and is patently not filmed here

hey!!! so i went to see thor ragnarok yesterday, and i thought i’d type up some Thoughts while it was still fresh in my mind. so here goes. THERE WILL BE SPOILERS but also i don’t want to do a cut because my blog theme is hard to read things on, so just shut your eyes and scroll down really fast i guess? i’ll send you a psychic message so you know when it’s safe to open them again

things i liked

  • the humour in this movie was on point. i mean, it’s waititi, so obviously it was going to be, but everyone just seemed like they were having a fucking blast doing it. it didn’t even feel like it was trying to be funny or quirky or slapsticky – it just put the characters in daft situations and let natural awkwardness do the rest
  • the giant monster made out of blue rocks who seems to have no idea what he’s doing and just wanders around exchanging pleasantries with everyone in a gentle new zealand accent. he tried to do a revolution once but it failed because he didn’t print out enough pamphlets. i don’t even know his name but he was legitimately the best part of this film and i want him on a poster
  • the “get help” plan, which, for the uninformed, consists of thor just fucking tossing his brother at oncoming enemies like a person-shaped rugby ball, and has apparently been performed enough times for loki to instinctively dread it happening
  • i hate doctor strange and benedict cumberbatch and the fact that he was included in this film for no reason other than to appease people, but i did enjoy his cameo (albeit very, very grudgingly). he’s just so done with thor’s nonsense and i felt it on a spiritual level. also when loki comes at him with a knife and strange just fucking teleports him off to norway like “bye”
  • “this one time when we were children, he transformed himself into a snake, and he knows i love snakes, so i went to pick up the snake to admire it, and he transformed back into himself and was like, “YAARGH, IT’S ME!!!” and he stabbed me. we were eight” fucking classic
  • the fact that it wasn’t entirely comedy-centred. sure, the main emphasis was on the ridiculousness of the whole thing, but there were definite emotional moments, and on the whole they were done well. (particularly the exchange between thor and loki in the elevator, and the part immediately afterwards with the attempted betrayal. you know the bit i mean)
  • in most marvel films you know that ultimately the villain will be defeated, and the planet will be saved, and everything will turn out okay, etc etc etc. here, that gets chucked out of the fucking window. literally anything can happen, and it does, even as you’re like “nah, no way, they’re not gonna go that far…oh. well. okay, then.” and that dispensing of the traditional formula made the whole thing feel a lot more unpredictable. which is good, i think!
  • valkyrie. everything about valkyrie. i have a massive weakness for butch women, and i have a massive weakness for lovable assholes, and when those two things combine it’s just like. hnghhh
  • also i was worried that she was going to be shoehorned into the “strong female character” stereotype, but that wasn’t the case at all? like she had moments of weakness and was really dorky and cute and she just felt like such a real person (aside from the whole “semi-immortal warrior woman on a flying horse” aspect, obviously)
  • on that point: there was no love story. this is entirely personal preference, but love stories in action films really annoy me (unless they’re done well, and they rarely are). plus, it feeds into the idea that the only reason to have a woman on the team is for the purpose of creating a romance with the main hero. but they didn’t do that! there was some light flirtation between thor and val, but it felt more friendly than anything else, and was very much in character for both of them. super refreshing, honestly
  • the trouble with marvel is that because nearly every movie has a different writer, character consistency is often lost. (see: natasha behaving completely differently in aou than she did in any other film, steve zigzagging between rigidly following the rules and going off to do his own thing, character development being gained and lost and gained again, etc.) that being said: thor and loki in this film felt more like thor and loki than in any other mcu flick. thor was maybe a bit dumber than i usually like, but the smiley optimism and earnestness was very much there, and loki cut a perfect balance between being An Asshole and being An Asshole With Feelings (whilst occasionally slipping back into his patented “melodramatic diva” persona). bruce wasn’t quite as much of a success, but i’ll get to that later
  • “i’m here.”
  • hela was unbelievably badass and every time she was on the screen i got a little bit gayer. i think it’s the antlers, personally

