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Make-Up Monday :: the 2018 Oscars and Emerald City Comicon 2018

5 Mar

It was a long-ass weekend and we are only just recovering, honestly. So I’m initiating a new day, Make-Up Monday. That’s for when there are things that would normally go on a different day (Superlative and Sundry Sundays, in this case) but just happened to be written about on Monday because of time and life.

First: the Oscars. We didn’t watch because we honestly didn’t care all that much (and I was reminded of how much I wanted to finally watch Hellboy when I saw Hellboy cosplayers this weekend, which was overall a good choice, I think). But! I am here to give absolute mad props to Jordan Peele for Best Original Screenplay re: Get Out (which deserved a lot more awards than just that, but hey, it’s a step in the right direction and I’m fully prepared to fight the people who complained about it being not an “Oscar movie” [because I bet they didn’t whine about, like, The Dark Knight the same way when they arguably could have]) and Guillermo del Toro for Best Director and Best Picture re: The Shape of Water. Those were two of the best movies of last year and I’m glad that the Academy was willing to recognize them even though neither of them are exactly the usual. That’s different than not being an “Oscar movie” because when people say that, in that certain tone of voice, they mean that it doesn’t meet arbitrary cultural standards of dignity/relevance/high culture/lots of rich white guys everywhere. I just mean that the Academy wouldn’t usually recognize a satirical horror movie about racism or a period drama about a disabled woman who wanted to fuck a fishman.

Anyway.

Second: Emerald City. We did Friday-Saturday-Sunday this year, though not Thursday, and had a relatively easy schedule. Friday (during which we were cosplaying as Matt[ilda] Murdock [myself] and Elektra Natchios [drift partner] since the only way they could be gayer is if they were both actually women and anyway Matt is one of the only white boys we give serious damns about anymore, but we only got a selfie because we forgot to get anyone else to take a picture of us since we were alone most of the day) was largely devoted to walking around, scoping things out (saw lots of lovely art, found myself a Funko Pop of Lafayette from True Blood which is worth bragging about since that series was literally years ago and isn’t made anymore I’m pretty sure), and meeting Billie Piper.

Billie Piper was lovely. As y’all know, I do not Doctor Who. We watched the season with Twelve and Bill because of Bill, as you know, but I’ve never done the rest of it. I know that Billie Piper played Rose, who was a companion to Nine and Ten both; I know that people are bonkers about Rose/Ten; I know that drift partner drastically prefers Nine to Ten as a romantic partner for Rose and as a character (and at this point my only extended exposure to David Tennant is Jessica Jones, so I’m inclined to be wary of Ten as well; David Tennant was also there with a line that was absolutely mad and I’m sure he’s fine but I just couldn’t). Mostly, though, I personally know Billie Piper from Penny Dreadful. I still haven’t been able to bring myself to watch the last episode of that show because I just… can’t, I don’t know. It was a beautiful weird headrush of a program and Billie Piper was one of my favorite parts of it, considering that her plotline, which was in the style of but not directly derived from any one particular known story, was “prostitute dies of consumption or something [I assume consumption because that’s what people die of in the olden days] and is reborn as the Bride of Frankenstein, then meets Dorian Grey and after regaining memory of her time as a prostitute decides to seek vengeance on all of London’s cruel johns, eventually recruiting other London prostitutes to join her in a vengeful and sometimes Sapphic prostitute army” and that is 100% my brand. As a result of this, I made sure to tell Billie Piper (after drift partner discussed her love for Rose and Nine) that I so greatly appreciated the wicked insanity of Penny Dreadful. She seemed to get a kick out of that, largely because I imagine most people had been talking to her about Who throughout the con and it was nice to have a change of pace.

(She also asked the girls in front of us for recommendations for a good curry place nearby, which was insanely charming.)

Here is that selfie of us of Matt[ilda] and Elektra, anyway:

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Saturday was when we did Black Widow [drift partner] and Scarlet Witch [me]. My mom upgraded Scarlet Witch since our sojourn to Rose City last September, and I was thrilled to wear it; it’s surprisingly comfortable, if very very warm, and I like the mood it puts me in. The day was more looking and buying, grabbing a couple of writer signatures (Marguerite Bennett of Bombshells fame, who I was absolutely thrilled to meet because oh my god you guys that is my favorite thing, and Kate Leth of Hellcat fame, who we met last year but I wanted to meet again because she’s awesome), and meeting Sean Maher.

