rambly ruin
Do you think every Phan should read Susan Kay's Phantom?
Anonymous

absynthe—minded:

phantamxrose:

spindleshanking:

ilikeunderstudiesandethanfreeman:

operafantomet:

Well… as one who hasn’t read it and probably won’t… No? 

it is deffoes not a must-read, especially not after what Kay did to the Leroux section of the novel.

However, if you want to understand the phandom as a whole, it is absolutely a must-read. Kay!Erik is the basis of fanon!Erik, particularly pre-2004.

The only must read is Leroux. However, I enjoyed Kay’s novel and it helped me get a better sense of Erik (even though it was basically fanfiction) I read it before I read the Leroux novel. It’s not necessary to read, but I recommend it.

I think that for what it was, it did a good job. I’m forever fascinated by adaptations, by the shifts in stories and the changes they undergo, and as such Kay’s novel is of particular interest to me. Up to the Counterpoint section her ideas regarding Erik are important if you want to understand how the phandom developed (especially because she didn’t sugarcoat Erik’s murderous tendencies, nor did her Erik apologize for them ). In terms of plot, her greatest sin really was keeping Christine passive, which wasn’t accurate but at the same time was expected since the de Mattos translation of the novel was the only one circulating. Mr. de Mattos didn’t rewrite the novel, but he did turn Christine into a shell of the woman she was meant to be; add that to the reputation of ALW!Christine as a spineless doormat and it’s not surprising that Kay’s heroine was a soft-spoken one. I have my own opinions regarding the Counterpoint section that aren’t exactly in tandem with the rest of the phandom, mostly because of my above-mentioned love for adaptations and derivative works (I tend to think of the Phantom story at this point as something almost archetypal, populated by stock characters for each author to do with as they will, because while Leroux created the tale it’s since passed into the cultural lexicon), but I will cede that Kay’s Christine is a far softer one than any up to that point.

I stand with spindleshanking - if you want to know how the phandom’s perceptions of Erik have changed, and where they came from, you must read Phantom and see the 2004 film (at this point I’d argue you need to see the RAH concert as well, even).

EDIT: I’ll also include a further point in the novel’s defense: Kay’s book came about in the age before Internet fanfiction was widespread, maybe even before it existed in a proper setting and not just through shared posts on bulletin boards. So a lot of the ideas that she had (Erik’s mother, his training as an architect, Christine’s ultimate fate, etc.) seem trite and cliched now, to us in 2014, but 24 years ago in 1990 it was fresh. I think a lot of the backlash from Kay’s novel comes from how it’s spread through phan culture - how things like Nadir Khan as the Daroga’s name went from “intellectual property of one person” to “common fanon”. Of course a lot of it will seem old hat to the modern reader, particularly if you’re reading it after reading phanfic written in this modern era.

I’d suggest keeping that in mind.

If there’s a backlash against Kay now, I’m glad I’m not active in the phandom anymore. It would be impossible to overstate how important that book is to me.

Our Thor bluray is inexplicably missing from its case. I go to watch it, hoping for renewed inspiration, and it’s straight up not in there. I’m just not meant to finish this stupid fanfiction.

I agree (and they do have Odin intimate that he thinks Thor should be with Sif, possibly suggesting she’s willing), but they didn’t set that up in the filmverse. Thor and Sif were platonic in Thor1 and there wasn’t any real suggestion of romantic tension, even just on her end. If Sif made a move between films and that’s why he’s stiff with her now, they could have had Fandral or Volstagg say something to tell us that. A teasing one-liner like the W4 constantly threw at each other in the first film would have covered it.
I mean, the whole thing is kind of a fanwank I’ve created because I’m looking for a reason their relationship has changed, but it would have been a very fitting, very easy explanation and probably something they were thinking about anyway.

I agree (and they do have Odin intimate that he thinks Thor should be with Sif, possibly suggesting she’s willing), but they didn’t set that up in the filmverse. Thor and Sif were platonic in Thor1 and there wasn’t any real suggestion of romantic tension, even just on her end. If Sif made a move between films and that’s why he’s stiff with her now, they could have had Fandral or Volstagg say something to tell us that. A teasing one-liner like the W4 constantly threw at each other in the first film would have covered it.

