icepixie: ([NX] Chris on Christmas Eve)
[Note: I am icepixie across LJ, DW, and AO3.]

Dear Yuletide Writer,

THANK YOU for writing for me! I love all these fandoms and characters dearly, and I know I'll love whatever you come up with for them. I'm offering specific prompts for each fandom if you're the kind of writer who prefers them, but please don't feel constrained by them if you're not.

General likes/dislikes )

Northern Exposure )

Robson Arms )

Corner Gas )

Shall We Dance (1937) )

The Cutting Edge (1992) )

Figure Skating RPF )
icepixie: ([Movies] Fred and Ginger heart)
Sometimes you just have to dance. Or sometimes, if you're me, you get tired of dancing around in your head/in your room to this song and have to vid some dancing to it.

Song/Artist: "No Cheap Thrill," Suzanne Vega
Fandom: Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movies
Length: 3:07

Streaming, download link )
icepixie: ([Movies] Fred and Ginger heart)
Dear Yuletide Writer,

THANK YOU for writing for me in my first Yuletide! I love all these fandoms and characters dearly, and I know I'll love whatever you come up with for them. I'm offering specific prompts for each fandom if you're the kind of writer who prefers them, but please don't feel constrained by them if you're not.

General likes and dislikes )

Shall We Dance (1937) )

Northern Exposure )

Robson Arms )

Corner Gas )
icepixie: ([Movies] Fred and Ginger heart)
[So, um...hi. I intended to write an LJ entry of moderate size, but 4,000 words later, I appear to have an essay. I feel like this might be a metaphor for my life.]

My most recent vid has inspired me to poke some more at my screwball comedy vid. I have several films lined up for it, but I figure I could probably use more, and I might want to switch some of them out for better representatives of the genre. Which led me to the question, apparently rather difficult to answer, of what exactly constitutes a screwball film, or even screwball comedy as a genre. More than most genres, it seems to be a case of "I know it when I see it."

Still, I figured there had to be some kind of guidelines. For answers, I turned to James Harvey's Romantic Comedy in Hollywood from Lubitsch to Sturges, which the internet tells me is one of the most highly-regarded texts in this field. I skimmed a couple chapters of it for my Modernism and ballroom dance (with a special appearance by Fred and Ginger) paper in grad school, but due to time constraints never read the rest of it.

It's a very good book: extremely readable, well-argued and supported, covering a good breadth of material, making a thorough analysis of specific films or scenes where warranted. Harvey's also an unexpectedly funny guy; the text is aimed at an educated popular audience, but it's still written mostly in academese...except when he calls this character a "dumbass," or says these characters are "talking shit." 1 He also has this hilarious vendetta against Ronald Reagan (the book was published in 1987) that he carries out in the footnotes and which even intrudes into the text in the concluding chapter. He links Reagan to Capra's socially conscious films like Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, which he deplores basically for being boring and false. This was my favorite bit: "[Y]oung people, who get restive at the high romanticism of old movies...sit rapt and unprotesting and apparently moved through the platitudes of Meet John Doe and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town. The Capra vision isn't dead. [footnote] Unhappily. Reagan in the White House (a Capra event in itself, though certainly no joke) 'explains' his economic policies to reporters by quoting 'lengthy passages' from Mr. Deeds Goes to Town!"

Harvey and I agree on many things. Our views on Capra are very similar; I find his movies bland and platitudinous, except for It Happened One Night, which is in my top five movies (Harvey loves it too). Like me, his favorite Astaire/Rogers film, at least scriptwise, is Shall We Dance. We both find My Man Godfrey overrated. But we differ on Irene Dunne, and specifically on The Awful Truth, which he considers the epitome of screwball comedies, and which I couldn't even make it halfway through, I found it so painfully unfunny.

He's a little too into the director-as-auteur theory for my tastes, which I think influences his tendency to ramble on about an individual director's whole oeuvre, from westerns to melodramas, rather than focusing on the romantic comedies. The book could do with tightening there. But overall, it's excellent.

It also helped me define screwball comedy for myself. Well, sort of. Mostly. In a way. Because it is a very tricksy genre. )

Anyway, ALL OF THIS IS TO SAY...what are your favorite screwball comedies? What do you think makes one? OMG, TALK TO ME PLZ.

Footnotes )
icepixie: ([Movies] Fred and Ginger heart)
Title: Identical Snowflakes
Artist: Hem
Length: 2:46
Summary: We were cut from the same paper / that was folded long ago / so let all the other snowflakes turn to snow.

Streaming embed and download link under the cut.

