Random Friday


Okay, I had time to watch a movie during the weekend, so I finally finished the box set my sister lent me in December. The last to watch was Elysium, which wasn’t bad, but again it sees a future with no middle class, while I still think we might be headed to a middle-class-only society. I know it doesn’t look like that but if you check that Quantum Run page, there is hope in the future! πŸ˜‰

I’m going to quote a sci-fi author (from the Finnish Worldcon progress report):

I’m also confused by the fact that such a large part of recently written science fiction is very pessimistic. It worries me particularly that in SF aimed at children and young adults, dystopias have become the popular and most frequently published subgenre. I myself am naive enough to believe that we would feel better if we could read about a future that is worth living in. I’m also naive enough to believe that we currently have all the information we need to create such a future. Why, then, do so few science fiction writers nowadays describe this kind of alternative? This remains a mystery to me but it would be nice if more writers were to even give it a try.

– John-Henri Holmberg

I agree with him. Time to write more optimistic futures! Even if the present is so bleak. Last week I was asked which sci-fi worlds I like to escape to, and since I’m old, I gave original Star Wars trilogy, original Star Trek and original Battlestar Galactica… and then this week I learned that Richard Hatch is gone too.

So I’m posting his autographed photo from Torino Comics 2012 when I was very busy being Happy Fangirl Barb with Terry Moore, but also got to meet him.Β  In case you’re a newcomer, you can read all about that here. I hadn’t posted the photo back then, so here it is now.

tocomics2012Anyway, it is well-known that I don’t watch TV anymore. Apparently da Muse went to the Italian TV for his next movie (coming out today in the US, next week in the UK) but I didn’t see him either (but then, I didn’t even see him when he came to Rome to shoot some scenes last year, LOL!).

Hope this weekend to watch another movie, if not, well… March! πŸ™‚ Have a great weekend!

Random Friday


kobo-promoOnly on Kobo UK and only from Jan 26 to Feb 2 – Norman Blood at 2Β£!

Sort of filler post because I’m traveling (to the UK, haha!) and didn’t have time to finish the portrait I started last weekend or to watch any more movies (well, I rewatched Spy Game, but that’s all). And I’m going to the cinema tomorrow in London, so I won’t have much to say until I come back.

Okay, I can tell you a conversation I had at work.

Me: “Tomorrow I leave early because I need to travel.”

Guy: “London?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Guy: “To watch a movie?”

Me: “Yeah.”

Guy: “It’s a joke, right?”

Me: “No, it’s serious. I go to London to see a movie that won’t come out in Italy.”

Guy: “And you go to London?”

Me: “If I want to see it on a cinema screen, I have only three options: London, America and India. Which is the closest?”

Guy: “You should go to India!”

Yeah, as if I could go to India for a weekend like I’m doing with London, LOL! Anyhow, he didn’t really understand why I’m doing this, but I don’t care. I’m crazy like that! πŸ˜‰

Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Let’s call it movie Friday, although I’m going to include a couple of video clips. Like I may have mentioned, I spent New Year’s Eve watching memories of the 80s – of musicians who are no more. One had just died, George Michael, the other was long gone, Michael Jackson.

I just happened to find a couple of similarities between two of their songs that made me wonder how anyone was ever born in the 1980s, since men didn’t seem to want to take responsibility for babies! πŸ˜‰ Cases in point: Billie Jean and Everything She Wants… Listen to the songs and/or watch the videos at the links…

Then the new year started and we had another celebrity loss, Om Puri. So I spent a weekend watching East is East and West is West in memoriam. Not to mention the fact that I gave my offline beta-reader the Bollywood fever – we’ve been doing movie afternoon twice a month since November, we meet more often than the writers group, LOL!

The Bollywood movies that I showed my beta, started with Mohenjo Daro (which was a first for me too). She enjoyed Om Shanti Om and of the Dhoom franchise she preferred Dhoom 2… no, I swear I didn’t brainwash her! πŸ˜‰ I’m also lending her movies that are not strictly Bollywood (Kama Sutra a Tale of Love) or that she has missed, like Labyrinth. I will also pass her Oggi Sposi since it has English subtitles… πŸ˜‰

Between projects I also rewatched a few movies (not because the ToWatch pile went down but because I have sci-fi movies and historical movies to watch and I needed to stay in fantasy mood or present day) including: I don’t kiss (France 1991), Saturday Night Fever (USA 1977),Β  Chasing Amy (USA 1997), The Wedding Banquet (Ang Lee 1993), Touch of Pink (2004) and Muriel’s Wedding (Australia 1994).