Sean Maher, as you know, is Simon on Firefly, aka one of my always boys, aka one of the only male characters I am hardcore about, aka the namesake of one of my parents’ cats, aka half of one of the only m/f ships I still freak out about, aka a lovely real life example of a happy gay person living a good life. He seemed very tired but we got a nice picture of him wearing a vest signed and told him we adored his character and adored his being a lovely example of gay because we too are in that. He then used the word “family” which was sweet.

Here’s a picture of us as Scarlet Witch and Black Widow, taken by a professional (?) photographer who was nice enough to indulge us:

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Sunday was my mother’s very first day at Emerald City! She wore her excellent Melisandre and I wore the season 7 Daenerys she just finished for me, which is very nice but oh my god the warmest thing I’ve ever worn at a convention; drift partner wore her excellent Jessica-Jones-as-Jewel after some last-minute changes to our cosplay schedule. I decided the theme was then “women who murder rapists,” because Melisandre has certainly done (albeit maybe accidentally) and Dany definitely does and, well, Jess has also done. Yes. Our first goal of the day was seeing Summer Glau, because while we have before my mom has not. We paid to take a selfie with her, and by selfie I mean picture at the table that someone else took because it’s hard to take a selfie with four people in it, and my mom thanked her for giving her an excellent daughter-in-law (after retelling the story of drift partner’s and my meeting). Summer cooed and gave us hugs and said she was glad to be part of the story.

After that we went to go see Corinne Duyvis, who was hanging out signing books in the vendor hall. We had a very nice talk about how On the Edge of Gone had entered my life soon after I realized I was autistic and its protagonist really struck a chord with me accordingly; drift partner has known longer about autism but she agreed with the overall sentiment. Then we talked about her glasses (which were purple and pink, which matched how she currently had her hair dyed). She was very lovely and I was thrilled to get to meet her because, well, I really had never thought I’d get to because genre YA authors aren’t the people you think about as likely to come to a convention. And after that was a lot of walking around, art-perusing, and my mom and I getting our photos taken by people.

Here’s our “selfie” with Summer:

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Overall, good weekend very exhausting.

–your fangirl heroine.

sleep20of20the20drunk-dead

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Superlative Sunday :: my thoughts on the 2018 Golden Globes

7 Jan

#timesup, #whywewearblack, etc. I’m here for all this.

That said, I didn’t watch the awards. I have minimal patience for award shows at this point, especially when I can just get all the results and fashion pictures and inspirational moments online. So here’s the thoughts I can offer on the results, as usual by film.

The Shape of Water (Best Director, Motion Picture [Guillermo del Toro])
This is so great. I am here for every weird minute of positive attention this beautiful strange film gets.

Lady Bird (Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy; Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy [Saoirse Ronan])
This so nice too! This was such a pleasant surprise of a bittersweet film and I’m glad it’s been properly noticed. Also I’m proud of Saoirse Ronan, somewhat on drift partner’s behalf and somewhat because I just am.

Get Out (won nothing because this shit is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s)
I just quoted the 2004 Gwen Stefani song “Hollaback Girl” because, well. If the shit fits. Get Out is a wonderful movie, objectively one of the best of last year, and its being classified as “Musical or Comedy” was part of its downfall I’m sure. I hate award classifications and this is a deathly one. That said Hollywood is also still problematic so, y’know. There’s that.

On the TV side: proud of my girls Elisabeth Moss and Laura Dern, my boys Aziz Ansari and Alexander Skarsgard, and The Handmaid’s Tale in general even though I still haven’t watched it because I’m not ready for that much right now.

–your fangirl heroine.

make20it20stop20make20it20all20stop20now

Film Friday :: 2017 in film

29 Dec

First off, we have already seen The Last Jedi. We saw it opening night. We’ve just been waiting to write about it because A) we’ve been crazy-busy, B) we want to go see it again to pick up more before we write, and C) we figured it would be nice to let the spoilers die down a little. But I will talk about some things about it.

So!

