This week has been interesting. My sleeping pattern has been screwed over beyond belief, Holmes flew over from Aussie for a fortnight and we have some wonderful things planned (for more info see “In Other News” this week), I got back 4/5 of the results I was awaiting and although I’m still (according to some) irrationally annoyed with one grade the others I’m quite happy with. Not bad going for someone who spent the last week of the previous term skirting the edge of a mental breakdown and following the sleeping patterns of the Narrator.
Over the last week I’ve also been getting many blog post ideas from Master Four while the man procrastinated from studying a subject I doubt he’s even interested in. And now I’m spoiled for choice when it comes to writing one this week! And I’m even starting early, knowing that by the time my brain becomes semi-conscious and my eyes blink all the metaphorical sand out of themselves and I return home after a coffee with a friend I might no longer be tempted to write or have a spare moment to.
The title this week comes from The Hunger Games but the book – or upcoming film adaptation – won’t feature in this blog. More it’s an allusion to what I plan to write about. One of the suggestions I got was to have a countdown or general listing of sorts, of either best characters or TV series or ships. Now, I know for a fact that a few readers don’t care much for shipping – even though they ship without even realizing it – be it het and canon or slash and fanfic, so I’ll leave that one sailing this week. That leaves characters or TV series. And tempted as all hell as I am to pimp out my favourite TV series on here, I might go with characters this week.
I’m going to limit the pool from which I pick to only films or series this time, might do a book one if this proves interesting to more than one person or if it’s requested. I’ll also do my utmost to avoid book-to-film adaptation characters here unless I’m completely unaware that a film was based on a book. But in the meantime…
In no particular order of indiscretion committed
From: The Escapist
Played by: Joseph Fiennes
Lenny is a thief serving time (7 years if I recall correctly) for a murder he and a partner committed while stealing something. His partner gets released before he does and he, for perfectly understandable reasons, is less than pleased about this. And that’s about as much as we know about him going into the film. There are few words to describe just how much I adore this character. The guy is rumoured to “walk through walls” and while the exaggeration is obvious, it’s also, in a roundabout way, quite justified. Anyone who can make a saw that cuts through metal in a jail out of pieces of bed, plaster and a diamond imbedded in a guy’s tooth is pretty much my hero. The fact that he’s played by Fiennes and that he says very little beyond finding out specific details and glaring at everyone is just a bonus, really.
From: Ten Inch Hero
Played by: Jensen Ackles
Priestly is just your average guy in his early twenties, with crazy coloured hair and more fake holes in his head than real ones, who works in a funky little sandwich store with a bunch of girls. That… is pretty much all you can say about Priestly really. He’s full of infinite wisdom for everyone about anything and is – in my opinion – one of the most romantic characters I’ve seen on film for a while. Besides the fact that Jensen played him, the character is actually pretty fleshed out for someone who is, in essence, a stereotype of all things non-conformist. I love him, anyway.
Tempted as I was to have this entire list consist of guys, I can’t deny that there are a few female characters that kick so much ass that they deserve a mention. Veronica is one of them. I actually didn’t get into this show for a long time because the idea of a series based on a high school girl solving crimes with her PI dad just sounded, well, dumb. I can honestly eat my words with that one, it’s an incredibly clever show and well acted. Veronica made the list not only because of her brains, but because, as much as I am wont to say it, she’s easy to relate to. At least, for me as a girl, maybe guys like her for her Kristen Bell exterior, I’m not sure.
Played by: Jesse McCartney
Like I say in all my reviews and recommendations of this movie to others: do not be put off by Jesse McCartney heading this thing if you’re not a fan of his. I’m not, never have been, but that doesn’t stop me thinking that this is one of those Oscar-worthy performances that never got the attention it deserved. Keith is a smartass. For a while his entire way of carrying himself makes no sense; he just appears to be a kid who likes to play with words and infuriate people by being clever and annoying as hell. It’s a cliche to say there’s more to him than that, but it’s true. And what that particular thing is, is not something I plan to spoil on here.
