Monday, January 30, 2006

Winona Ryder: Cottage Cheese With Peaches

Kinetoscope has been moving home offices this weekend, so rude film reviews will be a bit spotty until uh, you know, I alphabetize my DVDs.

So fanfic is a labor of love: it is truly one of the last arts with absolutely no money, fame and precious little glory attached. And it's one thing to fall in love with a TV show or novel and want to expand upon that world. It's a more frequent thing to fall in love with a person, but they are rarely expressed in the same medium. I always knew it existed somewhere, but there's a dearth of it about my favorite coffee house pin-up. I give you:

WINONA RYDER FAN FICTION. In quantity. (Courtesy of The Winona Ryder Film Page)

Coffee & Noni: Big in Japan
The Garden of Earthly Delights: WR & black coffee

Audience Reaction Studies questionnaire: Does it creep you out? Or does it make you laugh? Or does it break your heart a little? The secret of celebrity fan fiction's spiney power is that this is how film actors make us all feel. We just don't say it out loud. We probably don't realize we're doing it. But on this page are fantasies about what stars are like at home, hints that their screen persona appeal is linked to their real personalities, rescue fantasies, wish-fulfillment encounters and coded poetry that hints at a world of secrets. More than any other fanfic, this stuff gets to an excruciatingly private place and makes it public. The benefit and purpose may be unclear. But in the best of these, the actor-figure becomes a doorway, or a metaphor or a handful of glitter, reflecting the author's ideas about life, death, and love. These scenes reveal the author's grasps at the infinite via this weirdest of genres.

The more you read, the less easy it becomes to mentally project the real Winona Ryder into the story.

All the writing on this page enjoys the usual fanfic problems: bizarre attention to minute details, excess of adjective, and Mary Sue-ing. But that's what makes them special, and not just "appreciations."

A highlight is the cryptic poem "Eleven Notes," which confirms that someone else free-associates Winona Ryder and "Brown Eyed Girl," but also calls her "Garboesque."

My favorite is probably the first story on the page, "Morning." It begins with oblique reference to Ryder's infamous (in, uh, some quarters) insomnia, and extends through breakfast during which the actress peruses the script for The Age of Innocence (identified via oblique reference) ... and that's it!

"She was hungry but settled for two slivers of dry toast and a mug of juice. She was anxious to get back to reading the script that she left on the kitchen table late last evening. Starting a pot of coffee first she settled down in the only chair in the spotlight of the warm early rays of the sun streaming in the window above the sink. She nibbled the warm toast and pulled back the black cover of the script and started in. She loved the story, whispering some of the lines over and over again. She was glad to be ready to get back to work. As she read it she imagined Daniel opposite her and hoped that Anthony would be in it too. She felt warm when she thought of Hopkins. She loved him dearly. Daniel seemed more quiet and mysterious but she adored him as well.

Now she was hungrier. Reaching into the fridge she grabbed a small container of cottage cheese and reaching up in the cupboard she brought down a can of peaches to pour over it."

Such attention to the level of someone's appetite! The script has a mysterious black cover! Astute fans will note that Sir Anthony Hopkins does not appear in Age of Innocence, which gives this story rather a bittersweet tinge (and slightly more thorough research would've revealed that Hopkins' friends call him "Tony"). As always, I suggest indulging as much as you can possibly stand.

1 comment:

Skit said...

Chris Stangl: "why did i write such a snide comment?"

Veronica sawyer: "Because you're an idiot?"

Chris Stangl: "ah yes"