kestrell: (Default)
2017-03-08 11:16 am

Because who among us doesn't consider Wednesday Addams to be a strong female role model?

Did everyone else know about this web series but me? Starts a little slow, but she definitely finds her voice around episode 3 or 4.
kestrell: (Default)
2017-03-08 10:24 am
Entry tags:

Chuck Norris commercial

So my Holtzman playlist morphed into a D.G.F. (Don't Give a F*ck) playlist and, while the other tracks all feature strong women, I had to include this commercial, because CN definitely radiates d.g.f.
kestrell: (Default)
2017-02-24 12:46 pm

Holtzman hair

I got it. I walked into a Supercuts in Central Square and asked, "Can you give me Holtzman hair?" Alexx pulled up a picture on his smart phone, and I think I can even reproduce it for Mardi Gras (it turns out my hair is pretty much Holtzman hair all the time).

I'm still trying to figure out how to do the braid thing, if anyone would like to describe it to me.

And how to do the dance.

I'm pretty certain I know where to find a torch.
kestrell: (Default)
2017-02-15 08:00 am

Signs for Science [lightning bolt exclamation mark goes here]

Sunday in Boston there is scheduled to be a rally in support of science. I'm really hoping there will be a significant subset of people carrying signs that say

"Why are you trying to keep this curiosity door locked?"
kestrell: (Default)
2016-09-21 07:38 pm
Entry tags:

I may not be Mark Ruffalo's most crazed fangirl...

But I'm probably his most crazed blind fangirl, because I will definitely be voting in hopes that Mark will be doing a nude scene in his next movie.

And don't think that I won't be able to tell if he's really naked: I'll know.

Everybody has a price; I'm content in the knowledge of what mine is.
kestrell: (Default)
2016-09-20 12:50 pm

Ideas for a "Stranger Things" Halloween?

Because every time I read about the "Stranger Things" party in Salem, which happens waaaay past my bedtime, I need to have a Stranger Things" Halloween.

So, idea?

The official foods: Eggos and chocolate pudding (I heart Dustin!)

Christmas light, maybe with a handmade poster of a large Ouija board?

D&D paraphernalia (I don't know--this might be hard to come by at Melville Keep)

Oh, and compasses! Everybody must have at least one compass!


Edited later: And yes, if I had the skillset I would try to make a DIY sensory deprivation tank...
kestrell: (Default)
2016-09-09 10:30 am

Movie review: Julia's Eyes

Julia's Eyes (Dir. Guillem Morales, 2010)

This movie took me completely by surprise; I came to see the blind final girl, and stayed for a smart and stylish filmthat kept me riveted until the very end.

Julia is a young woman who is slowly losing her sight due to a degenerative eye disease, but insists on investigating the death of her twin sister Sara, who suffered from the same eye condition. While Julia's husband and Sara's doctor conclude that her sister committed suicide because she couldn't live with being blind, Julia insists that Sara was stronger than that (ha! that's one in the eye for the condescending sighties!).
Read more... )
kestrell: (Default)
2013-11-13 04:09 pm

Dante noir

I saw this when it premiered in 2008, but I had forgotten how absolutely amazing it is, especially with Dermot Mulroney's cigarettes-and-cheap-whiskey voice
This is Hell, Dante, not your personal fantasy.
Oh, and here is an educational segment about our country's governmement, reminiscent of Schoolhouse older, wiser, darker, Tim Burton-esque Schoolhouse Rock, but still...
kestrell: (Default)
2013-07-02 01:24 pm
Entry tags:

What's the big deal about "The Devil Went Up to Boston?"

I just heard a DJ on WUMB mention that they would not be playing this song on the station, and if you watch the video you would know why. Not only can I not watch the video, I can't find the video online, as it seems to have been thoroughly removed from the usual channels.

So, having missed this kerfuffle, can someone tell me what was so offensive about it? I haven't been this curious about the state of Boston censorship since The Globe censored the Doonesbury cartoon because B.D.'s response to finding out he had lost a leg was "Son of a bitch!".
kestrell: (Default)
2013-06-12 11:48 am

Designing a tactile comic

I admit that I found a lot of the description about the circles really confusing, although I expect it would make sense in the actual material form. Still, it was great reading about someone playing with the comics format.
kestrell: (Default)
2013-05-03 10:21 am
Entry tags:

Umberto Eco on cult movies

I'm currently scanning/rereading Eco collection of writings titled "Travels in Hyperreality," which includes many of his best nonfiction writings, including my favorite on semiotic guerilla warfare, but this examination of what makes "Casablanca" a cult movie is still kickass. There are a few variations of this essay on the Net which you can find by googling
Umberto Eco Casablanca text
but you want the one which includes the phrases "intertextuality" in the title, such as this page which asked for a password but seemed to load anyway
kestrell: (Default)
2013-03-22 02:31 pm

Thoughts on Haunting Experiences: Ghosts in Contemporary Folklore_

_Haunting Experiences: Ghosts in Contemporary Folklore_
by Diane E. Goldstein, Sylvia Ann Grider, and Jeannie Banks Thomas (Utah State University Press, 2007)

