skygiants: Enjolras from Les Mis shouting revolution-tastically (la resistance lives on)
I was supposed to write about my current feelings about Les Mis for [personal profile] melannen on the 6th for the December meme, but instead I was at a bachelorette party in Atlantic City and the hotel didn't have free internet, which means you are spared the prospect of me attempting to answer this question after having drunk several shots of vodka.

Ugh, this is very long and full of petty complicated personal feelings and MIGHT AS WELL have been written drunk anyway )
skygiants: Enjolras from Les Mis shouting revolution-tastically (la resistance lives on)
December meme, Day 2: [personal profile] aquamirage asked me about moments in musical theater that fuck me up every single time!

I'm pretty sure she asked me this because at the time we were watching Into the Woods and I was complaining vociferously about the fact that they cut "No More" from the upcoming film (THEY CUT "NO MORE" FROM THE UPCOMING FILM, ARGH); as you all know I have many, MANY feelings about Into the Woods, but for whatever reason "No More" is the song that, in fact, fucks me up every single time. I think it's because there's no bombast to it; it's the total resignation that gets me.

In other really obvious news that is obvious, I always think I'm cool and totally over it as I sit down to see a production of Les Mis, and then the first chords of "Look Down" strike up and NO, NO, I WAS WRONG, I'M NOT COOL, I'M NOT COOL! ALL THE FEELINGS ARE BACK. I'm pretty sure it's not even anything specific about "Look Down," it's just a Pavlovian response! Pavlovian feelings! Hello, fourteen-year-old Becca, I see you're back again!

But, OK, let's try for something slightly less obvious. "I Don't Care Much," Cabaret -- that's another one where the total resignation of it is much more effective for getting me to feel a lot of complicated things than anything else would be. (The ending of Cabaret also really shakes me up if it's done right, but it's not always done right, and I've seen it done well enough often enough that a mediocre production won't do much for me except irritate me about the fact that it isn't better.)

A short list of other songs that make me feel feelings in shows, although not always the same feelings: "Easy as Life," Aida. The "Johanna" reprise that Sweeney Todd sings in Sweeney Todd. "Les Cloches" and "Liberes" from Notre-Dame de Paris. And, of course, ever and always, "Confrontation" from Jekyll and Hyde, a moment in musical theater that I CANNOT EXPERIENCE without getting totally fucked up with hysterical laughter. NO, NEVER! YES, FOREVER.
skygiants: Enjolras from Les Mis shouting revolution-tastically (la resistance lives on)
[personal profile] elsane has already tackled the theme of 'Marius accidentally helps the Revolution' and done it better, but here's another stab at it.

Title: Marius Rises in the Esteem of the Revolution
Fandom: Les Miserables
Characters: Marius, Courfeyrac, Enjolras. Up at the AO3 over here.

It is not Marius' fault that his friends mix their metaphors. )
skygiants: Enjolras from Les Mis shouting revolution-tastically (la resistance lives on)
I like to imagine there is one really dedicated Azelma Thenardier fan out there who spends her time sadly browsing through the Les Mis tag on the AO3 and wondering where all the Azelma-centric fic is. Lone Azelma Thenardier fan: this one's for you.

Title: And Yet Are Orphans
Fandom: Les Miserables
Characters: Azelma, Gavroche, and a couple of Ami cameos
Summary: For lack of anything better to do, Azelma pays a visit to her brother.
Notes: The standard set of Thenardier family warnings apply -- implied child abuse, canon character death, you know the drill. Up at the AO3 over here. Thanks to [personal profile] genarti for the beta!

“My other sister's prettier,” remarked Gavroche. “This one would be a red-faced bourgeois if she could.” )
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (anarkia)
I said to myself, "all right, all right, I'm back in the same fandom that I was when I was SEVENTEEN, but at least I'm not writing overwrought fanfic for it!" Cue hollow laughter.

Title: on your way up to the light
Fandom: Les Miserables
Characters: Jean Valjean, Eponine, Cosette, Marius, Gavroche
Summary: Brick AU of the 'small canon divergence leads to slightly larger changes' variety, and also of the 'I have a lot of feelings about parallels between Eponine and Valjean' variety. Eponine throws a note at Valjean; she doesn't anticipate the consequences.
Notes: Warnings for suicidal ideation. Title comes from the Mountain Goats song Amy aka Spent Gladiator. Also up at the AO3, over here. Thanks to [personal profile] genarti for the beta!

He took it, unfolded it, and read on it, in large letters written with a pencil: MOVE OUT. )
skygiants: Enjolras from Les Mis shouting revolution-tastically (la resistance lives on)
So last night [personal profile] genarti and I stayed up until ridiculous o'clock watching the Les Mis 25th Anniversary Concert, which neither of us had ever seen before, and oh my god, YOU GUYS. It was SO GOOD! I mean we knew it would be good, but nobody warned us it would be THAT GOOD.

