of cynicism and hard-won self defense based on Bad Past Experiences.
2)To some extent the male love interests tend to feel like they're fulfilling different ever-so-slightly-furry-ish supernatural creature fetishes.

Soul Song was sexy fish-man
The Wild Road is basically sexy Goliath from Gargoyles
The Last Twilight is sexy black African man who turns into a cheetah (which is imo a bit problematic)

The Wild Road
So clearly I wasn't the only teenage girl watching Gargoyles thinking "You know, he's kind of cute for an animated non-human."

This was fun. I liked the protagonists, though both rather hardened by difficult circumstances they weren't as irritatingly angsty as the previous lot, and I found the plot quite engaging and thrilling. The female protagonist has lost her memory, and I thought the "redefining and rediscovering yourself when you don't know who you are or were" thing was done pretty well.

Note:This is explicitly set after "Soul Song" and has some spoilers for it's plot.

The Last Twilight

I started reading this at the shop and ended up buying it because I wanted to know what happened next. The main character is a CDC disease specialist, and her life dealing with epidemics was quite engaging if rather gross for a romance. Being a Marjorie M Lui book the plot quickly shifted, and it was a bit less engrossing in the middle, but overall quite an enjoyable fantasy thriller and I liked the relationship between the two leads.

I'm not the best judge of this sort of thing, but I've seen enough criticisms of the way people of African descent are associated with animals/predators etc to be a bit uncomfortable with the way the male lead was exotified by the female lead, although he is a quite well rounded and engaging character.

On the plus side we got lots of interesting African characters, and distinctions were made between different African countries and cultures (eg the male lead is Kenyan, and misses the plains while in the jungles of the Congo).
sqbr: (ham!)
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009 08:45 am
Mostly from my blogroll I think (which would be on Dreamwidth if we had filters yet :/).

New Alice in Wonderland. Looks cool though I hope it doesn't end up creating a good vs evil dichotomy, that lack is one of the charms of the book.

A libertarian argues for an amnesty for undocumented migrants Libertarianism is so totally far from my own cynical pinko tendencies(*) that I find it incomprehensible, so it's really surreal to find it used to argue against racist views I find incomprehensible, you end up with (to me) bizarre statements like It’s true that when you combine something basically moral (free immigration) with something completely immoral (government subsidies for education and medicine) you may get bad results from the combination.

My Life In a G-String: A Round Up of Stripper Memoirs This is EXACTLY what bugged me about "Candy Girl" by Diablo Cody.

Equal pay for equal work (unless you’re creative, in which case “pride” is enough) Not that the Australian Government has a history of ironically doing the exact opposite of what it's preaching while it's preaching it *cough*

Also: I keep meaning to write a post about the Iranian protests but don't feel like I have anything informed to add to the conversation (and assume you all know it's happening so generic "awareness raising" won't make much difference. If not you could do worse than searching for "Iran" on my blogroll). I did set my twitter timezone to Tehran.

(*)I was brought up around rigid socialists, and as a result am both left wing and anti-dogma, so I'm not a big fan of right wing idealistic dogma.
sqbr: Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Saturday, May 9th, 2009 05:26 pm
Unspoilery thoughts: Overall awesome, cast all did a pretty good job, Spock and Bones especially. But Bechdel test FAIL(*) (also physics fail, but I can live with that).

Spoilery thoughts:
Read more... )
sqbr: Apologises for the terrible prose it's probably accompanied by, reads an e e cummings poem (Default)
Tuesday, May 5th, 2009 03:18 pm
Read pretty much all of Yu+me Dream in one sitting (it starts as the story of a depressed American schoolgirl who everyone picks on but then goes somewhere very..odd)

Realise the reason you did this is because you are feeling sick and depressed and stupid.

Take the next day off work. Feel more sick and depressed and stupid.

Watch Speak, the story of a depressed American schoolgirl (played by Kristin Stewart) who is by turns ignored and picked on as she struggles to express her feelings after being raped by a charming older boy.

Watch the fanvid Because he loves her, which amongst other things takes Twilight, the story of a mopey American schoolgirl (played by Kristin Stewart) who falls in love with a controlling, violent, charming older boy, and highlights the parallels with domestic violence.

Decide you need to read or watch something cheerful. With absolutely no schoolgirls or depressed people.