I mean, the whole thing is kind of a fanwank I’ve created because I’m looking for a reason their relationship has changed, but it would have been a very fitting, very easy explanation and probably something they were thinking about anyway.

Okay, so. My fears are so realised (and I mean, besides this being a big dumb sequel to big dumb Avengers rather than surprisingly refreshing if deeply flawed Thor).

The characterisation is a case study in vast simplification.

Jane, in Thor1.0, is a fully realised human being whose role and goals in the story would have remained the same if she were a dude and the love interest angle didn’t exist. She’s always about her work, her motivations are never reduced from self-actualising, personal drives to anything less than the motivations of a protagonist. She is a protagonist. That she and Thor have physical chemistry is pretty much irrelevant to both character arcs; her impact on the plot comes from who she is as a person and the things she believes in.

Meanwhile, Thor2.0 Jane is simplified from having her affection for Thor be a bonus incentive while her real focus is on the fulfilment of her life’s work and her validation as a scientist, to her entire reason for existing being Thor’s girlfriend. I could see her slowing down in her progress and getting discouraged (I actually had this happen in my post-Thor1 fic), but not because her not-even-boyfriend isn’t paying enough attention to her. I can see her getting discouraged because it looked like she was finally over the hump and about to break through to a world of science literally no one but her believed possible, then it all stalled. I can see her being frustrated that she’s still not getting the recognition she deserves or even clandestine help from SHIELD (I mean, apparently; she doesn’t seem to be working for or with anyone, and Erik is off being crazy).

But no. None of those things are factors. She just curled up in a ball and cried until Thor came back of his own volition. Because clearly, even if they actually had a relationship (which they didn’t, you guys, they had a possibility of a relationship- not something you lay down and die over losing) she’s totally the kind of person who would therefore give up on her entire life. Ain’t nothing without a boyfriend, you know.

Oh my God, the slapping, too. I said my piece about her hitting Loki back in the day (Coles notes: I don’t think it’s out of character, but it is stupid and the movie shouldn’t be telling us to cheer her on for it), but I didn’t know about her slapping Thor back then. Triple facepalm. Come on now. This, I do think is out of character. It’s ridiculous and immature and I just can’t imagine Jane being so unreasonable and so melodramatic. She had no idea what she was sending him home to when he left and she’s more than smart enough to figure out that the New York situation was dire straits and if he couldn’t see her, he had good reasons. Besides which, given the way they left things, I don’t think she would feel at all entitled to treat him that way even if I thought she were the kind of person who would treat a deadbeat boyfriend like that.

Her agency is practically meaningless in this film. She’s a human McGuffin until the very end. Even in the end, they set it up in such a way that it seems like Erik could have done it by himself.

Thor… I don’t even know about Thor.  Mostly okay, I guess? He’s just there. I mean, his attitude towards Odin is all kinds of inconsistent, but Odin is such a mess that I don’t even want to get into it. Thor’s group of merry warriors seemed detached and distant this go around, and he was bizarrely formal with Sif in a way that he definitely wasn’t in the first film. If something happened that made it weird between them, there should have been a line dropped about it. Basically, the W3 and Sif were so much set dressing. The feeling of shared history and natural friendship they managed to sketch in the original was MIA. 

Loki. Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Okay. Right. So, he had a very complex interlocking web of motivations in Thor1, not a single one of them simple or wholly malevolent, and his tragic downfall is the result of dozens of threads pulling him at once. You know one of the few things his motivation definitely wasn’t? Usurping the throne of Asgard. He didn’t covet it, he never expected it, and he didn’t usurp it. The throne was thrust upon him and that played a huge part in him finally falling off the deep end, but it wasn’t something he sought. In Thor2, a throne (any throne) is retconned to be literally his only motivation. That’s how the character is repeatedly defined by the film: As the son of Odin who wanted a throne too much. Like all the problems in Thor1 and Avengers just came from Loki, apropos of nothing, deciding he should have been king. Holy grossly inaccurate oversimplification, Batman!

Who the Hell is this Odin and where did he come from? This is not the Odin from Thor1. This is not the emotional place we left these characters in.

I just. jfkdsjfalkjds;lkajf;ld I’m not even coherent, but this is the stupidest, most unimaginative direction they could possible have gone with Loki. The only thing that’s interesting is him protecting Jane, his ‘death’ scene, whether he really was dying, and what he said to Thor as Odin. This is a magnificent, rich character reduced to some one-liners and like two half-hearted thrown bones of emotional depth.

