butterfly: (Pondering -- McShep (by forcryinoutloud))

I read the SGA story that's being recced up and down (freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose), and it really made me realize how secondary my SGA love is to my SG-1 love. spoilers for Freedom )

The story itself is, as the recs imply, quite well-written and it delves quite deeply into Rodney's character. It's a good story. But it's not for me (just as Farscape was a very good television show, but just wasn't for me).

This is not the first time this type of story has failed to appeal to me (I have never finished reading The End of the Road, a due South story where spoilers for Road )

). Even thinking about it makes me kinda want to throw things. And certainly not because it's a bad story.

It's not even the type of story itself -- I read angst and the getting over of angst. I'm not opposed on principle to spoilers for Road )

or spoilers for Freedom ). I've read and enjoyed stories about... well, actually, not that last one, as it's pretty specific, but about that kind of thing.

I think it's because when I read fanfiction, I like the vibe of the story to match the vibe of the show. That's part of why [livejournal.com profile] cesperanza's due South stuff works so well for me -- it's got the same sweet, slightly off-kilter vibe that the show has. When I'm reading fanfiction, I'm looking for more of what I love about the show, and that differs depending on the show.

Road and Freedom seem to inhabit slightly... less magical (more real?) realities than the shows themselves. And since a large part of why I love those shows is the sparkle and zing, I miss the gloss when it's stripped away.

butterfly: (Unpredictable -- River)
Okay, I can't take it anymore. I give my apologies in advance. And yes, this is unfair and bitchy and y'all don't actually need to read it, but if I don't vent about it, I will kill someone. Painfully.

1. This is a link.

2. This is a cut tag. )

3. ( This is actually still a link. It's just a link that happens to be enclosed in parenthesis and bolded. It is not a fake cut-tag. )

4. This is really not a fake link. It is, in fact, a real link. In what way is this fake? I mean, really, the hell?

Notice how when you click it, you magically go to another webpage? That would be what makes it a link.

And now that I no longer feel as though I need to maim someone, I will go answer my comments.

Thank you and good night.

ETA:
A metaphorical retelling of why this boggles me:

There is a lion. Someone has shaved off his mane and painted him with stripes.

Now, this person comes to me, after going to all that work of making the lion look different, and says, "Look! It's a fake tiger!"

And then I would boggle. Because, yes. But also, why?
butterfly: (Writing -- due South)

So, there is a thing happening on the sidelines of my flist -- seems to be mostly SGA-related, which is not my area of focus, so I will not be getting involved in any of the details. Anyway, the thing in question is about whether or not public crit of fanfiction should be allowed, and if it should, whether the author's intentions should be taken into account.

For the record -- I do not, and feel that I should not, have any say in what people say about my stories. If you love them, yay. If you hate them, I'm curious as to why. If you mostly like them except for one or two (or twelve) things, then I really, really want to know. Because I want to know how good a job I'm doing and how to improve. Writing is communication. If people don't understand me, then I didn't succeed in communicating to them. And, to me, that is what matters.

So, I pay attention to my feedback. I notice what people point out as their favorite spots (especially if it's mentioned by several people -- I'm still thrilled to bits over people praising my Leia characterization), and I also notice when people mention that something doesn't seem to fit.

There are three recent cases that specifically stand out to me -- one where I disagreed with the feedback and two where I agreed.
specific examples from my current WIP -- White Rabbits, a Star Wars slash fic )


All of which is to say -- if you are moved by my fiction on a level deep enough to comment on it, please don't feel that you need to sugarcoat your words. I can take the truth.

More than that, if you don't want to, you don't need to inform me of your comments -- speaking from experience, many rec journals don't actually tell the authors that they've been recommended. They have that right and so do crit communities. Once my stories exist outside my head, they are no longer my sole property, though I retain the right to edit them as I please and repost them -- much as George Lucas has done with the earlier Star Wars movies. But any earlier versions do still potentially exist, of course -- if nowhere else, they exist in the minds of the people who read them and remember them. Theoretically, a story that was only under friendslock exists outside these boundaries, as it is not public, but as I post my stories public, this does not apply to me.

