Trigger Warning: Broccoli

(The first anniversary of this blog reminded me I’ve been neglecting it a little. Forgive me. The end of the school year is approaching and the weather is much too nice to stay inside and write. Okay, okay. I’ll write outside more. Be patient with me.)

Trigger warning for discussion of suicide and anxiety attacks

Recently, I was triggered by something I saw in a seminar. This occurrence made me aware of the misunderstandings surrounding the words ‘trigger’ and ‘trigger warning.’ I’ll endeavor to shed some light on them for you today.  What happened was this:

For a module on affect studies we examined some examples of shame in popular culture. An obvious example was the 2011 film Shame directed by Steve McQueen, starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. There was a scene towards the end of the movie that triggered an anxiety attack in me.

From here on out, this blog post contains spoilers for the film Shame Continue reading

Slash

You sigh. You roll your eyes. “Hasn’t Frenzied frickin’ Fangirl written enough about slash by now?” you ask. Maybe I have. But this time Slash is the title of a film I’ve just seen, and I’m here to tell all y’all that it rocks. As always, I have a few critical notes, but they’re not many.

So here’s the gist: Neil, the protagonist of Slash, writes slash for the fictional fandom of Vanguard. When his composition notebook is stolen (this is why we never take our attempts at writing erotica with us to school, children!) he accidentally befriends Julia, also a slash writer. Sidenote to people that know me IRL: There is a Julia in this film who writes gay fanfic, wears lots of t-shirts with cats on them and is an avid feminist. Sound familiar? I thought so. Julia encourages Neil to put his fic online, and when he does it soon becomes so successful that Neil is asked to do a reading at Comic Con. Then some other stuff happens that I won’t tell you for the sake of spoilers.

What I loved about this film: it’s about fandom, and more specifically: fanfic. It beautifully portrays the tensions within fandom that arise when old school fans are confronted with newcomers. Its full of in-jokes from RPF to curtain fic. It’s super open and honest about non-hetero sexual orientations.

What I didn’t love so much: Why is the protagonist a white guy? (SPOILER ALERT: Continue reading

Merry Christmas!

This is a very disorganized post listing all of my favorite Christmas-related pop culture. That means books, film, TV and music. All of these put me in the Christmas spirit Merry Christmas, y’all.

FAVORITE CHRISTMAS SONG OF ALL TIME: Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues & Kirsty MacColl

Kurt & Blaine singing Baby It’s Cold Outside on Glee

Klaine was amongst my very first OTP’s. When this song aired, they hadn’t gotten together yet, and I was so sure they would in the Christmas ep, but then I had to wait even longer… Oh, the torture of being a frenzied fangirl.

 

A Very Sorry Christmas by The New Mendicants

I like this song. And I wanted to share a Christmas song that was not (yet) incredibly well-known, so here we are.

 

Studio 60  season 1, episode O Holy Night

Blogpost(s) about the absolutely crazy amazingness of Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip are forthcoming. I must first finish my West Wing-binge, though, because I can’t handle more than one Sorkin-show at the time. Either way, Christmas is the time for romance and so it is for Jordan and Danny. Damn, I need to watch this again.  Continue reading

Films of 2016

This year, I saw 38 films. You can view the complete list below. I saw most of them in cinema, and only three of the movies I saw were re-watches. Some other exciting stuff happened in movie-land: Leonardo DiCaprio finally got himself an Oscar and Pete Docter’s latest work of genius, Inside Out, also won one.

My favorite films of the year (in no particular order) are:

  1. Joy
  2. Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them
  3. Love & Friendship
  4. Finding Dory
  5. Captain Fantastic
  6. About Ray
  7. La La Land

There’s a number of films that I’m still very excited to see:

  1. Moana (Lin-Manuel Miranda knows the melody to my heart)
  2. La La Land (Ryan Gosling dances to the beat of my heart) Edit: I have since seen this film. It was great.)
  3. Hail Caesar (I’ll stop with the cheesy heart-metaphors now)
  4. Nice Guys
  5. Arrival

Just for fun, let me show you the trailer to La La Land. Get hyped with me.

 

Full list of films I saw in 2016: (the year’s not over yet so I might still add some titles._

Continue reading

3 Things Wrong With Beauty & The Beast And 1 That Isn’t

Although I am a lover of Disney, its songs, theme parks, merchandise, films and basically anything even remotely related, I’d also be the first to admit that some Disney movies are deeply problematic in a number of ways. I think it’s worth mentioning that I am wearing a Simba onesie as I write this, so my love of Disney is stronger than my critique. As the internet is buzzing with news of the live-action Beauty & The Beast remake, I consider it high time to let you know how I feel about that particular narrative.

First of all, I love it. I love the songs, because everything Alan Menken touches is gold. I love the bookish heroine. I love Chip. But there are some things I have doubts about:

This movie basically passes off Stockholm Syndrome as true love.

Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon first described in 1973 in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors,” Source.