Killing Frigga to team up Thor and Loki is just the most obvious, lazy, dart board of clichés cheap trick. They didn’t even make full use of it dramatically! All the machinery moving what can charitably be called the plot was fully visible. 

I really, really, really wish Kenneth Branagh had come back. I feel like that would have helped immeasurably.

I didn’t hate it? It just felt… disconnected and pointless. I didn’t care about anyone or anything that was happening. That could be partially or wholly on me and how I’m not well right now, so I don’t know how I feel about it as a stand-alone blockbuster thing without reference to the original film, but it was big and dumb and full of the things that annoyed me so much in Avengers. Action with no stakes, shitty exposition, snappy lines even where they hurt the tone, exaggerated characters, gigantic plot holes, on and on. I did laugh at the physical comedy, but I think Hollywood needs to get over this Godzilla trend of carnage to any and all major cities which appear in superhero films. Dumb ass villains too. And that scene with the Collector looked like they stole some shots from Doctor Who. Although I would have forgiven a lot if Tom Baker had turned up.

Blargh. I feel like I’m not taking this in at all.* So maybe I’m not being fair, but seriously. High points: Stan Lee and Jane’s red wellies.

*Mental illness day, I’m having one.

I’m finally watching Thor II. Everyone (actors and characters) seemed stiff and weird until Jane and Chris O’Dowd showed up, having the first vaguely humanoid conversation of the movie so far. Then Darcy came along, very recognisable but flanderised.

Oh, it’s not going well. Maybe I’m in too shitty a mood to watch this.

okay so you post about the young ones all the time and i know nothing about it but it seems really cool! what can you tell me about it?

gooseinaberet:

reachexceedinggrasp:

gooseinaberet:

thecouchwitch:

Oh! Well, I’m not very good at explaining stuff, so i’ll try to do my best :)



The Young Ones is a surrealist 1980’s comedy about 4 university students sharing a house. I got into it through the Boosh, when one of the stars died last month and Noel wrote about him and the show in a magazine. I’m fairly certain he said somewhere that the show inspired the boosh, or at least influenced it, but I can’t find the interview right now. 
R.I.P Rik, you beautiful bastard.

image

There’s Rik Mayall as Rick Pratt, a pro-gay, pro-choice, anti-racist, feminist Anarchist, as well as a closeted transvestite and possibly closeted gay or bisexual, but unfortunately these positive traits were mixed with zero maturity and a large amount of insufferability and paranoia

Ade Edmondson as Vyvyan Basterd, a stereotypically violent 1980’s punk with an abusive and neglectful mother who’s studying to be a doctor despite his love of slapstick and explosives

Nigel Planer as Neil Pie/Pye, a depressed hippie constantly looking for recognition and attention

And Christopher Ryan as Mike Thecoolperson, an extremely cool person who’s ten years older than the others but still attends university because he’s blackmailing the dean so he can keep getting student money. He’s suave, smooth-talking, somewhat sleazy and has several possible criminal connections, but this doesn’t stop him being the nicest person in the house.

There’s also Alexei Sayle, who plays not just their communist landlord, but every member of his family.

The show is extremely random, with loose plots connected with smart jokes and good acting, as well as a lot of puppetry and fantasy sequences, such as talking rats and a wardrobe that leads to Narnia.
Famous bands such as Madness, Motorhead and The Damned guest starred at least once an episode, mainly so that they could qualify as a variety show and automatically be awarded a bigger budget.
There’s a lot of slapstick and violence to the point that it resembles a live action Merry Melodies cartoon, and while the characters themselves are not meant to be sympathetic, it’s extremely hard not to like them. The show was considered pretty out there and controversial in it’s time, but it got a massive fanbase, due to how honestly funny and unique it was.

Also, Rick and Vyvyan are hot, so….

I have honestly never seen these characters described like this… And now I read this I’m rather surprised I’ve not seen it more often. Especially (P)Rick’s description… You’re right, all those positives were obscured by his volatile immaturity.

