In the world of Geeks, it surely is some sort of international holiday when “The Boy Who Lived” celebrates a birthday! The Geeky Chic joins the world in wishing a very happy birthday to Daniel Radcliffe! Not only did he embody for us Harry Potter and give us a spectacular gothic turn in The Woman in Black, Danielle is a very involved in equality movements. In particular, we adore his work with The Trevor Project, an organization that provides crisis intervention to GLBTQ youth. Now that’s magical! Enjoy your 23rd year! The Geeky Chic knows you’ll be making magic for a long time to come.
For those of us who like a little grit for our weekday starters, please enjoy Hotcakes presented live on The Geeky Chic!
The questions of life are many.The most basic can often be the most dark. What do we do when we come in to the light again from a dark, dark place? Is it easy to begin again? Will we fall back to the old habits that are familiar, if not damning?
Imagine considering all of this within minutes of walking in to a diner for a plate of something familiar.
Marty would like to have his hotcakes, go out, and begin again. From the second he opens the door, however, two fellow ex cons, a fortune teller, and the tension in his actions leave the viewer to wonder if that is possible at all. In nineteen minutes, the film characters have an Eastwood grit in a setting lending itself to Aronofsky style contemplation. Is he destined to return to his old ways? Is there more to it than that? These are questions the audience will continue to ask throughout the film. A fortune teller arrives to tell Marty that he is missing a connection that has been trying to reach him. Who is this person? Will he reach her?
The look of the film and the style it follows the noir/western model. Black and white film mixed with a downplayed interior, gritty characters, and a gritty tale. My only complaint was that the movie ended when I wanted it to go on. Twenty minutes of independent film accomplished what many main industry films are losing: character investment, plot connection, and a want to go along on the character’s journey. If this film is any indication, and I believe it is, New Orleans is a place teeming with originality just waiting to be discovered.
Hotcakes: well written, acted, directed, and styled. Twenty minutes I truly wanted to go on for two hours.
Geeky Chic Grade: A+
Don’t forget to watch it: HotCakes (Link to Vimeo for viewing)
For More About Hotcakes:
Below you will find a list of upcoming themes covering periods over the next three months. Geeks corresponding to the following items are highly encouraged to seek a spot by following the review section of the blog or by contacting me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mid July – Mid August: Science and History Electric – writing concerning science fiction, alternative history, alternative history groups (such as steampunk), movies with an alternative history kicks, renactors, and more. Highly interested in stories, groups, and images that bend time, space, and technology! In groups, highly interested in multicultural takes on technology (IE African or Asian steam punk)
Mid August – Mid September: Fairies, Myths, and Legends – writing concerning fairy tale, fairy tale spin offs, historical legends, popular creatures of religious (ie angels), relating films, and dreamy costumes. Highly interested in lore concerning angels, demons, especially fairy tales or lore with an Asian/African feel to go along with well known European delights.
It started out as a single idea; one item that was a set of words contained between two hardbound pieces with a picture rendered, glossed up jacket or box to top it off. The book with a captivating title waited on a library shelf or a store display. A movie waiting to be watched. One by one, the book was picked up again and again. The movie gained buzz. Games were played. The flame ignited for the world inside the covers, and so wildfire was born.
We are living in a time of pop culture fire, my friends. This means that geek culture + pop culture = the GPCF (geek pop culture fusion). If you haven’t noticed, our sub-cultures have melded with many items deemed “hip.” What does this mean? It means you can get out of the convention and in to the realm of public opinion. Here at TGC, we’re kicking off our return to the blogsphere by wondering what of subculture equals the “Next Big Thing”. Every enterprise has trends they monitor in order to determine what product or service will be the most marketable. What is the public in to right now? What has someone else done that can translate in to success with the right turn in another industry?
Cinema alongside books, comics, and games is a union so official it might as well have a pluralist marriage license. The want to adapt is decades old, and will only increase in fervor as studios look for new spins on the old favorite. Or, better yet, what they haven’t done.
The good thing is that fan favorites have a chance to be reborn in a way that only artists of other mediums can provide. The bad? Expectations can fall terribly short. While every project has its naysayers, there is a difference between faithfulness to the source material, and just plain hacking it to pieces. So what can the Next Big Thing have so it has not only forward presence, but promise of staying power? The most hallowed space after the fires have gone down to a steady simmer is, after all, cult classic.
