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Posted by Vivian Kane

The BBC has released a list of the “100 Greatest Comedies of All Time.” Of those 100 movies (101, actually, including one tie), only four are directed by women: Elaine May’s A New Leaf (#90), Vera Chytilová’s Daisies (#89), Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann (#59), and Amy Heckerling’s Clueless (#34). The list is also nearly 100% white. I wish this were surprising, but it’s nothing new in the world “Best Of” lists.

To the credit of the BBC, they didn’t make the decisions. Rather, they asked 253 film critics from 52 countries for their top ten lists. Obviously, comedy is subjective. But we also have to acknowledge that by and large, there is a collective unconscious bias toward valuing work by white men. Even beyond the institutional bias that allows them to dominate the film industry, work made by and about women tends to be diminished in the eyes of critics and audiences.

Interestingly, in a companion article, the BBC breaks down the differences between the lists of male and female critics. While they’re overall very similar, there’s a striking difference in what they dub “the Clueless effect.” They found that “there are a handful of films, just 14, where a critic’s gender does seem to matter. The poll data showed that nine films are reliably more popular with men and five with women.” Clueless, When Harry Met Sally, What We Do in the Shadows, The Great Dictator, and Mean Girls were all overwhelmingly more popular with female critics. The Nutty Professor, Playtime, Animal House, Groundhog Day, Sherlock Jr, Sons of the Desert, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Raising Arizona, and The General were all more popular with men. What moves those films from good to great in the eyes of a critic? What makes someone prefer Animal House to Clueless? Personal taste, sure. But we can’t pretend that things like representation and unconscious bias don’t play into that taste, or that “personal” taste isn’t largely influenced by larger cultural trends.

Again, comedy is incredibly subjective. So I’m not mad that my own favorites aren’t on the list. Well, besides the exclusion of Big, directed by Penny Marshall. That, objectively, is a travesty. But there are plenty of movies directed by women whose absence is surprising–plenty that deserve more celebration. On first look, I would happily swap out, say, There’s Something About Mary for A League of Their Own, or the South Park movie for Obvious Child, or maybe one of Woody Allen’s three spots for Monsoon Wedding.

But that’s just my own opinion. What would be on your list?

(image: Columbia Pictures)

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Posted by Teresa Jusino

One of the first things that I thought when I saw the first trailer for the upcoming Darren Aronofsky film mother! was that I was already annoyed, because we have yet another film in which Jennifer Lawrence is paired with someone much older (Javier Bardem) and seems to be playing another variation on the tragic, harrowed, too-old-for-her-actual-age character she’s become known for. Then I saw this poster.

If you love film, this might have looked familiar to you, even if you couldn’t put your finger on why. Allow me to help:

Yup, that would be a poster for the 1968 Roman Polanski (ugh) classic, Rosemary’s Baby, another Paramount film about a young blonde being forced to be somewhere she doesn’t want to be and surrounded by a bunch of creepers in black by a much older man…

Hey, wait a minute.

People have been making Rosemary’s Baby comparisons before this, but the above poster seems to hit the nail pretty closely on the head. It wouldn’t surprise me if mother! were a straight-up remake/reboot of Rosemary’s Baby. After all, Javier Bardem’s character in the recent trailer keeps talking about wanting to “bring life into this house.” Perhaps that “life” is the anti-Christ?

Or maybe it’s not quite so dead-on. TMS’ Jessica Lachenal posited in her piece on the trailer that “the idea that Harris’ character thinks this was a bed and breakfast makes me think that he’s actually being straight up with that, and that Lawrence’s character is either a.) an amnesiac or suffers from Alzheimer’s, which would lead her to forget things like this and Bardem is her guardian/caretaker/husband, or b.) she’s actually the “mother” in this case, and Bardem is actually her son, in which case the “a” possibility above could still be true.”

Interesting possibilities, both! Especially the first one about Alzheimer’s. There’s actually a really amazing short film I saw recently called Fragile Storm that deals with Alzheimer’s in a similar way. I don’t get the vibe that Bardem is “actually her son,” though. Especially since the first trailer has them in bed together, and I’d rather not go there with the squick.

Still, good movie marketing is supposed to make someone interested in seeing the movie without giving away too much. Is this poster dead-on in its Rosemary’s Baby comparison? Is it a red herring, and this movie has nothing to do with that film? Either way, I’m intrigued, so it seems this poster has done its job. It’s taken a movie I initially rolled my eyes at, and turned it into something I’m interested in seeing.

If only for the think-piece fodder about female bodily autonomy. Because you know that’s coming, right?

