kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)
6. A song that makes you want to dance

I am not, on the whole, a dancing person. "But it's just moving to the music," people say, but that's the problem. What if the way I move to the music looks stupid? I do not want to have to show spontaneous grace and creativity when other people might be watching me. (Plus, on my very few visits to clubs where people dance, the music was always too loud, the lights too weird, the crowd too crowded.)

However, back when my knees were younger, I did enjoy ceili dancing. The great thing about ceili dancing is that it's not spontaneous. There are steps! You don't have to be creative. You don't, at least at the ceilis I went to, have to be particularly graceful, either.

So here's some Irish traditional music, the sort of thing you might hear at a ceili. And if Martin Hayes, one of the finest fiddlers of his generation, plays at your ceili, you're privileged indeed.

Martin Hayes, "The Morning Star/The Caoilte Mountains"

Your toes were tapping, weren't they?

All the prompts )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
5. A song that needs to be played LOUD.

Apparently this song was a huge hit in 2006, but I managed not to encounter it until I watched Klia's amazing Life on Mars fanvid. (I'd love to link to the vid, but there doesn't seem to be a streaming version up anymore. You can go to her LJ, which will direct you to her website, and there you can request a password to a downloadable version.)

Gnarls Barkley, "Crazy"

All the prompts )
kindkit: The Fifth Doctor looks at Turlough from a distance. (Doctor Who: Five and Turlough distant)
4. A song that reminds you of someone you'd rather forget about

Well, this song reminds me of a moment I'd rather forget about and a person I remember with a good deal of regret.

REM, "Country Feedback"

All the prompts )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
3. A song that reminds you of summer

This is cheating a little, since it has the word "Summer" in the title, but it's one of the few songs I really do viscerally associate with that season (even though it's about the end of summer).

I wanted to post the Don Henley version,* since it has a stronger summery feeling for me, but I couldn't find anything but a live version on YouTube. Anyway, I do very much like this punk-pop cover.

The Ataris, "The Boys of Summer"

*Shut up, everybody is allowed to like one song by the Eagles or Don Henley, and this is mine.

List of prompts under the cut )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)
2. A song you like with a number in the title.

"Plus Ones," by Okkervil River. I picked this one because it's not only a cool song, it's a sort of meta-answer, referencing as it does a whole lot of other songs with numbers in their titles.

List of prompts under the cut )
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
For lack of anything very thoughtful that I want to post about, here's my first contribution to that music meme that's been going around.

1.A song you like with a colour in the title

The Clash, "(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais"

All the prompts under the cut )
kindkit: Medieval image of a mapmaker constructing a globe (Fandomless: Mapmaker)
1. Have you ever been to Ireland?

Twice. I have been to Dublin, Cork, Galway, Limerick, Ennis, Lisdoonvarna ("Oh, Lisdoonvarna," as Christy Moore sings; the town had three very musical pubs and one hostel with a peat fire and no electricity), Doolin, the cliffs of Moher (walked there from Doolin, including a bit where the path was uncomfortably close to the edge of the cliff), Inis Mor, Spiddal, Gleann Cholm Cille, Cushendall, Belfast (where I lost track of the number of people who said to me, "We're not like what you see on television"--this was over twenty years ago and the ceasefire was new and shaky-- and also where I went to a Christy Moore concert), and Derry.

2. According to Facts about Ireland, 73% of Americans are unable to locate Ireland on a map bereft of country names. Whether you are American or not, can you find it on a map?


3. Are you or do you know a natural redhead?

*sigh* Fetishizing red hair is creepy. I did date a redhead once, but not because of his hair color.

4. Will you be celebrating St Patrick's Day?

I have a bottle of Smithwick's in the fridge and will probably drink it tonight at some point. I don't care for St. Patrick's Day; back when I was most involved with Irish/Irish-American cultural stuff, we all took it deeply seriously and disliked the green beer and shamrocks and goddamn leprechauns and all that begorrah shite. (Heh, all this reminiscing has made me apt, like Laurie Odell, to become Irish.) My Irish-language teacher, a drinking man who loved a party, used to get a stern look about him as March 17th rolled around and would say, "St. Patrick founded no taverns, only churches."

