Archive for June, 2013

Never For Ever

Posted in Art & Photography with tags , , on June 28, 2013 by phanteana

Never For Ever

that…was a dragon (in that trailer)

Posted in Film, Popular Culture with tags , , on June 27, 2013 by phanteana

two weeks ago, Peter Jackson uploaded the first teaser trailer for The Desolation of Smaug (in theaters December 13) onto his Facebook page. when we last saw Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and the company of dwarves, they were whisked off to Mirkwood Forest by the Eagles (Middle-Earth’s answer to the Zip Car). meanwhile, the final shot of the film panned onto a massive hoard of gold which gave way to a glowing eye belonging to the dragon Smaug, who clearly senses his stash is in danger of being discovered.

the clip sets up the framework to what is expected in the next chapter of Jackson’s grand Hobbit trilogy. it essentially picks up where An Unexpected Journey left off, but it’s obvious this film will be a lot more fast-paced and action-packed than its predecessor. the last few moments of the trailer are among the most chilling as a tremor is felt and it is determined that the dragon has stirred…and oh, how he has stirred!

this is the final frame of the teaser, and in these few seconds Smaug’s entire cover is nearly blown. while the public has speculated what the colossal flying beast will look like for quite some time thanks to the internet, his exact features are still as largely guarded as the treasure he snoozes upon. however, the decision to include his head in the trailer was completely unexpected and prompted a fair amount of complaints from fans hoping to avoid spoilers.

the better approach to piquing curiosity and keeping the audience in line would simply be to hear Smaug’s voice off-camera. by now, the world knows what Benedict Cumberbatch sounds like after seeing his career take off on both the big and small screen. the dragon’s name appears in the title, so it was only logical that some part of the creature would appear in the preview. but to hear the booming voice and catch a fraction of a claw or eye would have proven more effective at raising the suspense factor than to stick the entire head in the shot.

Smaug isn’t the first dragon to be a featured portion in a major movie. he is, however, the first to be named one of Forbes‘ wealthiest fictional characters.

this is Vermithrax Pejorative, star of the 1981 classic Dragonslayer. aside from having a commonly misspelled (and awesome-sounding) name, VP is one of the most spectacular creations in motion picture history…in fact, there is a wonderful interview with VP’s human co-star Peter MacNicol on his website detailing the creation of the high-flying fire-breather. but unlike Smaug, VP doesn’t speak with a charming British accent (or at all) and the film’s creators understood that the element of surprise is crucial to attracting an audience by not featuring the head in any advance promos. on the other hand, this might have contributed to Dragonslayer‘s lack of financial or critical success…or maybe it was because Disney was attached to the production. at the time, this was the organization’s first “adult” release, and few were prepared for the violent battle scenes and the fleeting shots of Peter MacNicol’s butt or the late great Caitlin Clarke’s breasts. regardless, it was nominated for several awards and is considered a cult classic today.

was it a mistake to introduce Smaug in the trailer 6 months before the release date? the answer depends on how deeply passionate people are about spoilers. but even with criticism of the timing being too premature, Peter Jackson shouldn’t have much issue raking in the billions once again come December.

Richard Matheson (1926-2013)

Posted in Popular Culture with tags , , , on June 25, 2013 by phanteana

 

acclaimed science fiction author Richard Matheson passed away on June 23 at the age of 87. he was best known for such works as I Am Legend (1954), Hell House (1971), and What Dreams May Come (1978). a majority of Matheson’s works were adapted by Hollywood and many drew critical and financial success. in addition to the big screen, Matheson also penned for the small screen: his most famous contribution to television was a 1963 episode of The Twilight Zone titled “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet”. it starred William Shatner as a neurotic airline passenger who sees a gremlin on the wing of the plane, yet repeated attempts to warn the crew go unnoticed and he is deemed insane. this episode has been parodied multiple times throughout pop culture history, and ranks as one of the most frightening moments in The Twilight Zone‘s lengthy run.

Mr. Matheson’s career spanned 5 decades and was cited as an influence by such writers as Stephen King and Anne Rice. he will be greatly missed, but his work will live on. after all, he is legend.

can you get a (good) job with blue hair? yes.

Posted in Library Science stuff with tags , , , , on June 20, 2013 by phanteana

as mentioned in my introductory post, i am a librarian.

when people hear the word “librarian”, they usually imagine the stereotype of elderly ladies in mothball-infested sweaters shushing people and chastising them for late fees. on the opposite end of the spectrum, there are the equally ridiculous fantasy images of the “sexy librarian” with their short plaid skirts, cleavage-baring dress shirts, and Elvis Costello-style glasses. these assumptions are quite inaccurate, and most LIS students tend to learn this during their first semester of Library School. librarians come in a variety of appearances, and despite the field of librarianship being predominantly female there are a sizable amount of males enrolling in LIS programs.

so what does a typical librarian look like? truthfully, there is no such thing as typical. this statement is especially fitting if you are an individual who favors a less traditional look in the professional world. recently, i read an article entitled “So you Have Blue Hair…”, by a librarian offering career advice to LIS students and job seekers with more “alternative” appearances. the author, Elinor Crosby, has blue hair and several tattoos/piercings. yet she has worked steadily in the public library sector for nearly 2 decades. i haven’t had blue hair since i was 19, but i still wear a lot of black yet i incorporate other colors into my wardrobe. i am also a big fan of stripes and polka dots. i do not have any tattoos or piercings (not even my ears). but never say never.

i found Ms. Crosby’s piece to be very inspiring. she is proof that even people with multi-colored hair and body modifications can have successful and rewarding careers. while her story relates mainly to Librarianship, it can apply to any field. i am fortunate that the organization i work for doesn’t abide by strict dress code rules and encourages diversity among its employees. but i still try to look presentable while still retaining some semblance of personal style.

welcome to the machine

Posted in Uncategorized on June 18, 2013 by phanteana

this is my WordPress. welcome.

i am a quiet person who possesses a loud mind.

by trade, i am a librarian for a large media/entertainment corporation. to coincide with my occupation, i will be completing a Master’s in Library Science in December 2013. during the Spring 2013 semester, i took a technology class in which students were required to use WordPress for school assignments. i decided to create my own in order to maintain WordPress as a skill set on my resume, since many librarians are now shifting towards the future by hosting blogs and learning formats such as HTML.

the name Phanteana (pronounced “fan-tay-nuh”) is inspired by one of my favorite films of all time: Phantom Of The Paradise (1974). in 2000, a Japanese toy company called Yellow Submarine (no relation to The Beatles’ film, which is amazing in its own way) licensed a line called Resurrection of Monstress. it featured female versions of characters from well-known horror films. one was dubbed Mask Of Phanteana, and was modeled after the title character in Brian DePalma’s cult classic. if you’ve never seen the film, it’s highly recommended.