greygirlbeast: (Default)
Caitlín R. Kiernan ([personal profile] greygirlbeast) wrote2012-01-30 01:25 pm

"Sorrow's my body on the waves" (2)

Cold this morning. Cold, but sunny, 37˚F. Very, very windy.

Yesterday, I began a second pseudo-vignette for Sirenia Digest, and right now I'm calling this one "Apostate," though I'd like to come up with a better title. "Apostate" is appropriate, I just don't like it. One-word titles can get irksome, and I just finished "Camuffare." Anyway, I did 1,302 words yesterday afternoon, and I'll likely finish the piece today.

By the way, after the writing yesterday, I did some math. "Apostate" will be the 105th piece of short fiction I've written for the digest since December 2005 (vignettes, short stories, novelettes, novellas, what-the-fuck-have-you). That includes the three parts of The Alphabetos Triptych, each considered as a single work. To date, about a dozen of the pieces have been reprinted elsewhere. Twenty were collected in The Ammonite Violin & Others (2010), and another twenty-five will appear in Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. Oh, and four appeared in Tales from the Woeful Platypus (2007). That's only forty-nine. Which means a mere 46.6% of the stories from the digest have been collected to date. Even assuming that Subterranean Press continues to publish collections of them, given that I keep adding more each month, it's going to be quite some time before everything from the digest is in print. It would require the digest be discontinued, and I don't see that happening any time soon. I found the numbers sobering. One-hundred and five stories. If you like my short fiction, and you're not a subscriber, this certainly ought to be an incentive.

Also yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] kylecassidy, [livejournal.com profile] briansiano, and the intrepid Sara Murphy convened in the wilds of Pennsylvania to shoot more video and stills. More scenes from The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I should have been there, but the continuing headaches (yes) and my deadlines made the long trip impractical (to say the least). But, here's the thing. Excepting the top-tier donors (3 people), the shots from this session is not available to those who donated to the Kickstarter project. And given we went a bit over budget, we're hoping to cover more of the overage by offering some of Kyle's prints for sale. I'll post the information here as soon as he's set up for the sale. Which should be very soon. The photos are gorgeous. [livejournal.com profile] kambriel* made the gorgeous "Le Petit Chaperon Rouge" dress that Sara wears. And, while I'm at it, the novel's release date is now only thirty six (!) days away.

Last night, on the recommendation of [livejournal.com profile] andrian6, Spooky and I watched Joel Anderson's Lake Mungo (2008). Except for Cloverfield, I'm fairly certain Lake Mungo is the best "mockumentary" (I fucking loathe that "word") since Myrick and Sánchez' superb The Blair Witch Project in (1999). Lake Mungo is quiet, eerie in all the right ways, and deeply disconcerting. In the end, it's what all "ghost" stories should be – it's sad. Set in Australia, it's sort of like Peter Weir did a ghost story back in the 1970s. You should see it.

And, with that...time to make the doughnuts.

Wishing She Were On the Way Home from Pennsylvania,
Aunt Beast

* If you want to see many of her beautiful designs on her retail website, just go here. Kambriel has made several custom pieces for me over the years.

Addendum (2:29 p.m.): Just heard from my agent that my Publishers Weekly interview is now out, in the January 30, 2012 issue of the magazine. Apparently, no one in Rhode Island sells the magazine, so if you can get me a copy, I'll show my gratitude in some very nice way. Thank you.

[identity profile] andrian6.livejournal.com 2012-01-30 05:39 pm (UTC)(link)
Lake Mungo is quiet, eerie in all the right ways, and deeply disconcerting. In the end, it's what all "ghost" stories should be – it's sad. Set in Australia, it's sort of like Peter Weir did a ghost story back in the 1970s. You should see it.

I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's one of the films I try and recommend to folks who have been burned by a bad documentary-style movies. When in the hands of artists who who are not there to cash in on a style or phenomenon, the sense of intimacy it creates is crushing and melancholy at once.

[identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com 2012-01-30 05:42 pm (UTC)(link)

I'm glad you enjoyed it. It's one of the films I try and recommend to folks who have been burned by a bad documentary-style movies.

