Dana Scully’s Hair.

October 14, 2013

…and reasons why it wasn’t enough to save the X-Files for me.

The last two (or so) years I’ve been trying off and on to work my way through the X-Files. I’d sort of figured that space aliens was the reason I didn’t really care much about anything besides Mulder and Scully’s brolationship. (It’s great!)

I blamed space aliens for everything that was wrong with that show, but as I’m starting to revisit it a little bit, I finally figured out why it really irritates me. (Let me be expressly clear: I want more than anything to love this show like it deserves to be loved, I just can’t wrap my head around it I guess.)

Anyway, I’m watching the two parter in season five that involves Emily Sim. (A three year old girl who’s biologically Scully’s.) And it hits me: so much of this show rests on coincidences going horribly awry, or the audience not being able to figure out exactly what’s going on that I can’t bring myself to pay attention.

For example: Mulder just told a member of the SDPD not to shoot this other dude (because, ALIENS) which he does anyway, and then the alien dude shapeshifts into the SDPD guy tricking Mulder into thinking things are totally peachy when it’s totally the opposite. (Again, ALIENS.)

Even typing that paragraph was confusing to me.

Basically what I’m saying is, nothing -ever- goes right for these people. (Mulder, Scully, Scully’s hair, or anyone they encounter.) And it’s infuriating! I haven’t felt this way about a TV show since Rocko’s Modern Life, which at the time I couldn’t really articulate why I didn’t like watching it.

These characters NEVER get what they want, and the coincidence factor of everyone else being able to be right in their way is all too convenient.

So, I’m sorry space aliens, even though you cause a lot of problems; it’s not your fault that I can’t stand anything about the X-Files aside from Scully’s hair.

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Recess!

October 11, 2013

Screenwriting is hard you guys.

I love it and everything, but being on a short deadline is crappy.

I downloaded a new Towa Tei album for “research” and so far this song is my favorite:

Sans.

October 8, 2013

It’s all fun and games until someone mentions Carrie without Sissy Spacek.

I want to talk about a few things: semantics, faces, lust, and chill-ass-ladies.

Yesterday my pal Fif came over. We had somehow ended up in a discussion about a picture she’d seen of an abandoned library in Chernobyl.

“There’s no way you’re going to find it,” she said, “I looked for it for a show I was working on forever and *I* couldn’t even find it.”

My google-fu is unparalleled. Challenge was firmly accepted.

In the time it took for her to go to the bathroom, I’d found the source of her intrigue. “It’s like, a library with a tree growing through it, and like, piles of books, and it kind of looks like the one from Beauty and the Beast.”

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Done.

After that, we sat up and I persuaded her to sit through Sedmikrásky with me.

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She acquiesced, but only if I’d draw something with her, so I agreed.

Fif is a master of the human face. Actually, I suppose that’s a severe understatement.

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She drew this from scratch with the touchpad on her laptop. Just because. 

She was trying to get me to finish a piece that included Susan Sarandon. I just…get really clammy about finishing things. The leaving open ended thing is very much a part of my nature. Thankfully she gave me a few pointers about how to adjust the shape of Susan’s face, which was nice. (It was looking really wonky, and she was able to piece out why immediately. Bless her heart.)

After little sleep, and half muttering silly witticisms in Czech to each other, she said this to me:

“I wish you could draw like me.”

Then she paused contemplatively while I took another sip of coffee.

“No, that’s not what I mean. I wish– I wish you felt the same way I do when I’m drawing. Like, you had something that made you feel that way. ”

“…Umřít, umřít, umřít…” (We laughed.)

“It just makes me feel so– like I feel so good.”

“I think I have other things that make me feel that way?” Art makes me frustrated. I have recently come to the realization that as much as I want my brain to be a picture brain, it is a words brain. I have to sculpt the pictures in my imagination with words. Or, in some way; I have to figure out how to describe them and compartmentalize them so I can communicate what I’m seeing in a way that make sense to other people.

“I wish I could do that.” She said.

We resolved that we make a good team because what she’s good at leaves me frustrated, and what I’m good at does the same to her.