A brilliant example of a minor character stealing every scene he’s in. From memory, he doesn’t have more than a handful of lines in the entire movie, but from all the characters (sometimes including even the mains) he’s the most memorable for me. Maybe I just have a thing for sarcastic smart smooth-talking hitmen. Besides the script for the film being Oscar-level hilarious, Clive’s character isn’t fleshed out at all; everything you know about him you gather as the film goes on. Because of this, his paragraph isn’t quite as detailed as the others, but believe me when I say he’s one of my favourite characters ever.
A few people might debate my choice of Nancy for this list, but I can justify myself. First off, she’s not from a book, she’s from a graphic novel. Radical difference. Next, of all the women in that particular graphic novel, she and Gail and Miho are the only girls who kick ass without even trying. Sure, the Old Town girls are fierce, but none of them are 19 and self sufficient from age 15 due to a huge legal and political misunderstanding. Nancy was saved from rape and a painful death by John Hartigan when she was 9, and not allowed to testify on his behalf when he was wrongfully accused and jailed. Since then she’d been in love with him and doing everything in her power to make sure she grew up strong for when he was released and she could see him again. Call me an oddity, but I adore their story, and I love how Nancy drives a shitty car only she can keep running and has a revolver that she keeps under the seat… I just love her and since this is my list she’s staying on it.
Ok Robert makes this list for one reason and one reason only: “Right you asshole, I’ve got your daughter here, and I’m gonna send her back in pieces if… OH! I’m sorry, madam. No, I haven’t got your daughter here, I’ve got someone else’s. No, we’re not married. Yes, I’ve read the same thing, it’s very hard to find suitable young men these days. Well, I’m sure your daughter’s very nice, in principle I’ve got no objection to meeting her…” This film isn’t one that a lot of people like, in fact most people think it’s stupid and refuse to watch it twice which is a shame. Robert Lewis is, in a nutshell, the worst kidnapper ever to kidnap. Maybe it’s McGregor’s acting that got me, or the script, I don’t even know anymore… but when making a list of favourite characters that aren’t from book adaptations, Robert Lewis has to make the cut.
This is probably the most recognizable face in film history and besides Sherlock Holmes (who can’t make the list due to his literary roots) was my hero as a kid. I think it was because of him that I wanted to be an archaeologist, not realizing that I would actually have to study for years and do a lot more boring paperwork and readings than I would shooting bad guys and flailing my whip around. Indy is childhood for me; he’s the ultimate badass. A professor who jumps out the window of his office when fangirls block his doorway, who was named after the dog and has the most annoying and coolest father ever. Ah, Indy… love of my life for so many years…
Played by: Tom Hardy
I am so proud of myself for holding out long enough on this list before Eames came up… it’s not exactly world’s best kept secret that I am not only head over heels in love with this man but also quite similar to him when the mood presents itself. Now that the hype has worn off, most people don’t remember the movie. Fair call. If it ever hits cult status it will take time, but it doesn’t stop me loving it. Another example, like Clive Cornell above, of a minor character – in this case more minor than the main three but still quite important – taking the spotlight away from the leading man. For me, at least, Eames was the most fascinating character with the most difficult and fascinating job. Also, he pretty much singlehandedly made up the process by which the inception had to be done so he should get a lot more kudos for that than he currently does.
From: The Fall
Played by: Lee Pace
I’m not sure which film, if any, will beat out The Fall for me for my favourite film of all time. There are just no words to describe how brilliant this movie is, and how much I loved Lee Pace in it. Roy is one of the most powerful performances I’ve seen on screen, and even though he’s the last character I plan to post about today he is by far not the only I wish I could mention. Roy is a stunt man lying in a Los Angeles hospital paralyzed from the hips down after a stunt went wrong. He’s upset, he’s in pain and he’s young. Every emotion portrayed by him in reality, as well as all that are projected on to the Bandit in his story, is so humanly genuine it’s painful to watch. He’s a completely unforgettable character; he owns my heart, my soul and I am honored to take his name on this blog weekly.