1.) Know your source material: You can’t turn a book, comic, or game in to a movie until you read said book, understand the comic’s world, and play the game. If you want to take creative license, it is best to understand where the license originates. There is nothing worse than watching a movie where they all but drag themselves to the finish line. A fan shouldn’t be thrilled the movie is over because it blows. They should be on the edge of their seat until fade to black. Harry Potter did just that. Thor and Captain American now have me salivating for The Avengers. To contrast, I am afraid of the horrors that could come with The Last Airbender franchise. The first film was a cinematic train wreck for the most part. The few elements that were redeemable will probably be crushed by number two, and turned to ashes by number three. Shalaman’s direction was bad enough, but the script was terrible. The acting, for as bad as it was, couldn’t help it if the script was already worse. When your source material is an animated series that illustrates for you the people, agendas, and corresponding mythology, the point loss is even greater than if it were a book where the imagination is the only stage. Bad script = bad adaptation. Bad script from rich source material = loss of respect. People are telling the man who brought us The Sixth Sense to go back to film school. Ouch.
2.) Who’s going in with you: Make sure your partnerships will be remembered for the joint effort. They have to correspond like nothing else. The Adventures of Tin Tin featured a partnership between Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg that will go down in history. Both come with the vision and the resources to compliment where the other lacks, and the outcome was a justice done to the world of the journalist that was magnificent. Universal’s loss was Sony’s gain when the dropped co-production ball went to them a few years earlier. Who’s the most daring? Who won’t be afraid to push it with you? Let alone, if money is what they were looking at..it’s Jackson and Spielberg. Mr. Middle Earth and Mr. Indiana Jones. Universal what were you thinking?
3.) Sometimes cuts aren’t for the best or trust in your stuff: Sometimes the hardest thing to do is trust. New Line Cinemas was hoping for another Lord of the Rings in The Golden Compass. The source material is based on the first book in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. The Golden Compass comes out as one of the most expensive films New Line ever came out with, but was lackluster. I watched the movie then and even now, and still feel it was..missing something. Do you remember the controversy surrounding this movie in regards to the books alleged themes on rejection of established religion and the abuse of power? Boycotts were being hurtled in the media left and right, and many were calling the movie a gateway to the books, which was a gateway to atheism. All of that fuss really didn’t amount to the burning stove in the kitchen of heresy it was supposed to be leading us to. What The Golden Compass became was a movie that had the potential to be better than the some of its parts, but wasn’t because you got the feeling either the director of the studio couldn’t commit to what they had. What they had wasn’t just your a-typical fantasy novel, but a world that was rich in its darkness as it was in what could be light. New Line didn’t commit to that darkness. In fact, it left director Chris Weitz to leave and return after New Line lost it’s second director due to creative differences. It mattered little in the end that the Magestrium was played down to represent all matter of organizations that try to control, influence, or abuse people away from free thought or expression. What mattered most is that New Line didn’t trust what it had, nor who was at the helm, or themselves to represent it. It’s been nearly five years since the first film and as much as Weitz hopes the sequels will come, I think it’s going to take quite a lot for that to happen. If the sequels were commiserate on the success of the first film, then New Line set it up for failure. By deviating so far from the novel, shifting things around, shunning the true darkness, and being afraid of the potency of what it possessed the film was half-baked to fans and so so for critics. It’s a franchise though, that if ever picked up again, has hope in take two if they pay attention to the lessons written here. You know you should really listen if even the director feels like its a hack job.
In part two we will examine a few adaptations that excel, and others that have fallen short, and those we hope will become The Next Big Thing
Please Note: All corresponding links to Wikipedia, Imdb, actor’s sites, and more will be added on Thursday, January 19th when TGC resumes posting. Tomorrow on the 18th we will be going dark to join with those who are against the SOPA and internet censorship
For once, it is not the story to be reviewed, but a presentation of the story. The Geeky Chic was fortunate enough to be granted the chance to listen to the reading of the book Phantom Universe, as done by Karen Savage. As a large fan of classic radio theater, audio books are a continuation of a decades old style that leaves the listening to picture what the storyteller is verbalizing. Being a fan of the book itself, this presented a new forum: for the voice inside to be narrated by another.