Won't you melt into my arms before we go? )
icepixie: ([Movies] Ginger Dance Twist)
Some period-appropriate links:

So apparently there is going to be a stage production of Top Hat in London this spring. It looks good! Different, given that there isn't a cast of thousands and a set that spans acres, but at least they kept the feather dress? They've done previews in various smaller cities in the UK, and it's had decent reviews.

Speaking of the 1930s: Color photos of the US from 1939-1943. Back when color film cost the equivalent of seventy dollars a roll, ZOMG. No wonder only people working for the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information could afford it.

But color is really an amazing thing. Not to knock B&W photography at all, because it can be wonderful, but the color in these photos makes them insanely more real. The color just removes all the distance B&W has.

The Library of Congress has a bunch more like this in this Flickr set, but for perhaps obvious reasons, a lot of them are of people working in fields, and that got a little old. The link above does a good job choosing a representative sample. The LOC has a bunch of sets like this on Flickr, actually, in addition to their own searchable online photograph archive, where I've whiled away many an hour.


And some period-reminiscent music recs:

I think I mentioned the Puppini Sisters back when iTunes had their doo-wop version of "Walk Like an Egyptian" as a free single. It's a lot of fun, but I figured that gimmick wouldn't take them far.

I was not quite right. As technically excellent as their arrangements and harmonizing skills are, the songs don't all quite work. Oddly, their covers of jazz standards seem to suffer the most: "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "It Don't Mean a Thing" are kind of terrible. However, their original stuff is largely quite good, swingy versions of songs like "I Will Survive" and "Heart of Glass" are fun, and at least one of their older covers is amazing. So here's the good stuff:

"I Got Rhythm." This is the best cover of this song I've ever heard, and I've heard several. Not only is the arrangement really peppy and fun, but they've added a new middle section that's really good. There's a riff on all the French in the American in Paris version, and then a totally new bridge in English from which I pulled the subject of the entry. I'm kind of in love with it.

According to NPR, "'Jilted' sounds like a confessional column from a Swing Era edition of Cosmo." This is not a bad way to describe it. This is my favorite of their few original songs; it's definitely a post-women's-rights-movement interpretation of a typical 40s-era song about being lovelorn.

"Soho Nights" is another good original offering, though I mostly like it for the beat. I would love to choreograph something to this.

Finally, a cover of "Mele Kalikimaka," from last year's Christmas album. They didn't do a whole lot to personalize this one, but I like it anyway; it was kind of made for their style. Plus, ukelele!

Completely unrelated to any of the above, have Iron & Wine's "Boy With a Coin," which has more of a beat than they usually manage. I like it a lot.


Finally, I, er, may have a couple lines of a potential Beckett-and-Castle-in-the-1930s ficlet. *cough* Anyway...
icepixie: ([Movies] Fred and Ginger heart)
My Fandom Stocking has been hung! I would love to get fic for anything on my list, or general notes and/or squee from y'all. If you're participating this year, point me at your stocking so I can leave you things!


I've been cruising Tumblr lately. Here are some fruits of my voyages.

Photo of Ginger Rogers attempting to put makeup on a German Shepherd. Dog: "LOL no."

In which Ginger Rogers kicks ass, 1938 style. Seriously, that is hilarious. The movie it's from, Vivacious Lady, is pretty good too.

A sweet picture of Myrna Loy and William Powell I've never seen before. It looks like it might be a still from one of the later Thin Man movies.

Art Deco Batman posters. This one too. This one as well. (Batman's costume does translate really well into the Streamline Moderne style, doesn't it? I'm the last person in the world to notice this, aren't I? Ah, well. Can't say as I ever paid much attention to him or any other superhero...)

And for something completely different, Cookie Monster on Colbert. Part 2.


Unguessed answers to the ship description meme from the other day )
icepixie: ([NX] Chris on Christmas Eve)
Fandom stockings have been revealed! Yay! I received some lovely graphics and recs for poetry and books which look interesting indeed.

I volunteered as a pinch-hitter (pinch-stuffer?) and thus ended up doing more than I thought I would for this fest; specifically, I wrote twelve fics and made one vid. Here's everything I wrote/vidded, with links to the AO3 because it's simpler than chasing down comment threads, especially for those that are broken into multiple comments. (Unless otherwise stated, these are 1,000ish words or fewer. All are, at most, PG.)

Babylon 5
And thou, O wall, O sweet, O lovely wall for [ profile] perverseparagon – Londo's life is full of mazes now.

If Equal Affection Cannot Be for [ profile] rivendellrose – Five poems Marcus Cole knows by heart. One-sided Ivanova/Marcus.

Soldiers for [ profile] bessemerprocess – In which Susan Ivanova and Olivia Dunham meet in a bar. Angsty and apocalyptic. Crossover with Fringe.