Now, if an author dislikes being criticized in public, then each reader does have to decide if they want to move forward anyway, balancing the risks (if an author takes crit to heart or feels that they're being personally attacked, they may leave fandom) against the rewards (honest and open discussion of a particular story). And the potential always exists that the author will feel insulted or hurt, because our stories are like dearly beloveds, in many ways.

But, bottom-line, I don't believe that readers (or any consumers of public media) require permission to speak about something that has been publicly released in any form, web or otherwise. 

Though if you'd prefer to have the author's permission before dissecting a story of theirs, I'm giving that permission right now.

butterfly: (Default)

Briefly:
I rented the first two seasons of Homicide: Life on the Streets from netflix, but knew by the end of the first episode that it wasn't a show that was meant for me. I liked some of the characters, and I did think that the Bayliss and Pembleton interaction was interesting, but the format, editing, and even the way they filmed the show itself does nothing but turn me off. I can see where it's a good show (much in the same way that I can see where The Lord of the Rings is a good book), but it's not my thing.


At Length:
And now, onto something that was so totally my thing.

I really liked The Island. It's not doing too well in theaters (Though, honestly I believe that part of that is because the trailer for the movie sucks so very much. It gives away far too much and it... is not a good trailer, otherwise, dammit. Seriously, if your movie is called The Island, you should not put the line "there is no island" in the damn trailer, thank you.), which might bother me if I had the impression that Ewan actually cares about how much money the films he shows up in make. Also, if I personally cared whether the movies I like are box office hits. I've noticed that my tastes run across the board -- sometimes I like the current flavor of the month and sometimes I wonder what the film industry is smoking.

I'm probably not going to see it in theatres again (there is a very short list of movies that I will see in theaters more than once and the list of movies that I will see in theaters all by myself is even shorter... hell, the list of movies that I will bother seeing in theaters at all is fairly short, to be honest, though I could spend hours watching trailers), but I already know that I'll want it on dvd so that I can rewatch in detail.

Recently, on my flist, [livejournal.com profile] inyron pointed to a link where a website informs us Spoilers! Spoilers for both 'The Island' and the other movie, of which the very title is a spoiler )



It... just... I do realise that the 'Warning: OMG, these movies are so alike!' is based off of very brief summaries of both movies, but still.

The plot of The Island makes actual sense. The characters make actual sense.

Maybe the directors/writers/etc of The Island should cop to there being a link except... dude, it's a sucky horror movie. As a person who has seen far too many sucky horror movies, I can understand not wanting to explicitly connect your film to... you know, a sucky horror movie that happened to have an interesting idea.

Clearly, I have no sense of copyright ethics, but we already knew that (ownership at all is a tenous and shifting idea to me -- sometimes I understand the urge and pull of being able to say 'mine' about something and other days I wonder what the fuss is).

butterfly: (The Cost -- Anakin)
May or may not have made me cry.

In about five places.

It's just... he's so sweet and young and cute. And then he falls and becomes Darth Vader and I'm sad about it. And the total suckiness of Qui-Gon dying like that was made very clear to me, because Qui-Gon got how important the 'mom' thing was to Anakin. And Obi-Wan didn't. Because he never got to see Anakin with his mom and didn't understand.

And I'm completely abusing italics but... it was sad. It really was. He was such a sweet little kid.
Read more... )
butterfly: (Exposed -- Emma (by thete1))
So, I'm an emotional-arc whore. Seriously, if you can pull off the emotion, then I'm there. I will gladly explain away any plot holes or discrepancies so that I can buy the story. All you have to do is give me genuinely believable emotion and I'm willing to be very flexible.

When it comes to books, you have to have incredible characters and/or an amazing story and/or a beautifully-drawn world and/or gorgeous writing style. The more of these you have, the better, but I'm willing to ignore the lack of one or two things if the others are good enough.

In television/movies, you need to have gorgeous visuals (and other environmentals) and/or well-done characters and/or an intriguing plot.

