this movie..it's like every time you see it another part resonates with you

Why Moonlight Deserves Best Picture Over La La Land

After getting a recent message from Tumblr user @fewger and reading a bunch of Oscar-related articles, I have discovered that I hold the semi-unpopular opinion that Moonlight deserves Best Picture over La La Land.  So, I feel obligated to go to bat on this, so let’s have a chat, y’all.

The debate between La La Land and Moonlight brings me back a year to last year’s Grammy Awards, where the Album of the Year award was given to Taylor Swift’s 1989 over Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, a move that shocked many.  One hand, you had a collection of pretty well made pop tunes that can make even the most Swift-cynical person, like myself, tap their toes.  1989 was a fun album with a lot of celebrity gossip theories and some admittedly great songs.  On the other hand, there was the magnum opus that is To Pimp a Butterfly, which blended together modern and older styles and used some daring techniques to paint a poetic, detailed picture of growing up in places like Compton while struggling with race, mental illness, and self-identity.  In this album, Lamar provided a glimpse into a lifestyle that many of us will never ever experience or truly understand and was unafraid of showing the ambiguous morality of this life.

My, this is all starting to sound a little familiar, hm?

The thing is, it’s true that La La Land is a feat of filmmaking. Honestly, just getting the green light, producers, and the big budget it had was a huge task in and of itself.  As it is, the musical numbers are impeccably executed, from cinematography to choreography to music and lyrics, and it’s damn charming to boot.  I genuinely love and enjoy this film, and God knows I don’t like to knock Chazelle, whose previous feature, Whiplash, was an intensely personal experience for me.  However, what La La Land accomplishes, it does with a pretty decent budget, whereas Moonlight accomplishes more with next to nothing. Hell, even the musical moments of Moonlight have as much, if not more, impact than many in La La Land, from the “Every N—– is a Star” opening (just another element it shares with Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly) to the heart-wrenching impact of “Hello Stranger” to the haunting moments created by the chopped-and-screwed score.

Now, let’s hit the two biggest, most noticeable (even to an untrained eye) elements of filmmaking: performances and story.  Moonlight shines brighter in both.

In La La Land, Gosling and Stone have both achieved quite a bit.  They’ve learned to dance in all sorts of styles, sing, and even, for Gosling, learned piano from scratch.  These aren’t easy tasks, I’ll grant you, but when you look at the actual acting performance that marries these elements to the characters, it’s just not very exciting stuff.  Gosling and Stone have great onscreen chemistry, but these characters aren’t a departure for them.  Stone is basically playing a slightly different version of herself, while Gosling is just great at being Gosling.  (And this is in no way me throwing shade at Ryan Gosling; the man is a damn delightful actor with incredible comic timing.  I genuinely love his work.)  So, there’s not a real acting challenge here, just a bunch of side challenges.  However, this is the kind of performance for which the Academy goes crazy, where transformation is achieved through a means that is not really acting.

Meanwhile, Moonlight is built on a foundation of superb, nuanced performances from a cast of smaller parts.  There are beautiful character interpretations from Ali, Monaé, Harris, Holland, and the three Chirons (Hibbert, Sanders, and Rhodes).  These actors are directed superbly by Jenkins, so much so that none of the actors playing Chiron ever met before or during filming to discuss the character, but still play him with an uncanny similarity. It’s ingenious directing, and the actors’ work is transformative, moving, and worthy of reward.  However, most of them, except Ali, will go without.

Now, we come to story, which we all know if the most crucial element of a movie.  Without a good story, it’s not going anywhere.  And it’s definitely where Moonlight proves its importance over La La Land.

La La Land is about a couple of privileged dreamers in Los Angeles who sacrifice relationships for their goals. Let’s be honest, guys: this isn’t at all original.  I can think of many films, shows, songs, other musicals, even musicals within other musicals, etc. etc. with a pretty dang similar, if not identical, concept behind them.  And yeah, we’re all dreamers, and yeah, we can all find something relatable in the wonderful feeling this film conveys of wanting to fulfill your dreams.  However, the self-centered, self-praising nature of this film makes it an easy choice for Hollywood people, whose egos demand to be stroked and whose backs need to be patted.  Meanwhile, Moonlight brings a cinematic voice to a kind of person we rarely see onscreen.  We watch him grow, learn, lash out, hide himself away, and, finally, accept and, in doing so, love.  It’s a gorgeous tale that resonates deeply with anyone who’s struggled with who they are, and Chiron is a vulnerable character within many of us can find something of ourselves.

Someone once said that all cinema is, at its core, about identity.  Moonlight has a way of opening the audiences’ hearts and touching them where they’re most vulnerable.  Its story is strikingly universal.  On the flipside, La La Land, while perfectly executed, resonates with a very specific group of people.  Moonlight is original, singular, impossible to categorize.

La La Land is for some; Moonlight is for all.

That’s why Moonlight should win Best Picture.

Exclusive Interview: Dustin Lance Black (and his husband Tom Daley) in Paris!

It was just before their surprise wedding, on May 8th: TÊTU met the director Dustin Lance Black and his fiancé, the diver Tom Daley.

Dustin Lance Black was the surprise guest of the Mania series in Paris. The filmmaker, Oscar winner in 2008 for the screenplay of Harvey Milk , came to defend When We Rise , his mini-series tracing 40 years of LGBT activism in the United States from the early 1970s to the present. On this occasion, TÊTU met exclusively the 42-year-old filmmaker to discuss his series, of course, but also the future of militancy and his next projects. While at her side, her husband, British Olympic diver Tom Daley, was watching …

TÊTU: Your series When We Rise is aimed at an audience that knows nothing about the LGBT movement but about homosexuals, right?

Dustin Lance Black: Together! The show has been designed for a large audience but LGBTQ community members do not know much about their own story! That’s why I said yes to ABC. In recent years, I have received several proposals from other networks to work on similar projects. We would surely have had more money, more time, but in the end we would have preached converts! We would have addressed a public already sensitized. For ABC, it was necessary to build a series that people who are not from the LGBT community are able to understand. That’s why When We Rise does not start with LGBT activism, but with young people who campaign in feminist movements, for peace or for civil rights …

You were not afraid that ABC, Disney’s chain, would water down the series?

DLB: I wanted to work with them! I heard a rumor that they were trying to develop a project around LGBT issues. I asked to meet with the leaders of the chain to see if they were serious. When I realized they were, I told them “I’m going to need a year of research,” which is very long for them. They said “no problem”. It was inspiring because ABC was the only channel I had the right to watch when I was a kid. I grew up in a Southern family: Conservative, Military and Mormon. ABC was the only channel my mother let me watch because it is a family network. This show is the opportunity to touch children who, like me younger, may feel alone in the world. It is even the only reason to do it! You know, Nobody makes money with this kind of project. If you do this job for big checks, go write movies where the guys wear capes!

You started working on When We Rise long before the election of Donald Trump and yet the series resonates terribly with what is happening today in the United States. Or with what could happen in France …

DLB: Or in the UK with the Brexit! (He turns to Tom Daley) It’s your fault Tom, you started this bullshit!

Tom Daley: I know! (Laughter)

DLB: More seriously, I started writing the series four years ago. At that time, we were experiencing a very progressive and exciting time in the United States in the evolution of LGBT rights. And already at the time, I was afraid. Fear because we, the people of diversity, had lost our connection to each other. Yet there was a time when we were all in solidarity. Not only the LGBTQ, but also people who pray for another god, people from other countries, people whose skin color was different, workers … But we ended up dividing. Thunderstruck by our own struggles. We have forgotten that we must also fight for our brothers, for our neighbors, as well as for us. To say that is not politically correct. It’s being smart! If minorities do not work together then we will be easily defeated! My series puts forward several ideas, but one of the most important is that each of us on this planet, in your country as in mine, we are part of a minority. It only depends on how you divide the cake. What you can snatch from your neighbor, you can get him out tomorrow. No one is a majority. This is what When We Rise is talking about , though it is seen by the LGBTQ prism in the United States, but we can also make a comparison with the struggles of diversity here in France or England. We are part of a minority. It only depends on how you divide the cake. What you can snatch from your neighbor, you can get him out tomorrow. No one is a majority. This is what When We Rise is talking about , though it is seen by the LGBTQ prism in the United States, but we can also make a comparison with the struggles of diversity here in France or England. We are part of a minority. It only depends on how you divide the cake. What you can snatch from your neighbor, you can get him out tomorrow. No one is a majority. This is what When We Rise is talking about , though it is seen by the LGBTQ prism in the United States, but we can also make a comparison with the struggles of diversity here in France or England.

Condensing 40 years of LGBT history in 7 episodes is a real challenge …

DLB: And if we remove the ads, there is only 6 hours of program! I have a lot of rushes, maybe one day I would make a director’s cut! (Laughs) But there are tricks to get by. The first is to be very strategic and very determined on the story we want to tell. The challenge is not to tell the life of every person in the LGBT movement, only a handful of them who created a family in San Francisco to survive homophobia. It is their history, their perceptual. There are other LGBTQ heroes whose lives have not yet been told, many struggles that have never been described. I heard the frustrations of LGBT people telling me “you have not talked about this person! From this place ! Of this struggle! Instead of annoying me, it made me very happy. I said to myself, "Okay, I laid a frame, your turn to tell these lives! People begin to understand the power of history. This is something we have not had so far in the LGBT movement: a popularized and easily accessible story.

Can we see your series as a response to Stonewall , the film by Roland Emmerich, to whom many have criticized taking too much freedom with the reality of the riots in New York?

DLB: Let me tell you one thing: Roland is my friend. He has donated a lot of money to a number of causes, particularly in favor of LGBTQ youth in Los Angeles. He saved heaps of lives and I love him. So I may not be the right person to ask this question … He made me read a version of his script and I told him what I thought. When I was researching When We Rise , I had interviewed Stonewall survivors. Two have since died. I sent the recordings to him and said, "These interviews are yours. You can do whatever you want. In a way, I see how he got closer to what I sent him but I also see how he got away from it … But in the end, it’s his film. I often tell my film students, When it comes to writing about a true story: each filmmaker must decide how much he wants to twist the truth before filming. I want to twist it as little as possible.

Is that why you want the activists whose lives you depict to be consultants on the series?

DLB: I try, as far as possible, to interview myself the people who have lived the things I want to tell. I do not like to rely on books or interviews. Interviews are often edited and a book is always the point of view of its author. When I write, I want to come closer to the truth to create an essential story. For opponents of equality will always try to say: "None of this has happened! And I refuse to give them that power. Even before the series was broadcast, American ultra-conservatives were already saying "this is all wrong! I was able to answer them: "The people who have lived through these events are there to tell you that everything is true. You will not snatch our history from us! ”

You wrote Harvey Milk , J. Edgar , Part 8 , Now When We Rise … Are you the one-man man: LGBT history?

DLB: I started as a screenwriter for series like Big Love , where I was mainly talking about my Mormon education. I’ve also produced, Prophet’s Prey , a documentary about the Mormon Church and I will soon begin a mini series with Ron Howard, Under the banner of Heaven . This is another side of me, which has nothing to do with my homosexuality but it remains related to my experience. To be an artist is to be endowed with a history. The more complicated the better! (Laughs) And the more one puts oneself in a narrative, the more it becomes universal. For example, at this time,

Why are you looking at Tom?

