2/28/18

3 Things I Still Love: The Political Satire Edition

1. "It will be difficult, difficult, lemon difficult."


Related Thing:  Zach Woods and Steve Coogan elsewhere. (There are currently three Trip movies and a bit of TV as well. The last movie, The Trip to Spain had an ending that left me utterly shocked.)

2. "If you want to win a vote, scratch a bigot's itch."


Related Thing: This is the song Sallah sings. It's from the HMS Pinafore, which is classic and timeless. Simpsons nerds will know it from this episode. Star Trek nerds will know it from this. It's often mistaken as being from The Pirates of Penzance. (Another Gilbert and Sullivan joint.) It's not. But this is!

3. Because nothing screams, "I'm not actually powerful," quite like listing the things that make you powerful. Politics and colonialism, amirite?


Related: This. It is not from The Mikado, but to bring it full Kelsey Grammer, this is.

BONUS: Nothing to do with political satire, I just like it.

2/26/18

25 Essays (or Video Essays) I'd Write (or Create) if I Had The Time

Why don't I have the time, you may ask? I'm busy taking freelance work to pay my bills. I'm grateful I have said skills to pay said bills, so that's not a complaint.

And I know it's risky to go around throwing theses, but I want to make some of my ideas public now in case Net Neutrality makes it harder for me to share them in the future. God forbid. The fight is still on, FYI.

A lot of these come from my days of teaching film waaaaay back in grad school. 

If I didn't have to freelance anymore, I'd be creating content like this on a regular basis:

1. What's an Ephod? a.k.a. How God works in the Indiana Jones Universe

2. Conflict Trends in Film and how they reflect the decades in which they appear (or How I Went to see Star Wars and Every Preview was about war)

3. How Conspiracy Theorists Mistake Comedy Writing for "Predictive Programming"

4. How (and why) Modern Blockbusters Repeat the Theme of Physical Sacrifice

5. The Most Popular Film Genre of Each Decade, Beginning in 1900

6. Craft and Artistry on Film: How the Visual Representations of Sewing, Baking, Painting and More Are Used in Movies

7. How Movies Change With Us As We Age (and why our changing perceptions matter)

8. The Parody Effect: How Familiarity Transitions Horror Icons From Feared to Revered

9. In Defense of the Mary Sue (both male and female)

10. 10 Under Appreciated Costumed Performers

11. 10 Times Film and Television Characters Probably Had Migraines

12. Trends in Actings Choices: Pop Culture Moments vs. Bad Technique

13. How Pop Culture Answered Conservative Christianity in the 90's and 00's 

14. The 7 Types of Conflict in Film

15. The Only 2 Types of Story in Film

16. Common Character Types You Can Find in (almost) Every Story

17. 10 Opening and Closing Images from Famous Films

18. 10 Opening and Closing Images from Beloved TV Series

19. What is a Story Arc and How Does It Function?

20. Pop Culture Criticism 101: Learning the Difference Between "That's bad," and, "I don't like it."

21. Why The Big Sick is the Greatest Modern Rom-Com of the 21st Century (To Date)

22. Tracking the Origins and Patterns of the Religious Words We Use in Modern Colloquialism (queen, king, blessed, etc.)

23. How News Headlines Are Chosen (according to my former professor who worked at CNN)

24. What Are Style Cycles at Film Studios?

25. 10 Historic Uses of Symbolic Color In Film 

What's that, you say? You'd like me to create such content? Here's how you can help! Support my brand new Patreon page and visit this page and click on Stories where you can read about some more content I'd like to create. 

Or, we can create a corporate sponsorship or pay me directly to create one of these. I'm worth it, I promise. 



Labyrinth Returns to the Big Screen

According to EW.com, Fathom Events has announced that Jim Henson's classic Labyrinth will return to movie theaters across the country on April 29th, May 1st, and May 2nd.

For many of us, this will be our first chance to see it on the big screen. There were three things that could make me run screaming from the room as a kid. Slimer, Thriller, and the scene from Labyrinth where all the goblins are hiding under the crib. It's a brilliantly framed shot and a bold choice for a kid's movie.

So, are you going? I am! Tickets are on sale here, and they're going fast!

















Coincidentally, I was just writing about this very under-appreciated David Bowie song the other day. I was saving it for later publication as an edition of Good Geek Stuff, but why not throw it in here?

