Dear Writer

Aug. 28th, 2017 12:58 pm
wendelah1: Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin holding hands and  looking at the river (Winnie the Pooh)
[personal profile] wendelah1
Placeholder.

A real letter will appear very soon.

Pinch hits

Jun. 27th, 2017 09:08 am
bridgetmkennitt: (Umbrella)
[personal profile] bridgetmkennitt posting in [community profile] npt_admin
There are 2 pinch hits that need to be claimed. If you'd like to write for one of them, please comment below with which pinch hit you'd like and your AO3 name. Comments are screened. 24 hours later, a name will be chosen randomly for each pinch hit.

Pinch Hit #9 )

Pinch Hit #10 )

Useful Links
Not Prime Time 2017 (with schedule) | Prime Time Madness 2017
Frequently Asked Questions | AO3 exchange faq for participants | Pinch Hitting faq
2017 nomination tag set
Dear Prime Time Player on DW
2017 Requests available on AO3 | in a txt file

Munich Film Festival II

Jun. 27th, 2017 11:28 am
selenak: (Orson Welles by Moonxpoints5)
[personal profile] selenak
The Infiltrator was part of the Bryan Cranston retrospective and basically came across as a well-made routine thriller without anything being either bad or having anything innovative going for it. I.e. if you've watched thrillers about undercover cops working to bring a drug cartel down, you can predict all of the story beats. (Other than one spoilerly bit ).) It's entertaining and does what it sets out to do, and needless to say Cranston is reliably good in the part, but I wouldn't say it's a must.

City of Ghosts, otoh, was a fantastic documentary, directed by Matthew Heineman, about the citizen journalist group Raqqa is being slaughtered silently (RBBS). Before I watched it, I was unfamiliar with the phrase "citizen journalist" , but it's really a perfect description, because before the IS came to Raqqa, only one of them was a journalist, the rest had professions like high school math teacher or engineer. Nonetheless, they took incredible risks getting out photos and film evidence of the atrocities the so called Islamic State visited - and still visits upon their city. The surviving founders of the group had to flee but they still have some members in Raqqa, trying their best to continue getting material out. I'm always hesitant to use the phrase "real life heroes", but these people are truly heroic, and one thing that galls me especially is that when they've made it alive to Germany and safety, they promptly run into one anti-refugees march by the godawful AFD in Berlin.

The documentary starts during the "Arab Spring" in 2012, for which the Assad Regime going after Raqqa school children was one of the local triggers, and ends last year. We follow the core group of RBBS; Heineman is an invisible presence, he lets them narrate their stories, and when there's background information/exposition, such the way the IS uses the media for recruitment changed radically from the very early static speech videos to the Hollywood style big production videos that came into use after the fall of Raqqa, the activists are doing the explaining (subtitled, for the most part, everyone talks in Arabic) while the audience sees excerpts of the videos in question. BTW, I'd never seen an IS recruitment video before, and I have to say, the exact copying of action movie gimmicks and aesthetics (complete with following-the-bullet shots, soundtrack, etc.) is nearly as unsettling as the content. It's not much of a comfort that RBBS was able to puncture the IS self image enough by getting videos and photos showing the true state of Raqqa out to counteract the IS claims about it that the IS forbade any satelites in Raqqa and ordered the inhabitants to publically destroy theirs, so they regain control of the imagery. But it's something.

If the excerpts from the IS videos go for action movie gloss on violence, the mobile phone camera made videos of the RBBS are shaky, abruptly cut off, full of (inevitably) strange angles - and shocking in quite a different way. For example, the first time we see executions, the abrupt deaths and the already dead bodies lying around are bad enough, but without either the camera or any narrator pointing this out, what is as gruesome is what you see in the background. Yes, these are heads on pikes on what used to be the town square, not cheap movie props in the latest zombie splatter, but real human heads.

There's a lot of survivors guilt among the activists; one of them had to watch his father being executed in punishment, all of them are directly threatened by the IS who calls for their deaths, one lost his brother who was among the refugees who drowned in the Mediterranean, and when he talks about his dead brother, he says he still sends him messages per Facebook (as the account hasn't been taken down). "I am broken, my brother. Broken." And yet, and yet, they still continue to risk their lives. There's also a lot of comraderie we see, being physically comfortable with each other, and the rare moment of pure joy, such as everyone having a snowball fight in Berlin. You feel for them, and admire them - and hope the movie will be seen by as many people as possible. Maybe it will remind them that 95% of the victims of IS terrorism are Muslims - and said victims won't, shan't be silenced, are doing their best to fight back.

