Monday, November 19, 2012
It also happened to be the night of the new Twilight movie premier. I arrive at the theater about 6:40 and there were already plenty of young women camped out in front. They were in pastel hoodies with mittens and Starbucks and they looked miserably gleeful. This was their night, and as I stood out front finishing my cigarette I smiled inwardly and got a little sad that I never got to experience anything like that when I was their age. That would have been a monumental event for me - nerding out with my friends (of which I had few at that age), camping out, laughing and talking about our favorite moments from books and movies. How is that not heaven?
So I stood there, and out of nowhere got very self conscious. I became very worried that someone would mistake me for a Twi-Hard. I am an almost middle aged chubby little goth girl, and after a bit of soul searching have reconciled that it was more about the combination of my age and lack of companion than a fandom association that had me staring at the concrete. But in hindsight I am still pretty ashamed of myself for being embarrassed. And one particular female is the reason why.
She walked in with a plainly handsome young man. She was old enough to know better. They walked back out immediately, and she began screeching as they walk back to a car. "OH MY GOD LOOK AT THEM! THEY ARE SO PATHETIC!" And on and on, she couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry, wondered if they had boyfriends*, and kept turning around and laughing. I totally gave her the stink eye, you guys, and immediately held my head high again. This woman was howling with laughter because a group of people enjoy something. Gross.
Twi-Hards catch an awful lot of shit. It is becoming more and more en vogue to be a nerd these days. Star Wars fans are no longer estimated to be basement dwelling virgins. Ringers are calm, languid linguists and Potterheads are just flat out awesome. But Twi-Hards are still the black sheep. Why?
I read all four Twilight books a couple years ago. I did not love them. I barely liked them, and I did not think they were well written. But I will never, as long as I live, fault someone for reading and enjoying a book. Do you know how many people I've met that literally hadn't picked up reading material that wasn't held together by staples until the Twilight Saga came along? Do you know how many girls felt like they had no one to talk to because they felt their interests were too geeky? Do you know how many adults I know who now devour books because Twilight reminded them how much they love to read? How, in the name of Jean Luc Picard, are these bad things?
I love you, Twi-Hards. I embrace you. Your cosplay may not be as ostentatious as some but you attack it with a zest equal to the dude in the full Wookie costume on a 90 degree day. Your protagonist might be a poor role model for women, but not every heroine has to be Ellen Ripley. Sometimes you just need the fairy tale, and there isn't a damn thing wrong with that.
Some of you might be calling me out here, recalling a previous entry where I had a little bit of fun at the expense of the Twilight saga. I did. But not once did I make fun of its fans. And I never will.
*Tips From Auntie Kat: Attention young nerdling boys: Ah, my sweet little awkward puppies. You wanna meet girls? Read some YA lit that features a supernatural romance or a dystopian future. When the inevitable movie is released, go with at least one of and no more than two of your friends. Ask the girl sitting next to you what part she is most excited to see on the big screen, or who her favorite character is. After the movie, ask her if she and her friends want to go to Steak and Shake. I promise, even if she says no, she will be glad you asked.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
I got a fancy TV for Christmas last year and put the old analog set in my bedroom. I recently realized I could hook up a VCR to that old ass set and watch all my old Disney VHS tapes, so that's exactly what I did. I may or may not have watched "Beauty and the Beast" for several nights in a row. And then I dug a little deeper into the Rubbermaid tote to discover what else lay waiting . . . and found "The Dark Crystal."
You guys. This is seriously the most fucked up movie I've ever seen, and I've seen "Irreversible." I remember being moderately jibblied after seeing this as a child, and I very distinctly remember looking over at my mother during the screening and not quite recognizing the look on her face. I think that would have happened when the Skeksi Emperor died and shriveled and decomposed while the other Skeksis shrieked along.