DLB: Because Tom is the symbol of romance! (he smiles)

TD: And I’m the star of his film!

DLB: Do not say that, it’s going to make the front page of all the English tabloids! I would like to make this film next fall. And I also work on a biopic by Byron Rustin (a close adviser to Martin Luther King), who was also gay, for HBO. There is so much to tell because LGBT history has been buried for so long. Women’s movements or for racial equality have had the right to films! And it gives people inspiration. Thanks to them, they feel less isolated. All this work has not taken place on LGBT history. Forty years ago, in the United States, you were at risk of electroshock, lobotomy or prison treatment just for writing this story. We lost time because at the time, to do what I do today, the price to pay was too high. And if my mission is to rectify that,

When We Rise episodes are available on Canal Plus Series

Still falling for you

Originally posted by iii-miranda-iii

MASTERLIST x

Pairing: Pietro x reader

Summary: Adorable Pietro pretty much says it all

Word count: 1.222

Warnings: None! It’s fluffy time!

A/N: Wednesdays are for one-shots! And in case you’re wondering, yes, it’s loosely inspired by that song from Ellie Goulding.


“Hey speedster!” you shout exasperatingly from across the kitchen. You had been completely absorbed in the process of fabricating yourself a black coffee with a river of cream since Steve made it before his morning run and the little shit likes his poison way stronger than you do. It was then that Pietro decided to steal your precious toast away from you, snatching it from your plate and speeding off towards his room.

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Further thoughts on Scorsese’s ‘Silence’

My first post (not really a review as such) was just a few initial impressions hurriedly typed up as soon as I returned from watching Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ on Tuesday. I was rather overwhelmed, therefore, by the positive response to it – almost 900 shares on social media so far. Thank you! 

Once again, in what follows, there will be ‘spoilers’ so do not read on if this bothers you.

Since then I’ve had a chance to talk to my Dominican brothers about it, have a few online discussions, and in between working on my STL thesis I’ve had time to reflect a bit more. Part of what I really enjoyed about this movie is that it engenders lots of discussion and it’s of sufficient complexity to warrant several interpretations of its themes and ideas over a multitude of disciplines. A friend of mine, an anthropologist who I met in Oxford, made a particularly astute observation which I’ve since developed a little bit, and I thought it might resonate with other people’s observations of the film perhaps.

This time my focus is on the main character of the story, Padre Rodrigues, who is the antihero of this movie for me but his story highlights an area of Christian spirituality and moral theology that is seldom talked about. It seems to me that the story of Rodrigues could be seen as a parable of God’s pedagogy; a story that tells of how in the mystery of divine Providence one is led through sin by grace from vice towards virtue. 

St Thomas Aquinas in his Commentary of 2 Corinthians notes that “pride, properly called, separates from God and is the root of all vices and the worst of them”. And we see how Padre Rodrigues was in danger of falling deeply into this vice. Firstly, a certain arrogance led him to Japan – he was very sure of himself and confident that he would be able to rescue Padre Ferreira. He was also very sure of his faith and his fortitude. But faith is a gift from God, and fortitude even to the point of suffering martyrdom is an infused virtue. In other words, these virtues do not come from our own efforts but are received in humility from God. Pride, however, as St Thomas says is “an inordinate desire for one’s own excellence” and if one seeks such excellence independently of God, then, St Thomas says, “he can even fall into other vices, such as ambition, avarice, vainglory and the like”. Hence, for example, Rodrigues exhibited ambition – he longed for the glory of finding Ferreira – as well as vainglory – he loved too much, perhaps, to be revered and be indispensable to the villagers and so he easily succumbed to being lured out of hiding because he believed he was needed. I grant that he may not have acted out of these vices but as a priest I recognise how subtle and prevalent these spiritual vices are for us. 

Certainly, Padre Rodrigues’ vice of pride becomes evident in his contempt for Kichijiro. As an aside, let me observe that Kichijiro is presented as a somewhat comical figure but, as I think about it, he is an interesting figure of the habitual sinner and I can recognise myself in him. Through weakness and habit, many will fall into the same sins repeatedly, and each time we go to confession with regret and contrition. However, if we step back and look at ourselves, I think we will also recognise something comic in this. And the ability to laugh at oneself and one’s stupidity when falling again and again into the same sin can be a good thing. It can lead to a certain humility for it is said that the Devil never laughs because he takes himself too seriously; he’s too full of pride and self-regard. 

In any case, as Kichijiro comes to the priest for confession yet another time after having stamped on the image of Christ again, we hear Rodrigues’ interior monologue. Shockingly, just before giving absolution to Kichijiro, Rodrigues expresses his prideful disdain for the Japanese apostate. And yet, humility would remind us that any good we do comes about because of God’s grace, including our avoidance of sin and preservation in virtue. His grace prompts, sustains and brings to perfection every good work, and we are co-operators but without Christ we can do nothing (see John 15:5). Therefore, St Paul says: “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God – not because of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph 2:8-9). It is in this moment that we see the height of pride that grips Padre Rodrigues. And so begins the divine pedagogy in which God applies a remedy against pride.

As we say, “pride comes before a fall”, and so, Padre Rodrigues falls into apostasy. Many people have commented on the apostasy of the priests in ‘Silence’ but I do not think that the movie encourages it, even though it might provide an apologia for it. Rather, it seems to me that Padre Rodrigues is allowed to fall into the sin of apostasy - for which he had once held Kichijiro in such disdain - and they become, as it were, kindred spirits. Indeed, they become friends and companions. Padre Rodrigues is thus humbled by his fall into apostasy and in taking on this sin, he begins to empathise with the tragicomic figure of Kichijiro. And empathy is the first step towards friendship. 

Now I say that God allows Rodrigues to fall into this sin because it is by God’s permissive will that we sin. God doesn’t directly will that we sin, of course, but because he desires that we have free will and so learn to love the good and the true, so, in his Providence, he permits sin. Moreover, God desires that we learn to love and so there is an intriguing thread of Christian spirituality that recognises that sin is part of the divine pedagogy because we learn from our mistakes, so to speak. I first came across this idea as a novice and it has stayed with me. In ‘The Way of the Preacher’, Simon Tugwell OP observes that “sin itself is a form of suffering, which, paradoxically, purifies a man”. This teaching he traces to St Irenaeus, “for whom sin is an important aspect of divine pedagogy – not that God actually instigated sin directly, but he set up the world in such a way that sin was extremely likely to take place, and could be treated as one possible way of making Adam realise his dependence on God. It comes to be fairly standard doctrine that God permits people to fall into the more obvious kinds of carnal sin as an antidote to pride”. Hence, St John Damascene says in ‘De fide orthodoxa’ that in God’s Providence, a man might be “allowed to fall at times into some act of baseness in order that another worse fault may be thus corrected, as for instance when God allows a man who takes pride in his virtue and righteousness to fall away into fornication in order that he may be brought through this fall into the perception of his own weakness and be humbled and approach and make confession to the Lord.”

So, too, St Thomas in his Commentary on 2 Corinthians says that “God sometimes permits his elect to be prevented by something on their part, eg: infirmity or some other defect, or sometimes even mortal sin, from obtaining such a good, in order that they be so humbled on this account that they will not take pride in it, and that being thus humiliated, they may recognize that they cannot stand by their own powers”.

It seems to me that Rodrigues is definitely humiliated and humbled by his sin of apostasy. For he effectively loses his priesthood, and as a notorious apostate he becomes something of a freak show for Japanese and Europeans alike, whose only friends are his fellow apostates. From the moment of his apostasy, we see him in a bit of a daze, practically speechless, and totally dispirited; unenthusiastic and robotic in his censorship of imported Christian materials. It seems he descends into a death-like silence and in this silence perhaps he finds the One who he once accused of being silent. This idea of the kenosis of Christ whereby he encounters the sinner in the depths, in any event, is proposed by the theologian, Hans Urs von Balthasar, who had been a Jesuit.

It is from the depths of this nothingness, it seems then, that Rodrigues can learn to depend once more on God and his grace. This is what his clinging to the little Crucifix appears to symbolise. In the end, finding himself to be weak and undependable, he depends totally on the Crucified One, or at least, clings to him for mercy. And, if we think about it, isn’t that the one great spiritual lesson each one of us has to learn? For as St Benedict said: “we descend by self-exaltation and ascend by humility. And the ladder thus set up is our life in the world, which the Lord raises up to heaven if our heart is humbled”.

Awkward Animation Episode 1: Loren Bouchard’s Bob’s Burgers

As the first 13 episodes aired on Fox, there didn’t seem to be a place for this 22 minute animated show. Though the potential was there from the beginning, it was covered by a fog of uncertainty. Quickly that fog cleared as the episodes and seasons rolled on, and nowLoren Bouchard’s creation has grown into one of the most well loved, Emmy award winning animated shows on air today.

“I love the fact that you get a family and a workplace all in one”

I think it’s fair to say Bob’s Burgers has never been the ratings smash we fans know it deserves, but creator Loren Bouchard relishes the way droves of fans walk along cosplaying Tina and Louise annually as he walks through Comic Con. Fan content and the constant praise online gives Mr.Bouchard great fulfilment.

“You put something out in the world that means something to somebody, that’s pretty great. I wouldn’t trade it.”

Loren always desired to ensure the show’s setting and characters are relatable, giving off an almost nostalgic feeling where the viewer would link the town, restaurant and people to an environment they themselves grew up in. I know for a fact that many of us relate to the over the top embarrassing Mum and the monotone un-funny Dad. Loren Bouchard has stated many times about how the more believable and ‘lived-in’ shows are, the more fun it is to watch, leading to a ripple effect:

“Jokes land better, stories track better and you’re on solid ground”

The high school dropout turned Creator’s hope from this show has certainly resonated with us, proven by the numerous comics, recipe books, music albums and most recently a fan-art driven season premiere.

Connection with fans is not the only bond which helps make this animated comedy an unforgettable 22 or so minutes. The end credits has a very musical feel, to say the least. Ingrained into the DNA of the series, Bob’s Burgers is a very tuneful show. Used throughout episodes, the use of song in the animation clearly enhance the creator’s belief of how music and animation together can complement each other so incredibly well. Take the 1990 Disney films as proof. The lyrical animated Disney animated features are still popular and remembered fondly among families today. Bouchard takes inspiration from this and believes that deepening that connection can be done perfectly to the point where one cannot exist without the other.

Most songs are worked on at the very last minute! “Sometimes the day before we have to mix the episode songs are created”

There’s often a lot of flubbed notes and kind of just general silliness”

Another aspect of the show’s production that push the show into a realm of unique comedy is the fact that the recording sessions are done together in a group session. Bouchard favours this to single recording sittings as he feels that it gives the show that spark of naturalism and interactivity which is seen in the episodes and in the behind the scenes clips floating around the internet.

“You will have so much more fun, and, hopefully, you will be able to put that one the screen at the end…it’s a little like herding wild animals, but in a good way!”

Arguments seem to be a big part of the show, with each episode putting across characters disagreeing with each other in the most sarcastic and sometimes over-the-top manner. Creator and Writer Bouchard enjoys sarcastic dialogue and those verbal people who want to talk things out in whatever way. These characters are written methodically and fabulously well. How were these characters born?