L'Intrusa, directed by Leonardo di Costanzo, is, like The Infiltrator, "based on a true story", with organized crime in the background, but the contrast couldn't be greater. While delivering a tight narration, there's nothing routine or slick about this movie, which is set in Naples and manages to avoid every single cliché. The fact you don't see the Vesuvio or the bay anywhere is just one of them; L'Intrusa is set in one of the poor quarters. The central characteris Giovanna, who has organized a miixture of daycare centre and social centre for kids and teenagers to offer them a life off the streets. When the film starts, the centre is well established and has been running for years, has been embraced by the neighborhood - but then something happens that puts Giovanna in an unsolvable dilemma. One of the small to mid level gangster's wives - Maria - and her two children have come to the centre, claiming refuge. Giovanna, Maria's daughter Rita and Maria are the three main characters; the supporting cast is also individualized, from Giovanna's right hand woman Sabina to the widow of a man Maria's husband has shot to the little daughter whose father was beaten to a pulp by Maria's husband right in front of her.

L'Intrusa never shows on screen violence. It doesn't show the Camorra doing what the Camorra does, but the after effects are present everywhere. This was a deliberate choice by the director, who in the Q & A said that if you depict Mafiosi "from the front", i.e. put them in the centre of the narration, even if you position them as villains, you end up making them in some ways sympathetic or even glorify them. "So, in my films, I only come at them sideways" - i.e. they're not there on screen, but there's no mistaking the terribile effect they have. Now, the centre is a film full of life and joy, with a community acting together, and it's rare and very attractive to see that. But it's not utopia, and in fact the need for it directly grows out of the unseen horrors around it. Not surprisingly, more and more parents object to Maria's presence. Giovanna gets accused of prioritizing the perpretators over their victims. The aunt of the little girl who has seen her father beaten into a pulp demands to know how she should justify to her sister letting her niece interact, let alone play with Rita, what that would do to her niece. Things come to a head when Rita and some of the kids argue, a normal kids' argument, with the parents drawn into, but Maria isn't just any parent, and so when she says "if you touch my daughter again etc.", the awareness that this is the wife of someone who casually kills people, even if he's currently arrested and hopefully won't get out of prison any time soon, makes this a direct threat to the other kids.

Otoh, Giovanna's argument is: if you ever want to break the cycle of violence, you need to make sure that the Marias of the world don't raise their children to follow their fathers' footsteps. That these children learn other values, learn something different. If she turns these children away from the centre, this will not happen.

As I said: it's an unsolvable dilemma, and the movie doesn't simplify it. It even adds to the stakes because Maria at first comes across as arrogant and rude (it's not until well into the film when you see her alone that you realise she's shattered and scared as well). Not to mention that she starts out by deceiving Giovanna, and there's early on not much to justify Giovanna's hope that Maria actually wants a change for herself and her children - nothing but the fact Maria is here instead of being with her rich sister-in-law, who in the movie shows up twice in a big car to retrieve Maria, in vain, and evidently lives the well funded Mafia spouse life. Basically: you understand where everyone is coming from.

Something else I learned in the Q & A was that most of the actors were lay actors, actual Neapolitans whose main job is in social service (though no one played themselves), with Giovanna being played by a woman who is a dancer and dance choreographer. "Because Giovanna doesn't say much, she's so stoic, she expresses herself through her body language," said the director, "I wanted someone who could do that, that's why I picked Raffaela Giordano." Who indeed is able to express much by the way she looks at people, by her movements, and who looks like she's closer to 50 than to 40. Everyone looks "normal", i.e. like people you could meet on the streets, not like well styled actors with a daily workout. But none act amateurishly in the sense that you're taken outside the story or feel they're talking stiltedly; given Rita and the other children are a big part of the story, that's especially amazing.

Favourite detail: one of the projects the kids in the centre work on, and the one Rita falls in love with and participates with, is building a robot they name "Mr. Jones" out of old bicycle parts. You can bet that in most other movies, Rita and her baby brother would have changed placed in age and it would have been a little boy fascinated with the robot.

In conclusion: probably my favourite movie so far, and highly reccomended

FFA DW Post # 686 - Placeholder

Jun. 27th, 2017 08:05 am
sunnymodffa: Picture of a sheep with tentacles (Cthulhu Sheep)
[personal profile] sunnymodffa posting in [community profile] fail_fandomanon
 
Placeholder

New Rule updates:
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-For a wide variety of reasons, no deliberate variant fonts, no emoji in thread titles. You can use them in the comment, but not in the title.

All the [community profile] fail_fandomanon Rules and Information (and Ban Requests): http://fail-fandomanon.dreamwidth.org/1076.html. The short version: no embeds, don't out people's real names, don't be that much of an asshole, body fluids are off topic, Mods reserve the right to freeze, screen, and delete the fuck out of stuff. FFA discussion covers a wide variety of topics and has a very flexible view of 'fandom' that includes politics, current events, and cooking techniques. FFA is a Choose NOT to Warn experience. Meme away.