Books are, frankly, simpler -- they involve fewer hands (though, in the case of people not Anne Rice, still more than one set). Television and movies involve so many people. Enough brilliance in one area can overcome weakness in another. But, for me, if you do not provoke a strong enough emotion, then I will not be inclined to watch you more than once or to buy you.

The shows and movies that last in my heart are the ones that make me care. And that generally comes down to three things -- acting, writing, and directing (there are, of course, other incredibly important pieces of the puzzle, such as the music, but I'm staying simple, here) . But while a good enough actor can overcome bad writing and bad directing -- the film/show that the actor is in probably still won't be good, but everyone who watches it will remember that one actor who just 'rose above' their material -- it doesn't work so well (for me), the other ways around. A well-directed piece can sometimes showboat around bad acting but even great material becomes only so much garbage if a poor enough actor (or an actor who is that wrong for the part) says it.

Many times, lines are not memorable in and of themselves but are memorable because of how they are said (which is often a combination of acting and directing, depending). Lines that could be gold in the mouth of the 'right' actor come across as tired or foolish. Casting is an incredibly important part of creating strong and lasting characters.

Personally, I find that I'm drawn to the life of the characters, the life put into them by the actors. And sometimes, the acting can still be good and yet I'm left unmoved or negatively affected because it doesn't hit my switches.

Positive example -- The Lord of the Rings does practically nothing for me as a book series, but I completely and utterly adore the movies.

Negative example -- I read the Farscape transcripts and cried like a baby at the J/A stuff. Watched the show, and just hated John and Aeryn together so very much. Seriously... flames... on the sides of my face.

So, for me, the acting is possibly the most essential part of the entire emotion... thing.

For me.
butterfly: (Beloved -- Illyria)
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer series finale, Chosen, really resonated with me, right from the first viewing. But I was never able to find just the right words (words are, in the end, always inefficient -- they never encompass the deepness of what I feel).

Interestingly, the making of the Wesley vid is giving me some of the right words.

The reason that season seven resonates with me on an emotional level is because of the completion of a series-long theme -- deconstructing the demonization of female power. The Watchers have long been a symbol of patriarchy on the show ('this is how women and men have behaved, since the beginning'). The switch-and-bait aspect of the Slayer myth is an essential part of it all.

It's about the reduction of female power.

About taking female power and putting limits on it, putting it into the control of men (as we see in Restless, the First Slayer in chains). It's about making it sound dangerous and unnatural (side note: many people also disliked Family, an episode that deals with exactly the same issue of falsely claiming that female power was, in essence, demonic).

And we get to see that from the other side in Damage, where the Slayers are free from outside control (and, again, this is interpreted by many fans as a bad thing). This issue is also addressed in the direct demonization of Cordelia and Fred (again, on Angel, we see the issue from the viewpoint of male-directed characters instead of female).

In many ways, Wesley starts out as a parody of a Watcher but, in the end, he understands what a Watcher should be -- nothing at all like his father and nothing at all like a general. With Illyria, their relationship is one of equals, and he's not a Watcher but a Guide, giving Illyria a reason to care about humanity and about fighting the good fight.

I mentioned the other day that I feel a connection between Buffy and Wesley's arcs, not the least because they are the ones that illustrate to us (separately) that the ideal relationship is not that of a Slayer and her Watcher, but of a Guardian and a Guide. It's not about killing, but about protecting. It's not about instructing, but about sharing knowledge.

Other reasons include, but are not limited to, the Buffy/Spike=Wesley/Lilah line of thought and thoughts regarding the earlier comical aspects of each character (Movie!Buffy and BtVS!Wesley).
butterfly: (Buffy fan)
God, I'm busy lately. I'm near the end of moving (I've been moving all this month and will do my final move this weekend, thank God, it'll be done with).

Anyway, I just thought I'd hang out a 'not dead' sign and let y'all now what's going on with me.