I thank you very much for suggesting it.

[identity profile] farklebarkle.livejournal.com 2012-01-30 05:54 pm (UTC)(link)
I loved Lake Mungo. It's one of the creepiest, layered, most interesting ghost stories I've ever seen. I watched it six months ago and still can't get it out of my head.

[identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com 2012-01-30 06:12 pm (UTC)(link)

I loved Lake Mungo. It's one of the creepiest, layered, most interesting ghost stories I've ever seen. I watched it six months ago and still can't get it out of my head.

I suspect it will have that effect on me, as well.

Lake Mungo

[identity profile] tyler belka (from livejournal.com) 2012-01-30 06:39 pm (UTC)(link)
Loved it, loved it!! I would have assumed you would have seen it long ago where I often look to you for tips on the "good ones". A very different approach and storyline.

Re: Lake Mungo

[identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com 2012-01-30 07:13 pm (UTC)(link)

I would have assumed you would have seen it long ago where I often look to you for tips on the "good ones".

Lots of good stuff flies beneath my radar.

[identity profile] handful-ofdust.livejournal.com 2012-01-30 07:09 pm (UTC)(link)
I'd make a distinction between Blair Witch, Cloverfield and Lake Mungo, particularly in terms of narrative structure: Aside from events it covers being fiction, Lake Mungo is posed as a straight-up documentary. The people making the documentary never appear in it, they're never part of the story, but the narrative "voice" is theirs, completely; they're picking and choosing what gets in, when it gets revealed, how it gets revealed. And creepily, they appear to be the only people involved in the story who end up "getting" the one-two punch at the end. I kept thinking: Man, if her family came to the screening, I would've loved to have seen their reaction.

(I also love the time-distortion or dimension loop element of it--potentially present in Blair Witch, too, but utterly Peter Weir, and thus completely emblematic of Aussie horror in my mind. Yours too, though.)

Blair Witch starts with a bit of documentary narrative structure, but that's all Heather's--it's probably what was "cut" inside her camera--and thus when events catch up with her, she, Josh and Mike are at the heart of the narrative, at its mercy. The Lake Mungo team stand outside it, which is why they can notice things the family is too close to see. And Cloverfield has no documentary structure at all, aside from the front and end title-cards. It's two home movies that turn toxic, with utterly minimal editing.

What I'm saying is, there probably needs to be another category. "Found-footage" has been used--Paranormal Activity certainly falls under this. The question, however, is always how did someone get hold of this footage, were they involved in making it, and who edited it?

[identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com 2012-01-30 07:18 pm (UTC)(link)

I'd make a distinction between Blair Witch, Cloverfield and Lake Mungo, particularly in terms of narrative structure:

Agreed. In that we get the "straight-up" documentary, instead of the found-footage documentary. But I'd still call it part of the same phenomenon.

I also love the time-distortion or dimension loop element of it

Yes. Because, for me, if there's any non-psychological element to actual hauntings, it has nothing to do with restless "spirits," but "weak spots" in time.

The question, however, is always how did someone get hold of this footage, were they involved in making it, and who edited it?

Which, in a way, gets back to the "Why are you telling this and to whom?" problem I have with first-person narratives that don't explain that question.

[identity profile] kylecassidy.livejournal.com 2012-01-30 10:05 pm (UTC)(link)
Let's not forget Troll Hunter under found footage. One of my favorites.

[identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com 2012-01-30 10:45 pm (UTC)(link)

Yes! Love that film.

[identity profile] birgitriddle.livejournal.com 2012-01-30 08:01 pm (UTC)(link)
If I wanted to purchase the back issue of Sirena Digest that has the first part of The Alphabetos Triptych, which one should I ask for? I figure that since I have a copy of the chapbook that came with my limited edition of Two Worlds and In Between and I've ordered the limited edition of Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart as well, I probably should also read the first part.

[identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com 2012-01-30 08:05 pm (UTC)(link)

If I wanted to purchase the back issue of Sirena Digest that has the first part of The Alphabetos Triptych, which one should I ask for?