“…Umřít, umřít, umřít…”

And then we laughed even more.

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Pick meme!

October 4, 2013

I posted this on tumblr, but no one sent me any numbers to answer. Normally, in a fit of solipsistic rage, I’ll fill these out on my personal-personal blog (LJ, WHADDUP) but I wanted to do this one in a somewhat public venue, because it’s interesting. (As opposed to the ones that are like, “1. What’s your favorite color? 2. Did you poop today? 3. If you were stranded on a desert island with cannibalistic molerats and one celebrity, who would you choose to be with you so they’d get eaten first?”

No.

I also just found out that a job that I’d accepted is going to pay me a lot more than I’d thought, so I’ve been celebrating all day.

I went for the hundred pack! *cue: Paul McCartney and Wings*

I’m addicted to these f^ckers. Instant mocha flavored coffee sticks? SIGN. ME. UP. (Always.)

The other thing I’m going to do is fill out this film/tv meme. Yay?

1. Talk about your favorite film of all time (or one of them)

I was just watching it because I couldn’t sleep yesterday evening, actually. Hannah and Her Sisters is by far my favorite movie. I have a lot of others that constantly compete for a spot in my top 5, but I was struck so dumb by the end of that movie that I couldn’t even speak. There’s nothing really *special* about it, (aside from HOLY CHEKHOV style subtext) but I really enjoy it’s tone, and the way Woody Allen decided to break it up into chapters. Dianne Wiest is my favorite actor, and she does a really tremendous job in this film. It’s a really subtle powerhouse, and one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

2. Talk about your favorite tv show of all time (or one of them)

I’m not sure what to choose for this one. My immediate first thoughts are, Cagney and Lacey, ER,  the Golden Girls, or Saturday Night Live. They’re probably all tied for the number one spot. The first three, because they’re totally timeless. The humor on GGs stands up today because thematically, it’s not a topical show. (Or super zeitgeist-y.) The feminist dynamic of C&L is still relevant today. (Because women in the workforce are still dealing with the same bullshit.) ER because it captures the dynamic between people who are very invested in their work, as well as personal goings on. SNL on the opposite side of things, is brilliantly topical. Their satire is usually A+, and it’s awesome that they’ve been such an institution of American television for almost 40 years.
3. Talk about a movie, or an aspect of one that you think people don’t get or misunderstand

In terms of movie writing, I think a lot of people don’t understand the beauty of a character driven piece that has the proper amount of subtext. It’s rare that you see a mainstream film that’s just about people living life, without the additions of like, zombies, explosions, or being set in the Victorian era.

Also, on a completely different note, I feel like people knock Spice World all the time because they don’t understand how delightfully campy it is.

4. Talk about a film you think is underrated

Judy Berlin. It’s another quiet  Chekhovian masterpiece (Madeline Kahn’s last film, as well) but no one seems to have heard of it. I’d also say Scotland, PA because Maura Tierney as Pat is the EPITOME of sass.
5. Talk about a film you think is overrated

Titanic.

6. Talk about a show you think is underrated 

‘Cagney and Lacey’ is often a pejorative phrase to describe prominent (or even barely noticeable) female friendships on TV, but I honestly believe it’s one of the best show’s ever written. It deals brilliantly with the idea of layered arc structuring, and after watching the whole series a few years ago, I was stunned that it wasn’t more positively discussed.

7. Talk about a show you think is overrated

Glee, PLL, Gossip Girl… Any show that’s marketed towards high schoolers, or where the protagonists are high schoolers and are set in the most hyperbolic, unrealistic atmospheres. PUKE.
8. Talk about a movie you love

I was just thinking about this movie by happenstance the other day, but it’s a German film called “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul” and it’s really a beautiful movie. I haven’t watched it in awhile, but I feel like I’m due for a rewatch now.
9. Talk about a movie you hate

I really wanted to shoot myself in the face after watching PS I love you.
10. Talk about a show you love

The Lawrence Welk Show! Again, camp at it’s finest. (With the exception of Jo Ann Castle who just blows my damn MIND.)

