a decade of excellence

To appreciate just how bitter a pill Edward Yang was serving up with Taipei Story, it helps to understand the sarcastic fake-out embedded in the film’s Chinese title. Lifted from a poem by Tang dynasty master Li Bai, Qingmei zhuma translates literally as “Green plum, bamboo horse,” a phrase that, like many classical idioms in the language, distills human experience to a tableau of emblematic objects that can be savored by the mind’s eye. Here the experience being described is one of kismet—an eternal love that evolves out of the carefree games of childhood and preserves its innocence even as the companions age. Seeing these words on a marquee in 1985, the year the film was released, the average Taiwanese viewer would have been primed to expect the kind of escapist melodrama that commercial Chinese-language cinema had excelled at for decades, or at least something in tune with the treacly hit ballads of lead actress (and Yang’s first wife) Tsai Chin. But instead of the pastoral, ever-blooming romance evoked in Li Bai’s lines, what we get is the dry chill of urban malaise.

Taipei Story: Modern Planning

Vintage Horror:The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

“What does he do, this man you seek?”

Sometimes a whole film is condensed in one scene of it, in one single, powerful, unforgettable image. In the case of ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’, one in particular, at the beginning immediately struck me as iconic: Jodie Foster’s agent Clarice Starling is called to her boss’s desk and gets into a lift full of male FBI cadets that are all at least a head taller than her. 

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Spoilers maybe for Guardians of the Whills but…

More than a decade of reading fanfiction tells me this alone would be an excellent summary, before I remind myself I am in fact reading a junior novel and need to chill.

1. Spend decades cultivating excellence at Pixar

2. Become Principal Creative Advisor to Imagineering

3. Have almost as much demand to adapt your movies into theme parks as anyone has ever had ever

4. Have almost as much autonomy to adapt your movies into theme parks as anyone has ever had ever

5. Treat the adaptations like homework that’s due in ten minutes

6. ???

7. Profit!!!

ryekamasaki  asked:

“Quit moving, I’m trying to sleep. Wait…are you…what?!” OiDai

For those of you who wanted more of this OiDaiTsukki thing

have some OiDai?

Tooru tugged his blankets back to himself with a grumble that only got louder when his blankets were yanked back the other direction and a warm body rolled over an pressed their back to his.

“Quit moving,” he growled, “‘m tryin to sleep.”

“Hush up and sleep then,” Daichi grumbled back.

“Wait… are you… what?”  Tooru sat up and snapped his bedside lamp on.  “How did you get in?”

“Tsukishima kicked me out of his dorm and it’s too far back to my apartment.”  Tooru blinked down at Daichi.

“Okay that explains the question I didn’t ask.  Now how about the one I did?”

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The Taken Queen...

It was a strange experience that he’d taken a front seat to, watching someone else’s world fall with no idea if it would shatter or be whole…. No idea if they would catch it in time.

Fitzgerald had more than once watched worlds fall to with just the barest brush of fingertips as evidence of hard and heartfelt attempt to stop it. He’d watched them shatter upon marble floors and crunched on the shards with nothing more than amused sneered. More often than not, he was the one lifting those sweet baubles of stability from their roost and smashing them in front of the very eyes of others with assurances that they’d been far too open with what they cared about and should’ve kept it close to their center where he could not pilfer it so easily.

This however…

Cold blue watched the back of Osamu Dazai, the trickster… the Fool. Much more foolish now from the naivety that he was vastly untouchable in his schemes and games. Fyodor was one who knew how to take things from others. Take the things that made people strong… the things that in turn made people weak. It wasn’t that Fyodor needed to win, he simply succeeded the moment he got Chuuya away from his home… away from safety… away from someone who loved him.  

White King took Queen… now Black King stood unguarded.

