sasha_feather: white woman in space suit (Astronaut)
The Keepers - Netflix documentary, 7 episodes. 2017.

This was rough, but riveting and thought provoking. A detailed investigation into the murder of a nun in 1969, this series focuses largely on women who were her students in high school (so they are in their 60s now). There is a lot of discussion of sex abuse in the Catholic church, some discussion of possible police corruption (or at least egregious incompetence), and a strong sense of the social consequences of violence. Recommended if you like true crime stories and can handle the discussions of abuse.

Masterminds - on Netflix. 2016. comedy.

This is good if you are in the mood for a silly comedy with some gross-out humor, and which is not mean, and not violent. Zach Galifinakis plays Dave, an armored car driver who gets manipulated into doing a robbery and stealing 17 million dollars. Also stars Owen Wilson, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon. Content note: guns go off, but no one is shot.
sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
My dad and I went to "Baby Driver" in the theater. This is a mediocre action film directed by Edgar Wright, starring Kevin Spacey and Ansel Elgort. The first part of the film is better than the 2nd part, and features Baby showing off his incredible driving skills as a get-away driver for some bank robbers. He listens to music constantly and the best parts of the movie show how he matches his music to life. The 2nd part of the film got too much into gun violence and ridiculousness. But, there was some interesting disability content. Baby has tinnitus; his foster father is Deaf. They use ASL to communicate and they enjoy music together-- the Deaf character, Joe, feels the vibrations on speakers. Baby can also be viewed as an Autistic character, although I don't think this was intentional on the part of the film makers. There were a few traits that stood out: He has a couple of deep interests and is narrowly gifted (with driving and music). He barely speaks, and when trying to interact with people he sometimes quotes song lyrics and movies. He wears sunglasses most of the time (perhaps to avoid eye contact?). He also cares deeply about the people he loves, and he is not particularly emotionally expressive.

no totoro

Jun. 26th, 2017 08:35 pm
sasha_feather: horses grazing on a hill with thunderheads (horses and lightning)
Jesse and I went to go see "My Neighbor Totoro" at the theater. We get there and it's very nearly sold out; we get the last two tickets that someone was refunding. Neither of us are quite trained into the new system where you are supposed to always buy your tickets ahead of time, having lived our whole lives as spontaneous movie-goers.

I get some snacks and we settle into our seats. The movie starts, the cute song and the little girl walking. Soon we realize, we are seeing the Japanese version with no subtitles. Someone alerts the staff and the movie plays on. I'm happy to watch it this way-- the story is very simple and to me, not understanding the words only plays into the dream-like quality of Miyazaki movies. But not long into it, the movie pauses and the manager comes in, to apologize. He says that they got the wrong version, and they will be playing the English dubbed version. Some people in the audience object. My friend a row below us calls out for people to clap if they want the dubbed version vs. if they want the Japanese version. It's about evenly split.

Well, they must have decided to do the dubbed version because they stopped the film. We decided to leave and get our refund.

Anyways, that is our Totoro story!
sasha_feather: Big book of Lesbian Horse stories book cover (lesbian horse stories)
"Lazy Eye" (2016)

This is a somewhat slow, sweet film about two ex-lovers who reconnect over a weekend. They were together for a summer 15 years ago; now they meet in Joshua Tree at a small house. The landscapes are beautiful and the production values are high. The two are very loving and affectionate with each other. They reflect upon their lives and choices, and at the end of the weekend must decide where to go from here. It met what I was looking for: emotional, sexy, and with queer (this was sort of a typo but I'm leaving it). I got a bit impatient with the cheating story line (one of the two of them is cheating on his husband who is abroad), mostly because, sigh, why this tired trope? Why can't writers be more creative and interesting?

