#this movie is admirably committed to avoiding a complex story actually
mylittleredgirl · 3 months
there are many good reasons not to see avatar but if you DO see avatar definitely see the 3D version. the entire movie is effects. same movie as the first one just underwater now. also if you are wearing 3D glasses it is less obvious that you will cry like seven times.
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ikathemadhatter · 2 years
For the meme, top 5 Death Note characters and why!
I’m sorry for the late reply, you know I had a hell of months but here ich back  💪 Characters aren’t really in order of preferences tho, but here we go:
1. L Lawliet
Rather predictable, he was my favorite character since I watched Death Note for the very first time.
What fascinated me back then (aka 2008) was the fact L character broke the canon detective type I’ve seen in movies and series for a long while. In a typical crime story, the detective is the good dude chasing after the evil criminal and bringing back order -swaying indeed the flag of justice. Following the reasoning of several characters, especially some in the Kira Task Force, L is Justice while Kira is the evil criminal. Apparently -but, in my brutal and honest opinion, I don’t believe L is the emblem of justice. He is represented as that but Death Note is also a story that talks about justice and shows how justice, a misleading concept created by imperfection itself (humanity), is a tool to justify your actions. Because let’s face it, L used his power and all his means to confine and torture two young people just to prove his suspects were true, he wouldn’t mind using people to achieve his goal aka catch Kira. He represents justice because he’s the three world's greatest detective because he solves the most difficult cases but haha this is his main hobby, his reason to live and he doesn’t exactly empathize with other characters. There are some panels where he shows feelings, I think he truly respects some agents of the Kira Task Force and didn’t want anyone to die, but at the same time the most of his actions weren’t righteous at all. At least this is my opinion but this is also why I love this character; last but not least, his quirkiness is unique and funny and another fact that tickled my interest is what is shown of his personality... I like to believe that his truer personality is what we see in the Yotsuba Arc, but I also think he is rather good at adjusting his personality to the task. I would see it coming from a person really able to lie and doing it with no regret.
2. Light Yagami
To be rather honest, I relate to this character for a variety of reasons and this is probably why it breaks my heart to see his decline in the second arc. I’ve read tons of mangas and watched tons of anime in my life, but he keeps being the best protagonist of a shonen manga in my opinion.
Might it be a controversial opinion or not, I don’t think Light is an evil character -especially he’s not a sociopath or a psychopath. Death Note’s plot marks perfectly how much the use of a simple tool like the notebook itself corrupts the soul no matter how good their intentions are; it’s a magic object, but most importantly it’s a tool that lets you kill someone by not effectively showing you’re committing murder. I think the human mind is affected in a different way if murder means washing your hands with blood, visually doing it, instead of simply writing down a name on a notebook and waiting for that person to die of a heart attack. This means I guess Light wouldn’t go that far if he has to actually kill people with his own hands; at the beginning of the manga he realizes what he did -killing people-, but he ‘recovered’ rather quickly from the shock because of two reasons:
- he didn’t physically kill them so his mind didn’t process the action of murder in that sense
- he found quickly a coping mechanism aka he rationalized the Death Note as a holy tool that would serve for a better purpose
Light is in fact a character with pure idealism. He killed most wanted criminals who actually deserved to die in order to make the world a better and safe place. Every one of us, at least once in our life, has thought a rather evil criminal should deserve to die -because we’re humans and our emotions may be harsh and strong even towards our similar. It’s within our nature. And so it was within Light’s nature, to naively believe that killing criminals the world would be better. He also did kill people coming in his way, yes, and he also knew that it was wrong to kill those innocent people meant to be a threat to him. Why did he do it anyway? Because at some point he knew he was a martyr, someone who had the responsibility to sacrifice for the sake of the whole world. He is more selfless than other characters I might say, rationally avoided any futile emotion that could hinder his actions and plans. I mean, try to think what it means to push back your emotions, to block out everything that makes you human in a sense. Someone else would have probably gone crazy... This is why I believe his last speech is much more a liberation like he’s spitting out everything he’s held back and carried alone on his shoulders for years. At some point you want people to understand your achievements, your ideals.
Light is indeed a controversial character, rather complex and there’s a lot you can tell about him. He did bad things, I  know but... I admire his will, to be honest.
3. Naomi Misora
MY QUEEN. I still think her death is the most brutal one... And even if I understand why her character needed to leave the main plot, it would have been rather interesting to see her interacting with L and the Kira Task Force. 
I thank the existence of Another Note, because we can form a better idea of her possible personality. She’s absolutely a strong woman, intuitive and her kind of reasoning follows L’s investigations somehow. It’s that kind of character who’s able to balance rationality and acumen, which makes her surely a good FBI agent; her only flaw, probably, but it’s also the reason I love her, it’s her empathy and ability to feel. It’s also true that in the Death Note she was veiled by the loss of her fiancee and she was too reckless at following Light, but it showed how fragile and human she could be.
Speaking of Another Note, I loved all those scenes where she follows B’s weird suggestions -like pretending to be a corpse or sitting in a crouch- because even she knows it might be stupid she’s also like ‘Okay let’s try’. Demonstration of a kind of open-mindedness.
4. Aizawa
I love the critical thinking process of this character. He never takes things for granted and let’s remember he even left the Kira Task Force because he didn’t agree with L’s me and methods. In the second arc, he suspects of Light, senses that something is off, and trusts his guts enough to make some researches on his own. He incarnated the typical detective character who really wants to bring back order and justice and probably his way to clash with L and Light’s way of thinking made me like this character. It wasn’t love at first sight, in fact, I appreciated him more reading the manga (which I read after watching the anime) but it’s a character you learn to respect.