“The real key ingredient is actually coming before the writing. It’s the casting”

Casting people who could embody the characters was the important aspect when looking for voice actors. Bouchard knew exactly who he wanted as the linchpin of the show… H Jon Benjamin. Having worked with the man with the most monotone voice in TV since the creator started producing shows, he didn’t hesitate to get Jon on board and build the show around him. Dan Mintz as Tina, John Roberts as Linda, Eugene Mirman as Gene and Kristen Schaal as Louise. You just need to see a few clips on the internet to get why they indeed are the voices behind the characters.

“The DNA for the character is already in the voice and in the spirit of the actor that we’ve hired to play that part”

Into its 8th season and with a Bob’s Burgers movie in the works for 2020, I think it’s safe to say that Loren Bouchard’s vision for a show about a family working in a burger place has reached and broken the expectations that were set out originally. Almost a cult-like following, 22 minutes of clever subtle comedy combined with simple animation and wonderful music gets my awkward self laughing and relating to every line.

“If something you’re making really connects with fans, that’s incredibly satisfying”

Ending with the great words of Bob Belcher… Ohhh my goddd

Wandering Souls

Day 1 KLAROLINEAUWEEK : Fusions & Crossovers

OUTLANDER AU.

K&c don’t interact with Claire and Jamie. They’re also not really Claire and Jamie, but there are some similitudes with a strong Klaroline twist. Also, Randalls became Lockwoods. Not really Outlander canon either, just Outlander Universe.

Angst. Violence. Language. 

Although it was originally intended as a one-shot, and I ended it in a way so that it can still be read as that, I’m feeling inspired, and like it needs a continuation, so, if you like it, stay tuned for a second part! After Klarolineauweek ends most probably.

PART 2

Enjoy !


 « Eerie, isn’t it ? » a distinctly male voice abruptly brought her out of her contemplation.

Caroline threw a quick glance towards the man walking up to her, then looked back down, from her perch on the balcony, at the dancing, joyous pairs moving through the castle’s Great Room, the fires in the various hearths scattered in all the corners of the space to combat the wet cold winter seemingly never ending here in the Highlands, the unfamiliar smells of food and beverages that wouldn’t even be remembered centuries from now, the swirls of the tent-like skirts women were forced to wear below the excruciating tightness of their corsets, and the swirls of the kilts around the men’s knees proudly displaying the loyalty to their clan, their allegiance to their Laird.

And, she supposed, it really was eerie. Although, she guessed the man now standing next to her didn’t find it so for the same reasons she did. At least not from her perspective as a 26 years old woman from the 21st century that suddenly traveled through time and landed in the 18th century, right in the middle of Scotland.

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can we talk about how important the role of trust is in sam and steve’s relationship?

steve meets sam in a time during his life when trust is the pivotal theme: namely, that he’s finding it hard to have any in the people around him. and yet this man with a friendly smile, the one who runs the same path every morning, disarms steve from their first interaction. maybe it’s the resonance of the shared experience that sam invokes. maybe it’s the easy grin or the undemanding way he asks about steve’s experiences. maybe it’s the fact that he’s even asking. but right from the start, steve seems to trust sam.

in fact, steve trusts sam enough to take sam up on his invitation to visit the VA, after a particularly vulnerable excursion to the smithsonian. there, sam shows he trusts steve, too. they both take turns disclosing painful and intimate truths for only their second interaction. sam talks about someone he has lost. steve talks about the direction he has lost. and neither man has any expectations of the other. just the need to talk, and the willingness to listen.

and then, of course, comes the bigger test: steve, under tremendous duress, trusts sam to seek out his help. with no one else to turn to, it’s sam who becomes steve’s safe haven. and sam trusts steve enough to accept the danger and risks, to believe he’s innocent of whatever he is running from. make no mistake–captain america comes with collateral damage. but the faith and loyalty sam puts in steve is apparent from this moment on: maybe not unconditional, but amazing in its totality.

when steve and nat need help in tws, whose do they accept? sam’s. to the point of trusting this man they’ve essentially just met with other people’s lives, not only their own. the vulnerability of letting someone in a pair of metal wings lift you up when you’re falling—that’s huge. esp since sam has mentioned that he carries guilt for watching his last partner fall out of the sky—like he was just up there to watch. but steve, king control freak, gives up this control with ease, trusting sam to catch him and have his back under a rain of gunfire. the important part of this shared trust is that despite sam’s appreciation of captain america, when it’s steve and sam (and it is mostly always steve and sam) they act together as equals. steve trusts sam’s counsel and support. and sam puts his trust in steve’s mission.

steve trusts sam to be his partner in the most harrowing of fights. he trusts sam to be his friend in the most secret of searches. he trusts sam to join his team and help him bear the burden of saving the world. steve doesn’t trust a lot of people. but when he does—he does. like nat, sam is someone who sees the man behind the mask, and who has chosen to share vulnerable places of himself too. and in doing so, they’ve forged a bond that is really, really crucial.

the fact that steve says, “you don’t have to do this,” and sam’s response is only, “i know. when do we start?” is so telling. same when sam asks steve if he’s thought things through, when he asks steve what they should do. steve’s response is always some variation of fight, and sam knows that means he is going to have to fight too. and he chooses to do so. he chooses to fight with steve. he isn’t being coerced. he’s doing this bc steve is his friend and he has faith that whatever he’s doing, he’s doing bc he needs to and he shouldn’t do it alone. the loyalty, the affection, the sheer strength that comes from their shared convictions and support of one another—their friendship is so real!!!! and so deep!!!!

from hydra to bucky to the accords to bucky again. being captured and put in the raft, beaten because he wouldn’t give up steve’s location…tony sounds apologetic when he mentions that sam doesn’t have to trust him, because he knows sam is steve’s best friend!!! and is looking out for him!!! that smile when he’s rescued in the end because he knew steve would come…sam has shown the crazy levels of trust he has in steve and the crazy levels of trust he has earned from steve in return.

in fact, my favorite moment in the last movie (aside from the fact that SAM IS AT PEGGY’S FUNERAL WITH STEVE!!!!! SUPPORTING HIM!!! STEVE TRUSTS SAM TO SEE HIM GRIEVE!!!) is when steve asks sam, “what should we do?” because they’re outnumbered and sam is sacrificing himself and the rest of the team so steve and bucky can get to the quinjet. he trusts steve will make it. and steve, lost and unsure, asks for sam’s guidance, bc he trusts sam will have a plan.

i just have so many feelings about how much faith and certainty these two men find in one another and how obvious it is without being showy or heavy handed, how pervasive it is in their littlest gestures and the way they interact. 

sam and steve and trust!!!

Sherlock Holmes has appeared on screen so many times over the past 100+ years. Because of the sheer amount of Sherlock Holmes adaptations, it can be hard to figure out what to watch and where to start.

Because of this I’ve narrowed down some of the best of the film and TV adaptations over the years. I’ve included the name, year, main actors, a brief summary, why it’s so good/important, and a trailer, if applicable. Please enjoy.

1. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (TV 1984-85) [Jeremy Brett as Holmes and David Burke]

  • The Granada Holmes series remains today one of the most faithful adaptations to ever exist, and Jeremy Brett holds the title of The Definitive Holmes for good reason. This first season holds faithful to some of the best and most well-known stories that Conan Doyle wrote, beginning with Irene Adler and ending with the Falls of Reichenbach.
  • Definitely the best Holmes adaptation to date-Granada came the closest to adapting every canon story, and did so with minimal changes for the most part. Brett remains today one of the best loved Holmes’ of all time. It also casts Watson as the faithful friend and wonderful, smart man of the canon, something other adaptations would sometimes struggle with. It’s beautifully filmed and has an amazing soundtrack that fits Sherlock Holmes perfectly. A definite staple of film and tv for the Holmesian.
  • Trailer

2. The Hound of The Baskervilles (1939) [Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Watson]

  • The first and arguably the best of Universal’s Sherlock Holmes films. An adaptation straight from the HOUN book, with minor changes and alterations. Unlike the majority of Universal’s Holmes films, Hound of the Baskervilles is set in Victorian times instead of modern day.
  • This film marked the beginning of an era for Sherlock Holmes movies (and also for a bumbling Watson). Rathbone is sharp and truly amazing as Sherlock Holmes, playing him as cutting and cunning as ever, but still with the kindnesses of Holmes that people enjoy. Although perhaps not some of the most faithful Holmes films, these still remain classics and some of the best in many people’s eyes. (my pick was Hound simply because I couldn’t decide on my true favorite–if you like this one, definitely see the rest of the films)
  • Trailer 

3. Sherlock (2010-present) [Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman as Watson]

  • Sherlock is a modern updating of Conan Doyle’s original series, and has gotten VERY popular, VERY quickly all over the globe. Although all the cases have modern twists to them and changes, Many of the plotlines, characters, dialogue bits, and other things come straight from the canon.
  • This series is truly proof of how far Sherlock Holmes has come since the Victorian age and the date of his creation. And definitely proof of a character living way beyond his years. Sherlock is a definite masterpiece, no other word to describe it. Brilliant and clever writing, beautiful cinematography, an incredible soundtrack, utterly fantastic casting, and in the hands of two very devoted and loving Sherlock Holmes fans. The entire series is brilliant and has an amazing storyline that proves why Holmes is so popular as a detective story, but also why the title transcends the genre and becomes more about the detective himself. (My pick is definitely series one, and A Study in Pink for the best episode, but definitely watch the entire series).
  • Trailer (A Study in Pink)

4. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) [Robert Stephens as Holmes and Colin Blakely as Watson]

  • An amazing and affectionate take on Sherlock Holmes, the man behind the legend and the public image. The film’s plot starts as Holmes is being asked to have a child with a Russian ballerina (Johnlock shippers will enjoy his reply), shifts to a case of a woman washed up in the Thames and brought to Baker Street, to sightings of the Loch Ness monster, to pre-WWI spies.
  • There’s alot of information and plot strands in this film which makes it very interesting for films scholars and Holmesians alike. However, its loving, if somewhat nearly parody-like, portrayal of Holmes is very amazing to watch. It’s a long but beautiful movie and definitely an influence for many of the Holmes films that follow it.
  • Trailer

5. The Great Mouse Detective (animated, 1986) [Basil of Baker Street and Dr David Q Dawson]

  • Based on the books of Eve Titus, The Great Mouse detective is a very loving and family friendly film and does an excellent job of keeping the spirit of Sherlock Holmes while translating the characters to the world of animated mice. Olivia Flaversham’s toymaker father is taken by Rattigan (the mouse world’s Moriarty). She meets Dr Dawson and together they go along with Sherlock Holmes in an attempt to find out what Rattigan is planning with the toymaker for his nefarious schemes.
  • For many people, this was their first Sherlock Holmes movie, and they don’t remember it being so until they revisit it later in life. It is as much a perfect film for kids as it is for Sherlock Holmes fan’s. The characters are based heavily on Rathbone’s Universal films of the 30’s but also do their canon counterparts very great justice.
  • Trailer

6. Sherlock Holmes (TV 1954) [Ronald Howard as Holmes and H Marion Crawford as Watson]

  • A VERY often underrated Sherlock Holmes TV series, but an adaptation faithful to the spirit of the original canon. There are 39 short episodes in the series, each with slightly simple and often comedic plots.
  • The friendship shown between Holmes and Watson (and often Lestrade) is the real reason to watch this series. The love and affection these men have for each other is outlined brilliantly in their bickering and teamwork and banter. However silly the plots are, the real gem of the series is the characters themselves. Definitely one to watch if you want to relax and just have deep feelings for a friendship that’s lasted since the Victorian age. All the episodes are currently available on youtube.
  • Wikipedia page with episode list and summaries 

7. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson (1979-86) [Visaly Livanov as Holmes and Vitaly Solomin as Watson]

  • Widely regarded as the best Sherlock Holmes and a definite fan-favorite, this Russian series is absolutely incredible. It’s very well done and very faithful to Sherlock Holmes and the spirit of the original series.
  • One of the few series to feature the meeting between Holmes and Watson. It’s a Russian series, so subtitles are a must unless you speak the language, but as always, it’s a series that the Holmesian will enjoy and should see as part of their background. 
  • Trailer

8. Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) [Nicholas Rowe as Holmes and Alan Cox as Watson]

  • Teenage Sherlock Holmes and John Watson meet at a boarding school and are thrust into a mystery when a teacher is murdered, his last words breathed to Holmes “Eh-tar”, leading them to a secret group right under their feet.
  • For fans of boarding school/college aus, this is the perfect movie. Watson’s slightly out of character, and Sherlock has a love interest, but the casting and the writing are both spectacular. The soundtrack rings of adventure and echoes that same feeling from the original stories. It’s an interesting look at what may have happened if Holmes and Watson had gone to school together. (to this day remains my favorite Sherlock Holmes movie)
  • Trailer

9. The Seven Percent Solution (1976) [Nicol Williamson as Holmes and Robert Duvall as Watson]

  • The film takes on another explanation for Holmes’ three-year absence and the Moriarty problem, as well as delving deep into Holmes (here) drug addiction and offering a glimpse into what could have been the detective’s childhood. Based on the book by Nicholas Meyer.
  • Although not one of my favorite Sherlock Holmes films (not by a mile), it’s a very interesting take on the detective, and a very Freudian look at him (literally). The book and film are often very widely known among the Holmesian community and the film is definitely a classic worth seeing on anyone’s Sherlock Holmes journey.
  • Trailer

10. Sherlock Holmes: Baker Street 221b (TV 2013) [Igor Petrenko as Holmes and Andrei Panin as Watson]

  • Another fun Holmes series from Russia, this time very modernly done. It’s a new and different take on Holmes and Watson and their friendship, but still very respectful to the spirit of the characters, the friendship and the original stories. The two meet by accident at the scene of a murder, and from there, the story begins.
  • As far as I’m aware, there were very mixed feelings about this series, but I think it’s an amazing piece of work and a worthy addition to the Holmes Legend. Unfortunately, the actor who played Watson died, so it’s unknown if we will be seeing any more of this series. Watson is very much a fighter and a tough guy whereas Sherlock is very much more brains then brawn. (seriously good series)
  • Trailer

11. Sherlock Hound~Meitantei Holmes (1984-85) Japanese Animated cartoon; English dubbed.

  • Another series aimed more for children, but one that resonates well with Holmes fans. It shows deep affection for the original characters while making everyone animated dogs. Sherlock Hound is kind and smart; Dr Watson is loyal if somewhat clumsy. And Moriarty is nefariously evil for a children’s series, somehow behind every crime that Hound must solve. The beautiful Mrs Hudson often plays large parts in the episodes as well.
  • A definite high recommendation from me. The cartoons are very beautifully made–Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli fame apparently was in on the early production stages. 
  • Opening Credits | Wikipedia Article

12. A Game of Shadows (2011) [Robert Downey Jr as Holmes and Jude Law as Watson]

  • Another film with mixed reviews from the Holmesian community, this is the second of (so far) two films directed by Guy Ritchie. It can be seen as a sequel to the first or on it’s own. Holmes is preparing to face his arch nemesis Moriarty, whose plans involve him having a very big stake in the first world war. It is up to Holmes to figure out Moriarty’s game and stop him. Much more action based then mystery based, which isn’t always the best for a Holmes film, but it works well here. Also of note is Holmes’ and Watson’s FANTASTICALLY played relationship/friendship, now challenged by Watson’s wife, Mary.
  • Very much in the same vein as the first film, but for me, this movie is much more in the spirit of the original stories, with much more action and violence, of course. Downey Jr may not be the perfect Holmes, but he’s a very funny and adept one, adding new quirks and mannerisms to the Holmes arsenal. Jude Law is a fantastic Watson, and for Moriarty and Moran fans, this is probably the perfect film. Very high up on my favorite Holmes adaptation list and definitely worth the watch–if not for the Holmes aspect, then simply for the pure fun and excitement of the movie.
  • Trailer
Cinema and Its Ghosts: An Interview with Jacques Derrida

Antoine de Baecque, Thierry Jousse, and Jacques Derrida

Interview conducted July 10, 1998 and November 6, 2000 in Paris. Transcribed and formatted by Stéphane Delorme.

   When a philosopher admits to a “hypnotic fascination” with cinema, is it just chance that his thought leads him to encounter the ghosts haunting dark theaters?  —Cahiers du cinéma

Keep reading

FREE! ETERNAL SUMMER EVENT REPORT (EVENING SHOWING)

SO YOU WANTED A FREE! SEIYUU EVENT REPORT WELL HERE YOU GO!
POINTS OF INTEREST:
1) There will be a Free! Movie called High☆Speed: Free! Starting Days
2) High☆Speed will have a manga
3) Haru/Rin Mook is in the works
4) There will be apparently be several more Free! Seiyuu Events this year
5) Zakki said there is still “a lot more to look forward to”

Now, for details of the event, FYI I will be referring to the characters’ names if they are meant to be in-character or using the actor’s real names when they’re not supposed to be in character.

Actors:
Zakki: Haru
Tattsun: Makoto
Mamo: Rin
Hosoyan: Sousuke
Hirarin: Rei
Tsubasa: Nagisa
Suzuken: Momo
Miyata: Nitori

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maryjabassa-deactivated20171021  asked:

suicide squad is SO GOOD i want to watch it like another fifty times in the theaters. obviously bvs is a masterpiece of the highest order but susq is filled with love just as much.

IT WAS SO GOOOOOOD I LOVE THE FUCK OUT OF IT!!!! Like BVS, I’m going to refrain from saying how many times I’ve seen it since it came out lol AND I’M GOING TO TALK ABOUT IT BC I HAVEN’T MADE ANY LONG COHESIVE (LOL me cohesive lol no) POST ABOUT IT. ARRRIGHT LETS DO THIS.

Being familiar with Ayer’s kinetic style, *I was looking forward to this sine it was announced. He has hip-hop and the urban infused in his very character driven movies. He likes movement and color and sound in a way that is very antithesis to Snyder and what I mean by that is, Snyder (with Larry Fong) is very still. He likes movement, color and sound too (my GOD sound is such a character in Snyder movies), but he also loves long shots, wide perspective, and slow motion. Ayer is everywhere without the single shaky camera aesthetic (I appreciate this so much bc shaky camera drives my migraine addled brain crazy). He loves close ups and movement. There’s a shot in Harsh Times where Christian Bale’s character just gets out of a car and walks up to a house and the camera moves around him in such a way that I legit rewinded like ten times because IT WAS SUCH A GOOD SHOT and literally nothing happens. He’s just walking. BUT IT’S SO GOOOOD GODDAMN.

ALL THIS TO SAy: Suicide Squad is getting a lot of shit for its editing and strange pacing, BUT IT TOTALLLLLY WORKS FOR ME. bc this kinetic type of style fucking works for a movie that clearly wants to hold on to its comic roots, that follows characters who are in always reeling in a way. I’ve only read SOME suicide squad, but I read a lot of comics, and the disjointed ness of panels and the juxtaposition of character/art/pages is constant (if it’s good I mean), and that’s what suicide squad felt like. The way BVS felt like an epic graphic novel come to life, suicide squad feels like the 50 page intro follow up, kinda like how rebirth reintroduced everything.

ONTO THE MOVIE ITSELF

FIRRRRST bc it’s one of the more bizarre complaints: THE MUSIC IS BEAUTIFULLY WOVEN INTO THE STORY. The score is brilliant. At first it didn’t resonate so much with me like the MOS/BVS score, but after playing it on constant loop, it’s gorgeous and funky and weird. THE ADDITIONAL MUSIC IS BRILLIANT. BRILLIANT. i hear hot topic like all the fucking time associated with this movie and fine, whatever (why are people so fucking pressed about this to begin with? like, hey, don’t be an asshole?), but my goodness THIS MOVIE IS HiP HOP ALL THE WAY and i knew going into it that it’d have some bc Ayer LOVES hip-hop. Let’s just break down the first three songs used to introduce the emotional backbones of the movie, floyd, harley and amanda (bc you can do this with all the music used and this post is gonna be long)

Floyd + House of the Rising Sun = Oh mother, tell your children///Not to do what I have done//Spend your lives in sin and misery//In the House of the Rising Sun (I hate bringing in cut scenes bc they don’t count until there’s another version relesed, but there’s literally a scene with floyd looking out at the sun ya’ll

Harley + You Don’t Own Me (little sidenote: i own a lesley gore record lol): You don’t own me//Don’t try to change me in any way//You don’t own me//Don’t tie me down cause I’d never stay (she’s HANGING from the bars and um, the ending lolololol)

Amanda + Sympathy for the Devil: Pleased to meet you//Hope you guess my name//But what’s puzzling you//Is the nature of my game

???? IT’S SO FUCKING EXTRA lol

AND THESE ARE JUST BITS OF LYRICS. All the songs work the same way! Culminating in the final scene when the score itself is remixed with Led Zeppelin’s Kashmir. IT’S SO LOVELY and if someone says hot topic they’re just ignoring the pure classic/pop/hip-hop infused into this movie. They’re literally wrong. lol

SECOND and i’m only going to stay here for a little bit bc lol. Enchantress is, yes, a generic villain. BUT HOLY HELL HOW MANY GENERIC CBM VILLAINS HAVE WE HAD? A BILLION. HOWWWW MANY OF THEM WERE WOMEN? I’ll wait lol. And how many of them are actually part of the main story, with attachments to a main character? how many of them are actively trying to recruit the heroes over and over AND OVER AND OVER and offering them something valid? when harley went to her in the end, the first time I REALLY HAD DOUBT I WASN’T SURE SHE’D STICK WITH HER FRIENDS AND THEN SHE DID AND I WAS ALIIIVE. i love enchantress. i love that her generic villainness has meat. that she feels and is dangerous. i love that she is a clear juxtaposition to the villain-heroes and that THEY EMPHATICALLY REJECT HER.

THIRD: my beautiful beautiful beautiful CHILDREN. my squad. my babies. my loves. yes, more could’ve been done with the squad like katana and cros. BUT WHAT WE GET IS SO WONDERFUL. everyone is fleshed out to some degree (even joker! leto’s performance i liked  but won’t talk about bc fuck joker lol), everyone has unique quirks. everyone feels and is different. everyone contributes to the climax. they’re dark, dark, daaaark characters, but the thesis of mos/bvs holds: we must stand together. we must fight. WHEN GIVEN THE CHANCE, WHEN GIVEN COMPANIONSHIP, THE SQUAD PERSEVERES

and this movie IS extra, imo, same as mos/bvs. it has so many layers, so many things to unpack, so many character beats to disect, so many dynamics to love and to abhor, to study. so many visuals for my visuals loving eyeballs. the actors brought they’re fucking a-game. not once in this movie did it feel ashamed to be what it was, and that is a movie full of batshit crazy people finding something in each other, even if its undefined and weird and chaotic.

