I have a bit of a weakness for films and documentaries about corporate mendacity, but, like a true Sorkin fangirl, would pretty much go and see anything he writes. The Social Network, then, hit at least two of my buttons.

Given that so much of the exposition happens around a sequence of boardroom tables, during a succession of depositions, and that most of the characters are desperately unlikeable, it was one of the most engaging films I've seen this year.

I did find it strangely un-Sorkin-like in tone, and the righteousness of The West Wing, and (to a greater extent) Studio 60, is largely missing. What Sorkin does write beautifully, though, is relationships between men, and the central love/friendship triangle is exquisitely rendered. You can almost taste the bile rising in his throat when Eduardo Saverin realises that he has been comprehensively fucked over by Mark Zuckerberg, in favour of Justin Timberlake's truly hideous Sean Parker.

There has been much commentary around the fact that facts and individuals have been blurred and elided in the script, and there are certainly other views of the central characters than Sorkin's. Parker, particularly, is portrayed as a pretentious, malicious playboy, whose chief value to Zuckerberg is his rolodex and ability to spout business truisms. A recent Vanity Fair piece has him as a renaissance man, whose genius and insight transcend disciplines. The truth, probably, is somewhere in the middle.

The film's opening sequences feature Zuckerberg insulting his girlfriend's school (Boston University); blogging about her stupidity, her ethnicity, and her breast size; blogging about creating a website to compare female undergraduates with farm animals; and then creating a website to allow male Harvard students to compare the relative attractiveness of female undergraduates. This latter sequence is intercut with scenes of the 'Fuck Bus' (bringing attractive female undergrads from other schools) arriving for a final club party, and then women kissing each other, and dancing in their underwear for the benefit of the privileged male club members.

Read more... )
The lovely [livejournal.com profile] nodense  has made podfic of my Eames/Arthur story, Let Your Ladder Down for Those Who Really Shine. (Please check out the warnings before listening, if you have a notion to.)

It's very strange (in the good way) listening to someone read your fic, and I liked the fact that [livejournal.com profile] nodense 's accent is completely different to mine. (I also like the fact that she can pronounce 'pollo en mole', and I, alas, cannot.) It's also extremely interesting to hear what other readers might emphasize in a sentence, or paragraph, or line, which is invariably different to what I had imagined. 

Very lovely and interesting, this has been. 
  1. Iteration 43214312423 of the "Is Aaron Sorkin a misogynist?" debate appears to be cranking up, and I have not yet seen The Social Network.
  2. I sense the vague outlines of a Veronica & Mac fic looming at me out of the mist, but am unable to bring it into focus.
  3. Yuletide nominations are open. I am very pleased about this, because I participated for the first time last year and feel like I will enjoy it even more now I have a sense of what the hell is going on. 
  4. I have poked at a bunch of fics that remain singularly reluctant to conform to any kind of authorial expectations about shape, pacing, plot, or characterisation.
  5. I wish I had more time to spend doing fannish things. 
I have zero time for fandom today, but thought it would be worth posting a link to the multi-fandom, lady-character ficathon that [info]angearia  and [info]penny_lane_42  have organised.



(Beautiful banner by
[info]aisalynn.)

A spot has opened up in my TV roster, and I've been marathoning (slowly, due to the bizarre-o LoveFilm DVD allocating algorithm) the first season of Fringe.

Full disclosure: I have a special place in my heart for The X Files, which was not only the first show I was fannish about (it made me read history, because I am incapable of Doing Fandom Right), but also the first show for which I stumbled across fic.

I was mildly intrigued by the idea of Fringe, and like the following things about it: 
  • The pilot is, frankly, an awesomesauce actioner, and has a capable, brave, and gutsy female protagonist kicking ass and taking names. 
  • It offers the possibility of one of my favourite types of manpain: the tormented father/son relationship.
  • It is exceedingly shiny.
A few episodes in, and the following things have become apparent: 
  • The production values on the rest of the season are much lower. 
  • You can tip your hand too soon when establishing a multi-season conspiracy.
  • While the ghost of white Courier-esque font must loom large over the post-production process, the floating establishing sub-titles are distancing, and look derivative and cheap. [They are discussed at length here, font geeks.]
  • Science is practiced best by (mostly male) people who work, for whatever reason, by themselves, and are capricious, indifferent to the feelings of others, and can be forgiven anything (including assaulting their co-workers with syringes full of drugs) because of their utter brilliance.
I miss you, Scully.
A Watcher Scoffs At Gravity has been nominated in two categories in the Xanderrific White Knight Awards.

Thank you, kindly nominatrix.