5. Ryuk
Just look at him. At his design, at the weird way he twisted his body or when he goes crazy eating a delicious apple, at his stupid jokes and any silly moments... and you think he’s just a goofy character when bam! the least you expect he reminds you he’s a Shinigami, a very bored one, and as a Shinigami, his task is to write down some human being’s name. Light’s included -though in this case, he did say till the beginning he would be the one writing Light’s name when the moment would come.
What can I say? Look at him, he makes you laugh, he’s the Boogeyman, he’s goofy, he’s fucking scary.
In this list I should also add Beyond Birthday, but probably I like the idea I have of him. Anyway I love him we all know it bye haha-
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taekooktimeline · 2 years
1) I admire a lot the hard work you put into your timeline, please don't take it the wrong way, but how do you make sense of taekook happily dating but not seeing eo during their long break in 2019 ? Ppl keep saying it's not healthy for couples to be always together and it's normal to take alone time since they're workmates but it's not like they can actually "be" a couple during work
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Kayla: Sara and I have a goal to go back through 2019 and firm it up even more, but we will have to agree to disagree, and that’s ok! ☺️We both don’t see any breakup in 2019. Tae commented 2019 was an okay year, which I doubt he’d say if they had broken up. Not only that, but through 2019, into 2020, both Tae and Jk were loud in their own ways to one another, which I just don’t see happening if there is a breakup.
We delve into 2019 a little more here: https://taekooktimeline.tumblr.com/post/639391942900350976/december-31st-2019-january-1st-2020
But will expand further as we can.
Keep in mind, they’re closeted so they can’t be fully forthright. Perhaps they did see each other during the break, but they omitted sharing that which is their right to do. Being closeted, not out, it wouldn’t surprise me if Jk decided to not mention this when he spoke about who he saw. And maybe he did only see Hobi and Jimin. I’m going to Japan for 3 weeks without my partner this year (if the pandemic lets up). It doesn’t mean we have issues. I am a person outside my relationship and I like to go do things separate from that. Maybe it’s as simple as that. But I’m not a fan of how people (I’m not saying you necessarily, just Tkers in general) seem to actively look for negativity when I find this quite straight forward - a closeted couple who can’t be fully open, not disclosing all of what they did on their break (which is their right), and people analyzing it so deeply. We only see a fraction of their lives. They aren’t obligated to share, and also keep in mind, as upsetting as people weirdly get hearing this, BTS do lie and avoid being fully forthright and that’s fine. They don’t owe us a thing. So the way I see it, maybe Jk omitted he spent time with Tae, or maybe they did take time to see other people, since they are busy 10-18 hours a day with BTS. There is such a thing as FaceTime when you’re seperate from your person. And I just am a firm believer being closeted means we’re not privy to everything. I wouldn’t necessarily take that comment at face value when factoring in other variables.
Going with the point we only see a fraction - remember how out of pure luck we caught Tae leaving the boathouse Jk slept in during IST? We would’ve never known Tae had even been in there before the sunrise if we didn’t see that one specific frame. They didn’t mention it. They gave no indication of it. What about the drama with hot 100 and the contradictions in stories that got everyone confused? Those examples show they omit. We only see so much. They only share so much.
Leading up to that break Jk gestured very obviously to Tae that he is his life partner. They were spotted going to the movies together. Only Jk knew Tae got nail care one day in a run episode filmed that summer. Jk sat on Tae’s lap. Jk is at Tae’s army zip photo shoot. They’re filmed listening to “winter bear” and are rumored to have shared a 1 bedroom space separate from the members during summer package. Jk gives Tae the “way beyond my imagination” award. In BV4.. which needs to be addressed since people find drama here too for some reason I can’t understand ... he buys Tae a coat, happily announces (mistakingly) he is Tae’s roommate, helps him with Uno, they take photos together and Jk recognizes his playlist in the RV .. plus he protectively offered to cut the thorns when Tae comments on them. Fast forward after the break and Tae holds Jk’s hand, the first public appearance after the tattoo girl scandal. To me that’s a statement on its own. And then from there you have “the closer you are the shorter the letter”, among many other cute moments in winter package, Jk flirtingly asking Tae to car share, and you jump into 2020 with GDA, back hugging in black swan, being loud in general in America (dancing together, being affectionate), Tae being loud about Jk or 🐯🐰on Weverse .. I mean.. I just don’t see how that all happens if there’s an issue. All before the month break, and after the month break, they don’t show any tension or issue. So because a closeted, private couple doesn’t give a full break down of what they did every single day of their vacation, which were not entitled to know, we just ignore all the positive actions and words they made about or towards each other before and after break, or the fact Tae said 2019 wasn’t a bad year overall? I don’t get that.
I mean .. if someone sees an issue so be it but my mind is really firm there was no issue in 2019.
And as far as the living situation goes, we all know Tae has his own space but I actually don’t have any insight into the living situation further. It’s too complex. But I highly doubt Taekook are not seeing each other outside of work commitments. No matter what the living situation is, I’m sure they’re spending time together, or else the relationship would collapse. We get comments, pictures and videos from people seeing them out and about (movies, shopping, food, Namsan, etc..) so that’s pretty obvious they spend time together outside of work.
