starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
All of my fanfiction can be found at [archiveofourown.org profile] starlady; DW links are listed where extant.

You don't need my permission to remix, record, translate, scanlate, and/or transform anything I've written (though a link to your transformative work is always appreciated!).

I generally follow AO3 policy on warnings; namely, I warn for rape and/or noncon, major character death, and graphic violence. I also will warn for topics that may be triggering on an as-needed basis. If you have a question about the content of any of my stories, or a concern about the warnings or lack thereof on same, please email or pm me and I will do my best to address your concerns respectfully.

Fanfic )



Translations
My translations of manga series may be found using the links in this journal's sidebar.



AMVs )



Vids )
starlady: (bibliophile)
This past year was a century, and I find it difficult to remember my own individual actions in it. There were some good things! There were many bad things! I went to the last VividCon and it was really great. I went to Japan, that was good too. We retook the House. May next year be better for all of us and for the planet.

2018 Reading Stats

Books read: 107, of which 1 (1%) rereads
By gender: 32 (30%) by men, the rest by women or non-binary authors
By race: 28 (26%) by authors of color, the rest by white authors
In translation: 0, not counting 1 (1%) in Japanese
New books: 37 (35%) published in 2018
Books owned before 2016: 1
New-to-me authors: 29

…versus 2018 resolutions
  1. Read 110 books ==> Failed. But I held steady at 107, which I am proud of.
  2. Read 25 physical books owned since 2016 or earlier. ==> Failed with 1/25.
  3. Read 25 books by authors of color. ==> Achieved! 28/25
  4. Read 10 books in translation. ==> Failed, 1/10
  5. Read 15 books in Japanese ==> Failed, 1/15.
  6. Read all the comics bought before 2018, both physical and digital ==> I am making progress on this, but still haven't finished.

General Comments
I think I did pretty well considering that I lost a solid month in September around the Supreme Court hearings. Relatedly, however, I had my poorest showing ever at the Sirens reading challenge; normally I finish it or come within a book or two if I don't succeed, but this year iirc I was more than halfway away at the deadline.

I joined the Sirens reading club and my local comic book shop's women's comics club, which together account for the preponderance of new books in my reading this year. I've tried to switch modalities to optimize reading, with more taking place on my phone than previously, though I still spend too much time on Twitter on BART when I could be reading. My bird is coming to live with me, however, so I am more determined than ever to get the stacks of comics off the floor and tackle the stacks of old books, as I need to prepare for the possibility of moving this summer.

I'm slowly savoring the last Lymond book (I skimmed it in the spring but couldn't bear to finish it formally, as I didn't want it to end), and after that I'm hoping to tackle Joan Aiken's Wolves Chronicles. Michelle West's current epic fantasy series is finishing this year with not one but two books, with the final arc of the story expected after that, so I'm trying to decide what order would be best for a reread of the entire series. Laurie Marks' Air Logic is finally seeing the light of day, which means I need to get off my butt and finish the Steerswoman books. I also want to read the rest of Martha Wells' backlist, and I am slowly closing in on my goal of reading all of Kate Elliott's books--just Black Wolves and the last six Crown of Stars novels left.

Best of 2018
A 10% selection rate is 10 books, give or take.
  • JY Yang, The Tensorate novellas (2017- )
  • Holly Black, The Cruel Prince (2018) and The Wicked King (2019)
  • Rainbow Rowell and Kris Anka, Runaways (2017 - )
  • Philip Pullman, The Book of Dust vol. 1: La Belle Sauvage (2017)
  • Lara Elena Donnelly, Amberlough (2017) and Armistice (2018)
  • Roshani Chokshi, Aru Shah and the End of Time (2018)
  • Martha Wells, The Murderbot novellas (2017-18)
  • Catherynne Valente, Space Opera (2018)
  • Brendan Fletcher et al, Black Canary (2016-17) and Motor Crush (2017- )
  • Yoon Ha Lee, Revenant Gun (2018)
2019 Reading Resolutions
  1. Read 110 books
  2. Read 25 physical books owned since 2016 or earlier
  3. Read 25 books by authors of color
  4. Read 10 books in translation
  5. Read 15 books in Japanese
  6. Read all the comics bought before 2019, both physical and digital
starlady: Kermit the Frog, at Yuletide (yuletide)
For Yuletide 2018 I picked up a pinch hit on the list in a wild burst of optimism and hubris when I saw the fandom, The Box of Delights. For those who haven't read John Masefield's classic Christmas fantasy, it's wild, though somehow not quite as wild as its predecessor, The Midnight Folk. Both are available from the NYRB Classics line, and I highly recommend them.