Cut for screencaps! )

And here is Gen's write-up! Which is way more actually thoughtful, and way less distracted by Marius' RIDICULOUS PONTMERCY FACES.
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (in the wrong story)
So in between Heyers I've been reading the Memoirs of Vidocq, who as you all probably know is the French escape artist/policeman/spy who served as the inspiration for both Valjean and Javert.

If this is the reason you are reading the book, as I was, the first third of the memoirs are kind of less interesting; it's basically a chronicle of Roguish Young Vidocq joining the army, deserting from the army, changing his name, seducing ladies, joining the army again, fighting some duels, seducing more ladies, lather, rinse, repeat. Try and imagine Javert or Valjean in this position if you like, but if you can, your imagination is better than mine. (Although it is sort of interesting from a historical perspective, in that two things were apparently REALLY EASY in post-revolutionary France: a.) joining an army regiment under a fake name, because everything was so confused that nobody could keep track, and b.) pretending to be an aristocrat who left behind a secret hoard of pre-Revolution money before fleeing, which was every con artist's favorite game.)

Anyway, eventually he gets thrown in prison, and escapes a bunch of times -- most memorably, cross-dressed as a NUN -- and then he gets thrown in the galleys and has an epic "OH SHIT" realization and escapes some more and attempts to go straight, only to get repeatedly recognized by old prison buddies going "hey hey VIDOCQ buddy, let's commit some crime, you in? >:D" to which Vidocq will answer ". . . . sure!" and then attempt to skedaddle in the opposite direction.

Finally he decides his only choice is not only to go straight, but to turn himself in to the Paris police as a spy. Which means that now, every time someone goes "hey hey Vidocq buddy, let's commit some crime, you in? >:D" Vidocq will go "SURE!" and then ensure that they all get caught at the MOST DRAMATIC POSSIBLE MOMENT. Vidocq has no qualms whatsoever about assuring his criminal friends that they have nothing to fear from him and then turning around and stabbing them directly in the back; his general attitude is "if you're stupid enough to get caught, you completely deserve it."

In case you wonder where Hugo got Javert's sense of drama: it's direct from Vidocq, man. It is from Vidocq in SPADES. However, Vidocq is better at it than Javert, because Javert does not lie, and Vidocq is more than happy to lie repeatedly for a good cause. Some particularly notable exploits of Vidocq:

- the time that he charged in to arrest a criminal whose wife was in the middle of giving birth; Vidocq decides he can't go get a midwife in case the guy escapes, and then calmly DELIVERS THE BABY HIMSELF. They name him the godfather before he hands the guy off to prison
- that time he spent like SIX MONTHS in jail in disguise as a German peasant just so he could become BFF with a suspect so that he could dramatically arrest him as soon as he got out
- the time he spent three hours listening to a guy ranting about about how he would buy a drink for anyone who would show him to Vidocq and let him punch him out, and then calmly arrested him and told him that he owed him, Vidocq, SO MANY DRINKS
- the time that he was in disguise and hanging out with a band of criminals that he was going to arrest later:
CRIMINALS: We're bored! Let's put on . . . a play!
VIDOCQ: What play?
CRIMINALS: Let's play "that super jerk spy Vidocq is a huge tool!" But who's gonna be Vidocq?

And then of course four hours later he arrested them all, and was like, "Yeah, you're probably mad about that, but look -- at least you get to tell all your criminal buddies the story of the time Vidocq played Vidocq, and that's TOTALLY WORTH IT, right?" Vidocq, I hate to break it to you, but that is probably not as worth it to them as it is to you.

However, the best bit of the book by far is not about Vidocq at all, but about his acquaintance Sophie the Dashing Lady Thief. Vidocq eventually catches Sophie, of course, but she's very chill about it, which, Vidocq casually explains, is because she's a BIG OL' SAPPHO and is A-OK with hanging out in the lesbian prison scene. Then he tells the story about the time her girlfriend got locked up and Sophie got herself denounced so they wouldn't have to be separated. Apparently, according to Vidocq, this happens ALL THE TIME in the criminal Parisian lesbian underworld. WHICH IS A THING. So now you know.

(Dashing lesbian lady thieves: as always, the best gift a book can give me. Historically accurate dashing lesbian lady thieves, even better!)
skygiants: Na Yeo Kyeung, from Capital Scandal, giving a big thumbs-up (seal of approval)
So the other day [personal profile] littledust and I had a long and ridiculous conversation about doofball revolutionaries which I am here preserving for posterity. (These chatlogs are of interest to like two people. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE, I HOPE YOU ENJOY.)