...In an Elevator for [ profile] debirlfan – Castle and Beckett, stuck in an elevator. UST.

Murder Most Kindergarten for [ profile] soobunny – Five-year-old Alexis writes a story. It gives her father cause to worry.

Corner Gas
Baby, Baby for [ profile] livii – Someone leaves a baby on the steps of the Dog River Police Station. Chaos ensues. Everyone appears, but it's Karen- and Davis-centric. (3,000 words; also at LJ.)

Doctor Who
Second Star to the Right for [ profile] jenavira – Eight, Charley, and a low-gravity planet.

Follow the Fleet
Side by Side for [ profile] idharao – Sherry and Bake are having a trying Christmas, but they make the most of it.

Soldiers for [ profile] bessemerprocess – In which Susan Ivanova and Olivia Dunham meet in a bar. Angsty and apocalyptic. Crossover with Babylon 5.

Northern Exposure
I Feel the Sky Tumbling Down for [ profile] oxoniensis – An alternate explanation for Maggie's vertigo in "I Feel the Earth Move." Joel/Maggie, Ruth-Anne.

The Reality of Experience for [ profile] juniperphoenix – Roslyn and Cicely share a life lived through books.

Slings & Arrows
All in a Day's Work for [ profile] wiliqueen – An all-too-typical day for Anna Conroy.

Sea-Changed (vid) for [ profile] loneraven – A vid about Geoffrey, the theater, and even Oliver. Set to "Full Fathom Five," by Hem, feat. Audra McDonald and Anne Hathaway. 1:30 long, 19 MB Quicktime file.

The Heart of Saturday Night for [ profile] ruuger – "John Doggett requires a cautious, quiet approach, like sneaking up on a bird or squirrel to take its picture." Doggett/Reyes UST.
icepixie: ([Movies] Fred and Ginger nothing for me)
Title: Unchoreographed
Author: [personal profile] icepixie
Film: Roberta (1935)
Rating: G
Word Count: 1,694
Summary: "At sixteen, Lizzie Gatz had bright blue eyes and a winsome smile, and Huck Haines couldn't have been more in love with her if he'd tried." 'Cause I always wondered how they became childhood sweethearts.

Just a few years ago, he'd been pulling her hair as they walked home from school. )
icepixie: (Default)
For some reason, I always think of the film Carefree (1938) as having been filmed in color. Maybe it's that "I Used to Be Colorblind" song. Or maybe it's that half of it takes place outdoors, where I'm sure of what colors the grass, sky, etc. are. (Although I found it amusing that in the menu art, the colorists couldn't decide whether to make Ginger's "Yam" dress green or red. Surely they had records somewhere? Maybe not. I always think of it as pinkish red, myself.)

It's not a film that rewards rewatching, by the way. It just gets creepier and more disturbing if you spend the least little amount of time thinking about it. The dances are fun, though. (Well. That slow motion one was...not the best decision that could've been made. But anyway.) And I do enjoy Amanda/Ginger's hypnosis-induced crime sprees, not to mention that sequence where she makes up a dream involving wolves and squirrels and "[her] persecutors." ("And then...they got me.")
icepixie: (Default)
Some time ago, [ profile] thuviaptarth recommended a documentary about film editing (The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing) in a post about background knowledge for vidding. I finally got around to watching it this week and found it tremendously helpful for putting words to what I'm intuitively thinking when I vid, as well as for pointing out certain other aspects I hadn't considered, particularly about editing for emotional effect. One day I'll write up some further thoughts on it (this day will likely be after graduation), but for now I just wanted to recommend it to anyone who's interested in vid-making or vid-watching.

Watching that documentary also inspired me to spend a couple hours revising one of my Fred and Ginger vids (A Love that Won't Sit Still). I fixed some pervasive (though subtle) timing issues in the first two thirds that had been bugging me for the past six weeks or so, and I swapped out two clips for better ones. I'm not sure how noticeable the changes are to people not living in my head--I'm going to guess "not at all"--so I wouldn't suggest running over to watch it again, but the new version is streaming and downloadable at the link above if you're so inclined.

In RL news, there's a 90% chance that my 20-30-minute presentation on 2/18 is going to be moved to 2/23, to which I can only say, "HOORAY."
icepixie: (Default)
There's something about this film, and about Linda and Peter, that I really like. I think it's that the movie feels like something that could've really been amazing if only there hadn't been so many missed opportunities. At any rate, that's what has compelled me to write another gap-filler for it.

Title: Constantly Risking Absurdity
Author: [ profile] icepixie
Rating: The Hays Office called and said, "No, seriously, this is too tame even for us."
Word Count: 2,114
Summary: After the movie ends, Linda and Peter still have some loose ends to tie up.
Note: Although the film appears to take place in the late fall or early spring, I ended up moving it to summer, or at any rate to an unseasonably warm night, because hypothermia is really not that romantic.