5. Do you even know who St. Patrick is and why we celebrate his day?

He converted Ireland to Christianity, thereby doing it no great favor, although Irish monks did help keep learning and art alive through some rough centuries.
kindkit: Two cups of green tea. (Fandomless: Green tea)
Seen in various places on DW, but originally from [community profile] thefridayfive.

1. How do you like your coffee? I'm only an intermittent coffee drinker, and often I'm just drinking it for the caffeine. But there's one local coffee shop where the coffee actually tastes good, and I will go there sometimes for one a latte. I always take coffee with lots of milk (or better still, half-and-half) and no sugar.

2. How do you like your tea? It depends on what kind of tea. I drink green teas and certain black teas, such as lapsang souchong and good darjeeling, unadulterated. Same with iced tea. Cheap black tea, such as the "English Breakfast" blend I drink in the mornings to wake up, I take with milk and sugar. Oddly enough, I use the same blend of tea for iced tea, which I drink straight, but chilling the tea seems to tame the bitterness. I put sugar in most herbal teas, but my dream is to discover some that taste good without it, and I've finally found one: the chamomile and lavender tea from The English Tea Shop. It is the best herbal tea ever.

3. What's your favorite late night beverage? In warm weather, water. I drink lots of water all the time. I have to for medical reasons but I also really like it. In the winter I like something warm at bedtime--herbal tea or occasionally a hot toddy or hot whiskey.

4. If you could only drink one thing for the next week, what would it be? Let's assume that water is allowed regardless. So: lapsang souchong. I can drink it when the thought of almost anything else turns my stomach, which is important because I am not a natural early riser and I often feel gross in the mornings.

5. If you were on vacation, what would be the first thing you'd drink to celebrate? Assuming "on vacation" implies travelling, probably a local beer of some kind. Or wine if it's really a wine place and not a beer place, but I'm not a wine fan on the whole. If I were in Japan I would set out to drink all the gyokuro, because it's my favorite tea.
kindkit: Sherlock Holmes, with overlaid computer screen text: no access (Sherlock: no access)
1) Payday, which means I have bought another week's internet access. Please do link me to anything interesting I missed!

2) Recent reading:

Molly Lefebure, Murder on the Home Front. This is a republication of Lefebure's 1955 memoir Evidence for the Crown, and deals with her work from 1941-1945 as secretary to forensic pathologist Dr. Keith Simpson. It's an interesting look at British life (and death) during the war years, though I was torn between enjoying Lefebure's lack of pious platitudes and finding her sometimes quite callous. And be warned that her opinions can be unpleasantly reactionary even for the 1950s. In particular she shows a jaw-dropping lack of compassion for a murdered fifteen-year-old girl; the girl was sexually active, so in Lefebure's view the man who strangled her to death wasn't terribly blameworthy. Most of the book is free from this sort of thing, but there were times when I disliked Lefebure intensely.

M. J. McGrath, The Bone Seeker. A mystery novel set among the Inuit of the Canadian high arctic. The mystery is nothing special (I knew who did it less than halfway through, and I usually can't figure out mysteries), but the setting and cultural stuff are more compelling. McGrath does seem a little inclined to overemphasize the things non-Inuit are likely to find most alien about Inuit culture, though. There's a lot of eating of raw meat and animal heads in the book, for example; this makes me suspicious in particular because McGrath is not herself Inuit, but white British.

Neil Clarke, ed., Upgraded. An anthology, by the editor of the Clarkesworld sff website, of stories about cyborgs. It's a mixed bag, as all anthologies are, and I haven't finished it yet, but there are some good stories that aren't the usual run of cyberpunk.

3) Cooking: foodstuffs under the cut )

4) All my recent attempts at writing have ended with a whimper, so how about a writing-related meme? 40 questions, grabbed from [personal profile] lilliburlero under the cut )

letter meme

Feb. 6th, 2015 02:11 pm
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
While waiting for the bread dough to rise. I grabbed this one from [personal profile] oursin, who assigned me the letter P. I changed one question because I thought the original wasn't very interesting.