(via Birth.Movies.Death, image: Paramount)

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Sign-Ups – One-Day Warning

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 06:15 pm
samuraiter: (Default)
[personal profile] samuraiter posting in [community profile] femslashex
Almost time to ring the gong again! But we're not quite there yet. You've still got about twenty-four hours to sign up for this challenge before sign-ups close at 6 PM EDT (10 PM GMT) tomorrow (Wednesday, August 23). Details for signing up are still located at this post if you have any questions about how anything works for this step in the process.

If you haven't signed up, you've still got time. I'll be back tomorrow to give you all one last reminder before time is well and truly up. Until then, it's not too late!
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Posted by Jessica Lachenal

If you’re going to learn one thing today, you should just go ahead and learn how to sign some dirty words in sign language. Enjoy! (via Boing Boing)

  • Brittany Snow’s account of a blind date is EVERY SINGLE TINDER DATE EVER.
  • GQ recently published a profile of Dylann Roof, the domestic terrorist who murdered members of a prayer group in South Carolina last year. It’s titled, “A Most American Terrorist: The Making of Dylann Roof,” and it is well worth a read.

The folks at Disney made a fun little video that re-tells the events of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 but through emoji.

  • The Tick is coming to Amazon streaming later this week, and ahead of its release, they unveiled a brand new peek at the show. (via Collider)
  • David Hasselhoff pitched what I thought would have been a really neat look at Knight Rider, which basically can be summed up as Logan meets Knight Rider. Unfortunately, that’s not the direction The Weinstein Company wants to go with, as they announced they’re developing Knight Rider to be a comedy with John Cena and Kevin Hart. Yeah, I know, right? (via /Film)

(image: screengrab)

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Yolla: Tarkan & Bucky Barnes

Wednesday, 23 August 2017 12:00 am
chantefable: ([bbc] omgstfu)
[personal profile] chantefable
All right, so I realise that Tarkan's Yolla is THE hit of the summer and I've been listening to it a lot, but!

From the start, I kind of thought, 'wow, that sounds like a Bucky Barnes song' and now I saw the full English subtitles/lyrics in the vid on the official netd müzik channel on YouTube, and yeah, YOLLA IS DEFINITELY A BUCKY BARNES SONG. In my mind, I can see how it could be vidded, all fast paced and fight scenes and downtime and, most importantly, Winter Soldier's "I am 100% done, just give me some plums" face.

Check it out! If you haven't heard Yolla yet, it is a seriously awesome pop song with ultra-contemporary lyrics, on point for our times...

Seriously, when he goes:

"Bring it, destiny, bring it, bring me all the pain,
After all, I can bear anything,
Hit me, I don't mind, kick a man when he's down,
After all, I am willing to endure."


OMG major headcanon feels. Does it give you headcanon feels? Maybe for other characters? Just listen, it's worth it.

(On a side note, hot damn, Tarkan. I know he's built his image around his looks as much as his music, so he's careful with his appearance, and there's CGI in music videos and all, but that's a very aesthetically appealing, groomed look he's rocking. If all men at 44 were this agreeable to look at, the world would've been a more beautiful place. Patriarchy and media culture lead to expectations of women trying extra hard, so it's refreshing when a male performer goes with such inviting mannerisms.)
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Posted by Teresa Jusino

I’m starting to get really tired of the victim-blaming surrounding the leaking of celebrity nude photos. As if a person having a certain profession gives people license to steal their private property, digital or not, and that by very virtue of their existence as a famous (usually female) person, they’re “asking for it.” Apparently, Kristen Stewart is getting tired of it, too.

As reported by TMZ, lawyers representing both Stewart and her girlfriend, model Stella Maxwell, are contacting various websites that have posted hacked nude photos of them. The pics in question show Stella in the bathroom, taking a selfie with Kristen posing naked behind her, capturing an intimate moment for posterity that was not supposed to be for the whole world.

This was apparently the work of the same person/group who hacked the iCloud accounts of Lindsey Vonn, Katharine McPhee, and Miley Cyrus recently. In Vonn’s case, it wasn’t nudes of her that were stolen, but rather, nudes of her ex-boyfriend, golfer Tiger Woods.

Does your opinion change as to how much this was “asked for” or how “attention seeking” taking nudes is when it happens to a dude who sent naked pictures to his girlfriend? If it does, congratulations! You’re a sexist! (BTW – if you victim-blame in either case, rather than put the blame squarely on the hackers’ shoulders where it belongs, you might not be a sexist, but you’re still a douche.)

In any case, since we live in a terrible world where people can’t wrap their heads around the fact that stealing someone’s private nude photos (stealing, ie: the very definition of non-consensual) is morally, ethically, and legally wrong, the defense that Stewart and Maxwell are going with is copyright infringement.

As in, by having taken the photos, they have the copyright, and so if you want to use their photos, you have to ask and/or pay for their use, or it’s against the law. Oh, and plenty of people flout those, too, thinking they’re entitled to anything they can grab on the Internet.

