asakiyume: (Kaya)
In this entry, [personal profile] osprey_archer talks about short films she's watched recently, and one of them, "Lost World," by Cambodian American director Kalyanee Mam, captivated me.

It's narrated by a young woman, Vy Phalla [surname comes first here], who lives on the island of Koh Sralau. The way of life there is threatened by sand dredging: sand is dredged in Cambodia and taken to add landmass in Singapore.

Scooping up Cambodia ...

... To create more Singapore

The film's write-up at says, "Kalyanee Mam’s film encompasses vast juxtapositions in a slow-motion lament against environmental degradation, loss, and rapacious capitalism." Yes. It is that, powerfully.

But I was also there for foraging clams at low tide, in among the mangrove spiracles:

And for hopping from prop root to prop root, looking for snails (though the kids did complain about the mosquitos).

Beautiful place to live...

... very different from futuristic Singapore**

At one point Phalla sings a beautiful song about the mangroves. "The beauty of the mangrove forest / rivals the palace gardens" So right.

mangrove seedling

And Phalla goes to see the palace gardens, so to speak: in Singapore she visits an artificially created cloud forest. "Lost World," the exhibit is called. Please do not touch, the signs admonish. "Camelia," Phalla says. "I've only heard the name. Now I see its face."

Back in Cambodia, watching the dredgers, she says, "The law has given us all kinds of freedoms. Here we only have the right to sit, shed tears, and witness the destruction." ... I would like to say something in answer to that, but I think maybe the appropriate thing is to sit, witness, and maybe shed tears.

Thanks for sharing this with me, [personal profile] osprey_archer!

Lost World from Go Project Films on Vimeo.

**Don't take this entry to be anti-Singapore. You can point out a wrong practice without condemning a country (or person or organization or....) wholesale.
asakiyume: (turnip lantern)
I went to this last night with zero expectations and really had fun. I enjoyed Miles and his family, I liked the other spiderfolk, the humor worked for me, and the animation/art was gorgeous. Oh and I loved the soundtrack!**

Just in case you were sitting wherever you're sitting and you found yourself wondering what Asakiyume thought of Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse.


more colors

more more colors



PS--I liked the role graffiti and stickers played.

**And I have some money on an Amazon gift card so I think I'll be treating myself to it...
asakiyume: (shaft of light)
Initially I hadn't been thrilled by the notion of this film; I think because I feared (completely unjustifiably) that it would be purveying trite truths of one sort or another. But several of my friends reviewed it favorably, and finally last night I got to see it--and really loved it.

It's a totally different kind of film from Winter's Bone (by the same director), a very **gentle** story, and quiet, even though elements of the story aren't gentle at all. In fact, all through the movie there were moments when, primed by what Hollywood often does, I was on the edge of my seat expecting something horrible to happen--and it didn't.

The situation is that Tom (a girl) has been living with her PTSD-suffering war-veteran father in a national park, foraging, growing their own food, collecting rainwater--and occasionally going into town to buy things (which they finance by dad selling the medication he gets from the VA to other vets). They get found out and forced to reassimilate into society. Tom is adjusting, but her dad is not, and he announces they're taking off again. Reluctantly, she leaves with him, but things are much harder and grimmer this time around.

What I loved about it most were the moments with animals and the sense of how healing and enriching sharing time and space with animals can be. There's a scene where the dad is stroking a horse, and the horse rests its head against the dad, and the dad rests his head against the horse, and they're just still together for a moment, and oh my heart! Same with Tom stroking a rabbit she finds hopping along the road and returns to its owner; same later on when an older woman shows her the miracle of a hive of bees.

The beauty of the natural world resonates through the whole film, too, but the film understands that it's beauty that will kill you if you're underprepared--and Tom and her father understand that; in fact, everyone in the movie understands the situation and everyone else pretty well: the problem is what people can live with.

Thinking about everyone understanding brings up another thing I liked about the film: there wasn't really a villain. Even the state isn't villainous: it tries its best to accommodate Tom and her dad's unique needs within a framework of what's societally acceptable. It's just that it won't work for the dad.