(nb: all of these things are pretty good. Yu+me is a really engaging lesbian romance which goes to an unexpected and fascinating place, though the overall portrayal of POC characters made me uncomfortable. Speak is understated and subtle. The vid makes a good point though imo needs more fandoms and/or more narrative)
sqbr: Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Monday, April 27th, 2009 11:58 am
I've seen a few feminist critiques of "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and they seem to have seen a very different, more sexist film to me. After some thought I get the nasty feeling that what they saw is closer to the creators vision.

See for example Forgetting Sarah Marshall: Superemosogynisticexpialadocious. If You Make a Film of It, It's Really Quite Atrocious! (Via Hoyden About Town)
Read more... )
sqbr: (torchwood spoilers)
Monday, April 13th, 2009 09:33 am
Links
Descriptions and links to trailers
Initial poll
second poll

What to say
(nb haven't filled this out completely, just giving a rough outline)

We are going to be recommending anime which will hopefully appeal to people who aren't huge fans of the genre, specifically australian science fiction and fantasy fans.

This is about TASTE not how OBJECTIVELY GOOD something is. An anime can be very good for what it is but not to your taste. That said, if we rec something without mentioning what you feel is a major drawcard/annoyance please tell us!

Try and rec a range of different types of anime so you can find at least one which suits you. Warn for the common things that put people off.

So, why don't people like anime?
Stuff we can avoid:
-Sturgeons Law (not completely subjective)
-confusing cultural references (aimed at japanese people)

Specific tropes which some people dislike: (see this poll)

  • giant robots
  • overly stylised setting eg impractical costumes/giant weapons
  • schoolgirls in uniforms
  • cliched
  • bad quality animation (jerky/dated etc)
  • overly stylised animation ie giant eyes
  • bad dialogue
  • surreal/makes no sense
  • uninteresting plot/no plot
  • too slow
  • overly sexualised/exploited female characters
  • other disturbing sexual stuff (ie involving children)


Anime sff subgenres don't match western sff subgenres exactly but can hit many of the same buttons. Some are very stereotypical of genre, some transcend it or are hard to categorise.
-Giant robots
-(japanese!) historical fantasy ie samurai
-horror
-etc

How to choose between not annoying but bland and crazily annoying but awesome

And now for the recs!

Each should have: Genre:, Synopsis:, Good:, Bad: (put up on a whiteboard?)
e.g. Planetes: Genre: Hard sf, Synopsis: Garbage collectors in space, Good: Realistic, Bad: slow, a bit dull (too realistic!)

Poll for panelists )
sqbr: (livejournal)
Friday, January 30th, 2009 07:43 pm
First the annoying: I ran out of medication unexpectedly so had to tire myself going to the dr, pay $60 consultation fee, and $30 extra for the wrong size packet (thanks again to The Worlds Most Incompetent Doctor)...only to get home and find the other packet hiding in the other side of the bathroom cabinet. bah.

And now the happy:

  • Dawntreader is back yay!!
  • I KISSED A GIRL: This has to be the slashiest het vid ever :) Smallville, Clark/Lex and Clark/Every Girl Ever (Was that Poison Ivy?) Is it clever editing, or has the show really turned into "Lets come up with excuses to get Clark topless"? I think it gets a repetitive by the end but it amused me.
  • Apparently I am well known at my local library as "The woman who reserves the interesting books", one of the librarians said she's gone on to borrow some of them herself. This makes me happy :)
  • small tin peaches+ cup water + cup sugar makes for easy and tasty sorbet. Though I think I'll go for less water and sugar next time.


It's funny, that song annoys the hell out of me when sung from a female POV, but amuses me no end from a male POV. I wonder if the vidder had seen the Paul McDermott version?
sqbr: (torchwood spoilers)
Saturday, January 24th, 2009 03:44 pm
My body is reacting to the stress of the last week by shutting down and making me very sleepy, so I finally got around to watching "Vexille", an anime someone recced on my "Anime for sff nerds" discussion.

I wasn't looking forward to it, since it was cell-shaded 3D (which I find distracting) and about robots and mecha etc. Also not my thing.

But I just watched it and it's great. Not fetishing robots in a "Here's a straightforward war story but with giant robots for no logical reason" way, it's actually about robots, it's almost like a prequel to the Matrix. With a few obvious differences of course, but it feels very much like a good slightly philosophical western sf/action movie, except in japanese and more emotionally complex (I cried a little, I am not ashamed to admit) Since I had a headache I watched the first half hour or so in the english dub, and I'm glad I did, since it's set in America with american characters (the last 2/3 is in Japan with mostly japanese characters) I'm pretty sure that an american movie with an equivalent premise wouldn't flesh out the japanese characters anywhere near so well, let alone make one of the them the lead and title character! If anything it felt a little too american, certainly some plot points felt lifted from other sf movies.
More thoughts, no spoilers )
sqbr: (livejournal)
Friday, January 23rd, 2009 07:56 pm
One of those things which I've been linked to intermittently and finally gone "Oh, wait, this is cool!": http://www.illdoctrine.com/ the video blog of Jay Smooth, a very cool slightly nerdy hip-hop artist who talks about all sorts of things in a really engaging, intelligent, entertaining way.