11. Talk about a show you hate

See the list above.
12. Talk about a performance you love

Ellen Greene as Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors always grabs me. I also really enjoy Ruth Gordon as Dame Marjory Chardin in Harold and Maude. The last one I feel needs a mention is Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine. I wasn’t really a huge fan of his before I saw that movie.

13. Talk about a performance you hate

I just watched the Shining the other day, and I wasn’t really fond of anyone’s work in that movie. (Aside from Danny, the child.)
14. What’s a character, from film or television, that you relate a lot?

I know I’ve mentioned Cagney and Lacey a lot, but one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much was because I saw so much of myself in Cagney. She’s “brusque”, opinionated, and independent; and often reacts how I would in precarious situations. (With 100% sass mouth.) The two other’s I’d like to mention are Dorothy Zbornak from tGGs, and Susan Lewis from ER. They both have a really dry,  quick wit; and aren’t always sure of their decisions.

15. What’s a movie you expected to like/love but ended up disliking?

The Shining, actually! It was gorgeous, but left a lot to be desired story-wise.

16. What’s a movie you didn’t expect to like but ended up loving

CARRIE. I had no expectations going into it, but MAN did I enjoy the hell out of that film!

17. What’s a show you loved at first but ended up disliking by the end?

The X-Files. I found myself heavily invested in Mulder and Scully’s brolationship, but not really caring about space aliens or government conspiracy.

18. What was the first movie or show that made you cry?

A movie I checked out from the library when I was five or so. It was just a collection of bad 60’s cover songs, that also had bad music videos to go with. I just remember watching the one to “Come Saturday Morning” and being like, “No! What… why is this happening? My face? What’s going on…?”

19. What was the last movie you saw in the theater?

In a World.

SAVE YOUR MONEY.
20. What’s a movie that caused you to become scared of something? 

Before learning about “Child’s Play” it had never occurred to me that inanimate objects could come to life and do harm. To this day, I’m totally weirded out by automatons, wax figures, and creepy dolls.

21. Talk about a specific nightmare that a movie or show gave you:

I remember being very young and not understanding what the word “horror” meant. I just remember glancing at covers of movies and not being able to sleep at night. My brain’s conscious concoctions are always worse than nightmares.
22. What do you think is the funniest movie ever made?

Either A Fish Called Wanda, or Wet Hot American Summer.

23. What do you think is the saddest movie ever made?

I avoid sad movies like the plague, but I got really choked up during Sophie’s Choice, and the end of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I also was a wreck after Night of the Living Dead, surprisingly.
24. What do you think is the scariest movie ever made?

Good question! I’ve seen a lot of the supposedly ‘scariest movie’s ever’ and wasn’t really that affected by them. I thought the Exorcist was stunning, and I totally loved Suspiria. I don’t even know if I can answer this, because nothing’s really scared the pants off me. I will say, Sybil is probably the eeriest movie I’ve ever seen, but not exactly scary.
25. What do you think is the funniest show ever? (you can pick a specific episode if you want)

Oh goodness, I’m a huge 30 Rock tool, but I’d have to say I Love Lucy, The Golden Girls maybe… I’m not sure. Gilda Radner is the funniest TV show ever. Is that an ok answer?

26. What do you think is the saddest show ever?

ON THE BEACH. (The end of ER season 8) that whole arc destroys me every time I watch it.
27. What do you think is the best adaptation of a book? (film or TV)

I’m not quite sure, actually! I’m not familiar enough with either that match up. (IE I’ll have watched the movie, but not read the book; or vice-versa.)

28. What do you think is the worst adaptation of a book?

Again, not too sure.

29. What do you think is the most well shot film or show?

ER is great with all of the steadicaming. There’s also one shot in Hannah and Her Sisters that’s to DIE for. It’s a tracking/steadicam/somethingorother shot of the three sisters at lunch. AMAZING.

I also really enjoyed the camera work in the Shining. It’s GOR.GE.OUS.

30. What’s a movie or show you love but often forget about?

Anything that TVLand used to play in the mid 90’s. Most of the sitcoms from 55-85 were absolute GOLD. Also, that cartoon Recess. I really enjoy that show a lot!