I think that's the saddest thing in the film--that the dad just can't feel at ease in, apparently, any situation near other people, except his daughter, whom he loves very much, whereas she's growing into a person who wants to be near other people, though she loves her dad very much. But I'd call the ending happy: it's a good one for Tom, and it's set up in the film as one that's not doom-and-death for the dad either.


Dec. 28th, 2018 11:02 am
asakiyume: actually nyiragongo (ruby lake)
A while ago I saw Tanna (2015), a love story that takes place in Vanuatu and involves a volcano, and is acted entirely in the local languages, Nauvhal and Nafe. Well it turns out that 2015 was *the* year for movies featuring a volcano and acted in non-dominant languages, because that was the year that Ixcanul, a film set on the slopes of a volcano and acted almost entirely in Kaqchikel, a Mayan language, came out. A couple of nights ago, we saw it.

The trailer for it might lead you to believe it was a love story, and the Netflix blurb is accurate only for the first third or maybe half the film ("A Mayan girl working on a Guatemalan coffee plantation dreams of escaping an arranged marriage to make a new life in America")

Instead, it went in directions I didn't expect, with characters acting in ways I didn't expect (but was gratified by), developing, in particular, a really touching mother-daughter relationship, but there are all sorts of touches, small and large, that appealed (including, for example, some tenacious, and dangerous, but also sacred, snakes).

Has anyone else seen it? What did you think?
asakiyume: (miroku)
Sometimes in yoga class, we balance on one foot. If we're all balancing with no problem, the instructor suggests we try it with our eyes closed. "It's much, much harder," she says. Have tried, can confirm.

This came up in the movie Roma, which I watched the other day. The protagonist--young housekeeper Cleo--is trying to get in touch with the asshole father of her baby, who's doing some kendo-style training out in the back of beyond. They're all chanting Japanese numbers in unison and taking stances, and then a guest sensei-type says he's going to show them something impressive, and he asks for a blindfold. Blindfolded, he balances on one foot with his arms forming a diamond over his head.

"You think this is nothing much?" he says to the trainees and those watching. "You all try." So everyone starts trying, and everyone's losing their balance and hopping around and falling over. Except Cleo. In a long-distance shot of her up on the ridge, with other onlookers, you see her balancing perfectly. It's just for a moment.

... Annnnd it doesn't really have any significance? The movie just keeps going along.

I was telling the story of this to the healing angel, and she immediately tried doing the thing--of course, who wouldn't! But she really, really wanted to be able to do it, and this was making me think how driven people are to have external markers of specialness, regardless of any meaning or context. If she could do it, or if she gets to be able to do with with practice, what will that mean... other than that she can balance in a manner that very few people can do? Is that in itself an accomplishment? I mean, if it makes you happy and doesn't harm others, I don't have a problem with it, but.

... Which is also making me think of an assignment the students had at the program I help out at (not the jail, the other one)--they had to talk about the use of the word "special" as an insult. One of the other volunteers went so far as to say that no one ever wants to be special in any way; everyone just wants to blend in. I don't think this is how most people feel; I think a lot of people would like to be special if it's a good kind of special and not a bad kind, especially in societies that set a high value on individualism. But maybe I'm conflating good-specialness with excellence.

... Just random thoughts. I haven't posted in a while and wanted to share something, and that's what came out.


Jan. 21st, 2018 11:51 pm
asakiyume: actually nyiragongo (ruby lake)
Tanna is a love story based on a real-life incident that happened in the 1980s among the Yakel, a people of Vanuatu. I saw the gorgeous trailer for it some time back, and then [personal profile] ladyherenya's posting about it the other day made me realize that I could now see it on DVD.

The film is acted by the Yakel themselves, playing themselves: Chief Charlie plays Chief Charlie, the shaman plays the shaman, and so on. The director (an Australian) and the actors would go over what was going to happen in each scene, and then the actors would essentially improvise. The whole thing is in the Yakel language, with subtitles.