Oh yes, there were many pieces on the board and they very well may outmaneuver, outperform, there was risk. Risk that was often made null by Chuuya’s presence and maneuverability, but with him being the captured piece, Dazai was vulnerable in a way that was much harder to come back from…

Here from his seat, Fitgerald observed with a great knowledge of what it was like to have the Rat King take that which is the foundation of an opposing King’s defense. He sighed and picked up his tea, sipping it as he watched the other man give orders as best he could, whispers to himself about what could be done, and explore all possibilities of success… as well as failure. Dazai is not a leader. He is wanting in a place of such authority. Dazai the cloaked schemer suddenly bared as Dazai the war general. An interesting thing to watch indeed… but still so strange.

However, the splinters left by shattered worlds become pain…

Fitzgerald had to contemplate why he was here. Why he was lending his resources – scarcely rebuilt as they were – to the Fool and his pursuit of his beloved Queen. That was just it wasn’t it. The Queen. Chuuya Nakahara was ally, asset, and acquaintance… friend? Yes. Fitzgerald had very few and Chuuya was indeed one of them in the vein of being a very challenging and very hostile sparring partner with cleverness and words. It helped that the other was quite attractive and so easily flustered by his charisma and charms. However, what was most important about Chuuya – like most of these people whom he’d come to so heavily associate with… much like his Ryunosuke – was that he was genuine in every single act and thing that he did. Every step he’d taken was by his loyalty to follow orders, loyalty to his friends, loyalty to his lover… to his King. Chuuya was a relic of a bygone era where money, treachery, and games of power were not the sum of glory. He was an intriguing strike of red on the stained glass that did not fit with the soft, cool colors Fitzgerald had come to associate with things he enjoyed. Knowing he was gone… knowing that Fyodor had him, the bastard who’d shaped Fitzgerald’s aloofness more than anyone had, made the tang of blood on his tongue from biting on the fury that much more unbearable.

Now, he got to see the results from the outside, placed upon those whom he’d come to consider… more than assets. The daring of the Rat King was a unique and utterly sinister audacity that urged Fitzgerald to take over, not only for Dazai’s and Chuuya’s sakes but just to get back at the god-complexed fuck…

Fitzgerald breathed in deep.

Yet, he stayed his opinion until asked. Because this wasn’t about winning seeing as the Rat had won through Dazai’s haggard form, Akutagawa’s gritted teeth, Atsushi’s clenched fist, and Kyouka’s trembling shoulders. This was one of the things Fyodor excelled so decadently at… leaving a trail of discourse for others to suffer.

Fitzgerald rested his cheek on his fist and hummed out a sigh.

“Funny how trouble won’t fade away,” he murmured melodically. “What’s in your veins stays in your veins…”

He was simply reminded now…

They weren’t allowed to be happy in their place… because they were sowers of troubles themselves.

Fitzgerald watched a precariously balanced world, fall in slow motion and idly wondered what sound it would make when it hit the floor.  

Snape Appreciation Month Day 22: Favourite Chapter

the prince’s tale. i’ve complained about how this chapter should have been longer and jkr should have chosen the memories better but it’s still my favourite. despite some people guessing that he was really good all along before book 7’s release, so much about severus and his mission was unknown. letting us see some of his motivations and actions made an already interesting character very complex. it’s great that we still don’t know enough about him and we’re still speculating a decade after the final book was released. now that’s an excellent character.

buzzfeed.com
45 Photos Of Black Graduates Guaranteed To Make You Say "YAAASS"
The past year of police brutality, murders, marches, and riots have left many of us feeling numb. Here’s an extra helping of black excellence from the class of 2015 to help you feel again.
By Sylvia Obell
10

I’ve been rewatching Potop (the Deluge), the 1970s adaptation of Henryk Sienkiewicz’s novel, so have the beginning and the end of Olenka and Kmicic’s love story. 

He’s a hot-headed (and hotttt :P) nobleman and she is a stubborn (and hotttt :P) noblewoman who spark the moment they meet for their arranged marriage but then Kmicic’s hot-headedness finally takes him too far and makes him commit a serious crime (against the state, not Olenka) and…well…it’s Sienkiewicz, so expect a lot of battles, politics and angst before he gets his redemption. And since it’s Poland in the winter, a lot of hats. 

