Twilight: Watching Her Leave

[Twilight Content Note: Murder, Abusive Relationships, Winning At Patriarchy.]

Twilight Summary: In Chapter 19, Bella flees town.

Twilight, Chapter 19: Goodbyes

I'm not going to lie; I've been dreading this chapter for the last couple of weeks. Every time I sit down to try to write about it, all these conflicting feelings come up, and I'm going to try to work through those here.

When I started this series, I wanted to deconstruct Twilight as an admitted non-fan who didn't like or agree with the books but didn't "hate" them. I'd seen plenty of "omg how awful is this" stuff online, and as much as I found a lot of it very funny and amusing to read, I didn't want to necessarily go in that direction. I wanted to sit down and talk about things that worried me in these books, ideologically-speaking, and what I thought it said about our larger society that these tropes weren't simply acceptable in a mainstream novel but arguably necessary for a novel to become as wildly successful as Twilight did.

For example: Edward Cullen is an abusive boyfriend by any objective metric I know to apply to him. But his popularity as a cultural icon in spite of (or because of) that fact doesn't lead me to believe that all girls want abusive boyfriends. It does, however, lead me to some very unpleasant observations about how we as a culture view female gaze and desire, female sexuality, acceptable male-on-female forms of attention, and so forth. In short, I wanted to Do Feminism, but using Twilight as a sounding board (or, as I privately prefer for reasons of amusement, a flannelgraph) to demonstrate that these things are real things that actually exists all around us.

Open Thread: The Season

The Season by Amateur Pic

Hosted by green and yellow fields.

Metapost: Out for the Week

So, I keep sitting down to write a Twilight and stuff keeps happening and then I think I should write a metapost, I've been flakey for a couple weeks now, but then I think no, this is incentive to write that Twilight, and then I sit down to write a Twilight and around it goes.

So. Short and sweet: I'm out for a week. I really hope that means we'll have posts next week!

I'm sorry to stick everyone with this, but work has gotten hella-busy for me, and my back has correspondingly acted up in response, which means that then I don't sleep at night, which makes everything go in this vicious cycle and also every family member I have in the area has decided to have birthdays this summer for some weird reason (SPACE THEM OUT PEOPLE. ONCE PER MONTH.) and apparently I am expected to attend social functions like an adult which surprises me because people didn't use to care if I showed up. So that's a spoon-thing.

Also: We are totally about to start Chapter 19 on Twilight and it is just... things are happening and it's like plot only it's like buh and my fingers are all noooooooo when it comes to typing. So I need to brain at it a bit, and you deserve a better post than me going WHAT IS THIS I DON'T EVEN twenty-thousand times in a row.

Narnia: Consenting to Leave

[Narnia Content Note: Genocide, Religious Abuse, Chivalry, Racism, Slavery]

Narnia Recap: In the last movie installment, everything is so much better.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 1:34:00 - THE END

I meant to get this up on Thursday but Real Life was all HAHA NO.

So. When we last left our heroes, Eustace had been turned back into a boy and saved everything forever. And after the EVIL MIST is defeated, there are the boats with all the sacrificed slaves alive and well and better, and Gael and Rhince swim out to Helaine, who continues to have a name. I approve.

And since we're about to kick the kids out of Narnia forever (well, in the case of Edmund and Lucy, anyway), and since the movie-makers correctly realized that this is something that really ought to be setup as desirable to the characters involved if there's to be any chance of this not being a hugely downer ending, then the reuniting of Helaine with Gael and Rhince prompts all the meaningful looks between Edmund and Lucy so that they can think about how much they miss their parents. Which doesn't really justify being kicked out of Narnia, because their parents are still across the ocean chilling in America, but...uhm, they tried?

Open Thread: Lavender Flower

Lavender Flower Close-up by Karen Arnold

Hosted by lavender flowers. 

Narnia: Cannibalism is Hilarious

[Narnia Content Note: Genocide, Religious Abuse, Chivalry, Racism, Slavery]

Narnia Recap: In the last movie installment, Eustace become a dragon.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 1:08:00 - 1:34:00

Two parts left of this movie, and this part is ALL DRAGON.

But first we start out with more mermaids or water-elementals or whatever, which is nice, only this time instead of waving happily to the ship, they're trying to warn it away from the EVIL ISLAND which is also nice because it's kind of like people in Narnia can be sensible and can look out for each other. Who knew?

Then everything sort of falls to pieces when the sailors say they want to eat dragon-Eustace because they are hungry. I remind you that this is a world in which sentient Talking Animals are both a thing and crewmembers on this ship. And, I mean, they sound kinda serious about it and it's all played off as "well, everyone is really hungry" and just...WOW it is creepy.

Anyway, the only semi-good thing about this scene is that Eustace starts towing the ship so that they get to Ramandu's island and food and so forth, and also it is super sweet to see Reepicheep riding Eustace as he flies and being amazingly sweet and encouraging. (YES. BUDDIES FOREVER.) But it is kinda tainted by the fact that they were talking about eating Eustace oh my god. I seriously do not know what the writers were thinking.

