kitty-carroll.org

truly a site unseen

I’m nothing without you

A sweet little adolescent love story, tied up nicely in three minutes:

We can call that a happy ending, I think.

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Somewhere in her head

I have never quite gotten my mind around Ariana Grande’s voice — to me, she sounds like Michael McDonald, if Michael McDonald had been a 12-year-old girl — but she does have ideas of her own, and “In My Head” pulls off the difficult trick of conveying both being trapped and what it might be like to be set free. It helps, of course, if you have disembodied dancers to set the scene.

“In My Head” is off Grande’s thank u, next album; it’s not officially a single.

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Looking for a Sue who feels like you

Last fall, we happened upon a Y/A film from Europe with the title Invisible Sue, and there was some concern about how “Sue” has become the default given name for women who can’t be seen: they might as well make her last name “Griffin” and cover all bases.

We now have a trailer from the French release, and they’ve de-Sued the title: it’s now just Invisible Girl. No, I don’t know why.

The film will get here eventually; apparently the producers have found a US distributor.

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The Carol Danvers Experience

Long before Brie Larson was Captain Marvel, or indeed had any kind of sustained career as an actress, she tried her hand at music, and while she fell short of getting any hits, she did release enough material to have an actual slbum, and due to its subject matter, Track 10, co-written by Larson, needs to be here.

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The ghost in the Big Machine

A song called “Invisible” was thrown in as a bonus track on some issues of Taylor Swift’s eponymous album; while looking for some of the details, I happened upon a fanfic with the same title, but not quite the same subject:

It’s been fifty years since the famous Taylor Swift died in her own home.

Is that the end of the story, though?

Son-of-a-millionaire Evan Brooks decides to buy Taylor’s old New York penthouse. Little did he know that the house has a secret of its own.

Its very own ghost, perhaps.

Think about it. Why wouldn’t the shade of Taylor Swift haunt the place where she died?

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A girl named Sue

Given the Marvel precedent, I suppose she’d have to be. Here’s the IMDb outline:

Following an accident in her scientist mother’s laboratory with the new wonder fluid NT26D, which is designed to fight illnesses genetically, 12-year-old Sue (Ruby M. Lichtenberg) now has the unique ability to make herself invisible. So when Sue’s mother is kidnapped right before her very eyes, she is just the girl for the job. Together with Kaya (Anna Shirin Habedank), a rather nerdy girl of the same age who could teach James Bond’s Q a few things, and Tobi, who not only looks good and has the hots for her but can also do amazing things on his bicycle, Sue and her friends combine their strengths and talents to free her mother, unmask the conspiracy behind her disappearance and bring the truth to light.

I’ve seen maybe 1.5 seconds of this film, in which Sue’s right hand fades away, and it looks like the sleeve of her sweatshirt is going with it. Right now it’s on the European festival circuit; I have no idea when, if ever, it’s going to cross the pond.

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Evocative artwork

This is generally outside our turf here — author Jennifer Rothschild is a minister, motivational speaker, and head of a women-in-ministry group — but this cover design is utterly brilliant and deserves some recognition:

"Invisible" by Jennifer Rothschild

There is also a version of this book written specifically for younger women.

The author’s Web site (and blog!) is at jenniferrothschild.com.

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Not to be used for nefarious purposes

Like this will actually discourage ne’er-do-wells out there:

Still, I suppose it’s worth a try.

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Make something of yourself

Serbian artist Mirjana Kika Milosevic has, over the past couple of years, made many things of herself with lots of makeup and body paint, to include Chucky, the Borg Queen, and, perhaps most disturbingly, a Human Ashtray.

Here, she makes, um, nothing of herself:

I’ve had dreams like this.

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There’s one in every crowd

Doesn’t mean you’re going to recognize her, though.

(Via @GhostCatLady.)

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The ballad of Kitty Carroll

Five years ago, MeTV host Svengoolie presided over an airing of the 1940 Invisible Woman film, whence cometh Kitty C. herself, and one segment of the show was given over to a song about her. A Beatles song about her, no less. And it’s pretty sharp, I gotta say:

Sir Paul, I suspect, would find this amusing in spite of himself.

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Intentional farce

If you think about it, there’s no reason Kitty Carroll couldn’t have been just as frightening a character as H. G. Wells’ original Griffin, or the version of Griffin played by Claude Rains in the first film of Universal’s Invisible series. But that wasn’t the movie Universal wanted to make in 1940, and it’s arguable whether they could have if they had wanted to:

If in earlier incarnations invisible means inconsequential, impermanent, inassimilable or uncanny, the invisible woman can never really be described as embodying any of the qualities. Part of the fear of Wells’ invisible man rests in the anxiety that he could be watching you and you would not know; he could sneak up out of the shadows and you would be taken by surprise — the fear, in other words, that you are being surveilled. At the most basic level, the transfer to film changes this relationship, for in looking at the screen, the viewer surveilling the Invisible Man, rather than the other way around. Indeed, in each of the films in the series, through a variety of visual and auditory cues, the viewer is in fact allowed to literally see where the invisible figure is at nearly any given moment. The Invisible Woman, in constantly reminding viewers of Kitty’s appearance, heightens this collapse of the visible and the invisible.

Kitty’s invisibility perpetually exists not only in relation to but for a viewer, and insofar as we are constantly encouraged to project an image of [Virginia] Bruce onto the special effects that suggest an invisible presence, the invisible woman is very deliberately constructed as subject of the spectator’s gaze.

The scenes at Richard’s hunting lodge, during which Kitty is mostly unclothed, make this perfectly obvious; due to Production Code rules, neither Richard nor the Professor could not tell you that she was naked at the time, but they went to an awful lot of trouble to make sure you knew it. I have to wonder how they would have made this film in 1933, the year James Whale directed The Invisible Man, the first use of John Fulton’s special effects, a year in which the Code was officially in effect but only sporadically enforced.

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A trick of the lighting?

Playwright Barbara Lhota has come up with one of the less likely ideas for a stage play: a live-action version of Russell Stamm’s classic comic Invisible Scarlet O’Neil.

How in the world is this even possible? It takes some doing:

Chloe Baldwin serves as the backbone of the show in the title role, a plucky young woman determined to help people as a newspaper reporter. The exact nature of Scarlet’s power and how she ends up using it are a mix of clever action by Libby Beyreis, assisted by Chloe Baldwin; lighting by Meghan Erxleben; set design by Milo Bue; and direction by Leigh Barrett. Ironically, one would be best to see her “invisibility” to fully appreciate it!

Babes With Blades Theatre Company, which presented this production, has lots of reviews and a brief video for your perusal.

(Hat tip: Paul Cwick.)

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An evocative cover

This was suggested to me at Amazon.com yesterday:

If Only It Were True is a pretty spiffy novel by Marc Levy which I bought several years ago. It was subsequently made into a Hollywood movie (Just Like Heaven, with Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo), and a Bollywood movie (I See You, with Vipasha Agarwal and Arjun Rampal).

I’ve mentioned I See You before, and I’ve put out a full-fledged review elsewhere. But this cover does capture one basic fact: no one can see the spirit of the young lady who’s been left for dead.

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Something worth remembering

Rodd Thunderheart, author of the novel See Through Love, has prepared a meme which we might want to take to, um, heart:

It's no reflection on you

Then again, that’s an awfully tiny waist.

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We’ll see about that

Coach Daddy asked: “If you could be invisible for a week, what would you do?” Difficulty: you have to describe it in six words.

Fifty-one answers were singled out for the article, and I think this was my favorite:

32. Enjoy not being asked for anything.

Passive rather than active, but attractive just the same.

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