News flash: you’re not. No one is entitled to content created by someone else. Ever. Sorry hackers and pirates. Just because I accidentally left my door unlocked doesn’t mean you’re entitled to rob my apartment. That’s not how shit works. Morality isn’t directly proportional to level of security.

Stewart and Maxwell are not the only ones taking legal action. Yesterday, Tiger Woods also had his legal team reach out to websites that posted his photos. In fact, most of the celebrities involved are pursuing legal action. As well they should.

People taking nude photos of themselves and their lovers is nothing new. Even before the Digital Age, people were taking analog nude photos of themselves and others. Even going so far as to have the photos developed by strangers whose job it was to develop pictures, having to leave them there and wait several days for them in which anything could’ve happened to them and where anyone could’ve stolen them/duplicated them/etc. This isn’t a problem the Internet invented.

If you would’ve thought that a clerk at a film processing place was a horrible human for stealing someone’s nude photos and making his/her own copies and disseminating them back in the day, but think that people who take digital nudes of themselves “have it coming” when they’re hacked and leaked, I don’t know what the hell is wrong with you.

Human decency has always been human decency. We risk having things stolen from us whenever we leave the house. That doesn’t mean we don’t leave the house. At a certain point, we have to be able to trust each other to function, and if someone betrays that trust, we should think less of the betrayer, not the person whose privacy has been violated.

(via Jezebel, image: Shutterstock/edits)

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Well I'm tired of comin' out on the losin' end

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 04:10 pm
musesfool: close up of the Chrysler Building (home)
[personal profile] musesfool
This morning I signed and initialed four copies of a contract, wrote a deposit check, and shoved it all into a FedEx envelope so it can arrive at the seller's attorney's office tomorrow morning. Keep your fingers crossed that it goes better this time than it did the last.

L keeps saying she has a good feeling about this, but I had a good feeling about the other one right up until I didn't, so I am not doing any premature celebrating at this point. I mean, I think last time everything went so smoothly and I was basically carried along feeling incredulous and lucky and we saw how that worked out so. Back to cautious optimism and trying to manage expectations. And looking at potential furniture and paint colors, of course.

Gosh, the carpeting is so bad. I mean, first of all, I don't like carpeting but secondly, why white shag? why brown? These are not appealing (to me, and given that the apartment was still available when I got to it, to a lot of other people). If you are trying to sell your apartment, maybe make better aesthetic choices! Don't even get me started on the number of really terrible photos I've seen. I realize that taking pictures is a skill, so if you don't have it, find someone who does to take your pictures and then - protip! - upload them in the right orientation. I closed out of so many potential listings because the photos were a. terrible and b. rotated 90° counterclockwise, making them impossible to parse without a lot of neck craning. Don't do that!

I mean, re: the ugly carpeting: I'll have money left to rip it up and sand/polish/seal the wood floors beneath, but I've seen apartments in the same neighborhood and price range that already had that done, and they look so much nicer. *hands*

Anyway, now the seller just has to sign and we can officially be "in contract" and move on to the next step in the process.

*yawns*

I'm so sleepy. I want to go home. All day I've thought it was Wednesday and that I would be off work for 6 days (I'm taking Thurs/Fri/Mon/Tues off), but no, it's only Tuesday. Stupid Tuesday. Always the worst.

***
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Posted by Kaila Hale-Stern

After The Wrap published a blistering essay from Josh Whedon’s ex-wife Kai Cole that exposed what she says were years of his cheating and feminist posturing, Joss Whedon’s spokesperson issued a response. It was not a great response.

The Wrap updated its article with the addendum from Whedon’s camp:

Editor’s Note: A spokesperson for Joss Whedon provided the following response, “While this account includes inaccuracies and misrepresentations which can be harmful to their family, Joss is not commenting, out of concern for his children and out of respect for his ex-wife.”

This amounts to a quite public gaslighting of Cole’s claims. If we take the simplest explanation of gaslighting as “a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or members of a group, hoping to make targets question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Using persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, it attempts to destabilize the target and delegitimize the target’s belief,” we can apply it directly to how this statement is constructed.

Asserting that Cole’s account “includes inaccuracies and misrepresentations,” but not specifying them, the statement is suggesting that anything—or everything—presented in the essay could be untrue or misremembered. It seeks to put the entirety of Cole’s essay on shaky ground. It might as well have said, “She isn’t recalling it correctly. It didn’t happen like that.”

Further, taking the time in such a brief, curt response to call out theoretical “inaccuracies and misrepresentations” as “harmful to their family” casts Cole into the role of a villain while at the same time trying to give Whedon the higher moral ground, by claiming that he “is not commenting, out of concern for his children and out of respect for his ex-wife.” That’s bullshit, because the first part of the statement sure as hell constitutes a comment from Whedon.