And as far as Jk’s birthday goes, I’ve heard rumors but I’m not going to share because I’m not comfortable and it’ll just start arguing. Plus I have an opinion on some of the drama of that but again I’m not going there because I just know where that will go. So all I’m going to say is again, we are only privy to so much going on in their lives. But as far as I’m concerned, Tk were fine before, during and after BV4, tattoo girl and jk’s birthday.
Again, totally cool we disagree but this is my stance. Thank you for the well wishes. That’s very sweet 💜
Sara’s General Disclaimer: I may select some asks, think about them and answer in the future through either Tumblr, Twitter or YouTube. Kayla will take over the discussion section as she enjoys active debates and will make the time for it, but I still read them all. Be nice to each other 💜 As it’s natural, I may or may not differ with Kayla’s take/ words.
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ba-mi-soro-orisha · 3 years
What books are on your nightstand?
“All the Stars and Teeth,” by Adalyn Grace; “Ninth House,” by Leigh Bardugo; “The Last Arrow,” by Erwin Raphael McManus. I always have an itch for great fantasy, which Grace and Bardugo provide. And I’m always interested in self-development and books that feed my soul like “The Last Arrow.”
What’s the last great book you read?
“Daring Greatly,” by Brené Brown! I was really moved by her Netflix special, and listening to her audiobook came at the perfect time in my life. She has a way of perfectly describing some of the most intimate human emotions and experiences, and she provides concrete, actionable solutions. She gave me a new level of self-awareness that’s helped me navigate my life in a meaningful way, so I’m a big fan.
Are there any classic novels that you only recently read for the first time?
Recently, no. The vast majority of American classics were ruined for me because schools made me read them too young. If I remember correctly, I think I had to read “Self-Reliance,” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, in seventh grade. I remember reading “Death of a Salesman” in high school and hating it, but when I read it in college I loved it. I was blown away by what Arthur Miller had created. Because of that, I’m saving my reread of the classics for a time when life isn’t too crazy and I can focus. I want to make sure if I don’t like what society has deemed a classic story, it’s because I don’t like the actual story, and not because I didn’t understand it when I was 12.
Describe your ideal reading experience (when, where, what, how).
My ideal reading experience is on the beach, under an umbrella, with my Kindle, and with a tasty drink and snack by my side.
What’s your favorite book no one else has heard of?
I don’t think I have one? I’m a pretty basic person. I’m not even cool enough to like niche anime. Everything I gravitate to is pretty well known because they are such amazing stories.
If I had to pick one, I’d say most of my younger readers probably aren’t familiar with “The Souls of Black Folk,” by W. E. B. DuBois, and most of my older readers probably aren’t familiar with “Six of Crows,” by Leigh Bardugo.
What book should everybody read before the age of 21?
“The Poet X,” by Elizabeth Acevedo. It’s a stunning story told in verse about a young Dominican poet learning to use her voice and take up space. I think as we grow up and start to discover who we are, we also have to discover what we want to say. Then we have to get comfortable saying it. I think this is the kind of story that makes you feel strong when you’re reading it, and then you can lean on that strength when you need to use your voice and take up space in your real life.
Which writers — novelists, playwrights, critics, journalists, poets — working today do you admire most?
For novelists, I’m a forever-fan of Sabaa Tahir. Her debut fantasy — “An Ember in the Ashes” — was the epic tale that inspired me to write “Children of Blood and Bone.” It moved me in ways a story hadn’t moved me before and gave me a chance to imagine a fantasy world with characters I’d never gotten to see before.
For journalists, Shaun King. The work Shaun does for the black community is incredible. I respect his strength, tenacity and passion, and I admire him deeply for the commitment to getting our stories out.
For critics, I think YouTubers like Cosmonaut Variety Hour and Alex Meyers? I get a lot of entertainment from their television and movie reviews, and also get refreshers on good storytelling.
What writers are especially good on adolescent life?
Angie Thomas, Nic Stone and Jason Reynolds!
How do you distinguish Y.A. books from adult fiction?
Honestly, the main difference to me is how quickly I’m captured and transported into the story. I find the best young adult novels have all the best parts of adult fiction — the extensive world-building, the complex characters, the beautiful prose — layered over a fast-paced, exciting plot. Most of the adult fiction I read takes its time building to the climax.
Which young adult books would you recommend to people who don’t usually read Y.A.?
I always recommend “An Ember in the Ashes” and “Six of Crows” after one of my readers has finished “Children of Blood and Bone.” I find those three fantasies crossover really well and help hook people into reading other young adult books.
What’s the most interesting thing you learned from a book recently?
That you’re not supposed to fight your anxiety, you’re supposed to fight the things that are causing your anxiety by setting better boundaries for yourself and for others. That’s one of the golden nuggets in “Daring Greatly.”
Which genres do you especially enjoy reading? And which do you avoid?
I love a good romance! I’m always game for young adult fantasy and sci-fi. I want to read more adult books, contemporary books and poetry. And sadly, I avoid nonfiction. When I read, I like to go somewhere else in my mind with stories that touch our real world without taking place in it.
What makes for a good fantasy novel?
I think the most magical fantasies will always be the ones with a world you want to live in forever. For example, I think we loved Harry Potter, but we were in love with Hogwarts. We all wanted to go to class with him. We all wanted our own wands. I think great worlds are important because they allow readers to play in that world with their imagination long after the book is done, but a great world isn’t complete without a great protagonist.
What moves you most in a work of literature?
Acts of love. Be it familial, friendly or romantic. A beautifully described, tender act of love destroys me.
How do you organize your books?