Capital Scandal bakery AU in which NOBODY DIES! )

Capital Scandal/Les Mis crossover! Involving time travel of some sort, I guess. WHO KNOWS. WHO CARES. )
skygiants: Enjolras from Les Mis shouting revolution-tastically (la resistance lives on)
All right. Book Four: "Saint-Denis and the Idyll of the Rue Plumet," otherwise known as BRACE YOURSELVES, EVERYONE, WE'RE UP TO THE BARRICADES.

Before I get to that, though, I want to talk a bit about Eponine, and also Gavroche )

skygiants: Enjolras from Les Mis shouting revolution-tastically (la resistance lives on)
So we're up to Book Three: "Marius," which was sort of a weird reading experience for me, because - okay, so bear in mind, the last time I read this book, I was sixteen or thereabouts, and my main takeaway from this section was a PASSIONATE HATRED of Marius. In fact, I am pretty sure I have commented in several locations over the past couple weeks about my fiery hatred of book Marius. Terrible! Judgmental! Prudish! Insufficiently revolutionary!

And, I mean, all of these things are perfectly true, but some time over the past ten years a switch has flipped in my head and suddenly I kind of kind of love Terrible Failbot Marius? THE CHILD IS HILARIOUS. )
skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (in the wrong story)
I know most of you who have decided to read along aren't there yet, but I have to do Book 2: "Cosette" of Les Mis now because I'm just about up to the introduction of Les Amis in my own read and before too long I'll get overwhelmed by revolutionaries and forget everything I had to say about Book 2. It's okay though because these posts are open for discussion forever!

(By the way, have I mentioned how excited I am that a couple people are actually reading along with this? I didn't really expect anyone else to take the plunge with me but I am SO EXCITED that you are!)

So if you're working of knowledge from the musical, "Cosette" pretty much only covers two songs: "Castle on a Cloud" and "Master of the House." (Three, if you count "The Bargain/Thenardier Waltz of Treachery" as a song in and of itself.) You might wonder how Hugo wrote 1/5 of his book about this tiny fraction of the plot!

This is because the musical jettisoned a ton of Jean Valjean: socially awkward saint, a bunch of shenanigans around a dead nun, and many, many pages of Victor Hugo's REALLY INTENSE FEELINGS ABOUT WATERLOO. )
skygiants: Enjolras from Les Mis shouting revolution-tastically (la resistance lives on)
If you follow me on Twitter you've already gotten spammed with this, but I'm sorry this is going on every social media platform I own:


Featuring player characters such as Enjolras, Eponine, Jean Valjean, and ROBOJEAN. Why? WHY NOT.

My favorite part is when Marius uses his special move to summon an army of undead skeletal revolutionaries to defeat the police.

(That's not even true, my favorite part is when Eponine dramatically whisks away her cross-dressing jacket right before starting battle. BUT THE UNDEAD REVOLUTIONARIES ARE ALSO GOOD.)

skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (in the wrong story)
So there are five books that make up Les Miserables the novel: "Fantine," "Cosette," "Marius," "The Idyll in the Rue Plumet and the Epic in the Rue St. Denis," and "Jean Valjean."

From this you might reasonably assume that "Fantine" is all about Fantine, but actually "Fantine" begins with the infamous sixty pages about the saintly Bishop of Digne who will never appear again.

Under the cut: The Bishop of Digne, Jean Valjean's multiple crimes, and Fantine's dick boyfriend )

Next up: Cosette and the Battle of Waterloo!
skygiants: Enjolras from Les Mis shouting revolution-tastically (la resistance lives on)
So now that I've seen it twice, because yes, I am that ridiculous, let's talk about the Les Miserables movie!

I cannot actually talk to its quality, because as soon as I sat down in the theater I immediately lost ten years of wisdom, cynicism and general life experience and became once again the shiny-eyed seventeen-year-old who haunted dead revolutionary fanfiction forums. Which is to say, I had a lot of feelings and I am UTTERLY INCAPABLE of making any kind of critical assessment of this movie whatsoever.

What I can say: this movie was clearly made by people who passionately loved both the musical and the novel and wanted to fit them together as much as humanly possible. Some noticeable touches:

Technically these would be spoilers, I suppose. )

And now I have decided to reread the book, which is going to take me the next, er, little while. Les Miserables the novel is divided into five books, and I think I might write it up book by book, since seventeen-year-old Becca has SO MUCH TO SAY about Les Mis the novel, like, you don't even understand. So fair warning! I will try to lj-cut my "EXHAUSTIVE DETAILS ABOUT LES MIS CANON" posts so everyone who has no interest (which is pretty much everyone) can scroll past them.
skygiants: Enjolras from Les Mis shouting revolution-tastically (la resistance lives on)
Okay guys, while we're on the topic of musicals, can we talk about the new Les Mis trailer?

Cut for trailer embed )

Because my first reaction is that it is going to be AMAZINGLY over the top and melodramatic and quite possibly a really terrible movie -- oh my god, the armies of ORPHANS! the armies of CONVICTS! the armies of PROSTITUTES! -- but still AMAZING.

Also, the first photos reveal that there's going to be an elephant statue. AN ELEPHANT STATUE! Gavroche gets his elephant statue from the book, guys! Someone on staff was committed, and whoever they are, I love them.
skygiants: Enjolras from Les Mis shouting revolution-tastically (la resistance lives on)
The back cover of Marie Lu's Legend informed me that the author "was first inspired to write Legend while watching Les Miserables one afternoon, and wondered how the relationship between a famous criminal vs. a prodigious detective might translate into a more modern story."

It is not Marie Lu's fault that this somehow explicitly led me to expect a genderswapped steampunk Javert/Valjean fanfic about an obsessive police officer with a black-and-white morality and the escaped prisoner she pursues over the course of three or four decades . . . but apparently somehow this is something that my soul desperately craves, because I was unfairly disappointed not to get it.

Not that Legend is not good! Legend is a perfectly enjoyable dystopian YA novel about two SUPER TEEN PRODIGIES, one who is accelerating within the system (but only because she doesn't know all the terrible things the system does) and one who works outside the system (and is accused of terrible crimes, but has only ever committed the non-murderous ones), and how she's sent to bring him in because she thinks he killed her brother, and it's all very dramatic and interestingly world-built and involves government plague conspiracies and that's fine, I will totally be willing to read the sequel and see where it goes! I did wish that there was more of a clash of legitimately opposed ideologies, as opposed to the heroine realizing that everything she believes in is wrong. Spoilers. )

Anyway, it all worked out, because now that I've realized the tragic scarcity of YA novels with the EPIC MELODRAMA of Javert/Valjean slash fiction at their heart, I have simply decided that someday I am going to have to write my own, except with lesbians. (Working title: YOU KNOW NOTHING OF JAVERTINA.) You're welcome, world!

This also however begs the question of which OTHER famous musical nemeses should be updated into steampunk dystopian YA novels. I have provided some options for you, so please feel free to vote for your favorite! I will almost certainly not write it for you but YOU NEVER KNOW.

Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 38

Which of these FAMOUS MUSICAL NEMESES would you most like to see as the romantic leads of a YA novel?

View Answers

The Phantom/Raoul! HE's a foppish aristocrat! HE lives under the gladiatorial opera house where people compete in a singing competition to the death! Wacky circumstances force them to raise a baby together! (See Love Never Dies.)
8 (21.1%)

Velma Kelly/Roxie Hart! Both of them are showgirls arrested for spectacular tabloid crimes, but what Velma doesn't know is that Roxie's got an extra card up her sleeve: she's a RENEGADE ROBOT showgirl.
17 (44.7%)

Mark Cohen/Benjamin Coffin III! HE's a member of the secret BOHEME group that's spreading revolutionary viral videos . . . and HE'S the angry landlord who just got accidentally implicated in the conspiracy! NOW THEY'RE ON THE RUN TOGETHER.
5 (13.2%)

Sweeney Todd/Mrs. Lovett! Trapped in an oppressive society, they decided to rebel against the system by becoming cannibals and -- actually you wouldn't really even need to change the plot here. BUT WITH STEAMPUNK!
1 (2.6%)

Elphaba/Galinda! . . . is already a YA novel. BUT IT COULD ALWAYS BE ANOTHER ONE. This time with actual lesbians!
7 (18.4%)

The depressing secret of my life is that I would one hundred percent read all of these. (But especially Velma/Robot Roxie.)

skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (Default)
First of all, your regularly scheduled reminder: [ profile] fma_ladyfest signups are closing in two days! We have a multitude of awesome prompts already, and will continue to be ridiculously excited about this upcoming round until you are all sick of hearing about it and probably for a while after that. :D

Second, the last of [ profile] moonyazu9's top five requests for me: top five musicals, cut for embedded video! )

And now that I have talked at great length about my deep and true and slightly embarrassing love for musical theater, I find myself curious. I know there are some of you reading this who love musicals like I do, and there are some others who find it a completely inexplicable passion and are judging me AT THIS VERY MOMENT. Therefore: a poll! (I promise I will not judge you whatever you answer.)

Go to the LJ crosspost to vote on your feelings about MUSICALS.

If you want to talk about your favorite musical, that also would be welcomed!


skygiants: Princess Tutu, facing darkness with a green light in the distance (Default)

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