Most certainly, Whedon was upset about Cole’s essay. But the classy thing to do in this case—the true better road to take—would have been to simply have his spokesperson relay the statement’s latter half. “Joss is not commenting, out of concern for his children and out of respect for his ex-wife.” Clear, clean, to the point, and it casts him into a more generous light. Hell, even “no comment” would have more than sufficed here. Whedon’s silence on the matter would have been understandable. Far less so is this underhanded undermining of his ex-wife’s essay, which forwards a long and dark tradition that women are not to be believed or be seen as reliable narrators of their own stories.

The attempt to attach doubt to Cole’s claims—to her lived experience as she reports it first-hand—is unhelpful to the conversation at best and deeply troubling at its heart. Whedon should be ashamed that this is now on record as his public reply. And if, somehow, that first sentence sprang fully formed from the mind of Whedon’s spokesperson without his input, that person should be fired.

(via The Wrap, image: Shutterstock)

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Posted by Vivian Kane

Compared to others in Trump’s cabinet, treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin doesn’t garner many headlines. He got some attention lately as being on the receiving end of Rep. Maxine Waters’ now-iconic declaration of “reclaiming my time.” But in general, we don’t hear much about the Mnuch.

But yesterday we sure heard a lot about Mnuchin. Or rather, about his wife, Louise Linton. Here’s what we know about Linton: she’s a Scottish semi-professional actress; she married the treasury secretary/former Wall Street banker/Hollywood producer this past June; she loves designer labels; she does NOT react well to criticism.

Linton accompanied Mnuchin on a trip to Kentucky Monday and posted a picture to Instagram documenting the trip. But in a weird move of ostentation/possible unethical exploitation of her political position, she decided to tag and hashtag all the designers she was wearing in a shot of her deplaning a government jet.

(image: Twitter)

To be fair, with Trump as president, I get why she didn’t think it would be inappropriate to essentially turn a government trip into a clothing ad.

Far worse than the picture itself, though, was her response to a comment from a woman named Jenni Miller, who wrote “Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable.” Linton’s response was not only disproportionate in both length and tone, but about as passive aggressive and condescending as you would expect from a woman who tags her scarf in a picture of government work.

The comment reads, “Aw!!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable! Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country? I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day ‘trip’ than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you’d be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours. You’re adorably out of touch.”

Then, either going off of Miller’s profile picture or possibly having clicked through her account, Linton proceeded to comment on her family. “Thanks for the passive aggressive nasty comment. Your kids look very cute. Your life looks cute. I know you’re mad but deep down you’re really nice and so am I. Sending me passive aggressive Instagram comments isn’t going to make life feel better. Maybe a nice message, one filled with wisdom and hunanity (sic) would get more traction. Have a pleasant evening. Go chill out and watch the new game of thrones. It’s fab!”

Wow. the complete obliviousness it must take to use this amount of passive aggression to call someone passive aggressive is mind boggling. Though it’s the accusation that Miller is “adorably out of touch” that puts this over the top. Because clearly Linton is the one who is out of touch, but there’s nothing adorable about it. And as it turns out, this is not new for her.

Last year, Linton self-published a book about her gap year spent in Zambia, titled In Congo’s Shadow. The book told the story of how she “abandoned her privileged life in Scotland” (her family owns a castle there) and spent six whole months in a “horror show” and “living nightmare” surrounded by, as she described them, “savage” rapists and murderers. She herself was, according to her, a “central figure” in the Congolese war. As many critics noted, she had seemingly no interest at all in facts and she conflated  Zambia, Congo, and Rwanda into one big generalized Africa with no interest in anything but painting herself as the bright, blonde shining sun in the middle of that “inky blackness.” Yes, she really wrote that.

Here’s a choice passage (via Washington Post):

“Now that I’m a grown woman living in California and pursuing a very different dream — as an actress and film producer — I know that the skinny white girl once so incongruous in Africa still lives on inside me. Even in this world where I’m supposed to belong, I still sometimes feel out of place. Whenever that happens, though, I try to remember a smiling gap-toothed child with HIV whose greatest joy was to sit on my lap and drink from a bottle of Coca-Cola.”

What a hero.

After being condemned by the Zambian government and widely criticized for being peak white savior racist bullshit, the book was removed from sales. Likewise, her Instagram post has been removed and her account set to private.

I would say the internet never forgets, but let’s be honest. Louise Linton is entirely forgettable.