Other posts and resources relevant to your interests:

NB: Meme rules do not require spoiler cuts/white-text/etc. Though, if you want to use spoiler cuts, a wonderful nonnie found a way to add them to DW. Just use the code below.
<div tabindex="-1"><b>spoiler title</b><div>Some spoilery content.</div></div>
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moetushie: Beaton cartoon - a sexy revolution. (Default)
[personal profile] moetushie
I watched Moana on Netflix yesterday, and yes, I liked a lot. I loved Moana's determination and her spirit, and loved that her mission was to save her people (I love that she was undoubtedly her father's successor, no bullshit), not to find blah blah love. It's one of the rare movies that I didn't mind the CGI -- the water was really cool, and loved all the scenes where it peeled back to show sealife. Like that scene in The Prince of Egypt, during the Red Sea scene (although that was traditional animation and now I really want to watch The Prince of Egypt again.)

Moana reminded me in turns of Hercules (Maui and Herc would get along great -- and so would his tattoos and the Muses!) and Mulan and Lilo & Stitch -- not coincidentally, some of my favorite Disney movies. I wasn't too crazy about all the songs (god, the crab song when on way too long), but Moana had a lot of heart to it, which I thought was kind of missing from the last new Disney movie I've seen -- Frozen.

Anyway, as the very last person to see Moana, it was great! The scene of her ancestors voyaging across the ocean -- and then her doing it too -- really touched me. I hope Disney gives us more diverse princesses (or chief's daughters, in any case) in the future. It was really a lot of fun.

There was a meme on Twitter that asked for your top three Disney songs, and I ended up picking 2/3 songs from when I was coming up, during the Disney Renaissance (and a bit after.) My choices were Aladdin's "A Whole New World", The Little Mermaid's "Part of Your World" and Mulan's "Be A Man." What about you?

[ SECRET POST #3827 ]

Jun. 26th, 2017 06:38 pm
case: (Default)
[personal profile] case posting in [community profile] fandomsecrets

⌈ Secret Post #3827 ⌋

Warning: Some secrets are NOT worksafe and may contain SPOILERS.

01.


More! )


Notes:

Secrets Left to Post: 02 pages, 41 secrets from Secret Submission Post #548.
Secrets Not Posted: [ 0 - broken links ], [ 0 - not!secrets ], [ 0 - not!fandom ], [ 0 - too big ], [ 0 - repeat ].
Current Secret Submissions Post: here.
Suggestions, comments, and concerns should go here.

(no subject)

Jun. 26th, 2017 05:29 pm
nanslice: ([tw] sleepy time)
[personal profile] nanslice
weight stuff )

I went to Torrid yesterday (so glad I have a local store!) and bought clothes and I might have plurged a little and materialism yay! )

This weekend was a complete bust, writing-wise. :( We had home repairs and stuff to do and I just didn't have the time. I'm going to try to get something written/posted tonight but we'll see. I'm going to do writing sprints and see how it goes. ;3; If anyone's interested in doing writing sprints with me, hit me up on discord: nanners#7965

AO3 Celebrates 25,000 Fandoms!

Jun. 26th, 2017 02:41 pm
otw_staff: 'Comms' and 'Janita' written beneath the OTW logo (Janita)
[personal profile] otw_staff posting in [community profile] otw_news
partial screenshot of AO3 homepage showing 25000 fandoms with the AO3 logo above the text




AO3 has reached 25,000 fandoms! To celebrate, we've put together info about fandom tags and how all tags work: https://goo.gl/W4wPxH

Perfume Reviews + Swaps/Giveaways

Jun. 26th, 2017 03:15 pm
lunabee34: (perfume: art deco bottle by sallymn)
[personal profile] lunabee34
Michael by Michael Kors

Top notes are freesia, incense, chinese osmanthus and tamarind; middle notes are tuberose, iris, peony, orris root and arum lily; base notes are musk, cashmere wood and vetiver.

This is a very sweet white floral. The tuberose is almost a gardenia dupe. Josh cried almost instant headache, so I didn't leave it on long enough for the dry down, but I could just start to smell the woodiness of the iris start to tamp down the florals before I scrubbed it.

Clean (the original)

This soap-inspired scent combines litsea cubeba, orange, sweet lime, pink grapefruit, passion lily, rose geranium, and white musk and is perfect for women who enjoy crisp, subtly. It opens with a bright burst of freshness and dries down to a simply CLEAN scent.

This does smell fresh and clean. Very bright and citrusy but very sweet (must be the sweet lime). I don't get any orange or grapefruit, but I do smell rose geranium (yummy) and soap. Clean is a good descriptor. I would like to smell this on someone else, but it's not for me. I passed it to a friend.