It's beautiful, and tremendously moving. Of course the young lovers are beautiful people who win your heart, but everybody is wonderful. I fell in love with Selin, the little sister of Wawa (the young woman), and with Chief Charlie. It wasn't just--or even mainly--the lovers' devotion to each other that was so moving (although it, too, was moving): it was the care and concern everyone in the village had for Wawa and Dain (her lover), trying to get them to go along with tradition--which would mean giving each other up. Wawa's grandfather has an old magazine with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip in it. He says, See, she had to marry him,** but they grew to love each each other, and she's a queen. And her grandmother says, I had to move here as a bride, but I've never regretted it. And the chief talks to Dain and explains how important it is for peace for Wawa to marry into the enemy Imedin community. And even after Wawa and Dain defy their community, everyone is still trying to find ways to make things work out.

And there's a volcano, Yahul. It sounds like the ocean, or like the whoosh of a fetal heartbeat on ultrasound. At one point the lovers embrace, silhouetted against its fire. "My favorite part was when the lovers met at the volcano. That was beautiful," said the grandmother, speaking in a clip on the actors' reaction to the film. (Marceline, the little girl who plays Selin, said "I couldn't stop smiling, seeing me on the screen," and her father said, "I was so proud of her acting, and I was emotional watching her. I was so overjoyed I cried.")

The song that inspired the movie (spoilers) )

**In point of fact, their marriage was a love marriage, or at least so my British husband tells me--but when you're trying to persuade your granddaughter to do the right thing, you might not be beyond misrepresenting things--or maybe that's what he actually believed... and maybe he's right
asakiyume: (squirrel eye star)

Remember when I reported about the Five College Student Film Festival, and there was one film I really liked but that wasn't available online? I sent an email to the creator, and she sent me a link. (3.22 minutes) I really love the simple images and her thoughts ...

Then, looking up at night can make us feel connected, not only with each other, but with everything that exists ... Maybe we like stargazing because it makes us reflect on our places in the universe, and suddenly our mundane problems don't feel so heavy when you look into infinity.

and also the various facts she shares--like the size of the sun relative to Aldabaran.

Here's "Stargazing," by Leticia Rossi. Enjoy!

asakiyume: (Iowa Girl)

A friend of mine was featured in a film that was shown at a student film festival this past Friday. The film she was in was really moving--it talked about her experience being separated from her kids while she was incarcerated** But that film wasn't the only good one--all of them were excellent, and some of them I really loved. Most of them are available for viewing on Vimeo, so I can link to them. Some are very serious, others are more lighthearted.

The first one that really struck me was called "Molly," by Arabia Simeon. I loved the poetry of this. Regarding the double frames, the creator wrote that they "[show] two different sides to her experience in the world. The left is her external and the right is her internal." (TW: topic is partner violence though the imagery is not disturbing.) (3.15 minutes)

MOLLY from Arabia Simeon on Vimeo.

The next is "10 Little Things," by Helena Burgueño, an affectionate look at the quirks that make the creator's mother unique and special. We saw the mother in the audience--dressed much like she is in the film. Note that Mama likes Anne McCaffery! (3.24 minutes)

The third was a simple and poetic animated short, "Stargazing," by Leticia Santos, but although the creator has a website, the film doesn't appear to be posted. I've emailed her, and if she does post, I'll link.

The fourth is "A Poem of Theirs," by Yiwen Gong, an understated look at the loneliness that comes from being a student in a foreign land. This film also made me *hungry* (you'll see why), and it features a quote from Ijeoma Umebinyuo at the end. (4.07 minutes)

The fifth was "Lemonade," by Eric Tang, an animated adaptation of a short story of the same name by Aimee Bender (I haven't read the story). I loved the art so much! It reminded me of the ninja girl's style. (11.10 minutes)

The sixth was "Every 21 Days," by Robyn Farley. This one is made from voice mail recordings and found footage, and it's moving. The draft posted on Vimeo still has watermarks on some of the footage, but the version I saw on Friday didn't. (4.01 minutes)

And last is the video my friend was in: "Sonia," by Aisha Amin (5.18 min)

**She's not someone I know from the jail; she and I are on the board of an organization that does creative writing workshops in the jail--that's how we got to know each other.

asakiyume: (feathers on the line)

[ profile] wakanomori and I went to see Moana this past week. (I arrived at the theater first and bought the tickets. "Two for Moana," I said, and the ticket seller said, ". . . Two adult tickets?" "Yes," I said. Yes, two adults can go see a Disney film, unaccompanied by a child. IT CAN BE DONE.)

