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Author Topic: PC120: Some Zombie Contingency Plans  (Read 10356 times)
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« Reply #40 on: September 08, 2010, 08:30:04 AM »

The speculative/fantastical element is the painting, which is a work of art. And which, just like Art, everyone seems to have a very distinct (and different) perception of what it actually is. That the actual painting couldn't be left behind, no matter how hard Art tried, is what makes the story speculative (IMO).

I win. Cheesy

It never occurred to me that the painting was actually fantastical, considering Wolverine's lack of rationality throughout the story.
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« Reply #41 on: September 08, 2010, 08:31:04 AM »

Soap reminds me of that woman in Britain who was caught on camera putting a cat in the garbage bin.  She couldn't explain why she did it afterward.  She petted the cat for a few seconds, glanced around, then picked it up and put it in the garbage and walked away. 

And that makes me think of American Psycho, where he tries to feed a cat into an ATM machine.  Why?  Because the ATM machine told him to, of course.
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« Reply #42 on: September 08, 2010, 08:35:25 AM »

Also, Manic Pixie Dream Girl, who seems to show up exactly where she's needed and does exactly what she has to do to keep the story going.

This didn't fit the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope in my mind.  To me, those are always about the irrational life-loving weird female who suddenly invades the life of a boring overly-rational man, wacky hijinx ensue and he falls madly in love, rediscovers a zest for life before they inevitably discover that she's got her own emotional baggage hidden behind the carefree facade.

In this story, he was by far the weirder and more irrational of the two, and she probably only behaved the way she did because she was drunk.  Instead of falling in love he kidnaps her brother and runs away.  I see your point about her showing up where she's needed and filling the necessary role to keep the story going, but I'm just not sure she fits the Manic Pixie Dream Girl role.
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« Reply #43 on: September 08, 2010, 08:42:06 AM »

Despite it's loooong and meandering body, I was actually liking most of it because the meandering was rendered interesting by the neurotic and paranoid, irrational, nameless, protagonist.  It got me thinking about zombie contingency plans, which is a fun side effect of the story.

But the ending was the biggest WTF I've seen here before.  After an hour of meandering he kidnaps a kid for no reason known to us, and then the story ends.  Was that ending actually supposed to follow from that story?  Up until that point, I was thinking of keeping the story on my iPod, but after that, it's definitely going.

And I can't help speculating what happens next.  My guess is the kid'll be found dead in a ditch somewhere, with chunks of flesh missing, with marks that match human teeth.  And more zombie-MO murders will follow.  It's not Wolverine's fault, you see.  He was just testing out their zombie contingency plans, and they just weren't good enough.
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« Reply #44 on: September 08, 2010, 10:30:12 AM »

Like Void Munashii, Unblinking, and others, I enjoyed this story for the most part. I found the main character (whatever his name was) intriguing, but the ending was completely lost on me. And I was wondering just where the magic/fantasy was all through it; the painting that can't be lost seems like a token-fantasy-object more than anything else.
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« Reply #45 on: September 08, 2010, 11:00:22 AM »

I thought the painting worked well as a symbol of Soap's status as an unreliable narrator.  Soap should have enough evidence to realize that his perception of reality is unreliable, but he doesn't.  (Especially his experience stealing the painting, which is why other things that make him doubt his perceptions (e.g. drugs) make him feel "like he's in a museum".)  Despite his denial, there's a feeling of doubt he just can't shake.  (Which he interprets as impending-zombie-attack doom.)
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stePH
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« Reply #46 on: September 08, 2010, 11:21:51 AM »

This didn't fit the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope in my mind.  To me, those are always about the irrational life-loving weird female who suddenly invades the life of a boring overly-rational man, wacky hijinx ensue and he falls madly in love, rediscovers a zest for life before they inevitably discover that she's got her own emotional baggage hidden behind the carefree facade.

The only example of this that I've seen (that I can think of anyway) is the movie Something Wild, and you've just summarized it flawlessly.
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« Reply #47 on: September 08, 2010, 11:50:18 AM »

This didn't fit the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope in my mind.  To me, those are always about the irrational life-loving weird female who suddenly invades the life of a boring overly-rational man, wacky hijinx ensue and he falls madly in love, rediscovers a zest for life before they inevitably discover that she's got her own emotional baggage hidden behind the carefree facade.

The only example of this that I've seen (that I can think of anyway) is the movie Something Wild, and you've just summarized it flawlessly.

"500 Days of Summer"
"Jersey Girl"
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« Reply #48 on: September 08, 2010, 07:01:16 PM »

To be honest, I was confused by the ending too, especially taking Leo, but I guess for me the ramblings of a deranged mind and trying to figure out what was truth or not won me over.

Whereas I detest that kind of thing.  This was an excellently-written story -- it's Kelly Link; of course it's excellently written -- but if I can interpret every bit of a story's speculative content as symbolism or madness or simply a point of view character who lies through his teeth, then I end up not caring.  I like my fantasy more fantastical than that.
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« Reply #49 on: September 09, 2010, 12:59:18 AM »

Weird. Wasn't going to chime in just to say that, but: weird.
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« Reply #50 on: September 09, 2010, 08:23:14 AM »

This didn't fit the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope in my mind.  To me, those are always about the irrational life-loving weird female who suddenly invades the life of a boring overly-rational man, wacky hijinx ensue and he falls madly in love, rediscovers a zest for life before they inevitably discover that she's got her own emotional baggage hidden behind the carefree facade.

