bimo: (DRD_beware)

Cavendish and I now have progressed up to episode 1.20 “The Stranger”, which shines a light on Pinocchio/August’s backstory, all the dark, winding path, right to the point when adult August is leading an increasingly distressed Emma to the very tree portal through which both of them had originally arrived in the Land without Magic.  

What sprang to my mind while rewatching,  well, apart from “Wow, this really features Shady Blue at her shadiest! Attempting to change the deal she has made with Geppetto, and when that fails, outright lying to pregnant Snow and Charming… Boo!”:

The portrayals of the child Pinocchio and the man he has turned into seem far more ambivalent in “The Stranger” than in some of the later episodes, where the character is more often than not pushed into the role of a pathetic coward. Of course, adult August’s method of trying to force Emma into believing is questionable. Of course his motivation appears selfish in nature, at least to a certain degree.Thanks to nuanced writing and acting it is impossible to tell how much August’s actions are based on heartfelt guilt and remorse, and how much on hoping to escape his impending fate of turning back into wood.

However it is easy to sympathise with him and to understand how little chance he actually had to turn out any different. After all, he’s a frightened to death kid, who was pushed into a guardian role for which he was far too young, and thus, could not possibly fulfil. Geppetto, what on Earth were you thinking, placing the incredible responsibility of watching out for the newly born Emma on your seven-year-old’s shoulders? No wonder your son ends up running away and staying continuously on the run for the next twenty-eight years.

In addition to liking these nuances of not black and white but shady-bluey grey, I’m also impressed by how effortlessly the writers (in this case Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss) touch upon both the original Collodi novel as well as the Disney version in the most ironical yet also most sense-making way possible:

August: I am not screwing around here. Whatever you believe, or don’t, this is real, Emma. I am sick.

Emma: That’s an understatement.

August: You ever been to Phuket? It’s beautiful. Amazing island, full of pleasures. The perfect place to lose oneself. That’s where I was when you decided to stay in Storybrooke.

Emma: How do you know when I decided to stay in Storybrooke?

August: Because at eight fifteen in the morning, I woke up with a shooting pain in my leg. That’s eight fifteen at night in Storybrooke. Sound familiar? That’s when time there started to move forward again. I was supposed to be there for you. And I wasn’t. Because I was halfway around the world, I got a painful reminder of just how far I’d strayed. If that tree won’t make you believe, maybe this will.

So it’s Pleasure Island all over again.

bimo: (DRD_beware)

Just a bunch of loosely connected and highly subjective observations.

Cavendish did not want our OuaT viewing experience to end with that feeling of irritated frustration left by season 6, so he talked me into going back to the show’s very beginnings when all still felt fresh, new and considerably less convoluted. So far we have progressed up to ep 1.08 “Desperate Souls” and watching those early episodes is quite an eye opener.

  • Much slower narrative pace.
  • Almost every episode contains a whole lot of camera shots portraying Storybrooke not as a sterile set, but as a real town populated by all sorts of people. Far more background action going on in any of the street scenes.
  • Much more time spent on establishing or exploring narrative or visual clues, small stuff that might turn out important a little bit further down the road. S1 basically teaches you to pay attention to even the tiniest aspects and actually rewards that attention by providing you, step by step, with an ever more complete picture of what’s going on. In S6, on the other hand, paying attention is something viewers actively get punished for, because none of the individual pieces seem to fit together or make sense anymore.
  • All in all, much fresher and happier seeming actors. While Parilla’s portrayal of Regina strikes me as relatively consistent throughout the show, there are worlds between the S1 and S6 performances of Robert Carlyle and Jennifer Morrison.
  • More complex and nuanced characterisations, characters seem far more well rounded, in particular Snow.
  • Cavendish actually squeed with joy when he saw how keen Rumple still was on contracts.
  • Oh, Graham, I miss you.

