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  • Writer's pictureShannon Heibler

Flash Gordon (1980)

I cannot talk about this movie without exclaiming, "FLASH! *pause* AAHHHHH!" because Queen did such an incredible job on the soundtrack that it is way more memorable than the actual film. The second thing I must reference when speaking about this film is my best (terrible) impression of Brian Blessed as Prince Vultan yelling "DYIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!"


It's been a few years since I saw this one. Not so long, though. I know Ben and I watched it together in our apartment. But I did not recall how horny this film is. Absolutely thirsty. Everyone in the movie is like, ten seconds and a wink away from sleeping with any other member of the cast at any given moment. Richard O'Brien has not fully exited Rocky Horror as his skulks around Arboria, hips permanently thrust forward. Princess Aura is sleeping with everyone and it's kind of amazing that no one exactly slut shames her, they just know that her betrayal of the is inevitable. The betrayal is not inherently linked to sexual possession and I just think that's neat. Young Timothy Dalton was a goddamn gift to humanity. (There are a lot of consent things at play, though, in this movie, and I gotta tell you, I am not fully equipped to dissect that. But I hope this gorgeous, sexually charged cast had a grand ol' time together off set, complete with enthusiastic consent.)


There are also a lot of issues with orientalism and exoticism. I feel pretty awful about enjoying this movie because of how much yellowface is at play and honestly, I didn't love it like I used to. Different time, yadda yadda, but oof. I'm different now too and I can't really stomach that eye makeup anymore.


The costumes (also incredibly questionable) are jaw dropping. I don't think I ever really clocked how much beading is involved. The Ming costume apparently weighed 70 lbs and I would love to know how many hours went into it. The colors are stunning and everything sparkles. I so wish it could have been divorced from concepts of "the Far East."


Every sting of the Flash theme made me miss an old friend, Evan, who had "he's a miracle!" as his e-mail signature for the longest time. You had to sing it every time you got an email from him. I don't make the rules.


Alcohol ink, acrylic paint, gilding, glass.


Takeaways:

-The picture doesn't do this one justice. The alcohol ink background has gold in it. I did gilding on bits of Vultan. There's a lot going on. Someday I'll learn how to photograph my art. Someday.

-It's been a week. And a couple days. Lots happened. Ben's birthday! Flu! Doing my first craft show! Some jag trying to steal my car, failing, but still leaving me without a vehicle (for a few days)! I'm really glad I didn't push myself to finish this "on time". It needed extra time. I needed extra time.

-Alcohol ink is really neat but I think it's a summertime craft so I can open the windows. I will absolutely revisit it.

-I'm so proud of his lil face. I wish the body felt better (a combination of not many great images available and the images I had being hard to understand) but I'll take the giant leap forward that was this face.

-Painting on glass is very cool and very difficult. Pros: I like the lack of texture (something I always fight on canvas), there's a neat layering effect that can happen, I can just scratch mistakes off with an x-acto. Cons: really really difficult to get the right level of water mixed into the paint (too much wiped away previous layers, too little got chonky), requires a lot of layers.

-I honestly love this painting. I'm so pleased with it. Maybe I gotta do one for Timothy Dalton.


Next week: it's Christmas time. Did you remember to hang the empty stocking? That's right, 1947's answer to "what if Christmas was absolutely rife with sexual tension?", The Bishop's Wife. I've already watched it at this point and it is funnier and sexier and creepier than I remembered, and I have no idea what I'm going to do for it.


I hope this week is gentle and precedented. Nothing crazy. Let's get off this roller coaster, shall we? We've got Christmas shopping to do.


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