Uh, hi, everyone, it’s me again. Urania, your D&D-playing, fantasy-reading and writing, cosplaying uber-geek and lame-o PhD student who gets easily distracted. It’s term paper season, and I’m up to my neck in deadlines. But somebody told me we had a cool questionnaire thing to answer, written by the inimitable David of Warden’s Walk. So, of course I got myself good and distracted for an evening and wrote up some answers. I’m afraid I’m a bit out of touch with the blogosphere, and thus will pass on the tagging bit (looks like Melpomene did a good job with that already). But here are my answers. (P.S. For what it’s worth, I like questions like these. They get me to write…)
If you could choose one fictional creature to be your pet/animal companion, which would you choose and why?
I want a griffin so bad. I can’t even say why, exactly. I just remember a moment during freshman year of college when I decided a griffin steed would be so awesome, and I even created a story about a city of griffin-riding elves. My heroine actually got transformed temporarily into a griffin.
I guess if you’re choosing a fantastic beastie for a companion, it should be one that can fly, right? As a kid, I went through a dragon phase and a horse phase, so you might think I would choose a winged dragon or a pegasus for my flying steed. Perhaps I gravitate to griffins these days because they seem somewhat underrated and underused as fantasy steeds. Or maybe it’s because I’m crazy about the feathery ears.
Name a favorite moment of yours from any movie released in the 1980s and explain why.
When I tried to choose “favorite” moment, I automatically looked for a moment that stayed with me and which encapsulates why this movie is a favorite and mattered to me both when I first saw it and now. I came up with a conversation between the unicorn and the magician from the end of The Last Unicorn.
UNICORN. I’m a little afraid to go home. I have been mortal, and some part of me is mortal yet. I am no longer like the others, for no unicorn was ever born who could regret, but now I do. I regret.
SCHMENDRICK. I am sorry. I have done you evil and I cannot undo it.
UNICORN. No. Unicorns are in the world again! No sorrow will live in me with that joy… save one – and I thank you for that part, too.
When I first saw the movie, I was probably too young to really understand what regret is from personal experience, but I recall being fascinated by the idea that one could be grateful for the feeling of regret. Of course, the Unicorn knows regret because, alone of her kind, she has also known the love of one mortal for another. I was then and am still a hopeless, sappy romantic with a weakness for bittersweet love stories. It’s good to know my taste has stayed constant.
If you had to be chased by some hostile fictional creature or character, through a fictional landscape, which ones would you choose and why?
Chased by Star Wars stormtroopers through Narnia in winter. I could really go for some beautiful snowy landscapes right now (I’m a northerner living in Texas, and the weather here is very confusing to me). And everyone knows that stormtroopers are just goons with very bad aim; they’re easy to take out if you are the hero. So, I’d dispatch them forthwith and then get down to enjoying the wintery wonderland and maybe catch tea with a faun and some dryads.
In-N-Out, Five Guys, or Chik-Fil-A?
I had Five Guys for the first time a few months ago, and their fries are delicious.
Name a song you really like from a musical genre you don’t generally like and explain why this one works for you.
Well, since you asked about music I don’t like: I don’t like rap or hip hop as a genre per se. That said, I do actually like the cadence of rap lyrics, particularly when incorporated as an element of other styles that I’m more interested in. Lately, I’ve discovered I like the artist Beck. iTunes categorizes him as Indie Rock. The friend who gave me some of his music labeled him much more descriptively as “post modern electronic pop.” Anyway, some of his songs have rap-style lyrics. “Hell Yes” is on the album Guero, which I picked up just last night at Half Price Books. Anyway, I like Beck’s eclectic, electronic melange of various musical styles. And one of those styles which he incorporates into his own happens to be rap music.
Also, I have to admit I enjoy several rap parodies, such as Weird Al’s “White and Nerdy,” and Flight of the Conchords’ “Hiphopopotamus Vs. Rhymenoceros” and “Motha’uckas.” But as hilarious as those Kiwi boys are, I’m not sure that counts as real rap. “Did Steve tell you that, perchance? Steve.”
What is, in your opinion, the best portrayal(s) of the Elves/Fair Folk/Faeries in film? Multiple choices are permitted, but you must say why you think your choices are so good.
At first I thought, that’s easy! I’ve come across some good ones lately. War for the Oaks! No, wait, that’s a book. Solstice Wood! Book, again. Huh. In film? I’m not sure I’ve found any yet that fits the way I like to imagine the fey.
Peter Jackson’s elves sure don’t do it for me. They’re too androgynous and effeminate and, well, kinda stoned. Elves should be more manly and scary! Kili, a.k.a. the Pretty Dwarf from the Hobbit, would actually make a darn good elf, minus the beard.
Maybe Jareth and his goblins from Labyrinth. (None of you are surprised, are you?) Jareth is fully otherworldly and terrifying and beautiful all at once, the way the fey ought to be. He’s capricious and dangerous and rule-bound. And I think the goblins are well-realized as his trickster minions. Brian Froud’s wonderfully fey concept art and character design really comes through in the goblins. I leave you to Google your own picture of Jareth, as I have exceeded my limit of men for this post. But if you don’t know what he looks like, go watch the movie already.
What was the last black-and-white film you saw, and what did you think of it?
I seem to recall watching a Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie called Bride of the Monster or something like that. It was terrible, naturally, though our boys made the best of it, in classic MST3K fashion.
What did you think of the new trailer for The Desolation of Smaug?
I watched a trailer for this about a month ago, so this may be a different one, but… I remember thinking some things along the lines of “Legolas! It’s nice to see you again! I hope you get a cool part in this movie because you are my favorite elf in the Fellowship.” “Girl wood elves could be cool.” “Is Orlando Bloom in this movie twice?”