Content notes: animal harm/death (mice). cigarettes. Rich people. One person teasing/doubting another person's professed bisexuality. One character describes an anxiety attack in broad terms.
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
Game Face - on Netflix

A documentary about two athletes who are coming out. It focuses on Fallon Fox, a lesbian trans woman who fights MMA, and Terrence Clemens, a basketball player at a 2-year college. Both are black. This was very sweet and nice. There was some anti-trans language (clips from the media talking about Fallon) but it really focused on the athletes and stayed upbeat. Recommended.

Chef - on Netflix.

A sweet comedy / drama about a man who is a chef at a fancy restaurant. He feels that his creativity is stifled. He gets into a Twitter war with a reviewer and eventually quits his job. Later, with the help of his ex-wife, he starts a food truck featuring Cubanos, working with his son and a sou chef from the restaurant. This is a well-done movie with an all-star cast. I was irritated by the male fantasy aspects of it: John Favreau is romantically paired with Scarlett Johanssen and Sofia Vergara? And they are the only two women in the film, except a tiny role for Amy Sedaris.
sasha_feather: the back of furiosa's head (furiosa: back of head)
Previous post on this subject: https://sasha-feather.dreamwidth.org/1025648.html

While talking with Jesse about how to *really* get at what I want to describe, rather than male gaze or female gaze, what we came up with was empathetic or empathizing gaze vs. Objectifying gaze.

I like accuracy of language, as you have probably figured out if you've known me a while.

You can divide any image into thirds. Your eye will fall onto the top third line or bottom third line of the frame. What sits on this line? Objectifying images often have breasts and hips of women at the top and bottom thirds. Empathethic gaze images will have the subject's eyes at the top third line (or sometimes the center or bottom third) of the image; the point is that you are focusing on their eyes and that encourages you to feel what they are feeling.

TJ and Amal (http://tjandamal.com/) is a good example of empathetic gaze in a comics medium.
Also see:
Mad Max: Fury Road
Moonlight - notice the focus on eyes and hands in the trailer (https://youtu.be/9NJj12tJzqc)
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
The original La Cage aux folles (the birdcage) (1978), in French with English subtitles. A little slow to start, but delightful, warm, and hilarious.

Renato owns a nightclub, mostly featuring drag queens. He lives above it with his long-time partner Albin. Renato's son Laurent comes to visit, announcing his engagement to Andrea, whose family are stuffy conservatives in the government. Andrea lies to her parents and says that Renato is a cultural attache. Laurent (who should feel BAD about himself) talks his father into making the appartment look like a hetero den and having them over for a fancy dinner, continuing the lie. Farce ensues. I notice this has an R rating because GAY but it really doesn't deserve it.

Elementary Season 4

Joan Watson!!!!

The Good Place

This was just OK, and some things about it bothered me a little, but I really liked the characters and the diverse cast. I especially liked Chidi, a black nerdy philosophy professor who clearly has an anxiety disorder. He tries so hard.
sasha_feather: sirius black from harry potter films (sirius black)
Films:
MOONLIGHT omg sublime
Arrival
Ghostbusters 2016
Rogue One
Zootopia

TV:
Luke Cage
Stranger Things
Brooklyn 99
Elementary
@midnight
Yuri!! on Ice

Books:
Saga by Vaughn and Staples
TJ and Amal by E.K. Weaver
O Human Star! by Blue Dellaquanti
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
March book 3 by John Lewis et al

Games:
Stardew Valley
Gone Home
Children of Ur
Candy Crush
Hexels http://benhardy.github.io/hexels/

Personal/social:
Walking at the dog park
[personal profile] were_duck's baby, the bleb
Visiting and having lunch with [personal profile] jesse_the_k
Visiting my parents on the farm; seeing family members over Labor Day weekend
My dog park friend got a kidney from his daughter
Making up with and walking with my friend R.
I had a sort of emotional fling (as opposed to a physical fling); which fizzled out but was fun while it lasted, this happened last winter.
I saw [personal profile] anna_bird for the first time in years!
Visited with many friends at WisCon
Gardening and hanging out with my roommate
Comics Club!
Socializing with old friends, and making new twitter friends
2 of my friends got their surgeries funded using social media!