BPAL Rapunzel

Angel’s trumpet, bois de rose, orris, and wild lettuce.

I really like this. It smells green and sweet and a little of rose. Josh detects a note of ginger. It's a keeper!

SWAPS AND GIVEAWAYS )

Murderbot and Gender

Jun. 26th, 2017 10:14 am
muccamukk: Holmes examines a Santa hat. (SH: Christmas Hat)
[personal profile] muccamukk
One of the things I liked about Martha Wells' Murderbot Diaries series is that the title character is some sort of android/human clone hybrid and has neither a sexuality nor a gender. The books are written in first person, but all the outside characters refer to the Murderbot as "it," and frankly it's fine with that. Wells mentioned on a recent AMA: "I feel the core of the character is that while Murderbot is obviously a person, it isn't human and doesn't want to be human, so while other characters might give it pronouns, it's not going to want to pick any for itself."

I know at least one person who found the use of "it" over "they" for non-gendered pronouns uncomfortable, while Nenya liked it for reminding the reader of the profoundly non human nature of the SecUnit. Reading reviews, I noticed that people used a variety of approaches to deal with Murderbot's gender, and I did a quick tally of them.

214 Reviews on Goodreads as of this writing
  • 137 of them don't use pronouns for Murderbot (a few seemed to be deliberately avoiding doing so, but mostly these reviews just said something like "Good book, will read the next one.")

  • 5 of them are in a language I don't speak (I'm taking a Murderbot approach to this, and half-assing my research)

  • 44 (61%) of them used "it"

  • 12 (17%) of them used "he"

  • 8 (11%) of them used "they"

  • 8 (11%) of them used "she" (Ann Leckie's got them trained!)

Speaking of Leckie, she has recced this series as well. I feel like Murderbot and Breq could have a profitable conversation, really.

One week left

Jun. 26th, 2017 09:26 am
bridgetmkennitt: (Umbrella)
[personal profile] bridgetmkennitt posting in [community profile] npt_admin
There's just one week left until your fics are due into the Not Prime Time 2017 collection. This means your fic is fully uploaded and not a draft. I haven't clicked on anyone's currently uploaded fic and I won't be doing so until after the deadline.

If you're going to default, please do so now instead of later to give pinch hitters more time. However, if you do finish your fic, please feel free to upload it to the collection.

Useful Links
Not Prime Time 2017 (with schedule) | Prime Time Madness 2017
Frequently Asked Questions | AO3 exchange faq for participants | Pinch Hitting faq
2017 nomination tag set
Dear Prime Time Player on DW
2017 Requests available on AO3 | in a txt file

Monday Morning

Jun. 26th, 2017 08:58 am
wendelah1: (Mondays)
[personal profile] wendelah1
The "laid-back community for pretty much anything," [community profile] venture, is hosting a summer friending meme.



Timeless fans: [personal profile] jebbypal just posted the first challenge at [community profile] timeless_lifeboat: "Baggage." Speaking of luggage, were you aware that Fox aired a comedy this spring wherein an old duffel bag was used to travel back in time? It sounds dumb but it was in the time-honored literary tradition of children travelling in history using magical objects. As in, for example, Half Magic and Knight's Castle by Edward Eager. I read the entire seven book series when I was a kid. Anyway. Making History was cancelled after just ten episodes. This may seem obvious, but maybe it would have worked better if the time travelers had been kids? As an aside, I had thought someone nominated Eager's series for The Exchange at Fic Corner 2017. Nope. I must have dreamed it. Signups end June 28th.

That's it for the good news. The bad news is the Supreme Court has lifted the injunctions preventing the implementation of Trump's Muslim ban.

Roll Call: Court Allows Some of Travel Ban, Will Decide Legality Later

Think Progress: How to make sense of the confusing Supreme Court opinion on the Muslim ban The Court took an easy case and made it very complicated.

AND. We have just four days to stop Trumpcare. There are actions we can take to influence both Republican Senators and Democratic Senators. Let's not leave anything on the table.

Indivisible: Four Days to Stop Trumpcare: Enough is Enough. No exaggeration: We’ve been at this 6 months, and this is the most important week in our fight against TrumpCare. Republicans are planning a vote THIS THURSDAY. But Republicans still don’t have the votes. This truly could go either way. This is the moment constituent power was made for. This is the time to stand up.

By the way, as long as the Republican Party remain in power, the Senate will continue to write important, controversial, life-changing legislation behind closed doors. This is the opposite of transparency. Mitch McConnell has truly made a deal with the devil. He's thrown out the rules. This is NOT how a democracy is supposed to work.

EDIT: The CBO score for Trumpcare is in: 22 Million More Uninsured Under Senate Health Care Bill, Says CBO.

KEEP DIALING, Wendy.

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