Reel One: In film class, we're headed into the break and the students just turned in their first compare/contrast paper, so they needed a break. We watched the thinly-plotted-but-heavy-on-color-drenched-symbolism-and- slapstick-humor Luc Besson flick, The Fifth Element. There's much to love in this film, including Chris Tucker's Ruby Rhod, Bruce Willis' dry wit, Jean-Paul Gaultier's futuristic costumes, and Milla Jovovich's "Divine Language" as the Perfect Supreme Being with a Multipass. And Gary Oldman's Zorg, who seems to be the comic "Ming the Merciless" version of this character Oldman played in The Professional three years earlier for Besson. Science fiction is often a very "white" genre and tends to the creepy rather than the comic, so Fifth Element can be a fun way to explore other ways of approaching the genre.
Reel Two: Over at the Rewatch, we have our second "change it up" of the week. In Fifth Element, the Diva's aria is a key scene - that's her at the top of the post. Over at the Rewatch, music is the very heart of the episode this week, so it's a good pairing. Up this week for discussion and analysis is the musical episode, Season Six's "Once More with Feeling" and our Faithful Guide Nikki Stafford took this one to new heights. While Janet Halfyard provides the academic touch in discussing the use of music in Buffy as a whole, using "OMWF" as the springboard, a veritable dissertation of scholars literally "chime in" on this episode, singing the songs, mangling the lyrics, even doing a dance or two. Silliness prevails - what is with that cup, Matthew Pateman? - but it also successfully gets across the depth of the love these fine folk have for this show. (Seriously - I'm the one in the fuzzy pink bathrobe, something I would've sworn would never appear on the Internet. Ahhh, never say never, my friends!)
Coming Soon: Next week, my class is on fall break and I'm attending the PCA-South conference in New Orleans. The Bebop paper is drafted, although it needs a couple of hours' worth of attention to fine-tune a few points and then get cut down to presentation size. I'm hopeful that I'm managed to pull together the various threads of manga, anime, feng shui, science fiction, and the blending of genres, both cinematically and musically. There's a lot in that there 20 minutes, so I'll probably need to slash and burn something to allow sufficient time for the rest. Tomorrow is a "controlled burn" sort of day, so everything should be in good shape by the time FryDaddy and I get on the flight next Wednesday. Oh, and I'm the writer of the Rewatch next week as Willow spirals down, and down, and down . . .