Something I hate: Podsnappery, for which I can't find a really good online definition, but this is okay. Your modern US-ian practitioner of Podsnappery believes no one is poor unless they're lazy and no one is killed by the police unless they've done something to deserve it.

Something I love: Podcasts. At least, several of my favorite fannish things at the moment are podcasts, or radio shows that I consume in podcast form. Because they're vastly cheaper to produce and easier to distribute than, say, television shows, there's a lot more room for experimentation and for niche-iness.

Somewhere I've been: Paris, where I lived for almost a year as a student. I loved it, mostly, though looking back on that time from a more adult perspective, I missed so many opportunities. But on the other hand, I had experiences that a sensible, responsible adult would miss out on. Obviously the best thing would be to go back to Paris every five years or so and re-experience it.

Somewhere I'd like to go: Besides back to Paris to do and see all the things I missed the first time, maybe Prague? I've heard it's gorgeous, and maybe it's not still overrun with US hipster expats the way it was said to be a while back.

Someone I knowA book I like: My first instinct is Pride and Prejudice, but it's kind of obvious and also may sound odd in combination with my next answer. So, Perdido Street Station by China Miéville, though I actually prefer the second Bas Lag book, The Scar.

A film I like: Pride (the 2014 film about Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, not the several other films of that title). It's funny and warm and political in a completely non-preachy way.
kindkit: Finch looks thoughtfully at the computer and so does Bear (POI: Finch and Bear thinking)
Your main fandom of the year?

Probably Person of Interest, though I'm still very multifannish (and also, see below for my reservations).

Your favorite film watched this year?

Pride, which is funny and powerful and heartwarming in a completely unsentimental way.

Your favorite book read this year?

Nonfiction: Adam Hochschild's To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1914, which is about the British anti-war movement during the First World War. Runner up is Thomas Piketty's Capital in the Twenty-First Century, which I will confess I didn't finish and which I certainly didn't enjoy, but which is tremendously informative and important.

Fiction: This one's tougher, because often my main criterion for fiction is "are there queer men in it?" and this means I select and enjoy books based on factors other than, strictly speaking, quality of writing. I'll say Fairs's Point, the latest installment of Melissa Scott's Points series, which I just finished and am very enthusiastic about. It's a return to form after Point of Knives, which I didn't love, and in fact it feels like something of a breakthrough. Character development and relationship development didn't feel shortchanged in favor of plot in this one, a common flaw in Scott's earlier novels, but the plot was still engaging and the worldbuilding, Scott's great strength, was an intriguing as ever.

Your favorite album or song to listen to this year?

It's far from new, but I did a lot of re-listening to Thomas Dolby's The Golden Age of Wireless and grew obsessed with "Cloudburst At Shingle Street," to the point where I requested fic about it for Yuletide and got two great stories!

Your favorite TV show of the year?

I fell intensely in love with Person of Interest early this year and devoured the first two seasons, which I still think are brilliant. S3 started out weak but recovered a little before halfway through and finished very strongly. S4 . . . well, more on that in a bit.

POI still has to rank as my overall favorite, but I want to throw in a word for a show that, unlike POI, didn't eventually disappoint me: Grantchester, the BBC series about a Cambridgeshire vicar and amateur detective. The mystery plots are silly but the characterization and acting are great. And it has actual queer characters, including a regular.

Your best new fandom discovery of the year?

Besides POI and Grantchester, The Thrilling Adventure Hour, specifically "Captain Laserbeam" and "The Cross-Time Adventures of Colonel Tick-Tock." Silly fun, with what seems like a developing male/male romance for Captain Laserbeam, and the Colonel apparently having had sexytiems with various men across history.

Your biggest fandom disappointment of the year?

S4 of POI. The show lost the last of its good writers over the hiatus, and there've only been a couple of episodes I've liked at all so far. All the interesting new storytelling opportunities created by the end of S3 have been wasted, and the characters seem to have been replaced by robots who can reproduce a few of the originals' quirks but have no depth and no real feelings for each other.