Open Thread: Autumn Trees In Park

Autumn Trees In Park by Petr Kratochvil

Hosted by trees with orange and red leaves.

Narnia: Here Be Dragons

[Narnia Content Note: Genocide, Religious Abuse, Chivalry, Racism, Slavery, Sexual Abuse]

Narnia Recap: In the last movie installment, our heroes zipped through the Island of Dufflepuds as quickly as humanly possible.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 45:00 - 1:08:00

There are some blubs today and also some screamy-no bits, so let's continue to see how my fellow Americans made everything somehow both better and worse than the source material.

When we last left the movie, Coriakin was passing out plot tickets for everyone to get punched and this was noteworthy because now he was the one who sent the Lost Lords on to put their swords on the table, and so now it's not just "travel to the Lone Islands to get these guys" but now the quest has upgraded to "travel to Aslan's table to save the world". Which I think we can all agree Narnia has a stake in, so it's probably okay for the Narnian king to be off doing this thing.

Anyway! There is a storm! Eustace writes snarky things about Coriakin in his diary! (I <3 Eustace.) There is an open candle in Caspian's study-room despite the ship being tossed like a marshmallow in an extremely frothy cup of hot chocolate, and yet somehow the ship doesn't set on fire nor is there hot wax on all the nice papers. Caspian is like "no, we must go on!" when Drinian suggests turning around because has Drinian not gotten the memo that Rhince's wife is missing? Which, I mean, seems relevant, yes, but also: EVIL MIST. Just sayin.

Open Thread: Picturesque Place Near The River

Picturesque Place Near The River by Larisa Koshkina

Hosted by rocks and trees along a river.

Narnia: Meet The Dufflepuds-- Oh Look A Puppy!

[Narnia Content Note: Genocide, Religious Abuse, Chivalry, Racism, Slavery]

Narnia Recap: In the last movie installment, our heroes learned that defeating scary green EVIL MIST is a better plot hook than finding seven guys that even they don't give a toss about.

Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 23:00 - 45:00

So, yay, it is Narnia Movie Week, if you are here for the Twilights, I am sorry but there are no Twilights, there is only Narnia Movie Week. AND IT IS OFF THE HOOK. (You kids still say that, right? Let's assume that you do.)

When we last left our heroes, they were slaves which is obviously very sad. Then they get to see a demonstration of what is in store for them if they don't get themselves rescued (Raising the Stakes! Otherwise we would have assumed that they would have had a nice life as slaves and everything would have been lovely forever!) and thankfully we are spared a scene with Caspian pontificating about how Slavery Is Bad, Ya'll because it turns out that we in the audience have been trusted to assume that the Good Guys would be anti-slavery. So instead we get to see a woman (grr, movie, would it kill you to take the dad/father for once but WHATEVER) get put on a boat with a lot of other people and then they're pushed out to sea and the EVIL MIST gets them and they are gone omg.

Now, if this were the book characters, they would be like "can we please have their stuff now", but it is the movie characters and they are properly appalled, so that's nice. And then the Dawn Treader sailors rescue the slaves, and Lucy smacks people with heavy objects, and hey look THERE IS A FAUN so I take back what I said in the last post about the Minotaur being the only non-human on-board, and then the cutest thing happens. Eustace runs back to the boat and waits quietly on the seats, and this is sensible because he was taken captive in the previous scene and used to force everyone to surrender, so I'm 100% chalking this up to a sensible thing for a character to do and not "cowardly" or something like that. And then Eustace frowns at the boat and says in exasperation, "Oh you're a boat in a magical land. Can't you row yourself?" And it is so perfect.

1 <3 Eustace.

Narnia: Platonic Pwning

[Narnia Content Note: Genocide, Religious Abuse, Chivalry, Racism, Slavery]

Narnia Recap: Let's watch an American pile of lolwhut that actually does try to address the source material problems in admittedly hilaribad ways!

Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 00:00 - 23:00

Welp, I did threaten to break this one up into multiple posts and as you can tell from the time stamps above, we get all of twenty-three minutes in this movie before I have to stop and type all the things.

This movie, ya'll, is bad. It's not as bad as the Disney Prince Caspian attempt, but let's be fair that a story about exciting islands on the wide ocean has an automatic leg up over a movie that is about bickering while lost in the woods. But that distinction alone does not automatically make a movie a tour de force and Voyage of the Dawn Treader really shows it.

And what makes me so excited about deconstructing this movie--and why we've broken with tradition to do this one first and the BBC one later--is that I saw this movie before I'd re-read the material in years and I was, no joke, stunned and horrified and hilarishocked at how this American piece of (and I mean this in a very caring way) shit had changed everything and omg can't they ever make a book movie without arbitrarily altering everything to add more special effects, etc. And while usually that is a very valid complaint (ha), after I re-read the actual book, I was immediately struck by how many of the changes in this movie were at least intended to combat the terrible awful that Lewis inserted into the source text.

So, to recap: This is not a great movie (ymmv), but it is an interesting one, as we trace through the many changes that attempted to get us from Lewis' vision (which simply could not have been shown on the screen, but more on that later) to something reasonably close to entertaining and maybe close to what he wanted us to feel. Ish. Maybe.