Well, pRick is only a leftist, an anarchist, etc. because it’s fashionable and because he wants to think of himself as this romantic, counter-culture hero, but he’s actually the biggest reactionary in the house. He always does a complete turn around on the trustworthiness and competence of the police as soon as he’s in trouble, flouts rules until someone does the same to him then becomes the most nitpicky stickler imaginable, and immediately disavows all his revolutionary ideals as soon as it looks like there will be any repercussions for them. Like when he found out they didn’t pay their license fee and thought it was great until he realised they were going to get caught.

On one level he’s basically a satire of armchair activists who talk a big game but are hypocrites, and who will go on to a life of textbook middle class social conservatism as soon as they graduate.

He’s also, on another level, your basic insufferable know-it-all, no-one-has-ever-felt-like-this, oh-I-have-the-soul-of-a-poet teenager. One of his poems in the book hit reallllly close to home for me hahaaha. Rik said the character was inspired partly by himself, because he ‘used to be like that when [he] was thirteen or so’.

"It was the other three, not me, I had no idea what was going on it really was the other three."

I’ve got to say, one of the things that attracted me to TYO was that it was the first show I had ever seen where the writers were not utterly obsessed with making their characters ‘likeable’… which oddly enough made me love all of them.

Everyone who has ever been within spitting distance of a university knows a student like pRick… (and if you don’t well then you were probably ‘that student.’) And everyone has a crack at trying too hard, but with him he just never outgrew that phase.

I couldn’t help but feel kind of sorry for him though. Whenever he got out of his depth all I saw was this boy, barely out of school, who was getting in far too deep with people much more psychotic than him who didn’t lack the courage of their convictions (like he did.) Didn’t make him less of a spoiled little twat brat though.

I still can’t explain Rick’s dress though… It was perhaps the only aspect of his life that wasn’t something he was openly flaunting… unlike his armchair activism (really nice phrase reachexceedinggrasp.) Mentioned once in one episode and never again. Probably a plot device that I have latched onto as a perfectly reasonable character facet. 

(Then again try explaining a lot of things in that show: talking matchboxes, teddies shagging. the cast being squashed by a giant éclair etc.)

When the show was going to broadcast in the US, the American marketers asked who was the likeable, hero character out of the leads and the creators said ‘well, none of them, they’re all horrible’. I find that so hilarious, because it’s definitely true but you love them anyway. And they really ring very true to life as archetypes. I first saw the show living in student housing and, even in the midst of its bizarreness, it is so accurate. Still!

I feel a lot of sympathy for pRick, too, even when you’re not really supposed to. He gets himself into exaggerated versions of social situations I think everyone has been in, and for the same reasons. I also feel sorry for Neil, I see an uncomfortable amount of myself in both of them lol.

The director said that as the show took shape, the lads sort of became an old-fashioned, proper sitcom family. Mike was the father, Neil was the mum, Vyvyan was the son, and Rick was the little girl. He even had pigtails. I think maybe Rick’s dress is playing on that as a meta in-joke. In addition to being random, because it is TYO. (‘Don’t look at me, I’m irrelevant.’)

okay so you post about the young ones all the time and i know nothing about it but it seems really cool! what can you tell me about it?

gooseinaberet:

thecouchwitch:

Oh! Well, I’m not very good at explaining stuff, so i’ll try to do my best :)



The Young Ones is a surrealist 1980’s comedy about 4 university students sharing a house. I got into it through the Boosh, when one of the stars died last month and Noel wrote about him and the show in a magazine. I’m fairly certain he said somewhere that the show inspired the boosh, or at least influenced it, but I can’t find the interview right now. 
R.I.P Rik, you beautiful bastard.

image

There’s Rik Mayall as Rick Pratt, a pro-gay, pro-choice, anti-racist, feminist Anarchist, as well as a closeted transvestite and possibly closeted gay or bisexual, but unfortunately these positive traits were mixed with zero maturity and a large amount of insufferability and paranoia

Ade Edmondson as Vyvyan Basterd, a stereotypically violent 1980’s punk with an abusive and neglectful mother who’s studying to be a doctor despite his love of slapstick and explosives

Nigel Planer as Neil Pie/Pye, a depressed hippie constantly looking for recognition and attention

And Christopher Ryan as Mike Thecoolperson, an extremely cool person who’s ten years older than the others but still attends university because he’s blackmailing the dean so he can keep getting student money. He’s suave, smooth-talking, somewhat sleazy and has several possible criminal connections, but this doesn’t stop him being the nicest person in the house.