things i didn’t like

  • where was sif? there was no sif and it was just. never explained??? i’m starting to feel like marvel has this weird policy where they can only have a certain amount of women onscreen at a time, and if there’s any more than that an alarm goes off and everyone starts running around in a panic like “OH NO! THE WOMAN METER HAS GONE INTO THE RED! QUICK! CULL THEM! CULL THEM!” they’ve added in valkyrie and hela, and in order to maintain the status quo, they’ve skilfully sliced out jane foster and sif, like soviet-era teachers razoring out controversial passages from history books. if they didn’t show any of the warriros three then that would’ve been understandable, but fandral and volstagg and hogun were all (if briefly) in evidence. but sif is just. not. it’s fuckin bizarre man idek
  • kinda wish they’d done a bit more with hela’s character than just going “oh, she’s evil, and she likes to kill people and do evil stuff because she’s evil.” she already looks amazing, and is possibly the most powerful villain we’ve seen so far – so it would have been nice to have a little more emotional depth there, especially considering how interesting her backstory is
  • the plot was a little bitty in places. it did work, but there wasn’t much of a connection between thor performing as a gladiator and hela taking over asgard. if they’d found a way to link those two plotlines together it might have worked better, but as it was, the whole thing felt a lil bit contrived
  • we’ve always suspected that asgard isn’t quite what it seems to be (after all, no one ends up ruler of the nine realms without a little blood being spilt along the way), and in this film that gets confirmed – but after the initial revelation it’s just not really explored? there are some pretty heavy overtones of genocide and colonialism/imperialism, and it seemed kind of mad to bring up something like that and then just gloss over it. plus, it ignores the fact that in the avengers loki was pretty much doing exactly what odin did himself several thousands years ago, but on a slightly smaller scale. like…there’s a wealth of stuff to be done with that information, and they didn’t do any of it? weird
  • i was sort of hoping that odin would play a larger role in the movie, considering that so much of it indirectly revolved around him and his actions. instead, he turned into obi wan kenobi and then vanished in a big puff of gold dust. i don’t think that he actually exchanged more than a few lines with anyone, although given the relatively short length of the film that’s understandable enough
  • bruce got flanderised from a hyper-controlled scientist with self-loathing issues into a twitchy ball of nerves who’s constantly out of his depth. he’s not my favourite character, so it didn’t bother me too much, but it was still a little jarring
  • they didn’t show us the hug at the end and i’m pissed about it

A little surprise I made for you over the weekend as I know many of you love the sound of heels hitting streets. So here you go with a little catwalk made for you just before heading back home on a Saturday late afternoon with my 12cm heels. A bit weird to film while walking but I hope that you will appreciate 😉. Have a lovely week!

Thomas Edison, 2/11/1847 - 10/18/1931

Prolific inventor and patent holder Thomas Alva Edison was born 170 years ago on February 11, 1847.  He is shown here in Florida ca. 1918 where he worked on submarine mine development during World War I.

Cabinet Members and Prominent Officials of the Second Administration of Woodrow Wilson.
Series: Historical Films, ca. 1914 - ca. 1936. Record Group 111: Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, 1860 - 1985

You can find many of Edison’s patents in the @usnatarchives online Catalog.

(via GIPHY)

Bellarke Crossfades & Film Technique

Okay, so, first off, this is entirely my friend Danni’s fault. She’s gotten me obsessed with the cinematography of the show and how it supports the narrative and so I decided to dig into how that applies to the patented Bellarke Crossfades™ and how they’re narratively significant. Disclaimer, this is built on my own long ago history with video editing and a bunch of reading I’ve been doing recently. It’s not like I’m an expert in this field.

Alright, now that we’ve all been thoroughly disclaimed, WHEEEEE! Here we go.

Keep reading


Planes, Trains, and Autogyros!