 

(image: Shutterstock)

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HaBO: The Art of War is Used for Courtship

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 06:00 pm
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Posted by Amanda

This HaBO is from Seraph, who wants to find a historical romance based on some limited details:

This might probably be a long shot since I never actually even read the book…

It’s definitely a historical romance/regency novel. The only main thing I remember is that they’re using a book about the art of war, but applying it to courtship instead. I believe it’s the heroine using it to make the duke/earl/marquess fall for her, but not 100% sure.

I’m unsure if the book is strategy-based or is actually The Art of War by Sun Tzu.

Doctor Who rewatch continues: series 2 & 3

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 09:45 pm
ruuger: My hand with the nails painted red and black resting on the keyboard of my laptop (Default)
[personal profile] ruuger
Okay, so remember when I said that I don't understand why people complain about the Doctor/Rose romance, because I didn't notice any romance between them? Well, clearly I had been wearing my Doctor-free glasses when I last watched this season because oh wow did I notice the romance this time around, and not in a good way. I think I agree with most of the other stuff I wrote in my previous post, however.

but now, some new random thoughts )

How to Keep Kids off Drugs

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 06:14 pm
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Posted by Kaila Hale-Stern

German police confiscated thousands of orange ecstasy tablets shaped like Donald Trump’s head.

You might call this a Class A deterrent.

The party drug haul has a street value of $45,000, but in terms of ensuring no one wants to put that tablet into their mouth under any circumstances, they are truly priceless.

(via The Washington Post, h/t Vivian Kane, image: Polizeiinspektion Osnabrueck)

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Posted by Jessica Lachenal

Ed Skrein, whom you may remember as antagonist Ajax from Deadpool, was just cast as Major Ben Daimio in an upcoming reboot of Hellboy, starring David Harbour as the titular hero. There’s … a bit of a problem with this casting, as Major Daimio is actually supposed to be a Japanese American character. In the Hellboy lore, he’s a former Marine who joins up with B.P.R.D. after a series of events leaves him with “were-jaguar” powers, which essentially allow him to “turn into a jaguar when he’s angry or in pain.” Cool. Okay.

But of course, the story here is that Skrein is decidedly neither Japanese nor American (nor any combination of the two), but rather British. His casting marks yet another moment in which Hollywood kind of digs a bit deep to whitewash some roles that really should have gone to people of color. It’s a bit disappointing to see for sure, and it’s another point against the reboot, which may already be facing a bit of an uphill battle as it runs through production without Guillermo del Toro, who first helped bring the comic book to life back in 2004.

Directing is Game of Thrones alum Neil Marshall, and alongside Harbour, Milla Jovovich will star as the movie’s villainess and Ian McShane as Hellboy’s adoptive father. There aren’t a whole lot of details out just yet beyond who’s who in the cast, so it’ll be hard to imagine just what the movie might look or feel like. But I mean … with Skrein’s casting, it’s just even more painfully clear that Hollywood just does not get it when it comes to casting roles without whitewashing them.

Most recently, Ghost in the Shell kicked up quite the controversy as the project brought on Scarlett Johansson to play Major, who, in the original anime, is essentially a Japanese woman. What’s more, the movie’s conceit revolves around literal whitewashing as the twist reveals that Major is supposed to actually be the mind of a Japanese woman who is consistently placed into other android/enhanced bodies (hence ghost in the shell, get it). Let’s be honest, that’s about as on-the-nose as it gets, and if Hollywood learned nothing from Ghost in the Shell‘s incredibly disappointing box office turn, then we’re all left to wonder just what the hell it is they’re thinking when they keep doing things like this.

(via IndieWire, image: 20th Century Fox)

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Posted by Charline Jao

Last week, the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities resigned en masse with a powerful letter condemning Trump’s response to Charlottesville and other acts of his administration that attack diplomacy, dialogue, and equality.

With the beginning of each paragraph spelling out RESIST and an ending that calls for his resignation, the letter was a largely symbolic act that gave us all a look into what patriotism really looks like—not silence, blind loyalty, or cowardice—but standing up against those who attack our liberties and values.

One of the vocal members of the committee, Kal Penn, had worked for the White House under President Obama and has served as an active and outspoken activist with his celebrity platform. This morning, Penn appeared on CNN’s New Day to talk more about the resignation decision, explaining that while the members felt their work was non-partisan and important, “the response to Charlottesville—his response—was the worst of who we are. And we just felt like that was not who we are at all and we are better than that and this was an opportunity to show that.”

However, that doesn’t mean their work or initiatives stopped completely. Penn talks about the importance of economic progress and arts education and shares out that one of their programs, Turn Around Arts, has now been moved to the Kennedy Center.

Co-host Chris Cuomo then brings up a side that many expressed, which was that perhaps the committee’s actions were defeatist, and more good could be done from within the White House than outside it. In response, the actor says it saw it the opposite way, saying, “This is largely a dysfunctional government period” and “If government is so dysfunctional and you can’t get anything done what if we focus on things outside of government to actually do those things together?”