Sadly, as I just said, I have to stop at 10. There are so many more I want to write about, but I’ve already doubled my word count for the week and fear if I push for 15 I’ll find an excuse to push for 20 and so forth. Might keep this idea around for once-a-month entries when I run out of ideas for anything else. Besides, I still have book ones to do!
In Other News…
My collab with Jack now sits pretty at 249,480 words and counting as we speak (early morning writing sessions, bliss), kids are going to school next door and I’m cackling at them since I don’t have Russian today and can come in later for coffee with a friend and NOTHING ELSE. Love Fridays.
Holmes and I are taking a roadtrip this weekend up north and a little east to the Coromandel Peninsula to see an old car show. Here’s hoping the weather parts for us, it’s been pouring with rain here pretty regularly and we need it to stop. Or, put it this way, we would prefer if it did. We can work with anything, though, we’re just that awesome.
RAOC has some amazing things upcoming, so watch this space and the website for details on that as it happens!!~
I have no new reviews in The Midnight Screening this week. I really need to get my ass into gear with this again…
“1000+1 Books” has a few more books. I add to it when I feel like it, since this isn’t a review page, but it’s always a good place to go if you can’t think of your next book to read. For much better (and very informative) reviews, check out Collecting a Library, she never lets me down.
This week’s songs are :
-+- Super Psycho Love – Simon Curtis
-+- Set Fire to the Rain – Adele
-+- Lose Yourself – Eminem
Stay classy guys, till next Castiel day…
…until we die.
But are we dead then as well? Sure, our body dies and begins to decompose and return to the earth from whence it came while our soul either goes to heaven or to the sky depending on your faith, but are we gone?
I’m not sure if it’s terrifying or commendable that our generation more than others is seeking to achieve immortality in any and all ways possible. I could even go as far as to say that we are returning to old-school ideas about how to do this. Sure, science and medicine has developed incredibly over the last decade alone, but it is not the physically immortality that I want to address today, more the spiritual one.
Our generation relies on technology to catalogue our daily lives. More than that, to catalogue and advertise our every move. How often do you read a Tweet that says something akin to “I just got up but I am so tired!” or a Facebook post heralding a new and exciting opinion to the world at large? Whether we read these messages and respond to them or not, they are all adding to this generation’s immortality.
Perhaps you disagree. Perhaps you think that the alchemists had the right idea in trying to find the Philosopher’s Stone (around well before Harry Potter, I can assure you, but more on that later) and immortalizing themselves as undying humans. You can accuse me and say that what I’m writing is simply another attempt at “immortalizing” myself. I won’t deny this, it is another way. But what you have to think about, agree with it or not, is that perhaps the idea of immortality itself has changed; from our physical ability to stay alive forever to our ability to influence people after we die.
How often have you heard someone say that “this music is immortal” or “that book will never get old”? Of course these are figurative turns of phrase and not meant to be taken literally, but let’s humor the comments for a while and take them literally for once. How is it possible for music to be immortal or a book to be ageless? Clearly we are personifying the inanimate objects, since neither music nor books are or ever were living. They are immortal in the sense that they still hold influence over masses – though now perhaps not as large – of people. Is that not true immortality?
What was the point of finding a way to stay alive forever? The point, in my opinion, was to be able to influence people for many years after others of your generation have passed on. Be this influence through knowledge and learning or knowledge of battles and fighting, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the idea of influence.
To use a clichéd expression yet again on this blog of clichéd expressions, in the battle for immortality, the pen has won out over the sword. There have been many great warriors in our time and the times far before ours, some great and noble people who have redefined warfare and strategy throughout history. But although they have imparted their knowledge and skills, they have not survived to be immortal physically. Their ideas have lived on, true, and many, but the people themselves have died.
