icepixie: ([Other] Book)
Happy New Year! Wow, 2013. It feels so futuristic.

With the new year comes Yuletide reveals, and I can finally own up to what I wrote! In alphabetical order by fandom:

My Late Enchantments Still in Brilliant Colors Shine (1753 words) by icepixie
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Babylon 5
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Susan Ivanova, Original Female Character
Summary: "There's no way you could've gotten a pilot's license without realizing 'Equal parts wonder, delight, terror, and whimsy' does not constitute a cargo manifest." Susan Ivanova runs into a technomage.

The Snow Maiden (1643 words) by icepixie
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Babylon 5
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Characters: Susan Ivanova, Sofie Ivanova, Talia Winters, Marcus Cole
Summary: Like in all those old fairy tales, the third time was the charm. Susan was a daughter of the snow, and she would never let spring crack her heart open again.

In Memory Bright or Dull (1540 words) by icepixie
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Northern Exposure
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Joel Fleischman/Maggie O'Connell
Characters: Maggie O'Connell, Joel Fleischman
Summary: Maggie and Joel attempt a memorial for Soapy Sanderson on the anniversary of his death.

The Case of the Missing Martini Olive (1071 words) by icepixie
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Thin Man (1934)
Rating: General Audiences
Warning: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Nick Charles/Nora Charles
Characters: Nick Charles, Nora Charles, Asta
Summary: An olive goes missing from a drink. Nick and Nora are on the case.

[personal profile] spatz, you win a prize! :D I take it the banter gave me away?
icepixie: ([Movies] Nick Nora cheek kiss)
Title: Two Sleepy People
Artist: Originally written by Hoagy Carmichael, performed by Seth MacFarlane and Norah Jones
Fandom: The Thin Man series of movies (aka the Nick and Nora movies), with a bit of additional footage from a few other William Powell/Myrna Loy flicks, namely Double Wedding, I Love You Again, Libeled Lady, and Love Crazy.
Length: 4:28
Summary: Here we are, out of cigarettes
Holding hands and yawning, look how late it gets
Two sleepy people, by dawn's early light
And too much in love to say goodnight.


(Or, as my most excellent beta [personal profile] spatz, to whom I owe many thanks, said, "THEIR SWEET SAPPY FACES OMG.")

Streaming and downloadable versions under the cut )
icepixie: ([Movies] Nick Nora cheek kiss)
Finished my Nick and Nora vid after a long hiatus. It feels rather blah and aimless at the moment, though, so I could use another set of eyes on it to help give it...I dunno, purpose, maybe? Better pacing? Comment if you're interested!
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: (Default)
Because I managed to CONQUER MY TO DO LIST by 5 PM (Oh god, I am so close to being done with a rough draft of the thesis I can taste it. Tastes like awesome.), I watched After the Thin Man, installment two in the Nick and Nora series. Two thoughts, both somewhat spoily:

1. The ending )

2. Jimmy Stewart really can't play anybody but Jimmy Stewart, can he? He's just so...Jimmy Stewart. Which made him Spoiler )
icepixie: (Default)
I watched the first of the Thin Man movies tonight (Deadlines? What deadlines? LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU!) because I keep hearing people mention the series as a precursor to Castle. And those people would be right. Castle and Beckett are, on some level, Nick and Nora translated seventy-five years into the future and partially (at least in Beckett's case) out of their high society milieu. And, you know, without the alcoholism. Tell me, does the series end with both of them dying from cirrhosis, because wow.

I think my favorite moment was when they were making faces at each other. Hee. I can totally see Castle and Beckett reaching that state very, very soon.

I could use less mystery and more banter (and more Nora in general), but then I usually say that about crime stories that double as romantic comedies/romances. Hell, most of the time, I'd be happiest if we never actually see the stars solving mysteries, just hear occasionally that they've done so in between bits of banter. (Not that I don't love Castle and wouldn't have it any other way, but I'll be glad when the current fetish for crime shows on TV retreats a bit, so I can have my banter with other circumstances I actually find interesting. There could be bantering...uh...well, sci-fi is always good; bantering shipmates and all with occasional aliens and robots. And I guess there could be doctors, or, I dunno, teachers or something. Actually, bantering grad students would be kind of awesome. There's enough drama inherent in the system to make it work as an hour-long show. Oooh, if I were doing that write-your-own-TV-show challenge that's going on [Chaosthon? Something like that], that's totally what I'd write!)

Anyway, speaking of Castle, I've really enjoyed the previous two episodes. The most recent one more than the one with Beckett's dad, I think. Very brief spoiler )

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