There’s also Alexei Sayle, who plays not just their communist landlord, but every member of his family.

The show is extremely random, with loose plots connected with smart jokes and good acting, as well as a lot of puppetry and fantasy sequences, such as talking rats and a wardrobe that leads to Narnia.
Famous bands such as Madness, Motorhead and The Damned guest starred at least once an episode, mainly so that they could qualify as a variety show and automatically be awarded a bigger budget.
There’s a lot of slapstick and violence to the point that it resembles a live action Merry Melodies cartoon, and while the characters themselves are not meant to be sympathetic, it’s extremely hard not to like them. The show was considered pretty out there and controversial in it’s time, but it got a massive fanbase, due to how honestly funny and unique it was.

Also, Rick and Vyvyan are hot, so….

I have honestly never seen these characters described like this… And now I read this I’m rather surprised I’ve not seen it more often. Especially (P)Rick’s description… You’re right, all those positives were obscured by his volatile immaturity.

Well, pRick is only a leftist, an anarchist, etc. because it’s fashionable and because he wants to think of himself as this romantic, counter-culture hero, but he’s actually the biggest reactionary in the house. He always does a complete turn around on the trustworthiness and competence of the police as soon as he’s in trouble, flouts rules until someone does the same to him then becomes the most nitpicky stickler imaginable, and immediately disavows all his revolutionary ideals as soon as it looks like there will be any repercussions for them. Like when he found out they didn’t pay their license fee and thought it was great until he realised they were going to get caught.

On one level he’s basically a satire of armchair activists who talk a big game but are hypocrites, and who will go on to a life of textbook middle class social conservatism as soon as they graduate.

He’s also, on another level, your basic insufferable know-it-all, no-one-has-ever-felt-like-this, oh-I-have-the-soul-of-a-poet teenager. One of his poems in the book hit reallllly close to home for me hahaaha. Rik said the character was inspired partly by himself, because he ‘used to be like that when [he] was thirteen or so’.

I think my drawing skills have atrophied. Sorry, Rik. I tried.
(Do I miss something about blending stumps? Aren’t you supposed to peel them back to sharp like pastel pencils? Why can’t I work them? Now I have no blending stumps and I’m blending with a flannel and it hasn’t worked out quite like I’d hoped.)

I think my drawing skills have atrophied. Sorry, Rik. I tried.

(Do I miss something about blending stumps? Aren’t you supposed to peel them back to sharp like pastel pencils? Why can’t I work them? Now I have no blending stumps and I’m blending with a flannel and it hasn’t worked out quite like I’d hoped.)

thehatisparamount:

Can we just talk about how fucking gorgeous Rik Mayall was in this movie??

I’m always ready to talk about this.

I think Jodie Foster’s dislike of Hannibal the novel and her subsequent refusal to star in the film adaptation stems from a fundamental misreading of The Silence of the Lambs. Which is quite a shame, really, for her and for all those people who love Clarice so much and spew vitriol towards her creator because they don’t understand her as well as they thought they did.

Foster says (in a contemporary documentary) that she sees Dr. Lecter as a surrogate father-figure for Starling. Now, it’s implied in Silence and explicitly explored (at considerable length) in Hannibal that that is exactly what he is not in a veritable sea of such figures within Starling’s POV. This, along with one or two other key points, seems to be where people missed the boat. Starling sees fathers everywhere; not necessarily her father as a person, but men who fit into what she perceives as the role her father played.

She looks at Crawford, Krendler, Brigham (this is why she doesn’t date him), and- less significantly- a few others in this light. Her concept of the father-figure incorporates anyone in moral or actual authority and she subconsciously defers to them even when she knows they are in the wrong. Her journey to self-awareness and freedom from subconscious guilt and reflex obedience culminates in the infamous brain-eating dinner scene. She explains her own neuroses, telling Krendler that she always found a way to blame herself for his abuse, because she carries her father as an idol and holds him too closely, not allowing herself to remember him for who he was as a human being and move on with her life.

(At some point I must think about it more, but Dr. Lecter is everything her father-idol was not, superficially and deeply. Possibly he attracts her for this very reason?)