OuaT Meme

May. 10th, 2017 11:13 am
bimo: (Terra_incognita)

I got tagged by the good folks on Tumblr and thought I'd crosspost :)

 

1. Who is your fave character and why?

I enjoy OuaT as an ensemble piece, because I think that each of the show’s characters is adding something unique to the mix. But, well, my favourite, yes, definitely Killian Jones /Hook. ;)

I guess could name all his qualities now, starting with the traits he displayed right from the start, such as his intelligence or the cocky way he kept his head high even when hopelessly overpowered or out-magicked.

But in the end, it all comes down to the stuff that unfolded later and made Killian one of the most ruthless, most uncompromising romantics I have ever seen on TV. Whatever dark places this pirate has been in (and I really don’t want to whitewash the fact that Killian butchered quite a number of innocents in his day), I figure he never really lost his innate sense of wonder, his sense for personal freedom (his own freedom as well as the freedom of others) and the ability to be touched and to truly, madly, deeply love against all odds.

2. Favourite recurring character? (Not a main character)

A close tie between Ruby and Whale. (I’m counting Cora as a villain, not as a recurring here, otherwise it would have been her.)

3. What was your favourite S1 moment?

That scene from 1.14 “Dreamy”, when Nova accidentally sprinkles a bit of fairy dust on the yet unhatched Dreamy’s egg. Pure magic. Sweet, symbolic, evocative, plus a lovely bit of world building.

4. Favourite overall moment?

Killian embracing Neal and making his peace with him in 3.15 “Quiet Minds”. Such a perfect episode, such an intense moment.

5. What is something you wish you could change?

Milah being thrown into the River of  Lost Souls.

6. If you could see more of a background character, who would it be?

Any of the dwarves. I just love the way they interact with each other and the sense of humour that they add to the show.

7. Who is a character you wish you could like but can’t?

Merlin. Nothing wrong with the character per se, but the actor who portrayed him always felt a bit bland to me. I figure, to convince me of the whole “young, pretty Merlin” concept, I would have needed someone like American Gods' Ricky Whittle. Mid thirties instead of mid twenties and pulling off  “charismatic” like whoah.


bimo: (Terra_incognita)
Just a note on two very different pieces of fiction that I read in April and can’t quite get out of my head.

The first, the Arthur C. Clarke Award–winning novel Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, strikes me as being the most gentle, most benevolent vision of a (post)apocalyptic society I have seen in while, since Mandel depicts the human need for company, art, civilisation and, yes, also technology in a way that feels optimistic yet at the same time weirdly authentic. Beautifully written, though rather stylised in parts. Plus, in my humble opinion, best use of a Star Trek:Voyager quote ever.

The second piece is a bit of Nice Guys fanfiction that I almost wouldn’t have clicked on because of its straight “E” rating on AO3, which I assure you much is higher than anything I would feel comfortable reading under normal circumstances. However, well…

*takes a deep breath*

It was late at night and some of the story’s tags, good grief, some of the tags just seemed too good to ignore. “Families of Choice”, “Religion”, “California History” and “Christmas”, only to list a few of them. Now, writers usually do not describe their work along these lines if they haven’t got anything to tell that goes substantially beyond whatever their piece got its “E” rating for.

Thus, I kind of trusted the tags and proceeded. If you are remotely interested in Nice Guys fic you might want to inquire which story it was that made me climb over that yellow AO3 warning bar. So here comes the link:

make the rougher places plain by Greywash.
Atmospheric, poignant, intense and touching due to its own kind of melancholia.

Below the cut follow some of the passages which really did me in as a reader. I can only bow to anyone who can write something like this on the basis of one silly movie.
 

Read more... )

 

 

Movie Meme

Apr. 30th, 2017 11:14 am
bimo: (Default)

As borrowed from [personal profile] selenak . I've been wanting to do this the whole week, but didn't manage until now. :)

 

A Movie I Love:
Bram Stoker’s Dracula

An Action Movie I Love: Jurassic Park (Yeah, I know I’m stretching genre boundaries to the very limit here, but still.)