I enjoyed it very much, mainly all sorts of small things that had nothing to do with the overarching story or even the characters, really. One part that really swelled my heart was the song of Moana's wayfinding ancestors, which you can listen to below. (It won't spoil anything about the movie for you.)

The sense of huge adventure, of traveling to worlds unknown, guided by the stars--just, so moving. And the sails caught my attention, the care that the animators had taken to show the weave of them. And I thought about how I know someone who once worked making sails, and it got me wondering about how the wayfinders' sails were made. So I dug around, and I found two great sources. This PDF from the British museum describes repairing a Tahitian canoe sail and describes how it was made from a series of mats, made of woven pandanus leaves.

Figure 5, Construction features of the sail, from Sailing Through History: Conserving and Researching a Rare Tahitian Canoe Sail, by Tara Hiquily et al.

And then this great blog post from the blog "The Art of Wayfinding" talked about the different parts of a Marshall Islands outrigger canoe, including the sails. An organization called Waan Aelon in Majel (WAM), which means "Canoes of the Marshall Islands" in Marshallese, teaches kids how to make traditional canoes. (In a case of unrelated languages having similar-sounding names for the same thing, "aelon" means "island.")

Here are some girls with their model canoes (photo by John Huth from the blog post)

And here is a pandanus tree, with those handy leaves (Photo by Eric Guinther, courtesy of Wikipedia):

I also loved that the start of the song "We Know the Way" was in some Pacific-islands language, and I wondered which one. Turns out it's Tokelauan. Tokelauan is spoken in Tokelau, a territory of New Zealand that's north of New Zealand, and also on Swain's island in American Samoa. Wikipedia says there are only about 4,000 speakers--but one of those is Opetaia Foa'i, who, with Lin-Manuel Miranda, wrote and sings "We Know the Way."


PS--one other (galling) thing I learned: In the 1840s,the French forbade inter-island travel in their colonies. Isn't that just like a colonial power: denying people the right to travel from place to place freely. After that, people in the French colonies stopped making woven sails because they weren't needed for the level of travel that was still permitted.

asakiyume: actually nyiragongo (ruby lake)

This was more an invitation to tag along with Werner Herzog and volcanologist Clive Oppenheimer as they shoot the breeze and visit some volcanoes than it is a volcano film. There are volcanoes in the film, to be sure, but there's no underlying structure, questions to be investigated, or organizing principle, and it spends a lot of time on topics that have only very tangential--or no--relation to volcanoes at all. You can still enjoy the conversation, but.

more on the film )

One minor, entertaining note: Oppenheimer twice measures the power of a volcano's eruption/explosion in terms of the amount of pumice it put out, and that in terms of how deeply it would bury people for how far a geographic area. ("Enough pumice to bury everyone in the United States to head height" in the case of the eruption that produced Lake Toba in Indonesia and "enough to bury the whole of New York City--only the highest buildings would poke out at the top" in the case of the "millennium eruption" of Mt. Paektu in 946).

Verdict: very beautiful to look at, and engaging in its way, but not what I was hoping for.

asakiyume: actually nyiragongo (ruby lake)

A Werner Herzog movie premiering on Netflix on Friday. I am very, very looking forward to seeing it.

asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)
I've had a number of things simmering on the back burners of my mind, and one of them is the "Grease" phenomenon: stories in which a socially conforming character transforms into something (supposedly) excitingly transgressive to make a romance work out--as in the musical Grease. The girl changes completely; the boy, not at all. (The genders can be reversed, though, as in stories in which a manic pixie dream girl stories transforms someone who's supposedly, or actually, stodgy or straitlaced or conventional into something marked as better or more exciting.)

It seems to me that this is obviously because in the minds of the storytellers, one character's stance is desirable and the other's isn't, and so it's right for the one with the undesirable stance to change. At one time, this led to stories where the love of a good woman converted a bad boy--she wasn't expected to become a rowdy lawbreaker; the transformation was all in him. That was equally tiresome. But by now it's switched so it's the other way around.

