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newleaf31

...What does it remember like?

We don't see things as they are; we see things as we are. -- Anaïs Nin


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newleaf31

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Journal is Friends Only. Please comment if you'd like me to add you.

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Early FACULTY screenplay, Part Two

Part Two under the cut.Collapse )

I hope you guys enjoyed this different take on the film!
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newleaf31

My earlier screenplay of THE FACULTY

The other day bellewood posted some screencaps from The Faculty. I commented on them and mentioned that I actually have an early version of the screenplay for that movie, and it's quite different from the screenplay they actually ended up using. I can't remember where I got this screenplay... I want to say I stumbled across it on eBay about ten years ago. The differences are so interesting that I thought you guys might like to read about them. I'm going to do this in two back-to-back posts because it's so extremely long.
Part 1 under the cut.Collapse )
Part Two follows in a short while.
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newleaf31

"Literary" Criticism on a Film Scene: Osgiliath

For those of you I'm just getting to know, in my not-online life, I'm a biblical scholar. I teach ancient Hebrew and interpretation of the Hebrew Bible to students studying for master's degrees in divinity, and I do original interpretive work on biblical texts. My particular areas of interpretive interest are literary and feminist criticism. I have particular biblical books that I work with most often (Ezekiel, Leviticus, Exodus, Genesis, Song of Songs, Ruth), but I really work all over the Hebrew Bible. I recently applied the mechanics of what I do every day with biblical texts to a scene from Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. I'm posting it here because it was an interesting exercise, and because I thought it might interest some of my friends to get a taste of what I do for a living, but in a context that might be more familiar and/or comfortable than the Bible. Putting this under a cut because it is really, really long.Collapse )

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Open letter to Nigel Lythgoe and the production team at SYTYCD

I've now talked with several friends and acquaintances about this subject, and I feel compelled to make my thoughts known to the powers-that-be at So You Think You Can Dance.

Dear Mr. Lythgoe,

I'm writing to you about this week's Wednesday-night performance episode, and in particular, about the beautiful piece choreographed for Kent and Neil by Travis Wall. The production team of the show decided to present this dance as the story of two friends whose relationship becomes fractured. But open-minded viewers who have experienced betrayal and heartbreak were perfectly aware that the story was about two lovers. I don't believe the show intended to be homophobic in obscuring the real story of the dance; I expect the intention was that the dance might be judged by the voting audience on its merits as a dance, rather than a political statement. (At least I hope this was the rationale.) However, I'm writing because I feel the show missed some important opportunities here, and as a longtime fan of the show, I feel you undercut what you claim to be your priorities thereby.

First, you -- that is, the show collectively and you yourself, Mr. Lythgoe -- are a staunch advocate for the art of dance. SYTYCD has been of seminal importance in bringing dance to the attention of a wider American audience. But in presenting the story of Travis' dance as something other than what it really was, you undercut the dance itself as well as the artist who created it. Travis had a rich, valuable, powerful story to tell, but the decision to couch that story in watered-down terms that would be more palatable to the heterosexual viewers in your audience meant that his artistic voice was stifled. The decision to censor effectively shoved the dance itself (and by extension, perhaps its choreographer) into the closet, insisting that it was somehow not acceptable on its own terms. Moreover, as performers, Kent and Neil had to make decisions about the extent to which their performance would reflect the duplicity that the story was about friends instead of lovers. I believe they both decided to commit fully to the dance Travis offered them, and I'm very grateful to them for it. Your decision to reframe the dance for the audience as a story about a friendship seems to me to betray a concern for the bottom line (in this case, future ratings? popular approval?) that is strong enough to justify a Machiavellian undercutting of an artist and his work of art, and this stands powerfully at odds with the show's stated intention of celebrating and advocating dance.

Second, I think you missed an opportunity to trust your audience. Your decision reflects an assumption that your audience is not prepared to accept a dance in which two men tell the story of lovers. Believe me, as a native of the small-town South, I understand that you do indeed have to contend with small-minded viewers who would protest such a thing, even perhaps fomenting unnecessary controversy. As one of your viewers, I would like to have been able to decide for myself whether I was ready for it. I don't know whether this is my belief or simply my hope, but I think you might well have been pleasantly surprised to find that the dance would have been met with acceptance, appreciation, and gratitude. We, your audience, are not so stupid as to believe that everyone in the world of dance is (or should be) straight. As a straight woman, my life has included experiences that allowed me to relate to both Kent and Neil in Travis' dance, and I didn't need either of them to be a woman in order to find myself in their story. The experience of heartbreak is universal. In fact, I think this dance may have been a chance for straight viewers to step inside that story and see that the experience of love and loss and suffering is the same whether you're straight or gay... but I suspect the people who might need that moment of realization most are the ones who will have unquestioningly accepted your ruse that the story was about "friends."