So is this generation trying to stay immortal through their unending Twitter posts and Facebook messages? Undoubtedly, but I believe few know they are doing it. For us it’s all in the “now”. I have to get a reply now, I have to see an action sequence in this movie now, I would rather see a film than read a book since it takes too long in a book to get anywhere… We all do it, don’t deny you do. If not with the examples listed then certainly with other aspects of our lives. We are a generation brought up on believing that things should happen quickly. I currently have a very slow internet connection, and I feel as though my life has come to a halt. And yet I don’t recall the time when broadband was a dream and dialup was a reality.
We’re so conditioned to accept and thrive in this fast-paced world that anything hindering this pace scares or bores us.
Because of this, we rely on our fast-paced world to allow us to immortalize ourselves faster. I mentioned Harry Potter in passing, earlier, not just to link it to the Philosopher’s Stone but to bring it about as a genuine example of this generation’s immortality.
How many books can you name that have outlived their publication date? Perhaps that is unfair… how many books can you name that have outlived the decade in which they were published? Many have survived and most are still available, but very, very few are memorable. Harry Potter, love it or hate it, is a series that will easily survive not only its decade – it has, for those who have been with Harry from the start – but also, in my opinion, perhaps this half century. It will go down in history as one of the books of “this generation” and continue to influence people years after its initial readers and author have passed on. It will join the ranks of books by people like Mark Twain, Arthur Conan Doyle and Ray Bradbury. For people with a slightly wider range, authors like Chaucer, Clifford Simak and Arkadi and Boris Strugatsky.
And is that not the point?
When people say they are searching for immortality, I wonder if they’re searching in the right place. Yes, we have been able to slow the aging process and manipulate it to rather radical and sometimes grotesque levels, but is that really immortality? People who are 90 looking like their great grandchildren? They have less influence as people and more influence as experiences to learn from and steer clear of, personally. I think that if someone wishes to find immortality they have only to turn to the things we take most for granted: music, books, films… anything left behind by people who were here before us.
Tell me, am I wrong?
Wow, ok, I actually didn’t think I would write this year. But something was nagging at the back of my mind making me want to at least try again. Perchance this year will be more exciting to read about than the year previous considering I will actually have a semblance of a life this year. I also nearly missed the Thursday deadline. I thought about making it Friday this year but as I will have Wednesdays off this semester it gives me an opportunity to write an entry while I have some spare time.
I’ve updated and cleaned up the site a little; my info page no longer exists and my sidebar is a lot more exciting (truly, it is) finally, my Top Ten Movies List has been updated. Feel free to peruse at will.
I can’t guarantee quality on this blog, or entries as deep and meaningful as this (consider this “late night drivel” and file it away as “things to ignore when V gets pensive”) but I can guarantee that I will try my utmost to make this blog entertaining and give you something to read every week on the Friday lunch break. I can also guarantee typos and larger than one-word answers to comments ;)
So I guess… until next week, then :)
I’m sitting in my room listening to Beethoven’s 7th and thinking about escape.
Before anyone starts, no, I’m not suicidal. No, this is not a suicide post. No, I don’t need nor want you to feel sorry for me. We’re moving on now, with all that in mind, yes? Very good.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned this on here before – whether it was a passing remark or a full-blown blog post I can’t actually recall, so you’ll have to forgive me if you’re read this before on here – but when I find something I like, whether it is a book or a film or even music, I tend to like it to a rather worrying degree. Some of my friends laugh it off as a teenage addiction or a silly form of fangirling, which in a way it is, but for me it’s more deep and spiritual than that.
For as long as I can remember I’ve been telling stories, if not to people then to myself or to my toys. I could spend hours by myself, narrating the lives of my toy protagonists without having to think twice about how their story came about or why. It always made sense, and even if there wasn’t always a happy ending – believe you me, more often than not it wasn’t – the story would draw to a logical conclusion and I would return to reality with a strange feeling of catharsis that I couldn’t describe to you or put a name to until I leaned that Greek word at age 11.