This David Bowie song from the Labyrinth soundtrack still speaks to me. I feel it where I feel all beautiful music, rattling around in my chest cavity somewhere.

Growing up in the age of the VCR, it was easy to fast forward through opening credit sequences. But I always listened to this entire song, utterly captivated.


What's your favorite under-appreciated Bowie song? When did you first hear it? Why did it stick?

While you think, enjoy the song in it's original context. It packs a bit more of a punch this way:



P.S. I'm 100% certain that Labyrinth is why so many of the stories I write have magical men showing up via interdimensional portals. i.e. The Chosen One and Leaves.

Happy Monday, Internet

As you were.

2/23/18

So, I Do This Now: A Reel Pitch Fest - Episode 7 (+ An Interview with The Mexican Vampire Woman)



The thing about being a writer and director is that you must be able to speak up for your ideas. Did you know they make you say them out loud? Did you know you also have to be good at saying them out loud to actors, producers, and anyone with money?

This is a challenge if you hate your own face. Or voice. It's ironic that the gripping self-consciousness that makes some of us creative is also what prevents us from creating a finished product. Unless curling up in a ball or being socially awkward is a product, in which case, I am a captain of industry.

So anyway, I started a YouTube *show* though I don't feel like you can call it a proper show if there's no biz afterward. I mean, it's just me recording videos with QuickTime on my laptop. No lights, no audience, no key grips. Just...my face. That I hate. 

But the other thing about being a writer and director is that it's fine if - oh, say - you have really big teeth and a tiny upper lip, because you don't have to win any pageants to do your job.

So again I say...I started a YouTube show.

It's called A Reel Pitch Fest. I share ideas I have for movies. Sometimes they're original, most times they're prequel, sequel, or remake ideas. Because why the heck not?

My goal is to get better at pitching and communicating. It's definitely not my goal to have one of my ideas go viral and get discovered and be given merry loads of cash to immediately put several of my movies and short films into production. That would just be grandiose.

I've been test driving it for a while and there are 7.1 official episodes on my YouTube channel. Here's the latest. I'm not usually in a car...so...sorry about that.


I'll share each new episode here on my blog as they release every Friday. If you want to play catch up, here are links to the other episodes.


Also on my YouTube channel? An interview I did with the Mexican Vampire Woman back in 2011 during my correspondent days that randomly got 8,000 hits one night after I transferred it from Vimeo because they changed some of their rules.*

Oh, internet, you wily minx. You're so unpredictable.


*Long live run-on sentences AND also long live Maria Jose Cristerna, the Mexican Vampire Woman, who is a really nice former lawyer and mother of four.

2/22/18

Good Geek Stuff: The Uma Thurman/Quiet Amidst Chaos Edition



I've been thinking of this scene a lot lately. Horrific events in the news trigger something in my brain. My mind calls upon soothing memories to quiet the chaos. I don't know what it says about me that so many of them are movie-related.

It's just how I'm wired.

Buffy's 10 Greatest Speeches

I recently wrote a three part series for FangirlBlog10 Times Buffy's Strength Came From Her Words. The most excellent editor, Tricia Barr, found a way to frame the series via the Hero's Journey.

As a companion piece, I gathered all the speeches I cited here in one place. They are from YouTube, so some of them are slightly sped up or slowed down. I think that's a fair price to pay considering most of the videos I could find on the topic were those annoying listicles where a snarky narrator talks over all the good parts.

I just want the speeches. Pure, unadulterated clips.

So here, in chronological order and my humble opinion, are Buffy's 10 Greatest Speeches. You'll notice the moments become more potent as the series progresses. That's no coincidence. Buffy grew stronger and more self-assured with each episode, so it's natural the dialogue followed suit.

(8, 9, and 10 are my personal favorites.)


2/21/18

3 Things I Still Love: The Awards Show Edition

Sakes alive, I love awards shows. Actually, scratch that. I don't love awards shows. (See THIS VIDEO at 4:37 for relevant commentary.)

I love the opportunities they create for wild cards to ruin the reverent hush of a high-falootin' audience. And also, I like pretty dresses. To quote Cordelia from Buffy, "What, I can't have layers?"

Just a couple days ago, I ventured down the rabbit hole of fun awards show moments. Which brings us to this week's edition of 3 Things I Still Love: The Awards Show Edition. (This blog is nominated for best repetitive copy. Fingers crossed! Fingers Crossed!)