I am a huge fan of Sienkewiecz, who is surprisingly little-known in the West for a man who won a Nobel Prize for literature. In the West, his most famous work is Quo Vadis, set during Nero’s reign (which revolves around a slow redemption of a hot-headed Roman officer due to looooove. Notice a theme?) but his trilogy set during various times in Poland’s history is just as good.  He wrote these hugely epic historical novels with a cast of thousands at the center of which he somehow always managed to plop complicated, flawed yet relatable characters. He was always better at writing men than women (everyone remembers Vinicius and Petronius from Quo Vadis, not poor Lygia, who is a catalyst for Vinicius’ slow and painful growth and change but not much of a personality herself), but Olenka is pretty awesome. Tough and strong and very much a woman of her times, I love her. 

Oh, and Sienkewiecz did get pretty lucky in one respect - there are a lot of good adaptations of his work (With Fire and Sword from about a decade ago is excellent, there is a good Quo Vadis adaptation out there, though not the delightfully goofy 1950s one - even if it has the best Petronius ever), etc. 

OK, I am rambling. 

(Since people ask occasionally about non-English stuff I watch, yes this has English subs - I own a DVD with them). 

Unchained Melody

A/N:  Written for @leiascully‘s Oktoberficfest.  


October 1971

Bill Mulder and Teena Kuipers were married on the Vineyard one unseasonably hot October day in 1961 after a fairly brief courtship. Bill remembered thinking Teena had beautiful eyes. Teena remembered thinking Bill had an excellent pension.

The first decade of their marriage was spent raising their two children.  Fox was conceived quickly and accidentally, and Samantha was a relatively unintentional but happy afterthought. Neither Bill nor Teena had wanted Fox to grow up an only child, though fate had a way of making that an inevitability anyway.  

By the time Fox was eight or nine, the Mulders had cultivated a unique ability to make the stifling silences between what was spoken aloud at the dinner table and the tinny clank of good silver against porcelain china more and more weighty.  

When they celebrated their ten year anniversary, both Bill and Teena were steadfastly trying to maintain what little civility remained between them intact for appearance’s sake, burdened now as they were not only with two children but also with a sham of a marriage that was becoming steadily more stifled under a conspiracy of shadowed backroom deals, infidelity, and cigarette smoke.

Fox had barely turned ten when Bill’s parents threw their son and daughter-in-law a raucous anniversary party at the summer house in Quonochontaug, sending the children to bed early while music and laughter floated up through the thick Rhode Island air.  Fox lay wide awake, listening to Samantha snore and snuffle softly in the bed next to him as the boisterous din outside continued well past midnight.  He tossed and turned as his pajamas stuck to his lanky legs in the stuffy upstairs bedroom. 

Gradually, the noise outside receded to only a few hushed voices, and finally all that kept Fox’s sharp eyes and ears open were the dying strains of light and music that filtered in through his open bedroom window and a desperate thirst that had thickened his tongue.  Around 2:00 in the morning, the house finally settled into a sultry, contented silence.  Sighing, Fox heaved himself out of the twin bed he had nearly outgrown and padded soundlessly downstairs for some water.  Filling a glass at the sink, he passed by the kitchen window, scratching his chest and gulping earnestly, when he happened to glance outside and almost choked, sputtering water down the front of his pajamas.

His parents, rarely demonstrably affectionate with either each other or their children, were alone outside.

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beyonces’ “call becky” and erykah badus’ “call tyrone” are perfect examples of the evolution of similar concepts in music being influenced by major issues at the time. both songs are about a lover not spending enough time with them. in 1997 when erykah released tyrone it was on a personal issue of how her lovers friend is treated more of a girlfriend than she is. now, almost two decades later and in a period where black excellence is at a high interest of the younger generation , “call tyrone” has transformed into “call becky”.a term used by poc to describe the little diversity amongst white girls. this is how political movements affect thought processes and the history of music.

I just finished watching the documentary “13th”, about the history of racism in the US after the 13th amendment was passed, and how slavery transformed through the decades up to the prison industrial complex now. It was absolutely excellently done and I highly recommend watching it.