The drugs Dr Lecter has been giving her are not mind-altering, not personality-transplanting or will-suppressing. We’ve been told their effects already; they reduce inhibitions, break down barriers and give voice to the deep parts of the psyche that the conscious mind keeps hidden. Starling tells Dr. Lecter things she would never have said in a sober state, but everything she tells him is the truth. It’s simply truth she would rather not face. To be a little romantic about the whole thing: yes, he set her free. To us at home this is more than a little terrifying, because Starling’s whole self, no longer a slave to her idol of male authority, has a sense of justice different from ours. Her ideas of right and wrong are visceral and warrior-like, not genteel, but they are hers, her instinctual taboos.

Before she was enslaved to what she thought the fathers of her world wanted, to fit in, to make it, to prove herself. When being good didn’t bring her just rewards her faith in the wisdom of the fathers was shaken. The system as she knew it was no longer working (this is explicit in Hannibal using her orphanage upbringing, etc). When she realized that her being able to “cut it” wasn’t enough, she pays less and less attention to the approval of her fathers and begins to prize justice over advancement in a more direct, unapologetic way than before.

Honestly, she was well on her way to the end of Hannibal half-way through Silence. Personally, I wish more time had been spent on the final stretch; more breathing room allowed, but the ending is sublime. It was one of the most necessary, satisfying and resolved endings to any novel (or series) I have ever read. It could not possibly have ended any other way. Even if it’s not what you wanted to happen, I think it’s what a thematic reading shows needs to happen.

And it’s not about Dr Lecter becoming the hero or taking over as protagonist, because he doesn’t. He’s also not the antagonist (and I’ve heard a lot of people complaining about this: these people are wrong), but he was never the antagonist in any of the books.

If you’re not feeling genuine concern for the good doctor’s well-being towards the climax of Hannibal, I think the book has failed you. He is the kind of monster the reader is so captivated by that they end up sort of rooting for him. One cannot avoid being intrigued by a murderer with an intrinsic chivalry, someone who defies classification. It’s wrong-headed to complain about his being rendered human and therefore less of a villain, because Dr. Lecter never has been a villain.

Really, he’s been fifth business. A catalyst for action greater than his role, a mentor and motivation (occasionally a salvation) for the central heroes and true antagonists. Though he is a more central figure in Hannibal than previously, his is still a relatively passive position in the plot; the object acted upon and not that which is acting. He has taken on more protagonist characteristics, but not in any meaningful way.

Notwithstanding the additions of many significant forces, Clarice remains the real hero (the one whose actions drive the story forward, the one with a clear character arc, whose emotional landscape gives everything its figurative weight) and Mason Verger is the dominant antagonist whose influence allows other negatives power to act (like Krendler). It is Clarice’s internal conflict that must be resolved, she who ‘saves’ all the passive or weaker (thematically, not literally) characters.

Until the final coda, the doctor remains fifth business; rescuing the soprano, but unable to defeat the evil or resolve the plot.

I’ve somehow contrived to go my whole life without discovering that Anthony Hopkins was once in a serious drama/thriller as a ventriloquist with an evil dummy, co-starring Burgess Meredith. He was also nominated for a Golden Globe for this. Somehow.

I don’t know how I missed this when I was last trolling his imdb for new films, but I am going to rectify this grievous oversight.

Oded Fehr for Doctor Strange 2014 

I could never think of anyone who would be just right when I was dream-casting Dr. Strange, and now I’m surprised I didn’t think of this. He’d be awesome.

fuckyeahsavagesistas:

Kasi Lemmons as Ardelia Mapp in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS – 1991
Source: pyxurz.blogspot.com

I wish there were more fanfic about Ardelia post-Hannibal (the book, obvs), with her figuring stuff out. Not letting it go when the FBI is 400% done with everything. Getting cryptic messages from Clarice and being all “this doesn’t mean… noooo?!?”. Fun stuff.

fuckyeahsavagesistas:

Kasi Lemmons as Ardelia Mapp in SILENCE OF THE LAMBS – 1991

Source: pyxurz.blogspot.com

I wish there were more fanfic about Ardelia post-Hannibal (the book, obvs), with her figuring stuff out. Not letting it go when the FBI is 400% done with everything. Getting cryptic messages from Clarice and being all “this doesn’t mean… noooo?!?”. Fun stuff.