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As mentioned in a previous post, I'm making it a point this year to see as many movies as possible. A conversation with someone more well-versed in film than I convinced me that I still have a lot of gaps to fill in terms of directors, filmmaking movements, national cinemas, etc., so since about February I've been making an effort to see a film a day. It doesn't always work out, but I've generally been able to keep up that pace. (Having one of these helps.) Going forward, I'll try to post each new film as I see it, and some brief thoughts about it.

In the meantime, I decided to list what I've seen so far. The list includes everything since January, including a number of short films, but enough two-and-a-half and three-hour films that it balances out. Some I've seen already and had to repeat for whatever reason; others I had seen part of and needed to finish. Most are from the Criterion Collection, a selection of some 500 "important classic and contemporary films." It skews art house, American/European/Japanese, and sort of heavy on the gangster pictures even given the significance of film noir, but it seems like a good place to start exploring film more broadly.

I've starred some of the films I really enjoyed/would recommend, so have a look.

Have You Seen...Collapse )

Some general observations:
  • I like Fellini more than I thought. Fellini Satyricon put me off him for a long time, but Amarcord and especially And the Ship Sails On won me over. The White Sheik is charming and especially accessible, and a great place to start if you're curious.
  • Likewise, seeing Tout va Bien and Contempt have me looking forward to more Godard, and
    High and Low, Drunken Angel, and Kagemusha made me excited about Kurosawa again. I never dismissed him entirely, but some of his later work seemed stodgy to me on first viewing, especially compared to Seven Samurai. And maybe I was right the first time, but I'm willing to give those films another go now. Sometimes you have to be willing to give a filmmaker a second chance. And a third, and a fourth, and...
  • It's funny when you realize the "square" new commanding officer ruining Alec Guinness's fun in Tunes of Glory is the guy who played Pip in David Lean's Great Expectations, which is probably the version you saw in school if your teacher showed you a film version. And then (highlight for spoiler) SPOILER he's humiliated and kills himself. Holy hell, Pip turns into a bit of an asshole for a while there, but he didn't deserve that... ;o;
  • You need to see Trouble in Paradise. Really. Aside from it being a whip-smart romantic comedy about a pair of married thieves/con artists who may be torn asunder by their attractive, worldly mark, the "Fractured Fairy Tales" narrator has a supporting role as one of said mark's spurned suitors. (Note: very different film from Strangers in Paradise, so make sure you grab the right one.)
  • While dated, Jean Painlevé's science shorts should be required viewing for anyone who wants to make nature/educational films that leave the viewer with a sense of wonder at the natural world.
  • Interview With the Vampire and Benjamin Button: two Brad Pitt films told epistolary style about someone living in New Orleans who's afflicted with a condition that makes him a social outsider. Full film snob credentials on the line, I think IWTV is better -- and I don't just mean "more enjoyable." (Also, for a creepier, more socially and politically astute version of BB: The Tin Drum. No Brad Pitt in that one, though.)

Finally, thanks to rkold for recommending Xjournal. :D
Breaking my long LJ silence to pimp for the Clamp 20th anniversary fanbook project, which is still seeking donations to cover printing costs. See here for details. I'm not affiliated with it in any way except as a contributor. (Spent my weekend roughing out my pic; was kind of amused to realize I'm having a hell of a time getting hand proportions right just as Clamp is getting theirs under control again -- see Kobato*.) Speaking of, anybody on my FL planning on submitting something?

* No, really see it -- if you've been missing the delicate, fine-lined, highly-detailed Clamp of CCS/early to mid-X/Wish, etc., you'll be pleasantly surprised. Also has a bird with a Jojo hat, and Keiichi's alternate universe college-age twin Doumoto Takashi. Not really (and that's an important caveat post-Tsubasa), but they look alike, and Takashi has the same sweet yet totally overwhelming character.


Friendlist, am alive but busy -- a former Prof asked me to TA a class, and it's more intensive than some of my previous experiences. (But more fun as well.)

Just had a thought RE: JKR's big revelation. As someone points out here, Dumbledore is a gay man who was burned by love, and decided to put it aside in order to devote himself to a higher purpose, a big piece of which is education, guiding the next generation and so on.

And now I can't stop thinking Dumbledore = Tim Gunn. (If, you know, Tim had gone through a fashion fascist phase in his youth.)

New anime season: Shugo Chara is full of mahou shoujo WIN, my favorite so far. Clannad is more fun and less moe-baiting than Air and Kanon, and Gundam 00 has a sense of humor and nice little flashes of humanity. It's also well-paced, pretty, the action is great, it's not convoluted (so far) and it's full of gay*, but those first two were what really struck me. I knew the FMA director being signed on was a sign of good things to come. (The screenwriter also did two of my favorite series of all time, Dai-Guard and Magical Project S.)