In any case, however the change goes, and whatever traits are favored, it bothers me when love is depicted as requiring suppression or erasure of characteristics that make a person who they are and adoption of new characteristics.

Love does change people, but stories that give me the impression that the happiness of the couple is based on one person repairing themself, while the other person changes not at all, are VERY UNSATISFYING. If two people are genuinely in love, aren't they most likely to both change in ways that make the love stronger? One partner helps the other get over timidity and learn to be more adventurous, and meanwhile the adventurous partner is learning the pleasures of close observation, which they hadn't done much of before when they'd been rushing from one adventure to the next.

That's the pattern I prefer.

asakiyume: (Em reading)
I was thinking just yesterday that maybe this year we'd have no orioles, because I hadn't heard any, and then! I heard one. And then! I saw one. So I'm happy. And it wasn't only an oriole I saw today. I also saw this lovely warbler, which I discovered is called a magnolia warbler. (I have no magnolias. He was flitting between lilacs and apple blossoms.)

Photo by Gregory S. Dysart
Gregory S. Dysart .:. Photographs of Massachusetts: Massachusetts Wood Warblers &emdash;

Meanwhile, [ profile] amaebi told me that fritillary butterflies are called that because the Latin word for dice box is "fritillaria," and the butterflies' markings look like the pips on a die. So then it got me thinking that maybe fritillary butterflies are enthusiastic gamblers:

fritillaries play dice

The third thing is a postcard, but I need to explain. [ profile] sovay recently talked about the film The Moon-Spinners, in which a jewel thief gets away at the end. He apparently promises to send the protagonist "a picture postcard from the Kara Bugaz." This intrigued me. Where was Kara Bugaz? It turns out to be a lake in present-day Turkmenistan that at one point in the recent past dried up entirely, sending salt-storms across the nearby land, poisoning fields. Whoa to the whoath, right? (Now it has water in it again.)

Well, I wanted to create the postcard that jewel thief Tony sends to protagonist Nikky. So here it is! The image comes from the coastal city of Garabogaz. The message is written in a font called "Byron," created based on the handwriting of, yup, Lord Byron.**

**It's hard to read, though. It says, "Dear Nikky, I promised you a picture postcard from Kara Bugaz. Is this woman smelting something? If not the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, then maybe its knives and daggers. Alas, she's probably stoking the fires merely to bake bread. Love from your favorite jewel thief, Tony."

asakiyume: (Em reading)
A friend on Tumblr introduced me to this short-film series by Cecile Emeke, "Strolling," which Emeke describes as "connecting the scattered stories of the black diaspora."

These videos let you fall into conversation with complete strangers. It's not really conversation, of course; it's monologue (even in the first one embedded below, each of the people takes turns talking to you-the-viewer rather than talking to each other), but the intensity with which they address you, and the inherent interest of the things they're talking about, make you feel like it's important you're there.

All of the conversations are with people of color, and so all of them talk about the experience of *being* a person of color--but not (mainly) in the United States: elsewhere. As [ profile] aliettedb and others have pointed out, racism in the United States is not the only style and pattern of racism, and it's really enlightening to hear people talk about what it's like elsewhere.

But that's not the only thing that the people talk about by any means. The young woman in France talks about how what makes fast-food jobs so exhausting is the emotional effort of being sociable and smiling all the time, and about what makes something true, and the two in Jamaica talk about Patois and the language of education there, for example. I've only watched the two below, but I love them and intend to watch the rest, a bit at a time.

asakiyume: (miroku)
But first, an apology and some excuse making. I've had a crushing amount of work, so I haven't been here much, either to read and comment or to write my own entries (and reply to commenters). I think of my friends here pretty much all the time, and I try, gradually, to make my way to people's journals, but I do miss things--please accept my apology. Things should ease up soon.

So, what are you in the mood for? Theological questions?

faith-hope-love )

Or thoughts on plotting?