Transportation is the second category of digitalnz-dpla‘s GIF IT UP Challenge. Here are just a few examples pulled from National Archives holdings to get your GIF motor running:

Find more in the National Archives’ Online Catalog (OPA) →

  • Search tip: to show only video items, filter your search with Refine By: Type of Archival Materials: Moving Images
  • To show only still photos, filter with Refine By: Type of Archival Materials: Photographs and other Graphic Materials 
  • Patent Drawings make great source material for fun GIFs. Use “patent” in your search, or filter with Refine By: Type of Archival Materials: Architectural and Engineering Drawings
  • Since the challenge is for public domain items only, be sure to check the “Use Restrictions” field in the Item Details.  Most, but not all of National Archives holdings are in the public domain.
  • Share your GIF with us and maybe we can use it for a future todaysdocument post!

Stay tuned for more GIF IT UP ideas!  

(Don’t miss our suggestions for Category 1: AnimalGIFs)

goldenselkie  asked:

Hi CB! All this barn owl talk resulted in re-watching a certain 80's movie and a Lovelace headcanon happened: After Lovelace arrives Clint insists on watching Jim Henson's 'Labyrinth' on the next team movie night, aka the Continuing-Pop-Culture-Education-of-Steve-Rogers. There were several reasons ranging from impressing Lovelace to carefully watching Steve's reaction to the Goblin King's... costume changes. But mostly impressing Lovelace via David Bowie transforming into an owl.

Oh man, though, I have to say this, okay, so I am one of about five people between the ages of 30 and 40 who didn’t see Labyrinth as a child. I know it’s abnormal, I also wasn’t allowed to watch The Simpsons, it’s like I grew up on another planet. 

But the thing is that Labyrinth, while it deals with some adult themes, is so patently, so thoroughly a movie for children – in the best way! but still a movie for children – that if you didn’t see it as a child and you watch it as an adult, about 2/3 of the way through you start going “Hey, is anyone hungry? I can go on a snack run, I think I’m done here.”

I know. It’s genuinely sad, because everyone I know finds such delight in it, and I feel like I want to, but I can’t ever seem to unlock it. Some of the stuff in the film is really compelling, like the brick wall illusion and the rolling doodah with the bicycle doodahs behind it, but after a while it just feels endless

So I can totally imagine Steve trying his best to sit still because clearly this movie MATTERS to everyone around him but…eventually he’s just like “Lovelace looks like she wants a feeding, come on baby, let’s go in the kitchen” and Lovelace, who has screamed indignantly every time a barn owl appears on the movie screen (I don’t know how many times this happens, I’ve only seen the movie once all the way through) jumps on his arm and preens his hair, and then he gets his shield and they play “dive bomb Steve” in the kitchen until Lovelace gets bored and demands a rodent. 

Darth Maul: Apprentice: Why I think this fan film fails its audience

Oh yeah.  I am prepped for the hate on this one.

So, many of you have probably seen the new Darth Maul fan film, Apprentice, already.  For those who haven’t, here’s a link!  I think it’s worth a watch.

Darth Maul: Apprentice

I feel I should preface the rest of this post by saying that I appreciate the level of effort, dedication, and love that must have gone into this piece of art.  And it is, absolutely, art.  But as it is art placed into the public eye for consumption, so it has been placed into the public eye for analysis.

(I’m also prefacing by saying, spoilers from here on out.)

Now I’m going to talk about why the film is, on a fundamental level, a failure.  But first I’m going to list the film’s strengths.

- The production values.  Holy smokes.  The digital effects, the makeup, the costuming, the editing, the sound design, all of it is incredibly slick for an amateur production.

- The concept of the piece - Sidious luring Jedi to Maul’s old home to complete his training by having him slaughter them - is great, slotting neatly into one of the many holes left by canon.  I always appreciate fan projects - fiction, mostly, but also stuff like this - that try to be organic within the universe it’s chosen.

- You can tell that the creators really just give a shit.  They put everything they had into this.  The love shines through, it really does.  I admire that a great deal.

