Monday, November 19, 2012

Pencils - A Poem

As per usual, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that I am not a poet. But sometimes, just for fun, my friend will give me a topic and I will write an amateur poem about it (See: Zachary Quinto's Eyebrows).

Today's subject is: Pencils

A pencil sits atop a stack
Of books, of pages.
Unsung hero of other
Worlds first writ on scraps,
When minds so often lose
The words and shapes, and numbers.
Our means to hold an image
Longer than a breath,
For centuries, eons.
Yet fragile as the minds that wrote
Does smear and wash away,
Purposefully reversible.
Second guesses and mistakes
Do make fine friends,
But so much entrusted
In gliding carbon staffs.
Slaves to past and future,
A mark to mark a life,
Or more than is dreamt
In most human places.
Fragile cuts of knives
Such as lives that risk,
May snap, may break.
Yet thin points,
Made and work with gambles
Bet as days fully lived,
With sharp brilliance.
Torn down, the usage
So reduced by convention,
Contraptions for ease
But not for souls.
With every splinter
As pressure bends, lost
Are extensions of hands
And thoughts.
What looks as miles of contour,
Piles of nature,
But mirrored of humans'
Work, of time, of purpose.
Like words now seen with spots
And light,
A start is made by one,
For now and those of later.
When creatures inside
Do start to wake,
The pencil draws a line.

Once again, it turned out to be ridiculous and overreaching, but still quite a lot of fun to write, I must admit.
And just for a little closer, here is a photo of the pencils John Howe used during his two years spent working on The Hobbit film trilogy:

Isn't that absolutely incredible? And that is some serious exacto-knife skill he's got there to make such a clean point like that, but I guess that's what you get for being a professional after all.
(P.S: No big deal or anything but I totally use the same pencils for my drawings...)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Who Hit Me on My Blindside to Run Away with the "Fictional Boyfriend of the Year" Title?

*** Note: Possible spoilers ahead. Depends on what you do or don’t want to know…
Also typos. They seem to be abundant these days for me.

Let’s be honest, I know little to nothing about dating and relationships. But what I do know is character, and going off my past adventures in 80s/90s/early 2000s heartthrobs, I decided to take a gander at some of the most standout leading males of this year in film and television to name my “Fictional Boyfriend of the Year”!

I know that the year isn’t technically over yet, but being so close to the end and considering which movies I will likely be seeing in the remaining months, I think I have enough to go off of. Of course this is all based on my personal viewing preferences and likes so you may think differently, but in the end, it’s all just for fun.

And let me tell you, someone unexpected came right out of left field to run away with the glory this year! Just like how Ethan Embry as Preston Myers snuck right up on me... Shall we take a gander at some “almost winners,” working our way up to the best, first? I can't see why not:

Dan Stevens as Matthew Crawley – “Downton Abbey”
Largely in part for standing by his fiancé/wife Mary, even though she has become increasingly irritating since (the beginning of) the first season. Yeah, I don’t really like Mary, and yet here Mathew is, being totally devoted to her and what she wants.  Yet despite always wanting to make her happy, he doesn’t bow down to her every wish: he acts on his own terms. He’s also got some great tact with working through issues with the family (ie, that hotsy-totsy young niece or the estate’s investment issues), and always figures out what is best for everyone. Also shout-out to my boy, Tom Branson! You were close, my dear, and I like that you are always just being yourself, but that Irish revolutionary stuff got on my nerves a little bit after a while.

John Bradley as Sam Tarly – “Game of Thrones”
Weren’t expecting this one, were you? A simple, sweet guy and a simple, sweet girl, mixed up in some messy circumstances. Hey, maybe he isn’t per say Gilly’s boyfriend, but it’s close enough for me! This guy clearly thinks she is just the most wonderful little thing he’s ever seen. He hasn’t had any experience with girls, yet he still wants to risk everything to save her from her father’s abuse (and possible death of her child) after knowing her for barely any time at all. In this brutal world of chaos, death, and betrayal, that stood out to me as particularly memorable and caring.

Iain Glen as Ser Jorah Mormont – “Game of Thrones”
With such a large cast, I reckon I can have two from this series. Once again, he is not exactly Daenerys’ boyfriend, and she was in fact in love with Khal Drogo in the end, but who is the one who is always by her side? Ser Jorah. He obviously only wants what is best for her, even when she can’t see it. And despite her childish outbursts (due to being so young, after all), he still stands by her decisions no matter what. Their relationship may have begun under strange, suspicious circumstances, but his devotion and protection of Khaleesi over time has created a increasingly strong bond.

