[personal profile] justira

Having watched Jordan Peele's second film, Us, I've also been consuming a lot of reviews and takes, and... oh boy. Internet, we need to talk

A lot of reviewers took issue with the movie for not building up its revelations enough, for leaving questions unresolved or plot threads hanging. Here's the trick: Not every piece of art is meant to be immediately satisfying. A lot of art is not meant to be comfortable, immediately or ever. There's a reason Dr. César A. Cruz's quote, "Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable," has gotten so much traction. Us has a lot to do with the idea of complicity, with willful ignorance.

Us is a movie that is meant to be digested. In a movie about what kind of people get things handed to them on a silver platter, Jordan Peele is inviting us to question the very feeling of not having information handed to us (on a platter). If there's something you don't know or don't understand by the end of the movie, I think it's worth sitting with that feeling a bit. Jordan Peele may not have all the answers, but I think he asked the right question, and that's the point. And I want to talk about the question, potential answers, and why I think so many people are so damn unsatisfied and uncomfortable.

Note: There will be spoilers. For the whole thing.

The Thing That Lives There: Audience Discomfort and Jordan Peele's 'Us' )
spindizzy: Taiga staring over her newspaper (*reads suspiciously*)
[personal profile] spindizzy

  1. 2018 round-up [Jump]

  2. Carnacki the Ghost Finder by William Hope Hodgson [Jump]

  3. In/Spectre Volumes 1-6 by Kyo Shirodaira and Chashiba Katase [Jump]

  4. The City Never Sleeps by Andi Watson [Jump]

  5. Sweet Blue Flowers Omnibus 1 and 2 by Takako Shimura [Jump]

  6. Rock Steady by Ellen Forney [Jump]

  7. My Solo Exchange Diary Volume 2 by Nagata Kabi [Jump]

  8. Contract of Cherry Blossom Guilt by Fuyuki Furo [Jump]

Read more... )

Reading Goals

Reading goal: 27/200 (27 new this post) Prose: 2/100 Nonfiction: 2/12
#ReadMyOwnDamnBooks: 16/100 (16 read this post)
#unofficialqueerafbookclub: 15/75 (14 new this post; A City Inside, No. 6 Volumes 1-9, The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House, Sweet Blue Flowers Volumes 1 and 2, My Solo Exchange Diary Volume 2, Contract of Cherry Blossom Guilt)

And a picture of my current book blanket progress can be found here!
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Sidetracks (sidetracks)
[personal profile] helloladies
Sidetracks is a collaborative project featuring various essays, videos, reviews, or other Internet content that we want to share with each other. All past and current links for the Sidetracks project can be found in our Sidetracks tag. For more links and commentary you can follow us on Twitter, Tumblr. You can also support us on Patreon.

Read more... )
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Adventures Elsewhere (adventures elsewhere)
[personal profile] helloladies
Adventures Elsewhere collects our reviews, guest posts, articles, and other content we've spread across the Internet recently! See what we've been up in our other projects. :D

Read more... )
helloladies: Gray icon with a horseshoe open side facing down with pink text underneath that says Favorite Media (favorite media)
[personal profile] helloladies
Each month, we look back over the media we loved in the previous month, from books to film to video games and more.

Read more... )
spindizzy: (I know what's going on)
[personal profile] spindizzy
Hello my darlings! We made it through 2018, and I'm proud of everyone who tried to meet their goals despite 2018 being four hundred years long and actively trying to stop us!

Today, belatedly, as is apparently the tradition, I'm going to be talking about how I did in my goals for last year, and what my reading goals are for next year!

Goals for 2018! )

Goals for 2019! )

And, to bring this back to books: here are some books that I'm excited to read in 2019! )

So that’s what I’m aiming for and that’s what I’m excited about. How about everyone else?
owlmoose: (lady business - kj)
[personal profile] owlmoose

In the fading light of a dying star, a soldier for hire searches for a missing refugee ship and uncovers a universe-shattering secret. Asala Sikou is used to looking after number one while crisis reigns in her dying planetary system. But when she's hired to find a missing refugee ship, she discovers that this is no ordinary rescue mission, and she must play a role in deciding the fate of the whole universe.

I've been looking forward to reading The Vela, the latest series from publisher Serial Box, ever since it was first announced several months ago, but my interest wasn't based on the strength of the pitch ("The Expanse meets Battlestar Galactica" -- I've only watched one episode of each show, and read none of the James S.A. Corey books). For me, it was all about the amazing writing team: Becky Chambers, S.L. Huang, Rivers Solomon, and Yoon Ha Lee. I had a hard time imagining a better group to collaborate on a story about political intrigue and space battles in a dying solar system. I've now been fortunate enough to read the first five episodes, and I'm here to tell you that I was right: this is a dream team of writers, and so far they are doing something really special with this story.