I LOOOOOOOVED IT 

*totally forgot to add: i do not really care too much for marketing, and watch trailers once (or try to, i broke this rule for wonder woman), because it’s all misleading. i follow promos through tumblr, and avoid clips. and never, ever, ever EVERRR read reviews. it’s important not to be too saturated by a movie, any movie, so this definitely added to me enjoying a lot more. i’m a firm believer of seeing the movie first before diving into the internet swamp for it. and this isn’t just for suicide squad. i did it for bvs, too, and for every movie i see in general because i go to the movies A LOT.

What Michfest Means to Me

“You walked alone, full of laughter, you bathed bare-bellied. You say you have lost all recollection of it, remember … You say there are no words to describe this time, you say it does not exist. But remember. Make an effort to remember. Or, failing that, invent.”

Monique Wittig, from Les Guérillères

I’ve long harbored these suspicions that a lot of what I think of as “me” is a reaction to my conditions. As a trauma survivor, I have not only wondered at what I would be like without my damage, but have worked like hell to find out, as much as that’s possible.

 As a survivor, I am a huge success story. I was a dissociated, addicted, intimacy-avoidant self-harming agoraphobic with obsessive/compulsive behaviors and a messy interpersonal life, to put it kindly. For many years now I have been dramatically recovered–clean and sober, stopped self-harming, am able to travel widely and love hard, and am high-functioning with the exception of some anxiety.

All of the work I’ve done to get here has benefited me, of course—my life has been transformed by it. And yet, the knowledge of my own power had always remained hovering somewhere around me, nebulous, never quite touching my skin. While I had accomplished all of this healing and integration before I ever set foot at Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, I had not glimpsed the truth of who I really am and what I am truly capable of, until I got to the Land.

I was not crushed by my anxiety at the Festival. I did not feel awkward. I knew there was nothing wrong with me. Knew this.

On the Land, the power I’ve been cultivating for so long dropped down to reside within my body for the very first time. I glowed with it. It rose off of me like electricity.

 In mensland, one of my worst anxiety triggers is public speaking. At Fest, I co-presented a workshop called Detransition Perspectives. I spoke to a larger-than-expected audience of women about some of the most intimate details of my life: words not easily spoken to the most trusted therapist, sponsor, lover, or friend. I heard myself projecting these words with casual authority to a crowd of women I’d never met before, in trust. And I could trust them. It was not that they all knew, from direct experience, what I was on about. It was that they were listening and empathizing so hard, with so much love, that their care was palpable. They were not an audience but witnesses. They spread their wings over me in shelter. They cried when I couldn’t afford to. They held space for me. They cared.

In fact, they received my trust and accorded me respect and even a kind of status for having offered it. Status does not operate in a familiar way on the Land, but apparently one way it can be attained is by offering generously and intimately of yourself. Have you ever felt that your life was being wasted, sucked out of you? Have you felt that what is yours uniquely to contribute is wasted on the world at large? That you labor too long and for no real purpose? That what is true and beautiful in you is lost on the people you’re surrounded by? At Fest, what you give is received so open-heartedly. What you are matters and is seen.

When Nedra Johnson sings in her brilliant new song, August Moon, “We know we are love,” that is not a platitude. However it may sound to cynical ears outside the Land of the Living Matriarchy, this is the fundamental truth of Michigan: nothing I had ever experienced in my life prior to the Festival prepared me for the way that I was treated there. I have never in my life been so loved, respected, appreciated, cared for, listened to, and held–as a whole, complicated, messy, difficult, jagged Self. At Michigan, for the first time, I was not indigestible. I was not a contaminant. Nobody sought to “normalize” me in any way. I was held, as-is, without judgment or expectation of change. There was no sense that I was “too much,” too intense, too dykey, too loud, too mouthy, too strange, too anything.

Norms don’t function, at Michigan, the way they do in mensland. I had assumed that at Michigan, norms might be reversed; i.e., where straight is the norm out here, lesbian would be the norm at Fest. It’s true that there are far more lesbians than straight women at Fest; it is true that this culture is lesbian-feminist by origin; but it’s not true that the norms are simply reversed. It’s not a preservation of existing power structures with a simple exchange of nouns; it’s an entirely different way of norming altogether. At Fest, the norm is multiplicity. The norm is that there are always more than two sides. The norm is that there is room for you, me, her, them, her, her, her, and her–to all be valid and real and respected. Contradiction and conflict are not a threat. There is no scarcity of legitimacy, so it’s not made into a hierarchy where you have to fight each other to win it. There is a bedrock assumption that women will not throw each other away over their differences, even when they are painful to navigate. I would say that the bonds are more familial, but I have seen the nuclear kind of family explode over far less. On a related note, it generally sucks to be the “only” of something in a group, but I actually found even this type of experience to be palpably different and less hopelessly alienating at Fest.

Another critical difference between mensland and Michfest is the music. There is a reason womyn’s music gets treated as a joke out here. Out here, music can be a lot of things: entertainment; an aesthetic badge of belonging within a subculture, where the aesthetics are supposed to convey a message about your identity; the sonic equivalent of art to match a sofa; the receptacle for your entire emotional experience which is disconnected from every other part of your life; or, rarely, something closer to religion. At Fest, that last meaning is brought into play in an expanded way, a way that is not divorced from the rest of the culture of the place, but that acts as its fully integrated, beating heart. The artists at Michigan are not “the entertainment;” they are something like Priestesses. Again, you are not engaged as a passive audience, but as witness and participant. These women are the soul of the Place, and some of its most powerful leaders. They create with each other in a way that conjures ideas of alchemy–they transmute reality. Simply, they are making magic and inviting you in. Across genre, the performers practice a deeply female art, and it is indescribable. Elemental. Outside of time, and resonant in a way that feels ancestral. This is more like what music was before it was ever recorded, before it was ever supposed to make money, before it was about ego in any way. It really doesn’t matter if you think you “like this kind of music” or not. It is holy, and it changes you. It was so transformative that I now understand “the Land” in a different aspect, more of a verb—it is the ground that grounds us; the place where we can finally Land—into our individual and collective bodies.

That grounding, rooted in deep self-knowledge of female realities, is born of the continuity of female knowledge and power built over the Festival’s near-40-year history. It turns out that when you stop demonizing your elder women or patronizing them as ignorant dinosaurs, and you go hang out with them in the woods instead–they show up and mentor you in ways you thought only happened for boys in novels and movies. Real mentoring. How they managed to convey what they did over the course of a measly week is beyond me–but the Old Womyn of Fest went to bat for me, showed up for me, paid a higher quality of attention than I’ve ever known, and fed me–emotionally, spiritually, conversationally, with their creative offerings, and with steak cooked rare so that I was well nourished while doing heavy warrior work. And they did this not because it’s old women’s job to be caretakers, but because they were inviting us in, with pride, to take part in what they’d built–because they know that what they have fought to make is worth passing on, and they want to invite our hands to help carry it forward into the future. I used to dream about this kind of support and offer of legacy, but I’d met enough of my former heroes to consider it a pipe dream. Come to find out, sheroes are another matter entirely. I had so much support that it was hard to absorb. I can’t overstate the impact of being surrounded by packs of wild, brilliant, gorgeous, Old women.

So much of female socialization is the kind of trauma that precludes any sense of a future. To see wild Old women in a state of matriarchal nature is a phenomenal antidote. They showed me a future worth having. They gave me so much to admire–the toughness born of their resilience; the way they’ve honed their skills at listening, thinking, loving, politics, life; the way they’ve deepened into themselves; the way they inhabit their bodies; their attunement to their strengths and limitations. All of it was beyond beautiful and it moved me somewhere entirely new.

When I was a teenage Leslie Feinberg fan"boy,“ I read that essay she wrote about Michigan. The language about border policing and wrong bodies made me feel so afraid. I believed what everyone in that scene said about Michfest–that they’d panty-check anyone who seemed "off” or “wrong”–and if there was one thing I dead knew about myself then, it was that I was the embodiment of “off” and “wrong.”

Without getting too personal, I grew up with a significantly atypical female body. In my “queer” subculture, I was taught–and I believed–that I would not pass muster to enter the supposedly purist gates of the Fest, on this basis. This is not to mention that with Leslie Feinberg making the critique, there was also the implication that if you didn’t comply with directives on male-defined “femininity,” you would not be welcome. I believed the lie that a gender-defined space was required for my liberation. But the fact is, where the focus is “gender” I will always be relegated to the position of human Rorschach blot. In fact, at Fest, where the boundary is sex-defined, I find the only possible space to be free of that burden.

This is the thing I have to say about what the Festival’s Intention means to me: as a female outlier living in mensland, I learned over and over that I was Wrong, and that I could not belong. Not woman enough, not man either. Because men define these things a certain way. A woman is not just an adult human female–oh no. Men have a lot more parameters than that! And it’s never enough to be a woman, you have to be the “right kind,” too. The rules for what makes you “right” enough are always changing, of course–it’s a moving goalpost on purpose to keep us all off balance, constantly checking ourselves. They are the ones running the world like a gauntlet of panty-checks and whole-body-checks, besides–let’s be clear on that. They are the ones drawing borders and policing them. They are the ones leaving so many women out in so many kinds of cold. 

At Fest, there is no wrong way to be a human female. The entire goddamn point is for as many human females to gather as possible so that we can see the richness of our diversity, all of the different ways that a woman can be. Because of this, Fest is the ultimate HAVEN for female outliers–physical outliers, “gender” outliers, dykes, and other Others–as much if not more than it’s a haven for women who fall squarely into what mensland recognizes as such in an uncomplicated way. 

Got a beard, a mustache? You’re not alone at Fest–lots of women will be wearing theirs openly, and plenty more will admire you–not despite it, either. Pass as male without T and without even meaning to? Welcome home; nobody will question your belonging here. To the contrary of the “panty-check” rumor, Fest is one magical place on earth where you will not have that “restroom moment” ANYWHERE. You know, the moment where some freaked out lady tells you that you’re in the wrong place and you feel you have to flash your boobs at her or talk so she hears your high voice or show her your ID so she knows you are not a man. For a detransitioned woman especially, NONE OF THE ABOVE MAY EVEN BE AVAILABLE OPTIONS ANYMORE in mensland, so it makes this Place absolutely unique in its ability to hold women of this experience. 

It is possible to transition medically to the point where the general world will not ever recognize you as female anymore, or at least–not easily. At Fest, you can still be seen and recognized as a woman, if you just show up. In fact, contrary to the rumors, there are really only two laws of the Land–one, nobody can drive a vehicle over 5 miles per hour; and two, nobody can question anyone else’s gender on the Land.

There is no “WHAT ARE YOU?” at Fest. Fest is The Place where your very presence answers that incessant, eternal question so you never have to.