ETA: Preview is my friend.
Title: You Let Your Ladder Down For Those Who Really Shine
Fandom: Inception (with a smudge of 'Mysterious Skin')
Rating: R
Word Count: ~4100
Characters: Eames/Arthur, Cobb, Ariadne
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Spoilers: For Inception and Mysterious Skin
Summary: Arthur doesn't want to have shower sex with Eames.
Warning: Talks, in a non-explicit way about rape, prostitution and child abuse, in the context of a new relationship, and of recovery.
Note: Written for a prompt at inception_kink: Arthur refuses to have shower sex. (Crossover with 'Mysterious Skin'.)

Part two )
Title: You Let Your Ladder Down For Those Who Really Shine
Fandom: Inception (with a smudge of 'Mysterious Skin')
Rating: R
Word Count: ~4100
Characters: Eames/Arthur, Cobb, Ariadne
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Spoilers: For Inception and Mysterious Skin
Summary: Arthur doesn't want to have shower sex with Eames.
Warning: Talks, in a non-explicit way about rape, prostitution and child abuse, in the context of a new relationship, and of recovery.
Note: Written for a prompt at inception_kink: Arthur refuses to have shower sex. (Crossover with 'Mysterious Skin'.)
Podfic: Also available as podfic, read by [livejournal.com profile] nodense . 

You Let Your Ladder Down For Those Who Really Shine )
I'm writing (incredibly slowly) a post-Chosen Riley fic, and watched Dead Things again for reference. Of course, watching a single episode of Buffy is almost impossible, so I ended up watching through to Entropy. I always remember Entropy as a series of plot points; mini-explosions throwing some things together and blowing others apart, but there are some beautiful (and enraging) moments, which gave me some thoughts.

It's not you, it's me

It's in this episode that it becomes evident that, despite some tap-dancing and hand-waving, the show does not intend to satisfactorily explain Xander's decision to dump Anya on their wedding day.

Obsessed, as I am, with family dysfunction and origin stories, I might have been tempted to lean more heavily on Xander wigging out because he grew up in a house chock full of toxic relationships and emotional (at least) abuse. Or, the show could have used Anya's point-of-view to critique marriage and relationships, and reveal that after a lifetime of smiting errant suitors / husbands / boyfriends, Xander was afraid of meeting her expectations.

What we get instead is a confused mish-mash of Xander wanting a relationship but not being ready for marriage, and not letting Anya know about this soon enough. It feels almost like it's tapping in to that 'men are afraid of commitment' trope, which is a very conventional place for the show to go, as well as seeming a little bit incongruous within their relationship's arc. 

Read more... )
Feminists for Choice has a fantastic series running at the moment, which is exploring the representation (and lack thereof) of abortion in television and film.

Yesterday's edition looked at Julia's unwanted pregnancy in season two of Party of Five, so I watched the episode on YouTube. I was never a huge fan of the show, but I dimly recalled watching this episode as a teenager and rolling my eyes at the moralising of Sarah's character (played by Jennifer Love Hewitt).

There's something depressing about watching mid-90s television that is so more sympathetic to feminist politics than shows currently being produced. It's not without sexism, obviously, and the B-plot in this episode is an overwrought storyline about Bailey and Sarah's 'first time'. Bailey is portrayed as the sexual aggressor, and female virginity is fetishised to the nth degree, but the assumptions underpinning all of this sexual stereotyping are somewhat undermined by Julia revealing to Bailey that she is not unhappy because she doesn't want to have sex (as he thinks), but because she is pregnant. 

Read more... )
Title: Show Me A Hero
Fandom:
Supernatural
Rating:
PG
Word Count:
~750
Characters:
Sam Winchester and Jo Harvelle. 
Disclaimer:
Not mine.
Spoilers: Through 2.06: "No Exit".
Summary: Written for [livejournal.com profile] summer_sam_love
, a missing scene from 2.06: No Exit. Jo and Sam talk about hunting.
Warning: None. 


Show Me A Hero )
Title: To Fall Away
Fandom:
Inception
Rating:
R
Word Count:
~1500
Characters:
Eames/Ariadne/Arthur
Disclaimer:
Not mine.
Spoilers: For the film, 'Inception'.
Summary: Written, in lieu of attending to any of the other WIPs cluttering my files, for the following prompt at [livejournal.com profile] inception_kink 
: Established A/A/E. Ariadne finds out she's pregnant. Eames is excited, but Arthur is terrible with children (and maybe has some daddy issues in his past?) and freaks out.
Warning: Child abuse.


To Fall Away )
I tried that Who Do You Write Like? "statistical analysis tool" that is doing the rounds.

Apparently I write like: Mark Twain, Raymond Chandler, Chuck Pahluniak, Kurt Vonnegut, Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft, Dan Brown, James Joyce, J.K Rowling, Margaret Atwood, and Isaac Asimov.