Jared Gilman as Sam Shakusky – Moonrise Kingdom
Ah the naivety of youth, thinking they are in love upon first sight and jumping right into the chaotic whirlpools just like young Romeo and Juliet. But regardless of their age and kooky nature, these two really do seem to care about each other, and whether what they need in life is really just a friend is beside the point. They embrace each other’s quirks, and Sam is incredibly supportive of Susie in regards to her family situation. Plus, he’s great at all that outdoorsy stuff, so if you ever needed to escape into the wild for a while, he’d be your guy. Not to mention all that adorable swag for such a young fella.

*Update: Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee - "The Walking Dead"
Initially I didn't have sweet Glenn on this list because last season he just wasn't doing it for me. He was still a total push-over, and although very kind and caring, needed to be a little more rounded. And boy, has he ever become an interesting fixture in this current third season of the show. Specifically his relationship with Maggie and all it's deep and implicated developments. You can tell that he truly cares for her, as well as all the others in the group. And come on now, who wouldn't want to know that their significant other could basically cage-fight a zombie to a pulp, all the while bound to a chair? That kind of protective and kick-ass ability is probably hard to come by, and thus to be admired in this dark and dingy world of confused morality. (And yes, I chose this photo specifically because of how much I loved this intensely terrifying scene.)

Martin Freeman as John Watson - "Sherlock"
If you don’t know why he’s on this list then you obviously don’t watch this show. Even John’s lady-friend told him what a great boyfriend he is! …. To Sherlock Holmes. Okay, so maybe he isn’t really dating Sherlock (are we starting to see a theme here?), and did kind of ignore his actual girlfriends for his best friend, but that kind of loyalty? Helping his friend through everything and never doubting him? I’d say that’s love. Plus who didn't cry when those two were on the phone together in The Reichenbach Fall? Don't lie to me now.

Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams – “Doctor Who”
Who else would put up with their fiancé running away through space and time with a strange man the day before their wedding? Who else would die 5 (6? Does that angels paradox count?) times, or stand outside a box for two thousand years in order to protect the one they loved? None other than Rory Williams. When he and Amy were on the rocks, he tried to hold on and work it out. He embraced her strange friend and went on adventures with them, put up her accidentally marrying a historical king on their anniversary (if you didn’t catch that in “The Power of Three”), and is even a kind, caring nurse on top of all that. That’s the kind of guy who emerges victorious from the friend-zone after all those years. Not the guy who you are immediately attracted to, but the guy who grows on you because of who they are inside. Oh dear, now I’m getting all mushy about it; I really will miss Arthur Darvill’s presence on this show in the future.

Runner Up: Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker – The Amazing Spiderman
A genius inventor? And a photographer? And doesn’t give in to the bystander effect to actually help someone who is being bullied? With superpowers? And absolutely adorable and gawkish to boot? Sign me up! Oh yes, I’m very much biased towards Andrew Garfield, but he even managed to charm the pants off my mother in the role of the sweet Peter Parker (although she has also loved him in Boy A and Red Riding 1974 before this, but that’s not the point). He may be flawed and act out at times in his teenage state, but that also makes him a real, complex person. Yet at the end of the day, even with these bouts of angst, questionable decisions, and a few jerk moments, he still remains insanely likeable. Maybe it’s the character of Peter Parker we all know and love, or maybe it’s the talent of the actor, but I’d like to say it’s a combination of both. It also doesn't hurt that Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are adorable together both onscreen and off.

And the Winner is: Skylar Astin as Jesse – Pitch Perfect

A couple of friends and I went to see this movie after The Perks of Being a Wallflower was sold out, and boy did we love it. But most of all, we fell hard and fast for Skylar Astin as the main love interest. Sure, you know exactly where it’s all going to go from the very beginning of the movie, but it’s the ride and characters that make it fun along the way. And this boy sure did sell it, with a goofy earnestness and honesty that anyone would fall for. Not to mention just being an all around kind character (even to the weirdoes and outcasts, right from the beginning), and introducing Becca to great movies like The Breakfast Club. If there’s something I love, it’s a film geek: the kind who punches his fist in the air when you sing “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” and knows you can work it all out through the power of song. Okay, maybe that is a little cheesy, but I’ll let myself slide this time. Oh, and did I mention he can sing? Really really well? Oh, well maybe we just need to revel in a musical performance from this movie in that case, huh?

But of course I leave this with an open-ended question: What about you? Who would you consider your favourite leading-male of the past year in television and film? Your fictional boyfriend of 2012?
(I may be alone in doing this kind of thing, but that’s okay, I just think it’s sort of fun.)