movies and comic books

A few short things today. If you haven't checked since a week ago, scroll down for two mid-week posts (a character meme, and some nice words about A Sane Woman).

1. In this post, I talked about the comic book storylines and characters that were being cut short for the big general reboot at DC Comics. Based on this article at the AV Club website I'm not the one one who thought that both Batgirl and Secret Six were pretty special.

Oh, and the resolution of "Scandal Savage’s love triangle with cosplaying stripper Liana and newly revived Female Fury Knockout"? She rescued one of them from Hell, and the other from a fundamentalist nutjob, and then, unable to choose between then (and having been reminded by one of her teammates that they are not heroes and don't have to play by the rules), she married both of them.

I suspect that polygamous lesbian marriages are only allowed in mainstream comics when 1) the characters are villains, and 2) the book has already been cancelled and all the continuity is about to be wiped out anyway.

2. I think Johnny Depp has finally managed to find a movie to star in which I will never see. A remake of The Thin Man? With possible musical numbers? (And, though this wasn't mentioned, I'm sure with considerably less alcoholism.) Ah, no thanks. Johnny, I like you a lot, but, sir, you are no William Powell, and your co-star, whoever she ends up being, is no Myrna Loy.

3. Jody Moller had an interesting post, and one comment she made has stuck with me: "Who are your favourite Authors? No doubt they are the ones you are aspiring to be like."

I'm not sure this is true, at least I don't think it's true for me. If I have a "favorite" writer, it's Thomas Pynchon, and I don't think I write like him, and I'm pretty sure I've never tried. But then I remembered the single biggest influence on my writing, which is Robert Altman. I guess I'm trying to be my favorite movie director instead.

And I'm not the only one. Magnolia was clearly P.T. Anderson's attempt at making his own Nashville, as I talked about here. And I just watched Michael Winterbottom's movie The Claim, and he was clearly making his own McCabe & Mrs. Miller.

It's a pretty good movie. It's no McCabe and Mrs. Miller (what is?), but it has a lot going for it. The biggest weakness is the actors. The main actresses (Sarah Polley, Nastassja Kinski and Milla Jovovich) are so strong that the lead actors, who are competent but not exceptional, just can't keep up.

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7 Responses to movies and comic books

  1. Tiyana says:

    Ha! I don’t think I’d want to see Depp in a movie that hints at musical numbers, either. I mean he’s crazy enough as it is. Add singing to the mix? Um, no thanks.

    For me, my favorite authors, or influences in general, are folks who have ideas that I think are interesting, pure and simple. I don’t consciously “aspire” to be like anyone. If I suspect for one moment that what I’m doing reminds me of what someone else has done–I mean really strongly reminds me of someone else–then I’m liable to change things up just to differentiate myself.

    Seriously, that kind of thing makes me paranoid, lol. I cannot stand the idea of being anything other than who I’m meant to be or the possibility of being considered a copycat. Weird? Maybe, but true.

    I haven’t seen any of those movie you mentioned, though. I’ll have to check them out. (And in Depp’s case, I’ll have to skip his version and look at the original.)

    • I don’t mind the idea of Depp singing (I liked Sweeney Todd a lot), but The Thin Man doesn’t need to be remade and it certainly doesn’t need to have musical numbers added. In fact, I’m remembering that it was adapted to a Broadway musical at one point, and it was (IIRC) not a success. So, yes, do check out the original when you get a chance. The first five minutes or so are a bit hokey, but after that it’s just wonderful.

      (I am really looking forward to the Burton/Depp Dark Shadows movie next year, though. I think/hope they get what made the original show so great, and wow do they have a great cast: Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Chloe Moretz, Eva Green, and Helena Bonham Carter — of course.)

      Good point about the “copycat” question. I would not be happy if somebody ever said, “Hey, you write just like _______” (no matter who it was). There have been points where I’ve been struck about how much of my writing is influenced by Dhalgren by Samuel R. Delany (http://tenpillars.drupalgardens.com/content/dhalgren), and there have been times I’ve sat down and listed the differences to myself (I write women better than he does, my stuff has more humor, my stuff has murder mysteries…).

  2. I used to aspire to be like my favorite writers–not to write the same way or subject matter, of course, but to live up to what I loved about their books. But I’ve been writing for so long now that I don’t really think about my own work as it relates to others’ work. I just keep writing. I do track if someone’s written something similar or a story about the same time period as my historical WIP.

    And Anthony, I picked a new winner of the CD contest over on my blog, since I haven’t heard back from the original winner and couldn’t find his/her email address anywhere. And you won! You can email me your mailing address at laurastanfill at hotmail dot com and I’ll send out Miller-Kelton’s latest album, “Tip-Top.” Thanks for participating!

  3. sonje says:

    When I was in my early-20s, I read “Like” by Ali Smith and it completely blew me away. The next book I wrote was blatantly trying to be “Like.” Of course it failed miserably. It’s hard not to emulate something that has such a big impact on you though.

  4. Laura: I’m the same way. My writing is influenced by a lot of different things, but my only aspiration is to get better, not to change course.

    Sonje: That’s how I started out, copying others. It’s been so long I’m not even sure who I was copying back then. When I say ASW was my “first” novel, I’m suppressing a lot that came before. For good reason.

  5. tpaulin says:

    I’ve definitely seen more movies than read books, and I love movies, so naturally I’m influenced by them.

    I like it when I see a movie, connect with it, and then find out it was written and directed by a woman. There aren’t that many out there, and I’m not demanding 50/50 representation or anything, but I’m glad there are some.

    I like Miranda July and Nicole Holofcener. Heck, even Diablo Cody is pretty darn cool. Is it cool to like her? Whatevs. 🙂

    Sometimes I daydream about someone directing one of my books into film (but not just anyone!)

    I’ll have to watch The Claim. That one slipped by me, and I do enjoy Sarah Polly. (Go, Canadians!)

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