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Lakeshore
An author of no particular popularity

Jay Lake
Date: 2011-08-16 05:47
Subject: [writing] Further progress is made
Security: Public
Tags:books, cancer, conventions, health, movies, sunspin, travel, writing

4,400 words on Sunspin yesterday. Accomplished writer feels accomplished. Plus had a fun writing date with my friend S—.

I almost certainly won’t get as much crammed down today, due to needing to pack for Reno after Day Jobbery, plus a trip to the stylist. Still, it felt good to let the words stretch out and run. Plus I got to bring a new major character onstage yesterday (yes, 140,000 words into the book and I’m introducing another POV). Which was fun. He begins his first scene by waking up, which will get me roundly cudgeled in any writing workshop. Except when it works, it works. Nyah. So there.

Also went to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes last night with my friend H—. An entertaining but not especially rigorous film. I was struck by the fact that while chimp and other great ape attacks are often extremely violent and maiming in real life, if not fatal, in the movie they seemed to satisfy themselves with clubbing their opponents and moving on, like pro wrestlers. I suppose ripping hands and faces off might have been a bit much for the movie, but it made the apes feel less real to me.

Busy day, busy Jay. Tomorrow, I’m off to Reno, though I’ll likely be laying low the rest of the day to recover from the trip. I don’t have nearly as much physical energy as I like to pretend to these days, on the cusp between surgery and more chemotherapy.

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

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Jody Sherry: muse
User: jodysherry
Date: 2011-08-16 14:34 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:muse
I was also struck by the low level of injury in the ape attacks in the film, and by the casual way the chimps were handled in the research setting. Adult chimps are very dangerous and far more safety precautions are in place in real life settings. My guess was that they didn't want to make the apes too unsympathetic by showing a more typical level of attack.

I worked with apes and other primates in a firm that did motion picture work. I always remember an incident where Clyde, the orangutan used in the Clint Eastwood movies, was being put back into his enclosure. As soon as his handler turned his back to leave, Clyde reached for the overhead bars and deftly grabbed the man around the neck with his feet. Patient, those apes can be, and smart!
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Coyote
User: coyotegoth
Date: 2011-08-16 17:43 (UTC)
Subject: spoiler in comments
I thought that the inhibited violence was part of the point- that, as *intelligent* apes, they were choosing not to go berzerk.
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russ: watchmen
User: goulo
Date: 2011-08-16 18:06 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:watchmen
I figured the not-so-bloody attacks were motivated by a combination was a combination of not wanting to make a very gory film and also intentionally trying to show that the more intelligent apes were less violent (partly to create dramatic sympathy for them, and partly for illustrating the message that at least theoretically intelligent beings can rise somewhat above impulsive violence).

We enjoyed the film. (Anna liked it much more than she expected, as I more or less said "trust me, let's go see this summer action movie".) It's a summer action film of course, but much better and more intelligent/interesting than a summer action film "needs" to be. It reminded me a bit of Avatar in that sense - a clear political message about humanity's inhumanity, and building dramatic sympathy for the other species - who would normally be the obvious bad guys in a film from earlier generations (e.g. the original Planet of the Apes films!).

It also worked well as a sort of retelling of Frankenstein, I thought - a lot of parallels and allusions, I think.

And it did a nice "fanboy" job of being a prequel, setting up for the chronologically later films as well as putting in a lot of references and allusions to them.
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That Which Fights Entropy: eye
User: amberite
Date: 2011-08-19 01:50 (UTC)
Subject: On waking up
Keyword:eye
Sometimes, often, tropes are tropes because they do work. Sometimes they get to be like that one hit song that is so damn catchy the first fifty times you hear it and on the fifty-first starts to pall, but that hit song still got there in the first place by being a good song, and all it takes is a clever cover to have people tapping their feet again.

One of the protagonists in my current novel is a young, impetuous redheaded woman. People can say what they like; for me, I keep it because it works for the character.
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