So, why is this film a failure?  

Well, I could talk a lot about the choreography.  I found the fighting styles of the Jedi and of Maul to be very wild and uncontrolled, with big, stupid swings that leave them wide open and seem designed to throw the largest, most dramatic movements at the viewer rather than actually kill people.  Certainly the choreography in Episode I was tighter and, while still very stylized, more lethal - thanks, of course, to Ray Park not only playing Darth Maul but serving as the choreographer and fight expert.  But this is a fan film; it’s not really fair of me to fault them for not being as good as Ray Fucking Park.  It’s very much a personal criticism.

The bigger problem is right in the title.  Specifically, Darth Maul.  The eponymous character and villain-protagonist is here, but he’s not really himself, and that doesn’t have to do with not being played by Ray Park.  The writers of this piece had a very specific idea they were pitching: Maul, fighting Jedi, one of whom is weak and kind of sad and no threat to him at all.  But he still makes the conscious decision to murder the sad Jedi at the end of the film, completing his Sith training.  (It’s heavily implied that if Sidious weren’t watching, Maul might have let the sad Jedi go.  Maybe.  He’s certainly very conflicted about it.)

Except Maul isn’t conflicted.  Not the Maul I know.  I have some visual aids here because everything is better with pictures.

Here’s Maul when the big fight is about to get started (he kills one lone Jedi without much difficulty).  What he’s saying right now to me is, I’m determined.  I’m ready.  I’m a little arrogant, perhaps - he could definitely be smiling.

And here’s Maul from Episode I, when he’s about to fight Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan.  He doesn’t broadcast determination or arrogance right here.  He broadcasts murder.  Pure predator intensity.  And the difference only grows more pronounced as things go on.

This is during the big fight, when Maul is in a two-saber block, vs. the beardy Jedi (seen in the right-hand corner) and the badass mask Jedi.  Look at his face here: angry, certainly, intense, again with the determination.

And here’s Maul in a two-saber block vs. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan.  He’s not angry, he’s grinning.  He’s exulting in his power and capability.  He’s broadcasting intimidation, visually conveying that he’s not afraid of fighting these two men and is completely confident he can take both of them.

This is Maul at the end of Apprentice, trying to decide if he’s going to kill the Sad Jedi.  The anger’s gone, the predator is gone.  He’s conflicted.  I want to take a moment and give props to the actor here; he’s having to convey this through a lot of makeup and I think he’s doing an excellent job.

And here is Maul, having just murdered a Jedi Master in front of his apprentice and now giving said apprentice a look that says, “I will kill you next.  I will kill you and I will enjoy it.  You know it, too, because you’ve fought me and you know you’re no match for me alone.”

Yeah.  These aren’t the same characters.  Darth Maul was raised from infancy to be a weapon, a killer, a merciless bludgeon for the use of the Sith.  He’s trained to be immune to pain, fearless, and ruthless.  He lusts for battle and his chiefest desire is to prove himself by destroying the Jedi in physical combat.  His weakness is that he’s arrogant.  He’s prideful.  He knows how good he is, and it’s what gets him in the end.

The Darth Maul I saw in this film isn’t any of these things.  He fights Jedi, he kills Jedi, but he never seems to be enjoying it.  Maul in Episode I is rife with unnecessary flourishes, acrobatics, threatening grins, all because he knows his skill and is exulting in his prowess.  This Maul doesn’t do that, despite being only (I’m guessing) a short time removed from the Maul we see in the first prequel.  It doesn’t feel like the same character, and that’s a problem when your whole concept is “this character you already know is doing cool things.”

Now, you might disagree with me on this.  You might feel like they really captured the Darth Maul that you know.  And I respect that my feelings so far have been entirely subjective.  So let’s talk about the big, concrete problem: the Sad Jedi.

No, it’s not the beardy one.