Phantom Universe, Summer Chronicles #1 follows the story of a young woman named Summer, a mute slave who has spent an entire life on a pirate ship, only to experience the alternative state on an alternative shore. Moving back and forth through time, a story is presented with an interesting array of characters, settings, and individual principle that tie toward the main goal. Therein lay the challenge for the reader: to fluctuate between the changing characters, scenes, and ideals. Each character had to be unique, while the flow continuous.
Savage is possessed of a soothing, melodic tone. While this works to draw the listener in, unfortunately it is not varied enough at the right moments to break up the continuity when action arrives. What works in the beginning and in the middle had hard transitioning points in the center of each, and onward to the end. One example that caught my attention was when the pirate ship Summer is on was first introduced. The descriptions concerning whipping and abuse were strong, but not enough punch was lent to the moment.
There was good detail paid to variation in accent between characters, and lit between female and male. Jayden and Landon stood out as the strongest presentation of this, with attention paid to emphasizing emotion, inquiry, and range in their dialogue. In moments like these, Savage is able to shine. Yet when it wasn’t consistent, it hindered my ability to fully invest in what was taking place.
What would have improved this reading would have been an equal range of emotion between character and scene, for when you can’t fully enjoy the setting, it is hard to appreciate the characters in it. When you can’t appreciate the characters, the story becomes harder to follow.
One of the most significant moments of fear, power,and presence that Savage has was in the first person perspective of Summer’s nightmare. Suddenly, the reading style changes so dramatically it commands your attention. What the young woman was experiencing was truly terrifying! I wish this ability to captivate, keep, and continue was utilized throughout the story.
While the quality of the reader’s voice was pleasing to the ears, the inconsistency made it hard for full story investment. Savage’s voice rings more poetry than science fiction, but it was still a good listen.
Geeky Chic Grade: B
The wonderful thing about art is that it is a subjective experience. All of the movements, collected attempts at academic objectivity, and the artists whose lives and works are sandwiched between amount to a buffet of interpretation to partake in.
True, there is a distinct way to identify brush strokes, color use, or genre. There may even be types of art. Yet the best type of art is the sort that digs down in to your soul to form roots. Artist Lisa Little does just that with an evocative style that takes you on a journey to places you’ve wanted to articulate with words but haven’t found the way without the picture in front of you. Guaranteed, you will be talking about it after the moment washes over you.
What I like the most about the work is that the same hand that uplifts with bright colors also becomes sensual to demonstrate waiting sex. At another moment, the exploration in the dream cycle becomes one that shows you the lonely, dark, if not forbidden aspects of the psyche in bold gray, black, white, and silver. The artist favors Jungian psychology as a basis for her pieces. The influence is strong, but still unique. There is not a single painting that doesn’t seem to come from a personal experience of the artist herself even if it is meant for a broader experience. She is an artist you will want to put on your wall, seal in a book to carry around for sharing, and always keep fresh in your mind for the latest happening.
To learn more about artist Lisa Little and the corresponding collections associated with each piece presented in the slideshow, please visit her on FB at Lisa Little Art and her website at www.lisalittleart.com.
In December, The Geeky Chic will post an interview with the artist to learn more about her selection of subject, favorite influences, and about the world around her!
If you haven’t already felt it in your local weather, the time has come my friends to grab your blankets and books! Get yourself a cup of something warm, a plate of something delicious. Open up the paperback pages or turn on the e-reader. (Of course, reading at The Geeky Chic is endorsed all year round. Yet nothing is better than cozy Autumn reading.)
Upcoming Reviews from The Geeky Chic
November 27: (Historical Romance) A Love By Any Measure by Killian MacRae, Tulipe Noire Press + Author Interview
December 2011:(Creative Nonfiction/Literary) Western Pennsylvania Reflections: Stories From The Alleghenies to Lake Erie, The History Press
December 2011:(Creative Nonfiction/Literary) Philadelipha Reflections: Stories from the Delaware to the Schuylkill, The History Press