Best Times At The Movies This Year

4. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
So yes, we’re in the camp that quite loved this movie. And our first night crowd was great! They laughed at all the right parts. It was a stressful time that also involved tears and emotions, but it was good and important.

3. Thor: Ragnarok
Good grief. Drift partner and I loved this damn movie, as evidence by the fact that we went to see it a second time in celebration of our anniversary earlier this month. Hela (Cate Blanchett) is a brilliant villain, Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) is the bisexual warrior goddess icon we all need, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is a big golden retriever memelord, Bruce (Mark Ruffalo) is a good buddy who needs protected, Heimdall (Idris Elba) is our lord and savior. Etcetera.

2. Wonder Woman
This is cinematic gold. This movie was such a relief and such a celebration. Diana (Gal Gadot) is the other bisexual warrior goddess icon we need and also Etta (Lucy Davis) is absolutely everything.

1. The Fate of the Furious
Admittedly two of the best times we’ve had at the movies involved being able to drink during, but that’s a coincidence. This is a beautiful garbage movie full of a beautiful garbage family and the stupidest most wonderful nonsense ever, and I’m so glad of it.

Biggest Emotion-Grabbers

(Emotions other than intense happiness, since that was covered above.)

4. The Shape of Water
This movie, as we said last weekend, is flipping weird, but it’s beautiful and quiet and touching and just… lovely. It might not be for everyone, but it’s lovely.

3. Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
For joy but also heartwrenching…ness both because it’s inspiring to watch Wonder Woman come to be and because a movie about bisexual polyamory that’s not only committed and tender and loving and emotionally intense but real is something that never happens and should always.

2. Get Out
This emotion, on the other hand, is some cross between anxiety, dread, and disgust at the world. This is such a fascinating movie, and while I don’t feel it’s my place to get into all of the details I feel it is my place to say it’s expertly done.

1. Hidden Figures
This emotion is pride, mostly. I am proud of these real people and the people who made this and the fact that this is a story we can tell and that it’s true and that it just rocks. Also Janelle Monae, Taraji P. Henson, and Octavia Spencer are goddesses.

Some Standout Ladies

10. All of the women of Star Wars
Leia (Carrie Fisher) always. Bless you space mom, thank you for sending us your bees and love. Rey (Daisy Ridley) always. We love our daughter. Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) is a beautiful delight and we also love the hell out of her. Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern) is, surprise, also a bisexual goddess. I want more Maz (Lupita Nyong’o) in Episode IX, dammit. I’m glad Kaydel (Billie Lourd) got more to do and I dibsed her on principle.

9. Lady Bird McPherson (Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird)
As drift partner said, Saoirse deserves her damn Oscar for this emotional and compelling performance. Period.

8. (As mentioned,) Hela and Valkyrie
These two are opposites, enemies, and wonders. Hela is the most extra character, from the horns to the cape to the necroswords to the dramatic magic, and Cate Blanchett was clearly having the time of her life. Val is a tragic babe with a happy outcome, a pegasus-riding sword-wielder, and the kind of character women rarely get to be. They both make a great movie even greater.

7. Harley Quinn (Melissa Rauch, Batman and Harley Quinn)
I’m counting it! We watched this on-demand one night and then immediately ran out to buy it because it is a perfect movie. It exists in the same continuity as Batman: The Animated Series, but it’s rated significantly more PG-13, and Harley is done perfectly. She’s a big bisexual nerd trying to make good, flirting and punching and punning and singing and literally saving the world with her love for Ivy (Paget Brewster). Especially after Suicide Squad, this movie is a breath of fresh air and so is this incarnation of our best clown princess weirdo.

6. Elizabeth Marston (Rebecca Hall, Professor Marston…)
Like, I’ve always loved Rebecca Hall, but this performance is transcendent. Not because it’s flashy or particularly weird, but because it’s heartfelt and honest and, yes, quite h-o-t. It’s the best kind of movie about queer women, which is to say one that actually comes through a queer female gaze and not a straight male one, and Rebecca Hall shines as a fully realized person with fully real desires and appeal.

5. Michelle “MJ” Jones (Zendaya Coleman, Spider-Man: Homecoming)
She is just what we need in everything, namely a snarky black girl who takes no shit from anyone but isn’t afraid to give it. She’s so deadpan and perfect and such a great addition to the universe and the story and I’m excite to see how she ends up being properly MJ.

