baker era


The shirt says 13, you all know what it means…

Hey, it’s Jungkook, Jeon Jungkook. Don’t adjust whatever device you’re hearing this on, it’s me, live and in stereo. Get a snack, settle in, because I’m about to tell you the story of my life; more specifically, why my life ended.

Young Man With a Horn. Dorothy Baker. Cambridge, Mass.: Houghton Mifflin, 1938. First edition. Original dust jacket.

Baker’s Young Man with a Horn is widely regarded as the first jazz novel, and it pulses with the music that defined an era. Baker took her inspiration from the artistry—though not the life—of legendary horn player Bix Beiderbecke, and the novel went on to be adapted into a successful movie starring Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, and Doris Day.

anonymous asked:

My main characters is a witch, and at one point in the story she performs a human sacrifice, to gain new powers to be able to defeat the antagonist. But I'm afraid this may make her unlikable for the reader. The man she kills is a terrible human being, but will it be enough? She will be shocked at first, obviously, but she will not repent what she did, because it would be out of character... How can you make a character do something as terrible and still make the reader root for them?

There’s a lot happening in this question.

I’m going to start at the last question and then try to address the rest of this, step by step.

How can you make a character do something as terrible and still make the reader root for them?

I’ve got good news and bad news for you here. 

Good news: there are plenty of people who just love reading about characters who do horrible, terrible, no-good things. 

Bad news: you can’t make your readers do anything, they’re stubborn like that.

What I mean is, look at pop culture, look at Hannibal Lecter, Loki, Spike, Severus Snape, The Master, look at all of these villainous, or anti-villainous characters who people either love to hate, or plain old love. There is plenty of room in fiction for characters to do awful things and still have a following.

The thing is to develop a well rounded, understandable, interesting character and give them reasons for the bad things they do – not to try to make excuses (oh it’s okay to bully children if you have a tortured personal history …), but to make these characters as human and relatable as possible.

she performs a human sacrifice, to gain new powers to be able to defeat the antagonist

Now, I am all for layered, troubled, and flawed protagonists. But I’m going to say pretty outright here, performing a human sacrifice, no matter how much the ends might go toward justifying it, is a pretty villainous act. I’m not going to tell you to cut this, this is a pretty significant piece of character development and a pretty telling piece of a plot, but you’ve got to consider the implications of this sort of thing.

If you put this kind of thing in a story, and the character performing the sacrifice doesn’t face any consequences (ie, at the very least she should probably be traumatised by what she had to do, even if she doesn’t share that with other characters), it’s going to feel like it’s a bit of a cheap way out. Taking the life of a human being is one of those things that is pretty much right up there in terms of being a heavy cost to pay.

One of my favourite speeches about this concept is from the Tom Baker era of Doctor Who – having been given orders by the Time Lords to wipe out the Daleks, he hesitates:

At what point does a hero become a villain? Even in a situation where it doesn’t mean getting your hands dirty, to place yourself in the position as the arbiter of life and death means crossing a moral threshold which is impossible to come back from.

The man she kills is a terrible human being, but will it be enough?

Is there anyone who is a terrible enough human being that it justifies their life being taken? Who decides where that line is? Can just anyone decide that another person is terrible enough to deserve to die?

This kind of reasoning is a slippery slope into victim blaming – can anyone perpetrate a crime against someone else and then justify it by saying ‘but they deserved it?’

In your fiction this kind of moral argument is going to be pretty weighty. Acknowledging that weight in the story, and having your character need to deal with that and the fallout of her decision is going to go a long way toward making this work.


She needs to defeat the antagonist. The cost is to take a human life. She does so. She walks away victorious and is never bothered again about that whole murder thing


She needs to defeat the antagonist. The cost is to take a human life. She tries every avenue to avoid that cost. In the end she is forced to take that life and save the day. She spends the rest of her life living with the burden of what she’s done and trying to atone for that act.

The first one reads like a villain’s backstory, the second one as more of a grim rumination on the nature of heroism. Now, you’ve said that repenting would be out of character, but repenting is more about expressed remorse, in my understanding. Could it be that while she doesn’t openly admit the toll it takes on her, she works on redeeming herself privately?