Penn points out that the “vibrant programs” of the committee can carry on outside government Turn Around Arts’ will. “You have a White House that has gone into federal agencies and essentially, put in a freeze—so they’re wasting tax payer dollars, the agencies are often not allowed to do anything at all….We felt like this was a point where an opportunity to resign en masse would send a stronger message about who I think the majority of Americans really are, the love that we have for each other, the opportunity to move the country forward in ways that a lot of folks are doing outside of government.”

The actor also adds, “Look, you’re dealing with a tiny-fingered vulgarian who loves to tweet crazy things as his way of getting policy done? Come on. We’re better than that.”

(via The Hollywood Reporter, image: screencap)

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Posted by Kaila Hale-Stern

In a time of reboots, reshoots, and President Donald Trump, a land in turmoil cried out for a hero. But NBC just sent a chakram straight through the heart of our hopes.

Hold me.

Xena’s resurrection seemed to be in trouble since the departure of Javier Grillo-Marxuach (Lost), who wrote the pilot and was intended to serve as the reboot’s showrunner. His leaving was an ill omen for fans, especially since Grillo-Marxuach was a vocal proponent of turning the treasured quasi-subtextual relationship of Xena and her companion Gabrielle into bold text. Per The Hollywood Reporter:

“There is no reason to bring back Xena if it is not there for the purpose of fully exploring a relationship that could only be shown subtextually in first-run syndication in the 1990s,” Grillo-Marxuach said in March 2016.

Just a couple of gals being pals.

Now NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke has confirmed that plans for a reboot—at least the reboot that’s been talked about for ages, which would have included oversight from original Xena creators Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert—have been given the battle-ax.

“Nothing is happening on that right now. We looked at some material; we decided at that point that it didn’t warrant the reboot,” Salke tells The Hollywood Reporter. “I’d never say never on that one because it’s such a beloved title, but the current incarnation of it is dead.”

As a Xena fan, I’m sad to see that after so much time and effort what was generated on her behalf “didn’t warrant a reboot.” As a Xena fan, I’m also not sure whether I should be somewhat relieved: after Grillo-Marxuach, whose vision I trusted, left the planning stages, I was nervous to see who NBC might find to helm my Grecian ship.

And considering that Lucy Lawless had wanted to return with Renee O’Connor as Gabrielle, only to have that idea shot down, I’ll admit it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around what a new version of Xena would have been and whether it could have been anything more than a pale imitation that winked at the source material.

Hey, anyone else remember when Karl Urban played Cupid?

The original Xena was a product of its times and it would have been difficult to replicate the best parts and reboot it for a new generation. Would they have gone with a “gritty” new version? I could live without that. Xena: Warrior Princess was a mixture of total camp, high drama, butchered Greek mythology, and recurring guest characters who came to be almost as adored as its two leads.

But it was the chemistry between Lawless’ Xena and O’Connor’s Gabrielle, developed over many years as their characters evolved and changed, that turned their initial “best gal pals” scenario into one of the most complex and crucial depictions of women in love on television. The Hollywood Reporter found this gem of a quote from Lawless:

Lawless backed the idea of Xena and Gabrielle as a couple, saying in 2003 that the final scene of the series — featuring a kiss between them — confirmed “it wasn’t just that Xena was bisexual and kinda liked her gal pal and they kind of fooled around sometimes, it was, ‘Nope, they’re married, man.'”

As much as I would love to see a Xena where they can openly and fully be in a relationship, I’m not sure if something that happened so organically—and became so iconic—could have been recast. Two new young actresses going forward would’ve simply been playing characters named Xena and Gabrielle. Their versions wouldn’t have the weight of seasons of bonding, betrayal, heartbreak, and affirmation behind them.

“I need someone to come in with a point of view about what they want to do,” Salke told THR. OK, cool. How’s this: 15 years after the events of Xena: Warrior Princess, an ancient evil is awoken. A youthful pair of female mercenaries must go on a quest to find the only people who might be able to save Greece and perhaps the world: Xena (Lucy Lawless) and her love Gabrielle (Renee O’Connor), now comfortably retired together, location unknown. After perilous battles and dangerous interventions by petty gods, the pair must convince Xena and Gabrielle to give up the life of peaceful comfort they’ve earned and put everything they care about on the line to defeat the evil sweeping across the land.

Call me, Jennifer Salke! I could do this all day. If you need me I’ll be over here listening to The Bitter Suite.

(via THR, images: Renaissance Pictures/NBCUniversal Television)

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If you go down to the woods today...

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 06:38 pm
oursin: image of hedgehogs having sex (bonking hedgehogs)
[personal profile] oursin

Spotted this the other day and then forgot to mention it:

Sex Festival in Tunbridge Wells.

