|Hot dang, would'ya look at that!|
It’s probably just a fluke, like loads of spambots or whatevs, and even then in the grand scheme of the Internet anything less than half a mil is meh as far as popularity goes, right? But I’m stoked about it. Maybe kids from the latest generation of middle schoolers have been using my blog as a non-academic source in their bibliographies for a class they don't want to attend. Maybe a film club consisting of five middle-aged gents and their cats stumbled onto my Populaire post one day and have been using the blog as a bible ever since—if so, sucks to be them. Maybe it’s just one weird person on the other side of the world clicking on every post over and over again to earn Bitcoin. (I'm not really 100% on how cryptocurrency is earned). Regardless! Considering I didn’t actually give permission for this blog to show up on search engines until after my original film studies course had ended (circa Jan. 2014), I'd say the traction gained since then is pretty darn impressive! Dunno how ya'll have been finding this, since Blogger doesn't have user-added SEO features apart from tags...although, yup, right there on the draft sidebar I see a 'Search Description' box. That's new. Huh. So, now that I've finished insulting both the gracious host site that is Blogger as well as every single member of my potential readership, let's catch up a little.
|I don't actually know who this actress(?) is. Don't read too much into the gifs I make use of, capiche?|
It seems we are experiencing a lot of firsts today. As a case in point, it's unusual for me to share stuff about myself on the Web, but given the long leave of absence I sort of feel as though I owe an explanation. I called it quits with the blog in September 2016 right as I was starting my studies at university to get an MLIS—i.e., a master's in lib sci—with an IT concentration. Haven't graduated quite yet, but I'm on track to earn the degree this coming May, meaning that I will be a forever-slave to federal loan debt after less than a year and a half spent in school. Yaaaay. On the bright side, I started volunteering at a local library last summer, was hired on as a part-time page in the fall, and will now be moving up the ladder as a reference librarian intern once the new year hits, so I should be able to pay off that debt in, oh, let's say forty years' time? That's nice. What else...I'm still editing on a freelance-basis, but with a full course load, the new job, and everything else life has decided to throw my way production on that front has slowed drastically. I've dabbled in website creation for an electronic publishing class and professionally, my cat is still alive and as cute as ever, I'm soon to be wed to the absolute *loveliest* person in the world (the same man with whom I have already been lucky enough to be in a relationship for nearly a decade, I might add), and...oh, what's that? I should move on to the film critiquey portion of this post? If you insist. >_>
As long-time readers of this blog will know, I dig del Toro. No, not that one, although he's great, too, a totally underrated actor, I've liked his work since The Usual Suspects, though that's hard to watch now given the recent Spacey scandal—just yuck—but anyway did you see him as DJ in the latest episode of Star Wars? So awesome. But no, this one. I've done multiple other posts pertaining to this guy (most notably this and this). So, when my father offered to take me to see del Toro's latest flick on the big screen, I grabbed my Pale Man t-shirt, a box of Whoppers, and climbed aboard the choo choo train to fantasy land. Yeah, I know it's not really a 'foreign' or 'indie' film, but I feel like writing about it anyway. Plus I legit thought it was going to be in Spanish going in, having only seen this trailer beforehand. It did sort of throw me for a loop that some of the actors I knew to be American (and therefore native English speakers) were suddenly fluent in another language, but sometimes the brain just accepts stuff as true when it really, really wants it to be. Or it simply isn't quick enough to catch onto
obvious overdubbing. Aaaanywho, let's get on with it!
|Rated R cuz of naked people, sexy stuff, bursts of violence, and swearyness.|
This is pretty much the only film I have ever seen in the cinema and then decided to write a post about afterward, i.e., I've owned copies of/could stream the others, so I don't have any screencaps, gifs, or even decent notes. What I do have are some hastily typed one-liners in the to-do list app on my phone, things I wrote out as quickly as possible so that the screen brightness wouldn't annoy my fellow moviegoers. Then I got immersed in the magic and, after about the first fifteen minutes of the total running time, I simply stopped adding notes altogether. Professional as always, aren't I? The listed items are as follows, verbatim:
- Alarm, voices (film), siren, bath tap, music, timer, etc.
- Whistling along to the music
- Blood on white marble
After she leaves her residence, Elisa gets on the bus for work, whistling along to the still non-diegetic music as if she can hear beyond her small universe and eavesdrop on our own. She also seems just as able to drown out everything deemed unimportant to her specific story, like the national news playing on a television set as she pauses by a storefront window on her commute. This film's composer, Alexandre Desplat, has talked at length about how his music attempts to ease listeners into a blurring between fantasy and reality, a theme mirrored by The Shape of Water's story, its underwater setting (distorted sound), and the 1960s world setting with anachronistic AU highlights reminiscent of del Toro's other work Hellboy. I do not know much at all about music despite having learned to play the clarinet during fifth and sixth grade /brag, so I couldn't tell you how Desplat managed to convey the feeling of being surrounded by water—much less equate that with the more intoxicating feeling of being accepted and loved by another—on a technical scale with notes and chords and the like. I can, however, say that the OST is immersive in every sense of the word. When it comes to sound effects and music, they do a lot to make or break a visual story. When it comes to words, though...for much of the film, Elisa feels and is often treated like an outsider due to her damaged voice box. To her, the amphibian man represents love because he does not judge her based on the words she can or cannot say, for he himself is unable to communicate with coherent sound. He is alien to the rest of the world, but Elisa never seems to fear him because he is the closest to her personal standard of normal that she has ever encountered outside of her own self. To them, the intricacies of the spoken word are obsolete if not utterly meaningless.
Whew, got a little carried away by the romance of it all. Getting back to the list (I'm no good at transitions), the 'blood on white marble' refers to an uncomfortable scene that takes place in a workplace restroom. Elisa discovers that super creep/product-of-his-time-but-no-less-a-bigoted-arsehole/big baddie Richard Strickland has been torturing poor Mr. Fishy with an electric cattle prod. He rests it on the bathroom counter for a tic as he takes a whiz, and the scarlet blood on white marble reminded me of a very specific image from Cronos, one of del Tor's earliest works. Remember this discussion about eggs? In a recent interview, Desplat spoke about Elisa being "so thin, fragile, delicate" which is why he paired her with the whistling sound noted previously. I could be reaching here—as I so often do—but there's gotta be something in this particular character's 'fragility' paired with eggs, blood, and fish scales. No? Maybe that's symbolism for a different post at some point in the future, then.
And with that, I am calling this rather haphazard exercise to an end. That's one post for 2017, anyway, so don't harp on me too much. :P I would say that it is very probable there will be more of this kind of poorly thought-out, even more poorly structured bullshit in the future, but I'm well out of practice and currently busier than a beaver. There are so many fantastic films out there, though, and I have missed rambling about them in this format, so why the heck not? Talk to you then, whenever 'then' may be. It certainly won't be regularly. Soz. In the interim, enjoy an updated blogger bio. Woo!
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