I’m afraid this may make her unlikable for the reader

It may well be that this character is unlikeable to many readers. But what does likability entail? Do all people go to fiction to find characters that they will like, or do they look for characters that are going to be interesting, challenging, and understandable?

I mean, we’re not going to brunch with this character, we’re setting out on a gruelling mission to defeat evil, or whatever it is that she’s facing.

Think more about: 

  • Is this the kind of character that you, as a reader, would want to follow along on this journey? 
  • Is she someone that is compelling? 
  • Are her struggles understandable? 
  • Can we grow to respect her decisions and actions even if we may not personally agree with them? 
  • Are we going to be anxious and sympathetic as she faces moral conundrums and makes decisions that may or may not line up with our own ethical codes?

And on a final note, you might want to look into the effect that killing has on people’s mental states. Even if your character feels entirely justified and feels that there’s no other option for her to take, it is a traumatic experience.

This is a pretty big question, and it’s the kind of situation that is going to take a lot of work to get right. So I hope this helps, and if you have further questions, do send them in.

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(As an aside: I understand that there are people out there who only ever watched and enjoyed the RTD era of Doctor Who, and that’s totally fine. But just because you happen like a certain 4-year era of a show with a 54-year-long history, it doesn’t mean that you or that era owns the show now. Many of the departures that Moffat (gasp) made during his run were actually returns to some aspect of the show that existed before the reboot. And I’m not saying that makes them better, either, but I’m just saying that he had a legitimate *reason* for those choices.)

Keep reading

When Chet Baker burst onto the jazz scene in 1953, he quickly came to represent all the contradictions of this often oversimplified decade. Publicly Brylcreemed and clean-cut, Baker was privately addicted to heroin. He achieved popular success, but earned it by playing the hip new style of West Coast jazz and singing with a highly unconventional voice. His crash and burn — drugs, prison, and a savage beating in which he lost his front teeth, ruining his embouchure — only enhanced his legend, and today he is one of those rare men who seem to embody their era.

iamartemisday  asked:

Hi there! I'm taking Italian right now, and we can get extra credit by watching Italian language films and reviewing them. I really love mysteries and horror (but things like comedy or romance are also good), and I was wondering if you had any recommendations? The only stipulation is that they have to be completely in Italian. Thanks!


I love getting asks like these and I LOVE italian cinema you can guess that by my tag about italian cinema.

@iamartemisday​ I’m publishing this because someone might be interested in this.

So ok, Italian cinema suffers from the fact that we lack the economic resources hollywood has, so we almost never have ‘genre’ cinema. Such as Horror movies or action movies, because they are generally expensive and are more nieche than production house can allow themselves to invest into. I’ll see what I can find. I’ll post a bit of genre we cover, even though you might not be interested BUT we italian do not span a lot in terms of cinematic stuff. We tend to stick to single types of movies.


I’m not a great connoisseur of horror and I know it was great only in the 70es and 80es. so we’re talking old school here. I can name a few movies that have reached cult status here:

But yeah, it’s not our most prolific genre. I can’t think of anything else (I know @janiedean​ is better versed than me in horror genre.)


Mysteries is something we’re indeed more in tune with. We like our mystery novels and mystery series. Super weird thing to know, we call the genre ‘Giallo’, which means literally ‘yellow’, if you’re curious as to why I explained it here. (it’s weird and kinda cool). It’s more like… detective stuff than full on mystery/thriller.

  • First thing I recommend it’s not a movie but a tv show with episodes that are movie-long. I know the books were translated and the tv show was shown on the bbc with english subtitles so I’m sure it’s easy to find at least a couple of episodes: Il Commissario Montalbano. Ok he’s a detective in a really small sea-side city in sicily and there’s this great atmosphere and cinematography (despite being for tv) and it’s a love note to sicily and its inhabitants. here a trailer with eng subs. Really we have a fandom for this. I have fanart with montalbano eating caponata. We also once made a series of posts about a wonderful Montalbano/Captain america crossover which is… frankly a thing of beauty. You get TONS of stuff even by watching this one only by the way.
  • Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto by Elio Petri. this is refined shit. it won cannes and an oscar back then

