Outlander: Mind, Body, and Soul – A Review of The Wedding, Episode 107

The phrase “Female Director” kind of pisses me off. I know how naïve that makes me. I don’t know how Hollywood works except from what I’ve read, but I do know there’s nothing inherently masculine about the title of Director. I know that every last director I worked with through school, save two, were women. The academic world rarely resembles the real world, of course. It can take generations for the ways of the ivory tower to trickle down into the mainstream.

That’s why, when Ronald D. Moore says that he insisted that the director of The Wedding be a woman, I have to put my initial gut reaction aside and applaud. What I would have given to hear him say something more like, “I wanted the best-qualified director available for this assignment, and the best-qualified director was Anna Forrester.” She was, after all, given the evidence of the spectacular work that made it to screen. Any way you look at it—the performances, the cinematography, the costumes, the lighting, the editing—I just can’t imagine anyone having done a better job.


We’re not to the point that Moore could have said what I’d wanted to hear him say, however, any more than we can pretend pay equity exists or that we live in a post-feminist era. Until we reach a time in which a term like “female gaze” is not only irrelevant but absurd, entertainment will need Moore-like strategy to tell stories authentically. It is, and it will continue to be vitally important that leadership choices are made, conscientiously regarding gender (not to mention race, religion, economic history, sexual identity and orientation, etc.) as a vital component of the eventual script, episode, film, or a franchise. May we one day get to a point that Kathryn Bigelow directing The Hurt Locker or Zero Dark Thirty is just as unremarkable as Rob Reiner directing a so-called chick-flick.

Read More via Outlander: Mind, Body, and Soul – A Review of The Wedding, Episode 107.

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Which passage best highlights the romantic aspects of Release?

Release is not a romance novel, but aspects of it certainly meet the criteria.

I’ve been invited to spotlight Release on a fabulous book blog focused on the Romance genre. I need your help choosing what to highlight.


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Outlander: Know Thy Enemy — a Review of The Garrison Commander, Episode 106

The producers of Outlander did a brave thing in this passage, both on page and screen. By not pulling punches (pun only slightly intended) in The Garrison Commander, Gabaldon and screenwriter Ira Steven Behr send the message: if you’re squeamish or skeptical now, best return this book to the shelf or change he channel; I’m sure there’s a rerun of Home Improvement somewhere on the dial. http://www.lippsisters.com/2015/03/19/outlander-know-thy-enemy-a-review-of-the-garrison-commander-episode-106/


Outlander: Know Thy Enemy — a Review of The Garrison Commander, Episode 106.

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Review of Outlander Episode 105: RENT

Welcome new fans! RELEASE is literary women’s fiction. To deepen my study of the genre, I am reviewing Outlander by examining the adaptation from the novels of Diana Gabaldon. Check out my post about Episode 105: RENT.

via Outlander: Like La bohème, but with Less Consumption and More Live Pigs – A Review of Rent (Episode 105).

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Outlander: Two Roads Diverged – A Review of ‘The Way Out’ and ‘The Gathering’ (Episodes 103 & 104)

My angle in the Outlander commentary business is to compare and contrast the novel and the television series. I have to admit that this post was far more…

via Outlander: Two Roads Diverged – A Review of ‘The Way Out’ and ‘The Gathering’ (Episodes 103 & 104).

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Outlander: Majesty and Mayhem – Recap of Castle Leoch, Episode 102

A blog post about backstory, pacing, sequencing, narrative arcs, costumes, set design, and knee porn. via Outlander: Majesty and Mayhem – Recap of Castle Leoch, Episode 102.

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Outlander: Prologue and Foreplay – Recap of Sassenach, Episode 1.01

We’re just about eight weeks out from the return of new Outlander episodes, so there’s no time like the present to revisit the past. I do not hold myself up…

via Outlander: Prologue and Foreplay – Recap of Sassenach, Episode 1.01.

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Outlander: The Medium is the Message

A post about audiences’ preconceived notions regarding how novels should be portrayed on the screen.

via Outlander: The Medium is the Message.

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The Seductive Dangers of Fantasy Casting

There are so many reasons to avoid the game—choosing actors to play characters from your novel, if or when a movie is finally made.

One reason is that the exercise doesn’t account for the actor’s ability to inhabit a role. Sure, actors ought to have some passing resemblance to their literary inspirations, but there’s a great deal more to playing a part than that.

I’ve asked a lot of people to describe what the characters of Release look like, and I’m simultaneously astounded and pleased by the variety of responses.

The only character whom readers describe consistently is Colette. That’s by design. I invested a fair amount of ink describing her physicality, because physicality is very important to her identity. I left the appearance of most other characters vague on purpose.

That leads me to the second reason it’s dangerous to fantasy-cast, especially if it’s the author who does so: it undermines the reader’s privilege to envision the characters’ likenesses for themselves.

Deciding what characters look like for yourself requires identification with the story and an emotional investment. If a writer can provide enough guidance and indication to readers for them to arrive at their own conclusions, more detail is superfluous. It doesn’t serve the story.

Besides, the third reason it’s silly to cast actors is simple logistics. How long is it going to take for this fantasy project to go from page to screen? If and when filming’s finally greenlighted, who will actually be available? Rights to produce what has become the television series Outlander, for instance, have been optioned several times over the last two decades. You know who was once attached to a proposal that made it rather far forward? Sean Connery and Liam Neeson. Ponder that one, gentle readers. Furthermore, even the author couldn’t see what Sam Heughan had in common with the Jamie in her mind until she saw his audition.

Another Outlander tidbit: Everyone on the production team assumed that it’d be Jamie who’d be tough to cast, and that Claire would be a snap. Not so, as it turned out. They looked for weeks before Caitroina Balfe surfaced. What was the deciding factor?

Chemistry. This is the fourth reason fantasy casting is foolish. Even the most talented actors’ ability to conjure charm and fascination with scene partners has its limits. Sometimes, the best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men gang aft agley (to quote the original Scots).

I’m getting cynically delicious chuckles lately about the absolute lack of chemistry between the actors cast in the Movie that Must Not Be Named, the one that’s hitting theaters, absurdly and ironically, on Valentine’s Day and promises to delivery an extraordinary number of grey shades…

Having said all of that, do I have ideas about who would fit the roles, presuming willingness, availability, chemistry, time travel, and all the rest? Sure. Do I know the full slate? Nope.

The men, for some reason, are easier than the women. Here are a few. Do you agree or disagree?

  • Wentworth Miller as Henry Bevrijden, best-known for his work on Prison Break
  • David Giuntoli as Dante Abatangelo, familiar to fans of Grimm
  • Zack Ward as Sam Tierney, who you might remember as Scut Farkus in A Christmas Story


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Outlander: May the Fourth Be With You

We were told that each of the #4Droughtlander video clips, which have been coming on the Fourth of each month prior to the April 4th Outlander return, would…

via Outlander: May the Fourth Be With You.

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