This was a fascinating collection of articles exploring the intersection of folklore and media studies, specifically, folklore narratives about ghosts and mass media. There is a lack of academic writing concerned with this intersection, and the explanation for this was one of the parts which I found most intriguing in this book:
lengthy quote below cut )
kestrell: (Default)
2013-03-20 08:14 am

5 things I learned from _What the Nose Knows: The Science of Smell in Everyday Life_

_What the Nose Knows: The Science of Smell in Everyday Life_ (2008) by Avery Gilbert

The author's description of himself demonstrates that he is definitely someone who gets to play in the overlap between science and media studies:
"...I'm a sensory psychologist, trained in evolutionary theory, animal behavior, and neuroscience. I'm a rational, evidence-based guy working in the most frothy, fashion-driven, marketing-heavy business outside of Hollywood....
The new science of smell is making us rethink everything from wine tasting to Smell-O-Vision. So it's time for a fresh look at odor perception and how it plays out in popular culture."

1. How many smells are there?
lengthy post below the cut )
kestrell: (Default)
2013-03-16 03:18 pm

Equivalents to zombies in Western narrative

I've been reading a couple of academic books on the subject of zombies in film and other media, and there is this one statement which academics keep insisting upon which I sense is incorrect, namely, that there is little to no mention of zombies in Western narrative until the zombie films of the 1930s and 1940 brought this exotic concept to American audiences.

While I make no claim to being the Josie Campbell of horror, I seem to have absorbed from my reading the impression that revenants and the fear of the dead being reanimated is a universal fear. I can't recall where I read this specifically--perhaps that scholarly book about burial rituals and vampires which all bookish horror fans seem to have read at some point?--but I seem to recall that, at least through the Anglo-Saxon period, and possibly through the Elizabethan period, a ghost was not a disembodied spirit but the actual animated body of the dead person (as described in
this Wikipedia article on draugr
and I didn't even know that there is such a person as
The Viking Answer Lady, who can meet all your undead needs

Then there is the Wikipedia entry for revenant

A revenant is a visible ghost or animated corpse that was believed to return from the grave to terrorize the living.[1] The word "revenant" is derived from the Latin word, revenans, "returning" (see also the related French verb "revenir", meaning "to come back").

And didn't Greek necromancy involve summoning and enslaving the embodied dead, not just their spirits?

These descriptions seem to indicate that there *was* the equivalent of the zombie in Western narratives, and that the distinction is one of semantics.

What do other fans of the gothic think?
kestrell: (Default)
2013-03-03 05:48 pm
Entry tags:

A double feature of meta-horror

LJ user tinybuffalo came over to watch "Behind the Mask: The Rise and Fall of Leslie Vernon" (which is tied with "Scream" as my favorite meta-horror movie) and then A. and I watched "Cabin in the Woods" for the first time.

I have to say: Marty, I love you!

Other than Marty, however, I didn't feel that there was a lot of fun in "Cabin." There is a really fine line between creating parody but still conveying a love of the genre (as, I think, "Scream" manages to do) and creating something which is just a montage of mean-spirited snark. Yes, the second category can still be witty, but it's like hanging out with the Algonquin Circle--intellectually stimulating but not really a positive social experience.

Something which I did find intriguing about "Cabin" was the character of Marty, who, like Randy in "Scream" is not only a fan knowledgeable about what genre he is in ("Okay, I am drawing a fucking line in the sand here and saying, do *not* read the Latin!"), but also a Cassandra figure. By Cassandra figure I mean that, like Randy, he that certain actions will doom other characters's fates. At the same time, however, he conveys a tiny sliver of (Pandora-like?) hope, not for his future, but for a future, something else's future, something else that might get a chance.

Overall, though, "Cabin" seemed just a little too much like the paint-by-numbers horror movies it was pointing the finger at, but I'm still intrigued by the dynamic of the story where, if the final girl actively picks up the phallic knife/gun/ax (though really, mythically I would think an ax/labris would be a female symbol), a male character becomes the passive prophet and wise fool/advisor.
kestrell: (Default)
2013-02-25 07:47 am
Entry tags:

Alexx and Kestrell's Sunday morning breakfast conversation

A [wandering into the aerye still half-asleep]: Media studies conversation: what is the original source of zombies as brain eaters?

K: Well, Hollywood-style zombies are not my forte, but I don't think the cannibalistic zombie showed up until "night of the Living Dead," so I expect brain eating zombies happened sometime after that....

[Conversation wanders around a bit until Alexx goes back to bed, and is later revived when LJ user tinybuffalo comes to visit and mentions "Return of the Living Dead," after which the conversation circumlocutes some more.]

According to TV Tropes, tinybuffalo got it right

but I feel certain that someone out there must have written a thesis on the topic of the socio-political implications of the emergence of brain-eating in the modern Hollywood zombie. Does anyone out there know of any scholarly papers on the subject?
kestrell: (Default)
2012-11-28 06:55 am

Librarian erotica

The book currently on my scanner is _The Image of Librarians in Cinema (1917-1999)_ by ray tevis and brenda tevis, so I was particularly amused to see this new fiction title: _Betty Page Presents: The Librarian_ (2012). I haven't read it, but it seems to be pretty much what the title says it is: inspired by the images of Betty Page, a librarian transforms herself from dowdy bookgeek into a fetish princess. Wouldn't this look cute next to your librarian action figure?

This has been a public service announcement.