ORIGINAL STORIES: I have a lot of the stories I wrote when I was young on my Kindle — they are hilarious and incredible and always funny to read.
BOOKS ON WRITING: I always want to be a better writer/storyteller than I am now. I love books and YouTube videos that break down the art of story.
FICTION: Most of my library is Y.A., so this is where my “I’m an adult” fiction goes.
SCI-FI: Though I’m a child of fantasy, my interest in the stars and spaceships is growing.
FANTASY: Includes all the great franchises of the past and all the exciting, diverse stories that are being published today.
Who is your favorite fictional hero or heroine? Your favorite antihero or villain?
Antiheroes: Zuko, from “Avatar: The Last Airbender”; Logan, from “X-Men”; Kaz Brekker, from “Six of Crows.” Villains: Light Yagami, from “Death Note,” and Magneto, from “X-Men.” I guess my Slytherin is showing, because I love my antiheroes and my villains more than my heroes.
What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?
I was a voracious reader when I was young. I lived for the summer reading challenges where I could read 50 books and get like three Airheads at the end of August. The authors and books that worked themselves into my heart were Mary Pope Osborne and her Magic Tree House series, J. K. Rowling and Harry Potter, Masashi Kishimoto and “Naruto.” I consider myself a creative child of fantasy and anime.
How have your reading tastes changed over time?
My Kindle is loaded up with several of the stories I wrote as a girl and as a teenager. It’s wild reading them now because I vaguely remember the nights and weekends I stayed up writing these tales, and I see the plots and character types that I’ve loved reading about and imagining since I was young.
I’ve always loved sweeping romances and magical fantasies. I’ve loved headstrong, determined female protagonists and epic battles. I still like to read the same things. I think the difference now is that I get to read all the things I like with characters who look like me. My childhood stories didn’t give me that. Even in the stories I wrote myself, I was only writing white characters and biracial characters. I didn’t realize it at the time, but that erasure was painful and damaging to my sense of self. So getting to create and read stories that fight that erasure and build on my sense of self is the only significant change in my reading tastes.
You’re organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?
Oprah Winfrey, Octavia E. Butler and Toni Morrison. I would be extremely uncomfortable in the midst of all that greatness, and I probably wouldn’t speak. But while stuffing my face with little lobster rolls, I would get to learn from and be inspired by those three incredible women.
Whom would you want to write your life story?
Honestly, me, because I’m a perfectionist. But I don’t think I’m the best person to write my story because while I have a unique take on my story, I also lack a lot of necessary perspectives that would be needed to write an accurate life story. I’m going to cheat this one and say I would like Shonda Rhimes to do a highly dramatized mini-series of my life story.
What do you plan to read next?
“Blood Heir,” by Amélie Wen Zhao. I’ve heard really great things. I’m excited to check it out!
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riverheadbooks · 5 years
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Fight the power: February’s revolutionary reads
Welcome to February, Aquarius! After the endless slog that was January (no offense, but it was the month that felt like one thousand years), you are happy to welcome a brand new month. And thank goodness, because it’s coming in HOT. You’ve received more invitations in the past week than you did in all of January, and your calendar for the rest of the month already makes you want to take a nap. Don’t! Exciting things are afoot, dear Aquarian, and if you resume the same fetal position in the couch that you took comfort in these past few weeks, there’s no telling what will pass you by. This is not the time to be a recluse; on the contrary, getting up and out will have a wonderful effect on what you consider the normalcy of everyday life. It’s always a wonderful surprise when the universe throws situations and new people in your path that force you to question beliefs you’ve always held, from the most mundane to downright fantastical. This month, those surprises abound, but, of course, it starts with you. Practice opening your mind to new possibilities, rather than sticking to the status quo. This can look like accepting a wild job offer, taking on an ambitious fitness challenge, or simply taking the scenic route home. It may also be time to step outside of your comfort zone in a much deeper way: attend a spiritual ceremony, political rally, or volunteer in a shelter. What you put into the universe, you’ll return a hundredfold: give yourself the time and freedom to be wowed by the world around you. Your lucky book this month is a fascinating, eye-opening short story collection that delves into the complexities that lie at the heart of several seemingly run-of-the-mill relationships. A short read, but worth a second or even third look--another instance in which you’ll benefit greatly from setting aside your first assumptions.
LUCKY BOOK: You Are Free by Danzy Senna
Lovely Pisces, this month we salute your generous soul. Maybe it’s the proximity to Valentine’s day, or maybe you’re just experiencing a surplus of affection--either way, you can’t get enough of your loved ones: friends, family, pets, whoever is important to you. Not only do you care about their happiness and well-being, but you believe in them, too! You’re thrilled for the opportunities you see them going after and often feel compelled to help them achieve their dreams. While this is an admirable trait (friends like you are truly diamonds in the rough!), a word of caution: know when to remove your rose-colored glasses. Your loved ones are still human, and humans make mistakes. Placing people on a pedestal very rarely ends well, for you or for them: you need to preserve some of your emotional real estate for YOU, and they need to know that your happiness isn’t totally reliant on their success or happiness. Know how to draw those boundaries, and even cut ties, if it ever comes to that point. Don’t override your intuition, ever--your gut is usually much more attuned to the reality of difficult of situations than your heart is. Your lucky book this month is a deeply visceral portrait of what happens when a close relationship is severed, and the lasting effect that divisions across identity lines can have. There is much more to this story than meets the eye--there’s a reason why this book was a runaway bestseller at publication! Read closely, and then maybe call someone just to tell them that you love them.