It died down for a while when I was a preteen but now I live vicariously more often than not. Yes, sometimes I do wonder if that’s healthy, but since I’m not technically doing anything WRONG with my life, where’s the harm? Because who doesn’t want to be Neal Caffrey*? With his style and ability to think on his feet and his incredible talent? Or the Winchester* brothers who have such an amazing connection that the season finale made most of the fan population sob uncontrollably while the credits rolled? Or Tyler Durden*, who has nothing to lose. Antonio Corelli*. Thomas Anderson*. Max Kammerer*. Anton Gorodetsky*. I could go on and on. But who doesn’t want to fall into a novel or a film or a television show and just BE them for a time, and pretend like they are the ones who have the skills, the knowledge, the opportunity? I’m certainly not the only one!
Obviously it’s not healthy to live vicariously forever but for some it’s an escape mechanism. A safer, healthier option to drugs, sex and alcohol.
A friend linked me to this page today and I only just got around to reading it as I was about halfway through this post. For those who don’t understand/don’t like fandoms and especially slash character pairing then for God’s sake don’t bloody read it. There are certain people in my life whom I love, I do, but they completely infuriate me when they take the time and effort to read something they don’t like and then proceed to inform me about how sick and wrong it is. For crying out loud if you don’t like it don’t read it, don’t waste the effort to show me how wrong I am. The author of that post and me, as the author of this one, believe what we write and if you don’t agree with it then you have every right to your opinion, but don’t waste the energy telling us we’re wrong.
Anyway, she described in her writing something I was just about to touch on in this post: the idea of living out love through imaginary characters. I can say honestly that I have been truly head over heels in love with two men in my life. And as lady luck would have it (dripping sarcasm anyone?) I was never in a relationship with either of them. Both knew that I liked them, and both just wanted to stay friends. One of them I no longer see, but we never had a falling out. And one of them is a very good friend of mine. Now, with joyful circumstances such as those, do you blame me for wanting to fall into a book for a time and pretend I’m Eddie McCandry* or Mara Bell*? Probably more the former than the latter, for those who know the books you might agree. But the fact remains.
People ask me sometimes why I get into fandoms so easily and allow my mind to take root in certain ones and remain in them for years at a time. (Haters, refer to the comment two paragraphs above before deciding if it’s really worth the energy to tell me how wrong I am. Go ahead, make my day worse, bite yourself.) And I can honestly answer “because I feel better”. I feel better knowing that the pair I happen to ship will have a good story. I feel better knowing that the writer made them love each other honestly and deeply. And for a short time I can become them and have that for myself.
So when I bristle at you for laughing at my fandom or my fangirling tendencies, don’t think I’m being petty. For me this is catharsis. This is healing without the pain and the medication.
The title quote – and, really, the inspiration for the whole entry – was taken from the film The Fall which is breathtaking and unimaginably beautiful. If you get a chance, do take a look at it.
Apologies for the rather angry-sounding entry this week… I was just reading through it and realized it’s a little aggressive. I’m just having a slightly difficult time right now with… people close to me.
The Very Literal Contest is still in full swing, and will be in full swing till October 31st. So if you’re a vidder, or would like to try your hand at it, then go for it!! We already have over 15 entries, and if you want to have a look at some of them then click right here and go to it!
Supernatural starts in 2/3 days and I can’t wait to watch it with Anna over Skype on Saturday!~
Movie: The Fall (highly recommended… think of it as a mix of Pan’s Labyrinth and Mirrormask in a way)
Show: Burn Notice
Music: Symphony 7 – Beethoven
Book: Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernieres; Crush – Richard Siken (this man… his work is just… stunning)
All characters referenced are:
Neal Caffrey – White Collar
The Winchester Brothers (Sam and Dean) – Supernatural
Tyler Durden – Fight Club
Antonio Corelli – Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
Thomas Anderson – The Matrix
Max Kammerer – The Prisoners of Power, Beetle on the Anthill, The Time Wanderers
Anton Gorodetsky – Nightwatch, Daywatch, Twilight Watch, The Final Watch
Eddie McCandry – War for the Oaks
Mara Bell – Exodus, Zenith