Somehow despite the fact that this was the first fic under the TV tag, it has proven fairly popular for such a tiny fandom. Happy Yuletide to us all.

Fire and Bells (3515 words) by starlady
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Kay Harker Series - John Masefield, Dark Is Rising Sequence - Susan Cooper, The Box of Delights (TV)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Maria Jones, Kay Harker
Additional Tags: Christmas, Future Fic, Crossover, 1930s
Summary: It's Christmas 1932, and Maria Jones only wants to find the magic in the world.

I finished the book on New Year's Eve 2016, so to refresh my memory I queued up the 1980s BBC adaptation of the book on YouTube, which was helpful in that it clarified the class status of the characters. Reading [personal profile] merriman's letter, I realized that crossing the story over with Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising series would solve all of my plot problems, with the nice addition that I am pretty sure Masefield influenced Cooper. I had originally wanted to make this a stealth triple crossover with the Wimsey novels (T9T shares some thematic elements with The Box of Delights, actually), but that proved ungainly--though Merriman and Wimsey do both drive Daimlers. On the other hand, you may also recognize a few elements from The Magician's Nephew; that was deliberate. So was the fact that I ignored the book's cop-out ending, though I think after having read The Midnight Folk I am more inclined to the interpretation that it all having been a dream doesn't mean it wasn't real.

Really, though, I cannot recommend tossing Merriman, the Lady and the Rider into your story enough as a strategy to solve your plot problems. What is the Lady doing lying in a barrow under a berm? Who knows and who cares! They are in all times as they need to be. And Maria Jones is a treat to write. If I had actually read The Midnight Folk before writing this fic, I would have done more with her own magical origins (she and her family were some of Kay's toys originally, probably? WILD), but alas, I had not. 

I thought this was the only story I had written this year, but I forgot that I had written a brief Star Wars Rebels coda by way of an ROTJ coda earlier this year when Rebels finished.

Freedom on Endor (1642 words) by starlady
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Star Wars Original Trilogy, Star Wars: Rebels, Star Wars - All Media Types
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Luke Skywalker, CT-7567 | Rex
Additional Tags: Spoils the Rebels ending, Past Character Death, Years ago you served my father in the Clone Wars, Post-Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Summary: Rex sat back slightly. “Any relation to General Anakin Skywalker?” he asked, too casual, and Luke swallowed hard.

Despite my diminished output over the past few years, I have not been idle on the fanfic front in 2018. I wrote nearly 80K of an epic Star Wars fic, and my main goal for 2019 is to get it finished and posted. May the Force be with us all in our endeavors.
starlady: Uryuu & Ichigo reenact Scott Pilgrim (that doesn't even rhyme)
Well, at least it's over.

The Vids
February
Missionary Woman (X-Men movies - alternate timeline)

April
The Last of the Real Ones (Star Wars Rebels)

July
Congratulations (Star Wars)

August
Hard Times (The Good Fight)
The Greatest (Star Wars Rebels)

November
Warrior (A Wrinkle in Time) - Autumn Equinox 2018


The Questions
Favorite
Honestly I am really, really pleased with all three of my Star Wars vids. My two favorites are The Last of the Real Ones and Congratulations, depending on my mood.

Least Favorite
This feels disloyal, but I think Warrior is the one that still could use more work, which is the closest to "least favorite" that I'll get.

Most Successful
Probably The Last of the Real Ones? I got some very nice comments on it from the BP organizers and from people at VividCon, though The Greatest also went down pretty well at Club Vivid.

Most Underappreciated by the Universe
Probably Missionary Woman. It's (deliberately) about the wrong character and I sent it to Escapade knowing that it was mismatched to the crowd. But I'm okay with that.

Most Fun to Make
In some ways, Missionary Woman, because I did most of it in the Sky Club during a six-hour delay on a trip to Hawai'i, and finished it later that same trip. In others, Congratulations, because it really is my id and my deepest fannish feelings about Star Wars in vid form. In still others, The Last of the Real Ones, because the vid grew and changed as the last few episodes of the show developed.

Hardest Vid to Make
In some ways, The Good Fight, because it's a very talky show, my rips didn't match, yadda blah… In others, Warrior was a struggle in ways that I think show. I still think the song choice was right, but I think the seams of the idea are a bit obvious, and I would have liked another week to keep tweaking things.

The Things I Learned This Year
Famous vidders are so nice! I had a truly wonderful time at VividCon and I'm so glad I went for the first and last time. Also, I really like Star Wars.

Planning for Next Year
I was able to meet my goal of six vids for this year, and I think six seems like a reasonable goal for next year too. I also continued my con submission strategy as per my goal, with five out of six vids being made for cons, and I definitely want to continue that in 2019, particularly with FanWorksCon and WisCon. I also want to get back on the VidUKon bandwagon, and I still have hopes of finishing a vid for the Vid Big Bang. My other goal is to try to consciously integrate some of the things and techniques, particularly on the FX side, that I learned at VividCon into my actual vidding practice. I also want to make a Steven Universe vid once I catch up to the current episodes.
starlady: Kermit the Frog, at Yuletide (yuletide)
I hope all celebrating had a Merry Christmas, and a very Happy Yuletide.

I wrote one pinch hit in a very obscure fandom, but my recipient liked it, so I am satisfied. And somebody wrote the Wimsey fic that I would have requested if I'd gotten it together to put up prompts in the pinch hitters' list.

False Pretences (27442 words) by drayton
Chapters: 8/8
Fandom: Lord Peter Wimsey - Dorothy L. Sayers
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Harriet Vane/Peter Wimsey
Characters: Harriet Vane, Peter Wimsey
Additional Tags: casefic, Yuletide Treat
Summary: Shortly after her honeymoon, Harriet makes an unexpected discovery while working on a joint mystery novel with her colleagues.
 
starlady: Uryuu & Ichigo reenact Scott Pilgrim (that doesn't even rhyme)
My posting here has dwindled to vid announcements (I would announce fic if I had finished any since Yuletide 2016, but). Since people are using DW again (I read it every day! I just…don't post), it seems like the time for a mini-revival.

So, in an effort to get back into the swing of things, give me a topic you would like me to talk about and I will do my best to talk about it by the end of January.
starlady: Uryuu & Ichigo reenact Scott Pilgrim (that doesn't even rhyme)
Vidders were revealed in the [community profile] equinox_exchange yesterday. I made "Warrior", A Wrinkle in Time vid for [personal profile] absternr.

And [personal profile] littleheaven made me my gift vid for Tron: Legacy, "Midnight City." I love this vid so much, and though I can't embed it here, you should absolutely click through to watch it via AO3.

And now on to Festivids…
starlady: Mako's face in the jaeger, in profile (mako mori is awesome)
source: A Wrinkle in Time
audio: Kimbra feat. Mark Foster and A-Trak (edited)
length: 3:00
stream: on Vimeo for people in Germany; password: meg
download: 338MB on Dropbox
summary: I'll be your warrior, warrior

AO3 page | tumblr post



starlady: Kermit the Frog, at Yuletide (yuletide)
Dear Festividder,

First off, thank you for making me a vid! I love vids, and quite honestly I would be happy to see a vid in any of these fandoms. I have suggested music for some pf them, but please don't feel bound by what I've suggested, and I have no qualms about oft-vidded songs, either.

Anthony Bourdain - Parts Unknown, Porco Rosso, Hocus Pocus, Miss Sherlock, The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, Dirty Computer )
starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
Another way to volunteer to get out the vote in the midterms, especially for the introverted or those not near a swing district (i.e., me): Vote Forward!

You sign up to write letters to unlikely voters sharing your perspective on why voting is important and get reminded to send the letters the week before the election, so there's still plenty of time to sign up. I've mostly been choosing districts in states with competitive Senate or gubernatorial elections, but there are plenty of voters left to write letters to in many different districts. Their data indicates voters who get letters are roughly 3.9% more likely to vote, and every vote counts!

(Note: once you've verified your email address, they don't email you again once you've been confirmed as a letter-writer, so check back within 24 hours. The writing burden is relatively light, as the bulk of the letter is a pre-printed form, but you do need to print the letters and provide your own envelopes and stamps. That said, there are some funds for stamps available if the cost of stamps is a potential dealbreaker! Send them an email and they may be able to help.)

In terms of money, there's a lot of worthy campaigns and candidates to give to, but I want to add one particular Senate candidate to your list of people to send some cash to if you can: Mike Espy, who's running for the Senate as a Democrat in Mississippi. Yes, Mississippi, and he has a very credible chance at actually pulling it out, especially if he gets money now--since it's a special, the election will be held in December. Want to make Mitch McConnell sad? Mike Espy in the Senate is a very good way to do it.
starlady: (crew)
Dear Equinox-er,

First off, thank you for making me a vid! I love vids, and quite honestly I would be happy to see a vid in any of these fandoms. I have suggested music for some of them, but please don't feel bound by what I've suggested, and I have no qualms about oft-vidded songs, either. And while a lot of these fandoms are very close to my heart, I will be very happy to see vids for them regardless of anything.

Looper (2012)
I liked Rian Johnson's movies before The Last Jedi became a lighting rod in pop culture, and I still think about this one a lot. You can read my original take on the movie.

Star Trek: First Contact
The best of the TNG movies, and one of the best Trek movies, period. There's less of the crew in the 21stC than I would like, but anything for this movie would be great. You can read through my star trek tag.

Tron: Legacy (2010)
I always wanted to make a Club Vivid showstopper for this one. Maybe you can do that instead. You can read my original review of the movie.

Sliders
I was very into this silly show when I was very young and didn't know any better. I still remember the one where everyone sued everyone else constantly and the one where America was still part of the British Empire and the prince married a commoner from San Francisco. Anything would be great.
starlady: (crew)
I had such a good time at [community profile] vividcon this past weekend, my first and last time attending. I got to see some old friends again for the first time in a while, and I  met a lot of great vidders and vid-watchers I had only known online or through their work, and everyone who I didn't already know was extremely welcoming. There were many tears over the course of the weekend, particularly from people who were long-time attendees, and while I felt the bittersweetness of it (and cried buckets at several point during Premieres), for me the experience overall was a delight from start to finish.

Do you remember what Guinan tells Picard about the Nexus in Star Trek: Generations? "It was like being inside joy." For me, that was VividCon, and above all Club Vivid, one of the best nights of my life. Seeing my last Club Vivid premiere live from inside the room, and having people applaud for it, was truly wonderful. For that in particular I have to thank [personal profile] absolutedestiny, whose skill as a VJ is mind-boggling. 

All good things must come to an end, but I am incredibly grateful that I got to experience this good thing for myself before its time ended. I said in the final wrap-up panel that I know the Force is with us, and I look forward to seeing the continuing art and people of VividCon further on up the road, particularly at [personal profile] fanworkscon. Until then, godspeed, rebels.
starlady: Uryuu & Ichigo reenact Scott Pilgrim (that doesn't even rhyme)
source: The Good Fight
audio: Paramore, 'Hard Times"
length: 3:01
stream TC: on Vimeo for people in Germany; password: fight
download: 268MB on Dropbox
summary: Nevertheless, she persisted.

AO3 page | tumblr post

warnings: Contains references to and/or depictions of Trump, white supremacists, attempted suicide, racial microaggressions, accusations of child pornography, online harassment, revenge porn, and police violence.

 

Premiered at VividCon 2018.

Me: "I read a review saying this album is about depression, but I think it's actually about being a Hillary voter."
My brother: "Aren't they the same thing?"
 
I love The Good Fight. I loved The Good Wife too, but The Good Fight is even better: better characters, sharper politics, less nonsense with men, and much more suited to my mood in these times than The Good Wife, whose protagonist I didn't like very much by the end, unlike the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee. And when I first started listening to this album, I thought the song and the show would go well together.

A year later, I'm pleased with this vid, despite the very many content warnings I had to put on it. It's kind of funny (and I don't mean funny ha ha) that I didn't really realize how many of them there were until I sat down to list them out. It's all just the way we live now in 2018. I will say, as much as I like the vid and what it does, a show about lawyers does not necessarily make for the most dynamic clips from which to choose. I hadn't originally intended to include the second season (I had originally intended to finish the vid while the second season was still airing), but it became necessary when I realized that I had already used just about all the suitable scenes in the first season. I like the vid as it is now, long courtroom drama bridge and all, but there was a lot of switching things around to make it more dynamic. The technical aspect also presented some difficulties; you'll notice that not all the clips are the same size. But it's mostly not too noticeable, though I do hope to go back and make a remastered version without logos once the show comes out on Blu-Ray.

Lyrics )
starlady: Mako's face in the jaeger, in profile (mako mori is awesome)
source: Star Wars Rebels
audio: Sia ft. Kendrick Lamar, "The Greatest"
length: 3:24
stream: on Vimeo for people in Germany; password: rebels
download: 250MB on Dropbox
summary: I'm free to be the greatest, I'm alive. Or, Hera, Sabine, and Ahsoka survive the Rebellion.

AO3 page | tumblr post


 

I love Star Wars Rebels, and though the strength of my feelings about Kanan and Ezra surprised me, I knew that I loved the show's female characters from the beginning. Hera, Sabine, and Ahsoka are all the heroes of their own stories, and they're all different women who do very different things for the Rebellion--and they all live to see the fall of the Empire. Ahsoka gets the Kendrick verse because, as a former Jedi Knight (as the Bendu calls her in an unfilmed scene), she walks a different path than the other members of the space family.

This vid premiered at Club Vivid 2018, the last one ever, and it got a great reaction in the room--I was really happy that people liked it and that I got to see and share that reaction for myself. Thank you, VividCon, and may the Force be with you.


Lyrics )
starlady: (crew)
source: Star Wars movies
audio: Dessa, "Congratulations"
length: 2:01
stream: on Vimeo for people in Germany; password: Anakin
download: 185MB on Dropbox
summary: Congratulations, you have invented a new kind of stupid.

Premiered at [community profile] con_txt 2018.

AO3 post | tumblr post

Hello, my name is Electra, and I like Star Wars. A lot.

 

You will note that one of the tags on my reblog of the above gifset is "it works on multiple levels omfg," which…is what this vid does. I ship the prequel OT3, and in a weird way this is probably as close as I will ever get to trying to make a prequel OT3 vid. (It already contains about 80% of the shots in the entire three movies in which all three of the main characters are in the same frame.) I love them, and this vid is about the end of everything. Sixty years later in-universe and people are still fighting the war that resulted because these three people couldn't get it together.

As you can probably tell from this vid, I have a weird Hamilton ship too; let's just say that if I were to rewrite it in space, it would include Alexander/Angelica as well as the more popular Hamilton ships. So it wasn't a difficult choice to make Obi-Wan the Angelica/POV character here, just like it wasn't a difficult choice to cut the last verse about Eliza's future, which…doesn't exist for Padmé. (The greatest injustice and worst canonical fate for any character in the saga, and those are the facts.)