LUCKY BOOK: Caucasia by Danzy Senna
Slow down, Aries! After the January slog, you’re chomping at the bit to get all the things done this month. Understandable--it’s frustrating to feel like you’re so far behind, like you’re miles away from inbox zero. But let’s get real: too much stress and too little rest is a perfect recipe for getting sick. You can scoff, but no one ever plans to get sick, do they? If you feel like you’re constantly pushing yourself, that’s because you are: take a hint from your body’s exhaustion and relax. Question your motivations: are you desperate to take action because you actually care, or out of a misplaced sense of obligation? Guilt? A favor you owe to someone else? If it’s not coming from a genuine place, the results of your labor most likely won’t be to your standards, and it’ll feel like a waste of time and resources. Let February be your strategy month: what is it that you want to accomplish in the next few months? What are your mid-year goals? What can you believe putting into place? Once you’ve figured that out, then you can narrow down steps that you can take now, from the comfort of your home or office, that don’t require a large amount of legwork. Think of it as playing the long game: not every successful day has to leave you running on E. Work smarter, not harder. By the time March rolls around, you can hit the ground running. To quell some of that anxious energy, though, your lucky book this month has you covered: an unputdownable thriller set in Jamaica, surrounding the events of Bob Marley’s assassination. This hefty novel has it all: drugs, sex, reggae, and some truly unforgettable storytelling. Enough action to keep your need for adventure satiated! Now go take some Vitamin C, and don’t say we never did anything nice for you.
LUCKY BOOK: A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
My staunch and sturdy Taurus, brace yourself: February is going to be an exercise in an activity that isn’t exactly your favorite. There are some exciting new developments on the horizon for you, but as always, the universe rarely gives free gifts. You pride yourself on your take-charge attitude; you’ve been complimented more than once on your ability to bring order to chaotic situations, to think ahead and it seems everyone else’s head is in the clouds. In life, there must always be balance, and this month, it’s your turn to be just a tiny bit airheaded yourself! You’ll need to let go of some of your more rigid beliefs and behaviors in order to tap into the opportunities headed your way--they could be in the realm of your relationships, your job, or your side hustle, but either way, it’s uncharted territory. Try to figure out a way to relinquish a bit of control without feeling like you’re betraying your truest self, difficult as that may be. Change is a part of life, and positive change can only come with growth. If you’re struggling to adjust, keep yourself grounded by checking in with your family and closest friends; shifting your focus will help you maintain perspective on what’s important, at the same time that it reminds your loved ones that you care. After all, when things get rocky, their presence will make all the difference: it’s infinitely harder to get through brand new challenges all alone. In your lucky book this month, one family is put to the ultimate test when their entire home is taken from them--by the shifting powers of colonialism, and then by shipwreck. Three siblings have only each other to rely on as they navigate a brand new world together. Take courage in the face of what they struggled through and overcame, and believe you can handle whatever comes your way. We certainly do.
LUCKY BOOK: Land of Love and Drowning by Tiphanie Yanique
Do me a favor, Gem. Open your planner, bullet journal, schedule app, or wherever it is you keep track of your appointments. Notice how your rate heart has picked up? Yeah. You’re doing A LOT this month. This compulsion to reconnect with old friends and break bread with new ones is a part of what makes you you, after--one is silver and the other gold, right? Not to mention your many professional and extracurricular commitments. Movies you need to see, museums you need to visit. Just keep that appointment book handy from this point forward; you’re quickly approaching the point of saturation. You may find that some quick thinking is required towards the middle of the month, if you want to avoid disappointing friends or making terrible first impressions. While you are completely aware that a few of these awkward situations could easily have been avoided if you practiced saying “no” more, take this as a chance to stretch those muscles of ingenuity and outside-the-box thinking. Stay open to the unexpected and when appropriate, let yourself go with the flow. Luckily for you, these are traits you already possess--just be sure to keep everyone on the up and up. Sometimes your machinations can lead to people wondering what’s happening, and people don’t tend to appreciate being left in the dark. Be forthcoming about what’s going on, in the general sense, but also within your particular spheres of influence. Honesty is key this month, in a big way: a few simple white lies you told in the past may very well come back to bite you very soon. Be humble and clear the air: small lies can become big ones, very quickly. This month, your lucky book is a short story collection that lies at the intersection of identity and choice. How does your perception of yourself affect that way you navigate the world? How does systemic inequality play into that? In the midst of your buzzing social life, take some time to wrestle with how your persona and beliefs affect your community in small and large scale ways.
LUCKY BOOK: Before You Suffocate Your Own Fool Self by Danielle Evans
Hey Cancer, February is coming in hot. You may feel like life is holding you back, forever keeping your dreams on the back burner, but take a step back and reflect. Better yet, look around. Sometimes we receive our lessons as a result of mistakes made, but you have the advantage this month of your vantage point. What do you notice in the people around you? Coworkers, professional contacts, friends, acquaintances? Can you identify areas of growth and weakness, missteps and triumphs? Use their journeys as cautionary tales or inspiration as appropriate, and rest assured that things happen in due time. This is not to say you should try to be like everyone else, but rather, use their examples, both negative and positive, to craft a way forward for yourself. There’s a reason the universe keeps pumping the brakes on your own forward motion, and that may be because you’re attempting things you’re simply not ready for. In your lucky book this month, you’ll encounter a young woman who made a very difficult decision because of a responsibility she wasn’t ready for, and the ways her life changed as a result of that choice. While the ultimately figures out her own path, she only reaches that point after much introspection, as well as reflecting on the choices that the people around her made. Like her, you don’t exist in a vacuum, shut away in your own world. All of our actions affect each other, so be open to the lessons that others can teach you--we’re all in this together.