A Drama I Love: The Ice Storm

A Western I Love: Once Upon a Time in the West

A Horror Movie I Love: The Last Wave (I could just as easily cite Robert Wise’s The Haunting but The Last Wave is the one horror movie which managed to scare the holy scrap out of me when I first saw it as a thirty-seven year-old adult. So brilliantly filmed, so deeply unsettling.)

A Comedy I Love: Groundhog Day

A Romance Movie I Love: Moulin Rouge

A Noir I Love: Chinatown

A Disney Movie I Love: Zootopia

A Sci Fi Movie I Love: Interstellar

An Animated Movie I Love: The Last Unicorn

A Superhero Movie I Love: Goldfinger (Does James Bond count as a superhero? If not, I’m screwed, because I don’t do Marvel.)

A War Movie I Love: Apocalypse Now

An Exploitation Movie I Love: Sorry, but no, just no. There are one or two Tarantinos and Peckinpahs which I’m fascinated by, but I wouldn’t file those under “exploitation”.

A Musical I Love: A Chorus Line

An Historical Movie I Love: Amadeus

A Bad Movie I Love:  Flash Gordon

A Childhood Favourite: Star Wars (Star Wars IV: A New Hope)

A Shakespeare Movie I Love: Richard III (1995, the one with Ian McKellen)

A Franchise I Love: Pirates of the Caribbean

A Trilogy I Love: The original Star Wars Trilogy

A Guilty Pleasure I Love: The Day after Tomorrow

A Movie Recently Seen: The Lost City of Z

My Favourite of This Year: La La Land

A Favourite of All Time: The Shawshank Redemption

bimo: (Alex_Gene_mug)


Fool’s Wisdom (The Things We Don’t Tell)
by Bimo (AO3 link), 2442 words
Summary: 
When Jackson Healy is left alone to deal with an elderly client, quite a few things fall into place
Characters: Jackson Healy, Holland March, Holly March
Genre:
Character Study, Aftermath of a Case
Rating: PG-13, Teen and Up Audiences on AO3
Thanks to: The wonderful Ineptdetective (Gotyerback), for fantastic beta and encouragement :)
Author’s Note: I couldn’t write hardboiled detective fic if my life depended on it, so I’m not even pretending to. Please make of this whatever you want and enjoy!

bimo: (Default)

Went to see Martin Scorcese’s Silence yesterday, which turned out to be the kind of movie that leaves me glad to have watched and doubtful I’ll ever feel the desire to watch again. Intriguing story, amazing acting, capturing cinematography, but for large parts excruciating, painful.

Based on the historical novel of the same title by Japanese author Shūsaku Endō, Silence follows the emotional and spiritual journey of young Portuguese Jesuit missionary Sebastiao Rodrigues, who is sent to 17th century Japan to investigate the whereabouts and possible apostasy commited by his former mentor  Ferreira (Liam Neeson).

 

Read more... )

 

bimo: (Fivey_sigh)

So I decided to take the plunge after all and posted on AO3, after an interesting talk with Cavendish.

His logic: Well if there are only 73 stories for that fandom, there certainly should be more than enough room for my little oddball. Also, how on Earth was I supposed to meet new people to play with if I didn’t go out there… ;)

So, here we go. Posted with a gazillion of caveats, just to see how it floats:

 

Non Sequitur by Bimo (1567 words, AO3 link)
Oh, Holland March, what on Earth have you stumbled into this time? Just when everything seems lost, Holland March gets a visit from the patron saint of all hopeless causes.

Fandoms: The X-Files, The Nice Guys (2016)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Genre: Gen, Character Study, Case Aftermath
bimo: (Default)

Just like the header says.

When I watched The Nice Guys this weekend, something in my twisted, crossover-loving brain just went click. So I began to write, and now, three days later I find myself sitting on the finished draft of a 1400 word Nice Guys/X-Files story in which an older Holland March essentially gets rescued by a certain FBI agent. All in all, it’s a classic Bimo, I’d say, if maybe a bit more bizarre than usual.

