I finally managed to watch Epic and I have to say it’s a movie that kind of deserves that name (even if it’s a bit generic). One because it does have a sense of grandeur, a fight good against evil, for the good of a world. (It doesn’t quite match the genre description, but it does what it can with its ~90min runtime.)
However, there is another reason why it imho deserves that title: Its depiction of women is epic.
Sadly of the ~10 characters that really play a role in the movie only two are female (plus one that comes in at the end but it does not really have an impact on the story), but what they lack in numbers they make up for in awesomeness.
First we have Queen Tara, a refreshing departure form the typical queen of the fantasy genre - who is either an evil witch or the personification gentle motherliness. The last part does heavily factor into her personality a lot, but at the same time it isn’t all that she is. She has spunk and the chemistry between her and Ronin, commander of the Leafmen (highly trained soldiers who wear leaf(-like) armor), is easily my favorite thing about the movie, especially since I love imagining what their history might have been.
Described as ‘the life of the forest’ she is a protector and caretaker and for once that role is fulfilled completely. She does not hide behind her guard because her death means the death of the forest, she does not simply run away, damn the causalities, but she takes her role so seriously, that she uses her powers to save others while she herself is in mortal danger. She is a hero in her own right and she has the powers to prove it.
It’s not quite made clear one way or the other, but she either controls plants or they willingly help her out. So when it comes to a fight and she has to flee, she takes full advantage of that. This leads to quite some awesome scenes from her knocking out a bunch of enemies surrounding her by using a lily pad to running up the branches of a tree while they bend to help her out.
She is the queen, she has powers, she has a mission. And she won’t let some goon capture her just so another character can become the hero by rescuing her.
(It’s just sad that… well… you’ll see.)
Actually the objectification that usually occurs when a woman or girl is captured so the male protagonist can go and rescue her, is averted by making the objective of the whole movie the rescue of an actual object.
I really liked that.
Secondly we have Mary Katherine or MK, the protagonist of this movie. When she first showed up, I rather liked her. She was sassy but there was an earnestness to her, a sense that she would be able to deal with the world and the lot she’s been given (namely her father and his ‘delusions’).
When she’s inevitably thrown into a strange new world, she at first seems to simply lose all that. She stumbles along with an otherwise male cast, letting them do the work. Which admittedly is a smart move considering that she has no idea what is going on and they do, but she just seems to have no real sense of agency other than to stay alive and be swept along by the events.
However, once she does get a handle on what is really going on (and what this new world is like), she starts to do things. Most of the problems that arise from now on are solved because she does not only have ideas but actively worked to realize them.
The movie is far from perfect, of course (for example I’d like to have seen a second woman in the main group), but I think they did one thing right: They made their women into interesting characters first.
It is sad that this is something I have to praise, but if it’s praise that gets us to making this an industry standard, I’m glad to hand it out.
So. Yeah. I liked that movie and I will happily recommend it to my cousin to show to his daughter once she gets to that age.
Oh. And a shout out to the fact that the Leafmen aren’t all male.
(The text is a repost from here because I have rather different followers on that blog.)
Jackson: While rituals and customs may vary, almost all cultures put significant pressure on single adults to form bonding pairs. […]
Carter: It’s bad enough being on your own without every TV show and commercial and magazine ad trying to tell you how abnormal it is.
Jackson: I think that’s what I just said.
Carter: I mean they make you afraid of being alone, at the same time telling you not to settle for anything less than the perfect romantic ideal like that actually exists anywhere in the real world. I mean either way you can’t win.
- Stargate SG-1, Affinity (S8, Ep. 07)
This rather surprising quote from an episode whose synopsis made it look like just another Teal’c centered joke episode summs up my feelings pretty accurately.
I don’t even know what to add. Sam pretty much said it all.
I was linked to this from twitter this morning and it made me cry all over my toast. Although it seems rather quiet and soft, it is pretty powerful.
Something quite like that refrain has been my personal mantra all my life and I fully intend to contribute my very own entry to the tumblr they have set up.
Playing around with brushes and some body paint.
The last one is because just when I was drawing the big black swirl and the fingers where still drying we gained a Spock in our TOS Skype chat group.
So. As Nimoy would tweet: LLAP - Live Long And Prosper
This may not be a game featured on Tabletop, but I’m submitting it because I was inspired by the show to buy and gift it to the whole family on Christmas.
To make a long story short: We are all adults and we’re usually not a board game playing family, but we all love Terry Pratchett’s Discworld and each of us has their favorite card game (Doppelkopf for the mum and her boyfriend, Poker for the brother, Munchkin for me). So when I came across this game in a bookshop and it heavily featured cards as their core mehanic, I just had to get it.
We ended up playing two games on New Year’s Eve, loving the references on the cards and the tactics you have to start emplyoing after a while. This is the finale of the second one between me and my brother as we were waiting for the New Year to roll around.
I won, playing Lord Vetinari and placing my thugs in all but one part of town.
Oh look! My submission was posted! :D
So my mum seems to (have) accidentally (knit) Wesley Crusher socks.
Oh my god I’m going to on purpose knit Wesley Crusher socks.
(words in italics added by me because they were inexplicably missing from the original post, probably because the OP was so psyched about Wesley Crusher socks.)
In fact, I’d argue that we have a bad habit of seeing books as sort of cheaply-made movies where the words do nothing but create visual narratives in our heads.
So too often what passes for literary criticism is “I couldn’t picture that guy” or “I liked that part” or “This part shouldn’t have happened;” that is, we’ve left language so far behind that sometimes we judge quality solely based on a story’s actions.
- John Green, in The Catcher in The Rhye Crash Course Part 1
It’s interesting that John should bring this up just as I’m reading the Hunger Games Trilogy. Because I think it is a prime example of this: The story, even the metaphor behind it (if intended or not), are pretty good. It’s adventur-y, socially critical and has science fiction. Great.
But in terms of language it tends to disappoint.