The Sad Jedi is one of only two women in this film, out of a cast of six Jedi.  The other woman, a stunningly made-up Togruta woman, is killed in about five seconds.  So the Sad Jedi is effectively our only female representation in this film.  And from the start, it’s a shitshow.  This is the first shot she appears in; look at her.  I mean, just look at her.  Keeping close to and behind beardy (and while he’s established as her master, you don’t see Obi-Wan getting close and personal with Qui-Gon’s six), holding her lightsaber pointed down in an inoffensive, unsure pose, even bending slightly to minimize her profile.  All in comparison to beardy, who has his lightsaber up, stands tall, and looks ready to fight.

The Sad Jedi then spends the rest of the film checking on obviously-dead party members instead of fighting…

Getting thrown to the ground in a dramatic and sad fashion after a single punch to the face…

(Compare Obi-Wan’s reaction to getting kicked in the face, which is to do a backward somersault in midair and land on his feet in precisely the same spot.)

Running away when her master gets killed…

Tripping and falling while running away and looking just so desperate and sad…

And losing all emotional control and giving into the lure of the Dark Side, to precisely no avail, while getting choked by Maul (which, by the way, is inconsistent with his general use of the Force only for telekinetic attacks, but this is about the Sad Jedi, not him).

I mean, just, shit.  I don’t care that she’s a Padawan.  I care that she is the only real female representation in this movie, and she is a classic case of the Faux Action Girl trope that has haunted so many female characters in so many different bits of media.  And I care that it is patently obvious that her vulnerable femaleness is used to inspire viewer sympathy, as well as the confliction we see in Maul about killing her.  This film is telling us that if Obi-Wan were a woman, Maul would have felt bad about tossing him into an endless pit to die.

But maybe I’m being too hard on this film.  After all, it’s not like Star Wars has a long history of capable women kicking ass -

Damn it.

So.  I’m afraid I don’t have a snappy conclusion here.  I thought Apprentice was a real labor of love, but people who love can make mistakes too.  And if we don’t acknowledge those mistakes, we make them again.

missmindkiller  asked:

I'd like to hear your opinion of why you think they made Crane so different, personality wise, in the other two movies. Like it's a more 'silly' approach. He doesn't even sound the same, or as composed. I assumed it was because of the Fear Toxin he breathed...but I'd like to hear someone else's thoughts and ideas on that.

  That’s a fair query and something I’ve considered having watched the films entirely out of order. Your assertion is absolutely correct and perpetually overlooked with Jonathan’s character and development. Because Crane is the lesser observed, it’s difficult for a viewer to evaluate drastic idiosyncrasies. Gotham, even in Nolan’s adaptation, is highly unusual  and as viewers adapting to the peculiar, Jonathan’s behavior fits that norm, no longer a composed man as he was when first introduced. Inclined to announce so fervently this analysis stems from opinion, I’ll stand alongside credence and explain that this is canon.

As stated earlier, I viewed the films out of order. Concededly, the third film is what prompted my will to write Jonathan and from its opening day, I did return and brought along a notebook to document quotes and mannerisms because I happened to be strange enough to do just that. I presumed this was his character, someone outspoken, derisive, with bouts of macabre humor I found rather charming. I found these courtroom scenes refreshing, the intervals to merely breathe, to observe the fate of those contemned to this, clearly manic man’s direction I was invested, I was wiling to watch the other films to see more of this character, blindly presuming he was in the films.

I wrote Jonathan Crane at the time only through Dark Knight Rises and knew nothing of his behavior previously. I refused to observe any wikipedia with the limited detail or erroneous explanations of this character and worked only with memory before indulging clips of the first two films (waiting for the films in their entirety to arrive). What I observed was alarmingly mismatched from what exhibited in theaters. Jonathan, while conducting himself with a primness and behavior often descried as unpleasant, did harbor extreme differences from what’s revealed later. Having observed the scene in which he is drugged, I did garner an understanding that it’s why he’s different later through the films.