4. Mantis (Pom Klementieff, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2)
These movies are definitely hit and miss in a lot of ways, but there are some universal truths, among them that space is very beautiful to look at and that Mantis is an adorable sincere autistic baby who needs to be protected. She’s so utterly charming and her need to be loved and be helpful is, uh, #relatable.

3. Cipher (Charlize Theron, The Fate of the Furious)
This is a garbage film, but she is the garbage queen. All of ur cars are belong to me.

2. Laura Kinney (Dafne Keen, Logan)
This kid. Just her performance in the final act of the movie nearly put this movie on the emotion-grabbing list, too, because she’s heartwrenching. She’s a little badass through the film, but she’s also so little and good and I’m proud of her and would like to make her cookies.

1. All of the women of The Lego Batman Movie
Obviously Barbara (Rosario Dawson) is the main female character in this movie, and she kicks so much ass and is just so delightful. I’m also talking about my favorite thing, the (potential) Gotham City Sirens triumvirate of Harley (Jenny Slate), Catwoman (Zoe Kravitz), and Poison Ivy (Riki Lindholme). That’s the perfect film right there. Get on it.

–your fangirl heroine.

oh20noes

Spoiler Alert Sunday :: our thoughts on Get Out

2 Apr

Disclaimer: neither of us are black, though one of us is white-passing biracial (Chinese/white), so whatever we have to say about the film will be filtered through a non-black lens, and should not be taken with the same gravity as what black reviewers and audiences have said.

So, I (drift partner) am biracial, much like director/writer Jordan Peele, though since I’m extremely light-skinned and white-passing my experiences with racism and whiteness have been completely difference than Peele’s. While people frequently erase Peele’s experiences having grown up with a white mother, I have had people say to my face that I can’t be Chinese. I’ve had people express disbelief that my Chinese father is related to me, my identity has been used as an excuse to tell racist jokes, and been tasked to explain why the slur “Ch*naman” is racist. I look white, but I’m not. And I’m sure I haven’t experienced half of the racism and microaggressions that Peele has as a black man in the US.

Get Out is a horror/comedy, but most of the comedy is probably going to be lost on white audiences, because the jokes are Peele’s nods to the experiences he and other black people face when (sometimes) well-meaning white people try to engage with them. “You know, I would’ve voted for Obama for a third term.” “I know Tiger Woods. Let’s see your golf stance!” “If you worked out, you’d be a beast!” I lost count of the microaggressions in this film, the little things the white characters said or did that communicated to Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) that they definitely saw him as Other. The audience in our screening didn’t seem to be laughing that much, but I was, because I recognized most of these jokes. They’re not really for the white audience members at all – they’re for the black viewers, who have probably had similar experiences and will laugh and nod knowingly and whisper “white people.”

That being said, this movie also doesn’t pull its punches – it’s got a lot of tension that builds from the very first scene, and really knows how to use simple things like a plush lion or a spoon rubbing on the inside of a teacup to unsettle you. I was spoiled for most of the movie going in, but even I didn’t quite guess the final twist, and it’s over-the-top and horrifying in the best way. From the beginning you know something weird is going on, but you’re not sure how deep it goes, and you’ll want to keep watching to find out. I’m sort of a wuss when it comes to horror movies, but I like them like this: creepy and unsettling with lots of moments that give you chills, but not unnecessarily gory, and with explanations for why everything is happening. Every actor is giving perfect performances that are unsettling without tipping over into parody levels – Bradley Whitford has never been scarier to me, and Allison Williams finally seems to have found a job that lets her truly (unnervingly) shine. Daniel Kaluuya is also brilliant and likable and I was rooting for him every step of the way; he’s supposed to be in Black Panther, which thrills me. It’s a real pity that horror movies tend to get passed over by the major awards, because if any genre film ever had performances that merited consideration, it’s this one.

As of today, Get Out has passed The Blair Witch Project as the highest-grossing original screenplay in history. I can’t think of a film that’s more deserving, and I’m so glad it’s managed to get the audience it has. Please do yourself a favor and watch it (just be aware, if you’re white, that it’s laughing at you, not with you).

–your fangirl heroines.

wildeyed