1. Kristen Wiig and Steve Carell at the Golden Globes


2. THIS. Forever and ever this, this, this.


Bonus points to Jack McBrayer for his delightful bit. I'm cheating and sneaking this moment into my list too. "But Audrey, then it won't be three things." Quiet, you!

3. Conan's 2006 Emmy opening has basically been recreated by every host since. It's that good.


Sometimes they do it really well. And speaking of Steve Carell again, here's this delightful little bit.

BONUS: Jack Black, Will Ferrell, and John C. Reilly at the Oscars


What moments did I miss? Share links in the comments!

What Made You LOVE Being a Geek Again?

Let there be love. In your fandoms, your geekdom,
and your heart. Embrace it.
I posted this on my personal facebook page the other day, but I think it bears repeating here. 

I'm also really curious what your answer is to the question at the end of this blog. As the brilliant Karina Longworth likes to say, join me, won't you?

~

I'm watching Abrams' 2009 Star Trek again while I wait for a work phone call. Man alive, this movie is a thrill ride. I saw it six times in the theater. Not my record, but close. It holds up remarkably well almost a decade later. 

Pacing, plot, direction; everything feels so right. Even the score and sound design, no - especially the score and sound design resonate with me on such a deep level. This was the movie that pivoted me from unhappy cynic back to fangirl. I will ALWAYS love Star Trek. That never lapsed. But this movie adjusted me to thinking positively about my fandoms. 

2/7/18

3 Things I Still Love - The Comedy Rock Edition

1. Jonathan Coulton



Related Thing: JoCoCruise & One of My Writing Heroes
2. Weird Al


Related Thing: There will never be a UHF 2
3. Future Folk


Related Thing: Their feature film The History of Future Folk contains, what I genuinely believe to be, one of the greatest music scenes in film history. Honest to God, it moves me to tears. If I was still teaching film, I'd force my captive students to watch this scene two bajillion times.

Also Related: Additional Excellent Banjo Music + this evergreen scene from The Office 

BONUS Thing: I still really love Tenacious D.


 Related Thing: The Off Camera Show 

They Might Be Giants are Worried About the Fall of Civilization: This Review of Their New Album, I Like Fun, is Too Long

The I Like Fun Album Cover:
Accidental or Intentional Dadaist reference? You decide.
This is a review of They Might Be Giants newest album I Like Fun. I think the best way for writers to honor musicians is to write about how the music makes them feel. And TMBG makes me feel like I should just say all of my too many words.

Even when sentences like the one I just wrote contain awkward syntax.

OR How I learned to stop worrying and just write the stream-of-consciousness blog about TMBG I've always wanted to write.

Therefore, this will also be:

1. a story about how I ended up at my first TMBG concert last Thursday night.

2. a brief history of (the) time (I first heard and learned to love the band)

3. a close look at some of the lyrics from the album and an opinion on what the album as a whole expresses

Sidenote: This entire review of They Might Be Giants' new album I Like Fun will orbit around one central question. Are we fans of bands and musicians because they resonate with our central personhood or are our personalities and thought patterns slowly shaped to match our tastes in music?

That's right, this review is a metaphorical astrolabe. And I am pretentious. And water is wet.

I've reached my own conclusion, but what do you think? Do you like "your" music because it makes you feel known? Or do you learn to see the world as described by your favorite bands? Is it a combination of both?

Anyway, about that review...

2/6/18

I Haiku, Do You?

2/1/18

2018 Born For Geekdom Logo Refresh

Hard to believe, but as of this year, I've had Born For Geekdom for an entire decade.

It's gone through a lot of changes. Back in 2008, I had just discovered WilWheaton.net and BoingBoing. I was working full time as a freelance writer. Timbaland and One Republic thought it was too late to 'pologize.

What began as a stream of consciousness repository for the things I loved turned into news and reviews. During that phase, I had a steady stream of daily readers. I was linked to by notable sites like SyFy.com (back when it was still SciFi.com) and Huffington Post.

In other words, I did okay for myself in the good old days of the late 'aughts and early teens.

3 Things I Still Love - The "Cheer You Up" Edition

1. Weezer



2. Beastie Boys

Related Thing: The Punk Singer & Julie Ruin
3. Fatboy Slim


Related Thing: Spike JonzeSpike Jones