Your fandom boyfriend of the year?

Despite everything, Harold Finch. I love a repressed, lonely, conscience-stricken genius.

Amusingly, the runner-up is also called Finch: Leonard Finch from Grantchester, who is gay and feminine and overintellectual and shy, but also kind and moral and occasionally very wise, and whom the show treats with great empathy and never mocks.

Your fandom girlfriend of the year?

Root and Shaw, who are each other's girlfriends and not mine (and canon needs to stop hinting and futzing around and make it textual, damn it). They're two deeply flawed people who, together, are starting to be redeemed, and I love that dynamic.

Your biggest squee moment of the year?

Either the "Harold turns up in Italy to find John" (and subsequent suit fittings and John being Harold's date to the museum bash) thing in S3 POI, or the unexpected appearance of two famous characters, who shall remain nameless, in Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold's Death at the Dionysus Club.

The most missed of your old fandoms?

Maybe due South? I don't miss the fandom itself so much, but I've been intermittently longing to rewatch the (Kowalski seasons of) the show.

The fandom you haven't tried yet, but want to?

I dunno. Rec me something?

One thing I am definitely planning to try is "Sparks Nevada: Marshall on Mars" from The Thrilling Adventure Hour. I'm approaching it with some doubts, because I'm not a particular fan of western tropes and apparently this serial is also much more het-dominated than the other TAH things I've liked, but people say it's good.
kindkit: Two cups of green tea. (Fandomless: Green tea)
Two cooking-related questions this time as I try to catch up.

[personal profile] genarti asked me to talk about baking bread.

I like to bake bread for practical and personal reasons. Practically, it's cheaper to bake bread than to buy it, and the result is better, fresher bread than any I could buy except in the kind of expensive artisan bakery we don't even have around here. Then, personally, there's the satisfaction of learning a skill and of creating something nice out of basic materials. A lot of people talk about the zen of slowness or the stress relief of kneading dough, but those don't play into it for me--I kind of hate kneading and will avoid it when possible, and I'm just not a spiritual/meditative kind of person. My pleasure in bread is material and direct.

One of my favorite bread recipes, and a very easy one should anybody want to try it, is this one for a no-knead four-grain crusty bread. It has a very full, rounded, grainy sort of flavor. For best results, though, start baking at 475 for 20-25 minutes, then drop the heat to 450. This makes a crisper crust.

[personal profile] the_rck asked about my favorite herbs, spices, and/or sauces.

I could go on about this at great length, and possibly will.

I grew up eating food that almost never used herbs or spices. The occasional pot of chili using a tiny amount of a mild commercial chili powder, or some garlic bread using garlic powder, was as exciting as it got. One of my favorite things about cooking, over the years, has been discovering new, interesting flavors.

Herbs: My favorite herb for western-European-style cooking is thyme, because it's so versatile and does lovely things in the background without ever becoming too much. I also like basil, though I don't use it often because it's expensive to buy, doesn't keep well, and I don't have a garden to grow my own. For other cuisines, I adore cilantro/fresh coriander, which is used in lots of cuisines (Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican come to mind) and has a lovely bright grassy freshness. I'm lucky enough not to be one of those people to whom it tastes soapy. Possibly my favorite herb ever, though, is curry leaves, which as far as I know are specific to South Indian dishes. Curry leaves are like magic. They smell, frankly, kind of scary (like tangerine-scented asphalt) but they make everything they're in taste so, so moresomely good.

Spices: Chiles! There are so many kinds and they're all gorgeous. I love mild fruity anchos, and smoky chipotles, and the hot smoked Spanish paprika I've been putting on everything lately, and intense little Thai chiles, and our local New Mexico green chiles that do wonders for eggs and cheese and other rich things. I also adore cumin, and Indian mustard seeds (which are deliciously nutty when fried in oil until they pop), and cardamom in sweets. And almost every other spices I've ever tried, but I won't list them all.