I like the story well enough. Nevertheless, I must admit I have absolutely no idea what to do with it, now that it’s finished. (At the moment, the most realistic approach seems to never mention it again and let it sink into the darkest depths of my hard drive.)

Simply going ahead and posting an unproofread, unedited version to AO3 is not an option, firstly and mainly because of the good old non-native speaker issue. However, there are also additional concerns lurking around the corner.

1.) I’m depicting issues of mental health (which sort of came with the characters), and while I went out of my way to handle those issues as respectfully, sincere and responsibly as I am able to, I surely screwed up somewhere.

2.) The “Nobody will ever read this” factor. By the time I’m typing, there are exactly seventy-three The Nice Guys stories on AO3, the overwhelming majority of them either slash or pre-slash (Holland March/ Jackson Healy). Nothing wrong with that, but it’s a road I just didn’t take when I wrote myself. What I came up with instead is more or less the aftermath to an X-file. Since the fandom appears so small and so slashy, I have serious doubts anyone enjoying  The Nice Guys well enough to go hunting for fic will be interested in reading Gen stuff.

3.) Return straight to the point where I was talking about not posting something unbetaed. I’m afraid, I will never, ever find a beta for this story. Getting a beta for a nice, lovely OuaT story is one thing. But for this baby? Like I said, special hell.


 

bimo: (Coop)

I’ve been re-reading a lot of Highlander fan fiction from the heydays of “Seventh Dimension”, “HL Quill Club” and Mary Galasso’s excellent “Voices” anthology lately, all of these stories being old favourites of mine that I’ve been able to track down, retrace and locate.

The infrastructure of first wave HL fandom collapsed sometime during the 2000s, which essentially means that if an author didn’t transfer their works to AO3, or if you, as a reader haven’t kept up with writers’ changing pseuds, the stories are gone. Even with a good memory for titles and pen names, you’ll have an incredibly hard time finding an accessible online version of *that* particular fanfic ever again.

So I figure the first, rather unsurprising lesson learned from my experience can be summed up as: If you care about a certain story, save it on your hard drive and make sure to create regular back ups, just in case you would like to revisit it someday for whatever reasons.

The second lesson, however, is actually more of a subjective observation.

By the time I first encountered stories such as Kat Allison’s  Last Set Before Closing, Parda’s Down to the Bone, or [personal profile] selenak 's Death and the Maiden in the late 1990s (to name only a few, also both Parda and Selena were still writing under their real names back then), I was still a comparative youngster finding herself in fanfic heaven, because, good grief, were those stories amazing. The premises, the characterisations, the imagery, the language… . In short, all those qualities which make a piece of writing pass the test of time with flying colours. No wonder I had expected those stories to age well. What I hadn’t reckoned with, however, was how much my perspective on them and therefore also the reasons for my appreciation would change and grow over time.

Just to give you a few examples:

It’s February 2017 now, which means in real life we must almost have reached the very palpable future depicted in Last Set, since the story is set roughly twenty years after the last HL episode takes place and deals with Duncan visiting his aged friend Joe Dawson at a retirement home. The predictions that Kat Allison made regarding technological and social developments are plain intriguing, because while not every detail is perfect, they hit frighteningly close to home if seen as a whole.

Revisiting  Down to the Bone and Death and the Maiden, I couldn’t help noticing how much more susceptive and aware the older me, turning forty-two in a couple of weeks, has become regarding the underlying psychological dynamics and depths, so finely-tuned and hidden between lines of powerful, evocative writing.

Stuff, which has been there all the time, and I was only too young, inexperienced or simply not prophetic enough to see it.





bimo: (Default)

Measure of a Man by Bimo (571 words)

Fandom: Once upon a Time
Rating: G bordering on PG-13
Summary: Sometimes the measure of a man is how he copes with being reborn
Characters: Emma Swan, Killian Jones

Notes:
Written as a gift for Em, for the 2016 Once Upon a Secret Santa exchange on Tumblr. I've never tried writing a bona fide Captain Swan story before. So I can only hope that everything comes across just right and that you will enjoy! :)
Thanks:
Lots of thanks go to Whimsicallyenchantedrose, for kindly volunteering as a beta!
bimo: (Mug_collectors)

