I did learn, rather late in the evening, that Daughter of Hounds was selected for the Locus 2007 Recommended Reading List. And that made me smile a little.
I also didn't get the poll posted for Part Two of "The Crimson Alphabet." I'll do that later today. The results for the first poll are somewhat interesting, but given that such a tiny percentage of Sirenia Digest subscribers have voted, I'm not sure it tells me very much.
We saw a matinée screening of Juan Antonio Bayona's El Orfanto (The Orphanage) from a screenplay by Sergio G. Sánchez. A very, very finely turned ghost story, with lots of wonderful echoes of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House. I really didn't think we'd get to see this one on the big screen, but I'm glad we did. It's good to see that there are still people who understand the value of pacing and ambiguity in dark fantasy. Roger Ebert's review is quite good, and I especially liked the bit where he declares that El Orfanto "is deliberately aimed at viewers with developed attention spans. It lingers to create atmosphere, a sense of place, a sympathy with the characters, instead of rushing into cheap thrills." Of course, that means it's deliberately aiming at a very small audience these days, at least if it's America we're speaking of, and I can always hope Spanish attention spans are longer. At any rate, that patient audience will be richly rewarded. The film makes splendid use not only of its visuals, but of sound, which I have always felt is one of the most under-appreciated aspects of dark fantasy on film.
A lot of movies lately, which is mostly my brain needing to be entertained, to hear other people's stories, before I have to go back to telling my own.
Later, I went with Spooky to Whole Foods, and we had a dinner of roast chicken and curried vegetables and marinated mushrooms. Though it's a very, very small drop in the bucket, I was quite glad to learn that Whole Foods will be phasing out all plastic shopping bags in 2008. We bring our own canvas bags, and I would urge others to do likewise. A drop in the bucket, but there you go.
Later still, we watched more Angel. It's not like this is great television, but it's entertaining, and it's often good television. On Friday night, we watched the end of Season One, "To Shanshu in L.A." and began Season Two ("Judgment" and "Are You Now or Have You Ever Been"). Last night, we watched "First Impressions" and "Untouched." But, hey, if you want to see something really scary, try Meltdown, the ballet based on the life of trash-pop distraction and tabloid slut Britney Spears. No, I'm serious. It's being performed by the Rambert Dance Company in London. Can we now officially say that culture is dead and just be done with it? I thought not. Never the easy way out. Anyway, I also edited yet another transcript for Dune: Apocalypse, and spent far too much of the evening in Toxian, as the Court of Shadows apparently declared some sort of open war on the city, and I was sent to find one of the demons who is part of the Omega Institute, get her back to the library, and then hold the library against any attacks. I even had help from blu_muse, and never mind that she thinks us Omegas are just a stuck up bunch of bookworms.