Sauces/condiments: Fish sauce, fish sauce, fish sauce. And my new loves, the Korean sauces doenjang (a fermented soybean paste, like miso on steroids) and gochujang (chiles with fermented soy paste and sugar). I've been falling in love with fermented vegetables, too, which are sort of a condiment: Tianjian preserved vegetable (a fermented Chinese cabbage with tons of garlic) is wonderful on congee. In a western vein, I have a terrible weakness for hollandaise sauce, and also cheese sauces on anything. And one of these days I'm going to make a real Mexican mole sauce, the kind with chocolate, which is a massive undertaking but so delicious.
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
Trying to catch up on the talk meme a bit while I have connectivity.

[ profile] miss_morland asked what my favorite animal was and why.

I know this a tediously predictable answer from a single person of a certain age, but . . . I really like cats. The average cat is the right degree of affectionate for someone like me. They're not irritatingly dependent the way dogs are, and they're also not potentially aggressive and scary the way dogs are. Nor are they unsociable and other the way a gerbil or a fish is. Of course there are exceptions; my ex-housemate had a cat that fixated on me with terrifying devotion and used to follow me around the apartment, getting underfoot as often as possible. But generally cats aren't overwhelming. They come and sit on your lap for a bit and then they go away again about their business. I like that in a creature. (You can all see why I have never wanted children, right?)

One of these days I want to get a kitty of my very own, but I need to be much more financially stable first.

An anonymous person asked what I like about classic British television.

I think that British television from what I unashamedly think of as the Golden Age (late sixties through early eighties) was objectively better written and better acted. I can make a guess as to why that's the case: the BBC was less commercialized then and even commercial television often strove to do at least some "quality" programming, so the writing of dramas wasn't dumbed down to attract as broad an audience as possible. Less commercialization also meant actors weren't cast primarily for being young and hot; looks still certainly played a role, but less of one than now, I think, and what counted as being acceptably attractive for television was a lot broader. This allowed acting ability to be a factor as well.

Other more subjective considerations also make classic British TV more to my taste than modern TV. For one, storytelling was allowed to take its time; even shows like Doctor Who weren't required to be all action every second, and Who in particular used a serial format that meant stories developed over, typically, four to six 25-minute episodes rather than being shoehorned into 45 minutes to an hour at most. The slower pace (for all shows, not just Who) meant there was room for interesting little details and charming moments that didn't necessarily advance the main plot! Guest characters got actual development instead of being drawn in the broadest possible terms! A modern show would never allow time to be taken up by scenes of, say, two characters competing in a warplay game (which happened in Callan), a one-off character worrying about his mother (Colditz), or some minor baddies complaining about their working conditions (Blake's 7). But those scenes are marvellous and I love them!

Another reason is that classic shows seemed to feel less pressure to include a heterosexual love story as a main plot thread, nor to demonstrate the heterosexuality of every single character. As I've said elsewhere on this topic, the reasons for this often aren't good--they can include a lack of interest in female characters (though this was by no means universally the case) and a homophobic assumption that no admirable character could possibly be queer even if their heterosexuality isn't demonstrated--but the effect for me can be liberating. I like not having to struggle against a huge weight of canonical heterosexuality in order to make a space to breathe, or at least to interpret queerly. Of course, modern shows are more likely to have canonical queerness, but there are lots of exceptions. Callan had three or four canonically gay men, all presented with extraordinary empathy given the culture of the time, while there are plenty of modern shows with no queer characters at all and every avenue of queer interpretation deliberately blocked. Plus, I'll usually take a show where an important main character or two can be seen as queer over one where there is canonical queerness, but only among minor or non-recurring characters.

One of the things I loved about this year's first series of Grantchester is that in tone, aesthetic, and to some degree structure it was very like a classic drama, but also had a canonically gay character in the main cast. A rare instance of the best of both worlds.
kindkit: Text icon: "British officers do not cuddle each other. (Not when there are people watching, anyway.") ('Allo 'Allo: British officers do not cud)
[personal profile] lilacsigil asked me to talk about finding queer subtext and queer text and what each one means to me. I'm going to focus on male/male subtext and text because that's what I'm into.

