March 10th, 2010

talks to wolves


I absolutely fucking adored the film. The Rolling Stone review was utterly wrong-headed. More tomorrow.

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The Hatter

"This is my dream. I make the path."

1. The insomnia continues. Looking back at entries for the last six years, I see just how much a part of my life insomnia has been recently. But this is the worst spate of it I've had to deal with since December 2007, I think. This is the first time since then that it's seemed bad enough to consider seeing a doctor about. I won't, because I can no longer abide physicians, but the urge is there. I did manage more than six hours last night, so I should be relieved, I suppose.

2. We are ten days into March, and I've written nothing (excepting blog entries). This is, of course, an unacceptable situation, but the insomnia has made writing almost impossible. I can say that I've figured out how The Wolf Who Cried Girl can be pared down to a much simpler, more eloquent novel than the plot-heavy thing that I devised a couple of months ago. Something much more like The Red Tree, in it's scope. Simplicity will be my deliverance. Or at least I can hope.

3. Monday night, Geoffrey (readingthedark) came down from Framingham, and we talked, and talked, and talked, until it was almost 5:30 a.m. — Thomas Ligotti's forthcoming The Conspiracy Against the Human Race, my novels and publishing in general, our loathing for the grating noises made by the Internet Hounds of Privilege and Entitlement and Political Correctness (IHPEC), insanity and psychiatry, pizza, Joss Whedon, Sunshine and other sf films of the last ten years, and so forth. Spooky joined us at some point and we watched an episode of Buffy, "Once More, With Feeling," which I never grow tired of seeing (or only hearing).

4. Yesterday, Spooky and I caught an afternoon matinée of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. Gods, what a brilliant, breathtaking film. Anyone who reads my novels and short fiction should be well aware of my love for Lewis Carroll. Indeed, The Annotated Alice, with Martin Gardner's extensive notes, is one of the books I keep nearest at hand while writing. And, truthfully, I went into this film without high expectations. I saw so many ways it could go wrong, and many of Burton's more recent films have left me feeling somewhat indifferent. However, all my fears were for nought. I adored the film, without reservation. Indeed, this is not only one of Burton's best films, it is probably the best screen adaptation of Lewis Carroll ever (with the possible exception of Jan Svankmajer's Neco z Alenky from 1988). It isn't often that a film ends and I immediately want to see it again, but that's how Burton's Alice in Wonderland affected me. The cast is flawless, top to bottom. The film's vision comes the closest anyone has come to capturing the frenetic, nonsensical impossibility of Wonderland (and I loved the whole "Underland" thing). I'm hearing all sorts of bizarre negative criticisms, though none with merit. This is a bold and triumphant film, one that finally addresses, without holding back, the darkness and complexity and maturity of Carroll's writing. I will add that I saw it in 2-D (having one eye and all), and was pleased that Burton avoided letting the 3-D thing ruin the movie, as is so often the case with that sadly popular gimmick. The film is a giddy, hallucinatory, unrelenting dance of shadow and light, hilarious and heartbreaking, brash and underscored, possessed of all the marvelously contradictory oppositions that characterize the source material. For the first time, I think, it felt as though Alice were truly an integral part of the landscape, and not just some baffled Victorian tourist passing through. And the climactic battle with the Jabberwocky...just wow. I cannot recommend this film strongly enough. Oh, and because I am not sleeping well, and am also not writing, and so am a bit cranky, if you're one of those who hated the film (especially if you've decided to hate it before seeing it, as so many have) please make any disparaging comments in your own LJ...not here. Thank you. I will not publicly debate the film's merits.

5. My love affair with Insilico (the SL cyberpunk sim) began waning about three weeks back, after that initial two or three weeks of ass-over-tits infatuation. I've not yet pulled out, but I suspect my days there are numbered. More than anything else, I suspect I'm losing interest because most of the players do not seem to grasp that you can't have a dystopian world without, well, dystopia. And dystopia is not a fashion statement, and it's not just window dressing, or the Cool New Flavor of the Week. If one is to approach dystopia, one does not proceed to populate it with optimism and uplifting stories that elevate the human condition and don't risk harshing someone's buzz. Dystopia is not a theme for a chat room. And if you've not read Ballard and Dick and Gibson and Orwell and...well, if you've not read these authors and taken them to heart, don't bother trying dystopian cyberpunk rp. Dystopia is, by definition, heavy and hopeless, dreary and unrelenting. Anyway, yeah. I don't think I'll ever find the SL sim that truly fits my disposition, unless, of course, I am its author, and we tried that once already, back in 2008. I simply do not have the resources to create such a sim. I have only this continuing desire for genuinely dark roleplay.

I'm in your garden, but I want a forest.
I'm in god's garden.
I'll make it a forest...
(The Editors)