So, some thoughts I've been having recently:

I. The idea that a guy can't or shouldn't be a feminist is very disturbing to me -- in a perfect world, all men and women would be feminists, because the definition of a feminist is someone who believes that women deserve the same rights as men. So, I do hold the belief that Joss Whedon is a feminist, because he holds men and women to the same standards and because his female characters are as complex as his male ones. In fact, for each of his male characters, you can generally find a female equivalent, and vice versa. For every Spike you have a Faith, and for every Buffy you have a Wesley (okay, that one may only make sense in my own head, and I do plan to go into more detail on it another time).

II. Shuddering disgust at the idea of het!sex is something that confuses me. I personally know more than one person who has this reaction and it makes as much emotional sense to me as the idea that some women don't get off on boykissing. But this is because I'm very much sexually attracted to both men and women. Therefore, any kind of 'ew' reaction to attractive people getting snuggly baffles me. It's not the visual image of Jack/Sam (Stargate SG-1) that bothers me, it's the legal, emotional, and long-term ramifications. And this emotional confusion is as much an instinctive personal reaction as the disgust that triggers it. Like, I don't get people who do not love Frannie (due South). Frannie is beautiful, funny, and such a sweetheart. This is what I see when I look at her. Other people see different things -- just because I cannot understand what they see doesn't mean that what they see is invalid. I just don't get it. And that's okay, as long as people don't try to tell me that I'm wrong for seeing what I see.

III. I like season six of BtVS. I like season seven of BtVS. I liked them when they were airing. This does not mean that I am a) a moron, b) easily satisfied, or c) someone incapable of seeing the big picture. It just means that I got what I needed out of the show. Every person watching the show is watching for different reasons. Just because my reasons aren't the same as someone else's doesn't make them wrong, it makes them different.

Also, I'm trying out Adobe Premiere Pro for my Wes vid and trying to figure out if I want to invest in getting the program. Any suggestions from vidders in the audience?
butterfly: (Our Best -- Angel and Cordy)
God, I love Angel.

I rewatched Life of the Party. I was planning on just going through to see what I needed for the vid and... ended up going out and rewatching the episode. It made me laugh and think and... happy place. Buffyverse is such a happy place for me now. Closing canon does an odd thing for me -- if I like something enough, I end up not having any real complaints. I'll complain and get pissy when a show is running, but if it's over, then even the things that would have bothered me are only part of the larger canvas. Take anyone or anything out, and you change the pattern.

So, I love it all, because it fits and it works.

It was only after Riley left that I appreciated his story, because that's when I could decide what his story was. If I understand a character right away, I will love it right away, but for some characters, I need to see the entire arc to understand (and then love) them. Because once I do understand them? I can't help but love them.
Personal levels of understanding about BtVS/AtS characters )

Oh, and on a completely different note, apparently Ewan and Hayden greeted each other with a kiss at the London premiere of Sith (link seen at [livejournal.com profile] ros_fod's journal). Yay for affectionate casts.
butterfly: (Beloved -- Illyria)
One big difference between LJ and lists is that LJ is not segregated by fandom. With LJ, you get to see more rounded glimpses of other fans.

Because when you were on a list, you thought that you and B had a lot in common, because you both loved due South so much, and things related to dS were talked about on list every so often. But then you and B both joined livejournal and while both of you still love dS, you can't help but notice that B follows some other shows, like Homicide, and when you try to watch the show, you just end up blinking a lot and wondering what the big deal is.

And while I could go through what I do love and explain why some shows ping to me (really quick answer: I adore banter), my reasons would only ever be my reasons alone. The likelihood of someone else liking every single one of my fandoms... well, it hasn't happened thus far, we'll just say that.

LJ shows us a hint of the infinite complexity of people. It reminds me of all of the many reasons that people have for watching shows.

Ex.
What is it that other people see in Farscape that doesn't reach me?

Because I have tried to get into that show three times and each time run smack into hating John/Aeryn so much that I just couldn't watch anymore. What makes that relationship so hard for me to accept but such a source of joy for other people? Clearly, they see something there that I don't. And, much as I would like to be able to share in the squee, I can't change my instincts and my emotions. Farscape is never going to be a show that I can watch for more than... probably three episodes at a time before getting really irritated. And there's nothing to be done about that. I like most of the actors and I like some of the arcs, but what I don't like outweighs what I do.