LUCKY BOOK: The Mothers by Brit Bennett
Just a little bit further now, Leo! While others were slacking off and bemoaning the dreariness of January, you were on your grind, and you’re about to see the results of your labor in a major way. Congratulations! From a job promotion to exclusive invitation to recognition from a long-time role model, be ready to accept the accolades and praise coming your way this month. Be sure to avoid the burnout that tends to set in the final stages, though; you’re almost there, keep going! One of the best ways to find your second wind is to find someone you really trust you help you bring it on home--who can that be for you? If the very thought makes you bristle because you’re unwilling to share the spotlight, that’s a red flag. It may be time to reflect on why you began this project or endeavor in the first place. Was it to solely to be praised? To make money? To prove someone else wrong? It’s not too late to redirect your energy if you started this off from a place of negativity or spite. But just be aware that you may not find the results you seek if you continue in the same ungracious vein. If you’re truly committed to seeing this through and giving it your all, this is probably the best time to bring someone else in, if you haven’t already. What are your blind spots? What could use a bit more feedback? Someone you trust to tell you the truth and treat your creation with care and dignity is someone you should absolutely have on your team. No man is an island, Leo, so disabuse yourself of that notion before you unwittingly sabotage yourself! Turn to your lucky book if you need some more reminders of the wily unpredictability of the world--and how sometimes, the only way to make sense of it is with someone who can offer a slightly different perspective.
LUCKY BOOK: Five-Carat Soul by James McBride
You know that feeling you get when you properly clean your glasses for the first time in a few days, and put them back on only to be astonished at how clear the world actually is? Virgo, that’s pretty much what this month is going to feel like. For the first time in a long time, you’re seeing things much more clearly: relationship dynamics that previously stymied you have laid themselves bare, workplace grievances or petty disagreements have fully come to light, previously held beliefs borne of ignorance are being turned on their heads. There may be many factors as to why these truths are revealing themselves, but regardless, enjoy this moment of understanding. Revisit some of the questions you puzzled over in past months when your head felt more cloudy: what do you feel confident in attempting now? What habits do you feel the need to put back into practice? Most importantly, is there anyone you owe apologies to? Despite your newfound lucidity, personal relationships may continue to be the one area that confounds you. People don’t act according to specific rules, and that may be more frustrating this month than it usually is. Intuition will come into play this month in a major way: listen to it, use it, trust it. Your gut is rarely wrong. Your lucky book this month is a deeply engaging and enchanting tale that draws on childhood myth but reflects with unerring clarity some of the more disturbing truths about our world. How much power does our outer image truly hold? And how we begin to reckon with the complexity that lies beneath? Keep this book in mind as you do some deep thinking with your newfound enlightenment this month, Virgo--there’s plenty more to this Snow White redux than meets the eye.
LUCKY BOOK: Boy Snow Bird by Helen Oyeyemi
Libra, Libra, Libra. February is a month when card and chocolate companies compel us to think about the people we love and how we express that love, and this month, the universe will be asking the same questions of you. Regardless of how you feel about the holiday of pink and red, you’ll need to reckon with where some of your closest relationships are going, how they’re changing, and who you should finally say goodbye to. Think about those you want to keep close--are you making time for them? Showing them that you care? You may think that is the case, but when is the last time you simply...asked? Intent is one thing, follow-through is quite another; if the other person isn’t picking up on your attention and affection, it may be time to amend your methods. As for you single Libras, this may the month that begins to change. Keep an open mind, but temper your expectations: a few dates does not a healthy relationship make. As you examine your existing connections and begin to think about establishing new ones, remember that people are human and prone to mistakes. Don’t allow yourself to be so swept away that you open yourself up for heartbreak too soon. It takes a careful eye and a good dose of intuition to identify an emotional vampire--practicing openness and caution at the same time is a difficult but necessary endeavor for you this month. Your lucky book is by one of the modern masters of intrigue and fantastical storytelling, and her novel will feel particularly relevant to you right now: a thrilling tale of what happens when a sentient house that holds a bed & breakfast unleashes its rage at the constant stream of unknown visitors. A classic English horror story told in a strikingly original voice, you’ll begin to appreciate the security that comes with only letting those with the purest of intentions get close to you.
LUCKY BOOK: White is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi
New month, new you! Sure, it’s the new year catchphrase, but feel free to apply it as liberally as you want. In February, the universe is nudging you abandon some of your old ways of operation and being open to new ideas. Particularly in your relationships with other people. Your usual ways of communicating may not be the best ways, particularly if you’ve found yourself reverting to subtlety and subtweets rather than direct and honest communication. At the end of the day, no one can read your mind except for you, and expecting people to pick up what you’re putting down is simply unfair. The time has come to be direct, take the time to figure out what exactly you mean to say, and say it. Your friends, family, and even coworkers will be much more receptive when your message is clear! That said, making the transition from subtle to direct can be emotionally exhausting, which translates very quickly to physical. If you find your energy levels flagging mid-month, pay attention to them and give yourself some time to recoup. (Ignoring your body’s signs is sure-fire way to get sick, just saying.) Take a bit of time to reconnect with yourself and figure out if there’s anything else you need to get off your chest. What’s the status of your intimate relationships? Are there tensions still swimming beneath the surface? How are you communicating in the workplace? With your creative team? Give yourself the time and space to square these away in your head, and feel confident about moving forward with more energy in a few weeks. Your life will be waiting for your once you’ve had a bit of a break. In the meantime, of course, get into your lucky book of the month, a fiction collection containing fresh insight and wide-ranging storytelling that will assist you in this month’s hard reset. As you aspire to clear and honest communication, Drinking Coffee Elsewhere is a perfect companion to have along the way.