Oh. Except for one thing: because I know that some males decide to deliberately violate the intention of the gathering, I looked with suspicion at some of the other women there. I scanned their bodies for signs of femaleness, to calm my nervous system. That is SUPREMELY messed up. That is exactly how I hoped nobody would regard me. But because some males insist on showing up at Fest in violation of the intention, they sow this seed of doubt and fear. This hyper-vigilance that I could otherwise lay down actually went on overdrive–because if you are a male who deliberately violates female boundaries, then you are exactly who I am most afraid of, for very legitimate reason, regardless of your “gender identity.” And I say this not out of ignorance, but direct experience, including being an erstwhile member of the trans community. Sex is real and it matters; all males who violate female boundaries scare me. I will never feel safe around that behavior; I do not want to be coerced to attempt it. In that attempt I lose my very breath. In the words of poet Dionne Brand, “If I am peaceful…is not peace,/is getting used to harm.”

When I listened to Nedra Johnson sing, “First time I came to Festival, I learned I’d always been afraid/Finally laid that burden down; I could not believe the weight,” I so wanted to experience that feeling. I know how heavy this one is for me. That fear has been with me for longer than I can remember. It is older than language, in my body. But that’s not the burden I got relieved of; because I knew that there were some males present who clearly, demonstrably felt entitled to violate female boundaries. So I still carried that fear on the Land. Not as much as out here–I went for late night walks on the Land. But I didn’t go alone and I didn’t go unarmed. It made me sad that this felt necessary, but the violation itself is traumatic enough, regardless of any additional actions. That said, I took heart in knowing that I was surrounded by many women I would trust to respond appropriately if I needed help. That’s worth a lot. It is a material difference.

And I did get to put something very heavy down on that Land. The burden I got relieved of was shame about my body. So when I sing along to Nedra’s song in my T-scarred voice, I sing, “First time I came to Festival, I learned I’d always been ashamed.” I hope Nedra doesn’t mind the liberty I take with her lyric. I truly could not believe the weight of the shame I let go of There.

Being atypical, I really did not believe I belonged in the category of “female.” I grew up thinking I was a monster. It is really hard for me to talk about my body anyway, but when males, on the basis of their trans identities, claim to have been female from birth; when they talk about their bodies as outlier female bodies (for example, when they say their dicks are “just very large clits,” or when they say, “I am just a DIFFERENT KIND of female with a different KIND of female body,”), it actually becomes impossible for me to name my reality at all. They are using the only words I can use to explain my experience, and they are using them to mean the exact opposite of what I need them to mean, in order for me to be sayable, to even be thinkable. What they reserve for metaphor makes my literal naming incomprehensible. Regardless of “gender identity,” what they actually are is male; what I actually am is female. To deny this only makes any redress of our actual, specific grievances, impossible. And the distinction matters to me in large part because it was so brutally difficult for me to get to the point where I could know that I am female—that my differences may sometimes put me at a margin, but that I still belong in this word. That I am just as much a standard as any other female, in my way. I have known this intellectually but it is different to be at Michigan, mirrored by many other Selves who teach you by their Being. Now that I finally know this, not only in my mind but from within all the borders of my own body, I want to scream, “You cannot stand in the exact spot I am standing in without standing on me.

On the internet I don’t bother too much with this because I can’t prove I’m an atypical female rather than a male telling tall tales; on the Land it was different. Women saw me; they recognized me and they understood that what I said was true. They knew it was truth because truth Lands differently than bullshit. They heard my story and they knew I was talking about another variety of female socialization, not male projections, stories, lies, or narratives of any kind. There is a difference. The conflation of male trans experiences with the experiences of female outliers and with intersex people is erasure by appropriation. Many males with trans identities use intersex as a talking point for why they belong on the Land, but it really has jack-all to do with their argument and I suspect they know it. Women with AIS or CAH (for example) haven’t been protesting for inclusion on that basis; such a protest would be incomprehensible, because these experiences are already inherently part and parcel of the Intention. The boundaries of Fest are not identity-based, but about material, sex-based reality; providing haven and healing on that basis. Understanding women with intersex traits/conditions/DSDs as belonging There–if they themselves see it that way–is a given. Like I said, if anything, atypical and outlier women of all kinds have an even greater degree of haven.

So–outside of the mistrust and suspicion that is sown by males who deliberately violate the female boundaries set by Fest, there is no WHAT ARE YOU on the Land. What you are is a womon, and a sister, and the daughter of this Place. I say daughter because this Place acts like every idea you never let yourself have about a real Mother Goddess; every idea you never let yourself have because you needed Her too much to let yourself feel that when you didn’t believe that need could ever be met in this life.

You know that old therapy joke, If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother? You know how the national pastime of the USA is mother-blaming? You know how you have this well of bottomless need that you want to put on your mom even though she’s just one person doing the very best she can and it’s never going to be good enough? You know the old saw about it taking a village to raise a child? 

Can you imagine being held in the kind of security that comes from being mothered by something outside of the bounds of time and space that constrained your human mother? Can you imagine being mothered by something that isn’t passing on patriarchal damage along with life-giving milk? Can you imagine being mothered by something that doesn’t require you to cut off pieces of yourself in order to receive the care you need?

I don’t have to imagine this anymore; I have known it. And because of this I can start to glimpse for the first time, flashes of an answer to questions like, “Who would I be if I had been raised with perfect love and support?” “Who would I be if I had not been harmed and twisted?” “Who would I be if I had never been measured against a toxic standard?” “Who would I be if I had not grown up fearing rape?” “Who would I be if I had not had to spend so many years on simply trying to survive, heal, and recover?” Those questions start to get a lot less rhetorical, in light of Fest. The nourishment seems to be unbound by space/time limitations–it seems to reach back to all of my past selves who most need to be fed.

What I am left with is this bitter question: “Who would I be if I had not been lied to and kept from this Place for all these years?”

I believe I would be speaking and singing in a voice nobody will ever hear again, a voice I altered with testosterone instead. I believe my body would be more typical for my chronological age, and not frequently disabled by chronic pain. I believe I would have had the chance to manage and learn the logic of the odd hormonal balance I carried before I disrupted and obscured it by adding T. I believe I would speak from the position of having recovered my sense of bodily integrity, instead of living with the knowledge that I colluded in my own erasure by medical “normalizing.” I believe I would be a hell of a lot less alone.

It is not possible to really know how to love yourself with abandon and without condition–until you have been loved that way first. And I have been loved that way–courageously, with the imperfect but divinely-inflected human love of the womyn of Fest, but also–perfectly, by the Fest Herself. She is more than the sum of Her parts.

I was not a “woo” person before this experience. I thought it was creepy that people capitalized “the Land.” I thought it was weird that people talked about Fest with female pronouns like a person. I thought it was all kind of corny and embarrassing. But this isn’t any sexy pagan/martyr mommy/flowy robes/demure white lady/Giving Tree/“holy tit”/pushover/has-a- male-consort Goddess I ever heard of before. This is the Lioness who eats the faces of her enemies; this is the All for whom we are never too much; this is the butch Goddess who only consorts with Us; the dyke Goddess who knows and needs our hearts; this is the best of us all, made electric by connection; the incredible gift woven of so many women’s lives; this is, as Staceyann Chin put it, “our collective cunt.”

This is finally Landing at Home, in Family, Tribe, Belonging, Self, Wholeness, Integrity, Truth and Trust. I don’t care if I sound like Dr. Bronner. This is real. 

And I don’t care which dumb Gay, Inc. or sham “lesbian” organization (*cough* NCLR) tries to make it “wrong.” I need Her. We need Her. And She will go on, powered by Us.

What r9kElsa Means To Me

I first started reading r9kElsa Is Suffering in the latter half of February earlier this year. I was browsing tumblr, looking for some Frozen fan-art, listening to “Let It Go” on repeat. I had just seen the movie and I was feeling thoroughly hollowed-out, like somebody took a big ice-cream scoop and just had a go at my soul. They must have been pretty hungry because I was pretty empty at that point.

It was the fan-art that stuck out to me first. A lot of it was Elsa in a hoodie sitting at a computer. “That’s funny,” I thought, “that’s exactly what I’m doing right now.” How little I knew how little that was.

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2

The Voice Inside Your Head Part 4

Parts 1-3

*Demon Jack Gilinsky*

She drums her thumbs on the steering wheel absentmindedly to the beat of some pop song leaking out of the speakers. He bobs his head nonchalantly. They’ve been driving for roughly 3 hours and 4 minutes with no specific destination in mind. That’s the beauty of a spontaneous road trip- you can’t get lost if you have no direction. It’s simply an impulsive adventure.

 A faint smile ghosts over her lips, her eyes focused on the road stretching out in front of them. This is the most at peace he’s ever seen her. She looks at serene. She looks content. The dark lenses of his sunglasses have done their job of concealing his gaze. She may not be so at peace if she knew he was watching her instead of the scenery beyond the car window.

“Can I ask you something?” Jack breaks the silence.

“Sure,” her eyes shift to him for a moment.

“What’s your family like?”

“Huh?” her eyes widen in surprise.

“You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. I was just curious,” he mumbles a bit awkwardly.

“No it’s alright. Uhhh my family is pretty typical I guess. Stable two-parent household. I’ve got a younger brother and sister. I had everything I ever needed growing up. We weren’t rich, but we were financially secure. It was a loving environment, but as I got older the more I wanted to be on my own. I had no reason to want to leave other than this insatiable craving to know what else was out there beyond all I had ever known. My parents were sad to see me go, but they also respected my decision. What about you? How did you, uh, grow up?”

“Based on the look on your face, I feel the need to assure you I wasn’t hatched from an egg. My mom died a few months after I was born-“

“You had a mother? A human mother? So you’re a cambion?” she quirks an eyebrow.

“Someone knows their demonology,” Jack chuckles, “By definition, yes, I am a cambion.”

“So…then who’s your father?” she inquires.

“That’s a conversation for another day,” he frowns slightly.

She nods obligingly, letting another silence slip into place.

 

The rest of the drive is filled with silence, but it’s not a heavy kind of silence. It’s a silence that is almost comforting. It’s a silence that softly brushes your cheek- soothing without having to announce its presence.

Suddenly she pulls off the road into a forest thick with trees and other vegetation. She lets the car idle, stretching out her limbs as her feet come in contact with soft moss. You don’t fine scenery like this in the city- this is pure and undisturbed nature at its finest.

 She reaches back into the car to turn off the engine before climbing into the backseat to reach for her camera. Jack watches her with a twinge of amusement, removing his sunglasses because the plethora of tress blocks out the harshest rays of sunlight.

“Why did you ask me to come with you to the middle of the woods?” Jack asks, turning in a circle.

“Well, Sam and Nate are too hyperactive for a place like this. They wouldn’t appreciate it and they would incessantly whine until we left. But you’re pretty chill. And you seem like you would appreciate something like this,” she shrugs, adjusting the lens.

“Are you suggesting that I have some redeeming qualities? Such as my appreciation of natural beauty?” he gasps in faux shock.

“Yeah, sure,” she laughs, shaking her head.

“Nuh uh. I wanna hear you say it,” he moves to stand in front of her, blocking her shot.

She sighs, looking up at him. “You’re alright, Jack. You’re alright.”

“Thank you,” the corner of his mouth twitches with the hint of a smile.

He walks away from her, turning to the side. His gaze follows the form of the colossal tree, only stopping when he cannot crane his neck back any further. She lines up her focus to be on the break in the trees where the sun peaks through just the tiniest bit, but the boy accompanying her catches her eye. She changes the angle of her shot to put Jack in the frame, letting his figure be the focal point. The image materializes on the screen, making her smile. A warm glow surrounds Jack, his stance is relaxed and pensive. Everything about the picture is beautiful. It might just be one her favorites.