Actually, not in Tunbridge Wells, which evokes images of orgiastic goings on in the Pantiles amidst a crowd of the local denizens being Disgusted.

In fact, in a wood nearby.

'People living in the area have expressed concern over noise, parking and decency': which is almost in the fine tradition of the inhabitants of Hampstead not minding so much about the actual cruising taking place at the famed gay cruising grounds of the Heath, but that they were leaving litter.

A local farmer reported 'Locals that hadn't bought tickets posed the biggest problem for event organisers, with hundreds of people trying to get in on the action'.

A man was found dead and a woman unconscious at the campsite this morning: while all the reports namecheck the festival, it sounds as if it was over by then. The report in the Telegraph suggests that it is possible that fumes from a barbecue were to blame, and the death is so far described as unexplained. But obviously, all reports are going to mention the kinky sex party.

2 out of 3

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 07:32 pm
smirkingcat: (ryoukai)
[personal profile] smirkingcat
is a win! at least that is what i call it.
real life stuff )

fandom news from the cat yes i am still around )

tldr: i am doing good, battling on, and i shall be around more starting now! hope to find you all well, and to catch up with you all

so my current situation looks like:


Recs

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 06:38 pm
selenak: (Rachel by Naginis)
[personal profile] selenak
Defenders:


Gone for Soldiers: Claire and Jessica at a certain memorial service post show. In which two backstories the series left out are addressed. Excellent Claire and Jessica voices.

Above, but undermined: neat missing scene between Matt and Jessica.

Orphan Black:

The sun that's setting in the east: what Rachel did next.

Tatiana Maslany about Orphan Black interview: in which she looks back on the show, sees P.T. Westmoreland as the perfect analogue for a current head of state (hint: mediocre man in his early 70s with his power based on lies, obsessed with himself, no regard for anything not him) and thus a good final villain, and reveals which Clone was the most fun for her to play.
[syndicated profile] the_mary_sue_feed

Posted by Jessica Lachenal

As Stranger Things ramps up to its second season premiere in October, the Duffer brothers are already thinking ahead to the just-confirmed season three. What’s more, they’ve also been thinking about season four, which, to them, would mark the series’ end. It’s mostly for practical reasons, according to Ross Duffer, who told Vulture, “They’re going to have to get the fuck out of this town. It’s ridiculous!” I mean, that just makes sense, right? There’s only so many horrors you can watch these poor kids go through before it becomes just egregious.

Personally speaking, I was a bit happy thinking that the first season may be its only one—it was a complete, concise, almost neatly-wrapped story. But as is the case with most Netflix shows (and television shows in general, I suppose), that’s not enough of a reason to just let a show go, sometimes; in fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Obviously we don’t have too many details about what those hopeful third or fourth seasons might be, but we’re pretty clued in to what to expect with regards to what we’re getting in October. The Duffer brothers also mentioned that they’re looking at this next season as a movie sequel, rather than a second season per se. Ross said, “I told Matt, ‘I don’t want to call it season two, I just want it to feel like a movie sequel.’ If you have a successful movie, No. 2 is always a little bit bigger.” Thing is, if this is going to be an 80’s movie sequel, then let’s just hope that it’s more Empire Strikes Back rather than, I don’t know, Temple of Doom, huh?

David Harbour, who plays Hawkins town sheriff Jim Hopper, mentioned that this next season might actually piss off fans and that he’ll essentially be playing a darker version of his Hopper character. He told Deadline:

In terms of Hopper, it plays to a lot of darker themes. Even though in Season 1 he certainly had his darkness, it plays to a lot of his struggles, and it sort of peels the onion back of how he struggles to deal with the pressures of feeling like you have saved a kid, and now who does that make you?

It’s all supposedly for a purpose, and I think the Duffer brothers have certainly earned some trust here with taking a few risks with a story only to have it all pay off (in spades) a bit later. At the very least, Harbour and the Duffer brothers’ chats with Deadline have served their purpose, at least for me: my interest is certainly piqued, and if there really is a hard end in sight, I think the story’s in good hands, then.

(via: Polygon, image: Netflix)

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The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
http://slatestarcodex.com/2017/08/09/the-lizard-people-of-alpha-draconis-1-decided-to-build-an-ansible/

Scott wrote another short story. As is usually the case, it's intriguing but there's also much to critique :) The aliens in the story develop great technology, and build an ansible out of negative average preference utilitarianism.

I have a lot of different thoughts inspired by this story. I don't think it's the sort of story where knowing what happens is a problem for reading it, but I will cut a detailed discussion just in case.