Work and creative:
Volunteering at the humane society
Starting a fan vid! And perhaps more importantly, starting a fan vid club!
I posted one fic on the Ao3 this year (nsfw), and I think it's probably my best fic, idk.
As always, I enjoyed taking pictures and posting them to Flickr!
Meeting with the Anti-Abuse sub-committee for WisCon
Lots of health work, most of which is tedious, except for water bending class which is fun.

ETA:
I also read a lot of fanfic. The standout ones are:
Stuck on the Puzzle by the spectaclesofthor

Known Associates by thingswithwings

Ain't No Grave by spitandvinegar
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
Been away for a week! Not planning to catch up on social media.

I saw Rogue One and enjoyed it. I did start to get a headache (due to driving too long, probably) while watching it, which definitely reduced my enjoyment. The last act was excellent and reminded me of

possible spoilers )

My parents and I have picked up the American Jewish tradition of going to a film on Christmas day. A lot of other people seem to be doing this; we've run into neighbors at the theater and there was a decent crowd. It's a great tradition, but I wish the studios would release more happy, upbeat films to coincide with the holiday. Last year we saw Concussion, this year we saw Fences. Neither of these were particularly happy films. We would have loved to see Hidden Figures, but it doesn't come out for another week.

I don't know what I thought of "Fences." It was very much a play put on film. As a story about a family with problems, it wasn't really my kind of thing. But the cast and performances were excellent.

My dad and I watched a couple of episodes of "Vikings" on cable, but found it to be too violent for our tastes.
sasha_feather: Amelie, white woman with dark hair, smiling cheerfully (Amelie)
Nico and I went to see the film "Moonlight" last night. It was so, so amazing. I would rank it as one of the best films I've ever seen.

Recommended if you like coming of age films, films about queer people, good writing, good cinematography, good acting, stories that have a strong sense of place, films that feature people of color, Janelle Monae, Mahershala Ali.

content notes under the cut.
Read more... )
sasha_feather: Amelie, white woman with dark hair, smiling cheerfully (Amelie)
Captain Phillips
This was even more racist than I expected. I mean I think the movie makers were *trying* to make a story about an "ordinary" guy who keeps a cool head in a tough situation. But what I saw was that there is a huge mobilization of the American military (a Navy ship, helicopters, SEALS, etc) to save this one white dude from people who are in a desperate struggle. I would have liked to see some more de-escalation techniques, more nuance when it came to the pirates and their reasoning, more contextualization of their lives. Instead we see wealthy white heroes and poor black antagonists... sigh.

Spotlight
I loved this to pieces. The story of 6 journalists from the Boston Globe who broke the story of the Catholic abuse scandal in 2001-2002. This film handles a tough subject in a sensitive and intelligent way. It's empowering in that it makes you believe in jouralism and the free press-- although the journalists struggle and encounter barriers, the first amendment is on their side and they are able to succeed. This film is chilling, subtle; highly recommended.
content note: detailed discussions of child sex abuse (not portrayed on screen)

Cradle will rock
Loved this ensemble film about the federal theater company in the 1930s. A playwright creates a musical about a union struggle in a steel town. Meanwhile Rockefeller hires Diego Rivera to paint a mural in his lobby. Congress investigates the theater company regarding concerns of communism. Orson Welles dreams up production designs. Super fun and inspiring.
Content note: brief scene of police violence against protestors
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
Have headache, can't sleep.

Good things:

Going to the movies. I saw X Men Apocalypse at the cheap seats yesterday, and Star Trek Beyond today. Good way to escape the heat, and both were enjoyable films.

Pretty sunset tonight.