Am I going to be hiding from reporters with you for the rest of my life? )
icepixie: (Default)
Hmm. In the fic I'm writing, I've so far managed to make metafictional references to three other musicals, and am using a quotation from this academically-focused text as the epigraph.

D'you think my brain is trying to tell me to work on the damn thesis already?
icepixie: (Default)
Pezzers, have you seen Kenneth Branagh's version of Love's Labour's Lost? If you haven't, you really ought to, because it's a musical version, and it's kind of hilarious. (Not quite as awesome as the production of Big Life we saw in London, but really, what is? That's like the pinnacle of adaptations for that play.)

I like seeing Shakespeare reborn in different settings, and I adore the 1930s, so set even a not-so-great play in 1939, add in a ton of songs from musicals of the era (mostly Fred and Ginger musicals, yay!) and add in dancing, and I'm totally sold even before I see the thing.

A few further thoughts )
icepixie: (Default)
I suppose the last thing we all need the day after Yuletide is another fic for a vanishingly rare fandom, but...have one anyway?

Title: All We Know for Truth
Author: [ profile] icepixie
Film: Flying Down to Rio
Rating: PG/Teen for innuendo, I suppose.
Word Count: 1171
Summary: A Fred and Ginger movie where they don't end up together at the end? UNPOSSIBLE! Thus, post-credits shippiness. And drunkeness.

She was not drunk enough for this conversation. 'I was starting to think you didn't like girls.' Oops. Actually, maybe she was *too* drunk for this conversation. )
icepixie: ([Movies] Ginger Dance Twist)
This got long. Like, really, really long. Four pages of long. If you make it to the end, you should be awarded a medal.

Elaboration on the narrative behind 'A Love That Won't Sit Still' )

Some beginning vidder musings on technique, and also on the movies/dances/costumes )
icepixie: ([Movies] Fred and Ginger cheek to cheek)
Title: A Love That Won't Sit Still
Song: Stray Italian Greyhound
Artist: Vienna Teng
Fandom: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films
Vidder: [ profile] icepixie
Length: 4:08
Summary: In almost all of their movies, Fred's character spells bad news for Ginger's, at least for a time--he gets her fired, he ruins her auditions, he screws up her engagements, etc. You just want to tell her to run far, far away as soon as he enters the scene. But then, of course, she would never fall in love with him, and there would be no film, and that would be no fun. Besides, he always manages to charm her in the end...*

Cutting the embed and the download link to save your flists )

Title: Can't Take a Hint
Song: There She Goes
Artist: The Las
Fandom Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers films
Vidder: [ profile] icepixie
Length: 2:53
Summary: As I was making the vid above, a collection of Astaire characters tapped me on the shoulder and insisted there be a vid from their POV. Fearing strangulation by white tie, I obliged. So here is a vid about how crazy they are about Ginger's characters. Emphasis on the "crazy," because, let's face it, his character is KIND OF A STALKER in most of these movies. ;)

Thanks to [ profile] rowdycamels and [ profile] eldivinomarques for looking it over.

Cutting the embed and the download link to save your flists )

* I actually had narrative rationale for putting particular clips where I did in this one--well, moreso than the "movement of feet (or hands, arms, heads, etc.) match the beats/body position makes a good transition with the last clip/generally matches the flavor of the music" that primarily drove the last one--so if there's interest, I would be more than happy to babble about this vid, and about the awesome fun that is vidding musical films, in another post because I am a nerd.

Vid beta

Dec. 18th, 2009 06:08 pm
icepixie: (Default)
Anyone feel like quickly viewing a vid and passing some judgment on it? I've made what I'm considering a comic vid, but I'm not sure whether it's actually funny or if it just appeals to my twisted sense of humor. It's another Fred and Ginger vid, but you totally don't need to know the source material; I'm really just looking for a response along the lines of, "Yes, it's funny," or "No, it's lame." It's currently saved as a 32 MB Quicktime file, but in theory I can export to other formats and smaller sizes.

Pretty please?
icepixie: (Default)
The puns remain mockable, but as for the rest... )

I think I may have to burn this book. Preferably before the terrible writing infects me; on the back cover, there's a quotation from someone at the LA Times that reads, "Baxt knows his show-business history and scatters names like an anthologist in a stiff wind."

...what does that even mean? Oh, God. The bad prose is catching! RUN AWAAAAAAAAY!!!
icepixie: (Default)
The Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Murder Case, by George Baxt. MST3K'ed by Becca.

The hilarity begins under here. )

August 2017

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