Mafia movies and generally criminal stuff

What we are REALLY big on is mafia movies. Which are usually completely different from hollywood movies about mafia. If you’re interested in a different perspective:

  • I Cento Passi di Marco Tullio Giordana. It’s about Peppino Impastato, who in the 70es who had a radio broadcast and was killed by mafia. It focuses a lot on the period when no one still talked about it. And it’s a really amazing movie if you ask me
  • La mafia uccide solo d’estate by Pif. This one is a dark commedy but I’m not 100% sure it can be understood if you don’t know all the history around that. It’s about a kid who lives in palermo and lives his life and COMPLETELY MISSES all the gigantic stuff that happens around him related to mafia. You sort of need to at least know names like Dalla Chiesa or Borsellino and Falcone to actually know what this kid is missing out… So I’m not sure. but it’s fun though. and his personal history is a romantic comedy
  • Gomorrah by Matteo Garrone is super crude. Trailer here It’s about the modern neapolitan mafia and it’s a novelization from Roberto Saviano’s book about the methods of Camorra (the neapolitan mafia). The movie won at cannes but they made a tv series after that and I have yet to watch it but almost everyone I know say it’s better than the movie: here english trailer
  • Romanzo Criminale by Michele Placido is about a band of criminals who run rampant here in rome called “la banda della Magliana” in the 70es and had tons of political connections. This is another movie where the tv series is actually better than the original…?! I know it makes no sense for me either. I have a special love for this one mostly because I’m from Magliana and everything is set in my neighborhood.

Realistic stuff - drama - neorealism

Ok so what we’re really great with is neo-realism and realistic shit. So we talk a lot about class. and class struggles. and more class. The first and the one who basically made history of cinema (you might find his works in the criterion collection) is Vittorio De Sica. He’s amazing. Bring tissues.

  • Ladri di Biciclette is his absolute masterpiece. It’s about a guy who just found a job after months and months of searching but as soon as he gets it his bicycle get stolen, and the bicycle is the most important thing to have for this job. So he starts looking for it, with his son. 
  • Umberto D. is about a retired guy and his debt and his dog. it’s terrible. that fucking dog. makes me cry every time.
  • Sciuscià is about two kids who work as shoe-shiners
  • La Ciociara is I believe the first dramatic role for Sophia Loren (she mostly worked comedies before then). it’s about a woman trying to shield her daughter from the horrors of war (WWII)
  • Matrimonio all’italiana is slightly more cheerful. just a bit tho. based on the play ‘filumena marturano’ by Eduardo De Filippo it’s about a prostitute who tries to set her 3 sons, economically. she has a way, she tells a rich old client of hers, Domenico, that one of the 3 children is his son, but she won’t tell him which one.

Roberto Rossellini. is another neo-realist director. so expect tears here as well.

  • Roma Città aperta is the absolute masterpiece of italian cinema. Stories about the resistance in Rome during WWII
  • Paisà is a multi-episode movie about stories during WWII

I can go on with this stuff for HOURS but you didn’t ask for drama, so some romantic drama stuff can be:

  • Il Gattopardo which is a cinematographic masterpiece look at this set. Is based during the time of italian’s unification, in the sicilian nobility and its problems trying to adequate themselves to new times
  • Il Postino it’s completely fictional but about Pablo Neruda when he spent a period in exile for political reasons. he didn’t spend it in italy but who cares. It’s about his friendship with a shy postman. Makes me cry every fucking time mostly because it ends in a way it wasn’t supposed to end because the main actor died a couple of weeks before filming ended and he was a really great beloved actor here in italy.
  • Nuovo Cinema paradiso is another splendid one about sicily and the life in a small city and dreaming about cinema….
  • Life is beautiful This is technically a comedy but it’s bittersweet and really a drama. It’s about a father who tries to shield his son and make up stories about the horror of the holocaust while being in a concentration camp with him. It won three academy awards btw.

and now that I look at my recs those aren’t even ‘romantic’ in the sense of boy meet girl… they just have that romantic feeling about it….