Not to hurt the feelings of the "statistical analysis tool", but science is laughing in its face.

(I am unsuccessfully trying to fight down the tiny bit of satisfaction that my results were heavy on the Vonnegut and Asimov. I write nothing like either of these people.)
I have fallen pretty hard for Friday Night Lights, and would definitely commend it to anyone who hasn't already found out they don't like it. 

I am a huge fan of stylised, clever writing a la Joss Whedon or Aaron Sorkin, but the naturalism of dialogue in Friday Night Lights completely blew me away. I loved The Wire, and the way that it constructed a sprawling, complex, completely believable world. FNL, while being a completely different programme, has hit that same button. I've only watched one season and the show has created a dense, emotionally rich landscape with fabulous characters and heroism and amazing women.

There is a bit of a dearth of fic, but there seems to be a very high awesome:other stuff ratio. Like this: 

Read more... )
Snagged from [livejournal.com profile] eowyn_315  (who snagged it from [livejournal.com profile] flake_sake.)  The original meme asked for favourite characters across books and TV, but I've just gone for TV.

Apparently, I like sarcastic, broken men with Daddy issues and competent, clever women. Who knew? 

Read more... )
Title: Being Friends Is Telling Each Other The Truth
Fandom:
Brothers & Sisters
Rating:
PG-13
Word Count:
~2,000
Characters:
Kevin Walker/Scotty Wandell, ensemble
Disclaimer:
Not mine.
Spoilers: Through 4.24: "On the Road Again".
Summary: Written for
[livejournal.com profile] lgbtfest  prompt: Five times Kevin felt like his family discriminated against him .
Warning: Homophobia.

Being Friends is Telling Each Other the Truth )
Title: How Dirty Girls Get Clean
Fandom:
Glee
Rating:
R
Word Count:
~1300
Characters:
Noah 'Puck' Puckerman and Santana Lopez
Disclaimer:
Not mine.
Spoilers: Through 1.15: "The Power of Madonna".
Summary:
Puck likes having sex. He doesn't get why Santana thinks never saying no is a good idea.
Warning: Bad language, moderate smut, and references to violence against women including domestic abuse and child abuse.

How Dirty Girls Get Clean )
Title: Geometric Model of These Depressions
Fandom:
Veronica Mars
Rating:
PG-13
Word Count:
~3100
Characters:
Cindy 'Mac' Mackenzie, Logan Echolls, Veronica Mars
Disclaimer:
Not mine.
Spoilers: Through 2.22: "Not Pictured".
Summary: Mac isn't okay. Not at all.
Warning: 
Non-explicit passing references to terrible canon events, but mostly about depression.
Author's note: 
[info]hyperemmalawlz  makes amazing prompt lists for Veronica Mars, BtVS and Glee, and this fic was written for "Mac; texture." However, in going back to find the link to the epically old post that I used as inspiration, I discovered that it actually says "Duncan; texture." Colour me stupid.

Geometric Model of These Depressions )

 

Title: The Truth About Her Life (Flickering Firebrand Remix)
Fandom: West Wing
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: ~3500
Characters: CJ Cregg, Toby Ziegler, Andrea Wyatt, Sam Seaborn, Josh Lyman, OFC
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Source material: Based on
The Truth About Her Life by andchimeras
Summary: Six Qumari women are in need of an intervention. CJ knows that she has compromised, but she has only bent and never broken.
Warning: Deals with the subject of violence against women. Contains passing non-explicit references to sexual assault and a passing, more explicit reference to female genital mutilation (FGM).
Author's note: Written for
[info]remix_redux. In episode 3.8 "Women of Qumar", the viewer is left in no doubt that CJ has moderately feminist sensibilities when it comes to violence against women. The original text by andchimeras does a beautiful job of telling a story of CJ's early political engagement, contrasted against the immigration struggles of a group of Qumari women. (For those who don't know, this is a fictional West Wing state, presumably so the show could highlight the shocking human rights abuses thereof, without causing an international incident.) I kept the basic structure, and delved a little more into the idea of CJ's awakening as a feminist, which is then compromised by things within her control, and things outwith it. Fact fans may wish to know that I titled this remix after the article on Catherine Mackinnon, and not the book by Christopher Hitchins.

The Truth About Her Life (Flickering Firebrand Remix) )
For the short-ish duration that I have been in Buffy fandom, I have been hugely admiring of the posters of [livejournal.com profile] katekat1010 . And who hasn't? They are both exceedingly pretty, and always speak to the content of the fic she makes them for.

This spring, for [livejournal.com profile] spring_with_xan , she was kind enough to make one for Near Enna's Walls is a Deep Lake. I will spare you too much squeeing, but it's very stylish, and captures the most lovely expression on Xander's face.

Show me the poster )

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