 

“Is this something you used to do often? Before I came around?” Jack asks as he hops from stone to stone in the stream.

She leans back on her elbows, trying to keep Jack in the center as he jumps around.

“Hold still for sec,” she commands.

He stops his motions, his haze lingering at a particular ripple in the water.

“Alright I got it. And to answer your question, yes, I used to do this all the time,” she sits up straight, setting the camera down.

“This exact forest? Every time?” Jack asks, leaving the stream to sit beside her.

“Yeah. It used to be inspiring, but I think I came here so much that I exhausted it of its creative abilities.”

“So then why are we here now?”

“I thought that maybe I could change the way things looked if I introduced a new element,” she explains.

“And?” he presses.

“I was right,” she grins, falling back.

He twists his neck to look down at her. Her hair is fanned out around her and her eyes are closed. A relaxed smile stretches her lips. It was never supposed to go this far. He was never supposed to talk to her. A boy too good for hell, too bad for heaven, and too selfish for earth was never supposed to find solace in the presence of anyone. He was meant to wander alone until the loneliness made him cruel enough to be worthy of his father’s time.

“We should probably head back. It’s getting dark,” she sits up, raking her fingers through her hair

“I like it here,” he frowns.

“So do I, bud. But it’s time for us to reenter the real world,” she grips his shoulder to hoist herself into a standing position.

“I don’t belong in the real world,” he says almost inaudibly.

“And here I was beginning to think that you belong wherever I belong,” she teases, starting for the car.

“You’ve seen one to many romantic movies,” he laughs, following her path.

 

The ride back to the apartment was anything but silent. They blasted the radio, screaming along to the lyrics and mumbling the parts they didn’t know. If they weren’t singing they were laughing, and if they weren’t laughing they were singing. For the first time in 6 months she was completely unaware of what time it was or how long it took to get back home. For the first time in six months, she was living in the now.

They jog up the stairwell, too engrossed in their conversation to pay mind to anything other than each other. She fumbles in her bag for the keys to the apartment when she notices a figure at the corner of her door. She shrieks, backing up into Jack before her mind registers what her eyes are seeing. A low groan resonates in Jack’s throat.

“Sam? What are you doing here?” her head spins.

“I wanted your opinion on my new portfolio. What are you doing out so late? Who is he?” he gestures to Jack. Both boys’ faces mirror each other’s own vague distaste.

“You couldn’t have waited to show me at work? Why didn’t you call or text me first?” She looks back at the demon standing his ground behind her, “and this is my friend Jack.”

“I figured we could watch Netflix or something after. I did call and text you,” Sam informs.

Her face scrunches up in confusion as reaches for her phone. Airplane. Damnit.

“Sorry, my phone was on airplane,” she holds it up to show him.

“No harm done,” Sam shrugs.

Jack snorts, only loud enough for her to hear.

 She regrettably leaves her position in front of Jack to unlock the door. Something about him being visible to someone other than her just didn’t seem right. As much of a nuisance as he was in the beginning, she was beginning to like having something in her life that was solely hers. Something she didn’t have to share with anyone.

She pushes the door open quickly. Desperate to escape the suffocating tension in the hallway, but the boys follow her in, the tension coming with them. She places her belongings on the table in the kitchen as Sam and Jack seat themselves on opposite couches.

“So, Jack, where are you from?” Sam asks tensely.

“Hell.” Jack deadpans.

“Michigan!” she interjects, “Hell, Michigan.”

 She glowers at Jack and he smiles in return.

“What are you doing here then?” Sam asks.

“I’m a film student,” Jack lies smoothly, “And I assume your next question is going to be pertaining to how we know each other. We met at the park; I was working on a panorama while she was photographing passerbys.”

A small flicker of movement outside the window catches Jack’s eye. She and Sam pick up the conversation as he zones out. He was waiting for this. He knew if he stayed too long this would happen- he had become so hopeful that maybe it wouldn’t. Maybe he could just have this one thing. But there’s no such luck for the wicked.

“Sorry to interrupt, but I have to get going,” Jack stands up abruptly, heading for the door.

She scurries to her feet, following his retreating figure.

“Is this about Sam?” she whispers as she follows him into the hall.

“Actually no. Although I’m not too fond of him either,” he grimaces.

“So then why are you leaving?” she tries to hide the whiny undertone to her voice.

“Never thought I’d see the day where you’d be begging me to stay,” his eyebrows raise in amusement.

“I am not begging,” she retorts.

“Yeah yeah. I’ll be back later,” he leans in to kiss the top of her forehead.

And she lets him.

 He’s gone. The warm place on her forehead where his lips were a second ago is now cold- colder than the rest of her body. His exit now feels like ripping off a Band-Aid. She’s never seen him walk away. She’s never had to stay in place while the back of his head becomes more distant, more out of reach; the slow tearing of the adhesive off skin until he’s out of sight completely. Instead he’s there and then he’s not. But his quick departure does nothing to quiet the sound of his voice echoing inside her head.

Part 5

*not my gifs*

In The Name Of Your Father

TITLE: In The Name of Your Father

CHAPTER NO./ONE SHOT: Chapter Nine

AUTHOR: wolfpawn

ORIGINAL IMAGINE: Imagine Loki is training recruits for a war that Asgard is in. Every house has to send one man to fight in the army, but your father is too old/ill to go, so you disguise yourself as a man to save him from certain death. Basically something resembling the Disney Movie of Mulan.

                                    Chapter Nine

The ground shook under your feet as rock and ice crashed onto the portal, even from over a kilometre away. You watched as snow plumed into the sky, hoping the princes would succeed in their quest safely. Standing between Hogun and Fandral, you kept your eye both on where you knew the Princes were supposed to come out from and for signs of any Jötnar which you felt may come to investigate the noise.

Finally the crumbling of rubble ceased, and there was silence for a moment before you heard a noise that sent a shiver up your spine. Your eyes darted side to side as you looked around.

“Bjórrson, is there a reason as to why you seem to be shaking like a leaf? You would swear you were after seeing the Valkyries with the look upon your face.” Cnut sneered at you. You did not respond.

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Boy In The Shadows*Michael Clifford

Phantom of the Opera AU*
writer: 
Idika (It’s been so long!)
writings   if you’re on mobile, click for masterlist

A/N: So if you haven’t watched Phantom of the Opera (you should probably watch it, its like my all time favorite musical (along with others) on this earth so I EXTREMELY RECOMEND IT IF YOU LIKE MUSICALS) but if you haven’t watched it, its about this phantom dude who lives in an opera place in a cellar and falls in love with this girl and like she doesn’t like him because she’s in love with this other dude. I’m gonna spare you the details so you can watch it but I’m gonna twist this au a bit. Michael is the descent of the phantom and Christine. Enjoy :)

The Opera Populaire. One of the most famous opera places in France. You were aspiring your music career and it just so happened that you were currently on a field trip to France to visit.

“Y/N!! The rumors are fake. Don’t be  wuss.” Your best friend, Clara, said. You chewed your lip lightly.

“You don’t know that.” You whispered under your breath. She rolled her eyes and dragged you inside.

“Ohmy-” You cut yourself off. The place was extremely large and intricate: walls painted in detail, a large chandelier slightly dusty, marble floors.

“This is the stage.” Monsieur Raymon, your music director, announced. You swallowed hard, suddenly feeling extremely cold. It was as if someone was watching you.

“We will be staying in the rooms of the Populaire for nearly three weeks or more. Make yourselves at home. Do not play with the instruments. It must be decades since last used. Rehearsal will start tomorrow so practice. Your names are on one of the rooms on a sticky note. Have fun.” Monsieur said, tapping his walking stick loudly before strutting away.

“Its gorgeous here.” Clara awed. You nodded, feeling slightly sick.

“Hey Clar, can you meet at the pit of the stage in two hours? I don’t feel so great right now and I want to settle down.”

Clara smiled sympathetically.

“Oh alright. But don’t you dare miss the dinner. Pre show dinner is the best.” She said, giving your arm a tight squeeze before waltzing away. Chewing on your lip, you began to make your way to the room. Grasping the bronze nob, you opened the door. It let out a loud groan. Quickly you flickered the lights. The room was practically vintage, floral designs on the walls, nineteenth century cashmere colored tables, etc. You found your luggage beside the bed. Rubbing your eyes you sat down and took in deep and slow breath. What was happening to you? Your external senses seemed to be on high alert and you constantly felt shivers. Opening your eyes, you let a loud scream before a hand covered your mouth.

“Don’t you dare scream when I let go.” The voice warned. You nodded furiously. The boy suddenly came to view and your eyes widened.

“No no no no no-” You rushed, running to the door. The boy beat you to it, trapping you against the door. He had striking eyes and grayish hair, obviously dyed. He seemed around your age or maybe slightly older. You shut your eyes tight and count to ten.

“Your not real. This is not real. I’m hallucinating. I’m psycho. I should’ve gone to that doctors appointment.” You whisper, your chest heaving and brushing against the boy. Slowly you opened your eyes to see the boy again. A smirk played on his pale lips.

“I’m Michael.” He said, his voice deep and smooth. That was enough to set you off. You flung the door open and ran as far as you could.

“Y/N-” You slammed into Clara.

“Clar, ohmygod-” You grabed her elbow and pulled her into the nearly corridor.

“You wont believe me-” You panted, before sucking in air.

“Michael. Michael Clifford.” You finished. Her eyes bulged.

“Your joking.”

You shook your head vigorously.

“Michael as in Erik and Christine’s great great great great-”

“Oh for the love of god Clar. yes!!!” You exclaimed. She bit her lip.

“Is he hot?” She asked. You choked.

“Clara!!!”

“I was wondering okay?!?! I mean the phantom- sorry. Erik was pretty legit back then too." 

You rolled your eyes. His electric eyes burned at the back of your mind, his smirk seemed to be permanent in your vision, every breath you took smelled like his dewy like self, his proximity when he trapped you by the door. It was as if you knew every detail about him. Like watching  movie a million times and reciting every line.

"Lets go. The pre show dinner is gonna start and im more than ready!” Clara chanted, pulling you into the dining room before stopping.

“Wait we need to change.” She said, looking at her pjs. Your eyes bulged.

“No no no we cant.” You rasped, thinking of meeting him again . Clara rolled her eyes. You quickly told her what happened.

“Oh my god!! That’s s cute!!” She gushed. You shook her head.

“Why are you so negative about this?” She mutterd

“Because he scares me!! Those rumors and-"  Suddenly you felt someone watching you.

"Oh puh lease!!! Its a load of bull. Now come on. Just- can you pat your hair down at least?”

You sighed and quickly flattened your hair and ran into the hall.

Clara sure was right. There were tables of food but you weren’t hungry. Far from it. The place was constant of chatter and it felt like the scenes in Harry Potter when they had their feast. You sat beside Clara and another classmate whose name was Erin.

“At least eat something Y/N..” Clara trailed. You shrugged and began to pile your plate, suddenly feeling a surge of hunger. The rest of the dinner went swell and you began to enjoy yourself.

“That was fun.” Clara sighed, bumping shoulders occasionally with you. You nodded in agreement.

