Tags: story-telling

No Normal

"I am, after all, a reflection of you"

Way back last Spring, when there were trailers for the two (two!) “Snow White” movies, I thought it was pretty clear which was going to be, you know, more interesting. I mean... Charlize Theron! Looking definitely evil! Kristen Stewart looking.... um... action-chick.. ish! Chris Helmsworth!

The other option, “Mirror, Mirror,” had Julia Roberts, and somebody who looked like Audrey Hepburn, and Nathan Lane, and fantastically colorful costumes which looked like Disney on pastel-colored acid , and trailers which emphasized the color and the humor and the fantastical elements—as opposed to “Snow White and the Huntsman,” which looked GRITTY and ACTION-ORIENTED and like the princess would be... well, more about the action, and the leading the forces of good to fight the evil, power-hungry queen who was literally draining the life from the kingdom, as opposed to being all chirpy birds and flowery dresses and prettiness and sparkles and dwarves on boingy accordion stilt things.

Not that there’s anything wrong with prettiness and sparkles and fairy tales- -I mean, I love “The Slipper and the Rose,” which is definitely pretty and sparkly and occasionally silly (and, okay, sometimes snarky—gotta love a prince whose first line is, “Why do they always sound so many trumpets? I’m not Jehovah!”). But, when trying to figure out what I want to see on the big screen, I’m kind of going to go for the action and the movie that look like it will have a more serious plot.

That didn’t mean that I didn’t, you know, think, “Gee, I should see “Mirror, Mirror” when I get a chance, when it’s out on video, I can get it from the library, but, you know, whatever, silly camp film version, watch for pretty costumes whenever...”

Wow, guys, I was soooo wrong.....

Collapse )
Medieval Lady

"You scare me."

I have.... about five different actual things that I have to post about, and a whimper-inducing stack of exams to grade (waaaaah), but this has been in my head for about a week, and so I just wanted to toss it out there and hope it goes away.

I am rather ridiculously fond of the movie "Smilla's Sense of Snow"--- I love the cast, the mystery is nicely done (ok, there is a bit of the central premise that is a tad bit... um... well, silly, shall we say, but the story owns the silliness and does cool things with it, so), the heroine is this fantastically smart and damaged woman, the reasons she gets involved in the story make sense for the character, the scenery is beautiful... so, yes, just generally, movie that I really like (and I like it better than the book, largely because of the acting and the visuals).

There is one scene which has been in my head all week, as I said, because it's one of my favorite scenes in the movie. The heroine is determined to track down the bad guys (which in this case means finding a way on to their ship before it leaves on a mysterious expedition). Said bad guys, at this point, have already shown that they are willing to kill to preserve their secrets. The heroine has gotten some assistance from her attractive neighbor, who is a mechanic (totally a mechanic! absolutely! the fact that his fingernails are completely clean and he never seems to go to his garage-- where he is a mechanic!-- has nothing to do with the fact that he is completely in fact a mechanic. And those are totally wrench calluses. Uh-huh).

The neighbor has a friend, who's one of those casino/bar-owner types, knows everybody, involved in all sorts of business of a more or less legal nature. The guy with connections. And he and the heroine have this conversation, which goes more or less like this:

Heroine: I need help to do this incredibly dangerous thing where I'm going to be sneaking onto the ship of people who have made it clear that they are happy to kill to protect their secret.
Friend: Yeah.... I am completely going to help you with that in any way I can. You know why? You scare me. Other women are all talk-- you, I believe. I'm going to help you because if I don't help you, you're going to do it anyway, and get yourself killed, and the guy you insist is not your boyfriend will be VERY UPSET.

And then he does, in fact, proceed to use his connections and influence to get her onto the ship, with an actual "job" that's her reason to be there, and connections she can use. And he smuggles here there in the back (or trunk?) of his car. Hee.

(I am butchering some of the quote; I shall have to watch the movie and get the actual version... just wanted to share the idea of it, because I think it's very cool and the coffee has not kicked in yet, so I'm a bit spacey and easily distracted by shiny objects)
Medieval Lady

Whale Rider

One of the things about platelet donation is that you get to watch a movie (because, well, it takes a while). Which is a nice way to get to watch films I haven't seen, although it can be very annoying when there isn't time to watch all the way to the end (which on one occasion actually led to a really fun story idea, so I'm not complaining as much...).

Anyway, the other day, I decided to re-watch "Whale Rider," which is just a fantastic, fantastic film. It's from New Zealand, present-day setting. The heroine, Pai, is 12, and is the descendent of a long line of Maori chiefs. Her mother died in childbirth, and her twin brother died shortly thereafter. Her grandfather, the current chief, took a very long time to forgive Pai for being the one who survived when her brother, the expected heir, did not. Which doesn't mean that he doesn't love his granddaughter; it just means that, well, Girls Can't Be Chiefs.

Now, everybody who has ever seen this story told anyplace else will pretty much know that one of the main points is Girls Can To. The special heir/destined child/etc. is the one who everybody has been ignoring, "Harry, you're a wizard," etc., etc., etc.

One of the many virtues of "Whale Rider" is that the film itself is perfectly aware of this-- and keeps doing subtle little things to indicate that yeah, she's the one. Not a series of big, dramatic things, just... making it quietly clear. And another neat thing is watching how the characters react, and what they do or don't notice.

Fantastic story-telling. Highly recommend it.