Star Wars musings )

asakiyume: (Iowa Girl)
Someone out in the wide Internet suggested that I watch Kamikaze Girls (2004, Tetsuya Nakashima: Shimotsuma monogatari in Japanese), and I did--rather, we did; we watched it as a family--and it was very odd and very great. The protagonists have both escaped the dreary roles they were born into and created satisfying personas for themselves: Momoko, the daughter of a small-time failed gangster and a floozie who abandoned the family early on, has gotten into what she terms the 18th-century Rococo look, but which we know better as Japan's Lolita look: over-the-top frilly, fancy dresses. She's doing her best to remain untouched by life in backwater, style-compromised Shimotsuma, where she currently lives.


Then there's Ichiko/go, timid and unpopular as a kid, who was transformed by a chance encounter with the leader of a girl biker gang into a confident, slang-slinging, head-butting, bike-riding tough.


Momoko advertises some of her dad's old counterfeit Versace/Universal Studios gear (two great tastes that go great together! with Versace rendered as "Versach") to raise some money, and Ichiko comes to buy it--and then insists on a friendship between herself and Momoko, despite Momoko's diligent attempts to completely ignore her. Ichiko is emotional and romantic, Momoko is cool and aloof (she offers Ichiko a cabbage at one point and tells her it can be her new best friend. Ichiko doesn't take it well).

Ichiko tells high-color [this movie is VERY high-color--as you can tell from the stills, it's actually supersaturated] tales of key figures in her gang's history, but it's Momoko, who's had a keen understanding of human nature from a young age (dismissing her mother with the advice that she go off and enter a beauty pageant, as time's a-wasting and her mom's life is passing by1) who proves the master storyteller, saving the day at the end (though she herself is saved by Ichigo's aggressive affection, which provides sunshine for the first shoots of outward-directed love Momoko experiences).

The side-characters are fun too, from Momoko's eyepatch-wearing grandma to the gangster known as "the unicorn," thanks to his prodigious coiffure.

Watch the trailer. If you like the look, you'll love the film. It funny and sweet without being cloying.

1Her mom takes her advice.


Aug. 29th, 2015 07:36 pm
asakiyume: (the source)
It's been a whole week since I posted. I used to never let a week go by without posting; I couldn't bear to. I don't know precisely what's changed, though I have some ideas . . . but enough of that.

Here are some things I've been thinking about and would like to talk about more at some point. Alif the Unseen. I finished this book and loved it. It was funny--I was reading humorous bits out to family members--had excellent characters, an exciting story, and faith was an integral, moving part of the story in a way I liked. I'll make a Goodreads review at some point, and I hope I'll say more, but that's the executive summary.

Ondine. [ profile] sovay reviewed that movie here, and I was very taken by what she said. The movie was everything she said it was, and the character of Annie, the daughter who weaves a story for her father and the woman he pulls from the sea, interested me very much--her role as the storyteller. I want to say more about that at some point, too.

The uses and limitations of empathy. The movie Ex Machina (flawed, dissatisfying film, but it did spark conversation here) got me thinking about what gets said about empathy and humanity and sociopathy, etc. etc., and I realized that, to me, it's more important how people ACT than how they FEEL. There are exceptions and caveats and curlicues, and I thought I might post a whole entry on this topic, but who knows when? But yeah, that's been on my mind.

Lastly--photos. Today [ profile] wakanomori and I went for a bike ride and crossed a bridge. On one side, the water ran to sky; on the other, there were water lilies:

And some extremely contemporary graffiti was inscribed on the bridge:

asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (wanderer)
One thing I love about Twitter is that it lets you peek into many different places, many different disciplines, many different interests. Some of my interests include genre fiction, diversity in literature, and Southeast Asia, so maybe it’s not surprising that I’ve ended up following Ahmad Alkadri (@alkadri), a student in forestry in Indonesia who’s also a translator and a writer. His debut novel Spora, a tale of Lovecraftian horror, came out last year.

He kindly let me ask him some questions about the genre scene in Indonesia and about his own work. Today’s questions are about Indonesia. Tune in tomorrow to learn more about Ahmad himself and his writer’s journey.

Can you speak a little about the science fiction, fantasy, and horror writing community in Indonesia? What Indonesian writers would you like to see gain popularity outside of Indonesia?

The communities are small in number, but they are very passionate! There are some very active groups, such as Kastil Fantasi (@KastilFantasi), Penggemar Novel Fantasi Indonesia (PNFI) (@portalfantasi), and Le Chateau de Phantasm (@L_C_D_P). Also there are fan groups, such as Harry Potter Indonesia, The Darkest Minds Indonesia, The Mortal Instruments Indonesia, and so many more.