Yeah, let's talk about the Skeksis. They are giant anthropomorphic vultures. There is literally a five minute scene in this movie that consists solely of the Skeksis screaming at each other. No words, just screaming. Big crusty birds in Victorian throne room costumery, screaming at each other. They survive by draining the souls of slaves. This is not inferred by our adult selves, it is explicitly stated in the context of the film. All of the Skeksis have real name (that's good trivia, FYI), but they are called by their occupations, which include such colorful titles as " Scientist," "Ritual Master," and "Slave Master." The Chamberlain loses a battle (which consists of swinging big ass swords at a rock) and is banished. But before he is cast out, he is stripped and mocked, and you guys, I'm pretty sure he has teats.
So the Skeksis are the bad guys, and the Gelflings are our heroes. There are only two gelflings left, as there was a big ol' genocide, which we learn from watching baby gelfings scream for their mothers. The Skeksis fear the gelflings because according to their prophecies, a gelfing will restore a missing shard to the Crystal, and . . . I don't know . . . that's bad somehow. The plot is wafer thin, friends. So the two gelfings are aided in their quest by Aughra, a shrieking goat-pug harpy woman who removes her one eye so she can see a mere one foot higher than she could if said eye remained in her head. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP. And then there are the Pod People. They are sweet and simple and kind, and they are harvested and enslaved so the talking birds can eat their souls. I don't really have much to say about the Mystics. They're not really creepy. They're oddly comforting. Maybe it's their death knell. I don't know.
And finally, there are the Garthim. The Skeksis send these soldiers out to hunt and fetch prey. The Garthim are giant, clicky, spider beetle crab monsters. In a children's movie. Giant clicky spider beetle crab monsters. I just . . . this shit is horrifying!!! Horror aside, the art design in this movie is ridiculous. The Garthim, easily the scariest part, upon analysis are completely beautiful. Their shells are iridescent with tones of blue and green reflecting off the black, and the manpower that went in to animating these bad boys is nothing short of mind blowing, even today. The characters were designed by Brian Froud, who wrote and drew that book that all the girls in your third grade class fought over in the library. The horrors are often hidden under beauty, such as the magic forest Jen travels through, and Fizzgig, the wee puppy-esque creature who is adorable - until he opens his gaping maw to reveal two sets of razor sharp teeth.
Getting back to that look on my mother's face - I am now 100% certain that that look said "what the shit did I just expose my child to?" You exposed me to awesomeness, Ma. I joke about the horrors, and with an adult mind the movie is really messed up. But to a child, it's wondrous and scary and gorgeous. Kids don't get much credit these days, credit for being able to process and reason, and more importantly, to imagine. And they totally should. We watched Tom and Jerry beat the shit out of each other every day after school, and on special occasions we got to see vulture creatures decompose before our very eyes. And we turned out completely cool.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Yesterday I drove out to my dad's to take him a burger and spend a little quality time in his central air, which as it turned out he had not even considered activating. It was 92 degrees at 10:30 am yesterday, and despite my unadulterated loathing of summers in Ohio, I was feeling restless. As I exited Springfield on my way to South Vienna I realized it was Memorial Day weekend - and that meant the Melody Drive In was celebrating its opening weekend, which sent me into nostalgia overdrive. So I decided that the only way to spend such a grotesque day was to drive around, blaring Skid Row's first album*, and take a tour of the only places that shaped me growing up in that uneventful place: Springfield's movie theaters.
I held hands with a boy for the first time at The Regent. He totally played guitar, you guys. The movie? "The Last Boy Scout," which was incidentally probably the last movie I saw at this theater, as it closed in 1991 and has been rotting since. The State closed for a while in 1990, but has since been utilized for local productions and silent film screenings. I look back and realize how lucky I am to have been in such opulent theaters. Can you imagine seeing "The Dark Crystal" in a theater with burgandy velvet curtains, chandeliers, red velvet seats, and 70 year old murals painted on the walls? It was a gift, and I am grateful.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the Oxford comma.
Friday night I had the distinct pleasure of seeing both a band I never thought I would get to see, and a veritable metal legend. I've taken a pause in my giant bowl of buh-sketti-O's long enough to tell you all about it.
Cards on the table - I totally lied just there. I just wolfed down the rest of the O's. So now I can continue unfettered . . .