There are so many things I could enthuse about, but I'll keep myself to just a few (especially as I'm trying to avoid sharing any spoilers -- don't worry, once the whole season is released, I'm sure I'll be back to talk about the whole thing). Starting with the characters, because the characters are so wonderful. The two primary characters, Asala and Niko, are both fascinating, and although very different -- Asala is a hardened soldier, while Niko is a child of privilege who is idealistic to the bone -- and sometimes work at cross purposes, they make a perfect team, and I've enjoyed watching their camaraderie grow. The story is also full of excellent secondary and background characters that make the world feel real and populated.

Another thing this story does really well is build tension. In different ways across different episodes, I found that information was revealed at just the right rate to keep me guessing and keep me turning the (metaphorical) pages. There are a lot of surprises in this series, is what I'm saying, and I look forward to discovering what I'm sure awaits me in the later installments.

Finally, I want to mention is how well the structure of the story uses the strengths of each individual writer. As with the tension section, I can't talk about just how without giving away too much. But if you already know and love these authors, I think you'll be happy with what you see, and if you don't, these episodes make for a brilliant introduction to all four of them.

So if you haven't guessed by now, I definitely recommend that you check out this series. If you'd like a taste, Tor.com provides an except of the first episode, by S.L. Huang. And if you do check it out, let me know what you think!
spindizzy: She is too fond of books and it has turned her brain. (Book turned brain)
[personal profile] spindizzy
Cover of In the Vanishers' Palace

In a ruined, devastated world, where the earth is poisoned and beings of nightmares roam the land...

A woman, betrayed, terrified, sold into indenture to pay her village's debts and struggling to survive in a spirit world.

A dragon, among the last of her kind, cold and aloof but desperately trying to make a difference.

When failed scholar Yên is sold to Vu Côn, one of the last dragons walking the earth, she expects to be tortured or killed for Vu Côn's amusement.

But Vu Côn, it turns out, has a use for Yên: she needs a scholar to tutor her two unruly children. She takes Yên back to her home, a vast, vertiginous palace-prison where every door can lead to death. Vu Côn seems stern and unbending, but as the days pass Yên comes to see her kinder and caring side. She finds herself dangerously attracted to the dragon who is her master and jailer. In the end, Yên will have to decide where her own happiness lies—and whether it will survive the revelation of Vu Côn’s dark, unspeakable secrets...

In The Vanisher's Palace is Aliette de Bodard's post-apocalyptic post-colonisation fantasy take on Beauty and the Beast, and it's really cool. Yên is a rural scholar, who gets traded to a dragon in her mother's place to pay off her village's debts; Vu Côn is a dragon attempting to fix a world that was ravaged then abandoned by the Vanishers. Together they... Well, attempt to raise Vu Côn's teenage children right while also reckoning with the after-effects this world has on them all?

Read more... )
spindizzy: (Be happy!)
[personal profile] spindizzy
Well, we made it! I have FINALLY – F I N A L L Y – finished reviewing the books I read in 2018! Yay! I read some good things, I read some schlock, I apparently read huge quantities of stuff, which I wasn't expecting, but... 2018! Not a bad year for books! Next week should be my belated goals post (where has this year gone?!), and then after that normal service will resume with reviews of what I've been reading in 2019!

  1. The Black Tides of Heaven by J.Y. Yang [Jump]

  2. DC Comics Bombshells Volumes 1-3 by Marguerite Bennett, Marguerite Sauvage, Laura Braga, Mirka Andolfo, Sandy Jarrell, and Maria Laura Sanapo [Jump]

  3. Black Bolt Volume 1: Hard Time by Saladin Ahmed and Christian Ward [Jump]

  4. Provenance by Ann Leckie [Jump]

  5. Death By Silver by Melissa Scott and Amy Griswold [Jump]

  6. The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard [Jump]

  7. In the Vanisher's Palace by Aliette de Bodard [Jump]

  8. A Gentleman Never Keeps Score by Cat Sebastian [Jump]

  9. Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgis [Jump]

Read more... )

Reading Goals

Reading goal: 228/180 (11 new this post) Prose: 118/90 (7 new this post, 60/111 short fiction) Nonfiction: 7/12 (0 new this post)
#getouttamydamnhouse: 25/50 (1 gone this post)
#unofficialqueerafbookclub: 71/50 (8 new this post; The Black Tides of Heaven, DC Comics Bombshells, Provenance, Death by Silver, In the Vanisher's Palace, A Gentleman Never Keeps Score)


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