I have a creative weekend coming… so hopefully Art Friday next week! Have a great weekend! πŸ™‚

Random Friday


Mmmmovie Friday! Watched Dilwale (which wasn’t on my wishlist, but the shopkeeper insisted on giving me) and obviously I didn’t miss the couple SRK-Kajol since I don’t particularly like her, but I had the nice surprice of an item song shot in the country of faeries…

I was like “Hey, that’s columnar basalt! Hey, a black beach! HEY, I KNOW THAT WATERFALL!!!”, yes, you even get a glimpse of the genie of the waterfall. So I’m posting a pic of the genie here and see if you can see it in the video below.

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seated genie watching the waterfall

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closeup of the profile

now find it in the video! Definitely Iceland! πŸ™‚

I also watched the DVD of a 25-year-old French movie that I can’t for the life of me remember if I saw it in French in some Roman cinema or only saw it dubbed. Anyway, now I have it in French, so that’s what I got. I don’t kiss is quite censored for a French movie! πŸ˜‰ But in the interview with the director, he explains why, so… all good! πŸ™‚

And since we’re in 80s revival/mourning, I also rewatched the whole Back to the Future trilogy. Now I really want my flying car. I feel cheated. Meh.

Have a great end of the year and see you next year! πŸ™‚

 

Random Friday


Movie Friday! I saw a cheap DVD of the Danish Girl and was intrigued enough by the blurb to buy it. The Italian blurb was slightly different than the IMDB one, but whatever! I enjoyed the story of the first transgender. I even cried a little, and s/he is quite beautiful and with a very sweet smile.

As for nude males – as discussed in the comments of this post – yeah, he showed his dick and also how to hide it to look female, and it was quite an interesting sight! πŸ˜‰ Like I said in the above, I’m not a fan of male full frontals, but in this case I wasn’t disturbed.

Might be adult themes, but I thought overall it was a very sweet love story although there’s no HEA. But I’d rather cry over a sad movie than in anger at DayJob. Crying over a movie or a book is catartic. Crying in anger and frustration is just exhausting. And I’m very close to that lately.

And then I watched Mohenjo Daro with a friend… by the way, it will also be at the Florence Film Festival this weekend. They used to show those movies also in Rome a week later, but this year apparently they prefer Milan… Can’t blame them! πŸ˜‰ (and anyway they invited Kabir Bedi and Ashutosh Gowariker, not Hrithik, so… ;p)

Let’s say that a TV screen was enough anyway. Not sure I’d have enjoyed it more on a big screen. It was okay. Later I thought I missed something, then, remembering the “censorship” of Bang Bang by Air India, I realized that maybe that much talked scene was actually something that I did see and it wasn’t as hot as described in the articles I read through my Google Alerts.

Either that, or the hot love scene was left on the cutting floor, haha! πŸ˜€ Not that I care to watch men romance much younger women on the big screen (do you hear me, SRK? Deepika could be your daughter!!)… πŸ˜‰ And no, it’s not because I’m not that young anymore, haha! πŸ˜€

Now my friend wants to see more Bollywood. I shall endeavor to pass her the Bollywood fever! πŸ˜€ Have a great weekend! πŸ˜‰

Random Friday


Since between long flights and that neverending pile of DVDs to watch (to which I have just added 4 + a box set loaned by my sister with 2 movies I haven’t seen), I’ll make this movie Friday! πŸ˜‰ During Long Flight #1, since it was a red eye, I blissfully slept for most of it. I only watched a bit of Bang Bang from breakfast to landing or so (up to after the song Uff).

I resumed watching it on the way back during lunch, since I could be interrupted and everything, then I went exploring whatever else Air India offered and went back to it only a number of hours later to finish watching it. It was censored, by the way. I even rewinded to check – the kiss in Prague had been cut out of the movie. Meh.

Anyhow, I watched Kapoor & Sons – still don’t get that artificial aging that looks ugly whatever movie industry tries it, but I guess there aren’t that many 90-year-olds still alive and acting! πŸ˜‰ Yes, Rishi Kapoor was unrecognizable under the prosthetics, but still looked fake – and on a small screen on the plane, can’t imagine on a big screen.

It’s a nice movie, though, I shed some tears, so I’ll add it to the wishlist anyway. The two young men were quite promising, although they looked like younger versions of Arjun Rampal and Shahid Kapoor… Here’s to hoping that Sidhart Malotra shaves a little more often, like Shahid used to do! πŸ˜‰ And keep going, Fawad Khan, you can conquer Bollywood even if you’re Pakistani! πŸ˜‰

Then, since I couldn’t really get any sleep, but was too tired to concentrate on deep storytelling, I checked ABCD2, since it’s a dance movie and I love watching dance numbers (and that’s why Da Muse is where he is, he is the best Bollywood dancer, ha!). The choreography was great and I showed the last number to my nephew who is doing breakdance this year… I had to explain to him the story, but there isn’t much dialog, so maybe one day I’ll watch it with him! πŸ˜‰

Then I went home and before ordering the next batch on Amazon (was supposed to be just 1, but I watched some trailers on the next DVD… and I ordered 3!) I watched Bhagwaan Dada. Besides the very ruined film and the dubious honor of seeing Sridevi in her youth (I’m not ashamed to admit I discovered her with English Vinglish, so?), what can I say… the best actor was the kid! πŸ˜‰

The movie looked from the 50s or 60s, even though it’s from the 80s, and the transitions were quite choppy, so I didn’t love it, but I kinda liked it. Like watching Darr and other 20th century Bollywood. They definitely got better in the new millennium!