LUCKY BOOK: Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by ZZ Packer
Bust out the paper and pen and let the genius flow, Sagittarius! February is a month of exhilarating creativity, and you have everything you need to unlock it. That’s not to say that you can expect to sit in a quiet room and have inspiration simply come to you, of course. You need to go to it! Leave the apartment and walk streets you’ve never explored before, take a flight to that city you’ve always wanted to visit and stay for a weekend. Take a class, fly a kite, paint a portrait--ease yourself outside of your typically prescribed behaviors and discover how firing up these new parts of your brain lend themselves to new ideas. The key to this is allowing yourself the freedom to accept what the universe is giving you, even if you don’t fully understand it now. You’ll only stifle yourself if you attempt to prune and edit as you go, so as much as you can, stifle the urge to rationalize every idea that enters your head. Record it, in whichever way feels most natural for you, and then come back to it later to see what you can glean from it. Bringing ideas to fruition takes time, this is just the beginning stages. This is thrilling time for you, and one that you absolutely cannot take for granted. Your lucky book this month is a charming accompaniment to this time of creative wonder--a collection that offers new delicious morsels each time you pick it up. Blurring the boundaries between reality and fantasy, this is playful and loosely connected meditation on the function of the key: is it a gate, a gift, or an invitation? There are no easy answers here, and you’ll be all the more enriched for it.
LUCKY BOOK: What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi
Timing is everything, Cap! This month will be a bit of a holding pattern for you: there’s something brewing, either professionally or personally, and there isn’t much to do right now but hang back and see where things go. This shouldn’t be a major struggle for your typically patient Capricorn spirit, but when you combine your strong ambition with your very real and human need to see things through, this could wind up being a struggle. So here’s what I’ll say to you: trust in the process. Accept your emotions as they come--confusion, frustration, worry--and then do your best to let them go. If you try to seize control and make things move faster than they should, you’ll end up with a total mess on your hands, and way more stress than you’re experiencing right now. How do you distract yourself? Figure out a good way to spend your time, and do that. Take a mini road trip, lose yourself in a good Netflix binge, take that pile of clothes you’ve had bagged for months to the thrift store. Ultimately, Cap, you won’t regret making the time necessary for whatever is happening in your life to fully germinate. Change is inevitable: sometimes it happens fast, but more often, it happens slowly. Growth is what comes from allowing these processes to happen at the speed that they should. While you get to where you’re eventually going (because believe me, you WILL make it!), dive into some lessons hard-won by one of the most influential artists in the music world: The RZA. From a rough upbringing in the projects of Staten Island to international superstardom as founder of the Wu-Tang Clan, RZA’s spiritual memoir has been called “a nonfiction Siddhartha for the hip-hop generation.” We all have our journey-- don’t try to rush yours.
LUCKY BOOK: The Tao of Wu by The RZA
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the-master-cylinder · 3 years
BACKSTORY Both Stuart Gordon and his producer Brian Yuzna had talked about doing the film ever since they’d first teamed up for Re-Animator. “It’s always been my favorite Lovecraft story,” beams Gordon. “At one time, it looked like we were going to do it in England.”
Scheduling conflicts on Gordon’s other “Italian” pictures prevented the deal from taking off. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that a major studio and distributor finally expressed a sincere enough commitment to actually begin financing the project. “We set it up with Vestron,” Gordon recounts. “I had originally told them it would cost about $5 million. Vestron came back and said if we could do it for $4 million, we had a deal.”
Unlike other studio blowhards, Vestron put their money where their mouth was. “Vestron set us up in a production office,” Gordon details. “Brian and I did some location scouting through New England Massachusetts, Maine-and we managed to find an isolated town in Maine that was very much like Innsmouth. We also had the whole movie storyboarded and scheduled.”
Berni Wrightson, gifted illustrator and comics superstar hailed for Swamp Thing, was contacted and asked to consider the role of concept artist. Wrightson, is considered by his peers to have one of the finest hands in the business. His flowing, evocative pen-and-ink work is unparalleled in the graphic arts. Wrightson eagerly accepted the job. “It was the most fun experience I’ve ever had,” he attests. “I like working with Stuart. I loved Re-Animator, it reanimated me.”
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Like many. Wrightson remembers being disillusioned with the state of the horror film at the time he saw Re-Animator during its initial theatrical release. Then everything changed, forever. “I’d lost interest in horror films until I saw Re-Animator,” Wrightson confesses. “I’d given up. The imagination had gone out of them. It just wasn’t fun. Jason, Freddy, Michael-how can people keep coming back for the same old shit? I went to ReAnimator without any expectations, and I was absolutely delighted from the opening shot. It was like sitting through a real-life story from EC comics, drawn by Jack Davis.”
Wrightson had been devouring the works of H.P. Lovecraft since childhood and leapt at the chance to work on Shadow Over Innsmouth with a director he so admired. Wrightson had been out for the day and returned to find a phone message. His wife told him somebody named Gordon had called. “I wondered if it was the Stuart Gordon,” Wrightson gushes.
