The Brilliance of Moana’s “Shiny”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93lrosBEW-Q

In one scene, Disney accomplishes so much:

  1. A fun and catchy song

  2. A memorable (if minor) villain

  3. A great action sequence with brilliant visuals

  4. A great reminder/introduction to just how vast the supernatural world is: Tamatoa is bigger than any house Moana has seen,  and he lives in a giant clamshell

  5. Tamatoa’s expression of terror when Maui takes hold of his hook for the first time shows just how powerful and feared Maui was back in the day. It proves that “You’re Welcome” wasn’t just puffery and showing off.

  6. Setup for an ongoing difficulty/twist: Maui’s inability to use his hook’s powers like he used to, and his sense that without his hook, he’s nothing.

  7. The sense that Maui isn’t the only one who thinks he’s nothing without his hook: Tamatoa agrees.

  8. Demonstration of Moana’s fear when faced with the supernatural world, then her courage to recover, and her resourcefulness to trick Tamatoa

  9. Revelation the Maui was abandoned at some point, feels alone, and does great deeds for humans mostly to feel wanted and accepted

  10. Moana saves Maui, which elevates her to his level, and puts them on more equal footing.

All in less than four minutes.

As they say on Firefly, “Shiny.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFpgtYJLVW4

Wanna see something else shiny?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knlw6kFP_RU

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Rent, La Boheme, and The Man

​https://youtu.be/q0qfFbtIj5w

Chez Lindsay’s video essay is 45 minutes long. If that’s too much Rent for you, at least watch the first 10 minutes. The best insights are there.

The one that I really took away from it was this: any art that is funded by wealthy interests, especially something like a Broadway show that is largely patronized by wealthy audiences (who else can afford tickets?), is going to ultimately support the system as it is.

No show with an audience of millionaires will ever be truly revolutionary, no matter how much it claims to be.

That’s not to say such shows can’t have merit outside of pure entertainment: Rent helped humanize the LGBT+ community to its audiences, and humanization is alway good.

You say you  a revolution? You won’t find it on Broadway.

Movies You Must See: The original HIGHLANDER

Although it’s been overshadowed by a stream of crummy sequels, an awful animated series, and a quite good in its own way TV show, the original 1986 Highlander starring Christopher Lambert, Clancy Brown, and Sean Connery deserves a serious watch.

It’s the first movie I’d seen about immortals that really addressed the issues that come with being immortal. The central love story between Connor and Heather, is poignant, moving, and powerful.

And although it does hew to the myth of redemptive violence, it does at least show Connor’s disillusionment with violence, his understanding that war – even a clan skirmish – is pain, loss, and suffering.

Even for an immortal.

Although his body heals from all wounds, he carries the scars from violence with him into the present day.

But that isn’t to say that the film is all grim. The dialogue is frequently witty, especially when Connor speaks with some of the less cultured police investigators. And of course Sean Connery is Sean Connery.

There’s a real operatic feel to many of the scenes between the immortals, especially when Clancy Brown’s Kurgan is involved.

And while Highlander is still a product of its times, its gender roles are pretty progressive for a mid-80’s action film. Brenda and Heather are both much more than just damsels or trophies.

I don’t want to say too much, since Highlander is so much better the less you know about it going in, but please, give it a watch. It is well worth your time, and one of the best movies to come out of the 1980’s.

Lindsey Stirling: Because You Need Dubstep Violin

​https://youtu.be/sf6LD2B_kDQ

Lindsey Stirling first broke on YouTube doing covers of video game and movie themes, like this great Legend of Zelda medley:

 https://youtu.be/b3KUyPKbR7Q

Or this Lord of the Rings tribute: 


Since then,  she’s produced albums full of original material, some with guest vocalists (like Lzzy Hale on Shatter Me):


And now she’s even spreading on soundtracks of her own,  like the recent Pete’s Dragon remake:


So now you know. I’ll leave you with one of my favorite videos,  the live public performance of Master of Tides: