starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
source: Haywire (2011)
audio: Grimes, Kill V. Maim
length: 4:07
stream: on Vimeo
download: 253MB on Dropbox
summary: You gave up being good when you declared a state of war

My Festivids 2016 assignment, for [personal profile] aurumcalendula.

Original Festivids post.


password: mobster


Tag yourself, I'm gender-based revenge fantasies.

I've been wanting to vid this song for a while, in fact since I first heard it riding the trains around Belgium in the dying days of 2015. I originally matched with aurumcalendula on a different fandom, but the idea fell into my lap when I was reading the letter, and since it seemed easier (and more in line with my mood in November 2016, I won't lie), I went with it. I was planning on including more covert operative type stuff, but it turned into a vid of Gina Carrano beating the shit out of men, and I'm okay with that.

Technically, I psyched myself out over the bridge of the song for more than a week and actually wound up cutting a version of the song that was nearly 1:20 shorter in Audacity. I even laid it on the timeline, but by that point it was clear that there was enough footage of Gina Carrano fighting dudes that it wasn't necessary. I'm always, always convinced that I won't have enough material, and then I hit the 2/3 mark of the vid and I'm like, "…Oh, this is going to be fine." I toyed with the idea of trying to correct Steven Soderbergh's extremely self-indulgent camerawork, just as I toyed with the idea of just rearranging the movie so that the vid ran in strict chronology, but ultimately rejected both of them.
starlady: David 8 holding the holographic Earth in wonderment. (when there is nothing in the desert)
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.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

The one with the whales is, unsurprisingly for a movie I first saw when I was ~4 years old, a movie by which I have defined my life at various points: "even in our own world, sometimes we are aliens." I also now live in the Bay Area, and this movie made a whole other level of sense to me when I moved here--though it's so much a completely vanished San Francisco that is preserved in this movie, which is another thing I think about it a lot now too. Anyway, FRIENDSHIP and everyone being GREAT, I love them all, please and thank you.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
I love this show. It is my favorite Trek and also the one that I think is best, haters to the left. Having rewatched it recently, I was struck by how the show just has a set number of themes and keeps reiterating them, except every time they go back to something they've done before it is darker and more horrible. There are so many potential through lines that could be vidded, particularly the politics and the war storylines, but I would also just love anything because I love all of the characters, even the ones I love to hate like Kai Wynn and Weyoun. Oh, Weyoun. 

Star Trek: Voyager
I have fewer strong feelings about this show, because i fell off watching it halfway through and I still think it's remarkably inconsistent, but I love the characters, particularly the women. I also strongly feel that Doctor/Seven should have been endgame and I would love a vid for them. But I would also love vids for them separately, or a Janeway vid, or an anything vid, really.

Rogue One
I loved this movie a lot; I think it's actually probably my third-favorite Star Wars movie, which is saying a lot for someone who wore out two separate sets of the original trilogy on VHS and saw TPM ten times in the theater. (I should mention: this is a prequel hate-free zone, though you're right, the writing and directing were terrible, because George Lucas.) And I liked that it was hard, and bleak, and the hope at the end is hard-won and fragile. So any kind of vid about that, and how it's the Star Wars movie for our moment now, would be great.

That's it from me. You may also find my star trek tag relevant; my star wars feels are mostly on tumblr.
starlady: Holmes and Watson walking around New York (springtime in new york)
source: A Dorothy L. Sayers Mystery (1987)
audio: Scala & Kolacny Brothers, "Heroes"
length: 3:20
stream: on Vimeo
download: 27MB on Dropbox
summary: We can be us, just for one day

A Festivids 2016 treat for josette-arnauld.

Original Festivids post


password: heroes

I devoured Dorothy L. Sayers' Peter Wimsey novels last year and was blabbering about them to my roommate (who had only read the Vane novels); I convinced her to read the rest of the books and she showed me the Petherbridge/Walters miniseries. The casting is divine, but the adaptations start out good with Strong Poison and go downhill from there. This is my love letter to Harriet and Peter, though it's not the vid I initially envisioned because the footage just doesn't exist, from a combination of the exigencies of BBC budgets (minimal) and the bad choices made in the adaptation of Gaudy Night, which rob the story of a lot of its political heft. Peter and Harriet, of course, rise above such issues, mostly because Petherbridge and Walters rewrote their scenes wholesale on set. Their relationship--the fact that they find each other, and are able to become the versions of themselves who are able to hold onto each other through each other's influence--is an achievement, and it would be so even in this day and age, even more so in the 1930s.

Technically, vidding with footage this old was…interesting. I thought about trying to correct it, but the light levels are mostly tolerable (I did alter the light levels in the courtroom scenes for visibility) and in the end I lost my vidding energy for all of November, which obviated that possibility. (Fun fact: I finished the first draft of this vid on a plane on Halloween.)
starlady: Mako's face in the jaeger, in profile (mako mori is awesome)
I have been remiss in not posting about Festivids thus far, because…everything. I'm hoping to make my way through more of the vids this weekend; I've only seen a few so far.

But! I did receive an amazing vid for Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, which is being justly praised by everyone who watches it: My Love, which explores Phryne and Jack and their longing for each other and is lovingly edited. It is perfection and I am very, very happy to have received it. 

On my end, I made two Festivids this year. I'll be interested to see whether anyone guesses either of them. I think one of them is fairly obvious, but if there's one thing I've learned from Festivids, it's that I don't know.
starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
Blatantly using this meme as motivation to get back to the Festivids mines.

The Vids

February
Relations of Life (Europa Report)
Galaxyrise (space exploration)
Automatic Joy (Ex Machina)

May
Tesseract (Interstellar)

August
Out Alive (Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation)

November
Don't Stop Believing remaster (Star Trek 2009)


The Questions

Favorite

This is hard! I liked all the vids I made last year and I was proud of all of them. It's probably actually Galaxyrise (the first vid I've made that I showed to my dad, who liked it), although if I were making it now I would not include the clips of Neil DeGrasse Tyson.

Least Favorite
Automatic Joy, probably, not because I don't like the vid but because the limitations of the source (which were what I was trying to make the argument in the vid about) limited the vid itself.

Most Successful
Galaxyrise by a country mile. People loved it, it's been shown at cons, I was compared to some real heavy-hitters of vidding during the anon period, and I made it with a spreadsheet on a lark.

Most Underappreciated by the Universe
I got fewer comments on the Don't Stop Believing remaster than I thought I might, though I also posted it two days after the election, so.

Most Fun to Make
Galaxyrise, because I had most of it clipped already and I knew just what I wanted for most of the vid and also spreadsheet. Out Alive, because I love Kesha and that dumb action movie about friendship.

Hardest Vid to Make
Relations of Life, possibly? I picked the weirdest possible song and felt like I had no idea what I was doing the entire time I was editing, during which I was also convinced that my recipient would hate it. Honorable mention goes to the color flare on the nebula at the end of the Don't Stop Believing remaster, which saw me googling every single effects preset in AE in turn and then failing to save the AE project file, so there will be no changing that half-assed fake color flare that I finally managed to produce, ever.

The Things I Learned This Year
I have a thing for Tom Cruise and his face, despite, well, everything about Tom Cruise. Also, premaking premieres is a good thing (fun fact: I made Tesseract in November 2015 and didn't touch it again until I exported it to send to WisCon in April 2016). Also, when in doubt, edit the song to be shorter.

Planning for Next Year
I have an ambitious vidding schedule planned for 2017, including Festivids, multiple planned premieres and participating in [community profile] equinox_exchange both times. I'll be surprised if I completely achieve this schedule, but I'm excited to try.


And on that note, back to vidding.
starlady: (bibliophile)
What a year. My 2016 was okay personally, but a disaster for humanity and the planet. I would, for the record, make that trade if I could.

Trying a new format this year! 


2016 reading stats

Books read: 99, of which 12 (12%) rereads
By gender: 13 (13%) by men, the rest by women or other genders
By race: 22 (22%) by poc, the rest by white authors
In translation: 3 (3%), not counting 2 (2%) in Japanese
Old books: 9 (9%), the rest acquired in 2016
New-to-me authors: 37 (37%)
New books: 26 (26%) published in 2016


…versus 2016 resolutions

1. Read 100 books
    Well, I read 99, which I'm proud of. This is the third-most I've read in the seven years I've been tracking, and I was only two books off my second-best count of 101 in 2010.

2. Read 50 physical books owned since 2014 or earlier
    Nine isn't a terrible start. Every little bit helps, right?

3. Read 25 books by authors of color.
    Welp, 22 instead of 25.

4. Read 10 books in translation.
   Three, which is a start.

5. Purchase no more than 52 books.
   I honestly have no idea about this because I didn't track it. I suspect I may be pushing pretty close to this if we count all the manga I bought in Japan last month.


General comments
A full 22% of my reading was consumed by two series in 2016, the Wimsey novels and the Young Wizards books (including the two short stories collected in Uptown Local; I've not yet read Interim Errantry 2.0). These books were great, which is good because I also read a lot of bad books this year: books I expected to love that I didn't (Wicked City by Alaya Dawn Johnson), books that everyone else loved which I came to hate as people continued to praise them (Updraft by Fran Wilde), and a lot of frankly mediocre books that I would have put down if I weren't reading them for the Sirens challenge (Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S. King), some of which I hated so much I wound up skimming and so I didn't count in the spreadsheet (The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern).

I also haven't decided how/whether to count fanfic; I read several fics over 70K this year, which is a novel by any count. (Hint: these were all [personal profile] bedlamsbard's amazing Star Wars fics.) Counting those, I'd be at 101 for the year.


Best of 2016
A 10% selection rate is 9 books, so without further ado…
  • Dorothy L. Sayers, Lord Peter Wimsey novels (all, especially Murder Must Advertise, The Nine Tailors, and Gaudy Night) (1922-37)
  • Erin Bow, The Scorpion Rules and The Swan Riders (2015-16)
  • N. K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season (2016)
  • C. S. Pacat, Captive Prince trilogy (2013-16)
  • Yoon Ha Lee, Ninefox Gambit (2016)
  • Sofia Samatar, The Winged Histories (2016)
  • Noelle Stevenson et al, Lumberjanes vols. 1 & 2 (2015- )
  • Diane Duane, The Young Wizards New Millennium Editions (all, especially Deep Wizardry and Wizard's Holiday) (1983- )
Yes, I'm cheating here, and I acknowledge this. But the books that I've listed together are, I think, better taken together than apart. AMA.


2017 Reading Resolutions
  1. Read 105 books ==> a solid second-best ever
  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 ==> I have so much unread manga
  6. Purchase no more than 52 books.
  7. Read all the comics I've bought from Comixology and ECCC, the latter before ECCC 2017

starlady: Kermit the Frog, at Yuletide (yuletide)
Yuletide fics have been revealed! My wonderful author was [archiveofourown.org profile] lc2l, who wrote me this lovely post-canon Nimona fic.

Take a Step Back and Start Again (5356 words) by lc2l
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Nimona (Webcomic)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Ballister Blackheart/Ambrosius Goldenloin
Summary: A story about two partially broken, mostly fixed men; a small child and a cat.

As for me, I wrote for Captive Prince; I have a much longer fic CP in pieces all over my Scrivener floor, and I'm hoping to post it eventually, at which point this will be something of a prologue.

Reconstruction (2662 words) by starlady
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Captive Prince - C. S. Pacat
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Damen/Laurent (Captive Prince)
Characters: Nikandros (Captive Prince)
Summary: The Regent is dead, but there's a lot of work to be done.

As for me, it's back to the Festivids mines. 明けましておめでとうございます!
starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
I've deleted my LiveJournal, a good seven years after I should have. For those of you still crossposting: be aware that posts made under lock on LiveJournal are not secure, as the site no longer allows https browsing/posting, per this comment from [personal profile] mme_hardy

LJ no longer allows access to its https site when browsing/posting, which means that any information you send to that site is readable by every other site that cares to eavesdrop. This means that anything you post under friendslock is still being read by any site that chooses to spy on Livejournal communications; you can safely assume that at least one Russian-government entity is.

I just double-checked, and the payment page *is* protected by https, so that at least should be secure.


In the meantime, I leave you with the trailer for the horror movie that is 2016. The only problem with the fact that this is clearly the worst year since 1939 is that 1939 was followed by 1940-45. 


starlady: (crew)
Only Yesterday (1991), dir. Takahata Isao
I caught this in the second-run theater in Oakland that has beer, and I was so glad I did. It's one of only two Ghibli movies I hadn't seen (we don't talk about Gedo Senki), and it was so, so good and so Ghibli. 27-year-old Taeko takes a vacation from her office job to work on a farm in Yamagata, and maybe change her life. This release, for the 25th anniversary, was one of the ones that Disney decided to spend money on, so Taeko was voiced by Daisy Ridley, who was very, very good, and the film is still a delight, even as Japan in 1991 seems like a very bizarre and distant country from the perspective of 2016: all the sleeper trains are gone, all the train displays in Tokyo are digital, the plight of farming communities is in some ways better and in some ways worse. But Taeko's experiences and her thoughts on them, and the fact that they're presented as worthy of note and consideration, are timeless.

Kiki's Delivery Service (1989), dir. Miyazaki Hayao
One of my favorite Ghiblis, and the only one I could get tickets to in the Saturday matinee film series downtown. I still love this movie, and what it says about art and craft and work and life and finding yourself by getting outside your comfort zone, and the possibility of flight. Ah, Kiki. ♥
starlady: Kermit the Frog, at Yuletide (yuletide)
Yuletide! My first time participating since 2013 has yielded a delightful Nimona story:

Take a Step Back and Start Again (5356 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Nimona (Webcomic)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Ballister Blackheart/Ambrosius Goldenloin
Summary: A story about two partially broken, mostly fixed men; a small child and a cat.

I wrote one fic this year, in a fandom that I have never written before. If you somehow guess what it is, I will be very impressed.

I hope everyone celebrating has a good Hannukah, and that everyone celebrating has a very Merry Christmas. My only wish for next December the twenty-fifth is that we're all still here, and that the next year won't be as bad as I fear.

starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
My roommates have been making their way through the middle three Star Trek series (they're not watching ENT like sensible people and I can't convince them to watch TOS, like highly illogical people), and the penny has finally dropped for me that DS9 is in many ways (particularly in the first three seasons) playing off B5, while VOY is playing off Farscape. Or rather, both VOY and Farscape are dealing with very similar setups and issues, but Farscape explicitly goes about dealing with masculinity in a way that VOY just…doesn't, in the initial seasons. Masculinity and its fragility are consistent problems on Voyager, and Janeway and Torres (and to a lesser extent Kes and even Seska) are consistently forced to deal with the problems they cause, but VOY doesn't really do anything about them the way Farscape does; the Star Trek show treats the symptoms rather than the root causes.

In so many ways I'm glad they made DS9 when they did, because they could never make it now, but for VOY it's just the opposite, and I really wish it had been made in this era rather than 20 years ago.

ETA: And of course Stargate: Atlantis is the unification of both these strands of sci-fi: space station + we've been flung to the far side of the [$very large unit of space]. Note, of course, that neither SGA nor VOY could maintain that isolation forever.

starlady: The Welcome to Night Vale Logo, with clouds over the moon (welcome to night vale)
One weird trick for getting over jetlag: have it merge with your post-election stress insomnia so you just don't sleep or just don't sleep enough.

I don't recommend this one weird trick.
starlady: Mako's face in the jaeger, in profile (mako mori is awesome)
source: Star Trek (2009)
audio: Glee cast, "Don't Stop Believing"
length: 2:41
stream: on Vimeo
download: 205 MB on Dropbox
summary: A Blu-Ray remaster of [livejournal.com profile] arefadedaway's awesome vid, which is no longer available online.

tumblr postAO3 page


password: trek

Notes )
starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)
I'm not surprised, per se, but I am terrified and horrified. This feels like 9/11 + the day when my mother was diagnosed with the cancer that killed her put together. I can't decide whether it's worse that Hillary won the popular vote or that the election was clearly turned by the evisceration of the Voting Rights Act. Either way, I have never felt more ashamed to be a white American. I study fascism; I don't need to live through it.

Two weeks ago I stood in the Jewish Museum in Berlin and wondered again how anyone could have stayed after 1933, despite the fact that I know why people did, and the fact that half of German Jews had in fact fled by 1939. I don't blame anyone for leaving, but I know that as a white woman I will be protected for a while (they won't repeal the 19th Amendment because they can't and because they emphatically need white women, so that's something), and I am determined to fight, though I'd be lying if I said I had any real idea how to do that at this point. Even in the best-case scenario at this point (to the extent that any scenario can be gamed out, which is minimal) we'll spend the rest of my life digging out from the hole we've just dug, with the waters literally rising all around.

I went into campus and talked with a carefully edited list of people who made me feel, if not better, at least less alone; gave and received hugs. I even ate food, after more than 18 hours of feeling too nauseous to do so. Please take care of yourselves; we're going to need all our strength.
starlady: Toby from the West Wing with a sign that says, "Obama is the President."  (go vote bitches)
That you get to help smash the patriarchy and cancel the apocalypse at the same time.

#ImWithHer

starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
First things first: Happy Halloween.

What got me fired up to write about Gaudy Night was, ironically, the fact that the BBC adaptation of it is rather crap. It's a crying shame, because the cast is stellar, but the ways in which the adaptation not only cuts out significant chunks of the book but also misses the point of large parts of it is equally parts irritating and telling.

Still preoccupied with 1935 )
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.
Tintin, Fraggle Rock, Ghostbusters, Miss Fisher, Spy, Star Trek: The Animated Series )
Thank you, Festividder! I am super excited to see whatever you come up with, for serious.

<3 and vids,
Me

starlady: Kermit the Frog, at Yuletide (yuletide)
Okay, so we're doing this.

First, thank you so much for participating in Yuletide this year! Second, thank you for agreeing to write a story in a fandom we both love, or at least remember fondly. I'm genuinely interested to see what caught other fans' interests about all of these sources, so please don't feel that my prompts are too binding. I'd rather have an inspired story than slavish devotion to my requests. If you're looking for more of a sense of me and my tastes, skimming through the last twenty entries on my DW will probably give you a good idea; most of the entries in general are unlocked.

I hesitate to say what I do or don't like in fic--I don't have any major squicks, and no firm principles as to what I will or won't read. That said, it's my general sentiment that Yuletide is not the place to go looking for PWP, at least for me; which isn't to say that I wouldn't want sexytimes, as it were, in any story you write, but which is to say that I generally like my sexytimes to go along with plot and characterization. And as you may have guessed from these requests, I do really like women being awesome. In some ways, really, my own fics demonstrate both these preferences very well.

Peter Wimsey, Nimona, Solar System anthropomorfic )
I hope you can find enough information in here or in the fandoms to inspire you, Yuletide writer. Thank you so much!
starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
I said when I started reading the Wimsey books that I was reading them explicitly by way of an obituary for the United Kingdom, for whatever it will be post Brexit is not what it was before, which admittedly has probably put a different spin on these books than many people bring to them, but which for me highlights the fact that Sayers is, by the era of MMA and T9T, cropping the action of the books very carefully, in a way that can't help but draw attention to what's going on outside the frame. I imagine her readers didn't need to be reminded, and frankly as a historian and a person with a heart and a brain in 2016 I don't need a reminder either. But by T9T, even for a book that is isolated and insular, things far outside England are shown to be on everyone's minds: Mussolini and the Showa Emperor are name-checked explicitly, and the much-maligned League of Nations is the subject of a running joke between Wimsey and the nameless sluice-gate keeper.

No more water, but fire next time )
starlady: Peggy in her hat with her back turned under the SSR logo (agent carter)
Batman (1989), dir. Tim Burton
The Alamo in the Mission is doing a Tim Burton series because of the forthcoming Miss Peregrine; I haven't seen this movie all the way through in this millennium or maybe ever, so I went with a friend. I tried to watch it after The Dark Knight (2008) but couldn't because the juxtaposition was just too much to handle. This time around I noticed just how much that movie, and Nolan's movies in general, are stealing from this one. Sam Hamm, the screenwriter, actually did a Q&A before our screening, and one gets the sense from his answers that had the writers' strike not kept him off the set, some of the many script weirdnesses would have been ironed out. It's an extremely heterogeneous movie--none of the elements are really all pulling together, from the Prince songs to Vicky Vale's outfits to the set design to everything else--but it's weirdly, utterly compelling nonetheless, and Keaton is definitely great as a guy who is definitely not on the same wavelength as the rest of society. I find Jack Nicholson extremely grating in general, and he's not so much playing the Joker as playing Jack Nicholson playing the Joker, so I wasn't much interested in his relentless heterosexuality or taste for bad jokes. That said, even more than being a Batman movie, I would argue that it is above all a Tim Burton movie; there's a lot of stuff that's in there because it plays to Burton's id, not because it has any prior place in the Batverse. Batman Returns (1992) is definitely much better.

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), dir. Sergio Leone
My dad is an old Clint Eastwood fan, despite the increasingly obvious divergence between our politics and Eastwood's, so I've seen large chunks of the films of the Dollars trilogy, but not this one. Despite the fact that it runs 2:45, it is completely compelling, and I was particularly struck by the obvious influence of Kurosawa on the gunfights in particular: the interest is all in the buildup, not in the actual event. About the 2/3 mark I also realized that I was watching the source text for Steven King's Dark Tower sequence, in sound and color, on the big screen: "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed." It's the opening line of The Gunslinger, but it's also a summary of about half of this movie's plot. Pretty cool.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), dir. Stanley Kubrick
Well, I'm glad to have seen this, despite the fact that I didn't particularly enjoy it. It's a fascinating cultural document in that it's a flawless record of what white dudes of a certain level of privilege imagined the future would look like in 1965, and much like the stories of Ted Chiang, I'm very happy that this particular patriarchal fantasy never came true. Our screening incorporated the intermission, during which we agreed that we were all rooting for HAL because he has feelings, whereas we literally couldn't tell any of the white dudes apart. If nothing else, this movie makes many, many more later science fiction movies much more comprehensible, in particular the much-maligned Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979).

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