Technically, I think they need to do a new 4K scan of the original ROTS film print, because there are parts where the current Blu-Ray doesn't look so good, particularly in comparison to Rogue One (bonus points for spotting the one shot from that movie in this vid). It would be nice if they could also re-release the original DVD deleted scenes when they do that, because working with those clips in this vid was not thrilling. I enhanced them as much as I dared before they got too grainy, which was not a lot, and you can totally tell. ANH, by contrast, looks pretty great on Blu-ray, and Alec Guinness' performance is amazing.

May the Force be with you. And for the sake of the galaxy, tell people you love them before you amputate their limbs and leave them to burn to death on a hellfire planet.


Lyrics )
starlady: Uryuu & Ichigo reenact Scott Pilgrim (that doesn't even rhyme)
source: Star Wars Rebels
audio: Fall Out Boy, "The Last of the Real Ones"
length: 3:56
stream: on Vimeo for people in Germany; password: rebels
download: 303MB on Dropbox
summary: You're just the last of the real ones. Or, Kanan & Ezra find in each other what they need.





AO3 post | tumblr post


Premiered at Bitchin' Party 2018.

I watched all of Star Wars Rebels over the last year or so. I started out not caring about Ezra Bridger. Before the final episodes aired, I would have told you that I still didn't really like him. It wasn't until I started sobbing halfway through the last episode and didn't stop until well after it ended that I considered that I might actually feel differently. I love them all so much, including Kanan and Ezra, and this vid is about them be(com)ing Jedi together.

Lyrics )
starlady: Korra looks out over Republic City (legend of korra)
source: X-Men (alternate timeline movies)
audio: Eurythmics, "Missionary Man"
length: 03:47
stream: on Vimeo for people in Germany; password: mystique
download: 257MB on Dropbox
summary: You can fool with your brother, but don't mess with a missionary man. Or, Raven is the leader the X-Men need.

Premiered at Escapade 2018.

tumblr | AO3



 


I find it kind of on-brand that I spent a solid four years in X-Men fandom as a devoted Cherik shipper, and the first vid I produce is about Raven. But once I saw XMA there was really no question that I needed something 80s for her, and I am pleased with how this vid turned out. The Eurythmics were my favorite band until I was about 12, and they're still one of my favorites.

Lyrics )
starlady: (bibliophile)
Well, we survived, and that ain't nothing.

2017 Reading Stats

Books read: 107, of which 7 (7%) rereads
By gender: 28 (26%) by men, the rest by women or non-binary authors
By race: 22 (21%) by authors of color, the rest by white authors
In translation: 0, not counting 3 (3%) in Japanese
New books: 25 (23%) published in 2017
Books owned before 2016: 1
New-to-me authors: 29
 
…versus 2017 resolutions
  1. Read 105 books ==> Achieved! 107/105
  2. Read 25 physical books owned since 2016 or earlier ==> 1/25. I tracked this as "before 2015," so it was a fail.
  3. Read 25 books by authors of color ==> 22/25, close but not quite
  4. Read 10 books in translation ==> Fail. 0/10
  5. Read 15 books in Japanese ==> 3/15. Both manga I read were purchased in 2017.
  6. Purchase no more than 52 books. ==> I haven't tracked this. Whoops.
  7. Read all the comics I've bought from Comixology and ECCC, the latter before ECCC 2017 ==> I have actually made semi-decent inroads on my stack of unread comics, which is partly what pushed my numbers on books written by dudes so much higher this year. I'm making good progress and plan to continue reading my stack before ECCC 2018.
General Comments
I read a lot of comics this year. I'm tempted to connect that to the continuing slow-motion apocalypse; I bought March vol. 1 on Inauguration Day and read it that same night, for instance. But it was also a naked attempt to cut down my TBR pile to a more manageable size. 

Doing the Sirens challenge continues to be a valuable way to force me to read outside my comfort zone and to read more current books, which I'm grateful for. The series I tackled this year was Dorothy Dunnett's Lymond Chronicles, and I love them so much I already don't want them to end. I'm considering reading her Niccolo series too, just because I love her writing so much.

