I'm not even taking a film studies course this semester
Random book recommendation of the day: all of the Witches novels in Terry Pratchett's Discworld
And read them in the following order:
Wyrd Sisters, Witches Abroad, Lords and Ladies, Maskerade, Carpe Jugulum, "The Sea and the Little Fishes" (short story), go back and read Equal Rites and treat it like a prequel, The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith, I Shall Wear Midnight
Trust me. I've wasted a lot of time thinking about the best reading order. Maybe read "The Sea and Little Fishes" dead last, if you find that you've fallen in love with Granny Weatherwax and you're also an emotional masochist.
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So I am not in a film studies course this semester (I previously took a feminist film class, and was also in a GCWS consortium course on women and film), but it seems like I really have movies on the brain lately. Perhaps it was subconscious anticipation of the Oscars. (Which were awful.)
I took a little break and went to see Beautiful Creatures last night. It's not a perfect movie--or even, really, a good movie--but I liked it much more than Warm Bodies. (I also just realized that I ought to have titled my last post "Warm Bodies left me cold," but oh well.)
For one thing, as one of my friends remarked as soon as we stood to leave, Beautiful Creatures feels like "a movie made by actual adults." Whereas the Twilight movies seem like they were made by robots programmed to make a profitable adaptation of the books, Beautiful Creatures has some wonderful little moments of self-awareness and gentle self-deprecation. And the performances are strong, even as the script wears thin in some crucial spots. (The lack of a satisfying climax probably couldn't be helped, unless the filmmakers were able/willing to really deviate from the book.) Emma Thompson doesn't get enough screen time, but she's fabulous and looked like she was having a lot of fun.
There was a lot more to unpack in this movie--or at least a lot more that I wanted to unpack. Instead of portraying heterosexuality as a magical cure-all, the film portrays heterosexual love as a curse. It raises questions about women and agency, and at the climax the villainess declares that love is an illusion conjured by humans to distract women from power. I'm pretty sure I've read some socialist feminist theory exactly to that effect.
While the film puts criticism of the oppressive status quo in the mouths of the villains, it doesn't wholly discredit their rhetoric, or wholly support the soppy, illogically romantic rhetoric of the protagonists. I recommend taking some gender studies-inclined buddies to see Beautiful Creatures, and discussing the film over coffee or dinner afterward.
The saga of my colleague Kate and I getting our article published is finally complete. We submitted our final, final, final piece to the editor of the journal, and we can now consider the piece to be in press. This will be the first time my work has been published via a specifically academic outlet, and I'm pleased. The whole process took over six months, which, as I think I remarked in a previous post, is pretty standard for journal publication. It's always a long process.
I'm waiting to hear from PhD programs; tis the season for nerve-shredding anxiety. I applied to two programs, and I have no idea what to expect. Hopefully I'll hear by mid-March, and will be able to move forward with post-graduation plans.