Re-watching Highlander while simultaneaously re-reading the latter books of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series made me wonder about potential house affiliations and sorting dilemmas :)

Easy Cases:
Duncan MacLeod: Gryffindor
Richie Ryan: Hufflepuff
Amanda: Gryffindor

(Slightly) More Ambivalent:
Tessa Noel: Ravendor/Gryffinclaw, depending on form
Joe Dawson: Gryffinclaw
Fitz: Huffledor
Methos: Ravendoryn or Ravendor, depending on company and millenium
bimo: (Coop)

Some of you already know that I spent the last couple of weeks recovering from knee surgery (ruptured meniscus, long story, don’t ask ;)). So far, the knee has been healing nicely, just as it ought to, and I’m glad to report that with each day I am feeling more and more like my usual self again.

Probably the weirdest after-effect: I never would have thought that I would be so fucking happy about being able to empty the dishwasher on my own again.

Also, my fannish mojo is coming back. Even though I’m not quite sure what to contribute at the moment, I’m quite happy to read along and enjoy what others are posting! :)

A good deal of my own fannish thoughts are still circling around OuaT 's Jekyll and Hyde plot, by the way. Representations of duality, repression, denial and most of all how Sam Witwer’s Hyde in “Strange Case” struck me as so much more straightforward and in tune with himself and his surroundings than his counterpart Jekyll could ever be.

There is this one brief moment when the newly-created Hyde is seeing himself in the mirror for the very first time shortly before entering the ballroom, that is full of self-realisation, recognition and amazement. I just love the way in which, throughout the following scenes, the particular combination of setting and writing plus various acting and directing choices, is transforming Hyde from villain into romantic anti-hero, without sacrificing one bit of the character’s inherent ruthlessness.

Well done, show! But now, if you could only please devote as much care and attention to your major story arcs as you are paying attention to the details… ;)

As for the afore mentioned Harry Potter rec:

More or less on a whim, Cavendish and I rewatched the first three Harry Potter movies (all of them have aged suprisingly well, though the Alfonso Cuarón one still rules), which led to me searching the AO3 for a bit of HP fanfic. And look what I have found thanks to the archive’s advanced filtering options and a little bit of beginner’s luck:

The Nicest Word There Is…  by Droupy48
Summary: A story about the kids who felt safe in the library.
Word count: 2161
Rating: G
Characters: Minerva McGonagall, Remus Lupin, Hermione Granger

A beautifully written, quiet character piece providing great insights into each character. However, on a more abstract and serious level, this story is as much a story about young McGonagall, Lupin and Hermione Granger as it is a story about the different faces of discrimination and the power of reading.


bimo: (Default)
Safely returned from the north-eastern Highlands and having a ton of laundry to deal with.

More detailed holiday report will follow, once Cavendish and I have gone through what feels like a gazillion of pictures ;-)
bimo: (Default)

The dialogue on Once upon a Time may not always be perfect, but there is this delightful line, spoken by Rumplestilstkin, that magic always comes with a price. It’s wonderfully catchy and universal, quite applicable to a lot of things, actually. Being the information junkie that I am, I would never have thought, though, that trying to keep up with the Brexit and its consequences would be one of those pricey things.

Some of you already know that I work in adult education, teaching everything from basic travel English to conversational English, and also British (sometimes Scottish) life and culture to a bunch of open-minded, interested and simply fantastic people, most of them in the 55+ age group, although the folks in the evening classes usually tend to be a bit on the younger side.

So spending the better part of last week discussing the various aspects of the Brexit, professionally but also with family and friends, was exactly what I had expected. What I hadn’t reckoned with, however, was how bloody exhausting these discussions would be, because I am emotionally involved.

In essence, the British Isles aren’t a foreign country to me but rather my holiday home in Europe. I’ve been travelling the UK ever since I was sixteen. Over the years, I’ve consumed more than my share of British culture, literature, history and media; I’ve formed friendships and regularly exchange Christmas cards.