* "I'm Graham Ace, the man whose heart your existence has stolen!" is just the most obvious.

Art Meme 2 of 7 - Subaru for Trinsan

Art meme number 2 of 7* finished! ruthannereid, your Subaru is done! Hope you like it!

No content warnings, but warning for largeimage being large. (I read cat_macros too goddamn much.)

To me, the one line still sounds like 'I wanna fly Mark Twain someday'...Collapse )

Next up: Geass LuluSuzu for rkold.
Finally! First Steelers game of the season, first game I get to watch coached by our new head coach, Mike Tomlin, and first game I'm watching on a TV big enough that I don't have to sit two inches away from it to follow the action. If I'd just remembered the Countdown special on NBC before the game and they'd get Madden off my screen, this would be a pretty perfect evening. <3

Art Meme 1 of 8 - Slayers (for ladyuranus)

Well, I promised sketches, but never speed. ^^; The first of eight sketches to come, prompted by ladyuranus's request for something to celebrate the re-release of slayers, after the cut. Hope you like it!

If this wasn't an actual scene, I'd be surprised...Collapse )

Next up: Subaru for ruthannereid. (I'm thinking TB-era, if that's all right? If not, let me know.)

Also: why is Higurashi no Naku Koro ni so addictive? I grow steadily less embarrassed to admit that I'm really into Hoshi in the Land of Killer Lolis, because it's actually really entertaining, and the moe elements are very surface. (Although Geneon, it's less Twin Peaks and more It, really...)

Art Meme? Sure, why not?

Hell, since I'm looking to rkold's sketch for sumeragiskank, I'll do this, too: the first five people to comment will each get a quick sketch by me. Actually, the first seven, if rkold and sumeragiskank each want something. ^^ (Otherwise, five.) Nothing too elaborate; maybe color, maybe not -- but I'll give it a go. (Give me at least through the weekend to finish.)

Fandoms I'd be reasonably confident with: any CLAMP series up to and including Kobato, PoT, Code Geass, My HiME/Otome, To Terra, Flower of Life, Project Runway...

I'm pretty wide open on this since it's a sketch. If you like, check out my MyAnimeList and MyMangaList to see what I'm up on. Fair warning: I don't know recent videogames that don't involve dancing.

If you have a particular characterization in mind, please specify. If you want Lelouch and Suzaku having blushy TRU BOI LUV, please say so; if Lelouch is an evil bastard who uses his Geass to paralyze Suzaku while he..., likewise tell me.
CLAMP in Wonderland 2 official poster, courtesy of the always fabulous chibiyuuto.

I was going to nitpick the character designs (and hey, I think this artist is as bedeviled by Kamui's hair as I am :D), but then I saw that Fuuma finally has Tiny Glasses of Evil Sexiness. And I said, "Never mind. Thank you, Madhouse."
So I think this officially signals the start of Potterdammerung: the NY Times and Baltimore Sun both published advanced reviews of the final HP book, and JKR is pissed. (May be spoilers at the bottom of the link -- must avert mine eyes!) Favorite part: a spokeswoman for the UK publisher likens it to the Boston Tea Party.
Wahoo! The one DVD I'm allowed to buy during my hiatus came up for preorder today -- the third PoT DVD boxset. Even better, Right Stuf is doing a 40% off sale on everything Viz (+ 6% additional for Got Anime? members). In an ideal world, I wouldn't give Viz anything for their continued fuckwittery regarding the OPs & EDs and nonsensical lack of chapter stops, but realistically? I want it, and 46% off makes it go down a whole lot easier.

Right Stuf also put out preorder listings for the first Bleach boxset (eps. 1-20) and the Death Note regular and limited edition DVDs, so if you're inclined toward either of those, now's the time to jump on them. The sale knocks about $40 off the Bleach set, and my understand is Viz isn't fucking with Bleach in any way. Likewise, I wouldn't worry too much about them messing with Death Note too much since the title is so popular.

For my own purposes, I figured out what episodes should be on the future PoT boxsets, behind the cutCollapse )

The DVD moratorium is going well, for anyone who's been wondering. 15 days in, and this is the only time I've bought a DVD or felt severely tempted. (Although I do wish I'd preordered the second Haruhi LE, and there was a crapload of stuff announced at AX that I'm dying for.) I did pick up some Fumi Yoshinaga pr0n at the comic shop last week, but not going EVERY week and grabbing every new volume that I want is actually progress for me. ^^; They had one of those "how to draw manga" books about yaoi, and I started leafing through it thinking it could be good for poses...but then I saw they had a chapter on "plot" and just started laughing.

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