Kalliel (kalliel) wrote,

Dead deer, bruises in usual places, Top of the Lake, Frozen, and SPN wank

1. I've been walking past the same deer carcass for months now, and ever since April when the weather started to thaw out it's been getting really uh, rank. As carcasses do. But yesterday it was gone! Either all the thunderstorm rain cleared out the smell and the weeds grew over it (there's quite a bit of new foliage now, versus when I left for Japan) or someone actually removed it. Though I'm pretty sure I'm the only one who walks down that road.

I was celebrating a carcass-free walk until I came across a new one--a very flat, very cracked turtle. It won't be nearly as smelly as the deer, being reptilian and all, but it's a big turtle! Like nine inches long.

2. I tried getting into a bug drop yesterday (only with significantly less back bend than this woman):


3. Top of the Lake (2013, BBC 2) is a wonderful show. My affection for it isn't rabid, necessarily, but it was love at first sight and that hasn't been true of a TV program since May 2009 when I watched the pilot for Six Feet Under (2001, HBO). If any part of you loves slow, atmospheric criminal/human dramas, bodies of water, land ethics, or issues of class, gender, sexuality/sexual violence, or race, this is for you. It's about a police detective in boganville New Zealand who's investigating the pregnancy and then disappearance of a twelve-year old girl, and the whole of the town and families the intersect that. The script is dynamic and realistic, the characters are multi-faceted and superbly casted, and the set design/location scouting is to die for. Plus it's one series, seven episodes in total, streaming on Netflix. And possibly on the Sundance website as well?

Incidentally, here is a negative review of Top of the Lake that hates everything I love about the series.

There's this moment in the pilot where the girl, Tui, dives under her bed as if to hide from her father, and she ends up rolling back out with a loaded rifle. Enough said.

4. Other reviews: Disney's Frozen (2013) is the fifth top-grossing film of all time--and as a major proponent of animated films, that's a huge milestone for the genre, and my hat is off to it for that. But that doesn't mean it's like, the best movie ever (just like Avatar still isn't a good movie, except with less James Cameron).

There are things the film does well--Elsa is captivating (Elsa-as-illness-narrative, anyone???? :DDD), and I enjoyed Anna a lot as well, and who doesn't get "Let it Go" stuck in their head every time they hear it--the best among these its reshuffling of the roles and structures of most animated children's quest films. The active cast is a lot more expansive than the norm, and not hierarchized into hero + sidekicks, and I think that opens the storytelling up in a way that says good things about the future of the genre, should said future choose to follow Frozen's example.

And I do appreciate the gesture of siblingship-as-true-love--I mean, look at my fandom. Of course I do! Lots of people are super awestruck by the sisterhood in Frozen, and even more so, its refusal to follow the practiced notion that true love can be achieved in a moment and a happy marriage must necessarily follow that before the end of the film. Touche, sure. But the script was so self-conscious about the stride it was trying to make, it ended up overplaying its hand with regard to that novelty/wake-up call/whatever you want to call it. And mostly I just found myself annoyed every time they belabored the point beyond Elsa's initial rejection of it (with the exception of Kristoff's "I don't trust your judgment!" comment; but the rest of that conversation, I'd have just cut).

You can't do cool things if you're just going to end up altogether too focused on the cool thing you're doing; that just ruins it for me! (See: Pixar's Ratatouille and its ENDLESS footage of moving water, wet fur, and other cutting-edge feats of digital animation. It was cool, but I'm not down for wasting screen time on just showing off.) Turns like wet rat fur, or subversions of princess marriage plots, are beautiful in their subtlety, their organic insertion into the narrative. Not in self-conscious pyrotechnics. You're allowed to trust your audience, Disney. And if it goes over your adult audience's heads when done the subtle way, well. They don't deserve you. XP The kids will catch on no matter what--subconsciously, they will catch on. Don't worry.

Also, the backstory opening to this movie seemed scattered and didn't really flow in the way I suspect it was meant to. I kept thinking to myself, "Man, what this movie really needs is a pithy 10-minute Up intro! But they can't do that because they know Up already did. /O\"

And you know? I thought Hans's turn to the dark side wasn't necessary, either. It's possible to love someone, but love their money/kingdom more. And it's possible to marry someone for their money/kingdom without being a murderous psychopath; you don't need to be outright evil to be a bad person. (Plus the private sunbeam look he gave Anna after their first meeting didn't jibe with his confession that he didn't love her at all and was only in it for the crown--if you're pretending to fall in love with someone, why the private sunbeam look? That transition would have needed to be better developed by the Hans part of the narrative for its progression to really feel appropriate to the overall plot, imho.)

tl;dr Frozen is aiight, but a liiiitle self-congratulatory and/or distrusting of its audience. But I'd totally watch a cerebral, undramatic Elsa movie accented with dazzling power ballads.

Animated films: Possibly the only genre where I have high standards. Well, that and TV you have to pay for. For other things, I might have particular standards, but those don't necessarily coincide with "high." XP I mean, I've seen Devour like five times.

5. [wanky thought for the day]I have no patience for people who haven't seen S9 bitching about S9. Not yours, by your own choice. Save the judgment, good or bad, for those of us who've actually seen it. Because honestly? You haven't the right. /end wanky thoughts
Tags: fandom recs, fandom: misc., strange tales from the midwestern front, trufax, writing

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