No Award goes to the movies: Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures tells the story of how African-American women helped put the United States in space. Margot Lee Shetterly’s book was optioned for film before it had even been published, so clearly I’m not the only person who was very excited by this concept. (Things I’m into: the space program; feminist history; the corners of history which are overlooked or obscured.)

 

I loved the book a lot, and I thoroughly enjoyed the movie when I saw it on Friday. It was a lovely portrayal of excellence in the face of oppression, of female friendship, and of some of the nuances of racism as expressed by middle class white women. And, of course, SPACE.

But the second I saw a Tumblr review promising it had no white saviours, I knew it would have a white saviour. And I was right.

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No Award goes to the movies: Doctor Who – The Power of the Daleks

 

This Classic Who serial originally aired in 1966. I’m not sure when it hit Australia, but my dad watched it on the ABC as a child, and the Very First Regeneration (Hartnell to Troughton) made enough of an impression on him that he could describe certain scenes to us kids.

But because early television was ephemeral (and the BBC needed to reuse that tape a bunch of times and then burn it), the serial itself was lost. Only the audio track survived.

To celebrate the serial’s 50th anniversary, and to make a quick buck, the BBC has “restored” the video via animation, and the result has been given a limited cinema run.

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Deep Water

I promised Stephanie that I’d watch SBS miniseries Deep Water over the weekend, and report back to No Award about (a) whether or not it’s worth watching, and (b) whether it contained any amazing/hilarious auscore.

Unfortunately, my plan hit the most Australian snag ever — my internet was too slow to stream the final two episodes via the SBS app. And I’m on the NBN. I mean, really.

(I was attempting to airplay to my AppleTV from my iPad — I might have had better luck hooking my laptop up to the TV, but I was like, come on, it’s 2016, we’re not animals here! Also, I have to rearrange half my living area to make a stable place for the laptop to sit, and it’s all a lot of effort when the series is just $9.99 on iTunes. Or $7.99 in standard definition, and let’s face it, it’s not like I have the bandwidth for HD or a TV that will do it justice.)

The fact that I’m going to pay money to finish the series probably answers question (a) — I was enjoying it, and found it a worthwhile way to spend a Saturday evening (but not enough to move my laptop). But Stephanie was probably expecting a proper post, and I guess that’s fair, so…

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Liveblog: Star Trek: The Next Generation – “Death in Winter” by Michael Jan Friedman

Not the usual sort of thing we blog about, not the usual sort of thing I read. But this is special. This, my friends, is the tie-in novel where Captain Picard and Doctor Crusher finally hook up.

And since one of my great regrets in life is that I didn’t liveblog the Voyager novel where Janeway is brought back to life (after being fridged in a TNG novel because Picard didn’t have enough Borg-related angst) and then makes out with Chakotay on the battle bridge, I persuaded Stephanie to let me liveblog it.

(It went like this:

Me: Hey, can I do this?

Her: Sure, why not?

Tricky negotiations required, Picard would be proud.)

[Steph really needs to know more about Janeway and Chakotay making out tbh]

Beyond the cut: a bullet point recounting of the plot, with stream of consciousness digressions and also some gifs.

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Kids Today, or, the thinkpiece in 1920

I haven’t abandoned Malory Towers, but a lot of my spare time has been taken up researching another project (which is probably years away, but I’m all about the long game). Research so far mostly involves going through Melbourne newspaper archives of the 1920s — thank you, Trove — and making copies of the interesting/relevant ones.

(Fun facts: the word “nightclub” and variations thereof only appears in reviews of plays and correspondence from London, although one article notes that, despite the racy reputation of London’s nightclubs, a better source for cocaine is tea salons, the more respectable the better. And searching for “flapper” is made difficult because there was a racehorse of that name in Melbourne in the early ’20s.)

Anyway, I’ve been delighted to find excellent examples of Jazz Age thinkpieces. Are today’s youth being destroyed by too much theatre and dancing? Have moving pictures created “cinema fiends” incapable of experiencing real emotion? Why do people persist in listening to jazz in public?

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No Award goes to the movies: Captain America: Civil War

I’ve been trying to consciously uncouple from the Marvel universe for a few months now, so I was probably the wrong person to see Civil War. Especially because the main reason I’m breaking up with Marvel is that I found myself seeing a movie once, strongly disliking it for its lack of concern for female characters, then seeing it again with my expectations lowered accordingly. I was not only rewarding bad behaviour, but I was paying good money to do so.

(The other reason was the announcement that, while the Australian taxpayer would be funding Thor 3, at the same time, funding for Screen Australia and local stories was being cut.)

All this is to say that I agreed to see Civil War with very low expectations, and then I got spoiled for the plot and lowered them further, and I was still disappointed.

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