This brings me to explain his arsenal. Fear Toxin is what Jonathan Crane personally produces. It’s believed he uses the blue flower as revealed with Ra’s, though it’s impossible to mass produce something with a product known as rare. This means he did mimic properties to configure something potent by comparison. As a man of science, something medicinally created will have several dosages. Irrespective of the mask used, if Crane is to employ these toxins, he’ll require an immunity under any adverse circumstance. Jonathan is an intelligent man. Crane is a criminal, a Rogue. He will end lives and a method of preference is his fear toxin. This does mean he will have to increase the potency of his work to either end a life or subject them to intellectual dissection.

What is known is Crane equips himself with canisters beneath the sleeve and the reaction is vastly similar compared to what was employed on Falcone. Jonathan does make it widely clear ‘we should kill you’ and with Carmine’s insistent counter, Jonathan employs his drug. Falcone procures a hefty dosage but one that gradually distorts the mind, it’s intended to kill and for the purposes of research, it’s a severely slowed process. This means it’s a strong dosage, but not as strong as what he utilizes on Rachel and the faux Bat in the second film.

What Crane employs on Rachel (and later, the faux Bat) is a concentrated dose and unlike Falcone, the both harbor similar reaction of collapse. This dosage is strong and meant to kill, contrast to Falcone who is revealed later to be alive, Jonathan then explains She doesn’t have long.  when referring to Rachel who gained a larger dose.

What I intend to point out is Crane equipped the mask for Rachel, despite her knowing his identity. (Yes, he does the same for Falcone but to coax discomfort). When Jonathan adorns his mask, it’s to provoke fear into his patients and while they are aware of his identity, they are later killed. Rachel is already aware of his identity and if he’s to kill her immediately compared to piecemeal torture of the mind (which is what he does regularly for patients) it shows this is a dosage that he has newly devised and thus, is not immune to it.

The mask has a rebreather and it’s requisite for something newly equipped upon a patient to observe the effects.

Batman finds a cure for Rachel. Why is Jonathan crazed later? Jonathan was drugged with something he does not have immunity towards, but he can withstand dosages he’s accustomed himself to. It’s reason here that he is still alive in later films. Once the patent is unconscious, the toxin is lethal. It’s similar to “don’t fall asleep after a concussion.” The Bat panics when Rachel loses consciousness. Jonathan, after inhaling his compound is thrown into a concrete staircase and is crumpled into a heap. This is shown only briefly, but it is crucial to his development in future films.

What the compound instead does, is distort the mind, encourage hysteria, bouts of fear and anxiety. Crane is not well, he’s presumably dying and his health is then revealed to heavily decrease in film two and reach a more saddening state in the third film which– is overlooked due to its more humorous atmosphere. While this does not make Jonathan any less deadly, it does make him all the more unpredictable. His reactions in the films later are unexpected, they’re randomized and he’s nothing to fear because if he’s to die, he’ll take with him everyone in sight.

What also crosses the mind is that he does have the intellectual prowess to seek a cure. As shown in Dark Knight, he’s on the field- he’s making decisions that are deadly. He’s inexorably apprehended. This leaves for belief that if ever he’s to compose treatment, he’s likely apprehended and his materials left as evidence. This kept in mind, it leaves for repetitive sessions of trial and error, and as we find out, failure.

He does have the mentality to seek a cure and it’s shown that he never does get any better. My concern for this character, loving him immensely – is “if each film, he gets worse, if ever there were a fourth– what would he look like. Would he be alive?” Nolan has an affinity for leaving the audience to answer. Mine? He doesn’t live. Unless the Bat were to be so charitable as to find him a cure, Jonathan will not recover. There is a possibility that Jonathan did manage to accumulate something to stabilize the piecemeal deterioration, but it leaves him perpetually in one stage.

In short, Batman destroyed Jonathan. He’s either a killer as he vehemently attempts to circumvent, or he destroyed Crane’s life, regardless if it’s deserved.