Old school comedies are something that really work well still this day:

  • I soliti ignoti by Mario Monicelli might be right there on top of my fave chart right beside some like it hot. it’s a heist movie. if we can call it that. Such an heist.
  • Il Marchese del Grillo talks about a marquis who spend his life playing practical jokes on pretty much everyone, from the lowest poor guy to the pope himself. 
  • Divorzio all’italiana

for something more modern:

  • Benvenuti al sud is nice. it makes fun of stereotypes between north and south italy, it must be peculiar to watch it from an external perspective.
  • Non ci resta che piangere. Time travel commedy…?! it’s about two guys who finds themselves in 1400 (almost 1500!) and they decide to sto columbus to find america because one of the character’s sister had her heart broken by an american and if america is never discovered she won’t suffer, won’t she? makes tons of sense.


Ok this is weird from such a catholic country but we have those.

  • Una Giornata particolare by Ettore Scola with Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni. It’s about the day Hitler came in visit in Rome, everyone is out the street and the palace where the story is set is empty except for this desperate lower class housewife and this intellectual who’s about to be deported to sardinia for being gay
  • Le fate ignoranti Antonia’s husband just died when she finds out he had a lover, so she decides to seek her out. Except that her late husband lover is Michele, a guy who works at the farmer’s market and she get sucked in this lovely community of friends.
  • La finestra di fronte is basically food porn from end to finish. I’m not even sure how to talk about it. it’s about gay bakers in fascist era. this one’s kinda sad.
  • Magnifica presenza is about this wannabe actor who lend a REALLY CHEAP HOUSE only to find out it’s infested by the ghosts of a company of 1930es theatre actors. still a lgbt movie btw. Also really funny.
  • Mine Vaganti talks about this southern family from a really closed off little city. One day one Tommaso gets back from Rome and tells his brother Antonio he wants to come out with his family. at dinner. Bad Idea. So Antonio decides to come out first and since that fuss at the dinner table made and Tommaso is stuck with his family, playing hetero. 
  • La Bestia nel cuore
  • I’m going to fit in here Il Giovane Favoloso as well. fight me. Leopardi/Ranieri OTP and I’m sure the director thought it as well. This is about one of our most beloved literature figures. I’m sure it will get you plenty of points in class btw. Leopardi was a poet from the 19th century, he was really sick and spent his whole life studying in his father’s library. Also this really isn’t a lgbt movie BUT WATCH IT AND THEN TELL ME IF THERE WASN’T SOMETHING THERE. I’ve been saying that since high school.

and… Superhero?!?!?!??!

Yeah well, APPARENTLY. but a single one unfortunately. 

Last year a movie came out that was……? I don’t know, celebrated as the return of italian cinema to ‘genre’ and won like every single movie prize you can win here in italy and venice and frankly you can ask anyone who saw it they’ll tell you that’s better than anything marvel have done until now and they better step up their game.

  • Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot by Gabriele Mainetti. If you need a reference is much more on the lines of netflix’s superheroes. It’s heavily contextualized in Rome and its really poor neighborhoods and the main character is a porn-addict low level thief who fall into the river Tiber where radioactive waste were in and comes out with superpowers. And the villain is another low level drug kingpin wannabe with tons of monetary problem and who want to make it big. After failing to be a pop star (THIS is the villain ok? I love him. he has SO MANY PROBLEMS)

So, what you can understand now from italian cinema: we like dramas. and mafia stuff. and lots of drama. Which maybe it’s not what you prefer but I hope I’ve given you enough movies to choose something. 

I was also a tiny bit stopped by practical stuff like “will you be able to find it subbed in english?” and several comedies couldn’t be listed because they are very untranslatable and would fall flat for international audiences… 

And I didn’t even cover the political shit. that a whole other can of worms I won’t subject you to…. I’ll wait for @janiedean‘s reply on horror stuff. 

Chet Baker by William Claxton.

William Claxton was a talented and successful photographer before he met Chet Baker in Los Angeles in the early ’50s. Baker was a fairly successful solo artist before Claxton began photographing him. As a result of their collaboration a jazz star was born and Claxton came away with some of the most iconic photographs of the era.