Cherries!
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
Hello friends! I thought I'd crowd source a request for films for a movie night with some friends. Our criteria are:

--Shorter movies; about 1.5 hours is ideal (this is a major sticking point and I'm not sure how to find shorter films)
--In English
--Live Action (not animated)
--No horror, major violence, or super-downer films
--Bonus points for women
--Drama, comedy, documentary, preferred

movies

Mar. 31st, 2016 09:35 pm
sasha_feather: by Such_heights (Dani Sense8)
I saw 2 in-theater movies recently.

I loved Zootopia. It's gorgeous, witty, and has a surprisingly complex plot. Judy is the first rabbit to join the police force in a world where all mammals live together as more-or-less equals. Her small size puts her at a disadvantage; she uses her wit and determination to succeed. Along the way she must confront her own anti-predator prejudices. Recommended and would see again. One thing I especially like is that there is very little romance of any kind in this film. It's about work, friendship, and doing the right thing.

My parents and I went to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2. This was pleasant enough, but did not have enough conflict or plot. It was nice to see all the actors and characters back together (even though I barely remember the first film), but the script could have used a re-write. The problems that arise are minor and easily solved, which makes this film bland and forgettable.
sasha_feather: Amelie, white woman with dark hair, smiling cheerfully (Amelie)
I recently re-watched "Grumpy Old Men" with my roommate. Part of the reason I loved this movie when I was younger was because it portrayed our Minnesotan culture in winter, dealing with snow and ice fishing and a sort of friendly grumpiness. Unfortunately the Jewish elements were a bit too subtle for my young eyes and went right over my head at the time, but I caught them this time around.

Something that stood out for me is when Ariel asks John Gustafson (old older Swedish-Minnesotan man) if he is straight or gay. He sputters and is totally taken aback. He says something like, maybe you can ask those kinds of questions in California, but not here!

I'm trying to be more forthright (straight forward is not the word), but it's swimming against a lot of culture, going back generations all the way back to Sweden.
sasha_feather: by Such_heights (Dani Sense8)
Hi!

I took a week and a half off of the internet, except for very occasionally checking twitter, so please direct me to anything you'd like me to see!

I went with my parents to see "Concussion" on Christmas Day at our neighborhood theater; we saw 5 people we knew including our neighbors who live up the road. That is the neat part about being where I grew up; I recognize people, landscapes and places are deeply familiar. Anyway, I liked the film because it was scientific, thoughtful, and a story about seeking and speaking truth. It did not pass the Bechdel test. One note is that it contains a pregnancy loss, so be advised.

I watched "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", which was quite cute. This was not a particularly deep or moving story, but it had a very nice cast and was pleasant.
sasha_feather: Black, white, and red image of woman with futuristic helmet (Sci Fi Woman)
Just for the record, I hated "Ex Machina". It was a science fiction movie about straight male fantasies come to life and gone wrong. It was gross.

This blog post gets into some of the racist stuff in the movie:

http://multiasianfamilies.blogspot.com/2015/05/how-ex-machina-abuses-women-of-color.html
sasha_feather: aldis hodge wearing shades (aldis hodge in the matrix)
Some previews we saw:

Revenant:

Man pain dick flick! Set in the old West, starring Leo DiCaprio. Based on true actual man pain events!

Crimson Peak:

A horror film by Guillermo Del Toro. I love GDT but don't like horror films. Torn. Maybe I'll see it on DVD during the day time.

Bridge of Spies:

Looks boring to me. Lots of old white dudes and cold war stuff. *shrug*

Point Break:

A remake with a bunch of young unknown actors. Might be a fun popcorn film.

The Woods:

Horror movie.

Joy:

This director is making movies with the same two people, over and over-- Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. Well, I guess if you have a working formula! This does look like a fun movie, but the preview didn't give us much to go on.

Spy

Jun. 18th, 2015 10:38 pm
sasha_feather: Cindi Mayweather (janelle monae) (Cindi Mayweather)
Really enjoyed "Spy" starring Melissa McCarthy and Miranda Hart (Chummy from Call the Midwife). See if if you can! Lots of women, massive Bechdel pass, very funny all the way through.

content notes: small things )

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