Among my favourite TV people ever are David Attenborough, Simon Schama and Jim Al-Khalili. And if fellow Doctor Who fans inquire about my favourite Doctor, I’ll proudly say it’s the Fifth. (I only caught up with classic DW after the new series had started, and while I’ve seen every classic Doctor in action by now, Fivey is the one I really clicked with on every level, which is kind of sweet, because due to his early 1980s run, Peter Davison’s Doctor would have been the one I had imprinted on as a child if I had grown up in the UK.)

Despite the fact that I certainly think, feel, act and sound unmistakably German in everyday life, it is therefore no wonder that a large part of my personal identity is determined through what I love about the UK.

I would hate to see these ties substantially weakened, due to the bureaucratic complications that are likely to ensue now. Following media reports and political commentaries feels like a trip to some clownish, nonsensical and ugly bizzarro world.

The reports on the rising number of racist attacks on immigrants from other EU countries are leaving me shocked.
bimo: (Default)

Broken Crown by Zurik 23M. Grand and intense, with powerful emotions at work. And yet at the same time quite intricate.


bimo: (DRD_beware)

Apparently someone at our local community-run indie cinema possesses a certain wicked sense of humour. Two showings of Jaws , one in German, one in English, right at the start of bathing season.

Of course, Cavendish and I went to see. Jaws is one of the movies that I know by heart and will never cease to admire because of how skillfully it was filmed. By a director who, at that time, was still a relative newcomer to the business and hadn’t even reached thirty years of age.

One aspect I have never realised before, though. (And here comes the amusing part): Matt Hooper, the youthful marine biologist played by Richard Dreyfuss, is Dana Scully. Totally. Just think about it.

  • Comparatively small and soft-featured person
  • Extremely smart and competent in their field
  • Strong belief in science, rationality, technology and proper equipment
  • Able to hold their own in a macho surrounding, while not necessarily subscribing to hyper-masculine ideals themselves
  • Coming to town to fight monsters
  • The second they utter their first line of dialogue you know they are cool.
  • And then there is that autopsy scene where Hooper cuts up a shark that isn’t the shark…
bimo: (Default)
I guess, I was never really satisfied with how the Underworld arc depicted hope as just a handful of blossoming flowers. So I sat down and wrote...

Not Fade Away by Bimo (500 words)

Fandom: Once upon a Time
Rating: G
Summary: Change has come to the Underworld and Milah can feel it.
Characters: Milah, Liam Jones
Thanks to: The wonderful folks who encouraged me when I wrote the first draft version of this little piece, and Epona610 for volunteering to proofread :-)
bimo: (Mug_collectors)


The things that enter your guestroom once you are approaching middle age and realise how catastrophically out of shape you have become …

Btw.,

[personal profile] selenak , I think this acquisition can be blamed on you, at least partly. When we were in Bamberg, there was a crosstrainer in our hotel. Cavendish and I both tried it and decided we liked it so much that we had to get one of these things of our own. ;-)

 


bimo: (Default)

From the description text of an exhibition I went to see at the Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg:

From 27 February, 2016: Liquid Identities – Lynn Hershman Leeson. Identities in the 21st Century

“Digital identity”, “patchwork identity”, “multiple identities”, these are all terms and constructs we use in our attempts to approach the complex question of “Who am I?”: Under digital conditions identity is no longer a fixed constant. Permanently in flow, it is contingent on a multitude of changing factors, the most influential of which are the presentation and communication opportunities offered by the Internet today.

Hershman Leeson’s art is fascinating, and many of her works eerie and unsettling.

Also at the Lehmbruck as an accompanying exhibition: Jakub Nepras - State of Flux

Rushing and fleeting. Hovering, static. Organic. The most otherworldly and transient light effects. I feel privileged to have seen these in real life. Needless to say the picture below doesn’t do the actual experience any justice.

image
Jakub Nepras: Landscape, videosculpture with sound, photo by Martin Polak, artist’s archive


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