Best of 2017
A 10% selection rate is 10 books, so…
  • Ruthanna Emrys, Winter Tide (2017)
  • Sarah Rees Brennan, In Other Lands (2017)
  • Dorothy Dunnett, Pawn in Frankincense (1969)
  • Frances Hardinge, A Skinful of Shadows (2017)
  • Lloyd Alexander, The Beggar Queen (1984)
  • Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda, Monstress vols. 1 & 2 (2016-17)
  • Ngozi Ukazu, Check, Please! vols. 1-3
  • Kate Leth, Patsy Walker AKA Hellcat! vols. 1 & 2
  • Kate Elliott, Buried Heart (2017)
  • Marie Brennan, Within the Sanctuary of Wings (2017)

2018 Reading Resolutions
  1. Read 110 books
  2. Read 25 physical books owned since 2016 or earlier
  3. Read 25 books by authors of color
  4. Read 10 books in translation
  5. Read 15 books in Japanese
  6. Read all the comics bought before 2018, both physical and digital
starlady: Kermit the Frog, at Yuletide (yuletide)
Farewell and fuck you to this cursed year. You wouldn't know it from my vidding output, though.

The Vids
February
Heroes (Dorothy L. Sayers Mysteries) - Festivids 2016
state of war (Haywire) - Festivids 2016

March
We Are Who We Are (Star Trek Beyond) - Equinox Spring 2017

May
1985 (Tomorrowland)

June
Halfway Away (Yuri!!! on Ice)

August
Fall of the Jedi (The Clone Wars)

October
Heartlines (The Chronicles of Narnia) - Autumn Equinox 2017
Get Behind Me, Hogfather! (Hogfather) - Autumn Equinox 2017


The Questions
Favorite
I liked all of the vids I made this year, but ultimately this is a tie between Fall of the Jedi and Heartlines. Both of them did basically exactly what I wanted to do, which is always nice. I also really love Halfway Away, but I want to remaster it with Blu-ray footage, and it isn't quite as close to what I initially envisioned.

Least Favorite

The Hogfather one, maybe, though I quite like it. It had been so long since I seen the movie I forgot how little action shots it has, and how dark the whole thing is.

Most Successful
Probably the Star Trek and Narnia vids, though there isn't a clear standout this year.

Most Underappreciated by the Universe
The Yuri!!! on Ice one. Probably I need to change the summary; my sense of humor doesn't always work well on the internet, QED.

Most Fun to Make
The Clone Wars vid, probably. I used a spreadsheet and the concept was so restrictive that it was pretty easy to lay down clips. I do love spreadsheets.

Hardest Vid to Make
Probably the Hogfather one…nothing like discovering that your ancient rips are missing a third of each half of the movie, then trying and failing to rip the actual DVD because of copy protection, failing to find any download links, finally ripping the movie off YouTube, then realizing the old and new clips aren't the same size but deciding not to care.

The Things I Learned This Year
My clipping style works for me and I embrace it, even if my habit of naming the clips after bad jokes does make it hard to keep them organized at times. Also, spreadsheets are the best.

Planning for Next Year
Eight vids in one year is a lot, and I'm not sure I will be able to sustain at this level; six seems more reasonable. I am pleased with the results of trying to make vids for con submission and plan to continue it. But I want to submit several vids to the last year of Vividcon, as well as hopefully attend myself. And maybe in 2018 or 2019 I will finally attend VidUKon.
starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
I rewatched All the President's Men (1976, dir. Alan J. Pakula) last night for probably the first time since I first saw it in 1998 or thereabouts, when I was in seventh grade. I immediately went out and read the book, which tells you a lot about the kind of kid I was. Come to think of it, it may well have been 1997, the year of the impeachment. In any case, I haven't watched the movie in this millennium, and doing it now is eerie.

