Well, my plan backfired on me. I told y’all that I would have more frequent posts, and look at this… 8 months after the fact, here I am. I got a lot of projects done while watching a lot of movies/tv shows/cows walking by the house, so I thought I’d just do a quick running list from memory, and grace you with the corresponding links and pictures if I have them available, to catch you up. An exhaustive analysis of each of these films will not do, since I’m long-winded anyway, and talking about each movie separately will require a novella. So I’ll limit myself to a rating and quick summary. You know how hard that will be, gentle readers, but I will do my best. And here we go: some of the stuff I did while on an unintended, but frequently occurring, blog hiatus!
Porco Rosso and Continuing Granny Squares
Porco Rosso was a lot of fun to watch, and quickly became one of my favorite Ghibli films. It’s a departure from the Badass Heroine in a Mystical Land trope I usually gravitate toward, but the characters in this flick won me over. The titular character, Porco, is a particularly snarky enigma, once I got past Michael Keaton’s voice in the dub. It’s not that he was bad, just mildly distracting, since is voice is so familiar. But It’s a great historically-based magical realism romp. With planes. And pigs.
Castle in the Sky and Continuing Granny Squares
I love the idea of Castle in the Sky. The story is quite original, and I got invested in the motivations of several of the characters. But the idea was hobbled by some weird casting in the voice acting department. I’ve heard worse, of course; there are some terrible dubs and VA performances out there. However, I think since it was coming from a Ghibli film, it hit me really hard how grating Sita’s voice was. And as a Ghibli heroine, she is not the strongest, but the supporting cast was very entertaining – Cloris Leachman in particular. I’d recommend it if you’re on a Ghibli kick, as the animation is gorgeous as always, and the story is interesting. Just be warned. THAT VOICE.
Departures and Continuing Granny Squares
I freakin’ love Departures. It is the best movie I’ve ever seen that deals with death, because it does it in such a refreshing and honest way. In some ways it’s a contradiction – it’s practical, yet heartwarming; comedic, yet deeply sad. It is the best depiction of death as a natural part of life that I have ever seen, and I strongly recommend it to anyone and everyone. A special thanks goes out to my Religion and Film professor, Dr. Roy Hammerling, for first introducing me to the film, and to my parents for putting up with me when I made them watch it. Now you should go watch it – it’s still on Netflix as of the writing of this article.
Kramer Vs. Kramer and Shopping Bags
A riveting story, two amazing leads, and a beautiful setting. Kramer vs. Kramer was a great watch, and there’s not much to say other than that!
While watching, I made two shopping bags for my friends overseas – one for Emily in London and another for Steph in Argentina.
Roman Holiday and Marilee’s Hat
While working on a hat for my aunt Marilee, I watched the Hepburn/Peck classic, and quite enjoyed it. It’s a familiar story, though probably less familiar at the time, of a royal escaping her structured life and going out among the people, only to meet a rougish love interest who shows her the world, but is keeping secrets from her that will drive a wedge between them in the third act. Yes, I made the Aladdin reference on purpose. No, I’m not sorry.
It’s a sweet little movie with some lovely cinematography. It’s almost as though Gregory Peck is going for a Carey Grant-type character, but he does well enough. Hepburn is sparkly and engaging as she flits through the film. It’s well worth a watch, as it is a classic for a reason, just be prepared for a storyline that will be familiar before it even begins.
Star Trek: the Next Generation and a Plethora
-Alicia’s Baby Sweaters – http://www.mooglyblog.com/eloise-baby-sweater/
-A bunch of other stuff that I can’t remember
I’m not quite done with this series, so this, and the following, will need to wait to have judgement passed. But as of the fifth season, it’s been a lot of fun!
Xena: Warrior Princess and a Plethora
Again, I haven’t finished the series, but I’ve been watching it on and off over the last few years – even a bit back when I was still in school. So the things I have worked on during watching it are numerous, and these are just a few that I can remember:
-A multitude of slouchy hats with various continuations
-Alicia’s Baby Hats – http://thedaintydaisyblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/shell-stitch-beanie.html
-Alicia’s Baby Booties
Xena is a campy hoot. It’s very episodic (at least in the first two seasons I’ve seen) with vague threads of continuing storyline. So some of the episodes are hit and miss, but the strongest ones for me are the ones that have an actual impact on the storyline, which tend to be multi-parters. Lucy Lawless is kickass and snarkily hilarious as Xena, but she also plays dramatic very well. Renee O’Connor, Gabrielle, provides a nice foil as the optimistic storyteller, but she has had a nice character arc making her also tough and realistic. Produced by Sam Rami (Evil Dead, Spider-Man, Drag Me to Hell), you can expect to have plenty of heart with your cheese when you watch Xena. I might have to do a follow-up on this one when I finish the series, as it is lengthy, with a lot to discuss.
And last but not least, Twin Peaks and a Plethora
A fascinating 1990 TV series produced, and occasionally directed and written by David Lynch (Eraserhead, Elephant Man), Twin Peaks is fluid and unpredictable, therefore a follow-up will be required for a full discussion. So here are the projects I have worked on so far while watching it:
-Dalek shawl – http://crochetvolution.com/summer-2014/deco
-Pineapple Doily – http://web.archive.org/web/20071231131255/www.angelfire.com/folk/celtwich/Doublepine.html
Well, if you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You’ve stuck with my rambling nonsense long enough to rewarded with a killer music video. I will hopefully be posting more regularly as my life settles down, but I’ve said that before… I’ll see you next month, readers! Keep shining!