We saw Otep and Cavalera Conspiracy Friday night. At - seriously, are you ready for this? - McGuffy's House of Draft. McGuffy's. For any of you from the Dayton era that were at any point from, oh, 1985 on maybe, in to any kind of shitty metal, you know what I'm talking about. For those of you who aren't/weren't, I am so sorry that you do not. McGuffy's is one of those local legendary joints that waxes and wanes in both its popularity and reputation. Let's put it this way: Queensryche, Dream Theater, Dio, and countless other legends have played there. But so have I. So there you go. It has an eternal beer stank, but also guitars a' la Hard Rock decorating the walls.
So I, my fella, two of his friends, and approximately 100 Daytonians ventured out to see some metal. I have to tell you - I've been a quiet fan of Otep for quite a long time. I was working at a record store and a coworker put in Otep's CD, then watched my face. I wasn't into a lot of cookie monster metal, but this stuff had a groove and I was digging on it OK. Then my coworker said "by the way, that's a chick." AND I FELL IN LOVE WITH OTEP. Their live performance did not disappoint. They were - oh my god you guys, I'm gonna say it, I'm gonna say it - tighter than Tool on two possibly three of the four Tool performances I have seen. Seriously. Cavalera Conspiracy was also super fun, and - personal achievement - I was within like five feet of a pit. Side note - before the show Jason made a comment about Max's dreads possibly being held together by poo, and that might not have been a joke.
Guys, I kind of lied to you again. This is not a post about metal. I led you here under that guise, but what I really want to talk about? Dub step. Seriously. Both Otep and Cavalera Conspiracy took to the blackened stage to some haaaaardcore dub. I loved it. I really wanted to find out who it was, but couldn't think of a single person to ask in that Red Bull Metal Stank crowd. Not one person.
I only learned about dub step a few months ago, and I guess by that time it was already cool to make fun of it. But screw you guys, I listen to what I want! I thought I had reached a point in my life where I was completely unafraid to be into things that aren't looked upon as "real*." Art, music, movies, TV shows, I thought I no longer cared and had well reached an age where if you judge me because of what entertains me, you are the douche. Learned an important lesson Friday - apparently I'm not quite there yet. So now I have to spend literally minutes on the world wide web trying to figure out those sweet sweet sounds that rumbled my belly and made me want to dance like a French hipster before two crusty metal bands took the stage.
*Uck, god, case in point. I just popped over to another blog site and I saw the following: "Any fans of REAL music out there, I urge you to go see band-X."
So, I aim to update this blog a lot more frequently. I can't promise there will be anything of note here, just random thoughts and an occasional rant, I'm sure. But recently I've been chock full of excuses as to why I don't write (editorially and creatively) and the jar just emptied. So stay tuned, friends and neighbors. Or better yet, chime in and start a conversation!
Sunday, July 10, 2011
In almost exactly four days, I will be crying. On the off chance that my pal Jeremy reads this blog - Jeremy, I sincerely and wholeheartedly apologize, 'cause it's gonna be "Titanic" all over again (which, incidentally, is another far more emarassing blog entry all together). I already mist up at just the posters, and have dropped more than a few tears during trailer viewings. I solemnly swear I will be a hot mess.
My point for making this post is not to recap the series or even to list my favorite moments, though I would be remiss for not mentioning one - learning Gary Oldman would play Sirius Black (suck it, crazy zealots - I already know what the Rapture feels like, and it's quite nice). Fans of the Potterverse don't need it and non-fans don't want it. No, my point is a little different.
Today a tumblr post was reblogged by countless young'uns. "Reblog with your earliest memory of Harry Potter." Most of the replies consisted of "I was 6, my mum used to read it to me and my siblings when we were going to bed at night."
Friends and neighbors, I was 21 years old when "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" was released in the US. I probably read it while sipping a cocktail. I know there are others out there like me - grown ass women and men who still maybe kinda hope that one day we will get our Hogwart's orientation letter in the mail. Adults who are so invested in this mythology that a half-second glimpse of Lupin and Tonks in the trailer sends us into fits of weeping (no? Just me? Whatevs). We are out there, and we love Harry's world just as much as you.