Finally, you rejected the opportunity to move the world in a better direction. It is simply no longer acceptable to assume and reinforce heteronormativity. Yes, it is normal to be heterosexual. But that is no longer the only "normal" -- blessedly, there is a growing recognition that it is equally normal to be homosexual, bisexual, or transgendered. Yet that universal acceptance is not something that will just happen on its own; we must move the world in that direction. If SYTYCD had taken the opportunity simply to present Travis' dance for what it was -- no fanfare required -- then the next choreographer who had a story to tell would not have been burdened with an assumption of heteronormativity, and we would all be a step closer to understanding a truly human (not just heterosexual) experience.

Now that the votes are in and the dance can't suffer potential discrimination from narrow-minded voters, you have the opportunity to rectify these missed opportunities, Mr. Lythgoe. You regularly revisit the best dances of the season in the show's finale. I would deeply appreciate it if you would address this issue there, and present Travis' dance again, as the story that Travis was really trying to tell. If your show really is about the power of dance, then take the risk... for the sake of the art, the artists, and the audience.

Yours sincerely,
Robin McCall

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newleaf31

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A million years ago, when I (sort of) finished Harry's room at #4 Privet Drive, I promised that when the final touches were added, I would post more pictures. Well, it's been an entire year and a half, and I'm finally getting around to posting them! My apologies, y'all. I'm very lame. Come on in and see the pictures!Collapse )

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New icon = Dan last night. ♥

Okay, so apparently ticketholders for the TimesTalk, which was general admission, started lining up yesterday morning to get their seats. The ones who were there that freakishly early got to sit in the three long rows right up at the stage, and after the Talk, Dan came down and signed autographs and met people. A few folks who weren't in those seats managed to elbow their way in, but I didn't. But you know what? I bet if you asked him who he remembers more clearly, the woman who asked the first question or a particular fan who got an autograph in the mad five minutes after the show, I can tell you who it would be. :D

Last night in Manhattan....Collapse )

So now I want to find a way to spend another evening in Dan Radcliffe's company. Seriously. He is utterly fascinating. I want to talk to him about a million things that don't have to do with his career. And now -- yes, this is weird -- I miss him. Laugh if you will. I miss him. He made me happy yesterday. :)

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newleaf31

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Dan, honey, I'm late on the wishes on the blog, but...

Happy 19th birthday, baby. ♥ :)

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newleaf31

Update

Just heard from anwi1017 to say that her surgery went well! She says she's still loopy from the drugs, but she wasn't too loopy to send a typo-free text message, so that's sayin' something. :D

Just wanted to let all of her friends know all is well and our Anwi is on the mend!

*uses her "favorite" (heh) mood icon*

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newleaf31

"On the Move" // A Speech -- Bono

Last year, Bono spoke at the 2006 National Prayer Breakfast, a meeting of religious and government leaders of all faiths, on the subject of AIDS and poverty relief in Africa. I just bought a little book from Amazon that is a copy of the speech, with graphics and photos. From what I can tell, proceeds of the book to Amazon don't go to charity (which rather surprises me, honestly). So, I think it's important to get the words of this speech out there into the world. As long as I'm not taking away from any money that might be going to needy folks by reprinting the speech here, I think the importance of getting the message out overrides my concern for copyright laws.

'On the Move,' by BonoCollapse )

So today -- with two days left in Hanukkah, in the midst of Advent, with Christmas and Eid on the horizon -- what can we do to change the world? A lot. Here are just a few ideas; feel free to add your own.

1) If you haven't already, consider joining the ONE Campaign. And educate yourself further -- go read about D.A.T.A. (Debt/AIDS/Trade/Africa).

2) Improve your vocabulary by playing this word game, FreeRice -- each word you get right equals twenty grains of rice donated to hungry people.

3) If you have a little money (and it really can be a little, like $25) that you'd like to invest in something worthwhile, why not provide a small-business loan to someone in a third-world country? Check out Kiva.org and change somebody's life forever -- you won't lose a dime.

4) Buy some holiday gifts for people this year from the Product(RED) line (click on "Products" to see what's available and where). A percentage of all profits go directly to suffering people in Africa.

5) If you're American, think hard about how you will vote in the 2008 elections. (It goes without saying, right, that you're going to vote?) Don't vote for a political party; vote for a leader. As you check out the candidates, investigate as much as possible where they stand on the issues of aid to third-world countries, domestic social-justice issues (like health care and education, for instance), etc. The more you know about the candidates, the more your vote will be an informed one, and the more likely it will be that we Americans will vote someone into our highest elected office who will really work hard for the justice and equality that Bono talks about.

I'm leaving this entry unlocked in case you want to link it or anything.