..and is also very cute *cough*

As someone with a small soft spot for hip-hop I don't like the way hip-hop culture tends to be portrayed, part of me feels rather uncomfortable with the way that say Nerdcore sets itself up in false dichotomy with "real" hip-hop artists who are assumed to never be nerdy etc themselves. (Which is not to say that's all there is to nerdcore etc, just that I get that vibe sometimes)

And now for something completely different: Really cool viral ad for watchmen in the form of a 1970s tv broadcast, via [livejournal.com profile] sonictail. You know even if this movie totally sucks, it will be worth it for stuff like this and the vid material. (I've been an Alan Moore fan long enough to set very low standards for a "good" adaptation)

Finally, as someone with (relatively minor) accessibility issues I was also a bit uncomfortable about all the people crowing about Dick Cheney being in a wheelchair. I wasn't sure I could be bothered posting about it and lo! Deconstructing Cheney's De-Inaugural Wheelchair does it for me. Life is good.

(1st and 3rd links via [livejournal.com profile] sparkymonster who's lj I randomly clicked to from somewhere totally unrelated)
sqbr: Expressing my femininity with an axe (femininity)
Sunday, December 21st, 2008 03:33 pm
The mysterious geographic explorations of Jasper Morello (full movie on youtube) Oh. My. God. This is an amazing neo-victorian short film, utterly gorgeous. But don't do what I did and go in expecting Tim Burton-esque darkness-hiding-a-schmoopy-heart, this is more Lovecraft or Edgar Allen Poe. Blarg. I haven't been that slowly horrified by misreading the genre of a film and letting myself get attached to the characters since "The Talented Mr Ripley".

Also, two fanfics where I've spent AGES wishing someone would write something like this but noone does, may actually appeal to non-fanfic types (both are G rated :))

First Passing Through Nature To Eternity a gen fic showing what it might have been like for the four founders during the founding of Hogwarts. From the POV of Rowena Ravenclaw which is an added bonus.

Second Boston Marriage (Gilmore Girls), a note-perfect Rory/Paris fic that never loses it's snark or descends into schmoopiness. A quote:
Inside was a forty-page printout of a PowerPoint presentation entitled Boston Marriage: The Thinking Woman's Solution. Rory gripped the doughnut between her teeth and sat back on the couch, PowerPoint in one hand and coffee in another. She paged through the presentation, determinedly not pausing at a chart labeled "A Historical Analysis of Gilmore Dating: Two Decades of Disaster." When she got to the three-page bibliography at the end, she flipped back to the beginning and read it again, more slowly.

It's pretty much exactly the sort of story I'm aiming for with "Marriage is Destiny", may have to give up in despair of ever being so awesome :)

Also, this may have less appeal to people who aren't me, but if there was ever a show which had potential for book-centered femslash(*) it's "Read or Die", and I came accross a slight but sweet Nenene/Maggy fic Kiss Me, I’m Drunk.

(*)I think my love of this genre goes back to my obsession with "Anne of Green Gables" as a child :D
sqbr: (torchwood spoilers)
Sunday, December 7th, 2008 01:15 pm
Not feeling at all review-y but I keep meaning to post about these. So:

A review I did of the graphic novel Persepolis. Very good autobiography of a girl growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.

Also I finally got around to watching the 90s movie Dating the Enemy. I have a major soft spot for body swap/change stories, especially genderswap, but it is so often done badly I've kind of given up on the genre. This isn't a fantastic film (the writing/directing etc is...ok. For an aussie film. From the 90s) but it did manage to have some clever/insightful touches, and most importantly made the central couple's differences largely a function of who they were as people rather than their gender. Also the characters have a refreshingly fluid attitude to their sexuality for a mainstream film :)

Hmm. Dating the Enemy and Wives and Daughters are about the only two romantic movies/tv shows with a female science nerd lead I can think of (And no Roxanne, The world is not enough and any other films with hot "physicists" don't count :P) There need to be more!