Off the top of my head, I don't know. I know they ran over six issues. However, you can find out what those issues are on my Wikipedia bibliography page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_works_by_Caitl%C3%ADn_R._Kiernan).

[identity profile] birgitriddle.livejournal.com 2012-01-30 08:10 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you for the link. I probably won't have the spare money to purchase the back issues until May, but it's on my to do list now.
sovay: (Rotwang)

[personal profile] sovay 2012-01-30 10:25 pm (UTC)(link)
I found the numbers sobering. One-hundred and five stories.

I don't quite know how I feel about this music video, but aspects of it made me think instantly of "The Sphinx's Kiss," so I thought you should perhaps know about it: Phèdre, "In Decay." I do like the lyrics: it's like a dance-pop murder ballad.

Wasted bodies lying oh, so still
So many lovers in need of organs . . .

[identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com 2012-01-30 10:44 pm (UTC)(link)

I do like the lyrics: it's like a dance-pop murder ballad.

What an interesting concept.

[identity profile] opalblack.livejournal.com 2012-01-31 02:54 am (UTC)(link)
Oh. My. God.
It's like it was made for, or from me. Even the band name is an alternate spelling of my own, Mother-given name. It's so queer and sick and hungover and post-coital and post-homicidal. It's my every Sunday afternoon since about 1996.

I think I love you. I *know* I love this band.

Noroi?

[identity profile] pilamin.livejournal.com 2012-01-31 01:29 am (UTC)(link)
Lake Mungo certainly ranks up there with the best "horror" movies in general, mockumentary or not. The only other mockumentary I've seen that manages to tap into a sense of surreal dislocation is Noroi, done in a found footage, mixed media style. If you decide to see it I suggest avoiding the extended cut. It spoils the ambiguous final shot of the theatrical version.

Re: Noroi?

[identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com 2012-01-31 02:12 am (UTC)(link)

Hmmmmm. I'm sorry weary of Japanese paranormal films and all their clichés (many of which have been contracted by American cinema), I don't know.

[identity profile] opalblack.livejournal.com 2012-01-31 02:37 am (UTC)(link)
Have you watched The Tunnel yet? Truly, I think you will like it.

[identity profile] greygirlbeast.livejournal.com 2012-01-31 03:07 am (UTC)(link)

Sounds interesting. However, it hasn't been released in the US (or on any region DVD I could see).

[identity profile] opalblack.livejournal.com 2012-01-31 03:32 am (UTC)(link)
Dang. Tried to buy it for you in the app store but there's a stupid restriction where gifts can only be redeemed in the country store they were bought in. Short of sneakily trying to find someone in the US with an iStore account and sending them the money, I am not going to be able to surprise-gift it.
But it is on the iStore for iPad (http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/the-tunnel/id439942573).
They were very particular about it being a worldwide/internet release so it *should* be available in your region's store. You can also download it for free via the official site (http://www.thetunnelmovie.net/).

[identity profile] opalblack.livejournal.com 2012-01-31 03:35 am (UTC)(link)
There's also a few services streaming it for free, I don't know which you have access to, but there's a list http://www.thetunnelmovie.net/seeit

[identity profile] handful-ofdust.livejournal.com 2012-01-31 05:36 pm (UTC)(link)
I recently rented it from Rogers up here in Canada. Like Lake Mungo, it juxtaposes interviews with found footage, and uses the interesting tactic of showing the interview subjects the footage as they're being interviewed, in order, so they can comment on/react to it. Obviously, some of them have never seen it before, which is neat.

That said, the story itself is not as interesting as it might be, and contains one of those recent tropes I hope I never see again: The riff-on-Heather's-hubris thing of "this is all [insert female name here]'s fault, because ambitious women will overreach and lie to get what they want".

Noroi, OTOH, really is amazing. It's hella-creepy, and while it is Japanese, it's also far more Lovecraftian than it might immediately appear--like both Rings, in that way, except even more so. You can watch the entire thing on YouTube, in chunks.