I’d pretty much want to see some Indonesian writers and books going abroad. Vandaria Saga is an original high epic fantasy series from my country, spanning books and video games, with a coherent world and intertwined little stories that I’d like to be skyrocketed in other countries.

We also write good action stories (which lately have been developed into all other sorts of action movies, one of which is The Raid), and horror novels (Eve Shi is my favorite Indonesian horror writer by now—check out her works!). I’d really like to see all of them, together, graced the international market together.

Eve Shi

Indonesian, lifelong and full-time fangirl, writer. She subsists on tea, fruit juice, and the occasional latte. Currently her favorite writers are the late Liang Yusheng (wuxia writer), Arakawa Hiromu (mangaka), and Zen Cho (Malaysian speculative fiction writer). Her third YA supernatural/horror novel, Unforgiven, is published by Gagas Media in June 2014. Next: Sparkle (YA, drama), from Noura Books in November 2014. (Source)

How would you describe Indonesian science fiction, fantasy, and horror? (Are there qualities to it that feel uniquely Indonesian to you?)

Indonesian fantasy stories are usually full of action, with merciless villains and a heavy political plot ready to destroy the hero. You think Game of Thrones is hardcore? Well there is this TV series, a long time ago, about an evil witch (Mak Lampir) who manipulated kingdoms full of martial art masters (each one of them is probably capable of handling her in one-on-one battle) to keep battling each other to death. And the hero is a homeless, wandering warrior. With a whiplash as main weapon (rad, huh?).
Mak Lampir

(photo source)

The horror stories are frightening, and here is where I’d proudly say that they are, most of them, uniquely Indonesian. We have many paranormal creatures and ghosts from our own folklores, and most of them are terrifying. We have our own zombies (google: zombie toraja indonesia), vampires (google: hantu leak), and even were-creatures (google: babi ngepet). Check them out. You’d be surprised.

Have some google images. . .

(The image of a zombie from Toraja is under a cut because your hostess finds it genuinely terrifying)
Read more... )

(Okay, you know what? Hantu leak is also too horrifying to go without a cut. She’s a human head, but her body is nothing but viscera)
Read more... )

Babi ngepet is a were-boar

(image source)

Any questions for Ahmad about Indonesia's genre scene? Leave them here!
asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)

Don't you think? Y/N? They're both cruising for vengeance in a single-minded way, they both have a thing about honor, they're both steadfast friends. Okay, Inigo Montoya is maybe more comfortable around words than Drax is. But I think I like the two of them in much the same way.

asakiyume: created by the ninja girl (Default)
I'll go back and answer comments individually next, but I wanted to share the answer to my poll generally first.

Nine votes came in for Groot--which is who I thought people would probably think I'd like best. And I did love him a lot! I loved everything about him--especially his eating his own leaves. He was my second-favorite--but not my first.

Six votes came in for Rocky. Rocky was a fun character, and I liked him a lot, but he was not my favorite.

Five votes came in for Drax. And that is the correct answer! Drax was my favorite. I loved his literal-mindedness, his passion combined with bumbling, his musclebound-ness combined with a loving spirit. I liked his way of talking. (But I liked everyone's way of talking.)

One vote each came in for Gamora, Nebula, and Someone Else. [ profile] amysisson, I'd be very interested to hear your thoughts for Someone Else.

I'd also be interested in who everyone else's favorites are.

And now the Big Brother observation. Amazon this morning sent me spam saying, "Based on what you've recently looked at or purchased, we think you'd like...." and top of the list was Guardians of the Galaxy. The thing is, I've never looked at Guardians of the Galaxy on Amazon. I've never discussed it ANYWHERE but on this LJ. I rented it from Redbox--that's how I saw it. "Maybe Amazon owns Redbox," suggested [ profile] wakanomori. It turns out no, that's not it. However, Amazon does own Goodreads . . . and my public blog posts here get cross-posted to Goodreads. So I guess that's it.

Now to answer your individual comments!


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April 2019

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