For me it all started, literally, with subtext. When I was a younker and beginning to be interested in stories about men together, there wasn't much actual queer text to be found. The rare ones that existed were mostly biographies; I was probably the only ninth grader in history who went around reading a biography of Tennessee Williams. And it was actually some discussion in a Beatles biography of Brian Epstein's homosexuality that made me consciously realize that I was drawn to the idea of men having sex with men and/or loving men. But I'd been unconsciously drawn long before that, in everything from buddy shows to war stories. My first ship, unaware though I was, was probably Snoopy and the Red Baron. *facepalm*

In fiction in those long-ago days of the early 1980s, even when queerness was text it was usually subtext. more under the cut )
kindkit: Man sitting on top of a huge tower of books, reading. (Fandomless--book tower)
This is the post I was supposed to make on December 1, for [personal profile] just_ann_now, who asked me to talk about the Points series and maybe the Mathey/Lynes series too.

I first read Point of Hopes many years ago, when it was still fairly new. I loved the characters and above all the worldbuilding; at the time I was a (post)graduate student in English Renaissance literature, and I loved all the details borrowed from real European Renaissance cultures and the way Melissa Scott (who has a Ph.D. in Renaissance military history) and co-author Lisa A. Barnett used them to build something new.

I appreciated the m/m subtext I thought I was seeing in the first book, but I never expected it to be followed up on. So when the second book appeared and the characters with the subtext had become an actual, canonical, textual couple, I was thrilled. Point of Dreams is among the first sff novels I remember reading that not only had queer main characters but presented queer characters in a completely normal way, not as warped or damaged or tragic. (Scott's novels still make up a considerable share of this lamentably, and now in 2014 almost inexplicably, small category.)

I can't comment on the newest book, Fairs' Point, because I haven't read it yet.

The Points books are great for fanfic, because the universe is sufficiently complex that you feel there are interesting aspects still to explore. Also because one of Scott's weak points, in almost all her books, is relationship-building. Romances in her novels happen mostly offscreen, and even for non-romantic relationships, it's rare for her books to offer much interaction between characters that isn't directly related to the plot. (This is a pretty common issue with sff, in my opinion; the genre dictum that everything must advance the plot deserves more skepticism than it gets.) Even the novella Point of Knives, written specifically to show how Rathe and Eslingen became a couple, is a bit sketchy on the emotional development. Hence, big opportunities for fanfic.

(Side note: some fans of the British TV series The Professionals are convinced that Rathe and Eslingen began life as avatars of Bodie and Doyle. I'm not sure how this idea started, but I'm not at all convinced. I don't see the resemblance, apart from Rathe being a cop who's not very tall and has curly hair, and Eslingen being tall with dark hair. The characters' personalities are very unlike their supposed models.)

I'm perhaps a little tired of Rathe/Eslingen fic, or at least I'd like to see people write about aspects of their relationship other than "how they got together"--which, as I've noted, has now been canonically addressed anyway. If anybody's considering writing fic about the two of them as an established couple, especially fic that shows us their relationship as a couple and not so much the mystery-solving-partnership aspect, you have an eager audience in me, at least. Or backstory fic about either of them. Or fic about Istre, which was one of my Yuletide requests.

I don't know if I'll write in the fandom again, because I am the very model of a fannish butterfly these days. But who knows? Once I read Fairs' Point I may feel inspired.

As for Death by Silver, I enjoyed it almost entirely and will be glad to read Death at the Dionysus Club as soon as I get the chance. I love the Victorian setting and what I can figure out of the magical system (it's a different universe from the Points books), and I'm just hoping the authors get a Britpicker from now on. The characters have a more developed emotional life and backstory than Rathe and Eslingen (possibly a little too angsty, but not overpoweringly so) and I was pleased to see less shying-away from showing the romantic and sexual relationship between them.

Sadly there are only two fics on the AO3. Why, fandom?