And the kid grew up to become the Greek God we all know and love… πŸ˜‰ Although he was definitely an ugly duckling back then, but he already loved to dance. Now looking forward to his next movie, Kaabil. I might do a weekend in London in January – alone, so I’ll make sure to go to a cinema on time, and if I’m early I’ll just stick around until it starts, not like I did last August with Mohenjo Daro! πŸ˜€

About Kaabil, I got myself an Italian movie because as you can see the posters are quite similar… so I’ve watched this one too! πŸ˜‰ It went ahead of the queue because I start from the shortest and of course it’s much shorter than Bajirao Mastani…

italia-indiaSoooo, it’s nice. Another Italian superhero (well, he’s strong and can’t be killed by bullets and eals faster than Wolverine, but whatever). And shot in Rome, although the dialects alternated between Roman and Napoletano (which I don’t understand very well – I understand better English than the dialect of Naples, haha!). So, loner who turns vigilante to avenge the crazy woman who fell for him…

Yes, I know, all the stories have already been written, it’s the execution that counts! πŸ˜‰ I’ll have to wait at least until January to tell you the similarities – if any, besides the posters! πŸ˜€ And that’s all for today… have a great weekend!

 

Random Friday


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And this is for Da Muse, who is probably at the Venice Film Festival for his latest movie, The Bad Batch! πŸ˜‰ I really should update the damn card, but I’m lazy like that! πŸ˜€

Anyhow, about Da Muse K and everything he’s been doing… I read this article that I think makes good points. And it goes well with what I’m learning from Writing With Color. So, I’m trying to be less white-centric in my stories, but then, I did have PoC characters before – I just wasn’t very good at describing them, haha!

Now, that happiness is…? It applied again this week. And I thought it happened only in winter, sigh. Still wondering why I hate AC? I wouldn’t have been mute for two days if it weren’t for that darn thing! 😦

In the next few months I’ll probably do some movie Fridays… since after shopping in Southall I shopped on Amazon FR. But I was looking on the internet to see if they showed the Venice movies in Rome (they sometimes do that) and saw a French movie that interest me because I like both protagonists (they are both very funny in comedies) and made me look up my French wishlist again.

DVDfranceSo I headed for Amazon FR and finished filling that cart that I started back in July and sent the order. That movie isn’t out yet, but I got six others. Now I have more than a dozen movies to watch… but I have three months until the end of the year (I don’t countΒ  October when I’ll be away for at least half month – and will probably come back with another DVD)! πŸ™‚

because this pile is not high enough!

Last night I didn’t feel too good, certainly had no brains for writing, so I started with a comedy, picking the almost shortest movie of the pile (the shortest is actually a sequel and I’ll watch it along with the original during the weekend). It was a good laugh – mixing races and religions in France! πŸ™‚

I was used to see Christian Clavier in Les Visiteurs… and now I see there’s a third Visiteurs movie coming out! That wishlist will never go down…

That’s enough rambling for today! Have a great weekend! I’ll be working on another POD and an ebook and… work work work – publishing is work, but writing is FUN! πŸ˜‰

 

 

Random Friday


I had time to watch a couple of movies between stories (Barb can watch a movie only after she’s done with the current WiP). One I bought and watched immediately because it was “short” (the usual 90minutes), the others stayed on the “to watch” pile for a little longer.

So, first I watched Mustang. I found it at the newsagent and was intrigued by the blurb. As you should know by now, I love world movies, so I watched it in Turkish with Italian subtitles (I might watch it dubbed once, but I enjoyed listening to the real voices even if I couldn’t understand a word).

It’s a lovely movie and the little girl is the smartest of the lot! πŸ™‚ She is the true protagonist (and in case you can’t be bothered to follow the above link, here’s the blurb)!

When five orphan girls are seen innocently playing with boys on a beach, their scandalized conservative guardians confine them while forced marriages are arranged.

It’s not a comedy, but it’s not total drama either, it does have a happy ending! πŸ˜‰ So if you’re sick of those Hollywood blockbusters for teenagers or superhero movies, go watch Mustang.

Then I watched Snow White and the Huntsman, and wasn’t impressed at all. I mean, Charlize is Charlize is Charlize, but the rest, I could live without. Yes, even without Mr Thor. For a Snow White retelling, Mirror Mirror was better IMHO.