I do not feel "less than" my young fellow fans. Not at all. I don't believe that I am less of a fan because I watched Harry grow up but didn't get to grow up with him, and I believe that is JK Rowling's ultimate triumph. She took an idea about the basest needs - loyalty, friendship, honor, family in all its forms, love, and oh yeah a little magic, and cleverly disguised it with the most amazing and colorful characters and situations . . . so we wouldn't realize that what we were reading was actually good for us, too. She put spinach in our brownies. Reading/watching a Potter story always makes me feel amazing.
I am a little jealous of my younger fans, truth be told. I am completely jealous of those of you that were read to as children. Even though it never happened (and sadly never will), thinking of my mother reading me a Potter story would definitely be my patronus memory. And I assure you if ever we meet at the Wizarding World, I will be running around like an idiot with my newly purchased wand, flinging curses with the best of them. *
To paraphrase Alan Rickman, who in turn paraphrased the Queen herself: When I am 80 and in my rocking chair reading Harry Potter and my friends ask "Still, after all these years?" I will reply "always."
*apologies in advance to my fella, who I regularly beg to take me to Disneyworld
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
But first, two truths must be known:
Truth the first - "The Godfather" is the definition of "perfect movie." But it is not on my list.
Truth the second - The Star Wars trilogy transcends such trivialities as "lists." Therefore it is not included on this one.
Seriously this time - here goes.
1. True Romance. I love this movie so much that I have a tribute permanently marked on my left foot. Here is a movie that delivers exactly what it promises. It's the most romantic movie ever made, and on the rare occasion it falls into romance-cliche territory, it's done so flamboyantly that you just don't care. Faceless Elvis, stoner Brad Pitt, Remy, Balki, Cuuuuuuh-reepy Christopher Walken, Gary Fucking Oldman - and those are just the bit players? Seriously. Come on. Seriously. And PS - I like Tony Scott's ending best of all.
2. Harold and Maude. The second most romantic movie ever made. Currently a memorial for the right foot is underway. What else can I say about Harold and Maude? It's hilarious, it's touching, it's eye opening, and it's beautiful. The end.
3. Goodfellas. I'm pretty sure this is the movie that caused the eye opening "oooooooooohhh. This is what it's supposed to be like." I think this is the first movie I recognized in my own estimations as "brilliant." And probably the first time I ever identified a tracking shot, even though I definitely didn't know that's what it's called. And I am STILL a giant sucker for a tracking shot (WHAT UP, "Children of Men"?)
4. The Wizard of Oz. This is on my list more out of nostalgia than of respect for the amazing technical achievements of this movie. I acknowledge them of course, but I don't know enough about them to care as much as I care about how I used to wait ALL YEAR* to watch this with my mom, after she made Pillsbury breadsticks and Cheez Whiz. Even at that young of an age, I would imagine what it must have been like to see that on a screen, and see Dorothy open that world into pure colorama magic. And it still give me goosebumps.
5. Pi. I love this movie more for its subject more than it's killer cinematography, its 8 billion shots, more than all its awesome innovativeness. It's a subject that has fascinated me for a long time - mysticism and math (and I really wish I were smart enough to research and theorize on the subject) - and when I learned there was a movie about it I was super excited. So it's pretty kick ass that the movie turned out to be awesome, right?
So yeah, there's my five. Honorable mentions, you ask? Hmm. Fellowship. M. The Birds (because it scarred me FOR LIFE). Superman. Watchmen (Yes, Watchmen, shut up). But be sure and stay tuned for:
Kathleens favorite records! Only one from each band, greatest hits don't count!
Kathleens favorite shots! The question is not "will there be a tracking shot?" but "how many tracking shots will there be?!!?"
Kathleens favorite . . . oh hell, I don't know. I just know I need to update this thing more often.
*see kids, back in the day our Beloved American Icons were not whored out for the all mighty dollar and you could only watch movies like "The Wizard of Oz" once a year. But I suppose that's another blog post entirely . . .