The only example of this that I've seen (that I can think of anyway) is the movie Something Wild, and you've just summarized it flawlessly.

"500 Days of Summer"
"Jersey Girl"

Those are good examples.  Also:
Dharma and Greg
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World
Yes Man

When most people point out a Manic Pixie Dream Girl, it's a criticism of a bad plot trait.  For me, that's not necessarily the case, 3 of those above movies are on my top list of favorite movies--I tend to like the Manic Pixie Dream Girl character, even while realizing that it can be overused.  The part that makes each one interesting is how they differ from each other, and since the character is always one who prides herself on being different, there are always some variations.

Also, part of my like for the Manic Pixie Dream Girl is that Zooey Deschanel, my Hollywood girlfriend, has had quite a few of the roles, including 2 of those listed above in the lead female role, as well as playing a similar role in a secondary character in other movies like Failure to Launch.
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« Reply #51 on: September 09, 2010, 10:19:25 AM »

"500 Days of Summer"
"Jersey Girl"

Jersey Girl? I don't see it. Especially not the "she's got her own emotional baggage" part.
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« Reply #52 on: September 09, 2010, 11:30:37 AM »

I've got to agree with stePH on this one. It's been a while since I've seen it, but Jersey Girl doesn't quite match my definition of the trope. (FWIW, I don't see Carly in this story as one either, but to each their own.) What I've read of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - Ramona Flowers defines this trope - but I could be wrong. Unfortunately, I haven't finished reading it or seen it   Cry

I do agree with Unblinking re: Manic Pixie Dream Girl is not necessarily a bad thing. But it certainly can be, especially when it's not done well. (That movie with Keannu Reeves and Charlzie Theron? The one that Al Pacino was not in? Ugh...)
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« Reply #53 on: September 09, 2010, 12:20:51 PM »

"500 Days of Summer"
"Jersey Girl"

Jersey Girl? I don't see it. Especially not the "she's got her own emotional baggage" part.

It's been long enough since I saw that one that I just gave the benefit of the doubt.  I don't remember much about it.  Other than that the father-daughter re-enactment of Sweeney Todd was frigging awesome.  Especially since I'd never heard of Sweeney Todd at the time.

But I'd stand by all the others that we've listed as Manic Pixe Dream Girls.

What I've read of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - Ramona Flowers defines this trope - but I could be wrong. Unfortunately, I haven't finished reading it or seen it   Cry

I haven't read it (something which I must remedy), but in the movie she very much fit the bill.
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« Reply #54 on: September 09, 2010, 01:28:43 PM »

...the father-daughter re-enactment of Sweeney Todd [in Jersey Girl] was frigging awesome. 

The only worthy part of the film, IMO.
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« Reply #55 on: September 09, 2010, 03:15:46 PM »

Anyone else find their mind wandering into zombie contingency plans at odd moments since hearing this?

Nope, just me then...

I did link the random, free, mindless taking of a picture and the taking of the child - Bret Easton Ellis came to mind rather than the Cat Bin Lady, but I actually prefer that image now.
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« Reply #56 on: September 09, 2010, 06:41:25 PM »

What I've read of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - Ramona Flowers defines this trope - but I could be wrong.

A near perfect personification of the trope, in fact, but since the whole of Scott Pilgrim is in a sort of heightened pseudo-adolescent emotional bright-colors bright-lights world, it works fine in the context.  Everything is either perfect or a disaster, all molehills are mountains and all brief respites Shangri-la, etc.
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« Reply #57 on: September 09, 2010, 10:51:06 PM »

What I've read of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - Ramona Flowers defines this trope - but I could be wrong.

A near perfect personification of the trope, in fact, but since the whole of Scott Pilgrim is in a sort of heightened pseudo-adolescent emotional bright-colors bright-lights world, it works fine in the context.  Everything is either perfect or a disaster, all molehills are mountains and all brief respites Shangri-la, etc.

Right. And just to be clear, I didn't mean that in a negative way. I'm all for tropes that are well-executed.
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« Reply #58 on: September 10, 2010, 01:29:43 PM »

"500 Days of Summer"
"Jersey Girl"

Jersey Girl? I don't see it. Especially not the "she's got her own emotional baggage" part.

I meant that Natalie Portman/Zach Braff movie that took place in Jersey. Garden State. that's the one.
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« Reply #59 on: September 10, 2010, 03:41:07 PM »

"500 Days of Summer"
"Jersey Girl"

Jersey Girl? I don't see it. Especially not the "she's got her own emotional baggage" part.

I meant that Natalie Portman/Zach Braff movie that took place in Jersey. Garden State. that's the one.

That makes a lot more sense. Including the never really explained but mind-boggling hole that pushed that movie into the fantasy genre. Also Frodo's needlessly undercover gig.
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