Will I see the sequel/prequel? Probably not. But thank you for asking. Unless I really miss Charlize, but I still have to watch a few of her movies that sound more interesting first! πŸ˜‰ Like A Million Ways to Die in the West – anyone seen it? (And no, not interested in Mad Max either).

Now I have to watch Pan and the French Beauty and the Beast… but not until I finish the current WiP! Happy Friday 13! πŸ˜‰

Random Friday


Let’s call it “movie Friday”. Kind of, as usual. I have bought two DVDs (while I wait for the ones I got during the summer that should reach me on the 23rd at my offline Writers Group meeting), and managed to watch one. The other I’ll keep for next week, since for one of the online workshopsΒ I had to watch a lecture and it’s over 2hours long.

So this is the “kind of” movie I’m going to talk about. I had to stop watching Wednesday night because America woke up and the site was overwhelmed – the videos got stuck and wouldn’t play. Had to finish yesterday after my lunch time which was night on the other side of the pond! πŸ˜‰

Anyhow, if you’re a writer, wannabe or beginner, you don’t want to miss the lecture on Heilein’s Rules (that’s #1 on the list and it’s well worth it). I’ve been following the first 3 rules long before the internet and learning who Heinlein is – I used to be a one-draft-writer when I didn’t have any readers besides myself – and now I’m trying to follow all of them. Really, if you’re just starting off, go watch that “episodic movie”. You can do it! πŸ™‚

The “real” movie is Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella.Β In spite ofΒ the director’s obsession with 19th century clothes (applied even to Shakespeare plays, sigh!), it’s not a bad movie. More faithful to the original tale than the cartoon (except for the glass slipper, of course) and I loved the fact that CGI animals didn’t talk. I hate talking animals in cartoons, imagine in live action movies!

So, nice costumes, nice special effects and I’ve found my vampire Baldwin (Kaylyn’s husband for whenever the Ink Slingers Halloween Anthology comes out). It helps giving a face to my characters, now I can proceed with Kaylyn’s story since I know what her husband looks like! πŸ™‚ My virtual casts don’t comprise only Da Muses for obvious reasons… πŸ˜‰

By the way, this weekend I’ll upload the final version for Rajveer the Vampire. Mighty editor sent it back earlier because she couldn’t put it down. Made my day. I hope betas will get their copy and read it before release – and tell me if they like the new ending and then spread the word.

And then I hope other readers will find it and read it! I’ll start sending out queries to reviewers next week… Have a great weekend!

Random Friday


and it’s the last random Friday of the year, since the next will recap the reading year – so it won’t be totally random! In this randomness I’ll point you to the last pencil portrait of the year – that’s a technique that I haven’t lost yet, unlike my drawing-comics-technique.

Then I have a couple of movies, since on Sunday I had a bad headache and couldn’t write much, so I watched World War Z – mmmmeh. Okay, I’m not into zombie movies and I knew that. But I found the DVD for 5euros and thought “what the hell”. So not totally wasted – it was kinda sorta not-my-genre-but-not-totally-ugly-either. And I’m not reading the book, because if the movie had a little plot, the book doesn’t as far as I know, so not my cup of tea at all! πŸ˜‰

And then, since the headache didn’t let me write, I rewatched Velvet Goldmine to find inspiration – although I know I’ll be inspired more by Rockstar, but it’s been longer since I watched Velvet Goldmine, so I wanted to be sure there wasn’t anything there to inspire me.

Star Minds Next Generation SPOILER ALERT (skip the italics to avoid):

Kay-low, who likes to sing as much as his father Kol-ian, wants to be a galactic star. And it’s a sort of coming of age story, even if he’s already 20. So I’m rewatching all the movies that could help, although I do have a plot in mind.

Hope I did the spoiler thingy right. Not that I’m saying much, but well… So I rewatched Dreamgirls and a few more as well, I don’t lack that kind of movies (including Bollywood’s Rock On – oh, drat, Rock On 2 is still in development! Rock on and hurry up, guys!). And no, I’m not including Wyld Stallyns in this lot! πŸ˜‰

But since the music industry has changed (at least from those two “period” movies – Velvet Goldmine 70s and 80s, Dreamgirls 50s to 70s), I will have to make up the rules for the galactic music business… ah, the joys of worldbuilding! πŸ˜‰

Final announcement: another book out – an anthology of recipes including yours truly (who can’t cook/hates cooking, but managed to put together a couple of things in a Star Minds Extra Short). Here’s the link to the printed version. Or you can download the ebook on Amazon, Kobo &Β Smashwords – Barnes&Noble coming up, search for it. Proceedings go to charity – so it’s the perfect Christmas Gift for your food junkies friends! πŸ˜‰

That’s all for today’s randomness! Have a great weekend!

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