“Berni did some fabulous drawings and paintings for us,” Gordon praises. “He did a great job visualizing the creatures and making them scary. He played with the mutation idea. This wasn’t like a Planet of the Apes basic mask; each person had been affected in a different way.”
Wrightson worked nonstop for over a month and produced close to 70 drawings. Most were graphite illustrations, though several were done in color with mixed media. “Stuart told me to go crazy with it. We never settled on just one look,” Wrightson concurs. “Stuart kept wanting more and different designs. We had humanoid tadpoles, octopi, weird creatures with fins coming out of their ears.” The artist faithfully heeded Gordon’s directions and delivered a plethora of bizarre amphibious creatures that would eventually lead to a slight degree of consternation once the concepts were delivered to FX supervisor and makeup icon Dick Smith. “Dick called me.” Wrightson remembers, “and kind of scolded me, saying it wasn’t humanly possible. ‘You’ve got to have a human being under this stuff!
“Scolded’ is a bit strong.” smiles Smith, currently at work on Francis Coppola’s third Godfather film, “but this is a problem makeup effects people have with artists who work in two dimensions: You can draw anything you want-omit the brain pan, the cavity-yet then some designs can’t be done on a human being.”
Smith sculpted several full-size heads in addition to casting some prosthetic pieces designed as facial appliances. “I did a rough foam latex mouth and stuck it on somebody to see how it worked,” he discloses. “I was trying to avoid mechanical masks; they’re expensive and often counterproductive.” After the initial makeups were designed and proven viable, Smith was to act only as the film’s FX supervisor and consultant, with other crews employed to complete the actual fabrication and application. “The people I recommend are good enough that I’m not needed,” Smith adds. He picked Greg Cannom to execute the complex appliance makeup on the major characters because, “I saw a sculpture of his that I liked better than mine. His work is very organic.” John Caglione and Doug Drexler were to manufacture and apply the various other makeups and prosthetics needed for the close background creatures, as well as the slip-on masks to be worn by extras during the mob scenes.
Though by this time many participants’ hopes had been propelled to stratospheric heights, a Shadow Over Vestron began to gather, casting serious doubts on the ultimate feasibility of the project. Other production companies had expressed similar trepidation in the past, mostly because of the ambitious scope of the story.
“It’s a big picture,” Gordon explains. “You’re dealing with things that are notoriously scary for producers: lots of makeup effects, lots of water, needing an actual town for location shooting. And then there’s the story. The basic idea was a problem. If you explain it to another person, it sounds absurd. The idea of people turning into fish sounds like a joke.” Future developmental plans and preproduction meetings would refer to the mutants as “amphibious creatures.”
Both Gordon and writer Dennis Paoli knew that they also had to add some modern touches to a story that Lovecraft had set in the 1920s. Gordon, Paoli and producer Yuzna all had a hand in the original treatment, but it was up to Paoli to write a script that would measure up to show biz standards.
“What can I do to adapt to a ‘Hollywood’ viewpoint?” asks Paoli rhetorically. “Add a woman, since very few Lovecraft stories include women; speed the pace up, because Lovecraft is atmospheric; you have to have a scene at the beginning the hook, something that quickly tells the whole story.”
Special Makeup Effects supervised by Dick Smith
Special Makeup Effects supervised by Dick Smith
At one time, The Shadow Over Innsmouth was envisioned as a period piece. As Paoli notes, “Lovecraft feeds off the darkness of the 19th century, the puritanical side of New England culture.” Budgetary restrictions and commercial viability soon swayed the production team into a more modern approach. The town in Maine was replaced by one in Washington state. A fishy love story was added as subtext. Parts of another Lovecraft story, “The Thing on the Doorstep,” were added in order to heighten the drama. Gordon further isolated the town until it was entirely cut off from its neighboring burg. “We made it an island,” says Gordon, “so you had to take a ferry to get there. Both of the major location sites offered enthusiastic townspeople who were willing to do nearly anything to attract the film company. “They offered themselves as extras, said we could blow up a dockside building,” Gordon recalls appreciatively. “They were willing to let us do whatever we wanted to shoot the film in their town.”
However, both Gordon and Yuzna soon realized that their imaginations were running far ahead of the budget. Vestron was fairly adamant about the set figure and Gordon began to be haunted by the additional $3 million he figured would be needed to do the treatment justice. “It became very frustrating.” Gordon recalls. “The further we got into it, we realized it couldn’t be made for that. For less than $7 million, you would lose what made Shadow so special in the first place.”
Vestron refused to budge. Gordon counters, “For $4 million, there could be no town, probably just a house, with one family turning amphibious. We had a climactic sequence taking place on the reef; that too would have to go. Probably there would be no water in the story at all.”
Gordon arrived at a point where he knew the compromised version would be so far removed from Lovecraft that there would be no point in calling it The Shadow Over Innsmouth. “It was a mutual realization,” Gordon sighs. “We all knew we just couldn’t do it right for $4 million.” Despite Gordon’s overall cheerfulness and enthusiasm, it is at this point that a hint of genuine sadness and frustration begins to creep into his voice. This project obviously meant a helluva lot to all of them.
“It was a wonderful story,” adds Dick Smith. “It’s just a pity that the producers were stuck with the budget. Stuart didn’t want to do it half-assed, and I respect him for that.”
Empire Pictures – Shadow Over Innsmouth (1985/1991) Unfilmed BACKSTORY Both Stuart Gordon and his producer Brian Yuzna had talked about doing the film ever since they'd first teamed up for Re-Animator.
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