Spoilers )

Historical Romances & Witches

Tuesday, 22 August 2017 03:30 pm
[syndicated profile] smartbitches_feed

Posted by Amanda

If the Duke Demands

If the Duke Demands by Anna Harrington is $2.99! This is the first book in the Capturing the Carlisles. Readers loved the mistaken identity element that kicks of the hero and heroines deal to help each other woo other people. Though readers warn that the hero does kiss another woman, which I know some readers don’t like.

A LESSON IN SEDUCTION . . .

Miranda Hodgkins has only ever wanted one thing: to marry Robert Carlisle. And she simply can’t wait a moment longer. During the Carlisle family masquerade ball, Miranda boldly sneaks into his bedchamber with seduction on her mind. Soon she’s swept into rock-hard arms for the most breathtaking kiss of her life. But when the masks come off, she’s horrified to find herself face-to-face with Sebastian, the Duke of Trent—Robert’s formidable older brother.

Shocked to find Miranda in his bed, Sebastian quickly offers her a deal to avoid scandal: He’ll help her win his brother’s heart if she’ll find him the perfect wife. But what begins as a simple negotiation soon spirals out of control. For the longer this reformed rake tries to make a match for Miranda, the more he wants to keep her all to himself.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

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and

amazon

 

 

 

The Duke of Deception

The Duke of Deception by Darcy Burke is 99c! This is the third book in The Untouchables series, but it can be read as a standalone. Readers loved that the heroine wanted nothing to do with marriage and actively tried to avoid it, but others said the book has some pacing issues. It has a 4.1-star rating on Goodreads.

After five years on the Marriage Mart, Miss Aquilla Knox is ready for spinsterhood until a benefactress steps in to help her secure a husband. Only Aquilla doesn’t actually want to marry—her failure is entirely on purpose. When the earl she’s nicknamed the Duke of Deception sets his sights on her, she refuses to be drawn in by her attraction to him. If there’s one thing she knows it’s that a gentleman is never what he seems.

Edward Bishop, Earl of Sutton, has a reputation for courting young misses and dropping them without a second thought. This has earned him a reputation for deceit, a description he can’t refute because he does in fact, harbor secrets and will do anything—deceive anyone—to ensure they don’t come to light. As he comes to know the charming Miss Knox, his resolve is tested. However, trust comes at a price and Ned won’t pay with his heart.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Barnes & Noble Kobo iBooks

and

amazon

 

 

 

The Art of Sinning

The Art of Sinning by Sabrina Jeffries is $3.99! This historical romance came out last summer and is the first in a new series. Readers loved the pairing of an American artists and a London heiress. However, a few reviewers mentioned that this lacks the passion and pace of Jeffries’ previous titles. It has a 3.8-star rating on Goodreads and several more books of hers are available for $3.99 or less.

American artist Jeremy Keane refuses to return home and take over his father’s business. He’d much rather sample bevvies of beauties abroad, in search of a model for the provocative masterpiece he’s driven to paint. When he meets Lady Yvette Barlow at a London wedding, he realizes she’s perfect for his work—and determines to capture the young heiress’s defiant spirit and breathtaking sensuality on canvas.

No stranger to scandal, Yvette agrees to be Keane’s subject—in exchange for his help gaining entry to the city’s brothels he knows intimately, so she can track a missing woman and solve a family mystery. But when their practical partnership leads to lessons in the art of sinning, can they find a bold and lasting love?

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

This book is on sale at:

Barnes & Noble Kobo Google Play iBooks

and

amazon

 

 

 

Slouch Witch

Slouch Witch by Helen Harper is 99c at Amazon! This urban fantasy looks all sorts of fun and I’ll definitely be buying it. Readers say it’s on the lighter side of urban fantasy, but others wanted more of a mystery to create some forward momentum. Anyone else interested?

Hard Work Will Pay Off Later. Laziness Pays Off Now. 

Let’s get one thing straight – Ivy Wilde is not a heroine. In fact, she’s probably the last witch in the world who you’d call if you needed a magical helping hand. If it were down to Ivy, she’d spend all day every day on her sofa where she could watch TV, munch junk food and talk to her feline familiar to her heart’s content.

However, when a bureaucratic disaster ends up with Ivy as the victim of a case of mistaken identity, she’s yanked very unwillingly into Arcane Branch, the investigative department of the Hallowed Order of Magical Enlightenment. Her problems are quadrupled when a valuable object is stolen right from under the Order’s noses.

It doesn’t exactly help that she’s been magically bound to Adeptus Exemptus Raphael Winter. He might have piercing sapphire eyes and a body which a cover model would be proud of but, as far as Ivy’s concerned, he’s a walking advertisement for the joyless perils of too much witch-work.

And if he makes her go to the gym again, she’s definitely going to turn him into a frog.

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This book is on sale at:

amazon

 

 

 

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