Belle, who only agrees to stay with the Beast to save her old father’s life, eventually falls in love with him. I don’t think that’s healthy.

Also, I think human Chip looks no older than six or seven.

batb-22 Continue reading

Music In Movies

I want to make it clear that this isn’t going to be a blogpost about musicals. I might do one in the future, because I love musicals, but this is not it. It’s not a post about soundtracks, either. This post is about characters in film that love to listen to or love to make music. Not biographies of artists or anything, although Velvet Goldmine ventures into that territory. Completely fictional love for completely fictional music.

Velvet Goldmine

I was recently reminded of how much I love this film when I started preparing for the Bryan Ferry show I’m attending next week. I listened to the amazing Ladytron. But this movie has more to recommend it than just a great soundtrack: it also has Ewan McGregor, whom I love, and a great narrative framework that keeps the audience on its toes.

If you’re a Dutchie and want to know more about this film, watch my father’s awesome video essay. Continue reading

Displays Of Sexism In The Great Hall

Both Durmstrang and Beauxbatons were co-ed schools. Repeat after me: in the Harry Potter books, both Durmstrang and Beauxbatons were co-ed schools.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think there is anything harder than adapting a long, detailed and immensely popular book into a film. Inevitably, vital scenes will have to be cut, and frenzied fans like myself will be disappointed by these cuts. Do you all remember the scene with the Weasleys getting stuck in the chimney at the Dursleys’ house? I would have paid good money to see that. Also, Ludo Bagman never made it into the film, leaving me to wonder forever how handsome he actually was.

Yet I think that the filmmakers that worked on the Harry Potter franchise did a remarkably good job of adapting those books into movies. Most of the central storyline is in the scripts, and on top of that the movies are designed with such incredible eye for detail that you really feel as though you are entering the Wizarding World; the films never do harm to the dreamlike fictional quality of the Harry Potter universe. If anything, they add to it.

Of course, there are a few things that haven’t gone entirely to plan. For example, Dumbledore asking Harry a question “calmly” was turned into a crazed shouting match in the Goblet Of Fire film. This discrepancy has become quite infamous all over the internet, although it never bothered me much. The intonation of a single sentence isn’t important to the story; I would argue that, in a film, the fiery delivery of the line adds to the excitement. So no big deal.

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There is one other way in which the Goblet Of Fire film deviates from the book, and that is a more disturbing difference. Have a look at the pictures below. The top one shows the boys of the Durmstrang Institute entering Hogwarts to take part in the Triwizard Tournament. The one below shows the entrance made by the all-female student body of Beauxbatons.

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There are two things wrong with this scene. Continue reading

Fictional Fans

I once wrote a blogpost about fictional fandoms. Well, it stands to reason that fictional fandoms have fictional fans, right? So, this blog post is dedicated to just such fictional individuals. Perhaps they are the ones I identify with most of all. Perhaps the creators of my favorite stories conceived of them to criticize me or, to put it more bluntly, to encourage me to Get A Life. I don’t care. I love being a fangirl and I love my fellow fictional fangirls.

16068905Cather Avery – Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl is centered around Cather Avery, a young girl who goes to university. She is introverted and struggles withe developing a social life, but on the internet she has no problem making friends. On the internet, Cath writes Carry On, Simon, the most popular Simon Snow-fanfic ever. The Simon Snow fandom is fictional, but it it obviously based on the Harry Potter fandom, and it pleases me a lot to see a respectful portrayal of fangirls and fanfiction writers in this book.

Penny Lane – Kate Hudson in Almost Famous

Contrary to popular belief, Penny Lane and her friends, Polexia Aphrodesia and Sapphire, are not fangirls.

Penny Lane: We are not groupies. Groupies sleep with rock stars because they want to be near someone famous. We are here because of the music, we inspire the music. We are Band Aids.

tumblr_ne360w6qab1u0hwd9o1_500 Continue reading

Pride

This year, the city of Amsterdam hosted the Canal Pride. I live in Amsterdam, and in honor of the occasion I would like to list some of my favorite LGBTQIA+ characters.

Please note that all of those are canonically not-straight, and I’m not just speculating that Dean is gay for Castiel or anything because queerbaiting is disgusting. I will dedicate a blogpost to that in the future, but today is Pride Day: let’s be proud.

Pride (2014) characters are gay or bi

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Pride is one of my favorite films ever. It was released in 2014 and tells the story of a group of British lesbians and gays who come out in support of the miners during their strike in the 80’s. It is a wonderful film: funny, fast-paced and smart. Pride is a film that celebrates diversity, without ever forgetting that There Is Power In A Union. Continue reading

On Sex And Violence In Entertainment

“Why do people – yourself included – find it so very attractive to look at depictions of violence and sex, and why does polite society have such a problem with actual violence and actual sex?”

I owe this post to The Was, who posed this question in a reaction to my recent blogpost about Outlander. Of course, the question, being both personal and very broad, is difficult to answer. But I’m not one to back down from a challenge. Continue reading