itsallovernow: (No-Kerne)
[personal profile] itsallovernow
So this weekend I gorged on all of the media I've been waiting for: Catching Fire, Doctor Who, and Fangirl. And none of it let me down.

Catching Fire - I didn't have any quibbles with the first movie. I thought it did a good job of representing the book, but this just kicked it up and solved many of the contextual issues of the actual story. The first book is such a gut punch, such a "must read the next book" kind of thing, and then as you barrel through Catching Fire and Mocking Jay you're just desperate for revelation and revolution and you also pray to not have to wade through more death. The movie balances the time in games so well, setting up an actual world where these things are accepted and railed against, characters who are full and in tune with each other and who are driven by such similar, and such disparate, motivations. And Katniss', not passivity, but symbolism mixed with her own dubious and uncertain loyalties (not that her loyalties to her loved ones are uncertain, but she's an uncertain girl. She doesn't want to be a symbol. She wants true change, true freedom, but more importantly she wants warmth and safety for her family. She's not in it for revolt, just survival.) Anyway, the storytelling is great and it works really well as a film, and I was terribly pleased.

Doctor Who - We gorged on this all week, and it made me so nostalgic for the heydays of my fannish involvement, and I have nothing particularly profound to say beyond expecting the worst and just loving it - all the interplay, and the depth, and the dark and light. I loved 10 and 11 together, and the silliness, and the FEZ! And Clara was the girl I kept hoping for last season, the one who should up for moments but mostly kept being used as a plot device, a big concept, and so I was pleased about that. Plus, Bad Wolf:) I just - there was cheering and weeping, and it's a good thing we didn't see it in the theater because my husband and I are both weepers and it would have been terribly embarrassing:)

Fangirl and Eleanor & Park - Both of these books have made me giddy in very different ways. Fangirl...well, every fan I know should read it. It's delicious and delightful and gets it so right, makes me so very glad that I didn't go to school in the age of the internet (it had started, but just barely) because I NEVER would have made friends with people who didn't live inside of the computer. I don't think I would ever have learned how. (Read this interview with Rainbow Rowell, btw, She is a delight. And truly a fan.) I won't spoil any element of this book, outside of saying that it felt like the truest kind of novel about fandom that I can imagine, without any of the snark that makes Sharyn McCrumb's Bimbos of the Death Sun so fucking hysterical, but also kind of mean. Rowell LOVES these writers, these fans. And she also captures one of the elements of fandom that's hard to verbalize - the reasons so many of us turn to the internet for that interaction, that validation, that sharing of joy. The ways in which the outside world makes things SO FUCKING DIFFICULT sometimes. How much that fear of debilitating social anxiety and other disorders pervade for so many, how hard we work to overcome them, and the constant internal dialogue of pleasure at the skill of manipulating someone else's world and the true dread that you can't create your own. I certainly suffer from it constantly, and I loved the professor's response to that quandry, as well as Cath's own deliberations over it. Regardless, I think it's wonderful and I'd recommend it to everyone I know to explain the draw and the beauty of fans and fandom.

But Eleanor and Park, that's something else entirely. I think some of it is that I grew up in this era. I didn't face the home life that Eleanor does, but the ways in which that particular music, and stories, and just trying to stoically face how shitty high school life was through developing my own style and personality and not caring how little I looked like my peers (tall, red-haired, big hipped, smart without a sense of how to contain it, deeply nerdy, deeply in love with music no one around me listened to) but the way in which music (and boys) just made your whole life feel better and inside out and BIGGER ON THE INSIDE! I just...eye liner on boys, and punk rock, and saving each other, and living on the fringe of something, and this book, man, this book. I wanted to start reading it immediately, all over again.

If anyone wants to discuss any of these things, I would love to! Particularly the books!

Date: 2013-11-26 01:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think you have captured why I like Katniss so much, even though she's so difficult to read. Well, it's why she's difficult to read, I think. And the expansion of the universe was gorgeous in the film.

I loved Doctor Who, and this special especially--just so much HEART. I have missed that in recent times.

(I know nothing about the books you've mentioned, but I am intrigued.)

Date: 2013-11-26 01:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The books are so good! If you've been a fan, been in fannish spaces, been to college - all those things are wonderful about Fangirl. And Eleanor and Park is just amazing.

Date: 2013-11-26 04:56 pm (UTC)
cofax7: climbing on an abbey wall  (Climb - default)
From: [personal profile] cofax7
I really liked both of the Rowell books: and like you, I'm so grateful that the internet didn't really exist when I was in college (or even in grad school!). I read them both in one day a few weeks ago, just after they were on sale at Amazon. So good.

Nice to see your pixels!

Date: 2013-11-26 11:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I was so taken with them, and have just had this latent upsurge of fannish love and fannish nostalgia lately. And I so hope that things are getting a little better for you after what seems to have been a truly miserable year!

Date: 2013-11-29 10:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Just wanted to say, thank you for reccing Fangirl! Enjoyed it a lot and oh, empathised SO MUCH with the description of feeling just empty when trying to create you own world, while the words flow when you're in someone else's. Loved the concept of being a 'stylist', which actually makes a certain amount of sense in bits of my life. And the anxiety and the 'too many people' and the losing yourself in a world...the book was a big whole load of 'it's not just me!'


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