“Well I ought to say goodnight. Have fun with phantom boy. Spare me the deets for tomorrow.” She winked. You rolled your eyes and suppressed a smile, failing miserably. You began to make your way to your room before stopping at the door where it said stage. This was where Christine once performed. Where the Phantom watched her in box 5. Biting your lip, you pushed the lever open and walked in. It was incredibly chilly. Shouldve listened to Clar and changed in to a damn sweater. You closed the door behind you gently and turned around. The sight shocked you. It was humongous and intricate. You made your way on stage and sat, your feet dangling. The audience’s seats were maroon and freshly fabricated.

“Come here often?” A resonating voice asked. You flinched slightly and tuned sideways to see Michael sitting next to you.

“Not really.” You whisper, looking back up and staring at the statues. You felt his breathing sync with yours. Your heat beat mustve sped a thousand times faster as you felt his warmth radiating against you.

“Do you know what roll your going audition for tomorrow?” He asked. You shook your head and kicked your feet.

“Don’t you think its odd that there is a musical about your great great ten times more great grandparents and nearly the whole world believes that its a myth. Your a myth?” You ask, casting  glance at him. His silvery hair twinkled in the spotlight and made his eyes more vibrant. He shook his head, now slightly looking down at you.

“Not really. They’ve modernized the play now. Its not all opera-y and more guitar-y and stuff. I like the old stuff better.” He said, not taking his eyes off you. (Okay so if you have watched POTO think of it more modernized and maybe more 5sos-y.) You don’t bother breaking your stare from him. He was beyond mesmerizing. He was a work of art. His pale skin contrasting with his plump pink lips. His grey eyes vibrant. Your heart twinged. No doubt were you slightly (more than less) seduced by him. Internally cringing at the thought, you look down.

“Why are you scared of me?” He hushed in a whisper, his voice slightly twinged with hurt. The tension between both of your hands grew and if he wasn’t going to grab it, you were sure you would explode.

“You’re-” You thought for a moment.

“You’re so unique. Usually I can tell exactly what a boy is like but then you come along and its just so confusing and those rumors-” You sigh.

“Ive never been very good with boys.” You say, casting a quick glance at him. A smile formed on his lip and you swore adrenaline rushed through you, your heartbeat sped a million miles per minute and your emotions exploded into so many feelings you couldn’t account for.

“Well that was an easy guess.” He said making you gasp and hit his arm.

“Only joking babe.” He grinned making your heart flutter.

“Do you ever p;ay the parts in the plays?” You ask. He nods.

“Usually the phantom. Its tradition that they let me play in the play.” He says. You nod.

“I was thinking i’d be more of a Meg Giry.”

“Well lets hear you sing.”

And so for the rest of the night, the both of you continued to goof off, sing old classics, do very little practice for the audition, and lots of him flirting and you blushing.

————————————————

So the ending wasn’t the bomb.com but feedback would be lovely. AND IM SORRY I HAVENT WRITTEN IN YEARS AND MADE DREY WRITE I HAD STUPID FINALS AND CRAP!!!

~Idika :)

Common Tropes and How You Can Make Them Successful for Your Story

So what exactly is a trope? Here is a good definition of tropes from TVTropes: “Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations.”

Tropes are not cliches. Cliches involve the use of stereotypes and trite phrases or storytelling. Put simply, cliches are dull and tiresome.

I’m going to concentrate on common literary tropes, tropes that some people may even be tired of, but ones you can make original for your story.

  • Forbidden love. We all know what forbidden love is, the type of love where two people can’t possibly be together because of something out of their control. Twilight utilizes this trope between a human and vampire. Edward has an insatiable desire for Bella’s blood, and so because of his desire, such a romance is forbidden. He doesn’t want to harm her in that way.

When Stars Die uses the trope of forbidden love. Amelia is an aspiring nun who has already taken her vows of chastity, and Oliver is a priest who has taken the same. They cannot be together because of church rules. I haven’t found forbidden love used in this way in YA fiction thus far. You can correct me if I’m wrong and point out a specific book that does this.

But Amelia and Oliver, as far as readers are concerned, are both human; it is more common for the forbidden love to utilize at least one non-human character, and this is known upfront. Amelia has been best friends with Oliver for several years, and so it isn’t as if their feelings for each other happened suddenly. They grew over the course of their friendship. So when the book starts, you already know this and know that they have feelings for each other. However, Amelia seems apathetic about their feelings and is content with their friendship. She knows they can’t be anything more. And she is okay with this–at first.

So, in this way, forbidden love works for me. My readers aren’t complaining. You just have to know how this trope has been used and use it differently from how other writers have used it.

  • Lack of parents in YA. Now this is a trope some readers have criticized in other books. I am guilty of this in The Stars Trilogy, for the most part. Even some contemporary books are guilty of doing this. The teen character is so wrapped up in the plot that the parents are merely mentioned. But the character ends up doing things that make you wonder where the parents are in all of this. How does the teen character sneak out night after night after night and not get noticed? The author won’t even try to justify how this is possible.

I am so, so, so guilty (well, maybe not this much) of this in When Stars Die. When Amelia finds out her brother is a witch, she takes him and her to Cathedral Reims to escape her parents. She is so convinced that the sins of her parents will eventually manifest themselves in horrible ways that she feels the need to escape. How she is able to escape is left up to the readers’ imaginations.

Now arguably there aren’t a complete lack of parental figures. Mother Auelia, the Mother Superior, ensures she keeps all of her girls in line. But Amelia still gets away with doing things, like meeting up with Oliver, when contact between males and females is forbidden. I don’t want any parental figures to stop them. That would make for a dull story. Plus, MA eventually kicks her out anyway, only for her to come home to a distraught father who at first keeps himself locked in his room. Therefore, Amelia is free to do as she pleases.

If you can justify why there is a lack of parents, I don’t see why you can’t use this trope. Parents, after all, especially in non-contemporary books, would kill the story for the protagonist. What human parent wants her witch daughter to go on a dangerous journey that could get her killed? I’ll point to Hermione’s parents for this one. We rarely get a glimpse of her parents, so we’re left to wonder if her parents are okay with anything that she’s doing, or if they even know.

Keep reading

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“I was shocked that so many people pointed at something I created on my own, in my basement, by myself, and said, ‘That’s bad.’ How can you say that?”

Twenty One Pilots are a little more than 48 hours away from their nationally-televised MTV Video Music Awards performance with A$AP Rocky. They still haven’t met.

Chatting with Billboard yesterday (Aug. 28) at around 11 a.m. Los Angeles time, vocalist-songwriter Tyler Joseph is cautiously optimistic. He’s more nervous for today (Aug. 29)’s first-time rehearsal with Rocky, because he knows it will make or break their performance, which MTV has left curiously open-ended. A little more than a week ago, they didn’t even know they were performing.

The Ohio-based duo of Joseph and drummer Josh Dun isn’t exactly a rock band, but its left-of-center combination of rock, rap and dance music makes them the lone representatives of what you might call “alternative” at this year’s VMAs, alongside megastars like Miley Cyrus and Kanye West. What’s it like to be such an outsider at the VMAs? Joseph took us behind the curtain.

Describe your talks so far with A$AP Rocky and MTV. What’s your performance going to be like?

I never have met Rocky before but from talking to him on the phone, we’re pretty like-minded, as far as being performance-focused. We’re talking about how we’re living in times where our fanbases and audiences get to decide which songs rise up, maybe become a single … We’re going to go into rehearsal and talk about what songs we like most off the records we just released, which ones are resonating with fans. We’re looking at it from more of a performance space, rather than pushing singles.

I had a few conference calls with MTV. They said, “This is what we’re looking for. We’re looking for a certain type of energy.” They want Rocky and I to be a part of the performance from top to bottom. That’s cool, because a lot of times with these collaborations, you might only bring a person out for a verse. I don’t know exactly what songs we'e performing, but I’ve got a lot of ideas on my laptop, like transitions. When you work with live television you have a very strict time schedule; we have to fit this in three minutes and 30 seconds.

Is there anyone you’re especially looking forward to meeting at the VMA’s?

It’s not really my thing, and maybe this stems from an insecurity that nobody knows who we are. Josh is the guy in the band who’s just so friendly and super wanting to walk up to you and say, “Hey, I’m Josh. I drum in this band and I’m a big fan of you and I really appreciate what you do.” Josh has all these great friends in the industry now. I’ve always sat back and let him be the icebreaker and then I’ll maybe say, “Hey, I’m the other guy!”

You’ve done red carpets before. What are they like?

It’s just a very weird concept. You have someone assigned to you that holds a sign of your name in front and then all these cameramen take a picture of that sign so that when they’re flipping through pictures of the night, they can see which person they’re taking a picture of. It feels like some sort of weird dog and pony show. They just kind of drag you along to the next person and then people take a picture of you. The photographers are trying to prompt you and get you to react. They’ll yell things about what you’re wearing, about it being not cool or stupid, so that you look over at them and get mad and they get the right shot. It’s barbaric. I just wanted to leave. I’m a little more prepared this time because I know what it consists of, but in no way am I looking forward to that part of the night.

Do you remember specific insults they said to you guys?

I think like, “Nice tight pants,” or something … Something about my pants.  

But there are a lot of people wearing tight pants!

Yeah, well that’s one of their go-tos for offending people that they’re taking pictures of.

What are some wacky questions you’ve been asked by reporters at red carpets?

One of the more awkward dynamics of an event like that is that you’re being interviewed by someone who doesn’t just not know who you are, but doesn’t really care who you are, either. So they’re asking you a simple question like, “When did you guys meet?” or “What does your band name mean?” And they’re not even looking at you when you’re talking; they’re looking around to see who else is walking by to snag. As you’re talking to them or as you’re answering a question, they will just dip and go start talking to someone else who’s more important. It really makes you feel terrible. The more I’m talking to you about it, the more I’m not looking forward to that part at all.

Tell me about seat fillers. They’re another odd part of the award show experience.

So they don’t want any of the seats to seem empty on television – if a main star that’s sitting in the front row wants to get up and go to the bathroom and they happen to be coming out of a commercial break, [they] have all these seat fillers. They’re people dressed really nice, just lined up outside. They have people coordinating: “Okay, Mark Wahlberg stood up and left. Bring someone who kind of looks like him or just bring a good looking guy and have him sit in this spot.” It’s this really odd exchange of people.

My goal this time around is to look where I’m sitting and try to see who it is they replace me with, try to see who it is they think I look like. It’s a weird out-of-body experience; I’m going to be performing for myself, so I’m going to be looking forward to that.

What was it like performing “Car Radio” at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards?

I just look out from my piano and block everything out to perform in front of that many people. It’d be really cool for my answer to you to be like, “It’s no big deal. It’s just another show. This is what I do, man.” And seem like I’m this really confident, nail-it-every-time type of guy. But being honest with you, it was one of the bigger rushes I’ve ever felt.

When you play a show or festival, people know what they’re getting; they want it. Then you’re thrown onto a show where people are watching TV in their houses and whether they ask for it or not, we’re being played in front of them. There’s a lot of negative feedback. I was shocked that so many people pointed at something I created on my own, in my basement, by myself, and said, “That’s bad.” How can you say that? You don’t even know what I’m saying or how much this music has helped me and maybe other people.  After that, whenever I look at an artistic performance, I want my response to be, “I don’t like that” instead of “I think that’s bad.” It’s art. It can’t be “bad.” It’s all relative.

- Billboard