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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn

magic window


cropHey, it's my 3001st page! (The prior intro was the 3000th, but I didn't notice.)

This doesn't mean there are 3000 pages on the site—some are unfinished, or duplicates or otherwise not visible, because the site increments by one every time I create a page, whether I end up using it, let alone posting it. But there's a lot of them.)

Anyway, apologies for not posting the ‘Riffing on a Zipper’ project yesterday. I decided, because I'm so bad at RAW, just to use the .jpgs. Then I borked those, so I'm gonna have to go figure out the RAWs after all. Protip: when cropping multiple images in layers, be sure the ‘crop only layer’ box is ticked.

Eventually I'll get it fixed, but in the meantime, here's Hook, Line and Sinker which gets my vote for cutest title. Enjoy:)



cropI recently completed a workshop with my guild, and promised to post the images I took in class of everyone's work. Much of my energy right now is going to sharpening up (heh) my studio photography and actually developing (double heh) some post-processing. Which I did do for today's image, except then I somehow semi-lost it.

I say semi-lost because the wizard was able to find it with gwenview, so I rebooted, hoping to find it magically back in play in any of the programs I use to track image files. No dice. Requested the wizard to find it again: evidently I managed to re-save the .RAW & the darktable sidecar to the wrong directory...! Moved it back to the correct directory & exported a .jpg, finally. You'll just have to make do with the .jpg version till I find the better one. So there's a reason I'm inflicting two versions on you: one's the camera manufacturer's, the other my beginner's effort.



cropToday's image isn't super exciting, but I'm exhausted (so glad I had the following queued up...)

Today's ruminations are yet another entry in this week's loosely connected series of how romances —idealized love—has been changing over the years. The films below, like the books I wrote about earlier this week, are the feel-good flipside of the horrifying allegations of #metoo that nevertheless illustrate that however slowly, women are gaining more agency.

Like the film I discussed yesterday, Crazy Rich Asians belongs on my list of films that work much better than the book. The author stated flatly that he was attempting to recapture a life that he grew up in, albeit on the margins; and only a few pages of endless descriptions of shoes, clothes and other accoutrements quickly convinced me that I wouldn't like the book as much as the film. One hint came early on, when Michelle Yeoh requested some deepening of her antagonist Tiger Mom's character; if the third most important character (and certainly the one at the center of the story's conflict) was a boring stereotype, then my expectations (for the novel) were already diminished.



cropAfter seeing Manhunter I was inspired to read the book; and quickly concluded the film worked much better.

It was the first film where I realized that seeing it in the theatre really made a difference: it has a lot of scenes either at dawn or dusk—with rather the colours, at least in memory, of today's shot—which television, at the time, simply could not render. And that lighting had a surprisingly large impact on my opinion of the quality of the storytelling.)

(I take photographs to remember; and the reason the disappointment stays so vividly in my mind is that I wanted to share my fascination with it with another, and couldn't, because of the lossy quality, so to speak, of the medium: it came out in 1986 and I suspect, both from internal details of the memory, and its poor box office, that it showed up relatively quickly after release: thus, this memory is one of the rare, persisting, vivid ones: probably about three decades old. The weird part is the memory is a sort of snapshot, though I would have had to experience the film in real (reel?) time to make the judgement, here—though I don't think it took very long, only a few scenes.)



cropSo I've been picking up various (mostly) YA comics/graphic novels at the library, and someone was featuring volume 3 of Brody's Ghost by Mark Crilley; actually all 6 have been published but we've only got the first three. Crilley draws in what I think of as the ‘western manga style’ exemplified by Scott Pilgrim and the like, and the story is lively, with humour and good pacing. Evidently it was supposed to be set in Tokyo, originally, hence the ancient Samurai master with temple, which stuck out like a sore thumb in modern NYC; it's not that I can't accept that there wouldn't be Shinto or Buddhist shrines in New York, merely that I found the idea of a centuries-old samurai ghost hanging out in one a little unlikely.

The less charitable might put such an inclusion down to Orientalism.



cropSo somewhere or other—mebbe NPR?—I stumbled across a best 100 books of 2017 (or 2016...) on a variety of topics and one of the recces was a very traditional looking romance, Pretty Face, by Lucy Parker, which is actually the second in her series of ‘London Celebrities’. The premise sounded unappealing: a TV film star playing a sexpot bad-girl role decides to switch to high-end stage theatre, run, of course, by the irascable director who despises her current career choices, her appearance, her vocal issues...

London celebrities? Really? I actually went to the Goodreads review site, because I was so dubious. But once again, was assured by the folks there: yes, really, worth your time. By people, like me, who just couldn't stand reading romance anymore. I love the idea of romance, but most of them marketed under the label make me really annoyed, because the characters don't talk to each other, don't have organically arising issues coming out of their situations and personalities, and usually fail the feminism test, hard.


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