Argh, I feel like I'm doing a terrible job of saying anything interesting about Scott's work. It means a lot to me, in ways that are hard to explain apart from OMG LOTS OF QUEER CHARACTERS THIS IS AWESOME. But, you know, it is awesome to have lots of queer characters with individual personalities and interests, in every class and profession, with stories that don't revolve around their queerness but don't silence it either. Also there's magic and Renaissance astrology and theatrical technology and fashion and gossip and politics and special Victorian gentlemen's clubs. Both series provide rich, rich worlds full of people and things, and I love that.
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)
. . . I too would join in the December posting meme.

Ask me almost anything (fandom-related or not), pick a date in December, and I'll try to post about it. However, because my internet access is not super reliable, I may miss the assigned date.

The only topic I'm going to refuse in advance is my job, because you don't really want to read another whiny post about how much I hate my job any more than I want to write another one. Any other subject is probably fine, and if you happen to ask a question I'm not comfortable answering, I'll just request a different question.

1: Melissa Scott's Points series ([personal profile] just_ann_now)
2: Queer subtext and queer text ([personal profile] lilacsigil)
5: My favorite animal and why ([ profile] miss_morland)
7: What I like about classic British television (anonymous)
9: Something about baking bread ([personal profile] genarti)
10: My favorite herbs/spices/sauces ([personal profile] the_rck)
12: Favorite Sherlock Holmes story ([personal profile] magnetic_pole)
15: If I could design the perfect canon to be fannish about, what would it entail? ([personal profile] st_aurafina)
23: 3+ historical reference works I wish existed ([ profile] halotolerant)
24: Favorite Christmas story/stories ([ profile] sallymn)
kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Airship)
Last week I rented Railway Man, the second recent Colin Firth film I've watched lately that has made me think Mr. Firth needs to be pickier about the roles he accepts. (The other was The Devil's Knot.) Railway Man isn't a bad film, but it's not as good as I was expecting. It's hampered by a script that has to accommodate people's ignorance of what happened to FEPOWs, and also by the fact that the war-era flashback sections necessarily feature younger actors. Poor Jeremy Irvine has the thankless task of playing young Eric Lomax, which means he has to play Colin Firth playing Eric Lomax, and while he tries valiantly his performance feels constrained. The most thankless task, though, goes to Nicole Kidman as Lomax's wife Patti, who in the script isn't so much a person as a romantic fantasy and a catalyst.

More seriously, the story suffers from the biopic tendency to idolize its subject, to the point where it's sort of implied that Eric Lomax's suffering was uniquely terrible. Not really spoilery, but cut, also warning for references to torture )

Also recently watched: Philby, Burgess, and Maclean, a 1977 Granada production starring Alan Bate as Philby, Derek Jacobi as Burgess, and Michael Culver (who played Major Brandt in Secret Army) as Maclean. The script is a bit stodgy and the music and other effects are almost hilariously overdramatic, but the acting is good. Jacobi gives Burgess a louche charm, and Culver is amazing as the unstable, doubting Maclean. Philby, the sanest character and therefore the least interesting, is unfortunately the focus of the story and I don't think Bate (not helped by the script) quite conveys a sense of hidden depths. Not something I can recommend unreservedly, but worth it if you're a fan of any of the actors, and there are standout scenes with Burgess and Maclean together and of Maclean's wife confronting Burgess.

And now, a pairings meme! Grabbed from [personal profile] flo_nelja.

click here for questions and answers )
kindkit: Man sitting on top of a huge tower of books, reading. (Fandomless--book tower)
I'm not at work today because I somehow managed to hurt my foot in my sleep (how is that even possible?), so here are my answers to the alphabetical book meme so far. Anyone who still wants to pick a letter is welcome to do so.

[personal profile] flo_nelja requested G (Glad You Gave This Book a Chance) )

[personal profile] glinda requested H (Hidden Gem Book) )

[personal profile] oursin requested O (One Book You're Read Multiple Times) )

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Aug. 10th, 2014 03:44 pm
kindkit: Man sitting on top of a huge tower of books, reading. (Fandomless--book tower)
I have an internet connection at home again after most of a week without. Therefore, a meme about books.

Give me a letter and I will ramble away about one of the following:

list under the cut )


kindkit: A late-Victorian futuristic zeppelin. (Default)

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