People are people -- uniquely formed by genetics and environment and thus complete with their own unique way of looking at the world. It's what makes the journey interesting.
butterfly: (Civilian Consultant -- Daniel Jackson)
So, on occasion I go over to Our Stargate because a) once in a while they say something deep and interesting (really, it's true) and b) if that doesn't happen, I can always end up staring at the screen wondering what show they're actually watching and I've reached a secure point in my love where I'm fine with that. The hate doesn't touch my love.
Casting spoilers for season nine of Stargate SG-1 )
butterfly: (Buffy fan)
So, people are talking about more obscure moments of squee. Not the big, huge "Oh, my God!" moments, but the smaller, quieter ones that linger in the heart. So, one per season. Some aren't terribly obscure, but none of them are Buffy jumping off a tower.

1. In Xander's nightmare, there are swastikas on the wall, thus upholding what he says earlier about being afraid of Nazis (Nightmares).

2. Dru and Angel begin the tiny thread of their family being 'like jasmine' (which culminates in the naming of Jasmine in S4 Angel!).

3. Xander getting the math wrong in his head when he's being distracted by trying not to think of sex (Earshot).

4. Xander going up stairs in Buffy's dream (Restless). I just really love that he's the only Scooby to show up in her dream, because she shows up in everyone's. Because I'm a hopeless 'shipper.

5. Buffy using her kick-ass hearing to fight demons that she can't see (Family), thus continuing a tiny thread from Invisible Girl.

6. That face that Buffy makes whenever she drinks whatever it was that she was drinking in Life Serial. Just.... complete, adorable cuteness.

7. Buffy checking Xander's watch (Lessons). Never gets old.
butterfly: (Buffy fan)
In two of the shows that I actually bother to watch regularly these days, the female characters are not well-written (and while this bugs the hell out of me, the guys are written interestingly enough that I don't want to give up on the shows in question). And I think that a lot of the bad female writing comes not from having male writers, per se, but from having male writers who love their female characters too shallowly.
vague spoilers for BtVS, House, Stargate SG-1, and Smallville )
butterfly: (Unpredictable -- River)
The show Firefly was murdered, pretty much. Aired out of order on a Friday night and then canceled for having bad ratings and replaced by Joe Millionaire. Then Firefly absolutely exploded on dvd. Because of that and because of the passion of so many people involved in the show (and also because Joss does have some Connections), Joss Whedon was given the chance to make a movie. A Big Damn Movie.

So, this really is so much more than just a movie to Firefly fans.

It's vindication for everyone who despised FOX for canceling the show.

And, more importantly, it's the dead returned to glorious life.

Joss Whedon is good at hit cult movements. Really good. He's very good at making something that is adored as opposed to liked. It's all about passion, and Joss' writing and his worlds inspire quite a lot of passion from quite a lot of people. He has a way of reaching down and tapping into a core emotion and just making you live it. I still can't watch The Body without calling my mom right after. Just to make sure she's okay and to hear her voice. The Gift still makes me cry like a baby at the end and Chosen makes me feel energised and hopeful even thinking about it.

Firefly is... I don't even have the right words. Just that the show makes me so aware of both the fragility of humanity and its bloody-minded determination. That, in the end, all you need to have a good day is to still be flying, to be traveling your own path with people who make the journey worthwhile.
butterfly: (With Age -- Jack)
So, why does the idea of canon Sam/Jack annoy the hell out of me, while I'm vastly interested in Lee Adama/Laura Roslin?
Spoilers for Stargate SG-1 and Battlestar Galactica )
butterfly: (With Age -- Jack)
I'm not talking about The Siege. I just want to cuddle certain people involved and make things all better for them. And then let them cuddle each other.
Spoilers for Stargate SG-1 8x20 -- Moebius part 2 )

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