Twenty years on, what's striking to me about the movie is just how little of the Watergate scandal it depicts--it spans the year and change in which Mark Felt, Bob Woodward's "garage freak," guided Woodward and Bernstein's investigation, which mostly consisted of wearing down shoe leather trying to find sources who would go on the record (they wouldn't) and, failing that, finding ways to corroborate what people would tell them anonymously about what they knew. It ends just after they print (correctly, but without all their supporting evidence properly verified) that H.R. Haldeman was the fifth man controlling the CREP slush fund which bankrolled all the dirty work that Nixon wanted done. We learn what happened to all the major players in the scandal via typewriter at the end; most of the higher-ups are only voices on the phone in the movie, and Nixon himself appears only in file footage playing on the television at strategic points. It works, though. 

We're living in Stupid Watergate now, of course; the broad lineaments of what went down have been known for more than a year at this point, and (crucially) it only remains for the facts to be established in courts of law and (hopefully) for the perpetrators to face justice, but whereas Woodward and Bernstein can barely grasp the ramifications of what they're reporting, even when their investigation has identified the White House Chief of Staff as being guilty of criminal conspiracy, there's only parlor game questions left about what our sitting president does and doesn't know. In a weird way I found myself envying them. 

Given the recent revelations about Dustin Hoffman's harassment of women on set, his turn as Bernstein is even more awkward to watch than it was before--there are more than a few scenes where he, with his more free-wheeling reporting style, is trying to pressure female witnesses into telling him what they know and/or go on the record about it, and it's impossible now to watch those scenes and not wonder how much the women were really acting acutely uncomfortable, as opposed to just being acutely uncomfortable. I found myself thinking of Spotlight, predictably, because it's the other great newspaper movie and because it shares many of the same concerns, and one which pays homage to this one but also plays off the expectations that this one generates. Towards the end, I also realized that a key scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier is also a direct tip of the hat to one of the final scenes in this movie, which makes what Winter Soldier tries and fails to do even clearer. Spotlight is about complicity; All the President's Men is about conspiracy, and how much work it takes to pull at the few loose threads the conspirators left dangling. Both, ultimately, reinforce that there's no substitute in journalism for persistence.
starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017), dir. Angela Robinson
I loved this film so much and I'd bet that almost everyone reading this will love it too. Based on the real-life story of the creator of Wonder Woman and his wife and their partner, the movie has been winning deserved praise for its respectful portrayal of a poly love story, as well as its exploration of exploring kink and BDSM in a relationship. The story of Bill Marston, Elizabeth Marston and Olive Byrne is fascinating, and Robinson leaps off the agreed-upon documentary record to make it a full-on romantic trio, with Elizabeth and Olive's sexual relationship being just as important and real as either woman's relationship with Marston. Despite all that, however, the film is mostly inexplicit; Robinson is far more focused on the depiction of relationships through the way people look at each other than through body parts. It is, in other words, extremely female gaze, and very sexy. I would happily have watched another hour of the movie, particularly as the latter half gets into the challenges of queer parenting in a homophobic society in a way I wasn't expecting, but the movie's conventional structure means that there's only so much time. Still, it was wonderful, and all the actors were great. Go see it.

The Princess & the Frog (2009)
Disney's last traditionally animated feature film, its first featuring a black princess, and probably the only Disney princess movie I hadn't seen. I liked the story of Tiana and her feckless prince, and from my admittedly inexpert position it seemed like the non-white characters were largely depicted in a positive manner. The story is sweet, but it owes so much to Shrek, it's kind of painful, and the thing that really struck me is that even as Disney put a lot of effort into moving beyond racist stereotypes in its depiction of the non-white characters, they were unwilling or incapable of to get beyond lazy stereotypes and fatphobic tropes in their depictions of villains and fat people. (I was also interested to see that the dupe villain gets a British accent, since the movie being set in New Orleans means that Disney was unable to rely on its main vocal stereotyping strategy of having the villains speak in Southern accents.) All of which is to say, there's ultimately no comparison between this movie and some of Disney's more recent successes.

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